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About hollysmokes

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    in no particular order: smokin' meat, fermenting, cooking, preserving food, music, hiking, gardening, biodynamics

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  1. Start Date: December 1st

    The show was amazing and it even quit raining! My husband used to take guitar lessons from a banjo player (hahaha) and he used to always say, "That's a lot of notes!" about some of the bluegrass tunes. Saturday night was definitely a lot of notes! Before the show we went to a nearby restaurant that has a nice cocktail menu and had a couple of real cocktails then I caved and had a glad of white wine at intermission. That was my first glass of white and definitely the most sugar I've had but I didn't seem to have any negative repercussions. We decided to fix a nice dinner at home so we could splurge on the cocktails and I was thinking about your puttanesca-ish chicken from a few days ago. I did that with some shrimp and it came out really good along with some asparagus with a little preserved lemon. Thanks for the inspiration! I've had curried chicken salad on the brain since you mentioned it, too, so I made a nice big batch for my lunches this week. I put a bunch of celery and apple in it so it's nice and crunchy. I used all of the dark meat since that's my favorite (plus my husband is not a dark meat fan) and saved the breasts for dinner tonight so I'll get some good mileage out of that chicken. I got a quart of bone broth out of it, too so that's a bonus. I had to force myself to cook this weekend and didn't cook anything but my breakfasts the weekend before so, yeah, I get those don't feel like cooking blues, too. Sometime I just want anything I didn't have to cook. I was supposed to get a pot of chili going yesterday and kept looking at that chuck roast that was looking back at me. It's still in the fridge I did make a really good green bean salad, though. 1 lb green beans (not too cooked), 12 oz cherry tomatoes, 2 T balsamic, 2 T red wine vinegar, 2 T olive oil, 1-2 minced garlic cloves, salt & pepper. Mix everything together except the green beans and let the tomatoes macerate for a little while. Add the green beans and YUM. It's supposed to have some fresh basil in it too but I forgot it the first time I made it and liked it so much that I've never bothered. If the beans are still warm when you add them, it's good like that, too. So if you up your game, what are you thinking about doing? I'm starting to feel like I'm flailing around a bit. What I really need to do is quit making excuses and get my rear in gear! I'm doing really well with my meals but not so well at moving beyond the speed of sofa.
  2. Start Date: December 1st

    I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't know who Elbert Hubbard was. Very interesting man. Thanks. I've always loved inspiring and though-provoking quotes and that's a good one. SO...big news! My husband turned in his resignation about an hour ago. He got the job! The waiting is over, he's excited and I'm so happy for him. I'm good with making the trip alone; it's good for me to push my boundaries. No camping we are staying in houses. I don't know how I'd be able to fly with camping gear anyway since we car camp. Cooking and cleaning outdoors is an adventure unto itself sometimes. Do you have a vacuum sealer? We'll make chili or stew and just boil-n-bag sometimes. Then you have the leftover pot of hot water to clean your bowls with but no dirty, greasy pot. I freeze roasted veggies all the time and they reheat well but I'm using the nuker at work and not an open fire! I think they would still be fine with a quick pan-fry over the coals just to heat them up. I've pre-made hashes too and those work really well. My Excalibur came with a big book with recipes and suggestions and there's a whole section on making meals but it made me tired and totally overwhelmed just reading it. Since you recover so well after your hiking trips, I think I'd do what I could to bring complaint snacks & stuff but not stress over the pre-packaged meals. I love reading stories of people's through-hikes and have seen where they estimate burning 5-6000 calories per day so it's not surprising that ya'll lose that much weight in 5 days. Our group will have diets at each extreme and I'll be somewhere in the middle, LOL!! My brother and sister-in-law eat paleo but for the last several months have been doing the one-meal-a-day thing. They cherry-pick the paleo rules they adhere to but are trying to stay in ketosis most of the time, I think. But they drink diet coke with their Jack Daniels , eat crappy fats and eat no carb dense veg at all. Everyone else on the trip eats SAD. The three of us will most likely be doing most of the cooking so that works out really well. I'm guessing everyone will be fending for themselves for breakfast and I'll probably be living off of various bars-EPIC, Rx, Primal for breakfasts and maybe some lunches but I'm going to try to get more creative than that-looking forward to a brain storming session this weekend. Have a fabulous weekend! We're going to be busy trying to stay dry-again. Tommy Emmanuel & Jake Shimabukuru concert tomorrow night. We've seen them both before but not together. If you want to have your mind blown by a ukulele, check out Jake on YouTube! Woooohoooo!
  3. Start Date: December 1st

    Congratulations on your Valentine's card! It's the little things, isn't it? Taking care of ourselves, taking care of our marriages- neither are perfect and both take effort. I'm thankful that I have those options. Thanks for the link. How beautiful! I've never been that far west and CA is so gigantic that I've never really figured out what is where so it's nice to be able to visualize where you are. It looks like y'all are in for a challenging but gorgeous adventure. Looking at some of that terrain, I'd have to agree that this wouldn't be the time to skimp on your yams! How do you manage food for the whole trip? Good carbs seem to be definitely in order. My sister-in-law and I are going to chat this weekend about a food plan for the BB trip. They are thinking about driving so that will make things easier. Feeding 9 adults and 1 kid will take some planning plus we all couldn't fit in one place so we are divided into two groups and staying about 20 minutes apart, I think. I had my first glass of red wine last night. Nothing fancy but I had been looking forward to it and really savored every sip. I used a good wine glass instead of my stainless steel camping cup that I tend to always use and enjoyed it while we were fixing our V-day dinner of pork chops, sautéed rainbow chard and beets w a big glob of homemade mayo. I haven't tried mayo w steamed broccoli but that sounds really good, too. I'll have to give it a try. Leftover tacos tonight and I'm going to skip the cheese and just use sour cream to see how it treats my stomach. Slow roll!
  4. Start Date: December 1st

    After spending yesterday missing Mardi Gras #300, I can REALLY be thankful about how good I feel today. We would have spent the day drinking waaaaay too much beer and eating Popeye's fried chicken (YUM!!) all day. It sure is fun but gotta pay to play! My husband is so antsy waiting to get the final OK on his new job that he wanted to get out of the house for a while and go get a beer. It was a pretty day- warmer & a blue sky for one day!!- so it was nice to get out. I thought about having a drink with him but decided I really didn't want one and was happy with some soda & lime. I swear it makes me pee more than beer does! I think I WILL have my first glass of red wine tonight, though and I'm definitely going to indulge in a Negroni Saturday night before the concert. It's so wonderfully bitter but I know it's a sugar bomb, too, so I'm planning a low carb-ish day to make up for it and will totally enjoy it. I steam the cauli for the tortilla then wring it out. It's amazing how much water comes out of it! I've tried pan frying it to dry it out for "rice" and it always seems to overcook before it really dries out. I can't remember the proportions off-hand but it's just cauli & egg. I'll take a look at it and send it to you. Not into Hallmark holidays here either; they make me crazy. Or, as my husband says, it's on that long list of things that make me crazy I've been thinking about my NSV's and I think it's mainly all of the little ones wrapped up in one. I just feel better! I'm sleeping a little better and hope that will continue to improve, little aches and pains are gone and my weight loss is progressing slowly but surely (finally!). I feel lighter both inside and out; more peaceful. I'm making the extra effort to have tasty meals and not just easy meals. No food guilt. No beer & wine guilt. Just being the best me I can be right now and I'm pretty excited about it. The sky is not the limit and it never was - Meadowlily
  5. Start Date: December 1st

    Thanks for sharing that excerpt from Earthsea; it's beautiful. I found the second book in the series and am keeping an eye out for the first one so I can get started on them. A year ago, my Dad and I were talking on the anniversary of my grandmother's death 12 years before and I mentioned how much I still missed her (we were very close) and wondered if that would ever change. His response was that it wouldn't change but it would evolve. I keep that thought with me. Since we had something special planned for the Saturdays before & after V-day, I figured those would be our celebrations. I'm terribly UNromantic about stuff like that but, surprisingly, my husband is not. At his suggestion, we'll have something special for dinner- just have to figure out what. He doesn't like wine (sweets & chocolate are another story) but I might join you in that glass of red I've had part of a nice box of red sitting in the basement all during my W60. I tried a cauli crust a long time ago but if I remember correctly, it had a sh!t-ton of cheese in it to hold it together. I liked it but never did make it again. I like pizza, hubby LOVES pizza. I picked one up for him Friday at Whole Food (made a special trip because they had it on sale for National Pizza Day!) and he said it was "less than mediocre" so I felt bad that I got his pizza hopes up then dashed them in mediocrity. I'll make it up to him! You'r puttanesca-ish dinner sounds delicious, I think I'd totally splurge on some Parm on that! I have all of those ingredients, too, so I think I'm going to have to recreate it this week. Have you tried cauli "tortillas"? Those I do like and they freeze really well so I usually make a double batch. I made some right before embarking on this journey so they're still in the freezer and will be coming out for taco night (AKA dairy re-intro) either tonight or tomorrow. I'm not a big fan of social media. I don't FB- creeps me out- and I keep up with some musician friends of ours on IG but have never created an account or anything. Do you get the W30 bi-weekly emails? Melissa wrote this: "...I talk about reintroduction as a lifelong process...I consider it “reintroduction” every single time I eat something not Whole30, even if I haven’t done a reset in months. Every time I drink a glass of wine, eat a cupcake, or enjoy white rice with my sushi, I’m paying attention. How did this make me feel, physically and psychologically? Are there any consequences—even small ones—that I can pick up as a pattern? Based on this, is this food or drink still worth it?" I think she must've felt some of the vibes coming from this thread.
  6. Start Date: December 1st

    I was going to take a peek at the forum yesterday but never did and now I'm glad. You post was uplifting, supportive and motivational; just right for first thing Monday morning! Thanks! I hope your 3-day weekend was fabulous. Did y'all go anywhere or just stay home and enjoy the time off? For me, this weekend was payback for the last couple of cook-up-a-thons I had. Aside from meals, the only thing I cooked was some beets and my breakfasts for the week. Note to self: when you put beet and chard stems in your eggs, remember that your breakfast will be pink!! The concert Saturday was terrific even though the weather was terrible. I pre-bought our tickets because I knew that, unless there was money involved, if we were warm and dry at home, there was no way we were going to drive into town in the rain at a time that's fairly close to bedtime! It was a standing room only kind of venue but they had a couple of tables and we were able to grab one and they had a local beer that I really like so I had my planned beer. It was delicious! It was a style of beer that I typically only want one of, so that was perfect. I made it last then switched to water. And had to get up in the middle of the night to pee, of course but no other ill effects. Oh well, small price to pay! We even managed to sleep until after 7 Sunday morning! Wooohoo! The rest of the weekend was relaxing. It was grey, raining and foggy so I read a bunch and we binged some TV. Ahhhh. Have you tried the Thai Kitchen red curry paste? That's some tasty (compliant) stuff! I sautéed green beans and cauli in some brown butter ghee then added a blob of the curry paste and it was so good. I have enough green beans & cauli to do it again so that will be on the menu one day this week. Aside from my beer, I was compliant all weekend except for some Applegate salami that I had for dinner last night AND, I've lost a pound AND stayed off of the scale all weekend until this morning. I'm going to try to stick to the once a week weigh-in. I rowed on Saturday but was highly unmotivated to get off my butt yesterday. It was the cat's fault. Our little girl Katrina rescue kitty likes me to stay on the sofa with a fuzzy blanket for her to sleep on. I'm surprised that I don't crave beans as well. Like greens, I've never met one I didn't like. I had some red beans last spring- the real-deal Camellia red beans from Louisiana that I had to mail-order. They were really good and didn't bother me in any way but also didn't send me off into bean cravings either. I definitely believe that our cravings can be our body's way of getting our attention but now I know that I have to pay attention to the craving. Is it nutritious or is it my inner 5-year old having a tantrum? It's getting easier to tell them apart now, isn't it? Taking care of a loved one, especially a parent, with Alzheimer's has to be the hardest thing. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. My father died recently of a blood cancer and when he was finally diagnosed after months of me pushing him, two of the things I was grateful for was that his mind would stay intact and he wouldn't be in horrible pain at the end of his life. Both of those wound up not being true but not until the very, very end. Our trip to Big Bend is actually to honor his wish for his ashes to be spread there but I am more joyful to be spending time with everyone that I am mourning. As you know, the mourning will go on. Time spent with those you love is precious. Yes!
  7. Start Date: December 1st

    Hey! You got back on your bike Sunday & Monday after off-roading on Saturday (with a lesson learned under your belt) and your Tuesday excursion sounds like a lovely day. I know it's hard but don't go down the good/bad, black/white path. It doesn't sound to me like you were out of control. A day that is spiritually, emotionally and psychologically good is, perhaps, worth a bit of off-roading. Yes? Yep, it looks like he'll be data mining for Medicare fraud, something he really likes and believes in so he's pretty pumped. There are a couple more loose ends to tie up before he can resign his current position but he doesn't foresee hitting any snags and hopes he'll be in his new position before the end of the month. My trip (ahhh-hate saying "my" instead of "our") is exactly 6 weeks from today- end of March. I'll bring a good book with me and, since I'm an early riser, I'd like to do a couple of short hikes early & alone before the others get up. I haven't even started researching them yet but I'm sure I can find something that fits the bill. Part of the group is in the 30-35 year age group and they are pretty hard partiers so I want to try to focus on NOT falling into that hole too far. It would be easy, especially on vacation. I haven't tried beans yet. I'm so used to NOT having them that I don't know how "worth it" it is. Black beans & rice and red beans & rice were staples when I was growing up - Cuban and Cajun heritage! How's that for a mix?! I did have a cocktail yesterday evening, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Since I didn't re-intro dairy, I decided that I'd do alky-hol. I had one drink, didn't crave another and noticed no bad side effects. I'll try wine & beer separately and it would be really convenient if I lost my taste for beer cuz I love me a nice craft beer and the microbrew business is booming here. Right now I need to work on just hitting the scale once a week!! I'm so worried about backsliding even though I'm still eating really well and haven't even been non-compliant very much. I'm being really frustrated but trying not to let it change my path. Onward!
  8. Day 2

    Congratulations for being ready to commit for yourself in the face of difficulty! So sorry you have to go though that but also so glad you found the forum. There are lots of great folks here that are always ready to lend a helping hand. I think I would be miserable if I was going to bed hungry and waking up hungry. It would = deprivation in my mind and I find W30 anything BUT deprivation. Even though I was eating pretty well anyway, it gave me the kick in the pants that I needed to fix more flavorful meals and not just cook up a protein and saute or steam a veg (even though that's always an option when you're in a jam for time or don't have an alternative plan). Good luck and come back often!
  9. Start Date: December 1st

    Yeah, I have to keep reminding myself that mistakes are going to happen and just learn from them. It's hard to keep your balance on that bike and I think that's an area that I need to work on. I can't be a hermit. If I can't find a balance then it won't be sustainable and I definitely want it to be. I'm such a short time into my re-intro that I haven't even thought about another one yet. I'm hoping I can learn to ride my own bike well enough not to backslide but only time and my determination will tell. It is a very humbling process, isn't it? I hadn't thought about it that way. Yesterday I was chaffing a bit at the rules/restrictions but I'll get over it- just being whiney. I got home and forced myself to row for 30 minutes. I'm up to 2.8 miles and felt better for having done it. Also slept really well last night. March is going to be a rough month for me compliance-wise. Still not sure how I'm going to manage meals on my Big Bend trip and now it's really starting to look like my husband won't be able to go. I'm so disappointed and have to figure out how to get everything out of this trip on my own that I would like to . Gonna have to ride the big girl bike! I tend to be an introvert and not having my husband there as a comfort zone makes it harder. Even though it's family (with a 4 year old!) and close family friends, I get into people overload pretty easily. I know that when all is said and done, I will be so glad that I went and had a big adventure with the fam. I don't know what to make of the weight loss stall. My intent was to use the scale as a tool to help me decide if adding higher carb foods, dairy, etc makes a difference in my weight loss effort but now I don't know what to do with the information I have. Other than a tiny amount of added sugar in ham/bacon at breakfast and my vitamins, I have been compliant ( and 2 servings of corn on Sunday). My dairy re-intro scheduled for today was a flop; my yogurt didn't yog. I suspected that the yogurt I was using as a starter was too old and I was right. I have never had a bra fitting but I'm going to when it's time for new ones. My Mom works at Chico's and one of their sister companies is Soma so I'll go there because I get a discount even if it's not on sale. My Mom buys everything using my customer number so it looks like I'm a shopaholic when they look in their system. Focusing on the NSV's...
  10. Start Date: December 1st

    Well, you know, the only way we're going to learn how to ride our own bikes is to go off-roading every now and then. Now you know! Soft drinks aren't a temptation for me but there was a cute mini boule of local, artisanal sourdough bread at the little neighborhood grocery where I stop to get my husband cream for his coffee and it wanted to come home with me so badly! The truth is that it never would have made it home intact. I think that, in the future, it might be something that I decide is worth it every now and then but now is not the right time. After that, the loaf of bread I got for my husband to make sammies was looking pretty good to me so I imagine that if I had caved to that craving, it might have gotten ugly! Meadowlily again (this time spelled correctly!): "Mistakes repeated more than once are a decision." I'm really trying to keep that in the front of my mind so I can remember that mistakes will happen but it's a learning experience. Your cook-up sounds way more sensible than mine! I had some chicken bone broth going in the crock pot so I got that strained out last night. I do cook during the week but try not to get into big projects that I'll regret because I'm tired, it's late and I'm not at a stopping point. If I don't have something ready or mostly ready for dinner, we keep it simple and just pan-fry some kind of protein (burger, chop or a little sirloin steak) and either put it on a big salad or do some kind of quick veg. Pre W30 I was relying on that way too often and it was getting really boring and repetitive. It's more work but one of my "treats" to myself is to have good, tasty meals. It helps when I can get ahead of the game and have some portions of good stuff in the freezer so I've been working on that. My weight loss seems to have come to a screeching halt. I refuse to be discouraged over the numbers but am concerned that it's because of fruit and re-intro foods. I know it's really too soon to tell so I just need to work on patience. I feel good and I definitely feel thinner and stronger. I'm enjoying my clothes being loose and being able to wear things I haven't been able to in a while. I haven't gotten any new clothes because I still need to "release" more fat but if an occasion arises and I don't have something to wear, I WILL go get something new. That's so much better than having to go get new clothes because everything is too small. I should go buy new bras. I had a pattern in that past where every time I splurged on new bras I immediately lost a bunch of weight and couldn't fit in them any more LOL! Happy Tuesday!
  11. Start Date: December 1st

    Another weekend of cooking my brains out! I need to find other things to do on the weekend even though it does make my work-week easier. I probably should have gotten some seeds started so that will be my plan for next weekend instead of spending all of my time in the kitchen. I think I am subconsciously using it as an excuse not to socialize. Our social life usually revolves around a local bar/restaurant for a few drinks. It's a "Cheers" kind of place except that they allow smoking so during the winter when it's all closed up it really, really stinks- bad enough that I plan washing my hair around when we go there and will hold a load of laundry until after we get home so we can toss our stinky clothes right in. Doesn't sound too attractive when I describe it like that, huh? That's why I've been wanting to stay home more- that's my story and I'm sticking to it! The next two Saturdays we have concerts to go to, though, and I can't wait. I will probably re-intro alcohol for those. I'll probably have a beer at the show this weekend but only if they have something yummy that I really want to drink and a fancy cocktail before the show the next weekend. I was having some gastric distress issues before I started my W60 so I kept a food log to see if I could identify any food triggers. Of course, I didn't have a single post-lunch emergency ladies room run during the whole thing so now I'm thinking it might be related to beer/alcohol? Your eyebrows are definitely not off topic! Meadowlilly has several posts about not going out looking like a slob (not implying that you look like a slob or anything ). I think it is a re-post of Melissa's or maybe a section from ISWF but I think it's definitely relevant to everything we're trying to accomplish here. It might not be something anyone else notices but if it's something that bothers you then it matters. My Mom's eyebrows are almost invisible now and it really bothers her even though I think she looks fine. She's 78 but could easily pass for 65-70 and is always nicely dressed and accessorized. I don't go out looking like a slob but I do the bare minimum to look decent and rarely accessorize unless we're going someplace special- like a concert! At home, however, it's a different story. Since I'm always cooking and I wear whatever I cook, I have old T shirts and fleece tops that are loose and comfortable and full of stains that I wear all of the time so I don't ruin my "real" clothes. I finally tie-died some just to camouflage the stains! My Mom works at a ladies clothing store so she sends me pretty things because she knows I won't spend the money on myself. Being overweight just isn't conducive to going shopping and spending money on clothes. I am working on changing that mindset, though. I just bought a pair of black leggings to wear around the house and am trying to muster up the inner strength to toss my favorite pair of sweatpants that are so old they barely stay up. The two XXL, frayed and stained T-shirts I wore this weekend should accompany the sweat pants! Confession: I used to love to watch "What Not To Wear" and that was always one of their big themes as well. No matter what your size and shape, with a little effort, you can look good and owe it to yourself. I was snack-y all day Saturday and was worried that I was awakening my sugar dragon but I think it was just a mental rebound from being set free of the rules and having to ride my own bike. Yesterday was much better. Today & tomorrow I'm going to stick to the rules except for a bit of added sugar in a couple of things. I have a little country ham in my breakfast casserole that I'm pretty sure was cured with sugar. Wednesday will be dairy day. OK enough self analysis for a Monday morning! Re-intro! My grits yesterday morning were amazing! Dinner last night was buffalo wings and popcorn so I was able to have my popcorn without making it a snack- football snack food without the football! It was delicious, too. But... I woke up at 1130 having a coughing fit because my sinuses were a mess. That happens to me periodically and I haven't been able to track down the source of my sinus issues. I was hoping that eating clean would make them go away so I could figure it out during re-intro. I think I mentioned that I stopped all antihistamines and it didn't didn't really make a difference- not sure if that's good, bad or indifferent. SO, not sure if it was corn-related or a coincidence so I guess I'll have another corn-y day in a couple of weeks to see if I can replicate my misery. Thank you for being here. It's so good to have a place to discuss all of these things and have a sympathetic ear to bend. Hope you had a fabulous weekend!
  12. Start Date: December 1st

    Thanks! Part One is done so now on to the hard part- riding my own bike, the part where I failed last time. Feb 1 sounded SO far way when I started and it still sounded like forever away after 30 days but now it just sort of came and went and here we are on Groundhog Day. It's a little anti-climactic but maybe that's a good thing. Just keep on keeping on with no fuss and no muss. I refuse to "Groundhog Day" my W30, though. I did take my vitamins this morning so I've already had a minute amount of rice flour but I am sticking to the plan. I was going to reward myself with something after I finished but now I feel like finishing was a reward in an of itself. I'll take that as a NSV! Lost 5 more lbs, too. I was hoping for 7 but that's ok. Actually, per Meadowlilly, I didn't lose them; I don't want them back. I released them For better or for worse, I read ALL of Meadowlilly's 160 page, 3 year long stream-of-consciousness posts. She has lots of amazing pics and good things to say but I think it's making me obsess over what she obsesses over and I don't need any help in that department I know I need to break off my relationship with the scale but I also want to use it as a tool during reintro. Is that an excuse? A crutch? She even thinks that concentrating on NSV's is just the flip side of weighing. I know everyone is different and we all have different methods to our madnesses but maybe I shouldn't have done a total immersion in her posts. An hour one-way to the grocery! Yowie! I bet you don't forget your grocery list at home! It's about 25 minutes for me to a regular grocery and about 45 minutes to the farmer's market but it's pretty barren this time of year. It's a shame you can't find arugula. Surprisingly, it's one of the few things I get at the regular grocery store and it's one of my favorites, too. Woohooo that was funny!! Thanks for the link; I had no idea but now I have a morbid curiosity to find out and may have to do a balsamic reduction this weekend. The only napalm I knew about in the kitchen was Cajun Napalm- better know as roux. If you've ever splashed hot roux on you, you know what I mean! It sticks! And it burns! Stir gently. I was going to make chicken piccata last night but I was trying to finish Meadowlilly's thread and let my husband have his way in the kitchen. It doesn't happen often, so what the heck! He made pan-fried spicy chicken strips so I pulled out the rest of the ranch dressing, a big pile of raw brocc and cherry tomatoes and made a party platter! It was so good I'm having it again today for lunch. I haven't even thought about what to cook-up this weekend. I guess I better get on the ball. Chile sounds good; it was 19 this morning so something warming will definitely be on the menu. Thanks for all of the support! You know, no one else knows I finished my 60 days.
  13. Start Date: December 1st

    Hahaha the 8 year-old I was referring to was my husband No kids for me; it's all I can do to parent those cats and my husband insists that they're as weird as they are because of their upbringing! I was up at 5 too and was able to watch about half of the eclipse from my sofa with a cup of coffee before the moon got behind the hill. We live in a hollow so we were lucky that we got to see it at all. After that I was treated to a beautiful sunrise. I've been driving to work in the dark so that was an added bonus and a lovely way to start my day. Your popcorn sounds delicious! My corn re-intro will be Sunday so I'll have grits for breakfast and popcorn later in the day, for sure! I've never had champagne vinegar either. I think I'll have to give it a try. I made a lemon vinaigrette yesterday to go on the arugula & radicchio salad I fixed to go with my wonton meatballs. It was nice to have something different on my salad instead of my standard red wine vinegar. I keep reading about balsamic vinegar reduction for veggies and I want to try that too but wanted to wait until I start introducing small amounts of sweeter things. I know that, technically, the balsamic is compliant but I figure that reducing it is concentrating the natural sugars and might not be best for me during W30/W60. Vitacost discovery: if you put stuff in your cart but don't complete the purchase, they will usually send you an email with a 10% discount code in it. I might reread Stranger in a Strange Land sooner rather than later. It's been a while since I've spent time with Valentine Michael Smith and I just found out that Heinlein's widow released the uncut version after he died so I'm definitely going to check that out. It's all a discovery process, right? I'm excited about tomorrow being Day 60 and feel like I am up to the task of riding my own bike and being the best me I can be!
  14. Start Date: December 1st

    Today is Day 58; two more days! Super Blue Blood Moon tomorrow and Day 60 the next day! But thanks! YUM! YUM! Good for you! That sounds so interesting. I love keeping traditional methods and stories alive; it's so important! That spinach sounds amazing. We've quit buying the regular baby spinach in the grocery (even organic) because we got so used to chard and various kales that the spinach doesn't seem to have much texture or taste. My 8 year old got on a rant a while back about not being able to go out and eat anywhere because of the way I eat. He cuts me some slack during W30 but I'm sure he'll be chomping at the bit as soon as I'm finished. Hmmm...I may neglect to mention that Day 60 is Thursday . Reintro is almost as strict, though so that should buy me another 10 days or so! I think my first re-intro is going to be corn. It doesn't give me any digestive/systemic issues that I've noticed and I have decided that life without grits is just...sad and I LOVE just-picked fresh corn and popcorn. In an effort to mitigate what damage has been done to commercially available corn, I splurged on an order from Anson Mills. I have heirloom, stone-ground grits coming as well as an heirloom variety of popcorn and another heirloom variety of dried corn that I want to use to make my own hominy/masa. So, I will pay attention during re-intro and if I truly do not have any issues with it, I will add it back into my diet sparingly but joyously. We had the Gingerbread Pork Stew for dinner last night and it was really good. I don't think we've had a stew with pork before. The weirdest thing happened, though, and I survived to tell the tale. I was pre-cooking some Brussels sprouts in the microwave so they wouldn't take as long to sauté and I thought they smelled funny- kinda sour. I decided that that was nuts since they were fresh and sautéed them up anyway. The smell didn't go away and I thought they tasted funny, too. I asked my husband what he thought and he very carefully tasted one and totally agreed that there was something really wrong with those Brussels. By then I had eaten a couple of them trying to convince myself that I was imagining it but finally decided that we didn't even want to put them in the compost. We sent them all to the septic tank where they belong then spent all evening wondering if we were going to get sick. We seemed to have come through it unscathed! Robert Heinlein has long been my favorite author and I was so, so sad when he died. He wrote several novels around a character named Lazarus Long and those are definitely my faves. There is a lot of time travel involved and several of the other characters pop up in other books as well so there's lots of intermingling of stories that you don't notice until you meet the characters elsewhere. Stranger in a Strange Land is his most well known book and a couple of the same characters are in there, too but the last 4 on this list are my go-to books when I want something warm and comfortable to read. Methuselah's Children (1958) Time Enough for Love (1973) The Number of the Beast (1980) The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (1985) To Sail Beyond the Sunset (1987)
  15. Start Date: December 1st

    Day 60 is Feb 1, the day after the super, blue moon! I know we can make it, I think we can, can... yeah! They should broadcast that from the rooftops everywhere, everyday! That's life, isn't it?! I like science fiction a lot- a gift from my Dad- but haven't gotten into much of the newer sci-fi and really enjoy the classics. Thanks, I'm going to get the first book in the Earthsea series- looking forward to it; I could use some good fiction right now. During my brief stint in a management position, I had to go to some management training sessions where they presented different management theories. One of the two that stuck out was "Eat a frog first thing in the morning!" Huh? Translation: Do whatever you're dreading the most first then everything is uphill from there. So, did you eat your frog? The universe tried to mess with my plans but I didn't let it happen! I stopped for gas Friday evening on my way home before making a quick stop at the grocery to get the things I forgot on the last trip and the starter on my car decided it had had enough and there were no more starts left. I finally managed to get home with the help of AAA, our mechanic and my husband. I did a 30 minute rowing session and made my grocery run Saturday morning. Hah! Can't stop the plan!! My cook-up was good but I have a bunch of greasy meat grinder parts to finish cleaning when I get home and I need to strain all of the little leftover bits out of my lard and pour it into containers. I just wasn't up to dealing with all of the icky, greasy mess yesterday and I like to get it over with all at once so this afternoon will be a 30 minute rowing session and a 30 minute de-greasing session. I got my Tomato Meatball Soup (with kale and mushrooms) done on Saturday and it's delicious! I made a double batch based on Nomnom's tomato soup (I never have leeks plus they're expensive and a pain in the butt to clean if I can find them) and made 60 (!) mini meatballs out of a pound of ground beef. It was a good project to have while watching a movie That's my lunch today. I also made a batch of ranch dressing and was pretty happy with it for a first try. Giant salad with grilled fish for dinner Friday and lunch Saturday. My husband totally shocked me when we were making the salad and said he wanted to put some fermented veggies in it. He's not so big on the fermented stuff (except kombucha) so that was a real shocker. AND, he started rowing, too so now if I can just get him off of the wheat wagon...hahahaha Yesterday was a killer but I did it!! I got all of that pork ground (15 lbs of butt plus 4 lbs of fat) so I got the lard mostly done, 3 pounds of meat chunks went for the gingerbread stew that I finished at 730 last night. It made the house smell so good but the gravy is crazy thick even after adding a good bit of water so I don't think I'm going to bother fishing out the meat chunks and pureeing the veggies. That's dinner tonight with potatoes for my husband and the great parsnip experiment for me-woohoo! I had 2 lbs of ground pork for a double batch of wonton meatballs and that was my "lunch" at 230 yesterday plus a pound for the Italian sausage & kale casserole- breakfast today and it was really good. I cut it into 6 portions but then decided it might not be enough all by itself and changed it to 5 portions. After all of that, I have a little over 7 pounds of ground pork vac sealed in the freezer. Whew! It was fun but a lot of work so I'm glad it's over but it feels so good that I got it all accomplished AND I have a fridge & freezer full of goodies. Curried chicken salad will be on the menu soon. I love it, too. I'll have to try it with garam masala, esp since I'm out of curry powder at the moment. I love to put a bunch of celery and apple in it so it's nice and crunchy. The addition of the chutney sounds delicious. Time to step away from the computer and MOVE!