Jim4884

Psyching Up For a December Whole 30 Graduates

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@LadyLisbette sometime learning what NOT to do is more instructive than learning what TO do but I'm so sorry you had such a frustrating, draining day. I hope you're feeling better and have recovered. I agree with what you said to @Elizabeth33 about the consequences of not eating optimally. I can really tell when I haven't eaten well or sufficiently and I seem to have the most trouble on the weekends because my schedule tends to get skewed. I think it was last weekend that I wound up having "brunch" and "lunner" on Saturday then realized that the same thing was happening on Sunday so I made myself wait until noon to eat a real lunch at lunch time. It was a gap of about 20 hours and I didn't feel terrible but I was tired and bordering on hangry.  This weekend I tried to have breakfast closer to my usual time instead of waiting for my husband (or my mom when she's here) and that seemed to work better than waiting for them and eating breakfast at 10!

Shea butter is what I'm waiting on right now! I do remember that luxurious balm from England; do you mind sharing the recipe?  Lemon and sage sounds delicious. 

The first time I made my own laundry detergent, I made the liquid version and found it to be a pain in the butt to make, use and store. I've been making a powdered one for several years now and have been really happy with it. It requires a food processor to get a really fine powder but I've read about people using a hand grater to grate up the bar of soap (now there's a way to get more movement into your day!). I use a bar Kirk's castile soap when I make it but, theoretically, you can use any bar of soap that you like. I think the original recipe used Fels-Naptha but I hate the smell of it and it has some questionable ingredients so I started using Kirk's. Anyway, I cut the bar of soap longways into 3 pieces so it will fit down the tube of my processor and run it through the grater disk. Leave the grated soap in the processor and change the disk for the regular blade. Add 1 cup washing soda (AKA soda ash), 1 cup of borax, 10 drops of orange EO and 5 drops of lemon (but you can use more/less/none/other oils). Process to mix and get it all to a uniform powder. Let it settle for a couple of minutes before you open the lid. You can use it as is but I add 2 cups of Oxy-Clean to it. I just found out that the oxy-clean that I get from Costco has some stuff in it that I didn't want but the pure stuff is given an "A" rating by the EWG so I ordered that online. I usually make 3 batches at a time because the Kirk's comes in 3-packs and it lasts a nice long time using about 1/2 cup/load. If I need to prewash spots (almost always) I just put a little in a cup with a little water and use a brush to scrub it into the spots. Let is sit for a few minutes at least and it's ready to go.

My dishwasher soap is 1C borax, 1C washing soda, 1/2 C citric acid and 1/2 C Morton's kosher salt. It will want to absorb moisture and solidify so I leave the container open for a day or two depending on the humidity (but that may not be an issue where you are- low humidity all the time, right?) and stir it up periodically. I read an article the other day about just using the washing soda because adding the citric acid just neutralizes the alkaline pH of the soda so I tried it Saturday. Just don't!! It was awful; the dishes looked dirtier coming out than they did going in. The haze and spots were so bad that I had to use one of those green 3M scrubby pads to get it off.

Value judgments! Yes indeed! I was told the same thing when I was in PT for my shoulder. I referred to it as my "bad" shoulder and was immediately told not to think of it as bad but rather injured. That thought process translates into so many aspects of our lives, right?

Happy Monday! 

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Hi Holly! Much better today. I hope you, too, are feeling renewed from a yucky spell. I like Clarissa Pinkola Estes, the Jungian psychologist and author. She writes about life/death/life cycles, and that really speaks to me. I hope you're back in a Life renewal now....It is a new week, and we are turning a new page, so to speak. Hello, belly of January.

I regret that I can't find the original recipe I used online for the shea butter face cream, darn! It might be bookmarked in the old laptop. It was 5 (or 7?) parts shea butter, one part olive oil in a double boiler, melted very gently. (I love olive oil but I have also used fractionated coconut oil, as I mentioned before.) Let it cool, then stir in the EOs. For mature skin, it was recommended to use carrot seed and fennel seed EO which I bought, but didn't care for. So since then I've been adlibbing. I stopped measuring and started winging it with ratios, and have come to want to make it less oily, so next time (which will be soon) I will add, after the cooling, some cold-pressed aloe vera gel. I learned that when I didn't wait for it to cool enough, it came out a little bit grainy. Next time I will set the timer for 30 minutes and make myself wait. What EOs are you dreaming of for your lotion?

I'm excited to try your recipes for laundry and dishwasher soaps. I've just saved and printed them - thanks so much! As for citric acid, I've been looking for some in order to make bath bombs. Someone recently gave me a dreamy looking purple and blue bathbomb, and I really liked the texture in the water, but felt grossed out by purple bath water. Hot baths are part of my extra (but not extra, essential!!) self care lately. How could I forget how much I love a luxurious bath. And, the new place has a beautiful porcelain bathtub (stand alone clawfoot) that I can't wait to enjoy. I bought some classic pectin at the grocery, which has citric acid, but also dextrose and of course the pectin, but I see that I can get pure citric acid at Vitacost, and I am due to get coconut aminos, too and the aloe vera gel, so that will be this week. Is that where you get your citric acid? I don't see any harm in trying the grocery pectin as an experiment, and then I will have a comparison!

I love it that your PT spoke honestly about your shoulder as an injury, that is so awesome. One time I mentioned to my teacher than an older friend, who I visited during her dialysis treatments, had kidneys that were "shot". She corrected me that her kidneys were not shot, they were tired. Such a difference, I am grateful for these lessons. Must resist the temptation to degrade the body and self with such harshness. I'm still learning, and should watch it with my self talk.

Yesterday I made a big pot of chicken curry, but just winging it, not really using a recipe, and used what I had on hand for veg: broccoli, bell peppers, celery, carrots. I used both the Thai red chili paste I had on hand, but just a little as hubs doesn't like it too hot, and then also garam masala. It was pretty good, but a little soupy. I flt a little fearful of the coconut milk, so I thinned it out with chicken broth, and before the veg cooked down, it seemed like it needed more liquid, so I got a little happy with the broth... after it cooled, I separated some of the broth for the freezer for next time. I also made the curry burgers, and that was delicious. At the moment I have a tray of brussels and yams in the oven roasting, so I'm set for several days. This is the new normal! I can't do it all in one day...

Have a sweet day!

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The "belly of January"; I love it! I do feel like I'm in a life renewal cycle right now; I have had a few quiet days of reading and just being on the hill so that has been good. I finally got into Ursula K LeGuin's Earthsea series, so thank you again for reminding me of her. I just realized that it's been almost a year since she died and we had that conversation about her. I started the last book of the trilogy last night so I need to head to my trusty used book store for the rest of them. I was laughing that the paperback originally sold for $1.75 and I paid almost $7 for it- worth every penny!

I have some aloe vera gel coming with my shea butter and have a couple of different lotion recipes that I want to try. One of them uses a special plant-derived wax that helps with the emulsion so, hopefully, that will keep the aloe and oils as one. Does the pectin act in the same manner? I've never used it for anything besides jellies/jams. Yes, I do get my citric acid from Vitacost but I may switch to a different one that is non-GMO (plus the one I get from them is out of stock- like many of the items I get :( ). Purple bath! As much as I love purple (my toes are painted purple right now), that may not be my favorite color for bath water! I probably won't add any oils to my lotion; my husband likes it unscented. I usually put a couple of drops of EO in my hand when I use it so I can change it up with my mood but my go-to is grapefruit and I just got a big bottle of it on sale!

22 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

I can't do it all in one day...

Yes, I'm realizing that as well and have been trying to divide and conquer instead of working myself to death on a single day. I hate when I get happy with the broth!:P I sometimes pull out the "juice" and cook it down in a separate pot when I've done that. Your pot of curry and the brocc soup recipe that @kirbz mentioned is making me think of soup so I might work on that this afternoon- cauli, broccoli, chicken, curry & coconut milk. I have to have something chewable in my soups! I wound up smoking two chickens Sunday because they were on the small side so that had been nice to have in the fridge- instant dinner last night. The bones are going to make some delicious stock, too.

I'd be glad to share the Moroccan Chicken recipe! Here it is:

6 green onions, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic, pureed

1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

2 tablespoons chopped parsey

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 cup butter (or ghee), softened

Process the first eight ingredients. Add butter and process to make a paste. Rub generously on chicken and let marinate at least one hour. Grill.

Enjoy!

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I'm so glad you're enjoying the Earthsea series! A few quiet days of reading sounds just right.  I thought about Ursula so much in Portland, her home city, and also in Powell's City of Books. Did I mention we brought along a gym bag-size extra piece of luggage for books? We're now of course having to pack and move all of our books, but having a home library is so wonderful! Yes, hard to believe it's been a year since she died. Have you ever checked out her website? She was blogging, and brilliantly, until soon before she died. What a treasure. That Brain Pickings author Maria Popova also loves Ursula and links to her often.

Thank you for that Moroccan Chicken recipe! Not having a grill, how do you recommend I adapt it for the over or broiler? I'll put green onions on my shopping list for later today! I'm thinking of using the marinade of boneless skinless chicken thighs and oven roasting as usual, will that work? 375 or 400?

Thank you also for mentioning Nom Nom's sausage kale casserole recently...I made that a few times last year and we both loved it so much - is that the one that tastes kind of like pizza? I'll have to make that again soon.  It looks like this might be the year that I can get (and am willing to make the effort) my husband a little more onboard, although he really does insist on sandwiches for lunch. Lunch at his desk needs to be "not messy"...but the way I see it, crumbs on the keyboard are kinda messy, compared to eating something out of a plastic tub or a bowl. Of course, I don't want him microwaving the tupperware, which I know he would do/has done. :blink: I guess I should get glass containers, eh? Thanks for helping me sort that out here!!! LOL. So far, he has no complaints about the organic turkey from Costco, yay! And if I can keep cooking big batches, I don't mind sharing as much as I used to...just have to cook greater volume.

Custom-scenting your lotion sounds wonderful! Something different every day if you want, or, grapefruit any day also sounds heavenly! I love grapefruit too and use it all the time! So lovely and fresh.

Something is making me very windy lately. It really stands out b/c normally a paleo, esp a W30 eating plan makes that almost never. Yesterday was crazy. The curry burgers have a copious quantity of red onion and garlic, and I ate those for breakfast and in my lunch salad...that might be it. They are so delicious, I'm going to polish them off today. I think next up will be the Moroccan chicken, and maybe some cod piccata, and then the pizza casserole!  I have been thinking that my meat salad lunches might need some organic blueberries in there - I have a huge bag that I bought at Costco because I needed something frozen for the cooler for the trip home and that seemed the best option, but now there's a giant bag taking up valuable real estate in there! Blueberries might also be nice with salmon filets.

Did I mention how yummy the duck bone broth is? Will be looking for duck breasts and find that duck zone, though it might have to wait until after the move. Looks like closing will be another week. Teaching me patience. Keep me posted on your lotion making, I'm interested!

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22 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

Powell's City of Books

Now that sounds like a place I could spend hours in and an extra piece of luggage would be necessary! How fun! I'll check out Ursula's blog and Maria Popova as well. Thanks for the tips.

I've only grilled the chicken so I'm speculating here but I think if it's a whole chicky or bone-in/skin-on pieces that it would bake up well. Boneless/skinless might do better pan frying? Let me know how it goes.  What are you using the duck broth for? Sipping? It does sound delicious. I'm impatiently waiting on my vitacost order for my lotion ingredients and it finally shipped! I ordered a new brand of tahini called Windy City and, like a little kid, it makes me giggle because I too have had windy issues lately. I was attributing it to broccoli:lol: but not really sure; I just wish it would stop. 

Well, it looks like I'll actually have to do some cooking tonight. No more coasting on my already cooked smoked chickens. I have the wings for lunch today with the last of the haricot vert in better butter and I'm going to freeze enough for one meal so we can have a treat one night further down the road. It's supposed to go back to being winter, too, so no more grilling- in the upper 20's tonight. Maybe I'll get that soup done for my lunches and pull some stew out of the freezer for dinner. I think chili might be on the menu this weekend. 

So the house is a done deal???!! No more hanging by a thread? That is so exciting; I'm so happy for you.

 

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We're almost there...probably Monday! I've got my lists made, and there's going to be a lot to do, but soon it will be GO time.  We'll start moving boxes/art/non-furniture next week, since it's only a 5 minute drive, and then move the big stuff with a truck on the weekend of the 25th/26th. I'll have a few days to clean and make small repairs by the end of the month. So now the move is soon enough that I'm having a little bit of anxiety about my spices and recipes, and food in general. My solution is to focus on unpacking the kitchen first, and just stick to easy-to-make favorites during the transition, and also be okay with more-or-less compliant restaurant things like meat salads with oil and vinegar.

I have Italian sausage and kale casserole in the oven, yay! I bought green onions, so I'll make your mother's Moroccan chicken recipe next, and I'll probably pan sautee them since I have the skinless thighs ready to go.

Windy City tahini, that IS funny! What did you end up cooking now that the chickens are gone? How is your house faring in the winter time? How are you feeling this week?

I'm so glad to have an anchor of this way of eating to care for myself while there is s&#@ storm all around, know what I mean? I'm holding onto it like a life preserver that it is.

Are you still slimming down? I think I am slowly and surely happier in my clothes, though it's a ways before I need a new, smaller size...meanwhile, that is just fine! 

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I was already writing this when your post popped up! The soup rocked! I based it off of a recipe from one of Mark Sisson's books but made it a bit more free form to accommodate what I had on hand. The base was a can of coconut milk and 3 cups of chicken stock. I was out of fresh ginger so I used dried, some garlic powder, a little Thai chili paste and salt. I wanted to incorporate lots of vegetables and didn't want them to be overcooked so I steamed my broccoli separately and let it cool and cooked all of my other veg (I apologize to your husband, @LadyLisbette) one at a time- bok choy & cauli- and scooped them out into my containers as they were done- same with some cubed up chicken breast but it would be easier with leftover chicken. I let the broth cool off then divided it among my containers and I have lunches! And warmth! It was 24 degrees this morning (I can't figure out how to insert symbols).

We ate out of the freezer last night- beef stew and pole beans so I could spend my time making soup. It's been a pretty good week even though I haven't been motivated to move as much as I should. I'm settling for spending some time on the floor instead of on the sofa when we settle in to watch some tube after dinner and I think I'm starting to get more comfortable on the floor than on the sofa. I'm feeling a little slimmer maybe? Like you, though, I'm a ways off from downsizing. I'm most wanting to downsize a bra size! Try hooking your bra with fingers that don't move or feel very well (like having gloves on, I guess) and I hate spinning it around so having three hooks instead of four would be awesome but that requires a smaller size and I'm getting there.

The most organized move I ever made involved getting the kitchen completely done first. It made everything seem much easier because, #1, we could eat and, #2, there was one room that wasn't utter chaos. If you have time (yeah, I know that's funny!) you might make a big batch or two of something just so you don't HAVE to cook or HAVE to eat out. I've been trying to de-clutter and get rid of stuff while simultaneously trying to find two hats and a pair of gloves that are all nested together hiding in whatever dumb place I put them last spring that wasn't their normal spot. As my husband says, it's on that long list of things that make me crazy! 

How does your kitty handle change? 

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So we are really on the same page @hollysmokes! :D Wow, that soup sounds really good! I'm going to remember that ratio of coconut milk to broth, and also your method. Thanks for showing the way!

I'm going to take your advice about pre-cooking up, and also unpacking and organizing the kitchen first. A co-worker keeps talking about shelf liner, and looking around online I see there are two different camps on this subject. Do you line your cupboards? I'm planning to line the under sink area for sure to keep it dry and clean...but if shelves are clean, the most I see myself doing is parchment that can be cheaply and easily replaced as needed. For plates and glasses, etc, I'll probably use a hutch (I've been combing the antique stores for the right one), and I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. It seems like a June Cleaver (there she is again!!), prissy housewife thing that doesn't suit me unless it's really necessary. I mean, I want things as clean us much as the next person, but there are other things to do, like COOK! LOL.

DId you find your hats and gloves? Sounds like you outfoxed yourself! In my experience, once I relax and give up, things turn up,and then it's a laugh...hopefully sooner than later.

It's funny about our cat...she's 20 but as fit and feisty as ever. Hubs says she has the real tiger blood LOL At our current place she has at least two really great windows on the world, and I am sad she won't have that at the new house. The new place has a bungalow feature of verandas off of every room, but from a cat's POV not a view, but a wall. = ( She did great on our last move and immediately marked her jowls on everything in sight, and has never stopped. Hubs says that the move before that, she hid in a box for a week, sulking. I have a feeling that the packing and moving itself will be stressful but she'll adjust okay. I can't underestimate the power of duck broth to make her happy. Yes, I've been sipping it, on the sofa in the hour before bed, and when she sniffs it she comes running, and I let her have the last drops, or more, in her cat dish. Heaven!! I'll be wise to keep something like that on hand during the transition to let her know that all will still be okay! I'm sure we'll be able to rig something up so that she can see outside -- what is sweeter than a cat at the window?

I think this is our year for downsizing garments, don't you think? I can just feel it in my bones. I'm so sorry that your fingers are troubling you! That's the pits. Has the weather allowed you to spend a little time on your hang out bar? As the shoulder improves, will the fingers also, downriver the chain of joints? I started following MovNat on IG and am so grateful for their presence, it is giving me a great example. Once things settle down I want to spend some more time with the Nutritious Movement lady, too. Looking forward! Meanwhile, having the eating onboard is making me feel great including psychologically. I had Tiger Blood today, yeah. And I feel pretty darned limber for someone who is only doing 3-4x/wk survival yoga, so I have to give myself some credit, but immediately start hiking again once we move so I take advantage of the move as habit re-set. I think I'm naturally settling into slightly smaller portions, and in general, feel relaxed about food.

Moroccan chicken is up this weekend! I am in such a groove with W30 eating, that I will need to consciously PLAN to do a reintro...I am ready now, tummy is fine, I just keep forgetting! That's comical to me. I've eased wayyy up on the Rx bars, and I had one today, the chocolate and sea salt bar, and it was so rich and decadent, I can't imagine eating anything richer than that.

Do you have any re-intros on the horizon?

Happy weekend! 

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I feel the downsizing coming on, too. I've been doing well downsizing my portions (but still adhering to template!) and not feeling hungry. Portion control/awareness was one of my goals this time so I'm feeling pretty good on that front. I slightly overate a couple of nights ago and really felt it. It was one of those nights that I combined several leftovers and by the time I realized I was full, it wasn't enough to save for another meal so I polished it off. Ugh!

I usually do use some kind of shelf paper in my kitchen and bathroom cabinets but didn't this time. We remodeled the kitchen right after we moved in so I put some cork liners in the drawers with my pots so I wouldn't mess up the hickory but that was it. Smart idea to line under the sink; I didn't and it's a mess after several plumbing issues :(. We painted the bathroom cabinets so I felt OK just using them as is. I think this is the first time ever that I don't have shelf paper!

Duck stock for the cat! I love it! She's a lucky girl. All of our doors have full glass inserts in them so the cats look out of the doors to survey their kingdom all of the time but my little girl likes to look out of the windows, too. I've seen little shelves that fit in a window and brace against the wall. Maybe your girl would like one of those. 

Whenever anything happens, we always blame it on the cats so when I came home yesterday and there was a box waiting for me in the kitchen, my husband said that the cat was bad and ordered a sous vide immersion circulator. Not that I've ever expressed the desire for another gadget but here it is so I guess I need to learn how to use it. I needed another project! I'm on information overload on the lotion project! After much (maybe too much) reading, I decided I needed to get a preservative for my lotion because it will have aqueous ingredients. Body butters  and lotions that are all oils don't need it but I want to include aloe so I opted for an organic plant-based preservative that should arrive tomorrow. I'm getting one ingredient at a time. Maybe I'll have it all gathered together eventually. Maybe.

On the re-intro front, I had two large-ish glasses of white wine yesterday afternoon and then had an awful sinus headache during the night. Now I'm thinking about sulfites being a problem. How do they affect you? On NYE I had one glass of red wine and had no problems but it was from a place that makes their own and doesn't add sulfites. I guess I'll wait a few days and try a non-sulfite-added wine then try one that I know has them added (not looking forward to that but I need to know). It sucks that the wine industry is one of the many that has paid off our lawmakers so they don't have to disclose all of the [email protected] they put in wine. Food-wise, I've been compliant and loving it. 

Time for me to figure out how I can use the immersion circulator to make my cook-ups easier. Wish me luck!

 

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Cork is another thing I may try...I like the ease and frugality, and also the texture of cork. And the absence of adhesive. I used to have a roll, and now I regret that I gave it away! Oh well. I know I keep saying we're almost there, but today we signed all the papers, and formal closing should be Monday, and then hopefully the keys get turned over on Tuesday. I found a stunning piece of stained glass, but I didn't buy it because I'm not sure it will fit in the new place....so on my first visit with the keys I have a long list of things to measure, and I'm going to measure the windows; if I have a good fit for the stained glass, and it's still at the antique store, it's mine! I'll also be measuring the pantry/laundry room area behind the small kitchen, and probably buy some more shelving. The small kitchen will take some getting used to, but I know I'm adaptable! Woo hoo! As for the stained glass, I won't describe it because if it works, once it's hung in the window I'll take a picture and post it here!

The evening ritual with the broth and the cat is charming as can be. I may have mentioned that this cat is anti social, but she purrs and asks for attention when she's hungry. She's not a lap cat but sometimes she will sit next to me for a few minutes, and that is her lap equivalency. But if I have a mug of broth in my hand, she is all over me. I savor it, and she savors the anticipation. I know it's questionable to feed her this way....but she is 20, what the heck. I looked up window shelves for cats. OMG!! Once we get settled I will probably get something like this so she can see the world of wildness. 

Your cat is bad, and also a high tech bad-a&% genius. I had to look it up - the future is here! Wow, that is impressive! Let me know how you like it. It reminds me of Captain John Luc Picard, "computer, make me a beef bourguignon." It looks like an investment of time now, learning how to use it will save you lots of time in the future. Win!  I should marinate the chicken tonight for Moroccan chicken tomorrow...I have tiger blood today, with an extra boost from iced tea at lunch. Today I caught myself. I enjoyed a decaf with creamy nutpods in the mid morning at work. As the day went on, I felt harassed and cranky, and I felt just a little hungry an hour or so before lunch. So I started plotting a second cup and an Rx bar to go with it. You see, that would have been the old candy bar moment: unconscious, emotional eating. So I searched myself for hunger, and realized I just needed to drink a pint or more of water. New habit.

After work, I had to make my rounds hanging posters for an event. I went to the local retreat center that hosts the event, and saw that they were set up for a wedding. Now in the old way of things, I used to almost always help myself to a cookie in the dining room when I'm there 3x/month. I don't do that anymore, even when a wedding party is not standing in my way!  But as I walked through the lobby I saw mountains of beautifully catered pastries and treats. It smelled like a bakery in there! I felt like Wonder Woman with golden cuffs, fending off the villainous temptation. Ha ha! Do you get a proud feeling sometimes, too, in a situation like that, or in a grocery store where you might have made different decisions?

I know just what you mean about information overload with the lotions...I feel that way from researching platform beds! I can't look at it anymore. Until next week when I have to make some decisions.

I feel very sure that sulfite-added wine makes me gives me nasal congestion. Once we're settled I want to buy some of that Frey wine, and then I will know for sure. The closer we get the less anxiety I'm having about the transition. Having you here helps me so much! Thank you!

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Yaaay! I'm so happy for you!  We slept in our house the very first night (in sleeping bags in front of the fireplace) but couldn't do anything else because all of our stuff was still on its way from NO. Now that the drama is over, the (fun) work begins. Think of all of the movement you'll be getting. :) So much newness! It's a good thing you have those golden cuffs! I love being able to resist temptation and it's even better when it's not even tempting, yes? Still working on that part. There's a little local store that I stop in fairly regularly on my way home from work and I got into a routine of "rewarding" myself with a bar or a piece of cheese or a piece of local chocolate-y candy and I still find myself looking for my snack when I'm there. I've managed to restrain myself but I pouted about it. I have to stop there today so no pouting; I'll just rely on the golden cuffs. 

Drinking more water had been helping me a lot as well. That was one of my goals this past W30 that I kept forgetting to mention. I'm better about it at work than I am at home so I really have to remind myself on the weekends. 

I hope that piece of stained glass will fit when you have envisioned it; I love stained glass, too. So many decisions to make. I looked at some bedding sites lately, too, even though I'm kidding myself; there's no way my husband will ever part with our tempurpedic. I've ditched my pillow and would love to "downgrade" our bed to something more minimalistic and definitely chemical free but I don't see it happening. We have a platform bed but it's raised; not flush on the ground with storage. I would never get another one because it's just another place that has to be cleaned and it's a pain to really get under there to get the dust bunnies and fur balls. It would be fine if it was ON the ground or if the space was occupied by drawers but it was a freebie when we bought our bed so it is what it is.

On the wine & sulfite front, I picked up a small box of organic red yesterday that said it had no detectable sulfites in it. After I got home with it, I realized it wasn't a regular box wine; it has a screw cap. Once exposed to air, it will go bad pretty quickly and it's the equivalent of two bottles so now I don't want to open it. I guess I could transfer it to a bottle so I can use my little vacuum pump on it to keep it fresh a little longer but that's really more wine than I want open at one time. Depending on what happens this weekend, it looks like we might be having a Superbowl party so maybe I'll save it for that. I'm not a football fan and am even less of a fan since they interjected all of the political stuff into a ridiculous game where adult men get paid an exorbitant amount of money to chase after a stupid ball. Anyway, rant over and we kinda got drafted into it but that's OK. I'll enjoy the company and ignore the marketing and absurdities. The good part is that I can make snacks and other food that's compliant.

We cooked a chuck roast in the sous vide apparatus and it was unbelievable! I was thinking about doing it for the (possible) party but don't really want to serve a meal or sandwiches. It came out amazingly tender, juicy and pink- more steak-like than roast-like so I'm pretty excited about being able to take one of the cheaper cuts of meat and make it into something amazing. In meat smoking circles, some people treat it like brisket and, at about half the price, that's pretty awesome. I'm thinking about turning one into corned beef. If I then smoke it, it's pastrami and that sounds pretty good, too. 

I'm heading to my favorite gigantic used book store this afternoon in search of more Earthsea books but first I have to get through computer upgrades/migrations at work. Gotta pay to play!

 

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Your first time out with the new sous vide sounds really amazing! It will take no time at all for it to pay for itself, it sounds like, plus the joy and convenience factor. What a clever cat.

If you have any trouble finding the Earthsea titles you are looking for, please let me know - I always pick up extra copies when I see them, and I can mail whatever you need! I'm not a hoarder, it just sounds that way. Actually, I lost sleep last night, after having done all of the measurements in the new house, wondering if I have room for the extra two or three bookcases I'm about to buy to make up for the built-ins we are losing, plus room to grow into! (Solid wood, 7 foot bargains at the antique store - huge thumbs up) I figure if I don't have wall space I can put one in the garage for extra storage there....so if I am a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination, it might be books. This is the first time Hubs and I are moving out of a shared place and into another, and so I am learning that he is not inclined to let things go, and he is encouraging me not to, as well, "because, you never know"...which sparks up my inner devil's advocate, making it easier for me to let things go in some cases. Ha.

I appreciate your insight about platforms with storage and the cleaning underneath factor - that is something I hadn't even thought of yet. I do need storage, and I am dreadful about vacuuming under even a full size or queen bed, so, yes...good point! Thanks! i hope to find what I need today and have it delivered, we'll see. I haven't even started looking for mattresses yet, so more will be revealed there.

It is better when it's not even tempting, for sure. As long as I'm not caught hungry, I seem to be okay. Saving the wine for the possible-Superbowl party sounds like a great idea. Compliant party snacks are sounding really good to me right now! When and if the time comes let me know what you'll be making. I could live off of cold plates. I enjoyed your football rant - and nod my head at the way your brain works here. A couple of weeks ago we were lunching out, and there was a football game on. We were appalled at the screen split into 4 parts (or more? I tried not to watch!), I mean, how many angles do you need on the coach pacing? It went on and on for the hour plus that we sat there! Nothing surprises me in the way of A.D.D. cultivation these days, so I quickly let it go, but Hubs was in a rant state, and how, for a good while. Hopefully this is not a trend, but I'll bet it sticks. The notion of absurdity called it to mind. I've never deliberately watched televised sports, but Hubs remembers when instant replay was a new thing, and the commentators had to repeatedly, carefully explain what it was so that viewers were not confused. Sigh.

I didn't realize I had already packed my little cuisinart and so have to postpone the Moroccan chicken. Instead I baked the thighs with EVOO, champagne vinegar, sliced shallots, minced rosemary, and chopped dates. It is pretty good, but next time I will pan sautee the shallots first. I also reduced the juices and added a touch of arrow root for a gravy. It was fast and easy, and the dates didn't cause any disasters, so that was good.

To town now with a very long to-do list! I'm still nervous and not sleeping well (pft, not at all) but it is starting to become fun and creative, and I think that will increase with the coming days and weeks, for sure. I have butterflies in my stomach like a teenager before a very first date.

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That parallel universe we occupy! My husband is a hoarder also! Broken things and pieces of broken things are his specialty, yep, "because, you never know". He has an entire bag of miscellaneous pieces of tents, tarps and poles that HAS to come with us camping. So funny! We've had to purge books several times; I am a book hoarder from way back. Now, due to limited space, I carefully think about each book and decide if it worth the precious space that it would occupy. Most do not make the cut! I have a really old set of Charles Dickens' books (minus ONE volume that, of course, makes me crazy) that I bought many moons ago and I keep thinking I should reclaim those two feet of book shelf space by donating them but I can't bring myself to part with them.

I didn't have enough fat or protein at lunch yesterday so by the time I got to my little store, I would have gladly eaten plain fish and broccoli :( Since that wasn't an option I had an Rx bar and a meat stick- not ideal but could have been worse. This is what happens when I fail to plan ANY lunches for the week. On top of that, I meant to pick up some prosciutto at Costco on Monday but forgot so now I'm obsessing over prosciutto- so nuts! I wanted to wrap some asparagus spears in it because I've never done that and it looks so delicious. Have you tried it? I think it would make a great breakfast with a couple of eggs or some egg salad on the side. 

Your chicken concoction sounds really tasty- a squirt of Dijon mustard would probably be pretty good in that, too.

I forgot to mention I re-introed corn! Sunday night I popped some heritage popcorn I get from Anson Mills and I used ghee. It was amazing and produced no unexpected effects or cravings. I love popcorn and limit it to a special treat a couple of times a year so I feel pretty good about that. I did a careful corn re-intro last time and didn't notice any problems but it was easy enough to do it again. In my browsing around on the interweb, I also came across an article from 2009 citing the American Chemical Society (!) saying that popcorn has a surprising amount of polyphenols in it so I can enjoy my occasional popcorn knowing it's not totally devoid of  nutrients! :D 

I agonize over the craziest things in the middle of the night! Hopefully your first date jitters will settle down soon and all of the work you'll be doing will help you sleep.

 

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I say, book collecting is not hoarding! Somewhere in here is a poem and illustration by Shel Silverstein of a girl with miles and miles of shelves of favorite books, taking up all the room in the house at the expense of practical things. Can you see it? LOL. Like your Dickens, I have a shelf full of Edna St. Vincent Millay, including some volumes that belonged to my mother's mother. Cannot part with things like this!

Oh Holly, I traveled many, many miles yesterday in a big hunting/gathering adventure. I made ten stops, and I pulled the trigger on a bed and a mattress, and a few other things we needed, half of which I was able to either get used at a cool antique store or new, on sale (January is sweet that way). The stained glass IS going to fit, AND it was still there, so yayyyyy yayyyyy yayyyyI I was also proud of myself for negotiating with the owner since I bought three pieces, and I saved almost $100. Yeah. It seems I'm a regular now at Black Bear Diner (do you have those?) where the waitress knew my order. Two poached eggs medium over half an order of hash browns with chicken apple sausage, not toast, and steamed veggies (ha ha veggies). D'oh! I thought I was slipping in so anonymously....being a chain, it is consistent every time, the only thing I order there.

I applaud you for getting through that specialty store with the local chocolates, hungry, and emerging a champion! What flavor/s Rx bar do you like?

Oh, I read your post before going back to the store today. I DO like prosciutto wrapped asparagus, and in fact you inspired me, so I picked up some asparagus, then went over to pick out the prosciutto, and they are OUT! LOL, parallel we go again. So I got some pancetta, and I'll see how that works. Salty ham, what could go wrong? Hubs really loves him some asparagus. Occasionally it makes me break out in hives, so I only have a couple of bites, slightly (lower case of course) ptsd. We took today and tomorrow off to pack and start moving boxes, so I got a couple of rotisserie chickens to get us through the weekend. I'll finish off the date chicken thing - mustard sounds good - will try that next time! I think next up with be salmon filets and then more chicken apple sausage patties b/c I can make a double batch and put them in the freezer at the new place. Things are getting exciting over there. We'll be off from this Saturday through next Friday, and will spend the first night on Friday when the bed is delivered.

Revelation: I'm now thinking of my kitchen equipment as regular/weekly use, and occasional use. I packed my kitchen 10 days ago, leaving only things I use weekly....with the exception of the mini cuisinart, I haven't missed anything. This is important for when I set up my new kitchen as I may have mentioned it's small, so I'll have to store all the occasional stuff in the annex behind the kitchen. There is built in shelving there, and I will wait and see if I need to add more...so, I am rising to the challenge of the requirement that I simplify and organize to a new level. As for sorting out giveaway stuff from the kitchen, I decided to keep my loaf pans and muffin tins, but I gave away the spring form pan, bundt pan, and the flour sifter. I figure I have not business baking cakes, and even for other people, I don't want to feed them sugar!

As I type, it is raining and windy, and we're on a big advisory re flash flooding (3-4 inches overnight) and possible power outages. Please not that again! If you don't hear from me for a few days it's because the power is out. Mweah.

Ooh, I love corn popped in ghee, that is yummy! We sometimes like it sweet...a babysitter when I was a kid taught me to make honey caramel in the pot afterwards. I use ghee and honey until it's starting to thicken, then drizzle it over the popcorn with salt. That's a nice treat at our house once in a while on Saturday night with a DVD.

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Sounds like you're rocking everything! Eating on track is such a challenge in the midst of change, chaos and long to-do lists so congratulations! I've never heard of Black Bear Diner. It looks like it's a western US thing and the closest one to me is Missouri :) but I'll have to keep it in mind if we ever get to road-trippin' again. I tend towards the chocolate-y Rx bars; the fruit ones seem sweeter- sweet enough that my sugar-loving husband likes them. I haven't tried any of the peanut butter flavors because I'm afraid they would be too close to those evil peanut butter cups I love so much. I had the chocolate hazelnut bar the other day and couldn't taste the hazelnut so that was a little disappointing but still tasty.

That honey caramel popcorn sounds so decadent and just thinking about it makes me crave the sweet saltiness so I should probably not go there. I hear you about feeding others sugar/flour. I feel guilty when I feed other people (like my husband!) things that I know are terrible for them. I still have my baking pans but use them so rarely that I have them stored away in a tip-top cabinet that I need a step ladder to reach. I call the basement my butler's pantry:lol:! Like you I've had to decide what I want at my fingertips in the kitchen and what I can store elsewhere. We found a set of metro shelves on sale a couple of years ago and they are pretty full. I got some plastic tubs to store little stuff- one has fermenting supplies, one has sausage-making supplies and one has canning supplies. It helps keep all of the little pieces under control.

You got the stained glass AND cut a deal! Everything is falling into place. We have so many windows in our house but all of our windows look out into the trees so I feel like I'd be detracting from the beauty of the stained glass and obstructing the view all at the same time so I've resisted the temptation. We don't even have curtains except one set for decoration and sound muffling in the stairwell. I can't wait to see the pic!

The weather here is awful as well. I don't think we're going to get quite that much rain but the temps are going to be crazy. Saturday is supposed to get up to almost 60 with rain then drop to 20 so everything will be all icy. Yay. I'll hit the farmer's market for meat, eggs and cream for my husband then hunker down in the warm, dry house the rest of the weekend. Oh! I don't know if you'll be near a Whole Food but they have Vital Protein collagen on sale plus an additional discount if you do the Amazon prime thing. No one ever puts it on sale and it's always an exclusion on Vitacost's discounts so I'm heading there this afternoon.

Happy packing!

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@hollysmokes thanks for the tip on the collagen being on sale at WF, what else did you stock up on while you were there?

Hi @Elizabeth33 thanks for checking in, and for the kind words...how are you doing?

We're entering into the most chaotic phase right now. I have ground chicken thawing for sausage patties, and there are fresh veggies (!) waiting to be roasted. I'm recognizing the danger sign of not wanting to deal with it, on account of the mountain of work at hand, and that super powerful nesting instinct, so I'll have to MAKE myself get cooking tonight so I don't get derailed. I can do this! I'm sleeping well on half doses of sleep aid, and being okay with that just for now until I get settled. I've already taken down the bedroom curtains for laundering and storing, and so waking up to stars, clouds and sky colors has been kind of dreamy. @hollysmokes I love it that you have tree views out every window. Like you, we will be very minimal with curtains overall to take in the trees and birds...also, it will be fun to observe the light changing with different seasons, and I can always opt to take down the stairway stained glass during those between-seasons when we want the windows open for delicious fresh air, or for the light, depending. As you said, I am getting a lot of movement, and feeling a little muscle sore, a good thing!

Drive safely on those icy roads!

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So good to hear from you @LadyLisbette! I was just reading about the terrible weather and hoping you weren't one of the many thousands without power. Unless you happen to be going anyway, don't waste your time at WF. I saved about $3 and was totally frustrated by the Whole experience. I did manage to get some Epic duck fat and some of their baked pork rinds but, other than that, it wasn't worth the aggravation. 

No curtains was a new experience for me because I've always lived in a typical urban neighborhood and needed them for privacy. When we moved in our house there were mini-blinds on EVERY SINGLE window even the ones that face out of the back and look over a couple of acres of our hill. The first thing we did was pull them down and bring them to Habitat For Humanity. I love it when the weather is nice and we can open up all of the windows and doors. I feel like I'm camping when I can lie in bed and hear the leaves rustling and all of the other night sounds.

It's so easy to opt for letting someone else feed you when you're tired but it's so nice to know you have good-for-you stuff in the fridge, especially for breakfast.

I got a big "thing" done at work this week and am so relived that it's done but now I'm having a hard time staying productive! I have a lovely lunch of chuck roast, haricot vert and cherry tomatoes to celebrate. I'm going to run my errands in the rain tomorrow morning then get myself home before it gets icy-ugly outside. I think I'll finally get on with the lotion project and now I have a recipe for a cured salmon that I'm going to try so this weekend ought to be nice and busy. The countdown is on- three more football games and it's over. The good thing is that I get a lot of reading done when the games are on!

Enjoy the first night in your house!

 

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I never understood mini-blinds...never liked them in any setting, especially if the views are beautiful! I understand privacy, but, but, but... We're still not sleeping in the new place, but I can't wait to discover the night sounds, and the river. We are close enough to hear the river, but high enough to be out of flood zone. I'll write more later, but I wanted to report in that W30 ways are buoying and sustaining me! Last night when we finished the heaviest lifting, I intended, jubilantly, to enjoy a gingersnap cocktail. But the kombucha I had with dinner (turkey wrapped cucumber spears and olives) satisfied the urge.Hubs forewent the Saturday evening cocktail, too, and instead we went to bed early, all tired out.

I'm down to the last of my shea butter face cream, so i'll be eager to unpack all that gear and make up some more post haste. Keep me posted on your lotion making!

On one side of the new house there is a little wood burning stove where the previous owner also had a modest barbeque set up - a small weber type thing with a little wooden shelter over it, and a metal plate on top (he took all with him except for the cozy little wood burning stove which I guess kept him warm while he was outside doing his thing)...I'm not ready yet, but as a first timer, I'll be investigating something similarly small and modest for "cooking for two". Charcoal or gas, that will be the question. Any input you have here is welcome = )

Congrats on completing a big project - hope you are enjoying a cozy winter Sunday at home!

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Well, no Superbowl party for us! Disappointing but my heart's not broken. 

It sounds like you had a productive weekend! Too bad the previous owner didn't leave the shelter with the wood burning stove; that would be a nice cozy spot for whipping up some grilled/smoked yummy stuff out of inclement weather. Our grill has snow piled up on it right now :( and it's right outside of the kitchen window so it just sits there and looks frosty. We finally bit the bullet and got a Weber kettle just to force us to learn how to grill over charcoal. We love it and the flavor is better than gas but for a quick weeknight throw-dinner-on-the-grill, gas gets my vote. It seems so wasteful to light up a whole bunch of charcoal for a couple of burgers or chops. When our last gas grill died (and I'm glad; I hated it) we were in the middle of all of the exterior house renovations and in no position to get a really good, last-a-lifetime gasser. I let Meathead Goldwyn be my guide because I trust his opinion and we went with this one: https://amazingribs.com/grill/char-griller-grillin-pro-gas-grill-review. It was cheap and does a really good job. Hopefully by the time we wear it out we WILL be in a position to get a top-end grill but, so far, so good with this one. There are lots of grill reviews on his web site- enough to boggle your brain!

I did a terrible job of dividing my cook-up over two days. I did so much running around Saturday that I wasn't very motivated to start cooking by the time I came home so I worked my butt off yesterday and thought I did a pretty good job except I just realized that I have nothing planned for any dinners this week! I got my breakfasts done and have lunch today and tomorrow then, hopefully, the salmon I started curing will be ready and I'll have cured salmon for lunch the rest of the week. I'll let you know how it turns out. The cats are in good shape, though, I ground up a big mess of chicken and pork bits and got all of that in the freezer after a taste test (yum, yum) by both kitties. 

I have everything I need to make the lotion and it's all sitting on the counter daring me to dive in- not sure why but I've got cold feet about the whole project! I'd better get over it soon though because we're about to run out of lotion.

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Postcard and first missive from the new house, with new, faster internet, yay!! I'm sorry your husband's team lost (I don't know who's been in the playoffs [is that what they are], and I don't know who the teams are), but you can still make compliant party food if you want to! 

I've been meaning to tell you that pancetta wrapped asparagus, pan fried on the stove top was delicious. I made a dressing to go with it of oj and zest, champagne vinegar, EVOO and a little mustard, and then used the dressing again on salmon. The leftover salmon went in scrambled eggs this morning and is how we powered through today's lifting, in the rain. There are a few heavy lifting things left to curse at before it's over...but at last, we have more belongings in the NEW place than old. Hubs is in the other room yelping at how fast the internet is. Yay! For dinner tonight leftover chicken sausage patties and tamales for him. Tomorrow I have no idea.

Lotion news?

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Faster internet is always a good thing! My husband monitors our bandwidth because we barely get enough for him to be able to work from home so if it drops (and it often does) we start having problems. You're on the downhill side of moving- yaaaay!

Your asparagus sounds wonderful! I have forgotten to buy prosciutto two more times; I'm hopeless! I love salmon in my scrambled eggs but I try not to bring it to work out of consideration for my coworkers. :) I have some curing right now that should be ready this afternoon so I can bring it for lunch and won't have to heat it up. I hope it's good because I have a 1.5 lb filet curing and I'll have to eat it no matter what! 

We had snacks for dinner last night! One of my favorite things to do: salami, almonds, pickles, olives, apple (and cheese & crackers for hubs). I thought I might take that opportunity to re-intro cheese but felt kinda "meh" about it so didn't. I have leftover buffalo chicken wings for lunch with cherry tomatoes and broccoli to dip in homemade ranch- yum- more snacks! I have that buffalo sauce recipe (if you can call it that) down! I would usually use equal parts ghee and either Frank's or Texas Pete's hot sauce (both compliant) plus an extra splash of apple cider vinegar. My husband asked me to use one of my fermented hot sauces and it was really good- spicier, too. I tried not to heat up the hot sauce so I didn't kill off all of the beneficial bacteria in it- SO good!

Fear of lotion! Did you know that was a thing? :wacko:

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I hope your week went as well as possible and you're getting settled in your new home! Did your girl make the transition without too much stress? The weather has been pretty miserable around here so, hopefully, yours has been better. It's been flip-flopping between rain and below freezing temps every couple of days but this weekend might be somewhat nice. I'm going to try to get my husband to walk with me. He's motivated now that he found out that he can earn days off at work by logging activity and I got a kick in the pants because it looks like I'm going to head to Louisiana in May for my nephew's high school graduation- double brownie points because it's two days after Mother's day so I'll be there for that, too. I'd like to earn a new outfit in a smaller size for the trip :D

The salmon curing experiment went well and I think I'm going to try to get a little smoke on the piece I have left to see how that works out. I tweaked the original recipe a little so I'm going to put it in my recipe software this weekend and can send it to you if you're interested. I've been using it to make picnic, snacky lunches all week. Today I have egg salad, salmon, cherry tomatoes and a radish/fennel ferment I put together last spring then forgot about until I found it hiding in the back of the fridge this morning. One good thing about moving is that your fridge and freezer are all cleaned out and organized! Mine are a mess!

Boo-hiss! Thankfully I am post W30 right now but I'm still really annoyed about the smoked sausage I bought last weekend. It was super on sale ($6/2 lb good pork not CAFO) and I got it from my usual meat people that I trust. Trusted. They usually have the ingredients listed on the packages and I've never found sugar, MSG or any other garbage so when I didn't see the ingredient list I ASS-umed it was OK but sent an email asking about it. I had already mixed it in my breakfasts for the week by the time I found out that it has SUGAR in it. I know I didn't have much because it had such a strong smoke odor that it kinda worried me so I mixed it half and half with plain pork (good move because it was unbelievably salty, too) and I only used about 1.5 ounces of that in my breakfast each day but it's still a pisser! So...read the labels even if they aren't there!

I'm going to put on my big girl pants and make that lotion this weekend!

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Hi there! Whew, long absence here! How is your lotion lab coming along? That's a huge bummer about the sausage, and proportionally great lesson/reminder about labels that I will take to heart. I see the weather is seriously cold back east, hope you and all your household companions are safe and warm!!

It's been quite an odyssey...we only had it rain on us once last week while unloading the truck, but no big deal...since it's a local move, just 6 minutes to drive, we rented a truck and instead of packing it to the rafters, efficiently, the way you have to do when you can't go back and forth, we did small one layer loads. It was doable for the two of us, but in hindsight, duh, efficiency and helping hands make everything faster and easier. The upshot on a positive note, is that it was bonding for us in a partnership way. And I am very grateful for that. We did call in some muscle one day for just three pieces that we couldn't handle ourselves. So we had the truck from Sat-Thursday and now I'm doing the last carloads, and the cleaning. I wished I had used the self clean on the oven a long time ago. I remembered that in a previous place it was super, super stinky, but it wasn't so bad after all. Yep, it really needed it!!

It's pretty chaotic because we have a couple of must-do-first things before we can finish unpacking, so we are surrounded by boxes, but step by step it should continue to progress in coming weeks. We're really worn out, but happy and sleeping well.

Kitty did GREAT! She came out, curious and exploring right away. Unfortunately she took a tumble down the steep stairs to the "basement" guest room/office, scaring us to death. It's not really a basement, but it feels that way because it's kind of dark [will be very cool in summer] and we are sleeping there because our new bed is late arriving. She seemed shocked and sore, but not limping, just moving as if in general pain, probably bruised and strained. She made an amazing recovery and was soon, the next day, jumping to heights as she hasn't done in years. And soon she proved to herself and to us that she CAN get down those steep stairs, thank you verrry much. LOL We'll have to get mouse traps set up very soon, and she is already sniffing about and on high alert like a mouser....we wonder if she may surprise us. I'm worried she might get in trouble with the traps, which is part of my procrastination. We'll be using peanut butter, which is not a category or temptation for her so far....

On the last day with the truck, when there was to be no more cooking or eating at the old place, to the best of my planning, there was nothing to eat, so I re-ntro'd bread at lunch and dinner, to no ill effect. Then I explored my food freedom in a crazy situation. WIth the worst possible timing, my car battery started threatening to die, so I had to drive to town and handle that as a drop in. I was promised it would take at last two hours, and that they were open until 8pm. So I looked around and spontaneously decided to walk a block and catch a movie. Yippee, a chance to relax and take in some mindless entertainment. I had movie popcorn and junior mints. I know, danger...but the stressful part of the move was over, now it was just aggravation, so I could get back on plan like we've been planning!! When I came out of the movie it was 6pm and I had two voice mails warning me that my car was ready and they close at 6 (Sunday hours, an easy mistake, but how costly for me!).  I ran as fast as my feet could carry me, hoping someone would be there to unlock and take my payment and give me my car. Nope. One $47 Lyft ride later, and a 5am alarm in the morning to catch a ride to town with a friend, they ended up discounting my bill 20% to make up for it. That was two nights ago, and I've been on-game, totally compliant since. So, so far, that splurge was totally worth it., delicious, and didn't cause harm, or derail me. But I won't make a habit of it!

I've been eating a lot of big-ass-salads with tons of veggies, and loving it. On the stove now I have bone broth simmering, and a pot of beef stew that I improvised. Oh! I have a bed of leaves out back, and am saving my first tub full of produce trimmings for compost!  Tomorrow I'll make a double batch of this, using beef and chicken https://nomnompaleo.com/post/4410757185/super-porktastic-bacon-topped-spinach-and-mushroom I have a feeling this will be delicious. Have you ever made it or something similar? I'm getting used to the small kitchen. That annex/mudroom/pantry/laundry room in the back is filled with boxes to be stored, and collapsed boxes we are saving for a friend, but I did manage to kind of get the spices organized today. Maybe I don't have to build or buy anything, we'll see. Yes, please send me that recipe! Have you ever made counter onions in marinade? I"m thinking of trying that, too.

Cheers to you!

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