Jim4884

Psyching Up For a December Whole 30 Graduates

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Oh, ha! I'm going to stay close to W30 ways, with the only exception being added sugars - reintro mode. If I can't keep my act together throughout what's left of the month, I think I'll do a real W30, and possibly a W60. If I start a W60 on April 1, that will give me 30 days for reintros before I go to Ohio at the end of June. I'm going to sleep on it for a couple of days before I decide....but I'm liking the idea a lot. My first attempt at W30 was in the spring a few years ago.

It's beautiful here, too, feeling like spring. I've been sweeping outside every day, I think a new ritual. Enjoy your hike up the hill - I should do the same today!

Somehow a lizard got in the house, and the cat actually behaved like a predator - I think the lizard died of shock and fear as she didn't actually eat it, or cause mortal injury that we can tell. Poor guy! 

Enjoy your smoker, Holly Smokes!

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On 12/26/2018 at 8:33 PM, Jim4884 said:

Here's some of my discoveries from two rounds of re-intro's and maintaining an "almost" Whole 30 diet all the time:

  • Legumes: any beans in their whole form gave me mild gas (sorry if TMI), but during my second whole 30 I realized I did not miss legumes at all, so never did that re-intro.  Hummus was more benign, and I like it OK, but if I must "dip" into something, I prefer ranch dressing made with homemade mayo, and when I discovered chipotle mayo, wow, there is NOTHING that doesn't make better :) So I honestly cannot remember having legumes since my first Whole 30 re-intro - which was August of 2017.
  • Non-gluten grains:  I did not discover any ill effects from non-gluten grain re-intro's, and the second time I tried to go a little overboard to see if I could get some reaction, and didn't notice anything.  However, the cumulative health benefits from doing my first Whole 30 were so dramatic, and by that time I had discovered and gotten pretty good at making different kinds of cauliflower rice, (I always loved real rice), that I just use cauliflower rice anymore.  But if I ever go out to, say, a spanish restaurant, I can order a big dish of paella with impunity :D 
  • Dairy: Again, mild digestive issues.  I've found cheese in reasonable amounts doesn't really bother me, so a small cheese plate or something like now and then is in my diet, but I try to keep it to a minimum.  And generally speaking, anything that I used to use butter in, ghee works as well so I'm good there. 
  • Gluten: Along with sugar, the main cause of inflammation that made my arthritic ankle impossible to run on (and several other inflammatory issues).  Diet change fixed that/those.  I RARELY eat any gluten now - xmas dinner with my family I had some of my mom's recipe mac and cheese, and maybe it's in my head, but my ankle is more sore than it's been in months.  Still, it was worth it, ONCE :) 
  • Sugars: I don't have the sweetest of teeth, but I can binge on sweets, so I mostly avoid sugar, especially in the more obvious places like desserts.  I mentioned the jerk seasoning I use, it is SO good, and there is such a small quantity of sugar in it, and it does not trigger any binge tendencies, so I don't worry about those types of added sugars.  Yet I still make my own breakfast sausage, since I only recently found a brand that has no sugar (Pedersen's) and it is kinda pricey.  I've found my balance on putting in the extra effort to eat cleanly, and having a maintainable lifestyle - since I eat my breakfast sausage pretty much every day (along with scrambled eggs, my roasted potatoes (similar to home fries), Trader Joe's Salsa Autentica (no sugar, totally complaint, and oh so good!) and avocado), it's worth the extra effort.  OTOH, I eat ketchup like once every 3-6 months, so I don't make my own.  An occasional paleo dessert is enjoyable, but I find if I don't start eating any sweets, I don't miss them too much. 
  • Soy: I cannot point to specific results from re-intro's, but I somehow feel fairly certain that soy was messing with my body chemistry so I avoid it completely.  It's taken awhile for me to get used to the coconut amino versions of soy sauce - it really doesn't taste the same, but it's good enough since I was never a huge Asian food aficionado anyways - so soy is out for me.
  • Alcohol: This is in the interest of honesty, moderate amounts of alcohol don't seem to have much of a short term negative impact on me.  However, and it's a BIG however, I sometimes have a hard time finding the off switch once I have a drink, so I am mostly abstinent.   I don't wish this on anyone :) 

Sorry for the length, but as I said, I've been experimenting with balancing optimal health and culinary enjoyment and cooking effort for quite some time now, and have found a place I'm comfortable with.   And I am enthusiastic about others experiencing some or all of the benefits I have.

And even after apologizing for length, I'm going to post the cumulative health benefits I've reaped, since I mentioned them, and  I'm pretty sure it's not a repeat for all:

  • I went from pre-diabetic, (with a busy Kaiser doctor e-mailing me personally to let me know how serious it was), to completely normal blood sugar
  • I reduced my blood pressure whilst getting off of meds for it
  • Triglycerides went from 3x normal range to normal
  • I mentioned the improvement in my inflamed arthritic ankle - the immediate lifestyle improvement of that cannot be overstated
  • I lost 40 pounds without increasing exercise or limiting portion sizes (I never felt hungry)
  • mild lifelong eczema gone
  • modest improvements in mood (specifically: depression, anxiety and anger) and sleep
  • rejuvenated my enjoyment of cooking, and learned to love vegetables.  Veggies used to be (mostly) toppings on pizza and sub sandwiches for me, no lie

All of these gains have been maintained for well over a year (16 months) now.  I still occasionally tease my friend who predicted I would start gaining that weight back within a month :D

 

Wow Jim4884 thank you! I'm on day 24 of my 2nd whole 30 and honestly my 1st reintroduction I started with non-gluten alcohol which awoke my sugar dragon and I never regained control of it. I am so very committed to honing a successful reintroduction with insights, like you have shared, into my own Food Freedom Forever! 

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Shock and fear! Poor little lizard. It happens at our house, too. Not too long after we moved here we found an alligator lizard in the bathtub and it was about a foot long- for real!! And very alive. We were both afraid to try to pick it up so my husband tried to grab it with a pair of tongs but it thrashed around so much he couldn't hold onto it. I finally got a 5 gallon bucket and he managed to get it in there so we could reintroduce it into the wild. It was scary-looking and we figured the only way it could have gotten into the tub was via cat. Mostly we have blue-tailed skinks but they often don't have tails which I think is cat-related, too.

I love sweeping off our deck and I think about how good it is for my shoulders, too. 

That was our most successful batch of ribs so far! So good and I didn't use any sauce so they were totally compliant. The annual picking party is coming up next month and it's the 20th anniversary so we want to really do it up right. I think we're going to smoke a couple of pork butts, several racks of ribs now that we're more confident in our rib-ability, some chicken and a couple of different homemade sausages. The plan for this weekend is to make sausage. My husband wants andouille but I don't have that one perfected yet. It's good but not great so I'll make another batch with a few changes. I want to grind it larger so I'm going to a butcher supply place this afternoon to get the grinding plate I need. It's probably a very dangerous place for me to go- so many toys- but I'll try to be strong and just buy what I'm going there for. He also wants boudin (pronounced BOO-dan) which is essentially dirty rice stuffed in a casing and isn't what you typically think of as sausage. It's so good and you can make it more gooder by rolling it into balls and deep frying it. I haven't made boudin at all so that one's going to be a big experiment. It looks like I'll be eating rice this weekend but it should just be a little. If I do make boudin balls, I'll coat them in something compliant and fry them in either good oil or lard. Then I'll go walk the hill!:lol:

I briefly considered trying to unsabotage myself with another W30 but I think I'm going to just try to ride my bike better. 

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I don't even like to pick up the 4-5 inch long little hospice lizard, and can't imagine facing a foot-long lizard in the bath tub -- eeks! Your animal stories would make a fun children's book. Our little friend has been with us now for 2 weeks, on a diet of bananas. Didn't want the fly I brought out. I think it's a male southern sage brush lizard from the bright blue belly, and slightly blue body, although we have lots of alligator lizards, too. And pretty blue-tailed skinks!

It's always fun riding shot gun with your culinary adventures. Your run down on boudin is killing me. I realize it's nothing like stuffed grape leaves, but it made me think of that. Boudin balls! Lord have mercy, that sounds so good. There's a dish I still dream of, that I used to order at a little Vietnamese place in SF - I recall it was a meatball made of chicken, beef and pork, that was rolled in sticky rice and deep fried, served with a sweet, pungent sauce. It looked like a blowfish.

I had a good day today - a steep walk, observing the latest appearances of blooming wildflowers (it is a-may-zing right now!), and then some floor work and yoga. The last couple of times I made a real effort with floor work I overdid it, and hurt my back AND was terribly sore all throughout my abdomen, and that was miserable, so I'm going at a less intense pace until I find the sweet spot. The main thing is I'm not as distracted by the whole business of getting settled, and am very ready to create a routine, and today was a great start..."she thought she could, and so she did!", right? I keep telling myself, one day at a time.

I made another batch of eggroll bowls - some of it to share as a food gift - and then marinated garlic chipotle lime chicken thighs, and we had that, and the warm chipotle sweet potato salad for dinner. I like that dish, but it makes an awful mess.

Not sure what I'll cook next - need to sit down with my recipes, and look at ones I've saved but not made yet...

I like the way you're thinking, about riding your bike better. That's a great approach! I'm still undecided, we'll see...

 

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Blowfish balls! Those sound delicious! Dolmades are one of my favorite things on the planet. I like the rice-stuffed ones but the meat and rice stuffed grape leaves served hot as an entree with egg-lemon sauce is the most amazing thing ever. It probably helps that I was in Athens the first time I had them:D but seriously, seriously delicious. I have no idea what I'm cooking up this weekend. We polished off all of the leftovers last night so I need to get on the ball. Or balls. Some curried chicken salad might be nice for lunches; I haven't had any in a while.

It's supposed to go to raining this afternoon so we're planning an early trip up the hill and I need to go shopping for boudin ingredients. I think I'll pass on the farmer's market today and just use what I've got. I need to do a kitty cook-up, too but I seem to be having a hard time communicating with the farmer and it's stressing me out. I have an emu drama every 10 days or so. I ordered last Monday, thinking I would get my order before I was in crisis mode but I still haven't heard from him. I probably have enough to last through tomorrow but that's it without running to the farm store up the road and paying 50% extra. Wah!

I have two appliances running so I'm off to a productive start today. We tend to laze in on Saturday and Sunday mornings and just hang on the sofa with a cup of coffee and read/surf so I count my productivity by how many appliance I can get running. Right now it's just washer and dryer but, that's OK, I'll probably get the stove in on the action before too long. 

Yes, she thought she could so she did! Now I need to go do!

 

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I don't believe I've ever had dolmades with meat in them, served as a hot entree with egg lemon sauce, but I feel covetous of your having first had them in Athens!! The sauce makes me think of avgolemono, which is another favorite of mine. Pure genius from those Greeks, I tell you. I just ate a delicious bowl of leftover chili with steamed broccoli stirred in, and it satisfied nicely, but this conversation has my mouth watering.

Ugh, I hope you get what you need from the emu guy. Yikes-o-rama. Do you have room in your freezer for extra extra? 

I'm studying up on native gardening and really excited about all that I'm learning about soil ecology, etc. Having a lot to learn, I'm going to take it slow. Meanwhile, I put a leaf pile out for Dodo Mario -  the name given to our lizard visitor by my 4 and 6 year old nephew and niece - so that he has a place to hide in. I'll soon go outside to pull some weeds, check on Dodo, sweep, and look around dreaming of what I might create, with patience, in my garden areas. 

Speaking of patience, I realize that part of my motivation to take on another W30 is twofold: to get a grip on my self control, and also I keep coming back to weight loss. But my preoccupation with weight loss seems to increase as my grip on things decreases. So with a few solid days of W30 eating and re-establishment of self respect, the fear about weight gain/concern about weight loss abates a little bit. It will come - and then all that great wisdom about being functional first, and letting the rest come with time. 

So I'm going to work on riding my bike better, too. That feels better. 

Tucked into my cutting boards is an orange pocket folder with the recipes I want to make in the coming weeks, and the next folder filling includes your mother's Moroccan chicken, holy mackerel cakes, tomato soup with pesto gremolata, orange dijon chicken, and a new (to me) recipe from the Defined Dish:

http://www.thedefineddish.com/hibachi-style-chicken-with-magic-mustard-sauce/

When I shop in a few days I'll be sure to stock up on greens and crunchy veg for salads, broccoli, haricot vert, and salmon if I'm in a pinch. As for daily practice: conscious movement, not too intense, journaiing, herbal tea, and anything/everything I can think of that promotes good sleep.If I don't sleep well I justify not moving as much. Wednesday is our 4th wedding anniversary. The brodiaea are blooming just in time, as always!

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It is avgolemono! You just thicken up a little more. All of this talk about dolmades gave me a serious craving for them. The Greeks do stuffed cabbage the same way as the meat-filled grape leaves so I went with that since I had a head of cabbage and was trying to think of something breakfast-y to do with ground beef. I wound up sauteing the beef, onions and cabbage then I added a can of coconut milk so it could cook down and thicken. Towards the end, I added some green beans and broccoli to up the veggie content and seasoned with dill and some preserved lemon. Not quite the real thing but not too bad; it's a little sweeter and coconut-ier than usual but it was easy, compliant and used stuff I had on hand.

Thanks for the recipe link; that looks really good. I don't think I've seen that blog before so I'll have to poke around it some more and check out more of her recipes. I spent most of my day yesterday working on that boudin recipe (it came out just OK) but at least I got my breakfasts done and I seasoned up that ground lamb like I would to make gyro meat but shaped it into burgers and fried them up. I'll find out how successful I was at lunchtime! I have a couple of duck breasts coming with my emu order but I might save that project for the weekend. We'll see. I'll need a back-up plan just in case my husband doesn't like them- and that's highly likely. The emu/duck guy finally responded to my messages and I'm driving out to his place as soon as I get off of work this afternoon. I have room in my freezer for extra but my bank account was whining! I've been getting 5 lbs plus the necks and this time I'm getting 7 so that should give me a total of almost 10 lbs of meat plus the stock. I'm hoping that will hold me (them) for two weeks. My little girl brought me a chipmunk Saturday morning-_-. Our theory is that when they're hungry, they think we must be too and they try to feed us and she's always hungry nowadays.

16 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

my preoccupation with weight loss seems to increase as my grip on things decreases.

I'm SO with you there! My pants are feeling snugger but somebody commented this morning that I looked like I was losing. Like @MeadowLily says, "If the jeans fit, you must acquit." and my jeans are definitely NOT fitting as well as they were. I got some good movement in this weekend but I've fallen back into having some adult beverages more often that I should. Some snacking, too- darn those Cajun-spiced peanuts! I've also developed a mayo habit that goes hand in hand with my raw broccoli habit so I think I need to pay more attention to my fat intake especially fat in the form of yummy-delicious homemade mayo. 

I've been sleeping terribly, too. I wake up about 2 in the morning and it takes a couple of hours to go back to sleep- just in time for my alarm to go off or a big, loud-purring wake-up kitty to get in bed. I actually ordered some CBD oil; I've seen lots of info about it helping with sleep so I thought I'd give it a try. Of course, if you look around the interwebs, it's a panacea so it will be interesting to do my own N=1 experiment.  I have mixed feeelings about it. It would be wonderful if it really does help me sleep but it's pretty spendy.

I had to look up brodiaea- how beautiful! I love lilies! It sounds like they have perfect timing, too. Are y'all doing anything special to celebrate?

Time to move. And work on some positive thoughts. And trust the plan.

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Oh! It IS avgolemono, of course! LOL Your dolmades-with-a-twist sounds tasty. Also the lamb burgers, I'll bet they were delicious.  I wonder how bison and chicken together would be for such a seasoning blend? Those two I always keep on hand in the freezer. After I read your Saturday post I realized that chicken salad would be the smartest way to use the left over de-boned chicken I have from the luncheon, and I'd better do it fast. Thanks for the reminder.

I'm very charmed by your kitty, as hungry as she is, saving some for you, too. Easy for me to say. And of course impressed that she is a hunter (I'm looking at my cat...my Garfield girl) Yay that you're going to pick up the emu and duck today, just in the nick of time, eh?

It sounds like the adult beverages and the spicy nuts probably go together? So if you abstain a little you get a two-for-one-effort benefit? I think nuts are a common pitfall for so many of us. In our house it's pistachios, as I am sure I've confessed before. Right now, s&p pistachios, so good. As for the mayo, I have often counseled myself about the same. Even while W30'ing, at the end, I wondered if that dollop of mayo habit might explain why I didn't get more weight loss results. I mean, what is a dollop, right? So I always would go back to the meal template, and also monitor my satiety. A thumb's worth of fat, including the mound of the thumb. Two servings of that thumb is, I believe, on the template, and I never eat that much, but one plus a little more...Honestly, I am still working on what that is, and it's been two years since my first W30! Hey, isn't this where the veggies also come in? I swear, the more veggies I have on my plate the better I feel. More veg, a little less mayo, and then see how I feel? My long winded point is that too often I am hungry too soon, even with that dollop of mayo manna.

This is helping me to focus on this month, though not on a formal W30, to get more laser-focused on meal template and satiety, and keeping fat adaptation in mind. I know that when we're cruising on our bikes, we can go back and forth burning fat for fuel, and carbs...I want to tilt the ratio back to being more regularly on fat burning mode! I can do this! We can do this! My Rx bar is your adult beverage. I need to eat better meals, and not snack on those sweet yummy compliant things that are not my best ally except in an emergency.

It's a whackin' big day for the yard...my helper thinks the fruit trees out back are pear - I hope so, I love pears....off I go to get my hands dirty and climb rocks, pull weeds!

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Yesterday was a pretty good day. I was 100% compliant (only 3 olives for a snack when I got home), made a successful emu/duck run + got the emu bone broth started and fixed a really good, easy dinner- grilled sirloin, slaw and grilled broccoli/peppers/onions that I tossed in some Thai red curry paste and I started using the CBD oil before bed. Bonus is that I have leftover slaw to go with my lamb burger for lunch. I've been trying to incorporate more veg as well (and less mayo manna). I guess I'm still getting a mayo fix in the slaw but it's not the same as dipping. I think that using it straight as a dip is not the best thing for me; it's too easy to let the portion size blossom. Thanks for the reminder about serving size for fats. I've overdone it a few times but not as badly as I thought. I still think it's something that I need to be more mindful of, though. As for the CBD oil, I dunno if I'll be able to tolerate this particular brand. I chose it because they developed a way to make it water soluble since you only absorb about 2% of the oil by the time it goes through your stomach and liver but it's pretty gross- think slimy pond scum or okra slime! 

How did the yard work go? Is it all starting to shape up and give you a vision for its future? We have two pear trees but have only gotten a couple of pears off of them so far. I just found out that the weird black things on my plum trees are a fungus called black knot and the only solution is to prune behind the galls and try not to reinfect the tree as you prune. They're so heavily infested that I think we're going to have to get rid of them at this point but I'll replace them with something else. They're being a problem by the driveway anyhow because they are so bushy. 

I think either of those meats would be good but the bison would be a little more traditional since it's a red meat- not that that matters since it's a crazy, cobbled-together pseudo-recipe anyway! I haven't made my chicken salad either and I'm guessing I probably won't until the weekend since I'm pretty well set for lunches this week. I just realized that I have NO plan for dinner tonight which means I didn't take anything out of the freezer. Fish defrosts the quickest so I'm thinking grilled fish with some sort of vegetable-y stuffs to go with it. I'm really trying to keeping the template in the mind!

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I saw a headline in the Smarter Living section of the NYT about what to do when your routine gets boring. I wish I had that problem! I want a routine. I was going to start today by getting my work routine back on track (we own our own business, and so I can come and go as needed as long as we are well staffed, so I create my schedule) but something always comes up with the house, and we need a plumber again! Poor water pressure, possible leak somewhere = /

So glad you had a good day yesterday! What kind of tree/s will you replace the pears with? I thought we might have pommegranate trees (2) but it's looking like they might be pepper trees?? We'll see. I'm taking notes on the CBD oil - we are about to start carrying it at the store. Did it help you sleep? I had a pretty good day yesterday although I did eat some candy. Ugh. I'm ready for a compliant day today though! I made chicken apple sausage patties and ate them for M1 with a giant pile of steamed brussels and a bunch of my favorite olives, castlevetranos, can you get them where you are? Love them. I won't get to shop until Thursday but we have leftover chili, and some things in the freezer. For lunch I'll have a big salad with the leftover chicken salad. 

Huge relief to get the weed whacking done! The dynamic duo, who I love, total characters, are going to tear out the pool next week and I'm going to design a garden. The rest of what I can do with gardening will be in already-designed beds (including a terraced area that has grapevines that are just starting to bud) which will also be a joy, but where the pool is now I will actually design a space, and I'm so excited about it. There's a native nursery 45 minutes away where an acquaintance of mine works, and I have an awesome book and many friends to call on for advice, including YOU so I feel I have a lot of resources to draw on for something so new for me. I've only had containers in the past. It's a large area made up of three parts, the largest, where the pool is, is about 18x15feet, then a 10x10 -ish feet, and separated by rocks, a down-slope of about 8x6 feet. The first two areas have a steep wall where the driveway and garage are, above, and lots of rocks and boulders all around the perimeter, so it has a raw sense of place already, and a lot of possibilities. I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. I'll make a path, and maybe a "room"...I'm wanting a bench, or a little temple type of space somewhere.

Off to the races now - sweet Tuesday!

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NSV alert! I know this sounds pretty lame but yesterday I was able to hang and lift my feet off the ground for 5 seconds-TWICE! That's a huge improvement considering I couldn't move my left arm at all for a couple of months and still have limited use of my left hand!! That's the first big progress I've made in a while and it has me all fired up! On top of that, we did three laps of our newly completed loop up the hill behind our house. It only totaled a mile but it's seriously steep. The plan is to build some spur trails off of the main loop for variety and extra mileage and we're going to work on one of those this afternoon. It'll probably be our last chance for a while; the weather is supposed to go down the tubes again. Being the dork I am, I want to name the trails and we're going to mark it with blazes a la the Appalachia Trail so that'll be fun, too.

Your garden areas sound great. We have a space down the hill, close to the garden that we want to turn into a "sitting room". One of the trails my husband cleared out Sunday was down the hill to the garden so I guess that's a start to fixing up our little area that we want to keep clear for our sitting room. It's a constant battle with the privet, bermuda grass (do y'all have that?) and poison ivy but we're getting there! So much potential.

After our fun on the hill yesterday, I still had emu to deal with so I mixed up cat food and my husband (mostly) took care of dinner. Grilled fish (grouper for him and salmon for me) and a repeat of the grilled brocc/peppers/onions with Thai red curry paste. Lunch today is leftover grilled fish and veggies plus some leftover slaw from a couple of nights ago. My coworker just invited me to join in some birthday cheesecake but I think I'll have salmon instead.:D As long as I don't go over there, I'm OK but if I go and find out it's homemade (doubtful) I'd have a really hard time resisting. So, something with ground beef for dinner tonight and I'll finally pick up a couple of chickens, too. And berries- I'm out of berries and that's major!

I don't think I took enough of the CBD oil Monday night so last night I used more and took it a little earlier. I still woke up several times but felt really dreamy and fell back to sleep pretty quickly- even at 2 when I've been taking a couple of hours to get back to sleep. Not sure if it was all of the physical activity, the oil or a combination but I'll keep trying but I'm still not sure I'll be able to get past the texture of this one.

Oh!! Snarky Puppy is coming to the Ryman! After you turned me on to Bokante, it led me to other projects of Michael League's. I can't wait and getting to see them at the Ryman is icing on the cake (that I'm not eating)!

 

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Congrats on your NSV! That is the best news I've heard all day! I had to look up AT blazes, and I see that spur trails are marked with blue - I love the idea of names and blazes both, why not, right?! Any names come to you yet?

Yes, a "room" is sort of what I have in mind, too, in theory, just not sure what it will look like. It's fun to create something like this. Does the privet produce blackberries? When you say bermuda grass I think lawn-type bermuda grass, is that what you have? I think we do have that here, but it's not an issue where I live. Where we live is a history lesson in what the Spanish brought with them and in the hooves, coats, and guts of their livestock! Lots of invasive wild grasses like fox tail and tons of stubborn weedy things that choke out anything and everything else at this time of year. It's killing oak trees which don't like to have anything at their base - it only took 75 years for the invasive species to decimate the state of California's Eden-like landscape. But my weed whackers showed them! Of course if one listens, one can hear them growing back already. If I could time travel to 2 or 3 places on Earth at any time in history, I would really like to wander around California before the Spanish arrived. One could walk barefoot for hundreds of miles without woe. 

We just got the line-up for Monterey Jazz Fest and Snarky Puppy will be back! LOL Nothing like live music - and at your legendary Ryman, too! Keep me posted on your CBD oil adventures - I'm taking notes.

I just got home from the doctor after a week or so of wondering whether I have shingles or poison oak. I know shingles is known to hurt, but when I get it, strangely, it doesn't...anyway, the jury is in, and it's poison oak, which is very weird to me because while I have spotted some in our yard, I feel sure I haven't touched any. I avoid it like the plague!...still, somehow I got some on my hand, and from there it has been spreading around -yuck. Meanwhile, for 3 days I've been taking a strong dose of shingles medicine that I happened to have on hand, and apparently that's why I've been so drowsy all week. Now I'm to wash all the sheets, towels and clothes that might have poison oak oil on them, and then I'm giving myself permission to go to BED! I'm so very tired! Anniversary celebrations will commence on the weekend - we're taking Friday and Saturday off, so will have an actual 3-day weekend. Aaaahhh.

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Yeah, I'm pretty pumped! We spent more time on the hill yesterday. We went less than a mile but it had some pretty serious altitude changes and involved a rake (me) and a machete (him) so I think we deserve extra movement points for trailbustin'. I think we're going to use old-time fiddle tune names for our trails. "Down Yonder" will be the one going down to the garden and "Liberty" will be the one that will eventually branch off and go all the way along the top of the ridge. There are some crazy names to those tunes so we'll have fun with them: Granny Does Your Dog Bite, Nail The Catfish To The Tree, Britches Full Of Stitches, Jaybird Died Of The Whooping Cough, Who Shat In Grandpa's Hat! :lol: Not sure those would be good trail names but you get the idea! I'm sure I could find a rubber catfish online somewhere and nail it to a tree to mark the trail, though. Hmmm...

My lower back is pretty tired but, other than that, I feel great. Neither of us felt like cooking dinner last night so I had a snack plate with turkey breast, salami, my Kosher dill pickles, olives (unfortunately nothing as delicious as your castelvetranos) and some brocc with a little bit of mayo-delicious and no fuss/no muss even if it didn't quite fit the template. So sorry to hear about your poison oak; it's so miserable. Clobetasol ointment has worked the best for me (betamethasone 2nd best) - way better than the triamcinolone everybody wants to prescribe first but I bet your hubbie knows all about that stuff! I've had some pretty serious contact dermatitis issues in the past but it seems to have lessened every year that we've been here. I suspect that the main culprit is poison ivy (from the cats' fur) but don't have definitive proof. I did get a couple of spots on my face a couple of years ago when I was pulling some out by (gloved) hands and some of the dirt flew into my face.

Here, Bermuda grass is an invasive species and it's awful. We plow a 4-foot border around our garden 2-3 times a year to stop the invasion because it sends out runners. We've mostly eradicated it inside of the garden now but it took a couple of years of plowing, hoeing and pulling it out by hand. About the time we got rid of that, we purchased some topsoil to add to the garden and it was contaminated with Johnson grass so now we have to fight that and it has to be dug out by hand and removed. Talking about CA before the Spanish arrived made me think of Big Bend. We had a guide the day we went canoeing and, since it took almost two hours to get to the launch site, she talked the entire time about the geology, ecology and history of the area. I had no idea that it used to be waist-high grassland. Man + cattle, then sheep then mercury mining turned it into the desert we know today. It's such beautiful and dramatic country but it was so sad to find out that it was man's doing that made it so barren.

I just found out about a 6-week walking contest that starts Monday and I might join just to get some extra motivation to move more. I'm not much of a joiner but it's just online so I wouldn't actually have to participate in a group-type activity (Aaaahhh!!) and you log your results each day for your team: my department, hematology/oncology vs the cardiology department. It's a shame flights of stairs don't count; Tuesday I only walked 3 miles and 7400 steps but it was 43 floors! I guess I'll have to get more obsessive about keeping my phone on my person at home because those stairs that I go up and down a million times a day never get counted.

Happy Anniversary! 

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After my last post, I thought about how it was the entire country, not just California, that has been forever changed by all the new plants and animals....reading about Big Bend, I am with you, it is sad to look at the impact that people have, but I'll try not to go down that hole on Sunday morning. Have you ever seen these beautiful movies?

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085809/

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095895/?ref_=tt_rec_tt

Did you read about the invasive super fungus that is killing hospitalized people, and shutting some hospitals down across the globe? Yikes! Must keep a healthy immune system! Oh, I'm a ray of sunshine this morning!

I'm actually in a sunnier mood than the above lets on...we took Friday and Saturday off, and I feel rested and peaceful. I felt really discouraged yesterday by cravings and non-compliant eating. I have also been reading about commitment, and realize that I need to re-commit. So looking at my calendar, I'm planning today as day 1 of a W60!! I'm excited about it. There is one overnight outing in May - we're going to see Jerry Seinfeld, but I can handle restaurants...I had this re-commit in mind at last night's anniversary dinner, and I let myself enjoy some non-compliant things like wine, sour cream on my potato, and a shared decadent dessert, and it was worth it. The idea of re-committing feels right.

I love it that you're doing a walking contest at work - I did something like that once and it was fun, and helped me quite a bit.

I would be so mad if I had worked so hard to get the bermuda grass out, then had a bad batch of soil that brought in a new invasive grass! Ugh!

I accidentally pulled out some California poppies thinking they were weeds - WAAAH! But there are some stalwarts that I missed blooming in my garden, so that is filling me with wonder. And the birds. OMG. Must get outside. Later I'll cook, but for now, the perfect day is calling. I spiralized 5 giant zucchs yesterday, so it will be a spiral-fun filled week.

More soon Holly!

 

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Wow! Congrats on starting a W60! Good for you! How's it going? Any particular/new goals?

It's been a rough week in kitty-care land and a terrible emotional roller coaster but it's starting to settle down. I brought my little girl to a vet specialty center to get an ultrasound of her gut after I realized it had been almost two months since her vet visit and no real improvement. She hasn't gotten worse but also hasn't gotten better so that brought up the spectre of lymphoma again. It was an awful experience. They told me she had a tumor in her small intestines and tried to ramrod a bunch of treatment down my throat: IV fluids (she wasn't dehydrated), anti-nausea meds (she hasn't thrown up in a couple of weeks) and keep her so they could start chemo 1st thing in the morning. Huh?? I brought her home and asked for a copy of the report so I could show it to my regular vet. I was a basket case but got the report Tuesday morning and the results were far from conclusive! My vet agreed that I spent another $500 and we still don't really know if it's IBD or lymphoma because the ultrasound just showed thickening of the intestinal wall. We're going to do a trial of daily steroids and I'm going to keep her on her emu diet and we'll see if she gets better, declines or just holds her own. My poor husband is terrified that she will decline (or worse) while I'm going to be out of town next month. I'm trying to apply everything I've learned from W30 about gut health! It's funny but I think the emu neck bone broth is the best part. She loves it and it seems to fill her up better than just the meat. I like to think of all of that lovely collagen helping to heal her inflamed gut!

So, anyway, aside from attacking a piece of pita bread and skipping a couple of meals, I managed to (mostly) keep it together and am in the middle of a giant sausage-making session for our friends' picking party next weekend- 15 lbs of pork, 3 different flavors of sausage! Thankfully I baked two chickens on Sunday and made chicken salad so the fridge is pretty well stocked up. Tonight is sausage-stuffing night and tomorrow we'll smoke them. I'll be glad when this project is over; it's just a little too much right now. Moving has been limited to a little hanging and many millions of trips up and down the stairs at home. Most of my meat grinding/sausage stuffing stuff is in the basement but everything else is upstairs in the kitchen so up, down, up, down. I should have kept my phone in my pocket so i could see how many flights of stairs I did. I'm thinking about getting an oura ring fitness tracker. Have you ever looked at them? I've been looking at the various watches for months but they're crazy expensive, have lots of features that I'm not really interested in and don't hold a charge very long. I wish I could get it before the walking contest starts on Monday but I can't so I got an armband that I can wear to hold my phone.

How does your garden grow?

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Wow, Holly, I can see it's been a real roller coaster! I understand why you took Kitty to the specialty vet - that makes so much sense. And I'm so glad you resisted the hard-sell treatments (what's the friggin' hurry, people?? :angry:) and got another opinion from your regular vet. Good job, Holly. When I read about the plan moving forward, and how much she loves the rich bone broth, I thought about how healing can take time, and is not a pretty process. FWIW, from where I sit and read and feel it out, I think she will hold steady and slowly get better. And you are making that possible! You are a rock star kitty caregiver, and when you follow your heart as you do, and consult with your trusted vet, you know what is best for Kitty...and that is exactly what you are doing. Including taking care of yourself, that helps her, too. You're keeping it together even in the midst of all the stress and grief....and sausage making!

When you read this, you might be tired out from all the sausage stuffing! Stairs are such a great work out. I'm thinking that when it gets really hot this summer, I'll be running up and down stairs, too. I've never heard of the oura ring fitness tracker, but it sounds like birth control :P Have fun with your walking contest! The best exercise ever.

I meant to comment after your run-down of trail name ideas that my husband's grandfather used to use the expression, "you can get used to anything - even shit in your hat"...and I'd never seen anything like that until you quoted one of the old timey country tunes (scrolling through our novella posts I can't find it right now!)....and he was from Kentucky, so that makes sense, yes? Am I making sense, it's getting late, I should go to bed!

Thanks, yes, I'm excited about doing a W60. It's going really well so far, here on Day 5. I have a fridge filled with veggies! LOL. I intend to use this time to practice and re-wire the brain towards a greater Food Freedom. Practice, practice, practice! The other day I was thinking about Food Freedom, and the way I get down on myself sometimes when I'm riding my bike into the ditch. Do you know the Buddhist parable about the fish looking for the ocean? The little fish swam, and swam, until it came to another fish and said, "excuse me, can you tell me where's the ocean?" and the fish said, "this is the ocean." "oh no, this is just the water, I'm looking for the ocean" and swam along and met others, and asked the same question and received the same answer, not understanding he was in the ocean all along. Is it like that with FF? More tangibly, I am working on moving every day, even if it's "just" yard work and yoga, which, you know what, is beautiful! And my yard needs it! New house, new me...or, better, new house, new ways to love myself. Right?

We identified an amazing bird recently, the orange crowned warbler. Yesterday I was outside my door and heard its amazing song, and spotted it in a tree branch high above me. It had a rather large twig in its beak and I wondered if it is nesting (yep), and before I could say what-the-warbler, it flew right over my head, dropping the twig which hit me right in the teeth, standing there with my mouth open like a fool. Ha! Now we know whose house this is for real. 

The calla lilies are in bloom, such a lovely flower <insert Katharine Hepburn voice> ... and I am dreaming of manzanitas, redbuds, milkweed, and all kinds of native plants that the birds and hummers will love...and the warbler too I suppose. The pool is gone, and in 48 hourse there are already weeds growing where it was. 

Love to Kitty!!!!

 

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8 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

new ways to love myself

Yes! We have been in the ocean all along. That's such a great way to think about it. Sometimes the ocean gets a little choppy but that's life and we're learning to navigate it better every day. 

Last Monday I was back home after dropping my little girl off (even though they had told me I wouldn't need to when I called to schedule) and was trying to keep myself occupied by finishing up my unfinished cookup from Sunday and I had a big ole pout-fest. I was tired and stressed and didn't want to cook and was sick of having to cook everything and wah, wah, wah but I realized that NOT cooking wasn't really an option. What am I going to do? Eat the garbage in the cafeteria? The garbage in the center aisles of the store? The garbage in the drive-through? Can't go there at all! Yeah, I had a couple of pieces of taffy that day and a piece of pita (both delicious) but I'm chalking it up to a little wobble on my bike ride. 

The sausage is stuffed and the rain is supposed to clear out in a little while so this afternoon we'll fire up the smoker and finish up the sausage project. Hallelujah! One of the great things about making your own sausage is that you can control the ingredients and all three of these are compliant-yaaay. Now I need to figure out what side dishes to make and plan my cookup for this weekend. 

It's so fun that you are discovering all of the flowers that live in your yard; I love calla lilies- actually, I don't think I've ever met a lily I didn't love. When we moved into our house, it was the middle of December and we couldn't wait to see what would appear in spring in the little space behind the house. Much to our disappointment, it went from frozen mud to mud and weeds:(. We hardscaped it! The dogwoods have finally bloomed and right now there is a big patch of wild violets in the yard near the garden. It's probably 12x12 or so and is just a beautiful purple carpet. They make me smile. Have I mentioned that purple is my favorite color? 

Day 6; you're 1/10 of the way there!:D

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That pout fest you had sounds so familiar - I have been there! There's this old feminist imprint from my childhood that comes alive as if to say, "really, are you going to spend your whole life in the frickin' life in the kitchen??" but my true self knows, as you do, that I know too much to go back, and I certainly do NOT want to be a chump to the food industry! So like you, I have snapped out of it. I'll bet it's normal!

The other day I had a funny dream about putting on a Queen Elizabeth costume and passing for a queen in an actual royal affair, attended by punk rocker interlopers and other colorful characters...it was unclear whom the joke was really on...lots of fodder for my current journal writing commitment....reflecting later I thought a REAL queen would not have to cook all of her own food, she would have a staff. There are times when doing it all oneself is totally overwhelming, and it's so understandable that you are passing through one of those times right now.

Dogwood is so pretty, and I loved reading about your purple carpet of violets! Purple: me too (big surprise)!

When I am an old woman, I shall continue to wear purple LOL 

Thanks also for the image of a wobble on the bike - a wobble is no big deal, and a far cry from a crash into the weeds!

1/10 of the way there - yes! Thank you for the cheering on.

The sausage-making is so impressive to me! Do you have to have a lot of expensive equipment? Is it in links and casings? I'll be it is DEEElicious. Is the event this weekend, or Easter weekend? Will you get some down time afterwards before your travels?

Today the repair is being done on our clawfoot tub, and I am looking forward to my first hot soak in it -- not sure how long I'll have to wait for it to sit before I can use it, but I hope tonight - it has been teaching me patience.

TGIF - enjoy your weekend - and sweet self care!

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:D My glasses are purple! 

On occasion, having staff would be so lovely but it's so rewarding to be able to DO! There's a young guy that we've met and he was just saying that he can't cook anything. Of course, with a little effort, he could YouTube or something but I told him I'd be glad to teach him a couple of basic things if he wanted to learn. Not sure that he's really motivated so we'll see if he takes me up on the offer.

All of these sausages are stuffed in casings. The equipment isn't terribly expensive and good sausage with good ingredients IS so I figured it would eventually earn its keep. My first meat grinder was an attachment for my KitchenAid mixer and is very reasonably priced (IF you already have the mixer). It started cracking from overuse so I got a small dedicated grinder. It's 1/2 horsepower and cost around $150, if I remember correctly. The KitchenAid grinder comes with stuffing tubes but it mangles the meat because you can't run it without the blade being in it s, for about $100 I got a stuffer that will hold 5 lbs of meat and my husband mounted it to a good-sized board so I can clamp it to my work table. 

The sun is out!!! I'm going to go home and let my body make some vitamin D while the sausages smoke. I'm going to turn on some music, do some hanging and a little moving and be grateful.

I hope you get to christen your tub tonight; that's going to feel so good on lots of levels!

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Yesterday a customer brought us some homemade bratwurst! This has never happened before. If we like it and want more, he is selling them for $6/lb. I've never owned a KitchenAid mixer, but if I ever get one, I might try my hand at this. I can see you at your work table, in purple glasses = ) I'm terribly impressed, and it all sounds really delicious.

I have to wait until tonight to let the tub patchwork/repair/porcelain-paint cure completely, so I'm savoring the idea of the bath, and enjoying how pretty it is, like a kid anticipating the present under the tree. Meanwhile, I've noticed that since I've been more consistent with movement and yoga every darned day this week I am feeling awfully good. Win! It's nice to know that if I get muscle sore, an epsom salt bath is in the future.

Yay for a beautiful day! We're having one of those today. We slept in a little, and will get some projects done around the house -the birds are so numerous and so musical as they nest and do their spring time thing.  Later on I'll be cooking Thai curried carrot soup, and also mackerel cakes, then early in the week your mother's Moroccan chicken.

Were you able to find the duck breasts?

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Bratwurst is one of my faves and that's a really good price. I'm not sure what flipped his switch but my husband has decided that we should have homemade sausages in the freezer at all times! I guess he didn't realize that we already do because he hadn't fully jumped on the sausage bandwagon. We hit three stores early yesterday morning and have almost everything we need for the big shindig. The pork butts came 2/pk and we only need three (that's probably too much but I am congenitally unable to make a small amount of anything) so he wants to get another batch of sausage going. I don't think I'm up for that right now so we'll probably freeze it and turn it into sausage at a later date- maybe Italian.

I finally decided on side dishes: my Mom's baked mac n cheese (with some andouille in it), homemade barbecue beans and broccoli salad so I'll be doing some off-roading. I'll definitely have some mac-n-cheese; it's one of my very favorites and I think it's been two years since I've had any. The barbecue sauce (I think I've mentioned Hoe Sauce before) I make has ketchup and brown sugar in it but waaaaaay less than any commercial brands. It's really good but I still leave it off. It will be in the beans, though so I'll probably only taste them as I'm cooking them. No down-time before I leave town but I think I might take this Friday off so I'm not totally exhausted on Saturday. Picking goes on late into the night (and sometimes till dawn) so I don't want to be so tired that I miss all of the fun. So far, the weather is supposed to be good but they'll probably change their minds a dozen times between now and Saturday. I'm getting excited and feel a little less overwhelmed since we got all of the shopping done. Now if I could just get my emu delivery :( 

I found a compounding pharmacy to make my little girl's steroid concoction and that's worked out really well. Is that something y'all do? She was refusing her food because it was so bitter (yes, I tasted it!). The pharmacist said it was because it was just ground up pills and the inactive ingredients in the pills make it bitter. I couldn't get a meat flavor added to hers (didn't know that was an option until now) because I was afraid of a negative reaction but this one has no bitter taste and is a little sweet if anything. Now if I can just keep my fatty catty out of her food when it has steroids mixed in, I'll be good! 

My walking challenge starts today and my husband told me to order my Oura ring as an early (very early) birthday present so I can't wait for that to arrive. And, yes, it DOES sound like birth control. I think they could have come up with a better name! It takes a while. First they send you a sizing kit then you tell them what size and then it takes a couple of weeks. I'm waiting on a pair of red Softstar ballerine flats to wear to graduation, too. I hope the sizing is right the first time. Hurry up and wait!

We ate bits and pieces of leftovers all weekend so the fridge is cleared out and I got breakfasts done for the week using scraps of sausage so each one is a little different. I've been craving egg roll bowls so I think that's going on the menu for next week. Dinners this week are going to be super simple- throw a protein and a grill basket full of veggies on the grill.

Have you heard of the Scottish guy that's biking around the world? His name is Dean and when he was in Montenegro, he rescued a little kitty whose name is Nala and she's traveling with him. I have totally been sucked into their story and have been following them on IG. Makes me smile!

Happy Monday!

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I have not heard of Dean and Nala, but i'll look them up, it's an adorable story. We need more good news! Speaking of that, happy day 1 of your walking challenge! The oura ring website makes it look very tempting - I'll live vicariously through you! it looks like a wedding ring. It's all very Star Trek to me. I'm way too lazy to follow all of the tracking and data - I'm not proud of that, but there it is. Yet, if it helps you get a good night's sleep....*that* has my attention, and I reserve the right to change my mind. :P

Mm, your side dishes sound yummy. I love broccoli salad and barbecue beans. I love the idea of mac-n-cheese, but it's not really my thing. I'll bet your mom's is excellent, though. Whew! You got it all done! 

We don't do compounding at our place, but I'm really happy for you that you are getting that done, and it is working for your kitty! Any changes or weight gain, dare I ask? Your red ballerine flats made me think of Michael Powell's The Red Shoes, abased on the very old folk tale, and also Dorothy's ruby red slippers - pure magic on both counts. 

Turns out I have finally scheduled my long postponed trip to Monterey to go through my mother's storage and bring some things home...many boxes of photographs, mainly, and her father's files, that I can't wait to bring home. I've made room in my garage for some storage shelves and I am about to get that all organized. I'll go in mid-May and it will probably be the most logistically challenging phase of the W60, so I'll just have to be prepared and know where to go, both for groceries and restaurants...but I'm not sweating it that much.

I made a super yumy and extra large batch of hash with Lebanese 7-spice blend. 3 lbs of ground turkey (1 Tbsp of spice per lb. seems perfect - what is your proportion?), two giant parsnips, baby bellas, onion, and red kale. I hadn't made has since pre-move, and I'm really enjoying it.

The bath was lovely! The water sounded funny when it was draining. Turns out the overflow gasket wasn't installed properly, and it leaked ALL over the floor, soaking my little white area rug. Drats! I tested it again this morning to make sure that was it, and sure thing. I was so mad last night, and hubs and I switched places - he trying to soothe and reassure me that it was an easy fix. The plumber is apprenticing his son, and his son keeps stinking up the place - this is the second botch. Argh. Patience, more patience.

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I like the thought of bringing your family's things "home". You'll figure out how to stay on plan. Being on the road is always the hardest because there is NOTHING compliant unless you bring it with you but you don't have a terribly long drive, right?

I've never seen anyone make mac-n-cheese the way my Mom does and I wasn't sure people would like it because it's so different but the last time I brought it, it got devoured. You layer the mac and a generous amount of cheese in a baking pan then make a custard by putting an egg in a measuring cup then adding milk/cream to make one cup and keep doing that until the mac is mostly covered then bake until set. Very non-compliant! I've done it with cauli and coconut milk and browned ground beef and it tasted good but was texturally challenging- soft and squishy because the cauli released too much moisture. I wonder if I could rice the cauli then steamed it and squeezed out the excess moisture before putting it together? I might have to try that.

I took Friday off of work! Yay for me! Aside from letting me spread out some of the work, an added bonus is that I can freeze the breakfast that I would normally bring to work with me and save it for Monday morning. I have a feeling I'm not going to want to do a cook-up on Sunday. I picked up my latest emu order yesterday so I have a cat food cook-up planned for this evening and I'll have the house to myself and that's a very rare occurrence. Not that my hubbie is in the way or a problem or anything like that; it's just different. I have a little piece of pork (in competition bbq circles it's called the money muscle and is more like a little piece of marbled tenderloin than butt) that I'll grill up and have some as-yet-undetermined veggie concoction to go with it. Getting that done tonight will help with that jammed up feeling I'll get towards the end of the week. Little girl is doing well-  maintaining weight but I'm really hopeful about some weight gain soon. She was out and about on the hill yesterday and it was so much fun to watch her prowling around. She is very much a predator!

I'm running out of my big batch of baked chicken thighs so I'll need to put that on my cook-up radar in the near future- only two left! That's my lunch today along with grilled green beans and cherry tomatoes. Your hash sounds so good! I've never measured the amount of Lebanese spice I put in; I just sprinkle but that sounds about right. I also hadn't thought about making such a big batch of it; what a great idea! Thanks.

I'm really getting into the walking challenge and so far, our department is kicking cardiology's butt- not that I'm competitive or anything. It's all logged on a website and you can see the number of steps for each member of your team. My goal is to not be at the bottom and so far I'm not. Yesterday I was the first person with less than 10,000 steps (8K) but there were 4 more below me out of the 18 that have logged in so far. I'd like to move a little further up the ladder so that's good motivation for me to move more but trying to keep my phone with me at all times is driving me crazy. Of course, like my husband says, it's a short trip! :o Can't wait for my ring to get here but it's still a couple of weeks away, at least. Yeah, I wish it didn't look like a wedding ring. I'm hoping to be able to wear it on my left thumb. I wear my wedding ring on my right hand because my left hand is a mess and I'm scared to death I'll wind up in a situation where a ring would have to be cut off because of all of the things wrong with my ring finger, especially.

So sorry to hear about your plumbing. We've had numerous plumbing disasters stemming from plumber screw-ups and A/C installer screw-ups so I feel your pain. 

Notre Dame! I've never been there and I doubt it will be rebuilt in my life time but at least it will be rebuilt. It's so heartwarming to see the massive donations that have already been promised and I'm sure there's more to come. Speaking of heartwarming, if you want to check out Dean and Nala on IG, it's 1bike1world; they are spending the summer in Santorini, Greece and it really looks like is sucks-hahaha I wish! One of the things he is big on is all of the plastic waste that is everywhere. He and Nala are getting a huge following so hopefully that gospel will spread.

Later, gator!

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OMG that mac-n-cheese does sound really good. You had me at custard. If you do experiment with removing the moisture from the cauli, please let me know. I realize thinking about it makes me hungry.

Awesome that you're taking Friday off! That is very civilized - I think 40 hours per week, week in and week out, is so drab. Yay for time for you! And I totally get it about alone time in the house - solitude is Golden, pure and simple. As I type, I'll bet you are cooking up that money muscle cut of pork, making me even hungrier LOL. Kitty's prowling behaviour has to be a good sign! Sweet girl!

Your goal to not be last in your walking competition reminds me of my first half marathon, almost ten years ago. I just didn't want to finish last! And I didn't, and you won't either. Moving up the ladder does sound like great motivation! My goal these days is to increase the challenge or the duration just a little bit each week - nothing crazy. Hurting my back last month taught me that! I had a hilarious dream last night of stretching my leg up beside my head, and my calf muscle hooked there at my cranium, and I couldn't get out of the pose, and fell to the ground, and stayed in that pose, rolling around, trying to unhook my leg from my head. Dr. Freud, what does it mean? LOL!

Our husbands have similar senses of humor 

10 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

it's a short trip! :o

That's funny! Today I had yet another plumber come to the house (the first one who doesn't know he is fired, came early to fix the overflow gasket, I didn't want them here at the same time!!!)..this time to change the well filter housing, and guess what, there was NO FILTER in there at all. That's why all my faucets etc have been getting gummed up, even the new ones. Hubs said that's why the seller had such a poor reputation. He had no filters. Lol. Anyway, I was glad to hear from you that this inept thing is not that uncommon. I really like the second one - he seems competent and is fun to talk to.

Notre Dame! I know, me too, I have never been, but I hope to go to Paris one day: I told my husband this morning that I have been saving Paris for him. I've been to Europe twice, and each time I felt too exhausted, broke, and/or heartbroken to go to Paris by myself, and said I was saving it for my true love. You should have seen him light up. He has never been to Europe or anywhere but Canada, so hopefully we will do that. Yesterday I kept thinking of Joan of Arc, who of course was burned at the stake, and her visage there at Notre Dame while it burned :(

My stepmom sent us a little money as a house-warming out of her tax return -- so a gas grill is coming soon!!! yay! Meanwhile, tonight we'll cook up the bratwurst, mostly for hubs though I will have a bite (I don't know what's in there, but I have to have a BITE) and for me, some chicken sausage patties and leftover tomato soup.

 

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Not sure why but I'm having a Tiger Blood day! Maybe it's the walking thing giving me a boost? I'm trying to do the same thing- build up the intensity and duration a little at a time and it's making me feel stronger. My new shoes and the Oura ring sizing kit should be waiting for me when I get home so I'm excited about that. And also looking forward to the extra day off this weekend- that makes tomorrow "Friday" for me!

It does look like our husband's have similar senses of humor! Hopefully, now, you have a filter! :lol: I wish we had a well. When we had a major plumbing issue with the water line coming to the house, we looked at getting one but the whole drilling through rock thing is expensive. We were looking at about $30K and no guarantee they would hit water so it's city water for us but at least we have a whole house water filter. That was our Christmas, anniversary and birthday presents to ourselves a couple of years ago- we're such romantics! I love your story about Paris. I've only been to Greece that one time in my early 20's and my husband has never been anywhere except Mexico. We've talked about trying to plan a trip around a Formula 1 race one day. I'd love for it to be Monaco but we don't really have a Monaco kind of budget- but I can dream!

Yay on the grill! When the weather is nice, we cook most of our dinners on it- less clean-up and tasty. We try to change up the spices on it for variety but the default is creole seasoning if we're not feeling ambitious. Rats! That reminds me that I forgot to take anything out of the freezer for dinner tonight. Looks like it'll be grilled fish cuz I can throw a couple of filets in a bowl of water and they'll defrost in no time. Kitty cook-up is done; it took me 2 1/2 hours but, hopefully, that will last about 3 weeks. I'll have to do another one before I head to LA, though.

Time to go stretch my legs a bit.

 

 

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