Psyching Up For a December Whole 30 Graduates


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Happy Mardi Gras to you, too! 

Thank you for the great and encouraging suggestions, and I am due for a massage! I'm also longing to use my new (to me) claw foot tub, alas, there has been a big saga with the tub, that hopefully will be resolved soon, and when it is, epsom salt baths +++++ are on the agenda!! Can't wait. Also, glad your mom is better!

Yes, the eggroll bowls were delicious, and I thought of you when I drizzled the sesame oil over the pan! Hubs liked it so much he asked to take the leftovers to work for lunch yesterday - that is a huge breakthrough - I was happy to share it! So I'm getting somewhere with your help in this department...

Isn't it amazing how much a difference the amount of veg makes in that "belly satisfied" feeling? Oh! When I was prepping the eggroll bowls, I used MJ's spice blend to turn my plain ground chicken into breakfast sausage, and I came upon her better butter recipe in the cookbook...I'm inspired by all that you are doing with ghee...and one of these days I am going to take a page out of your book and try that out! Thanks for showing the way, and reminding me. Haricot vert! Yum. Where I live, every time I see it at the market it doesn't look right to me - too big. 

Yes, the prosciutto is so fragile...I think the pancetta might have been a little less fragile, but equally delicious  - that is what I used last time - let me know if you ever experiment.

I love the quote from The Fountainhead. I agree that it gets right to the heart of what we are doing here. Lately I am reminded of the importance of quietness, and solitude in finding the moment, finding "I" in that quiet, where we are a part of the greater universe. "I" disappears as we merge with "the is" and then come back to "I". That is such a nourishing place. Connecting to that place makes it somehow easier and simpler to know, and come from "I"...words are clumsy here, I fear it may look corny, but I think you know what I mean, as you also like the quiet, yes? I think that the greatest things look corny in theory, but are profound in practice, aside from words.

I'm in a strange state this morning - a friend sent me a really excellent article on caring for a person at the end of life - one of the best things I have ever read on the subject. As I replied to her email, another email came in with news that a dear family friend is actively dying. It launched me from theory to practice in a quick moment. Deep sigh. And responsibilities wait for me, so I have to get busy...I will devote the day to my friend, and his husband. = (

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20 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

finding "I" in that quiet

Not corny and and, yes, very profound. 

Actively dying. The first time I saw that I had to stop and think about it because, at first glance, it seems like an oxymoron. Now, unfortunately I see that phrase fairly often and it still makes me stop and think. In another (sad) parallel in our lives, we found out yesterday that a close friend of ours died very unexpectedly. Her husband, who is also a very good friend, is not ready to reach out or face anyone yet. All we can do is let the people closest to him know we are here for anything he needs whenever he is ready. I'm a do-er; I want to do something to make things better but know that the best thing to do for him right now is to let him "ride this solo for a bit" as he has requested. He is a very spiritual person so I hope he is able to find some peace soon.

Food is love. The first thing my husband thought of was cooking for him. And cooking for her. We did the food for their wedding so it seems right.

My heart goes out to your friends and mine.


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Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. I understand the inner tug to DO something, take food, help out, to just-be-there. Can you/will you make food and drop it off at the door step or with his family, or something, so that you can still honor his request for privacy?  The gift of food, and from you two, seems a very moving, and also practical gift. It's harder to just-be-there from afar. Ha, back to the quiet space, right? Big surprise: I am in that place, too. I learned that my friend died yesterday at 1230. Waiting to hear about services or something. I think I'll send a big bouquet of flowers to his spouse...I appreciated that when my mother died.

My heart is with your friends and mine, too. = (


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I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.  Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.
The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone.  They are gone to feed the roses.  Elegant and curled
Is the blossom.  Fragrant is the blossom.  I know.  But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know.  But I do not approve.  And I am not resigned.
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On 3/7/2019 at 11:33 AM, LadyLisbette said:

gone to feed the roses


On 3/7/2019 at 11:33 AM, LadyLisbette said:

But I do not approve.

Thanks. I spent a lot of time the last few days appreciating my husband and being grateful for so many things; it can all change in the blink of an eye. I actually reconnected with an old friend that moved back to town and spent a really nice afternoon Saturday talking about everything under the sun. One friend has left and another entered. And she's a Squatty Potty fan; gotta like that! Now if I can just get her to move away from eating SAD. She developed an allergy to peanuts and corn recently and, after getting that under control, noticed that her IBS has greatly improved so I think there's hope. I preached the W30 gospel to her very briefly and mainly in the context of identifying and eliminating things that make you feel bad. She understood the principles but hasn't gotten past the "You don't eat bread??!!" stage yet.

We had sunshine and warmth yesterday after a couple of days of rain, rain, rain! It was lovely and just what I needed. I got a beautiful purple ferment going- red cabbage, beets and apple with a little caraway seed. I hope the caraway wasn't a mistake; it seemed a little strong even though I didn't use much. I think it will mellow as it ferments. I have a bad habit of not eating my ferments. It's like they're special and I'm saving them. Don't ask me what I'm saving them for, though. Anyway, I'm trying to add a little fermented love to my breakfasts now. This week I have a hash with Lebanese spiced beef (because that's the only ground meat I have right now), collards that I overcooked a little and scrambled eggs. I topped it with sauerruben today and I think I'll try my radish/fennel combo tomorrow. That was about it for my cookup this weekend so I'll be scrambling a bit this week for meals. At least I have baked chicken thighs and some pate (the only way I can sneak in a little liver on myself) in the freezer for my lunches. 

My inspiration for the week: 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good. But wanting to resemble a certain body type - one that may not be at all what your own physical makeup looks like - is bound to be a self-defeating endeavor.

What’s the function? It’s what your body can do that serves you well in your day to day life and also in challenging circumstances. It is also the mental clarity, alertness, focus, composure and fortitude you must have to operate such function. It’s the robustness, health and resilience of your tissues and overall physiology. It’s your physical wellbeing and levels of energy throughout the day. That’s what I call “function.” Isn’t it what you desire first and the most? What’s the point of looking at the mirror with satisfaction if you cannot move your body in meaningful ways, if you are physiologically imbalanced and fragile, if you don’t actually feel content and confident in your life, if you have low levels of energy?

Choose function first. A more capable, a more resilient and energetic body will ensue. A clearer, more self-confident, stronger mind will ensue. A better looking physique will certainly ensure AS WELL. 
Most importantly a better self and a better LIFE will be the ultimate reward! ~ Erwan La Corre (MovNat)

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Yay for reconnecting with old friends! You are showing the way to your friend, and it sounds like she may be ripe to receive a model of elimination diet since her recent experience. I understand her hesitation around bread - that is such a common one, man, bread is a tough one to let go of, right up there with breakfast-as-usual -- again, because of...bread! And all the wheaty understandable. Now, if I don't get a good dinner for breakfast, I'm just lost. Ha.

With your words in mind, I picked up a giant bag of haricot vert, and have been loving them. They are not garden fresh, but still edible, and I'm eating them at every meal so I don't have to throw any in the compost. Also got a big bag of broccoli and will look up that recipe that our compatriot recommended to you from the Dec thread.

I had a fun Saturday, too! A neighbor who we were already friendly with over the years organized a potluck to welcome us to the neighborhood, so all 4 of the neighfbors on our hill came out to play and it was a dreamy fun night. There is a fifth house, but it's a vacation rental. Anyhoo, it was soul food to enjoy a gathering with friends, and the other neighbors who we were acquainted with but didn't know that well. I took (hubs stayed home with a sinus infection)  wonton meatballs with a ginger lime mayo. It didn't go with the Italian theme (I didn't know!) but everyone seemed to enjoy it. We're also polishing off the last of the orange dijon chicken thighs that are a new favorite, and tomorrow I'll make shrimp patties so I have something to go with the left over ginger mayo...I have 2 lbs of grass fed ground beef, so maybe burgers or balls, I'm not sure...maybe a veggie hamburger soup like my stepmom used to make.

I had been kind of depressed and discouraged lately, but today I took a good hike and did yoga, but careful not to overdo it again, and that gave me a boost.

I love the wisdom about function! That's on the nose - thank you!

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Well, I don't know what happened but my last post seems to have disappeared:angry:

It's been rough and rocky traveling
But I'm finally standing upright on the ground
After taking several readings
I'm surprised to find my mind's still fairly sound- Willie Nelson

I heard that song on my way to work yesterday and it seemed fitting. What broccoli recipe? Why don't I remember that? I had a major brain fade a couple of days ago and ordered fractionated coconut oil twice- and one of them was a buy one get one half off deal so I have a LOT of coconut oil right now. Hmmmm...

Your potluck sounds like fun. We want to do a meatball-themed potluck "Big Balls in Music Town" so that will probably be our deck christening party. I hope your husbands sinus infection gets better soon. I was so lucky that mine only lasted a few days. How is your back doing? I overdid it a bit the other day, too. It was pretty and I convinced my husband to come walk our street with me but I wasn't thinking and wore very minimalist barefoot shoes with thin socks and wound up with hot spots on the balls of both of my feet. Yesterday I limited myself to some stretching, squatting and hanging. Moving in the sunshine is definitely helping to lift me up but, of course, it's back to raining again today. It could be worse; we could be in the middle of the bomb cyclone hitting Colorado!

We've managed to pull off some pretty good meals this week! Grilled pork tenderloin with red cabbage cooked down with apple and balsamic vinegar (leftovers were my lunch today) and grilled flank steak with brown butter ghee Brussels. I've really been enjoying the addition of something fermenty to my breakfasts this week; I think I need to keep that up. I'm not sure what we're having for dinner tonight because we're coming back into town for a concert- double double basses- Edgar Meyer and Christian McBride. Dinner may involve some off roading and a margarita at this cool kinda wacky taco place nearby. I'm going to have my taco in a bowl instead of a tortilla, though. I learned that that was an option the last time we were there. But...salsa and chips! So, a little planned deviation. Maybe, then back to eating well tomorrow. I'm going to get my lunch made before we leave for the show tonight so I know I have something ready to go tomorrow.

Time to move!


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We love Christian McBride! Have seen him bunches of times at Monterey Jazz Festival. Have a GREAT time! Ooh, I have been slacking on my new rule about no chips...but I will take your queue and get right back on fact, I'm thinking I might need an April W30 because I seem to be back to some pre-tty bad habits. If I can get my act together for the duration of March, I will just carry on...I really need to. Bad. I'm eating W30 plus forbidden things. And I need to stop.

7 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

Moving in the sunshine is definitely helping to lift me up

Me too.  Fortunately my back is a LOT better. I have a very big job of weeding on my hands now that the rain has subsided and everything is growing like MAD. Some of my yard has Godzilla weeds. So every day is an hour or two of weeding, and that is my movement. This is good, as long as I remember to stretch after, which I have not been doing.

I wonder what happened to your post? = ( I remembered her name now, Kirbz it was, who helpfully recommended a broccoli soup when you had copious quantities of broccoli on hand at one time back in December.... I don't think she had ever made it, just found it online...which I will do again...We have posted SO much in these months, who can remember every little thing? 

It's hard to believe that for most of my adult life I've said that anything that went through a meat grinder sounded like something I didn't want to eat. Ha. Now it's my preferred way to eat!!!! So versatile. And parties called 

7 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

"Big Balls in Music Town"

that is hilarious! How. Fun. I like your Willie Nelson quotation. I saw him live in San Jose once, and I'm so glad I did. I don't have his CDs but I love him.

My next cooking will include chili and eggroll bowls. The other night I made shrimp patties to go with the leftover ginger mayo, and I discovered a different and better blade to use in my cuisinart that had somehow escaped me. So I'm chalking that up to a hidden bonus of moving. But! in the middle of the night I could still smell garlic and it distracted me terribly from sleep. Don't know if I mentioned it but we don't have an oven hood and vent. So. I am readier than ever to buy a grill, and I have it all picked out. I'm hoping my stepmom might buy it for us. She offered to buy us a grill when we got married, so hopefully the offer is still open and I am psyching myself to ask her. But I need to get the stinky and also splattery stuff done outdoors. And when it gets hot in a few months I think I'll also be really glad. Looking forward to this.

Did you make food for your friend?

Happy weekend to you!


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The concert was SO fantastic! It was just the two of them and they totally played off of each other. One would do rhythm while the other played melody then they would switch off. They played a couple of originals of each of theirs plus one they wrote together and a couple of standards- My Funny Valentine was one. They have been recording together so I'm guessing there's an album coming at some point. Oh! And they each played piano at some point and also each sat out while the other played a song solo. Amazing!

Dinner was a bit less successful than they concert. Margaritas-worth it, chips and salsa-worth it, tacos-not so much. I decided against the bowls because they're large and I wanted to try two different tacos along with a side of plantains. I went with corn tortillas thinking that they're "better" than flour and only ate one tortilla instead of the two they came with. The fillings were so disappointing, though. I got lamb which turned out to be gyro meat. I actually love gyro meat in spite of all of the highly questionable ingredients (actually I don't really think they're questionable- I think they're awful but I still love me a good gyro) but I thought I was getting lamb. My second choice was carnitas and it was sweet! So disappointed. Oh well- live and learn I guess.

Oh yeah; I do vaguely remember a mention of brocc soup but I never did make it. I've been on a raw broccoli kick and just dipping it in mayo or ranch. I'm finishing off the last of my haricot vert for lunch along with one of the baked chicken thighs I have stashed in the freezer for emergencies. Like you, I have to commit to getting those beans eaten before they go bad and I used the last of my better butter on them. My to-do list for this weekend is starting to get out of control! I've been hitting the freezer stockpiles pretty hard and I'm running out of lots of stuff. I never did cook for our friend. We wanted to honor his wishes and let him take care of business and grieving at his own pace. We've found out that he wanted to keep his wife's death a secret but word got out against his wishes so we're not sure what's up with that. It is very likely that pills or pills/alcohol combo were to blame but now there seems to be a question of whether it was intentional or accidental. So sad no matter how or why.

I'm looking at a crazy day at work so it's time to fly. Happy weekend to you, too, with lots of movement (AKA weeding)! :D

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I'll definitely be on the look out for the McBride/Meyer project, and am glad to know about it. Sounds awesome. Too bad your taco fillings were so disappointing...I too love lamb...and I must know, what's in gyro meat that is so terrible? I'm guessing it's NOT the garlic, oregano, etc....but some additive in American gyros? I used to make an oven version of gyros a lot with lamb and beef that I'll have to look up again soon. I learned how to salt the meat, and then let it chill immediately before putting through the cuis, and that really did the trick, getting the juices to stay intact. YUM. I pressed it into a shallow loaf, and when it came out, thinly sliced it and roasted the pieces again until they were crispy around the edges. Not the same as a vertical rotisserie of course, but a close second for a plain kitchen!

We're home at a decent hour for a Saturday, so I'm going to assemble my composter and hopefully the new CD tower far, I'm liking my morning exercise routine of a brisk hike, then weeding and gardening. Still have to get the stretching in, but I enjoy being outside so much it's hard to stop, then I'm racing the clock. A good problem to have.

WIll have to cook tonight because all the leftovers are gone!

I'm so, so sorry about your friend. Death by suicide, if that is what it was, makes it even harder, as if that was possible :( 

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I did a little better with my cook-up this weekend. I have a pot of ropa vieja ready to go so I just have to put the whole pot in the oven for a couple of hours until the meat is shred-able plus I have a chuck roast that I'm going to sous-vide and that'll make several easy meals. I've restocked our dwindling produce and made another batch of better butter, too. I also made another batch of lotion and it is definitely the jojoba oil that I'm not liking the scent of. I decreased it and added some extra fractionated coconut oil and it's better. Jojoba oil is supposed to be so good for your skin that I really wanted to use it but I'll be so glad when it's gone! I might try a different brand to see if they all smell so strongly.  I'm working on the oil cleansing process with my husband. I massaged some of the fractionated coconut oil into his skin and after he wiped it off with a hot cloth, he said it felt good. I think he's mostly liking the head and face massage but that's OK!

I found a little piece of corned beef that was hiding in a vacuum bag in the freezer so we even got to have corned beef and cabbage (and kraut for me) yesterday! Bonus- leftovers for lunch today and tomorrow. It's cool outside but the sky is BLUE!!! We're hoping the ground might dry out enough this week for us to go up our hill and start working on our trail. It's gotten overgrown and there are a couple of short but steep spots that need a little stair built in. 

How's the composter? 

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Your cooking sounds yummy. The lotion, too...I'm about to experiment with putting some store bought aloe vera gel into my next batch of shea/fractionated coconut oil to see what happens. Next season I should have garden fresh aloe to work with. Congrats on getting your hubbie to open up to the oils! Nothing like a warm wash cloth - so comforting, and the massage, nothing beats that!

I've never seen store-bought gyro meat...and I know this sounds naive, but when I get gyros from a street vendor or a little Greek joint for example, do you suppose that is homemade or a toxic batch such as you listed above? It never occurred to me to ask if it was homemade, I just *ass*ume it is. Just thinking about gyros makes me crave that flavor profile and texture, along with crunchy chopped romaine, and the tahini sauce. There's a place up in Redwood cou

Isn't it amazing to see the blue sky after so much rain and weather? We're enjoying that, too...paradise for these days of shoulder season before the heat (and then again after the heat next fall). If it were like this all the time the population would explode here. Alas, the harsh seasons are not for everyone. For now, it is paradise, and it's a super bloom year too with the wild flowers going crazy.

It was such a relief to finally get the composter up! In one day I've attracted fruit flies already, so I need to add more brown material, and I'm reading that if that doesn't work, to pour hot water in there, and across the surface of the bin to kill the flies and eggs. Has this happened to you? I'm not surprised really, as I had two big well-contained buckets filled with very fragrant produce scraps...I layered it pretty well, I thought, with dried leaves, sticks, and plant material, and even cotton scraps from old pants, so...learning curve here.

Looks like I'll be hosting a lunch meeting of 8-9 next week  here at home - I'm looking forward to it, and also feeling, and resisting some self-imposed pressure to get the place as perfect as possible. But these are friends and fellow volunteers, and will understand that not all the art is up yet, and from some angles it still very much looks like people getting settled into a new place.

Argh, so much to DO! This place is teaching me patience. The plumber is here for a few new lovely issues (the plumbing from the washer seems to be leaking somewhere and I've found moisture in the crawl space, among other things) ... so I'm growing into this gigantic responsibility...and will take some time to make the eggroll bowls when he's gone! Slowly but surely, hubs is preferring and asking for the W30 cooking. Now if I can stop eating the non-compliant add-on things like saltines and chips.

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Oh, the joys of home ownership! I read an article this morning that said that the average homeowner spends about $7K/yr on improvement/repairs. We've had leaks on three different occasions and in three different places that required major repairs- one bad enough to involve the insurance company and one that should have but since it was outside where the water line attaches to the house they wouldn't cover it. Whenever we have to make a repair, we try to make it an upgrade, get it done right and hope we never have to do it again. I think it just makes us feel better to think about it like that!

I haven't tried it but, from what I've read, you'll have problems adding the aloe to the oil unless you use an emulsifying wax- it's that whole "oil & water don't mix" thing. I got this one:

Lots of times you can see the gyro cones in the kitchens and if it just looks like a uniform mass of meat, you can bet it's probably got a bunch of yuck in it. I've seen one place that made their own chicken shwarma cone and you could see the actual pieces of chicken skewered and layered on the giant skewer but I've only seen pics of it done with lamb or beef. When my Mom had her restaurant, we had the mass-produced gyro cones and the amount of fat that collects at the bottom is unbelievable!

Your weather and flowers sound so wonderful. We've been below freezing every morning for a while but it's been pretty and getting up around 60 in the afternoon. Anything beats grey sky and rain, though, so I shouldn't complain but I'm ready for some warmer weather.  We get inundated with fruit flies in the house every year no matter how careful we are because of the garden but I've never had a problem in the compost bin. I know they're out there because sometimes they hatch in my pail that I keep inside- yuck- they gross me out. 

Your lunch sounds like fun and your first chance to show off the new house, right? I think everyone understands how long it takes to get settled so resisting the pressure for perfection is a reasonable thing to do (but I totally understand the urge). Have you decided on a menu yet? I vote for balls! :D Congrats to you for getting your hubbie leaning towards W30! I think a big part of my husband's skin issues is his diet and it's probably the wheat that's doing it. Or corn. Or dairy. Or or or...

Speaking of non-compliant eating, I went to the cafeteria and got a chocolate chip cookie this morning. I ate the whole giant thing and it wasn't even very good. My husband has some toll house cookie dough in the freezer and I would have been better off waiting until tonight and baking a couple of those. At least they would have tasted good and been a much smaller, more reasonable serving size. Very negative self-talk has ensued! :angry: 

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I'm so intrigued by your family's cooking/restaurant legacy. It reminds me of Mel J, with all that culinary expertise in the blood!

Warning, more home owner moans to follow. Well, the plumber can't find the source of the water under the house, so will come back with (family business) reinforcements...meanwhile I attacked the garden, and noticed mosquitoes hovering -- already?! -- above and around the pool pool. What is a pool pool? Well, we inherited an above ground pool, which is tarped, and so the rain created a pool on top of the pool. JUST what I need right now. The temperature spiked up to 80 in recent days, and will now zig zag up and down until the hot season...suddenly the time is NOW to get rid of that water and the mosquito larvae. A bumper crop of mosquitoes would really make me mad!

The surface of the pool pool is about 48 sq ft and several feet deep, so I pretty much wore myself out with the bucket, and made a huge mess as I figured out how futile my efforts were considering it's about to rain again in the next few days. So I looked into bleach and vinegar, ruling them both out. in the end I opted for a couple of tablespoons of olive oil which should suffocate everything underneath that oil slick, and I added cinnamon leaf EO on principle. Then I got a hot tip about mosquito dunkers, which are pretty safe, so now there is larvicide in the water, too. That should do it, if I caught it in time!! :blink: Meanwhile it all made me so cranky, so I am in the process of attitude adjustment...By the time I got home with the dunkers I was starving so I'm living large with a giant smoothie - almond milk, raw eggs, frozen blueberries, heaps of greens, and a big dollop of almond butter. This will tide me over until I can cook later.

As I was weeding, aware of my overwhelm, it came to me that - drum roll - I can't do it all by myself! Sound familiar? So, back to your point about the money homeowners spend on repairs, etc...I need me a Bob Smeck. My mom had a gardener friend who would always come over and help her in the garden, and over the years he became like a member of our family. Yep, I need help...and I've changed my mind about the early weed whacking...I was going to wait until the blooming wildness peaked so as not to cut off any pollinating...but there are some thick weed areas on our property that are NOT blooming, including poison oak! so I'm calling in reinforcements of my own. That should cheer me up, and before this lunch meeting, too...I want so much to have time for more fun things like learning to prune the roses (2 bushes, and I don't even know what kind they are) and designing/planting the beds I've been weeding, rather than weeding until I drop dead.

As for your cafeteria cookie, I've been doing things like that, too. Was there a trigger? Were you hungry? Feeling something unpleasant? Bad mood of some kind? Re-living anything? My brother is reading a book right now that I want to read too, called The Body Keeps the Score. I read a review of it in Brainpickings (there she is again!) and something in there made me think I should read it. I got an old familiar hit about going into the center of something painful in order to unravel it, or otherwise put light on it. I keep getting the idea of sabotage, which I know IS what I'm doing....and meanwhile, as I might have mentioned a few days ago, thinking about another W30 in April to keep me on my toes.

You've done so much research on lotion, and I'm so impressed. Are the pastilles you linked above better than bees wax? I'm guessing it serves the same purpose, but I know you had a smart reason. Thanks for sharing the information!

Maybe a hot shower will cheer me up.

The lunch menu is not W30 but a favorite of mine - a pesto pasta with haricot vert, sundried tomatoes, kalamatas, chicken, pignolas, with a green salad, tabouli, and humus and pita. Writing to you, I realize I could make zoodles for a W30 version for those who want it (me!)...



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Oh my gosh, your pool pool! Will you be able to eventually turn it into just a pool? Nothing like mosquitoes to ruin a perfectly beautiful day. We use a product called Mosquito Barrier. We were introduced to it by an organic horticulturalist camping neighbor at a music festival and it's great stuff. It's a concentrated garlic spray so no chemicals and it isn't harmful to bees, butterflies or birds. You apply it differently depending on whether you're spraying it or using it on a pool pool. It smells pretty intensely of garlic at first but the smell fades away pretty quickly. We've turned a bunch of people on to it and spraying it on our camp site is the first order of business when we're setting up. It gets rid of gnats and ticks don't like it either. We've been using it for a few years and have way fewer ticks than we used to. I hate ticks even more than mosquitoes and I'm allergic to them to boot- nasty little blood suckers!

We don't have poison oak but we have a sh!t-ton of poison ivy! Privet is a major invasive, non-native species here and we are forever battling it. My husband started wrapping chain around it, tying it off to the trailer hitch on his truck and ripping it out. They range from shrubs to tree-sized plants and it's almost impossible to get rid of them because they put out runners. Just think of all of the movement you got in yesterday! Between bailing and weeding I'm thinking you got a pretty good work-out. Good for you for adjusting your attitude with a smoothie and a hot shower instead of cookies and candy! I don't know what drove me to cookie-land but my body was NOT happy about it. I felt bloated all afternoon and felt like I could smell it on my hands all day; I think I was channeling Lady Macbeth! There's some work drama going on involving a friend/coworker and academic malfeasance- not pretty but I don't know if I can blame the cookie on him. Sabotage comes to mind. I'm going to my oldest nephew's high school graduation in May and, of course, would love to slim down/firm up a bit beforehand and I'm totally doing the opposite.

The beeswax and the emulsifying wax behave differently. The beeswax doesn't have the emulsification capabilities and just acts as a solidifying agent so it's good for stick deodorant, lip balm and this awesome anti-itch balm that I love. The emulsifying wax behaves like the egg yolk and mustard in mayo to make the oil+water as one.

Your menu sounds summery and sunny. Heck, yeah, add some zoodles in there! I love tabouli and make it with soaked and ground cashews instead of bulgar. I don't think anyone would notice the substitution if you didn't tell them. We made a delicious one pot wonder for dinner last night! Ground beef, onions, red bells, haricot vert, cauli, cherry tomatoes, a big blob of garlic and Mediterranean herb blend. We put so many vegetables in it that we had to shift it all to a bigger skillet plus there are leftovers-yaaay! 

Oh! Compost thoughts from my husband: your composter is so new that it's not working yet and you don't have all of the good microbes and earthworms in there doing their thing. You can add a few things to kickstart it: a few shovelsful of dirt and moisten it if you haven't had much rain. If you have a source of local good compost, adding some of that or pouring in some good compost tea will help, too. 

Happy worm moon and spring equinox to you!



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And happy worm moon and spring equinox to you, too!

You are a treasure - thank you (and your husband!) for the guidance and good cheer. I'm feeling recovered from that brain fry -  a lot better today. 

At the moment we are experiencing heavy rains, and the river is rising. The snow must be melting. It's nice to be on high ground! (I don't get the appeal of riverfront life at ALL!) As for the pool pool, it's rising, too, but I'm not as worried now. That Mosquito Barrier sounds awesome - I will get some. I hate ticks, too! I have to ask: what are the allergic reactions you get? I'm not allergic, but 2 years ago I had a too close for comfort-close call with Lyme disease after a bite. I hope to never have to repeat such strong antibiotics again. Ever! Oh, you asked about the pool...the real estate listing mentioned the appeal of the pool on hot days, but later we were told it is not usable. I had planned to investigate after the rainy season, and see if it just needed a new liner. Meanwhile, between the two of us, I would enjoy the pool, my husband not at all. So, he would rather rip it out and be done with it. I'm not so sure, I believe in knowing what all the options are before making any decisions. It's my understanding that if it is workable, I could keep it clean and manage the pool chemicals myself. He thinks we'd need a pool boy. I kind of like the idea of a pool boy. Just kidding! :P On the other hand, I do have a claw foot tub for a cool soak when it's hot, and if we ripped the pool out it would open up a huge space in what is the only flat lawn area on our property which is otherwise rocky and sloping. More will be revealed!

Your battle with privet sounds daunting and exhausting-a true battle. WOW. I don't know yet what my approach will be with the poison oak, but every time I look at it I see more. OMG. I have my husband's agreement that I can't do it alone, and I am looking for someone to help me. I'm on friendly terms with a local horticulturist, and and she has referrals for me but there is a language barrier. Looks like I'll have to brush up on my Spanish, and that is not a bad thing at all.

Maybe this is a symptom of denial, but today I thought about recent transgressions and said, "oh, BFD already"... I have to believe that in the long run, these ride-my-own-bike adventures, even the misadventures, are just part of a gradual ascent to overall improved health. I just have to get back on plan, and not throw in the towel. I'm takin' the long view. So, today was better...I did have an Rx bar and I know I have to watch out for those, but even so, I've come a long way from what the old transgressions used to look like. I also remembered your quoting, I think, MH, not to let perfect get in the way of good -- is that how it goes? 

You have your oldest nephew's hs graduation in May, and I have a trip to Ohio to visit hubs' family in can we buddy system our way to personal best?

That one-pot wonder sounds Dee-lish. What herbs did you use with the garlic? I STILL haven't made my eggroll bowls! Argh. I'll have to set my alarm early because it will be a long couple of days and I don't want to eat out after work.

Thanks again for the tips with the compost and the lotion!

I'm excited because I just got some books that I ordered online (Thriftbooks! Love!) for my niece and nephew (5 and 7)...the Catwings series by Ursula K. Le Guin, and I'm going to read them myself for a little treat. That will be fun. I need to have some fun. Today my fun was getting a car wash after my errands. Is that sad? I say yes and no, it did cheer me up, and then again, I could do better in the way of fun and recreation. The party will be fun. Cashews in place of bulghur is genius!

Ok, what's the plan, Sam?

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BTW, I think a clean car is a FUN car! My hubbie cleaned all of our vehicles (my SUV, a collector car that we rarely drive to keep the mileage down, his truck and motorcycle- way too many vehicles for two people!) over the last two weekends and it makes me happy when I see it in the parking lot all shiny and clean. My god brother's favorite thing to do is wash and wax his car. He says it's meditative and he can just Zen out with it. I don't go that far but, to each his own and I don't think that's sad at all! Yay for a clean car!

I haven't heard of Thriftbooks- yeah! Thanks. I still need to get the last two Earthsea books so if I can't find them here I'll probably order them from there. 

I think more like you do when it comes to the pool. Since it's already there, I'd want to give it a whirl- especially if it could be done at a reasonable price. You can always decide later that the upkeep is too much and dismantle it. We have a friend with a small above ground pool that he uses all the time kind of like a soaking tub in his back yard. You'll be a lady of leisure with a pool boy and a garden boy! When we first moved in we had some hardscaping done and all of the masons were Mexican. It was amazing to watch them handle the rocks; they built a stacked rock wall and it was fascinating but, at one point I had to get my Mom on the phone to help with some translating to make sure my limited spanish was correct. I can understand way more than I can speak and I was afraid that my instructions for how I wanted a table built were beyond my abilities- and they were.

It's been a long time since I've had to do any serious antibiotics and I'm very grateful for that! Ticks make a big, crazy-itchy welt on me that blisters, takes forever to heal (weeks) and leaves a scar. They make me itch just crawling on me so a lot of times I can get rid of them before they latch on. Chiggers do the same thing but I can't feel them crawling on me because they're too tiny. Nasty little things!

We did NOT get any rain last night- yippeeee! I think we'll be able to get the tractor in the garden this weekend- oh yeah, one more vehicle but she's a working vehicle and she's awesome- a 1949 Farmall cub. I want to work on the trail going up the hill so our walks will be on soil and not pavement. So, that's part of my plan! I like 

13 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

a gradual ascent to overall improved health

That's a great way to think about it because that's really what the program is all about, right? Not perfection! I think we're both doing a "good" job and with awareness comes responsibility, also right? We are both aware that we're sabotaging ourselves so now we need to take responsibility for stopping it.  I've been trying to add in little things that will, hopefully, add up to big change. In the mornings I've added to my foot massage and lotion routine. I roll an acupressure ball around for a little while and do a couple of the foot/ankle stretches from Katy Bowman while I drink my coffee. I'm doing a little more hanging and squatting plus trying to keep moving more. It's a small start but I keep hoping that if I can keep some momentum going with little things, I'll be less likely to backtrack. (So I just did some squats and stretched my shoulders.) My meals have been good and I like that I'm incorporating fermented things on a more regular basis- another small change. I've kept the collagen peptides going even though I rarely get two scoops a day. Feeling pretty yucky after that cookie helps discourage any more of THAT nonsense. Definitely not worth it! I have several things cooked and in the fridge and I don't need to go to the farmer's market Saturday so I want to take some of that freed-up time to move more. The big point is that I need to stop "trying" and do more "doing".

We've come a long way, baby! Really! 

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I looked up your tractor, and that is a sweet looking machine! Is she red like the photos I saw? Sweet! With all the dramatic weather, you must be itching to get into your garden....and it is that time, isn't it? Does the tractor have a name? Enjoy your garden time!

8 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

if I can keep some momentum going with little things, I'll be less likely to backtrack.

That sounds right on to me! Little things every day are better than waiting until there's an hour once or twice a week, right?

Do you subscribe to Mel J's e-newsletters? If so, you may already have seen this, but I read it today and it reminded me of my life since house-hunting and the foreseeable future of craziness, and our conversations here re ups and downs:

I do this thing, and I'm curious: Do you do it, too?

At times like now, when my routine is disrupted—we just returned from 5 days in Stockholm and one of our favorite people is visiting us in Prague and we're working on a new project that's consuming all available brain space and time—I think to myself, "I can't wait until things get back to normal."

And then I have to remind myself: This is normal. Because this is life.

I find it comforting sometimes to convince myself that 'life' is my regular routine, but truly, life is all of it. The healthy food and good sleep. The staying up too late. Visiting with old friends and neighbors around the corner. Spending days at the computer and tromping around unfamiliar cities. And if I wish for any of it to get on with itself, I diminish all of it.

So here's to messy life and plenty of disruptions that remind us that routine is good—and not-routine is good.

She's not talking about on plan and off roading, etc...but I would add that, and take it in stride, in the same spirit. I love what you said about awareness and responsibility. Yes! This morning I cooked so I would have decent meals today, and I'll do the same thing tomorrow! The sabotage seems a silly game of dare I play with myself, and I'm framing it for myself as something to grow out of. I'm back to putting raw and cooked veg on my salads, and that makes me so happy!e

I think you'll love! In fact, I'm sleepy now and thinking that taking a book to bed arly will do me good. Thanks for the awesome pep talk - I feel better at the end of the week than I did at the beginning - you rock. Happy Friday!

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Are you a Young Frankenstein fan? Her name is Abby. When we first got her, my husband was trying to work on her to transition her from parades to garden and took her to a guy that specializes in Cubs as a retirement hobby/small business. He said that she was a Franken-Cub because she had parts from different years and eras so, of course, we had to name her Abby Normal! Abby is so cool!

I do get MJ's newsletters and I read that one two or three times, fully intending to share it with you! My post was getting wordy so I decided to save it for later. My favorite part is 

10 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

if I wish for any of it to get on with itself, I diminish all of it.

I'm feeling better at the end of the week as well and I've been thinking about the sabotage thing. I have a history of closet eating; if no one sees, it doesn't count, right? That awful cookie I ate was a step back into that destructive behavior but our conversation about it woke me up to the reality of what I was doing. Like you said, "a silly game of dare I play with myself" and now I can recognize it for what it was. Knowledge is power and I have the power within me to treat myself better than that. I've had good meals all week and that does make me happy. I've added in more moving and stretching so I feel looser and stronger (even if it is just in my head) and that motivates me to do more. I even slept well last night!

Your comment about little things every day reminds me of Katie Bowman's discussion about hitting the gym for an hour. You're still sedentary the remaining 23 hours of the day then add on the fact that most activities performed in a traditional gym are of a repetitive nature anyway. It's been a couple of years since I've been to the top of our hill but it's fairly wide and flat so I have this crazy idea that I'm going to be able to have a space up there to really move, crawl, jump, whatever. I'm going up there tomorrow! For now, though, I'm going to get some squats in while my centrifuge spins! :D

Have a marvelous, movement-filled, delicious-food-filled weekend!

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About the Mel J newsletter ... we are SO funny! I love it. The idea (your favorite excerpt from it) dovetails nicely with what I'm reading in Toko-pa's book, too, about madly loving your life, messy as it is, messy and imperfect as we are, but to madly love it ALL. That's a paraphrase. I'm taking it to heart. When I was verging on despondence in the last week, I held this idea in mind, from experience, that all I need is a few good days to get some momentum and a feeling or renewal. So here we go, I had a good couple of days, not perfect, but solid, and I feel good. If you have been moving and stretching more, and feeling stronger and looser, I am quite sure it is not in your head at all. I will always marvel at how responsive the body is - as we have noted before, but it never gets old - to the energy we put into it. It's very spring in spirit to move and stretch, isn't it? In TCM the spring season is associated with the joints. Moving our bodies, also making decisions, plans, and executing them -forward we go.

Do you enjoy spinal twisting motions? That seems so spring like, too, such as the way trees and plants grow up in a twisting motion. I love to twist my spine.

Today I made the eggroll bowls, and was very productive inside and outside of the house. I did a lot of sweeping and organizing, so it was a very physically active day. I'm grateful for your bringing Katy Bowman and Mov Nat to my awareness. I follow both on IG now, and they, and you, are a great influence on me. I'm intrigued by your "top of the hill" sounds from an earlier post like you are covering up pavement to make it earthen again, is that right? I like the way all of this sounds! I'm looking around our hilly property, too, with a mind for how I can utilize it for some conscious, fun movement. 

Ooh, you have a centrifuge to play with! I'll bet it's more work than play, still, it sounds fun, especially if you can take squat breaks at the same time. = )

Happy new week!

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I follow MovNat, naturalmovement  & KB on Insta, too. I also started following Erwan LeCorre and his wife Jessika who posts under "feathereaglesky", the names of their 3 kids. Interesting! Oh and Danny, one of the instructors, too (natural.mover). I love spine twisting; it feels so good. I feel like I'm wringing myself out. KB has a very gentle one that you do on hands and knees and lift your knee and the opposite shoulder. It's a small movement but it still feels good.

The trail we're working on is so we can avoid pavement. It runs up the hill behind our house and goes up to a ridge (we're in a hollow). We worked on it for a couple of hours on Saturday and had so much fun! We brought a machete and a big rake with us, cleared it out all the way to the top then walked along the ridge for a little bit. There are definitely some nice flattish spots that I'll be able to use to get on the ground and move. Some of it is pretty steep so my feet and ankles got a really good workout. I went from the house down to the bottom of our hill then up the driveway and from there joined my husband and worked our way up the trail. By the time we finished I had done a little over two miles and most of it was working miles and not just walking miles. When we sat down to rest I stretched and twisted. It was a good movement day!

Yesterday was a good movement day but in a different way and it sounds much like your day. Lots of productive work mostly inside. I should have kept a little counter with me to count the number of times I went up and down the stairs in the house! I did crustless quiches for my breakfasts this week, got a couple of lunches put together, scrubbed the stove, both refrigerators, both bathrooms and did a ton of laundry. I had a good six hours of moving, stretching and carrying so I felt like I accomplished a lot and gave my week a good kick start. 

Then this morning the battery was dead in my car :( It could have been worse; at least I was at home and I still made it to work on time-barely!

Forward we go!

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Glad you were able to get to work without delay. Had you been noticing your car starting differently? I always swear I'm going to listen for that, but then years go by between battery issues, and I always forget. For all of my awareness (in some areas!) I do not seem to have an ear for things like that.

I'm a total night owl the last couple of's been so much fun to get ready for this gathering tomorrow, inspiring me to nest in to the house to a new level. Another productive day today, and tomorrow all I have to do is some small stuff, and then the cooking, which I could do with me eyes closed.A friend will come and co-host with me 90 minutes before others arrive, so that should be fun, too.  I've had a dopey smile on my face most of the day = ) I can see light at the end of the tunnel with the house, and the outdoor areas....Hubs drained the pool pool and I have a yard guy coming to help me next week on Monday. A burden lifted. I don't have to do it alone!

Your Saturday sounds wonderful, all that trail blazing and hiking! You for a movement day! When I got home tonight, I hiked up our hillside a little ways to cut some wildflowers for nosegays for tomorrow. The house looks so pretty - this is doing me good, just the preparations.

How is your cat?


16 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

I feel like I'm wringing myself out.

That's the best feeling!

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My car was fine right up until it wasn't. I didn't drive it all weekend so from Friday evening till Monday morning the charge on the battery dropped to 9% and that was that!

Ahhh, that cat! She's not staying W30 compliant! I think she dined out on the hill yesterday so she had some severe gastric distress yesterday evening. She hasn't gained any more weight and is always voraciously hungry. Keeping her in emu is becoming quite the time-consuming job but I'm hoping I can get into a routine with it. I had a hard time coordinating delivery of my last order so I grabbed a pack of ground bison and a pack of ground lamb from the grocery to tide me over. I started with the bison and they ate it one time very reluctantly then refused and then bad gut stuff ensued. It didn't occur to me until it was too late that bison and cattle are closely enough related that they can interbreed so it makes sense that if she can't tolerate beef, then she can't tolerate bison. She snapped back pretty quickly, though, as soon as I got her emu stocked back up. Now I have a lb of ground lamb for myself for a treat; I'm thinking gyros after our conversation about it last week. I'll pay $9/lb for meat for my cat but not for me so this really is a nice treat! My next treat is a couple of duck breasts. The farmer that raises the emus also raises ducks and he's having a sale right now. I've never cooked duck breast so it'll be a treat and an adventure.

I keep forgetting, here's the recipe for the Mediterranean Seasoning that I use:

3/4 cup dried basil

1/4 cup dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried sage

2 tablespoons fennel seeds

 I like that the salt, pepper and garlic are left out so I can add as much or little as I want depending on what I'm doing. I have a different one that is more Italian with basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme but this one is nice and has just enough fennel that you get that little pop of flavor in it.

Home sweet home! It sounds like everything's falling into place and settling down. Have fun with your luncheon today! 

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Ooh, you're going to find the duck zone on your stove top! Can't wait to hear how that goes. Really interesting about the cats and the bison. Making fast recovery is a very encouraging, life affirming thing, isn't it? As for the lamb, I am both glad that you are going to treat yourself, and doubly glad to read about homemade gyros. Yummm. Did you make it yet? What else are you cooking lately? Was it a good movement weekend?

Thanks for the run down on the seasoning, I will experiment with that. Such joy with herbs.

One of my friends who came to the gathering yesterday has a small organic farm, and she delighted me with an herbal wreath, which I have sitting in wateron a plate with a jar of flowers from her garden at the, fresh herbs, it inspires me to start growing some. I have SO much to learn, and so much to do. The day was wonderful, and has left me with a feeling of home. I feel like I live here now. And in that mix, feel ready, also, to renew my commitment to the way I am today is a new day, and I am out for a walk. When I come home I will stretch and spend some time on the floor. I have a spot. This has been tough - I haven't had a sense of where my spot is - but I have finally made a decision and carved out a space in our bedroom. Well, the space has been there, but I hadn't really committed to it. So yes, everything is falling into place, big relieved sigh!

I'm psyching for W30 with only added sugars for the foreseeable future, and movement every day, even if it's 10 minutes of survival yoga.


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Nothing like having friend over to bless your new home! 

The weather has been nice but cool here; 29 this morning but tomorrow it's supposed to be a little over 70 in the afternoon so we're going to fire up the smoker and put a rack of ribs on for dinner. Last night we grilled a couple of pork chops and put peppers, onion and brussels sprouts in a pan on the grill and it all came out SO good! I haven't made my gyro meat yet and may not get to it until this weekend. I have a work-related lecture to go to this afternoon and a dentist appointment tomorrow followed by hanging out on the deck in the sunshine while we smoke those ribs. This afternoon, I'm going for a little hike up the hill like I should have done yesterday and my husband is going to get some chicken breasts started in the sous vide because I'll be home a little later than usual. 

2 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

W30 with only added sugars

??? What are you going to do? 

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