New kid on the Zion block..

So hey yo, I will be over at Modern Molly Mormons blogging a weekly feature entitled

Run and Not Be Weary. Health for Your Whole Self.

The idea is to discuss all sorts of wellness related topics be they for the mind, body, soul or all three. It's something I am passionate about and intrigued by, so I think it is going to be a lot of fun.

My introduction went up today (although I failed to mention in my introduction why I was introducing myself...hmmmm....).

I will of course continue to post the minutia of my life here for your reading pleasure.

I'm not a confident cook and I often claim to hate cooking but this is not true. I discover this every time I am forced to extend myself in any way in the culinary arena. We have a Gourmet Dinner group as one of our Enrichment groups and I find that I really enjoy the process of making something new and interesting. It occurred to me that I may perhaps become a more keen cook if I were more inspired. I tend to look for recipes with 5 ingredients or less a lot of the time, but constructing a meal this way just feels like drudgery to me, it's really boring. When the recipe is slightly more complex or I'm trying out something completely new, it becomes creative. I have always been fascinated but intimidated by beautiful food and the process of creating it. But life's too short for that (the intimidation part, that is), so I'm over it.

I thought I would keep some momentum for my new culinary quest by posting about it weekly. Maybe a share a successful recipe or the details of a spectacular failure. You're encouraged to chime in with your own. If there's any interest I might add a Mr. Linky so we can check out your culinary delights on your own blog. Anyway..let's see how it goes.

For this my first foodie installment, I actually have 2 recipes and a product endorsement (I like to start with a bang).

First recipe is from the aforementioned Gourmet Dinner Group.Our last gathering was Thai themed, and I chose to make the curry. (I'm a huge curry fan). I had never made Thai food and had limited experience with eating it, but I was pleasantly surprised with this recipe. The one thing I will definitely do differently next time is greatly reduce the amount of fish oil called for, I was not a fan of it and it came dangerously close to spoiling the recipe for me.

Thai Pineapple Chicken Curry

(Click on the photo for the recipe).

I found the reviews helpful and took a few of the suggestions,including that of using only one can of coconut milk and not cooking the veges for too long.

Earlier this week my friend Lisa shared a recipe for Crockpot Indian Chicken. It is from the site of that groovy woman who has committed to cooking in her crockpot every day for a year. Sadly, I could not find the garam masala in time, so I used a nice curry blend we had on hand. You can make your own Garam Masala if you are so inclined but unless you have all these spices on hand it would be more economical just to buy it-if you can find it. (Here is the recipe for Garam Masala)

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3/4 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds; (without pods)
1 stick cinnamon -- broken

Since Garam Masala is not curry powder, I am sure mine turned out significantly different in taste, but it was still delicious and could not have been easier. My kids loved it (the picky one who technically should not still be alive even tolerated it). We had it over brown rice but Aaron suggested we try it with jasmine rice next time

So there you have it, a taste of Thailand, a taste of India. Both easy peasy and delicious. Who said this cooking thing was hard?

And now for the product endorsement. I have had a very busy week and have found myself on at least two occasions running to TA assignment having not eaten since breakfast. Both times my new on -the- run -lunch- of- champions got me through the grueling afternoon. How do full-time teachers do it? (I think the fact that they are not taken advantage of by their students the way we are, might help)

The OTRLOC consists of

I have to admit peeps, I did not have high hopes when I saw this bar, but I was starving, out of time and looking for something reasonably healthy. My beloved Balance bars are coated in chocolate, and I'm trying to avoid that. What sealed the deal was that these were on sale. I grabbed two.

Both flavours I have tried (apricot goji and coconut acai) are quite delicious and surprisingly substantial, like I said, one bar held me all afternoon and gave me the energy I needed to be sufficiently scary and mean to 6th graders, and patient and kind to kindergartners.

I washed them down with Snapple antioxidant water. I am totally skeptical of any "enhanced" water but I have to say I was really dehydrated and getting a big headache and just half a bottle did the trick for me, where straight water usually doesn't by the time I am at that stage. I am not actually endorsing this product (since I remain skeptical of "enhanced" water) but I have to say that I enjoyed the orange-starfruit flavour, the strawberry-acai was not my fav (it tasted kind of "off" to me) and both helped me to feel better during my mid-day energy crisis.

Bon Appetit!

I pity the poor fool.....

Pop Quiz time Folks!

Who do we pity the most here?

a)The Bride (for obvious reasons)
b)The Best Man (for obvious reasons)
c)The Groom for the fact that he did not jump in, and will probably pay for that, for the rest of his life.
d)The Priest. (Did he put the Bible down first?)


null - Watch more free videos

PS: I just re-watched this with Finny. Oh dear, I hope the Bible was not an heirloom.
Finny's reaction: "ssshhhhh....Ohhhhhhhh...Baaaaaaaad" with an "oh no, she's gonna blow!" fearful expression on his face, the one worn by the male, or a fellow male is about to incur the wrath of a woman.

PPS: In my re-watching Finny noted my merry chuckles and was horrified. "Mommy! Don't laugh!! That is so mean! Even though it is on the computer, that will hurt their feelings!" When I toned it down to a suppressed laugh behind a smile, he covered my mouth with his hand, presumably so that he would not have to witness such a flagrant lack of sensitivity from his own mother. Shameful.

Everything's so amazing and nobody is happy....

The embedding of this video is disabled for some reason, but if you can go to the absolutely huge hassle and effort of clicking on the link, I guarantee a sheepishly hilarious experience.

Oh, oh, oh so true.

Thanks, Stephy-Lou

We survived New Beginnings Evening....

The girls did very well. We did an adapted version of a program found at
We sang two lovely songs, listened to several narratives and each of the girls shared what they had committed to do to be "an example of the believers" this year. I often feel grateful that my kids will have this type of direction and purpose in their lives and friends to share it with. It is tough to be a teenager.

Along with being a light as an example to others, I spoke about being a keeper of the light within ourselves. Nurturing it, protecting it and feeding it, so that we can feel light (and lighter) and joy, and also, so that we can see and discern with light. It's really only then that we can exude light for others to see. It always comes back to what's inside of you doesn't it? You can't share what's not there.

The girls painted a lighthouse backdrop and we had a picnic on the beach theme. Chicken salad croissants, chips, punch, and a light-house cake made by my talented counselor Melissa.

Shockingly, I did not have time to take many photos. I am sad not to have a shot of the too- cute gift bags which I laboured over rather intensively. (To see them you would not understand why, but it is a long, convoluted tale of what one will go through to stay in budget.)

It was a lot lower key then last year, maybe not quite as pretty, definitely not as fancy, (I never posted photos of last year's extravaganza so here's a taste. By cultural hall standards it was pretty sweet,check out the cake Tiffany made)....

..but as I was still cleaning up an extremely sticky floor at 9:30pm last night, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for lower key. And for helpful counselors. (I have 2 of them! And 3 advisers now too! It is So Exciting).

I also felt a deep sense of gratitude that it is over.

The lighthouse picture with the 2009 theme above, is an adaptation of the invitation that I made for hand-outs. Feel free to lift it if you like.

Refreshingly different.....

I just read about this magazine on my friend Charis's blog.

"Eliza Magazine is created for women who want to be stylish, sexy, and engaged in the world while retaining high standards in dress, entertainment, and lifestyle. Eliza strives to bring you the best of fashion without any of the trash. We will not uncover the sexual secrets to make him want you, promote people who are glitz with no substance, or glorify lifestyles that we know do not bring happiness. We are dedicated to finding up-and-coming fashion lines, showcasing pieces that are worth the big price tags, and discover deals that are just as hip at your local low-end department stores−along with presenting articles on uplifting entertainment, current issues, creative ideas, and life in general."

I think it might be worth a subscription. Now if only we could find a fashion magazine featuring models who resemble people in real life. Attractive, healthy, well groomed, confident, but not necessarily size 2 and no air-brushing. Does one exist? Anyone want to start one of those magazines with me?

Do you think it would sell well? Or at the end of the day do you think the majority of people secretly do just want to see images of unattainable perfection? Novelty value? Eye candy?

Things that make you go hmmm.....

Surviving 'til Spring

This is the hardest time of Winter because the end is kinda, sorta in sight. It's like the last hour of a 12 hour trip. It feels longer then all the other hours combined. Pretty much everyone I know is done, done, done with Winter and ready for Spring. Sadly... Spring is not ready for them.

Over lo these many years of living in Ohio when my body was made to live in South Africa, I have gathered a collection of " homestretch to Spring" survival tips, and I now I share them with you my freezing friends, my chilly comrades, my brrring buddies..

1. Fresh Flowers

I resolved here that I would treat myself to a constant supply of fresh flowers, and I have been true to my word so far. They really have taken the edge off Winter. To see something fresh and living, not to mention beautiful and vibrant. has such a profound effect on my mood. Here are some tulips I have been enjoying this week. Cheapest therapy around.


I got a Bath and Body Works Optimism "scent-port" for my birthday. And it really does lift my mood every time I go into my bathroom. Even when I find wet towels on the floor and the seat up.

3. Buy yourself a little something pretty.

Are you sooo super sick of your jeans and over you long sleeved shirts and increasingly pilly sweaters? But putting off buying anything new because "spring is just around the corner" and you want to splurge then? Hey guess what! Winter will be back again next year! And you can enjoy what you buy now (on clearance) then as well as now. I know! Whoduthunk!? Buy something in a bright springy colour. Like a pink coat. Or some pretty little earrings. There is lot of Springy yet warm stuff out there look...ohhhh..prettttty..
Spring fling
Spring fling - by KirstyS on

Who says spring cleaning has to wait til Spring? Nothing feels more
Springy then purging some of the winter clutter, and creating a fresh unfettered space. Pick a small room (like a guest bathroom) to re-decorate. Paint it a fresh, light or bright new colour. It really does not take much time at all. What they say is true, a fresh coat of paint is the biggest bang for the buck ever. My easiest Winter was the one I spent painting and redecorating our house just after we bought it. I was thoroughly distracted and thrilled by the emergence of my home.

4. Focus on the Winter wonder

Yeah I know, WHATevah. The whole winter wonderland thing wore off for most of us by December 26th -latest. I know, I know. But it struck me the other day as I lowered myself into the nirvana of a hot bubble bath after a day of being chilled to the bone, that this is a luxury that just is not quite the same in the summer.

What else will I miss about the winter?
  • Laid-back Saturday mornings. No soccer, no sense of urgency to get up early to work in the garden or go for a run, or whatever.. not every Saturday morning is relaxed in the winter of course, but there are none of them in the Spring.
  • Good TV!
  • Hot chocolate (although I'm missing that already due to my new sugar policy...)
  • Soups and stews. Easy to make, yummy, and cozy
  • No swimsuits!

Of course as you know, my scientifically proven, fail-safe winter survival kit includes my magical and magnificent SAD light box and regular exercise.
If the other things make life nicer, these make life possible in the winter.

So go out there and embrace, or at least shake hands, with the home-stretch. Hang in there peeps! We'll stick this thing out with style.


It never fails..
I get super motivated, raring to go, ready to whip my house back into shape after an extended period of semi-chaos and grubbiness, I make my list, I check it twice, I can't wait to make everything nice..
And then I wake up sick.

Gah! It is so frustrating!
Actually I woke up sick on Saturday morning after a rough night, felt like death but decided to go to the gym since that often makes one feel better, it did almost right away! I worked out like fury for an hour, felt miraculously recovered, on the drive home realized that was a big mistake. Spent most of the rest of the day in bed, decided I would definitely be skipping church the next day to recoup. Had another dreadful night. Woke up with every intention to skip church. Except...for some reason I suddenly I did not feel sick enough to do that in good conscience. Figures. By the time I came to terms with that, it was 10 minutes til church started and I was in my PJ's. I tossed on some clothes and we got there a few minutes late. Sat down in the pew...

Started feeling awful. But of course. But hey, I was there so may as well see it through...

Got through church, came home. No rest for the wicked! Time to go visiting teaching! (So ironic, it's not like this is a common occurrence.) Wanting to die!

Get home, back to bed for most of the day ...yet another bad night. Wake up today, hoping, hoping, hoping that I would feel good. All sorts of big plans..spirit soooo willing... oh no....flesh so weak.

Find myself at 10am lying on couch dozing- in the sun (!) -while Finny cuddles up to me, watching Dumbo. It's not all bad.

I did eventually have to resurrect enough to be a taxi driver and go and do a massive, massive grocery shop. Why is it that when you really do not feel like shopping, you are out of everything? Plus I had to shop for a big church function. And it was then that I came to understand old people just a bit better. As I pushed my trolley around the shop I just wanted to get the job done and get out of there already. I'm sure I had a grim expression due to a burgeoning migraine, smiling at people was actually painful, I had no patience for those lolly-gagging in the cereal aisle, let's just keep this train moving people!

This is why so many old people are mean and cranky. I'm sure of it. They are in pain and tired. Pain really does make the simple niceties of life a supreme effort. I was reminded of two things today:

  • Get out of old people's way, and don't feel hurt or irritated when they do not return your polite smile. It's not personal.
  • Take care of your body as best as you can, while you can. Health is a precious gift which should not be taken for granted.

Actually it taught me three things,
  • People who handle pain with grace and patience are truly remarkable and they have my extreme admiration.

If you aren't feeling well in mind body or spirit, these are for you. I hope you will be feeling better soon.

(courtesy FTD)

Just so you know...

Isn't it funny that the absolute worst thing you can say to a woman with PMS is that she has PMS? Especially if you are of the male gender-(that's one for you boyz-no charge.)

When I saw this I had to laugh. I vividly remember doing that to a boy in high-school when I may have been a tad irritable, and he chanted "gimme a P! gimme an M! gimme an S!". Except since I have opposable thumbs, but am unable to roar with any great force, I grabbed his lapels and pinned him to the wall despite the fact that he was considerably heavier and taller then I. (PMS=Super human strength when angered), and told him in dangerously quiet tones to never ever say that to me again. He looked exactly like that there unfortunate lion. It is a pretty satisfying memory.

My magical Mary Poppins bag

My friend Aunt Lolo was inspecting the contents of her purse (or as we say in my language-hand-bag, since a purse is the little thing that holds money), the other day which prompted me to share the wonders of mine.

I usually carry a small and compact Kate Spade (knock-off) bag, which my sweet sister Shona bought for me as we emerged from the theater in New York City. The guy selling them was acting stressed and we naively asked if what he was doing was illegal. He laughed, "of course not". Umm...yeah. But we sinned in ignorance so there ya go. I think my sister paid about $60 for two of them, so I'm fairly certain it is not an original as the not engaged in criminal activity man claimed. But I have had Kate Spade oficianados say they could not tell the difference so there ya go again.

I love this bag because it goes with most of my wardrobe. It has a pink stripe in there, it has a red stripe so we're good to go. I like the structure, it stands up straight and ready to serve.

But the most marvelous thing about this bag is how much you can fit in it. It's pretty amazing. When I turned out my bag to report everything in it, even I was astounded. It really was like that scene in Mary Poppins when things just keep coming out of it

Let's take a peek inside, shall we?
Brace yourself now..

As I made an inventory I broke things it down into related groups:

1 small hairbrush
3 small bottles of perfume
2 lipsticks
emery board (not photographed)
package of blotting paper (not photographed)
Tube of hand-cream
Contact lens drops

Dental care:
1 box of floss
2 toothpicks
1 package of gum
1 mint
I tin of tiny mints in a tiny-mint tin my sister brought from Australia
1 coupon for mouthwash
2 dental reminder cards (for my kids)
There was a whole lot of dentist going on in there. I am obsessed with not having stuff stuck in my teeth which explains most of it.

Random paper things

1 invitation to a friend's trombone recital (which was amazing)
2 thank you cards to give to people when I see them.
1 receipt to submit for something I bought for church.
Coupons for toilet paper. Nice!
Pass-along card
My business card (with an outdated phone number! Excellent!)
And of course, a pen

Mom stuff:

1 horse for when Finny accompanied me to lunch with a friend (there were 3 matchbox cars and a sheep in there too which he re-claimed)

Money stuff
super cool license/credit card/coin holder thingie which Julie gave me, you can attach your keys too, for those occasions when you do not wish to carry your magical handbag
Dollars and change 'cos there's a money pouch in my magical handbag too! Wow! (I also discovered during this exercise that my license expired on my birthday). Awesome.

1 big set for church (with a big beaded key-chain in the shape of a K)
1 big set for my car and home (with a big beaded key chain in the shape of a goldfish) AND Leatherman.

Oh and don't forget the CELL PHONE (no photo of that but fits in there too, snug as a bug.

That be a lot of stuff peeps. But the bag wasn't bulging, it never feels heavy either. It is a marvelous bag indeed.

Sooo what it's in your bag?

AMAZING Giveaway! Lots of sleep and no more crying!

I go back and forth on this as hormones dictate, but right now I have to admit to being so delighted to be baby free. Don't get me wrong, I think yours are completely delicious, and I want to eat them. I just don't want one of my own anymore. Every day I am gaining in freedom and sanity, and enjoying the independence of my kids and the new things we can do together as a family at this stage.

But perhaps the main thing which makes me think I am over the baby stage for real, is remembering the sleep issues. They were profound in my house. I could never let my babies cry. Consequently I spent about 9 straight years being incredibly sleep deprived. I needed sleep, my husband needed sleep, my babies needed sleep and everyone around us needed us all to sleep because we were getting more crazy and weird every day. (I used to be quite normal). But I could not figure out how to get them to sleep without letting them cry, and I was just not wired to be able to tolerate the sound of my baby's wails. Oh how I wish I'd had access to these books during those very tired years.

By mentioning them here, I may have the opportunity to give one of my readers an autographed set of these books by bestselling author Elizabeth Pantley who wrote the famous "No-cry Sleep solution". If you win, your prize will include an autographed copy of all of the following books:

The No-Cry Nap Solution *NEW*

The No-Cry Sleep Solution

The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers & Preschoolers

The No-Cry Potty Training Solution

The No-Cry Discipline Solution

More about the No-Cry Nap solution:

Will your child only nap in your arms, in a swing, or after elaborate rituals? Does your child take cat naps -- or none at all? Let world-renowned, trusted parenting author Elizabeth Pantley help you. She’ll guide you with the same sensitive expertise and gentle approach used in her other No-Cry bestsellers about sleep, discipline and potty training.

Research proves that daily naps improve health, mood, growth, intelligence and well-being. Yet children often resist the naps they need and parents don’t know how to make them happen. The results are fussy, crying babies and cranky, grouchy kids who also have trouble sleeping at night!

In The No-Cry Nap Solution Pantley explains to parents of children ages newborn to kindergarten the importance of napping to both behavior during the day and sleeping during (and through!) the night. She then shares with you her gentle, loving child-friendly techniques--tested on families of all sizes and circumstances--and shows you how you can customize her solutions for your own family.

Pantley addresses issues such as children who resist naps, dealing with schedule changes, turning short naps into longer ones, helping a child go from needing motion for sleep to “stationery” sleep, nursing at naptime, daycare-related napping problems, newborn “in-arms” or “in-sling” napping issues, and much more.

The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems
Foreword by
Tim Seldin, President, The Montessori Foundation; Chair, International Montessori Council
Introduction by Meir H. Kryger, MD, Chairman of the National Sleep Foundat

If you want to qualify for this prize, leave a comment below this post before February 25th,2009. If I am chosen by Elizabeth(fxfx), I will then draw one of the comments here, and if that comment is yours, you will be the most fortunate beneficiary of this magnificent library of No -Cry books- sure to solve your every parenting dilemma. Wow!


There's a spot left for a free gift here. You have to be one of the first 3 to comment, and link on your blog. I'm a sucker for a surprise, and Kallie, just wanted you to know you have not been forgotten, I am working on it ;)

Steel Cut Oat Delight

I am surprised it took me as long as it did to try these because I love crunchy, heavy grainy things. I am also obsessed with oatmeal. So it makes sense that this is something I would adore, but my need for ease in all culinary matters overrode all other consideration. It took running out of my mushy quick oats to finally break into the package I had bought on sale. And now I am in love, let me count the ways:

Well then...

  • It feels like so much more of a substantial meal as there is chewing involved and it just is more filling and heavy for me. It takes longer to eat which is a very good thing for a scarfer like me.
  • I stay fuller longer. This may be my imagination, since my research suggests that they aren't really that nutritionally superior to rolled oats but maybe it is because it feels more substantial going down. I can't imagine that they would not have more fiber though.
  • It has the crunch of cold cereal with the warm comfort of oatmeal minus the sugar and other junk of cold cereal
  • With just a drop or two of honey, strawberries and blackberries or blueberries it is a magnificent breakfast. I like the berries to stay above board, I don't like them getting all mushed in with the milk and the steel cut oats holds them up there much better. (I realize this may be a bizarre quirk unique to me, but maybe I have a fellow weirdo out there)
  • And it really does not take that long or much effort to make. You just toss a 1/3 of a cup in with one cup of water, get it boiling and then let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Just enough time to unload the dishwasher, reload it, put on some laundry, make a cup of tea and get the berries ready... and then..yum. For those crock-pot lovers, you can have them ready to go in the morning if you think ahead the night before.
Try it, you'll like it. Your kids might too.


Along with the sugar thang I am purging clothing. Holy moly people! You would not believe the way the clothing mates in my boys' bedroom. It's quite obscene! The scene in there this morning was X-rated. I even took photos, although I'm fairly certain CPS would take my children away if they saw them, so I shall keep them to myself, for the sole purpose of inflicting guilt upon my offspring when the job is finally done." Look children! Look! Once AGAIN I took your room from THIS *flash photo of lavishly cluttered extravagantly wrecked room,* to THIS" *throw open arms to reveal magnificently organized and beautifully serene room* [cue angelic choirs]


Here's the thing peeps. We have too much stuff. We do, we do. Particularly when the average gerbil cage exceeds the space we have to put stuff. You think I kid? I do not.

I'm not fond of buying things, spending money causes me anxiety, I do not relate to retail therapy. I feel the need for therapy after I visit a retail establishment. I don't buy my kids toys unless it is their birthday or Christmas. They are not inappropriately spoiled by relatives. I only buy clothing for them when I feel that there is a glaring need. Or when I see a glaring knee. Through a hole in their pants. (Such holes occur more and more frequently as my boys grow and with them their penchant for throwing themselves around on their knees, it's really frustrating, all these impeccable new jeans trashed only at the knee, and no, I do not mend these holes, even if I was domestically inclined, that would be considered incredibly nerdy and not OK by my too-cool for school boyz in the hood. )

But still, all these things considered...STILL! We have way, way WaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAYYYYY too much. Mostly thanks to generous benefactors of hand me downs. This is the problem with the spending anxiety/limited discretionary income. When someone gives you something for free, you clutch it to your bosom and weep copious grateful tears of joy and gladness, even if that something is a slightly stained t-shirt from Puerto Vallarto. And before you know it, you are literally drowning in someone else's vacation t-shirts and team issued t-shirts, and huge numbers of jeans which will never in this lifetime fit your skinny child in his waist before they become too short. I thought I had mostly overcome my hoarding complex but it would appear not.

Let me tell you something else. No matter how brilliant and diligent you are at organizing stuff. (Which I'm not), but even if you are if you want your kids to keep something organized you simply cannot have too much stuff. Kids can only keep a very limited amount of stuff organized. Apparently that would be in the range of 10 things or less.

About a year ago I stripped that boys' bedroom of all toys save select stuffed animals. (Which then grew to a full menagerie of Webkinz -talk about a mating problem, but that is another rant for another day). I was certain at this time that I would have no trouble walking into an immaculate room every single day. I mean how much mess can three boys make with just clothing. Oh my dear gentle reader, you just don't even want to know. Because that would be A Lot.

I have been threatening to pare down their wardrobe to just 7 outfits per season and some church clothing for a long time now. Today I came so much closer to that goal. We tossed everything that was a bit stained, a bit nerdy, a bit big, a bit small, or a bit what IS that anyway? We had another pile of knee-less pants. That pile was enormous. Lest you think it has been years since I last did this, let me assure you, it has been months. And not very many of them. I'm telling you true, the clothing mates like my frustrated bunny wishes she could.

And then there was the tres delightful pile of dirty clothing that was shoved back into the drawers. (Apparently the only time they can manage to gt their laundry into the drawers is when it is filthy). That batch filled my amazingly empty hamper (just as I thought I was caught up with the laundry).

So all day I sorted and tossed (and sniffed and gagged). We tried on clothes, marveled that Finny's legs have apparently grown 3 inches in three weeks, folded, stacked, re-folded, re-stacked, purged some more...

And now they are in bed. And still their room is not tidy. There is yet work more to do there. I feel deeply unfulfilled.

I'm thinking about the naked tribes-people again and feeling a pang of yearning and envy. And not just for the cellulite-free fat. Imagine not doing any laundry related task ever again.

Why is it that we think we are such an evolved society? We are absolutely enslaved by fabric.

Eschewing Sugar. It's time to Just Say No.

Peeps, I am exhausted. EXhausted I say. I have been uncharacteristically exhausted for the last week. I was wondering why this might be and I think I have the answer. Sugar. Sugar. Sugar. We lurch from one sugar laden holiday to the next in this society. It is catching up with me.

My body cannot process sugar well. It gives me the shakes, it gives me terrible stomach woes, it makes me irritable, it exhausts me. Yet I continue to shovel it in. Now considering sugar is prevalent even when you aren't aware of it, shoveling massive quantities of it into your maw on a daily basis, knowingly is very self-destructive behaviour.

I believe going cold turkey off obvious sugar is the way it's going to have to be for me. No more chocolate, candy, cakes, pies and various yummies. NO MORE I SAY. (Are you reading this Aaron??!!! Do not tempt me, boy!!!!)

I find it interesting to note that when I finally lost my accumulated four baby weight a few years ago, it was at just this time of year (to the day really) that the process began. I suddenly resolved that the sugar must go and the rest would follow. (There must be something about Valentine's Day that just finally puts me over the edge). From that day forth, I got very serious about consuming no sugar and sure enough, the rest did follow. (Now don't get me wrong-it took a psychotic determination, great deprivation and huge amounts of exercise along with the no sugar to lose 40 or so lbs in 3 or so months-and I do not recommend my methodology,) but eschewing sugar was definitely the first step and I think it gave me the energy to pursue the psychotic level of exercise and contributed to considerably less cravings in general.

Last night I was watching this thing on the travel channel, ( it was some tribe going about their business in some remote area of the world where it is apparently sexy to put a huge chunk of wood through your lower lip and chin), and what struck me was that the adult members I saw of the tribe were very rotund. They were fat. And they had multiple rolls everywhere (I know this as they were naked). I am perplexed as to how they could be fat since the documentary was pointing out what an enormous amount of work went into creating a small amount of something edible from some really un-fatty looking root thing. Their kids were scrawny though. Maybe they eat the fatter kids. Interesting. ANYWAY, I paid close and careful attention to the roly poly matriarch's thighs and buttock area and noted NO CELLULITE. I have a very non-scientifically supported theory that the hideously ugly CELLULITE comes from processed food and sugar. This woman was fat, but the fat was smooth and uncomplicated. That kind of fat is easy to lose and even when it is around, infinitely less objectionable then the *gag*, *puke* pockets of cellulite.

Did you know that sugar also wreaks havoc on the immune system? My other highly non-scientific theory is that the reason kids get super sick en masse around the beginning of November, is not just because the weather gets cold and they are locked up back in school with other snotty kids. It is because around the end of October they started glutting themselves on all that Halloween candy! And don't forget all the crap that comes with the multiple Halloween parties for a full week or more preceding that spooky night. So the immunity they would have to ward off the other kids' germs gets destroyed at just the time that everyone starts huddling together. It the Perfect Germ Storm. I'm telling you, I'm right. Watch for yourself this October/November. It is scientifically proven though, that sugar drastically suppresses immunity.

So anyway I'm thinking that for the sake of not feeling like a 98 year old woman at the age of 33, I am going to have to say goodbye to the sugar. There are about a thousand other compelling reasons to do so (or at least 124). Now don't overestimate my commitment here. I am not going to get completely crazy about it ferreting out every gram of sugar in every piece of fruit and so forth, but no more overt sugar consumption at least until I am feeling more like myself. Hopefully at that stage I will have lost all desire to self destruct in this way again.

Anyone wish to join me with my quest?

PS: This does not mean I endorse fake forms of sugar. Splenda, Sweet 'n Low and such freak me out big time. Aspartame is straight up poison, so if you are kidding yourself that you are doing something good by drinking the diet soda, let me assure you that you are not. To the contrary. Go with the real sugar or nothing at all. The fake stuff is freaky deaky. Trust me. I am not a Dr. but I watch them on TV all the time.

PPS: My husband just walked through the door with the shipment of Girls Scout cookies. Out! Out! Damned Thin Mint!


Every hour of every day I'm learning more, the more I learn the less I know about before.

I quoted these immortal words to the young women I teach today. They seemed nonplussed. They have never heard of UB40. How sad and wrong is that? Additionally, I don't think they have any idea what it must feel like not to know anything, since when you are their age you are pretty confident that you know almost everything. Well at least I was.

The older I get though, the more I realize how very little I know about pretty much anything. So much for getting wiser with age! I thought that was deal, you came as a consolation prize along with the wrinkles and declining tolerance for junk food? (Make no mistake, the spirit remains willing but the flesh rebels)

Could it be perhaps, that realizing how unwise you really are is in itself a sign of wisdom? Gosh, I hope so. The alternative, taking Occam's Razor into account, is that I am in fact, a moron.

Homer Simpson-Moron

Homer-Ancient Greek Poet(The Iliad and the Odyssey) Not so much a moron.

Scenes from V-day

In no logical order...

We had a lovely V-day dinner. We deviated from our tradition of spaghetti and meatballs and went with salmon instead. Aaron and I went out last night for sushi. It's been a deliciously fishy weekend.

I walked into the kitchen this morning to discover a change. One crappy mixer had made room for one beautiful not-crappy mixer. Who says women aren't happy with household appliances for Valentine's day? I hugged it and kissed it. Oh yes I did. I am not ashamed. I am a real woman today.

Benj and Gabe came up with the idea of Wii Valentine boxes....see? Complete with Mii's (that part was my idea. Aren't we all rather brilliant? Yes I think so too. )

Gabe's Wii and Mii and Finny's mouth full of sugar. He decorated his bag at school so no Wii/Mii but cute no?

I heart Gracie's mail-box. The glittery paper made me very happy. I stroked it quite a bit. Look, it even has a pretty Gracie stamp on it. I may have taken over a tad. I wish it was my box.

Gracie is so thoughtful, this was found in Thumper's cage this morning

I got an expensive appliance. Aaron got chocolates and a card. But the card was kissed repeatedly, which makes it a completely fair exchange.
We had festive pancakes this morning and berry smoothies (which were appropriately pink). Finally found a use for that cookie press. No fear, the pancakes were less anaemic then they appear here.

My mom used to tell me that red and pink should never be put together but.... see how pretty? I think my mom was wrong, wouldn't you agree mom? I made those cupcakes using a crappy mixer. Never again. Never, I say.

A fun and mostly loving day was had by all. I hope you had a very happy love day too!

How Do I Love Thee?

Last week a friend of mine asked me for some ideas of what to do for his wife for Valentine's day.
I remembered an article I wrote for years ago when my kids were quite a bit younger.

Since he is in that stage of life now I referred him to it, but when I think about it, it's just as applicable to me now as it ever was. Here is a Valentine Primer to print out and casually leave in a prominent spot for your loved ones to read.

Getting what you *really* want...

So I don't know if I mentioned that I had me a little birthday last week. No? Well I did :)

And it was fabu as I may have mentioned. Having the day dedicated to making the world a better place and so many people sacrificing time, comfort and effort to do just that, is a gift that can't be beat. However to make the day even more extra special I got a couple of lovely gifts from my husband and kids. They were things I really wanted but could not justify getting for myself. My husband loves to get me gifts and he generally does very well on his own, but sometimes he spends way more then he needs to or expends too much stress on the search when really, a bottle of bubble bath is all I am craving.

But don't you find that when you are pressed to come up with something you would like as a gift you can think of absolutely nothing? Isn't it frustrating? Like when you have money to spend and an event to go to and you can't find a single appealing outfit but when you're broke and have no reason to buy a beautiful dress, there are beautiful dresses everywhere? Life tends to be that way. A couple of days before my birthday, my husband was whining that he had no idea what to get me, while I was surfing the net finding great sales here and there and everywhere of things I really fancied but wouldn't consider buying myself. When suddenly the obvious solution struck me. Ya think?

So here's a big idea. Go to your Bookmarks, open a new folder. Call it Wish List and every time you come across something you really love but would never buy for yourself bookmark it. Inform your signifcant other of this file. Invite them to feel free to peruse this file at any time. They may not get exactly what is in there but they can sure get a feel for what you'd like and it saves you from the "I can't think of a thing even though I know there are so many things I covet and I will regret this in about a week.." syndrome.

Valentine's day is coming. You might want to open that file.