Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Just got Home and I'm STARVING

What a day I had today.  Nothing horrible happened.  There wasn't an incident.  But it was still A DAY (if you know what I mean)

Let me back up.

I may or may not have told you that I quit my job 2 years ago.  Two school years ago because I'm a classroom teacher and that's how I measure time.  By school years.  You see I'd been a teacher for decades before we moved to our new house in a new city.  I accepted a job at the same school where my youngest daughter would be attending.  Everything was fine the first year.  I didn't love it, but it was fine.  And being there with Alison made life easier for the fam.  The second year was a 180.  I was miserable.  No time to go into those details later.  I'll save that story. (stories)  In November I told the director that I was considering my resignation at the end of the school year.  Then in March I told her I was definitely quitting.  I stayed until the bitter end.  And let me tell you, it was bitter.  It was like a train wreck and the vultures were circling my beat up carcass.  Yes, it was that bad.

Again, I'll save those stories for another time.  It's in the past now.  Bitter much?

So last school year (2013-14) I was unemployed.  I did not have a job that paid money, yet I really wasn't unemployed because technically you're only unemployed if you are SEEKING a job.  And I wasn't.  I needed a break.  We could swing it financially for a while........ but I knew there was absolutely no reason for me to not be out there making money. 

And so at the first of this school year I pulled into a school year my house.  On a whim, really.  Marched right in and asked to be put on their substitute list.  I was welcomed with open arms, told to go get a drug screening and fingerprinted and whammo - I was on the list.

And let me tell you, I've been working 3 or 4 days every single week.  I've substituted in the preschool all the way up to the 7th grade.  The calendar on my phone is filled with days I've already committed to working. 

It has been so great.  I've met so many nice people.  

Then there's today.  The school secretary called me at 8:30.  This morning.  Said a teacher had gone home sick.  Already!  "Are you available to take her class today?" 

There was no reason to say no.  I need the money.  I also need the brownie points I'd get for coming to the rescue and taking the class for the day.  Oh alright, I'll do it.  But what?  It's fourth grade?  UGH.  I hate the fourth grade department schedule.  It is SO BORING!  So today was boring.  The click tick tocked slowly. I'd have one section of fourth graders come in, drop their stuff off and then go to P.E.  The next group came in, stayed for about an hour (we played Jeopardy as a class on the smartboard) then they left for lunch and spanish.  The last section of the day came in, stayed an hour then went to science lab.  Ugh.  So I sat in the classroom alone most of the time.  Why didn't I bring my knitting?  I sure will next time.

After school I stopped by the grocery store because I was starving!  I grabbed grain fed beef, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, apples, grapes, cheese crackers (for Alison), tuna and chicken.  You've probably figured it out - I'm doing Whole30.  Up until a month ago, I didn't even know what Whole30 was!  It's an eating plan you commit to for 30 days.  That's right, just 30 days.  It's so much more than just what you eat.  It's sticking to a committment.  It's reaching a goal. 

The "rules"?
You eat fruits, veggies, meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds
No grains
No dairy
No legumes
No weighing.  No cheating.

It's only 30 days.  Today is Day 12 for me.  I feel GREAT!  Except for the fact that I'm hungry. 

I'll let you know you in on some recipes I've discovered.  And some others I've invented.
But first I'm going to throw some sweet potato fries in the oven.  I'm STARVING

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Calling Dr Phil! Kate Gosselin needs an emergency intervention

Have y'all watched any of the new season of Kate Plus 8?  YES!  Can you believe she has her kids on tv again?  Whoa.

I watched it.  Same way you can't help but stare at a train wreck.

Cara and Maddie are angry and snarky and whiney.  The "little kids" are always in a group.  Do they have different interests?  Uh, yeah they do.  But they're always thrown together.  I realize it's a reality show that's edited.  So it's not for true reality.  Does Kate KNOW the camera is on her?  Oh my heavens.  Say something kind and gentle once.  Allow your kids to keep their dignity.  Did you see that time she was playing some kind of game and by golly she was going to WIN.  She does not believe in "letting kids win".  Competitive anyone?  She wasn't playing fair so she wasn't the real winner.  Her daughter was the loser.  In more ways than one.

Somebody has control issues.

Then last night without warning, Kate tells the camera that her father would kill, cook and make her eat her pet bunnies.  WHAT????!!!  GOOD.GOSH.HOLY.COW!!  I almost fell off the couch.

I just couldn't watch anymore.  Here's hoping someone will enter the lives of those kid and offer them a safe place to fall.

By the way, where is Mr. Gosselin?  Is he still around?  Doesn't he have to sign off on this show?  The kids are minors………. ugh.

Ironman was out of town last night so I watched tv alone.  There's some odd shows on that there tube.  And when there's nothing on?  It's me and netflix and Gilmore Girls.  WOOP!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Whole30 challenge

After our Walt Disney World trip I was longing for control.  Gosh, we ate so so much.  I missed how I felt when I was eating clean.  At first I thought I wanted to go paleo for the time being and I did start out that way.  However, as an avid fan of Miss Mustard Seed, I decided to join her an 1000 other people and take the Whole30 challenge.  Why not?  It's more fun to do it in a group.  A gang.  A gaggle.  Somebody needs to come up with a word for a krewe of people who join together on a blog for a greater good.  Something more interesting than "bloggers" or "followers".  You know?

Now, back to the subject.

I did some reading.  Found there are rules to doing the Whole30 challenge.  I am all about rules.  Definitely a rule-follower girl.  So that was exciting to me.  I felt like I'd found my people.

No sugar - check.  Just about already rid that from my diet.
No bread - check  My 2015 NY Resolution
No Barbie Themed Poptarts or Star Wars Eggo Waffles - check
No sweeteners - not even honey.  YIKES
No tastes, smidgens, half-a-slices.  You are only cheating yourself.

So the challenge began.  I started a trial run on the 10th.  January 10th.  I say "trial run" because my birthday was on the 14th and I knew….. I just KNEW……. and yep.  I ate a cupcake.  But Ironman made a special stop by the bakery to buy one carrot cake cupcake and dang it people, I wasn't going to be rude.  I ate the thing and it was DELICIOUS.

All that to say, I really started the Whole30 challenge on January 15th.

Before I get to the nuts and bolts of what I've been doing - both good and disastrous - I gotta tell you something.  My face is broken out like a teenager.  I've NEVER had a bad complexion.  EVER.  As it NEVER.  Not in Jr High, not in high school.  NEVER.  So this is brand new to me and quite upsetting.  In fact, yesterday I didn't leave the house.  I was hoping I'd wake up and it would be GONE or at least better but nope…… it's still there.  Red and bumpy and kinda like a rash and kinda like acne.  Somewhere in between.  I did some internets searches and even checked in on my Whole30 group on FB and there are plenty of women experiencing the same thing.  They say your body is detoxing?  Is that true?  All I can say is I haven't tried any new soap, lotion or cosmetics.  I haven't eaten anything new or weird or odd.  Just real whole foods.  So if you don't count Wednesday and the Birthday Cupcake - I've eaten clean food since January 3rd - pretty much.  I have to ease myself into stuff.

I'll let you know about  my complexion.  It's horrible.

Now……. on to the eating.   And cooking.

I have not made ghee as I don't have the right kind of butter.  However, I do plan on making some.  I'll let you know.

I did make the homemade mayo recipe.  WOW!  I couldn't believe how simple and how delicious.  Honestly………. you gotta try it.  I made mine in the food processor.  I read online that some people did not have a good outcome using their blender.  Ingredients seems to get too warm.  So use the processor or maybe a mixer.  You gotta try it.

 Ironman sat and watched as I whipped up the mayo.  I didn't know if it would turn out but I was feeling adventurous.  Except for the breakouts I have a ton of energy.  A TON.  Which is a good thing. Anyway the mayo DID turn out.  I watched it thicken before my very eyes.  I may or may not have done a happy dance.

On to the next "recipe"  Perfectly boiled eggs.  Now I've boiled eggs before.  I usually follow the Martha Stewart method which is very similar to the method I followed this morning.  The challenge with boiling eggs, as you well know, is peeling the boiled eggs.  It's pretty much hit or miss.

Want to see how mine turned out?
I decided to use these four eggs as my guinea pigs.  Because they fit perfectly in this little pot.
 The recipe said to poke a tiny hole with a pin.  I used a safety pin because that's what I had close by.  Much easier than I expected to poke a tiny hole.  So far so good.
 Fill pot with cool water.  Straight from the tap.
 Add 1/2 tsp of baking soda.  Something about the sodium carbonate………
 Bring the eggs to a boil.
 Then slide them off and let them steep for 10 minutes.  Told ya it was similar to Martha's method.
 After 10 minutes, I dropped them in an ice bath.  While the eggs are cooling, I gotta tell you about our ice maker.
 It died.  And ironman just pulled out the tray because it was in the way.  We do miss ice.

 Sonic Ice to the rescue.  Someone at work told me that the ice is $2.59 a bag.  Yes, yes it is.  And we buy it.  For now, at least.  Not sure we can go back to regular ice.  Can you be addicted to ice?
 Back to the eggs.  Uh……. yep.  That's how they looked after I attempted to peel them.  HOLY COW.  What happened?  Ugh.
 The good news is that when I sliced them they were done.  Not over done.  No odd grey color.
I'm going to use them in my tuna salad.  With my homemade mayo. So you are the only one who will know how ugly the peeling was.  Don't be spreading this all over the internet, m'kay?

And cross your fingers that my face will clear up.  I'm off to drink water.  Surely that will help.


Monday, January 12, 2015

January Organization

Everybody is gone.  The Engineer is back in Dallas.  Baylor girl went back to Baylor and my youngest daughter is back in school.  Even Ironman is back at work.  So I'm home alone today.


I wouldn't want to be alone all the time…….. but wow oh wow how I enjoy it when it happens.

I woke up bright and early.  I already knew what I was going to do but, as always, I had to make a list. My daily list.  Yes, I do it every single day.  I don't know how people manage without a list.  When I write it down I can let it go.  The paper will remember for me.  Clears my thinking, you know?

I haven't been upstairs in my house for any length of time since Thanksgiving.  That's right.  I just haven't had time.  And there were always people up there and I didn't want to bother them while they were watching a movie or playing the piano and sleeping or reading……. go on and on and on.  But today that was all going to change and I couldn't wait. Some people like to go out for drinks and a movie……I like to SORT and PURGE and CLEAN and pack and organize and WOOP.  IT's a good day for me.

I walked into my 10th grade daughter's room and I was overwhelmed.  Yes, ME.  The one who specializes in organizing.  Wow.  Thats a lot of stuff.  Shoot, I should have taken a photo.  Let me just tell you - the bed - unmade.  The suitcase from our Disneyworld vacation still on the floor with clothes piled on top.  And speaking of clothes - good heavens.  EVERYWHERE there was clothes.  I rolled up my sleeves and made a quick survey of supplies needed.  Armed with my sorting tools:  a box for goodwill, several black garbage bags and a couple of laundry baskets…. I jumped in.  It took me over an hour but her room is sorted. and tidy.  Love a tidy room.  What will she say at 4pm when she gets home this afternoon?  ha  I don't know.

I moved on to the other three bedrooms which were clean except for the linens.  I peeled the sheets off and threw them into the laundry basket.

We have a den upstairs that we sometimes call the game room.  Sometimes call the movie room.  I have my sewing and monogram machines in there.  It's a big nice room that gets a lot of action.  My middle daughter had gone in there while she was home and "cleaned' out the closet.  I almost DIED when I saw what she did.  Ugh.  I was FURIOUS but I did not want to blow up when it was her last night at home.  WOW.  Ironman said "you look like you're 500 degrees hot"  Yep.  I sure was.  I was PISSED.  So that was the first order of business in that room - putting the closet back in order.  I moved the DVDs and the video games into the other closet.  This particular closet is for ME.  Stay out.  I feel better now.

I miss the kids when they're gone.  But having one day alone at home is good for my mental health.

I'm running some errands this afternoon and tonight I have the television to myself.

Oh I love my clean, tidy house.  It's a good day.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year Resolution!

I have an announcement to make:


Ladies and Gentleman, I have fulfilled my 2014 New Year Resolution.

I have not had ONE SIP of a soda in 12 months.  That's right.  I kicked the addiction.  And I am happy.

Liquid death.  That's what I've heard soda called.  Of course, down here in Louisiana we call all sodas "coke".

So let me clarity:  NO COKES FOR A YEAR.  and that includes "diet" coke.

And I did it.

After the initial few days of withdrawal I noticed I don't have as much gassy problems.  I fact, I don't have any gassy problems.  And substituting water for the soda has made my skin clearer.

Now on to 2015.

This year my New Year's Resolution is to not eat any BREAD.  For one solid year.

I will not eat:

sandwich bread
french bread
dinner rolls
crackers of any kind
croutons (ha)
pie crust

I'm sticking to the paleo plan.

Fresh Fruits
Fresh vegetables
healthy fat
meat, fish, poultry
nuts and seeds

So far so good!

I"d also like to get myself on an exercise schedule  But let's not go TOO crazy!

Monday, January 5, 2015

25 Things About Me

Because I've neglected this blog for so long, I figured it was proper to reintroduce myself to blog land.  So here goes.  But but prepared - because not everything is in a pretty box tied with a bow!

1.  I've been married almost 30 years. I'll call him Ironman.  We have 3 children.  I've thought about using their proper names in this blog but I still kinda like the anonymity.  I may change my mind but for now I'll give them a nickname.  The Engineer is a, well, an engineer!  He was recently accepted on full scholarship to Johns Hopkins Business School in Baltimore, MD.  We are happy, humbled, excited, proud and looking forward to see where God takes him.  Our middle daughter - whom I'll call "Baylor" is a sophomore at, you guessed it, Baylor University in Waco.  And our youngest daughter, "Broadway" is 16.  And she wants to be an actress.  They are all three very different.  In every way.  But that keeps life interesting.

2.  I don't like chocolate.  And that includes white chocolate which is not really chocolate at all.  White chocolate tastes like candle wax.  And yes, I've tasted candle wax.

3.  I'm allergic to fragrance.  I run and hide from any lotion, soap, cleaner, detergent, cosmetics or gel that contains any kind of fragrance.  As a young girl I remember my mother having to special order fragrance free detergent.  yes, they had it in the 60s and 70s.  Now you can find it at CVS.
Here's a story for you:  Just last week a few days before Christmas I BOUGHT some hand soap at Marshalls.  I put it by the kitchen sink.  Yes, I did that.  The reason was that Ironman is always washing his hands at the kitchen sink and he uses my dishwashing soap that is FRAGRANCE FREE and so I was really trying to save that for me and get him something else…….. what was I thinking?  Anyway I did not touch the bottle.  I did not use the soap.  But here's what happened.  Late Christmas Evening I was cleaning up here and there and really not paying much attention to what I was doing.  I was tired.  And we were going to Walt Disney World in 2 days.  (Walk DisneyWorld)  There were a few pots and pans in the sink so I just gave them a quick scrub and left them in the sink.  The next morning the inside of my palm was itchy and red.  And just a little swollen as if an insect had bitten me.  I noticed it but it wasn't too bad.  Saturday was travel day and by now my fingers were slightly swollen.  I was trying to ignore it.  We arrive in Orlando late Saturday night.  Sunday morning my hand is very swollen and now you can plainly see a rash all over the palm and 3 of my fingers.  Great.  Just great.  But I'm in WDW and we're on vacation so I just wanted to enjoy our trip.  (more about our Disneyworld trips later)  Monday morning my hand was causing problems so I went to the clinic at the resort.  The ladies there - I'm pretty sure they are not medical professionals - gave me an ice pack and some benadryl.  The ice did make it feel better and I hoped it would help but by Tuesday morning it was serious.  Yep, I waited that long.   That afternoon Ironman and I went to Urgent Care in Orlando.  WDW has free transportation to and from the clinic.  I'm not kidding when I tell you that I saw the triage nurse even before I had finished filling out the first page of information.  I unwrapped my hand explaining to her what I thought had happened and about the fragrance allergy.  One look and she got the doctor who came in and asked the usual questions.  The nurse called Ironman in from the waiting room not because his presence was needed but because he had the papers that were yet to be filled out.  He didn't know that, though, and said later he thought they were calling him because I needed to go to the hospital.  So the doctor lanced the dead skin (yuck, sorry)  Put some burn cream on my entire hand, wrapped it up.  I got 2 injections, 3 prescriptions and strict instructions to return if there's any change for the worse.  So……. wanna see?

That, ladies and gentleman, is what a 2nd degree chemical burn looks like.   Not pretty.  And I will never, ever allow it to happen again.  If I hadn't been out of town I would have gone to the doctor much sooner.  So I'm still wrapping it up every night.  There's no swelling and no itching.  And the soap is swimming with the fishes.  ( I also bleached everything in the kitchen)  I'm sure what happened was someone washed their hands at the sink using that soap and the suds were on the few pots I scrubbed.  That's all it took.  Nothing injured my right hand because I used a little scrub brush.  So that hand didn't touch the suds.  The brush is in the landfill now.

4.  I've been to Walt Disney World in Orlando 25 times.  Please do not do the finance part of that.

5.  I've met Donny Osmond 2 times.  The first time I could not even move.  Second time was easier.  He needs the saving power of our Heavenly Father. ( I have a couple of photos……. shoot.  They're not on this computer.  A couple of years ago my computer died and I lost everything.  Still I have the "real" print out photos so I'll scan them tomorrow.  Good Old D-Man.  The mormon thing is upsetting.

6.  I've watched every single episode of "19 Kids and Counting"  

7.  I know how to sew well, knit enough to get by and crochet.  I'm learning to do upholstery.

8.  I can be quite aloof.  

9.  I am not close with my family.

10.  I can figure out recipes in my head after tasting something new.  I have a SIL that enjoys the same thing and that's always been fun for us.

11.  I once shoplifted a pack of rock-n-roll cookies from a store on a dare.

12.  In my 8th grade biology lab I sat in the back with a group of disruptive students.  We giggled, talked and passed notes.  The teacher was an old man who was b.o.r.i.n.g.  (funny, he probably wasn't that old) I made a B in the class on my report card but in the comments was the numeral 9.  9 - parent must contact teacher.  Well, that wasn't going to make it home.  No way.  So I folded the paper, put it in my jeans pocket and washed the jeans.  Washed them and dried them.  Then I rewashed them and redried them.  I casually told my mother "whoops, I washed my report card!"  She just glanced at the grades and didn't really say anything.  A few days later the biology teacher asked me if my mother had seem my report card.  I just said "yes sir" which was the truth.  The other girls in the giggly group got in trouble at home and the teacher separated all of us and that was the end of that.  To this day I've never told my mother.

13.  Ironman and I bicker about stupid stuff.

14.  I make a list every day.  And I check off items as I go.  

15.  I write everything down the old fashioned way.  On my list.  On a piece of paper.  I just recently learned to add things to my calendar phone.  It wasn't that I didn't know how, it was just that it took too long and having it on the phone wasn't in clear sight.  But I do it now.

16.  I used to teach full time.  I quit my teaching job 2 years ago because I was miserable.  That is a story in itself.  It's all behind me now and I substitute at a school near my house.  I'm not kidding when I tell you they called me 2-3 times a week.  The school is Prekindergarten through 8th grade and I've worked in every grade except for 5th.  I've even substituted for the secretary and the librarian!  Definitely makes me want to go back to work full time next year.  Besides, the money would be good.

17.  I think the sound of my typing is making Ironman irritable.

18.  My spices are on the shelf in ABC order.  

19.  My pantry is arranged by category.

20.  I don't like to be interrupted.  My worse pet peeve.  HATE IT.

21.  Because I don't like to be interrupted, many times I don't even start because I KNOW I'll be interrupted.  

22.  I like it the way I like it.

23.  I'm just a little OCD about my dental care.  Just a little.  Nothing to qualify me for an appearance on Dr. Phil.  I floss twice a day.  Every day.  Always.

24.  I've been dumped by friends.  And I mean DUMPED.  Sucks.

and now to 25.  I didn't think I'd come up with 25 things.