Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spices, Lost, Top Chef

Lots and Lots of things to talk about today.

First off a follow-up to yesterday's posts.  

So many times we're frustrated with our food.  Boring, uninspired, the same thing every meal, every day.

By combining yesterday's "Rule of Five" post with todays "Ethnic Tastes" you may find a way to change your food around. 

Please let me know what you think and how you experimented with both the Rule of Five and the Ethnic Tastes.

Ethnic Tastes:  Adapted from Chad Sarno

Italian: Garlic, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, onions, parsley, sage, marjoram, lemon, olives, roma tomatoes, pine nuts, capers.

Thai:  Holy basil, lemon grass, sour tamarind, curry, ginger, galangal root, kefir lime, cilantro, mint, turmeric, coriander, cumin, chiles, coconut, rice, morning glorie (swamp spinach), corn, cauliflower, anise, long bean.

Mexican & Spanish:  Cilantro, cumin, garlic, olives, coriander, onions, parsley, tamarind, avocado, paprika, chili’s, cinnamon, bell pepper, jicama.

Japanese & Chinese: Ginger, garlic, sesame, miso, soy sauce, basil, cardamom, coriander, scallions, star anise, wasabi, lime, mungbean sprouts, bok choy, sea veggies, snow peas, mushrooms, cucumber.

African:  Cilantro, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, coriander, mint, saffron, chives, fenugreek, rose, olives, orange, eggplant.

Middle Eastern/Greek:  Garlic, mint, oregano, dill, cinnamon, parsley, anise, chili’s, cilantro, saffron, sesame, thyme, marjoram, clove, poppy seed, fenugreek, onion, eggplant, tomato, lemon, cucumber, spinach, olives, pomegranate, pine nuts.

Eastern Indian:  Garlic, ginger, cardamom, curry, cumin, garam-masala, cinnamon, clove, chili’s, anise, fenugreek, fennel seed, mint, mustard, pepper, tamarind, sesame, turmeric, onions, saffron, rose, cauliflower, spinach, lemon, pomegranate, bell peppers, eggplant, tomato.

If you've taped "Top Chef" or "Lost" STOP READING.
Continue on with your day and we'll see when you've gotten caught up.
You've been warned.
Top Chef

Oh Carla.  Ohhhhhh Heaven-help-us Carla.
I've been rooting for you since I saw those crazy Marty Feldman eyes.  

Granted I was thrilled that Stefan didn't win.  But I really wanted you to win.  I love you Carla. I really really do.

You knew in judging that because you didn't do what you had planned and went with the other LOSERs ideas that you come in first.  The judges loved your sauces but didn't care for the meat or the dessert.  

I thought it was fun that Fabio was part of the chefs who ate the final meal.  He asked a very good question "Is this dish worth $100,000.?"  

And I cheered when Hosea gave Stefan the alligator.  But of course "SUPER STEFAN" and his cocky attitude didn't mind.  He's been cooking for 100 years and can cook anything.

WTG Hosea.  

I'll miss you Carla.
Oh. My. God.
Ben.  What the f?
John.  What the f?

1.  What time period is John & the other people from the plane?
2.  Have Kate, Jack & Hurley gone back in time?  Cause it looks like Jin is in the 70's with the Dharma bus.
3.  Who are those other people who are going thru the stuff and where'd the canoe's come from?

Best line of the night: 
Hurley "Hey! Am I talking to a guy in a wheelchair?"
12:12 pm Weds
Kelley aka Pinktini picking up her petticoat.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rule of 5

This is my friend Chelsea.  She has a burlesque group called "Bohemian Burlesque".  We help them get costumes.  She had come by to pick up petticoats and decided she'd put all 4 on.

Hello photo shoot!  I'm going to use this in my April ad.  

She's also an amazing fire spinner.  Her husband fire spins and has a habit of lighting swords on fire and swishing those around.  

Love my Chelsea!
Rule of Five

How many times have you made something & thought "this needs something but what?".  You try adding more salt and that just isn't it.

When I was taking raw food classes one of my teachers passed out "The Rule of Five".  It's by Chad Sarno and it's made my cooking grow by leaps and bounds!

By adding each of the 5 components to a dish you'll get a full flavor. 
1.   Salt:  Himalayan sea crystals, celtic sea salt, sea week, dulse, celery.
2.    Sweet:  Agave nectar, fruit, dates, raisins, carrots, beets, stevia. 
3.   Acid/Sour:  Vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice
 4.   Heat:  Chili’s, garlic, ginger, thai basil (holy basil), pepper
 5.   Savory:  Ethnic spices that make a dish have it’s regional taste.

 Tomorrow I'll be posting regional spice lists to help you add a little more to your diet.

12:12 pm Monday
Mike & Me.
Mike aka Man Babe is an interesting guy.  He has a big theme camp at Burning Man called 
"Sex Filth Avenue".  

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm stressed

Mr. T'dots and I never ever argue about money.  Unlike my previous relationships I was upfront about our money from day 1.

We have worked together since before we got married.  We took his tie-dye hobby & made it into our business 14 years ago. 

In the beginning we sat down & talked about money.  He came from a family that paid cash for everything.  I came from a family that sometimes had a budget.  Dad was self employed and Mom held a steady job.  Mr T'dots had never had a credit card before he married me.  Due to my ex husband's folly I had shitty credit.  (After 20 years he still shows up on my credit report. Thanks Ted.)  

But thanks to shitty fucked up (sorry Mom if you're reading this) insurance we are one of those Americans that are screwed financially.  If you have Netflix watch Michael Moore's "Sicko".  It sums up our life.

Mr T'dots had a stroke in 2006.  He was in ICU for 8 days & then the Neuro wing for another 8. Turned out our insurance wouldn't pay for rehab for a stroke so he had to come home & I was the caregiver.  

After insurance paid what they deemed "reasonable charges" we still owe the hospital $68,000. Add to that the dr's who are taking monthly payments of $25 along with new medical bill due to me breaking my ankle summer 2007, my skin cancer costs and Mr T'dots fainting and EMT's saying he was having a heart attack so there's another ambulance ride, ER & hospital costs = I'm stressed.

There was a huge fund raiser for us after his stroke.  Three different groups got together & had a music festival.  It raised about $8000.  We were able to live off of that for about 3 months.  

Our employees were amazing.  They were willing to work for free to keep the tie-dye business going.  I paid them anyway.

Friends showed up at all the markets we did to help me setup, sell & break down.  

But it's nearing the end of the month and it's when I start to get stressed about money.  "Just keep the roof over our head" is my mantra. 

So today I'm stressed.  Today I have to have a good day in the store to keep the roof over our head.

Petticoat anyone??

12:12 Dying petticoats purple
I'm testing out new dye from our dye supplier.  He sent me 3 different dyes that dye different fabrics.  Since it's rare that I know what a petticoat is made out of I need to combine dyes.  I'm loving the shade of violet in the washer.  I'll find out today if it's the right dye to continue on dying petticoats.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa

Mea culpa.

My mistake.

Turns out my Sister was the 1st to notice my weight loss without being prompted.  Two weeks ago when I went to see her she said something as I was getting out of the car.  I thought she was being a smart ass.  Turns out she was being complemental.  

She and I talk almost every day.  Sometimes twice a day.  It's just been in the past 10 years that we've gotten close.  She's the oldest and I'm the youngest with 2 siblings inbetween. 

We joke that even though we have the same biological parents we were raised by different parents.  She had young parents.  I had older parents.

By the time I came along my parents were relaxed with rules. (There's 7.5 years difference between me & my closest sibling.  She would be unhappy if I told the difference in our ages. I'm closer in age to her daughters than I am to her.) I never had a curfew, was only sent to my room once and was pretty much left alone.

But we're very alike in many ways.  

We're both smart asses.  "Quick witted" would be the polite thing to say.
We both have a creative streak.  
We're both problem solvers.
We both are "take charge" people.
And we both share the same physical body shape.  Oh and we both enhance our "natural" hair color.  Except mine has purple, red & orange.  

She & I talked yesterday about my weight loss.

1.  10%
2. Below 200
3.  185 is what I weighed when I got back from Thailand.  Most of my wardrobe fits me at 185.
"Ultimate goal?"
To be 150 on my 50'th birthday.  I had the same goal for my 40th.  To be 140 on my 40th. Ummmm yeah.  Eight years later & I'd still like to be 148.  

So I'm sorry that I took your complement as folly.  Thank you for noticing.
Here are the views of my hat.
Back view:  Peacock feathers, netting & tied onto top hat band with yarn. 

Side view.  I wore my hair in a pony so that all you saw was the netting.
12:12 Sunday
Washing dishes at the store.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

20 pounds gone! GONE GONE GONE!!!!

212 212 212 212! 
20 pounds!!!!!! Gone!  Lost!
SOMEONE NOTICED without me saying ANYTHING!!!

I can't even begin to tell you how healthy and happy I feel.  
My normal WI day is sunday.  I stepped on the scale yesterday & stepped off.  "212? Really?" Step back on.  Yup. 212.  

Then it sunk in.  "I've lost 20 pounds. Twenty T W E N T Y pounds!"  I whooped, hollered and danced down the hallway.  Ohhhhhh.  This is so worth it. 

The next big celebration:  209.  That puts me at 10%.    Oh yeah.  

Funny thing:  when I gained weight & got to 212 I wasn't celebrating.  I was pissed.  Mad. Angry and disappointed at myself for getting to be that size.  Now I'm thrilled to be down to that weight.  Make sense? 

Then to top it off a customer said yesterday "You've lost weight!"  

Not "Have you lost weight?" but a statement of fact.  "You've lost weight."  

I hugged her for being the first to notice.  

Then she said "I need to lose 10 pounds by July."
"10 pounds by July?  Easy peasie."  I say.  

She was trying on clothes & felt fat.  "Listen Melissa you're at the weight I'd love to be at. I know you feel fat but right now you're my goal."

I don't know if that made her feel better but it was true.

Good by fat.  Hellooooo health!
Mardi Gras party 2/21/09

We sponsored the Reno Blues Society's Mardi Gras party. One more reason for dress up!  

I took a top hat, added netting to the back that hung down past my pony tail and added peacock feathers to fan out along the top.

Leather corset, fishnets, cut off purple jacket, lime green petti pants and green Doc Martens finished off the outfit.  Oh and I added a net bustle to the rear ala Moulin Rouge. 

Mr. T'dots is wearing his black zoot suit with purple pants, silver glitter shoes and a pink boa.

We didn't win the costume contest but it's ok.  We lost to some fantastic costumes.

I'll post close ups of the hat tomorrow.  It's what I was making at 12:12.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Take a deeppppp breath!

Enjoy the moment.
Calmly. Peacefully. Seriously.
Photo taken at a nursery in So Cal.

So many things to do today but right now it's time to relax and enjoy the moment.  Breathe.  Sit up straight and place both feet flat under your desk.  Breathe.  Deep fillupthelungs breath. Exhale.  Do it again.  

Write the word BREATHE on a post-it & put it on your monitor so that you'll remember to breathe.  

Now it's time to face the day.  Or evening.  Depends on when you're reading this. ;-)

This is what I have to tackle over the next few days at the store.  I scored 24 petticoats while I was in So Cal.  I've started to wash them and they'll need new elastic, mending and some will get dyed.  

Thinking about this drains my energy.  

Just like the thought of weight loss drains my energy I know it's something that I alone have to tackle.  

Each petticoat will be dealt with one at a time.  

Each bite, meal, ounce and pound will be dealt with one at time.

I have to make plans for each meal.  I have to make plans for each petticoat.

I have to make sure I have all the elements on hand for both to be a success.  

Elastic, thread, washer, dye to make the petticoats presentable.

Fresh food not full of preservatives or chemicals to make the food presentable.

Judging my success with the petticoats by how they sell.

Judging my success with weight by how I feel/look.

Amazing how we can correlate daily activities with the connection to weight.
12:12 pm
Lunch time!  Enjoying mini bell peppers with humus.

I love love love mini bells.  Costco sells a giant bag that Mr T'dots & I will devour in 2 maybe 3 days.  They're sweet and go great with humus.

Friday, February 20, 2009


This is how I feel today:
So many things to get done & so many ways to look at my tasks.
I have 1001+ things to do at the store.  I start a project but then get distracted by another. Owner ADhD.  Ooooo! Shiney Things!  

The other thing that's distracting me is the weather.  It's a warm & beautiful 50 today in Reno. We turned off the heater & left the door open for the dog at the house.  People are riding bikes and the skate park is full.  

We're suppose to have another big storm hit us this weekend.  So I'll grab the warmth when I can.

I'm also basking in the glow of losing 19 pounds.  I'm wearing a sweater today that was wayyy too tight over the holidays.  I had "bra smile" pretty bad.  Today it fits!  No bra smile for this gal.

One thing that I've missed is feeling "cute".  I'm not a "cute" kind of gal.  But today I do feel cute.  When one weighs 214 one doesn't think of cute as a description.  

I tried on my "fat" jeans last night.  I'm still about 20 pounds too fat for my fat jeans.  But I'm figuring at this rate I should fit in them by mid May.  Clothes are slowly coming back into rotation.   Yeah!

12:12 pm thursday:
Enjoying my salad.
My niece told me that I needed to start taking pictures of myself & not of what is in front of me. Since I have lunch around 12-1 most of these will be me with food.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm HOME!!!!

I'm home I'm home I'm home!

Ahhhh Home. 
Sleep in my own bed (not that the 20+ year old hide-a-bed wasn't comfortable with it's 2 layers of egg crates), snuggle with my hubby, snuggle with my dog.... ahhhh home.

1.  Scale this morning said 214!!!! That's down 19 pounds!  Goal #1 was 10% and I'm just 4 pounds away.  I was diligent in all my food choices.  That's not to say I wasn't tempted.  Oh hell ya I was tempted.

Driving to and from was 9 hours down, 10 hours back home. (Extra hour: driving thru Los Angeles during rush hour.)  It was very very tempting to fall into old habits of getting snacks each time I bought gas.  Easy pull off the hwy to stop for fast food.

Rather than stop at fast food places for bathroom breaks I stopped at rest stops so I could mix my drinks and eat the food that wasn't finger food.  

Driving down I listened to a David Sadaris  book "Dress Your Family in Corduroy Pants".  I finished it as I pulled into LA and then switched over to my favorite NPR station KPCC.  

Driving home I listened to "Lovely Bones" and still have 5 disks to listen to.  Really good good book.  

I normally get 5 or 6 books on cd for my drives from the library.  I judge the books by their covers and by what's written on the jacket.  (Tell me something book publishers.  Why oh why do I have to know what other's think about the book?  Why did you switch from synopsis of the books to quotes from people about the book?)  My other rule is to only get unabridged readings.  I feel like I'm being cheated and so is the author by abridging/censoring their words.

2. Cooking.
Outside of 2 meals I made everything while at my Mom's.  Not a problem.  She enjoyed the food and I enjoyed all the cooking.

Turns out Mom's neighbor's son is a chef for Bobby Flay!  The son works in Vegas at Bobby Flays Mesa Grill (I think that's the name.).  

Mom had decided that I'm "gourmet" because I brought my own chef's knife & cutting board. Plus I use more than just salt & pepper when cooking.  

Oh and I went to a farmer's market!  Here in Reno our farmer's markets are only during the summer to early fall.  To go to one in February was a treat.  Freshly picked organic produce!  I am jealous of everyone who can take advantage of fresh locally grown produce in the winter. 

3.  Mom's health.

Mom is doing fantastic.  (Thanks for asking.)  

I had originally planned on staying until she got her stitches out but came home in between storms.  Outside of driving she's pretty independent and has made arrangements for someone to take her to get her stitches out.  She'll be back to driving soon after.

Photos:  Not 12:12
Double rainbow over my Sister's garage

Tulips in bloom on my Mom's table.

Driving down to OC via the Grapevine.

Driving over Donner Pass (Yes.  That Donner Pass)

12:12 on the drive down.
No recipes today.  Give me a few days to catch up with my life.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It never rains in Southern California

But when it does rain it pours!!

Lots of things to blog about today.
1. Lost: If you've DVR'd this skip to #2.
Here's my questions from last night: Is Jack/Clair's dad Jacob?
How does Charlotte know Korean?
I still don't trust Ben.
I loved the look on Sawyer's face when he saw Jin.
I feel so sorry for Daniel Faraday.
Miles "Don't look at me. I don't speak Korean. I'm from Encino!" Ummmm Miles. No you're the Dahrma guy's kid. You're from the Island.
Will Locke come back to life once he's brought back to the island?

2. Update on my Mom.

After calling her Elizabeth Taylor yesterday & giving her a 2nd pain pill (it's ok. The bottle said take 1-2 every 6 hours) she's doing great. Tomorrow we go to the dr and have her cast removed.

The pain pills really knock her out and she is sleeping hours on end. Today she's trying it without the pain pills because she's so afraid of becoming Elizabeth Taylor. Seriously Mom it's not going to happen. Honestly I think she's missing her 1 glass of wine with dinner.

3. I'm getting stuff done!

My Sister called me a "jewelry designer" last night. In all the years I've been doing bead work I've never ever thought of myself as a "designer". I just thought of myself as a beader. Funny but I guess she's right.

She's my biggest fan & wears my stuff all the time. She said that she tells people that I'm a jewelry designer and that it's one of my pieces. Huh. Well whatcha think of that??

I'm getting beading done & I'm planning on switching to sewing over the weekend.

4. Let's talk about plastic surgery.

No matter where I go here there are woman that have really destroyed their faces.

Today in Trader Joe's there was a woman in line next to me. Her face was pulled tighter than Van Gogh's canvas. Hello botox! Hello silicone lips!

Honestly what's the first step to having something done? There's no way her ID looks like her. Meow catty? Sure. But outside of having my underarm flags removed, my boob's lifted and my fatty apron removed there's no way I'd have something done to my face. (This from the 48 year old who got carded last fall thank-you-very-much.)

Image, Image, Image.

Hard to believe I grew up in this area. I wonder how my outlook would be if I still lived in La La Land.
5. Funny thing I saw today:

In the parking lot at Trader Joes was a van with the sign "The Meadows-A VINTAGE Senior living center".

Vintage Senior? What the hell does that mean?

6. Food & Diet

I am so on plan it's crazy. I'm cooking every meal. Loving it and so is Mom.

She's been reading my Dr. Linda Page book off & on today. She is also of the "if it can hurt you you can be healed by food" mindset.

Every morning she has an orange before having anything else. She eats whole grains, lots of veggies and is incredibly healthy. Yes she has her "treats". Her latest is the microwaveable hotdogs that are 2 to a package.

But I figure she's 85 and only takes BP meds. She must know what she's doing.

No pictures until I get home. DSL still isn't installed. And dial up is just tooooooo frustrating.

Enjoy your life until we check in again!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Checking in from So. Cal

I'm here. In the same area that "Real Housewives of OC" is filmed. Well kind of in the same area.

I'm at my Mom's for the next 10 days or so. She had her surgery this morning & came home right after. Carpal tunnel and another type of tunnel thing in her elbow. After 30 years of doing pottery she's lost the feeling in complete hand.

Mom's an amazing woman. At 85 she's surprised her dr's by saying "Yes. Blood pressure medication is the only thing I take." I have an wonderful roll model in my Mom.

Now about the place she lives. It's a retirement village. The Village at Laguna Woods. Used to be called Leisure World. Yes. Leisure World.

It's an incorporated city with a population of 40,000+. All the business's cater in this area cater to the seniors.

Overheard conversation today while waiting to get Mom's pain pill prescription:
"I'm so constipated! I take 3 stool softeners every day." says the customer
"Do you strain?" Pharmacist.
"I have back pain."
P: "Do you strain?"
C: "I have some pain."
P: "When you try to go do you strain?"
C: "Go where? Why would I go anywhere with a strain?"
This went on for a while.

Most of Mom's friends are in their 80's. A couple are in their 90's. These women are truly truly amazing.

If you'll notice there's no pictures. Not due to lack of pictures but due to we're still on dial up until tomorrow. Tomorrow Mom's computer takes the big leap into DSL world! Yeah!

My food is so on that I felt guilty this morning after putting apple butter on my Mom's toast I absent mindedly licked my finger. Suddenly I tasted sweet & realized what I'd done. For the rest of the day I became very aware of what I was doing each time I made something.

New goal: Don't lick my fingers. Ever.

My jeans are very loose & I'm feeling "thin".

I had told Mom that I'd be cooking all the meals while I was here. "No problem." I did eat breakfast out yesterday morning but it was the same thing I have at home: brown rice, scrambled eggs with nutritional yeast.

Back in the 60's Mom was a disciple of Adele Davis. She made yoghurt, whole grain breads and we had an organic garden wayyyy before it became popular.

If you're in So Cal may I recommend Mother's Market? Love love love this store. Very healthy, very reasonable and the restaurant is fantastic.

One more thing.

Mom has a lemon tree & the lemon's are ready! I love being able to go out & pick fresh lemons.

Tonight's recipe: Mustard chicken

Chicken breasts
Top with
Mustard powder
Fresh lemon juice

Rub on & then roast 350 until done.

I served it with brown & wild rice, sauteed green beans & red bell peppers.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Today I feel content

Today I feel rushed.  I feel content but rushed.
I have to get everything done for my big road trip tomorrow.
There are things to get done at the store:
1.  Pack up pottery for artist in Laguna.  She wants it back for a show & it's not really selling anymore.
2.  Pack up all my jewelry.  My Sister is my biggest fan & she wears my stuff all the time.  Turns out her coworkers may be interested in buying a piece or 2.  Yeah!  Can you say "trip is now a write off?"!
3.  Pack clothes which means laundry.
4.  Double up on supplements.  Shopping tonight.  Arggg.
5.  Load van with sewing machine, fabric & patterns.  Goal:  10 vests.
6.  Gas up car.  
7.  Figure out food to eat on road.  
8.  Figure out which small appliances I can take & let Mr. T'dots still have things around to help him with his daily food.

I feel rushed but it's going to be just fine.

I'm pretty sure I can blog at my Sisters but we'll see about AOL & Moms.  

Weight goal while I'm gone:  I'd love to come back & be under 215.  Scale this morning said 217. Totally do-able.

Be nice to each other while I'm gone.  Play fair & say "Please" and "Thank you".

12:12 pm 
Changing the mannequins to Valentines meets Mardi Gras.
I love the reflection of the sky in this picture.
Storm's coming in!

This picture is from later in the day.  
Mr. T'dots  hung these from the ceiling above the mannequins.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I knew it I knew it I KNEW IT!!!

If you've dvr'd Lost STOP READING RIGHT NOW!!!
Seriously.  Stop reading.  Spoiler alert! 
I've been saying  since the boat blew up that Jin was alive.  I knew it. I knew it.  
And right now I don't trust Sun.  Or Ben. But I've never trusted Ben.  Even when we first met him & he said he had parachuted into the tree.
My niece Lisa's theory:  Miles is the Dharma film guy's kid.  I'm thinking she's right. Miles did get the bloody nose.  
I LOVE this show!  
In other news:
1.  Last night's fire spinning class was a blast.  Since I'm going to miss the next 2-3 classes I had one of the teachers show me the basic's of 3 new moves.  I figure if I learn 1 new move a week I'll have about 30 moves when Burning Man comes around.

2.  I'm leaving early sat to drive to Orange County.  Mom is having surgery on Tuesday and I've offered to stay while she recuperates.  She has carpel tunnel except it's also in her elbow.  She'll be in a brace and we have no clue what her mobility will be.

She's 100% on board with my food.  "You're going to cook all the meals?  FANTASTIC!" 

Bad news:  AOL dial up.  Need I say more?  But in her defense she is open to me finding other deals on DSL or cable.  

I'm taking with me sewing projects and beading projects.  I'll have plenty of uninterrupted time to finish projects.

3.  Anti-candida:  The program is going great.  But this week brought on two issues that had disappeared for a month.  My kidneys have been inflames since Monday & Mr. T'dots dandruff is back.

His dandruff had disappeared about 3 days into the program.  He's had a rash on his forehead since last fall that had also disappeared.  Not only is that back but it's back with a vengeance! 

On Sunday we had decided to up our grapefruit seed extract from once a day to twice a day. Within 24 hours everything started acting up.  It's the only thing we've changed so we've eliminated the 2nd serving.

To help my kidney's I'm cutting back on protein and adding nettle tea as a cleanser.  More fresh veggies will also help.  
12:12 pm.  Making lunch in my little rice cooker.

This has to be one of the best inventions!  I use this every single day.  
Boil water for tea:  check
Warm up veggies for lunch:  check
Cook a frozen chicken breast:  check

Yes it's sitting on a microwave but I have never EVER felt comfortable using a microwave.  Just something about it has given me the oogies.

Side note:  See the chef's knife?  We call it our "OJ Simpson" knife.  The tip is broken off & we found the knife in our front yard the same time as the murders.  I doubt that OJ would make arrangements for the murder weapon to leave Brentwood & end up in Reno.  But you never know!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Body image follow up

First off I want to thank everyone for the comments & phone calls yesterday.  It really made me feel good about who & what I am.

I had a chance with the same customer yesterday morning.  I had been vacuuming in the back stock room & didn't hear the door.  

I came out to find him standing with a friend of his.  

"This is Mimi.  This is Marie."
"Hi Marie. My name's Lauren."
In no way did I want to make him feel bad.  He's a fun natured guy and I know that it wasn't said in spite.  I put it into the same category as the time when Mr. T'dots said to a friend after she had gotten a drastic hair cut "It makes you look like a soccer Mom."  
Not the words she wanted to hear but the best way he could think of to complement her. 

"You're not wearing your crazy clothes."  I was wearing jeans, long sleeve tie-dye t-shirt and my hair pulled back into a pony.

"I don't dress like that every day.  This is who I am. I have to tell you that I really don't consider myself to be flamboyant.  I think of myself as 'free spirited'. I'm not Mimi.  Her character was mean, spiteful and played practical jokes to harm.  I understand that you didn't call me Mimi in spite.  But I'd prefer if you'd call me Lauren."

He apologized.  I apologized for making him feel guilty.  I believe we cleared the air.  

Sorry Mimi.  Lauren's here to stay.
Molly and her new friend
A very very bored dog.
If you click on the photo you can get a better look at part of the store.

Why is Molly at the store?  Monday afternoon one of our neighbors drove by the store to tell us that Molly had CHEWED her way thru the gate.  She was in the front yard.  He put her back in the yard and put a few things in front of the gate.

Mr. T'dots went home and found her in the front yard.  Sure enough she had chewed thru the wooden gate.  

We normally dog sit mon-fri but the owner has been sick so no Enzo.  She & Enzo play for hours on end. I guess separation anxiety?  

Mr. T'dots fixed the gate & then inspected the fence to make sure there weren't anymore escape routes.  

I brought her to the store in the afternoon to hang.  She loves being there but gets bored. 
Last night's dinner
Salmon loaf & roasted veggies
Salmon loaf is one of my Mom's recipes.  I loved it as a kid & love it even more as an adult. Comfort food.

Pre-heat oven 350
In a small baking dish:
Open 1 can of salmon & pour into dish.  Separate out bones & skin.  (I usually put the skin into Molly's food & the bones back into the can.)
1 green onion cut up fine
1 piece of celery cut up fine
Hint of cayenne pepper
1-2 TBS brown rice flour
Crack 1 egg over mixture.
Now get your hands messy & mix all together.  Form into giant patty.
Bake 35-40 mins.  
Thanks MOM!

12:12 pm
Mr. T'dots modeling a Mardi Gras head dress

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Self Image

"You know who you remind me of?"  asks the customer.
"No who?" 
"She's a famous tv star."
Thinking.... thinking... who do I look like?  In the 80's I was told I looked like Jennilee Harilson the last blonde on "Three's Company".  But she's not around anymore.  
Thinking... thinking... thinking.... "I give up."
"Mimi from Drew Carry!" he says with a giant grin.
Shit.  "Really?  Mimi was a mean person.  I'm not mean. I think I'm pretty nice."
Customer " You are nice! Mimi was very flamboyant.  She wore crazy costumes every day & you are flamboyant."

Now I don't think of myself as being flamboyant.  I think of myself as free spirited. Yes I have blonde hair with purple, gold, orange & red highlights.  Yes I will wear a petticoat when the event calls for it.  But I think of Mimi as being a clown.  I don't think of myself as a clown. 

He wasn't saying this to be mean.  He was saying it from the heart.  He can't remember my name and insists on calling me Mimi.  He insists to me that he loves my energy and both he & his wife really enjoy shopping at my store.  But Mimi?  

It hurts to even write about this.  Am I a clown?  Am I a fool in my clothing choices?  And how many others feel this way about me? It's not in me to dress like the rest of the world. 

It kills me when I see today's generation all dressing exactly the same with no creativity at all. Jeans, t-shirt with some mall store's name on it, the right shoes and big knock-off purse.  

My self image isn't strong.  I get asked constantly when the baby is due?  "Must be soon!"  I've given up saying "Oh, I'm not pregnant.  I'm just fat."  That makes the person asking feel embarrassed and bad for asking.  Instead I say 2 months from now.   

I've had strangers put their hands on my belly.  "Can I feel it kick?" 
I've had children in stores ask if I have a baby in my belly.
I was at Disneyland and had a ride attendant tell me that pregnant women weren't recommended for the ride.

Don't tell me to do crunches.  I do crunches.  Don't tell me that it will go away as I lose weight. Yes it is but even thin it protrudes and the baby question keeps getting asked.  

And since I went thru menopause at 42 the chance of a baby in the belly is minute.  

I have trouble buying pants.  A friend suggested that maybe I go ahead & get pregnant jeans. Another friend turned me onto Lane Bryant new "perfect fit" jeans.  At $45 a pair it's just not going to happen. My dream pants?  Levi's 501 straight leg with the waist size left on the back tag.  

My realistic pants?  Something with elastic.

Yes, I know I'm doing the absolute right thing for myself.  I'm losing weight.  I'm eating "clean". I'm exercising. I'm doing all the right things. Everyday.  All the time.  I know all of that.  

But Mimi?  
Last night's dinner.
Moroccan whitefish one skillet recipe

I found this recipe online & tweeked it a bit.

1-3 red potatoes sliced 1/4"
1 pound whitefish thawed
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 med onion sliced 1/4"
1-2 sweet bell peppers
Open crisper & see what other veggies you have.  Slice about 1/4" 

In a clean jar
1/2 c water
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
dash cayenne pepper.

In a thick skillet layer potatoes.  Lay fish on top.  Cover with cilantro, onions, peppers & various veggies.
Pour sauce over everything.
Cover & cook on med 30 mins.  Open lid every 10 mins & tilt pan to side & spoon sauce over everything.

I loved loved loved this meal.  Enjoy! 

Monday, February 2, 2009


He saw his shadow.  Six more weeks of winter.  
Super Hero Super BOWLing partayyyyy!

Who am I?  Why I'm SUPER Burner!  Here to make sure you truly enjoy your Burning Man experience.  I have extra goggles, dust masks and the very important EmergenC.  Can't let you get dehydrated.  Bored?  Let me fire spin for you.
Never fear!  TIE DYE GUY is here!
Able to bring a smile to your face, color to your wardrobe and bowling with an orange colored bowling ball it's TIE-DYE GUY to the rescue!

We had a good turn out.  We laughed and bowled for about 2 hours.  
I was concerned about food but Mr. T'dots packed some snacks for us.  We ended up sharing with a couple of other players since no one wanted to order greasy food.  

This was easy! (My new mantra)
This was easy!
This was easy!
12:12 pm Sunday
Finished cleaning off the dresser!  Yeah!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit!
It's February 1st!

(Why do cartoon characters seem to have shirts but no pants?  
Isn't it "No Shirts, No Shoes, No service?")
Do you know about the tradition of saying "Rabbit rabbit rabbit" on the first day of the month?It's suppose to bring you good luck for the rest of the month.  My friend Maddy has said that it's ok to talk to your animals first and then say it.  Love that Maddy.
Scale check in time
Down 13 pounds since Jan 5th!!!
This puts me below wedding weight. 
This puts me below Jan 1, 2008 weight.
And this puts me only 20 pounds until that beautiful place we call ONEderland! 
In yesterday's blog I talked about wanting to binge & my two challenges.

The desire to binge is gone. I don't know if it was blogging about it or talking with my friend Michelle about it.  
"You just have to keep on keeping on."  Said Michelle yesterday.  She's so fantastic about helping me stay motivated.  She brought me a clave sounding percussion instrument to the store.  "It's for you to play with when you're dancing around the store."
I love that Michelle.

"Ok.  Tell me about your diet and what you're doing and why you're doing it."  says my French friend last night.
Mr. T'dots  & I explain the anti-candida diet.  
"No wine" I say
"No problem.  I wasn't planning on wine tonight since I had lots of wine last night."
"No chocolate" I say
"No problem.  But can I still eat it?"
"Of course!"

Mr. T'dots made scallops with pesto, sauteed veggies & brown rice pasta for dinner.

She loved it!

"I thought it would be bland, boring food."

Nope.  Not for the T'dots family! 

Mr. T'dots is right!  This is easy.
This is easy.
This is easy.
12:12 saturday:  Forgot the camera.
This is from yesterday morning in our back yard.
We have many many pieces of yard art.  I love how the frost outlines everything & the morning sun hits it so that it looks like it's got crystals all over.

Tulip with our compost pile behind.
(Click on the pictures so you can see the close up of the furry ice crystals.)