Where Are Your Shoes?!

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ThermometerIt’s a toasty 28° today, and I had some errands to run.  So I bundled up my son, threw on my jacket and huaraches, and headed out the door.  I arrived at my first destination and walked in.  The lady working there took one look at my feet and exclaimed, “Where are your shoes?  It’s cold outside!”  I parried with, “Where are your gloves?  Don’t you know it’s cold?”  She laughed.  What was really amusing was that my hands were colder than my feet.  In fact my hands were turning red.  The rest of me was quite a bit warmer.

I finished my errands with no other confrontations.  I don’t think anyone else noticed or cared.  I know people would growl if I showed up barefoot, but one would think that huaraches qualified as shoes!  At least there was a sole under my foot.  At least it made for a more exciting trip out today.

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Granola

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CerealYesterday, Son #3 and I made granola cereal.  He got to practice his fractions and measurements, and I got breakfast!  This morning I made a bowl up and added bananas, blueberries and silk.  It was really good and very filling.

Right now I’m trying to boil a pot of black beans.  I wanted black bean soup for lunch, but my pot keeps boiling over and the fire went out once without my knowledge.  At this rate, I might get them for dinner!

Meat(less)loaf!

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My daughter is always asking what we are having for dinner on Sundays.  In fact, she barely waits for the final “Amen” before she starts in.  This week was no different.  And as usual, she wanted a certain dish.  Today it was meatloaf.  Ok (sly grin).  I think I can do that.  I jumped on the internet and guess what?  There are many recipes for vegan meatloaf.  Some have gluten and others don’t.  I chose one that was gluten free because I had all of the ingredients!

Back at the ranch, as they say, I started cooking brown rice and lentils.  My daughter came in to nose around, and I just ignored her.  Then I chopped all the veggies and sauteed them.  Daughter got a little more curious and started asking questions.  Finally she caught on, and I had to kick her out.  She came back.

At the third step, mixing all the ingredients together, she started groaning.  “There’s no meat!”  All I said was, “You asked for meatloaf!”  She looked very skeptical, but I convinced her to take a small bite.  I tricked her really.  She’s a salt-aholic, so I casually asked if the loaf had enough salt.  It did, and she didn’t die.

While the loaf was in the oven, I prepared new potatoes and fresh green beans (one of my favorite foods).  Again, I added a little salt, but that was all.  When both were finished, I whipped up a kale and avocado salad with lemon like I did yesterday.  It was so good, I just had to have it again.

Then came the boys… Yesterday son #3 wouldn’t touch the lasagna, #2 didn’t like it, and #1 wasn’t home.  Today #1 found out what I had done and quickly started running his mouth!  I shhhed him (is that a word?) and just told #3 that it was meatloaf.  He never knew the difference.  The other 3 kids ate their portions without grumbling (just a few smart remarks), but at least they ate!  I was very pleased with that.  They may be won over yet.  Of course Sons #1 & #2 threatened to go to McDonald’s afterwards.  I think they were just kidding…?

Meatless Lasagna

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photo (2)This is one of our first whole foods, plant based meals.  And I must say, it was quite good.  I loosely followed a recipe found in the E2Diet, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients, so I improvised a little.  Rip Esselstyn calls it  “Raise the Roof” sweet potato vegetarian lasagna.  Some of the ingredients I was missing were spinach, bell peppers and cashews.  Instead I used chopped almonds and zuccini.  I also added some tempeh and mushrooms simply because I like them.

photo (1)To accompany the lasagna, I made an avocado, lime and kale salad.  It was so good.  I’ve never really been a fan of avocado, but the flavor and texture were amazing.  I even enjoyed “masaging” the avocado into the kale.  It was like playing with goo!

My son tried a bite of each, but that’s as far as it went.  My daughter looked at it and said, “No way!” Maybe someday they’ll learn to like a few of my new dishes.  I know I had fun making and eating them.

First Quarter Mile

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Well I did it!  I barefooted my first 1/4 mile.  And it was interesting.  I’ve been roaming around the house for a month now just getting my feet used to it, and twice I ventured to the mailbox.  Today was a mild day in the 50’s, so I decided to give it a try.

I rode to the church with my daughter, and then she went on to work.  After my business was finished, I started my 3 block pilgrimage for home.  All went well the first 1/2 block.  Then I decided to give my feet a little rest from the pavement.  I cut across the street to walk on the long strip of grass that continued for the next block.

First step was good; second and third questionable.  By the fourth step, I had discovered who treats his lawn and who doesn’t!  This lawn was infested with sand burrs.  My poor feet were coated.  There was nothing to do but sit down on the curb and pull the thorns out.  My only concern was that my bottom would then be covered as well.  It wouldn’t look to good to walk down the street picking at my butt!

Luckily the thorns came out easily and none were in my pants :).  I elected to finish that block back on the pavement.  The next block had a sidewalk part way and then more grass.  Yes, you guessed it.  More sand burrs.  At least this time there was only one, and I looked carefully where I put my feet (like I could see them burried in the dead grass!).

People were riding their horses down the main street and I stopped to watch.  I thought looking interested in them would be less obvious than standing there waiting until all the cars had passed for three blocks either direction.  I really didn’t want to run across the road, but I ended up doing it anyway.  Besides, I didn’t think I looked any wierder being barefoot than being on horseback in the middle of town.

The remaining distance was a smooth parking lot.  I breezed over it and into my cool dirt yard.  There were a few sharp pebbles along the way that reminded me how tender I still am, but it wasn’t bad.

Going the “Whole” Way!

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Vibrant Produce

Over the past few months, my husband and I have watched several videos and read quite a bit about nutrition and eating whole foods.  Our journey started with the movie “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.”  Since then we have learned even more from studies by Dr. Gerson, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, T. Colin Campbell and others.  Currently we are reading the book “Engine 2 Diet” by Rip Esselstyn, son of Caldwell Esselstyn.

While neither of us would claim to be “vegetarian” or “vegan”, both of us believe in eating healthy foods.  In fact, we have seen many vegetarians/vegans who were over weight.  Simply forgoing meat does not mean a person has given up on ice cream, cookies, chips, etc.  There are still many veggie friendly junk food items on the shelf.

Our resolve was solidified last night when we went to our favorite (and only) buffet to eat.  The goal was to eat healthy amid the selections of dairy and meat and meat and meat!  We didn’t do to shabby of a job I might add.  My husband started off with a large salad with oil and vinegar, and I began with a plate of warm veggies (potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, fried okra!).  Ok, there were a few undesirable things in there like the fried part and the brown gravy.  Next I fashioned my own salad and skipped the oil, just vinegar please with a squeeze of lemon.  Quite satisfying.  My husband returned with his plate of warm veggies and I was shocked to see a piece of fried chicken on there.  I chided him, and he felt guilty the entire time the grease was dribbling down his chin.

As I said, our resolve to eat healthy was solidified this night.  As we both sat there, we were appalled at how many grossly obese people were there with mounds of food upon their plates.  I’m not talking a little overweight; I mean a lot.  It was sad to watch.  We both kept thinking these individuals were just heart attacks waiting to happen.  They were uncomfortable, couldn’t manuever around easily, had difficulty breathing, etc.  And we knew that if we didn’t change our habits, we could be in the same predicament.

We are both committed to entering a new phase in our lives, one which is healthy.  I am eager to embrace the whole foods approach outlined in the E2Diet, whole my husband would still like some “organic” meat from time to time.  Our freezer is full of this type.  Our beef is grass fed and processed at the local meat locker.  Our journey, I am sure, will be interesting!

Inspection Time!

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The house is moving along fine.  We are finished with the structural part of the project and are now working on the walls.  The living room, dining, and den are sheet rocked, and the first coats of mud are on them.  They need to be sanded before the next two coats are added.  In the den, we are rebuilding the mantel.  The old fireplace had a low mantel with a brick surround.  The bricks fell down!

fireplaceWe reset the bricks, but our goal is to build a higher mantel in the arts and crafts theme with a tile surround. That said, the new frame is basically ready, and the hardibacker is waiting.  We also plan to use an old piano front for the frieze.  The piano has carved oak leaves on it in three separate frames.

piano     piano2

The last thing that is in the oven at the moment is the electrical panel.  The service had to be updated, and we have been waiting for months to have it inspected.  Just recently we learned that the new box couldn’t be in a closet.  Well…we no longer have a closet 😉  We now have a little nook for a desk.  Hopefully the inspector will appreciate our creativity!

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