The ins and outs-catching up

I want to write a post about the talk I gave at the Women’s Health Luncheon….it ended up being wonderful, although I hyperventilated the morning of, nearly vomited…to be continued in another post. Instead I thought I’d just write a few other tid-bits as I haven’t posted in awhile.

In honor of Mama’s Day: 2011 has been a huge year of change for my Mother. A year of positive change, I think. Some may view it as selfish. I do not. She is living in Florida taking care of my elderly Pepe but at the same time for the first time since I’ve known her (heh heh) is taking care of herself. For those of you that do not know about my childhood, that was never allowed….never a possibility. She has joined a gym and has a trainer. Apparently I would NOT recognize her as she has lost all of her extra weight (this according to my relatives). Because of the cancer scare and emergency surgery she had to have in late fall, she has quit smoking~the biggest blessing, I believe. She went to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston a few weeks ago for a thorough exam to be sure and is doing well. She has done very basic things that most women take advantage of…our hair, our skin, our make-up. She is enjoying these luxuries at last. She is sitting at the ocean each day (not tanning!!!!) but reflecting. She has found God, I believe. And someone else….I cannot speak any further on that. Oh, and she’s taken up golfing…with a PGA tour instructor (I know, strange huh? but it has a bit to do with the part I will not speak about) But…here’s to her taking care of herself!

That royal wedding! Wasn’t that a hoot? As a friend wrote on her blog~I, too, cannot even think about it without my thoughts sounding British. Ha! Just one brief story: I have a wonderful patient from London. She has a sister still there and a bunch of family in Illinois. Although she has lived here forever her accent is thick, thick, thick. She took time off for the wedding and went to Illinois to celebrate the wedding with her fam. They actually had her niece wear a wedding gown in honor of the event and held their own reception! Not. Kidding. They wore the hats and everything! She said the cake was quite delicious.

Zumba: I. Love. It.

Adam and I did a 5K last Saturday-we walked (duh)… for the Teal Lotus Project. This project was started last fall by a woman who took years to finally come out with her story of being raped. She now wants everyone to know her story and she wants to go around speaking it to help others. She is starting a counseling fund for other women to be able to get free counseling, etc. She has gotten tons of press already, etc. I know her a little and from what I do know of her she is an amazing woman. Being a brand-spankin’ new project this, of course was the first 5k so only 115 people signed up and another 20 came the day of. She asked on the form that if you were a victim of sexual assault of any kind to please let her know as you would be anonymously acknowledged at the event. I am SURE not every woman let her know because they were not for sure what she was going to do, ya know? There were men there, too…of course. Which they thanked over the loud system as they said you obviously love your mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, etc…that is why you are here today supporting this project. So. Subtract however many men were there. I don’t know how many. But in glancing around I’d say at least 25. That takes us down from the 115 pre-registered to 90 in my pea-brained figuring. Then came the anonymous acknowledment part, which as I already said I am SURE not every one that was sexually assaulted in the past told her. Several people came out of the building carrying large bouquets of teal colored balloons and handed them out all around to people to hold. She then asked us to hold them up high and told us that there were 26 balloons because 26 women anonymously told her that they had been sexually assaulted. She said let us let these balloons go and help these women heal today…if even just a little. I looked around at all of the faces that I almost know all of. Our little community. 26 out of 90. I cried. I held onto Adam’s arm. I selfishly thanked God I am not one of those 26 but cried for those 26 and for the ones that have yet to tell.

My partner that lives behind us, the same one that does the ice rink in the winter also loves to hunt turkeys. He and his son, I should say. In fact, his office is covered in turkey feathers. Well, I am sure they are professionally mounted or whatever but to me there are just feathers everywhere. Yesterday morning the dogs were barking like nuts and I walked out and there was a beautiful turkey hanging upside down on their clothes rack in there back yard. Our yards our separated only by a really thin alley. I walked over and it was completely intact except for a little bloody around the neck. Adam came over and I commented on this. He of course laughed at me. I mean, come on people…like I should know these things. I guess it is important that they drain all of the blood out of a turkeys neck right away after killing it. Anyways, as sad/sick as it may sound I did pet it’s feathers a little and they were very soft and beautiful and I now know why they have a clothes rack there. I always wondered. Now I’m wondering if someday we are going to wake up and they’ll be a bunch of ’em there. 

I’d rather have their turkey. I had a person (I will just refer to them as that) that works at a poultry plant tell me a story. They were learning how to cut the turkey breasts and a breast came by with black bumpy warty like things on them and she was taught how to cut them off in one quick sweep and she asked what it was. She was told, skin cancer. The breast went on its way to be packaged and sold to us lay folk. After its skin cancer was removed, thank GOODNESS (I type with sarcasm)!!! The stuff she cut off went into a barrel that was put in with the other stuff that was ground together to make the ground turkey that is packaged together that is sold to us lay folk. OMG. We are, as we have been for awhile but have now rapidly up’d our speed, looking for an au natural poultry person.

My baby brother. Quick braggin’ session. He has his own Edward Jones office in Kalispell, MT and has for a year and a half. He worked in Stamford, CT for the Bank of Ireland before this and I know he is tremendous at what he does. I know little about numbers and money other than I have none and owe too much and he will definitely vouch for that. But. I do know this. Edward Jones works on a point system of sorts I believe and it all depends on how many new accounts you get, how much money your office is carrying, etc. He must be doing well because in his short time as being an Edward Jones wealth analyst he has already been awarded two trips for he and his wife. They recently spent 10 days in Hawaii and in the end of July they will be going to Dublin, Ireland. Yes, I HAVE already asked if there is a discount for family members to come. There isn’t but children can but I’d have to go to the children’s activities and stuff and stay in their room so I’ve opted out. I’m jealous but proud. And as I wasn’t completely impressed with his Hawaii pictures I encouraged him to get a better camera for Ireland because I’ve always dreamed of going and I cannot wait to see those pics!

elementary school fun….or what used to be

Remember growing potato eyes in grade school? We did, at least. Adam was bound and determined that he was going to grow some eyes to use to plant potatoes in our garden this year. These potatoes have been in a dark enclosed cupboard for three months and there is hardly nothing. I got to reading as to why and apparently now’a days they put so many preservatives on potatoes even that it makes growing eyes very difficult. I suppose this is why potatoes are one of the top five produce we should try to buy organic because their skin is so permeable. Bummer because I love baked potatoes in restaurants WITH the skins!!!

Preservatives vs. No Preservatives:Weeks 3-6

Yes, I know…I’m a slacker. In my defense (if there is any at all) I almost died (to steal my baby brother’s favorite quote) as I was very ill for about 10 days. In fact for the first time since I’ve been in this ol’ health care biz I thought I had influenza. Not kidding-never been that sick in the past 15 years. Whatever it was….I lived to tell about it and Adam did NOT get it-Yay!

Check out the previous preservatives vs. no preservatives posts listed here, here and here.

In the most recent post I wrote about how I had emailed the company that made the preservative-free bread to find out the expiration date on their bread. While their bread may be preservative-free it lacks any dating on the wrapper/packaging at all. Their response is as follows, “The Lot # would be on the clip that keeps the bag closed.  The attached files will assist you dating your bread for baked date.  The products can be maintained frozen for 9 months, 2 weeks refrigerated after defrost or 5 days at room temperature after defrost. ”   Hmmm, tricky business. At any rate, Adam likes the bread and has been buying it ever since and so I checked out the little clip and could hardly read the number on it but when deciphering that with the “code deciphering instructions” (this is seriously what it says on the top of the form) it basically comes down to the fact that there is NO expiration date per se. Rather you have the time frame they have listed above from the time the bread was made which you figure out from the little clip and their sheet. Too complicated for me….plus the bread is gone before than anyways.

Back to the good stuff. Due to stink, the study is done this week. the no preservative bread’s odor is permeating through the ziploc and it is time to say “sayonara old friend!”. You can click on the previous posts up above to see the first three week’s pictures.

February 27, 2011

March 6, 2011

March 13, 2011

March 20, 2011

One final thought:  YUCK!

Laundry detergent

We made our own. Yes. We. Did. And, it was fun! I got the recipe from a friend who has done so for a long time. Here is her post with the recipe which is probably much better as my post is geared more to the hilarity of the fact that Adam and I even did this. And, that I think we honestly will keep doing so. Just wait, people. You haven’t seen nothin’ yet. We are going to do great things in our future!

First, you may ask…what brought this on? Initially I was thinking of making our own soap. As in bars of soap. Primarily because my own skin is so freaking dry and I have been told at medical conferences that castile soap is the best soap for skin as far as bacteria goes and when I researched that I found that it, indeed is the oldest soap and in its purest form is also very good for dry skin. That, my kind friends is the key: “purest form”. I quickly decided making soap looked too hard. Then looked at Dr. Bronner’s soap (which is castile) and decided it was a bit pricey for as many bars of soap Adam and I go through…yes, yes I know there are only two of us but he takes two showers a day usually and we just go through a lot of soap. While in Lincoln, Adam found some soap at a natural food store and happily came home with his prize but couldn’t keep a grip on it in the shower….again “purest form”. Besides, I think he got glycerin soap. Lo’ and behold I find this for a mere buck.30 at our lil’ grocery:

Now I haven’t had a chance to try it yet because I’m finishing up my current bar so we’ll see. My point is that once my soap making tangent finished I was off on another tangent: laundry detergent.

I guess I still haven’t gotten to the whole point of this. Here it is. Adam and I have been doing a lot of thinking, discussing, reading….while we know we can’t change everything we are exposed to environment-wise, we would like to somewhat control what is within our own four walls. Well, as much as we can anyhow. When we leave the confines of our home each day we are placated with whatever it is they are needing to help the alfalfa and corn fields grow here locally, and much much more. We can never ever stop exposing ourselves from EVERYthing. But we can limit some things. For instance I learned recently that there are a few ingredients in the Mary Kay that I have used for years (and nothing against Mary Kay because they are in almost every other major brand too) that may cause miscarriages and birth defects if used for a prolonged period of time, of which I have for 15 years. So we are a little lost right now, that is all. Therefore we made laundry detergent. Detergent that isn’t even completely natural but it sure as heck is more natural than what we were using! And is way cheaper. In fact is only 4 cents per load!

Recipe-makes 5 gallons (you should be able to buy all four ingredients at your average grocery store unless you live where we do and then you will need to go to two or three places but never fear….you will succeed!).

  • One bar fels naptha soap (this CLEARLY says for laundry on there but you know how sometimes you just wonder about some people? Yeah, well some of those people stock shelves and put it with the body soap so if you can’t find it in the laundry aisle…check with the body soap)
  • One box borax (this will yield you 9 batches of this recipe)
  • One box washing soda (this will yield you 7 batches of this recipe and for peter’s sake do NOT go getting baking soda even though it is made by the same people!)
  • One bottle of plain (this is the key-must be plain-don’t go getting fancy schmancy) Dawn liquid dish soap.

You will also need a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, something long to stir with (hopefully something longer than a kitchen spoon which my stubborn Husband was determined was long enough and therefore used through the entire freaking process), a grater thingy of some sort-we just used an el-cheapo cheese grater and about 20 minutes total. Oh, and for us an old laundry detergent bottle because we don’t want to use the detergent out of the 5 gallon bucket! After we made this we looked on-line and found a zillion other recipes and ways you can alter this so go for it if you want but we love it so far. Alas, our adventure in photos…

Our Supplies Await Us!!!

Once this is grated, mix this in 4 cups of water in a saucepan...NOT boiling water. Must be hot but NOT boiling, otherwise you'll get a few chunks that are hard to break down. Yeah, uh huh...we learned the ol' hard way. You stir in the pan until it is all melted.

 While your fels-naptha is melting in the pan of water fill your 5 gallon bucket up half way with hot water. Dissolve 1 Cup Borax and 1 Cup of the Washing Soda in this. Then add the melted Fels naptha, mix. Then, fill the remaining way with hot water like the picture below but leave some stirring room for in the morning.

You mix everything together EXCEPT for the Dawn and then leave it sit overnight...so this is right before we put the lid on and said "nighty night!"

It coagulates over night. This was totally AWESOME-it was like that goop stuff that you can buy for kids. I'm all about this kind of stuff. Kind of like this fantasy I have where I want to swim in a pool of M&Ms or jell-o. Anyway you stir and stir and stir until this is smooth again.

Mix in 1/4 cup dawn

We could have been done butttt, we want to use our old container so here we are....and it was easy to do.

I love being able to still use the same container! The only thing is that before each load we have to take it out and rotate the container a couple of times to re-mix things and then put it back but that is okay. Otherwise, you would normally use 1/2 cup for a top-loader washer, 1/4 cup for a front-loader. Or for us it is counting to three Mississippi

 

Preservatives vs. No Preservatives: WEEK 2

DAY 14

As you can see the good ol’ Sara Lee that is full of preservatives is still a rockin’ (just like that french fry that you’d find between your seats would be too I am certain). Nasty. Well, so is the other too but the fact that the preservatives can fool us into thinking that the other is still fresh and fine to eat is scary to me.

At a friends idea from last week’s update I have emailed the preservative-free company and asked why I couldn’t find an expiration date on their product. Of course they’ll probably say it was right there under our noses.