Monday, May 28, 2012

Books 'n' Bloggers Swap!

Beth and Miss Angie are hosting a book swap! 
It's my first swap and I"m excited! I love a good book!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The imperfect things make us perfect.

     My family is far from perfect, nor do we fit many social norms.  However, I dearly love the little things that make us unique and so I thought I'd share some from my home.
     We don't eat at the table.  The kids eat at the bar in our kitchen, and the grown ups eat in the living room.  But we do quite often have family meals together.  About once a week I pick a nationality and have a themed dinner party on the coffee table in the living room.  Japanese night happens most often.  We sit on pillows in the living room and eat Japanese food and watch anime.  I light tea candles and lanterns and at the end everyone gets a fortune cookie.  Fun stuff!  We also don't eat dinner until about 7:30 or 8.  In Italy that's the dinner hour and it just kinda stuck.  While we're on the food topic, I cook every night and try to make sure that my children eat a wide variate of food.  I am a foodie and love a wide variety of foods and want to instill that in my kids.  I even cook foods I don't like for my kids with a fake yum face.   I disdain fish, but my kids think I love it.  As a result, my kids want and ask for foods that most kids won't touch. I buy French bread every time we entain guests so that we can literally "break bread together". Cheesy but I love it. <3
     We kiss on the lips.  No not making out or anything, like a kiss on the cheek but not.  My family is from North Dakota and have done it as long as anyone can remember. <3
     Everyone who enters my home must take their shoes off at the door.  Most places I've lived have required it and at this point the other way feels icky.  I get a few grumbles from this rule, but most people don't mind. <3
     A couple times a week we let the kids sleep in our room.  co-sleeping has been a cultural norm throughout human history.  I like the closeness that comes with it.
     My friends and I are proud nerds.  We have D&D nerds, book nerds, video game nerds, techno nerds, you name it.  Picture three people watching Star Trek on the living room T.V. while also playing with their lap tops.  In the kitchen a bunch of people are playing a deck building game, and someone, or two someones, are playing Black Ops in my room.  I love my people! <3
      We don't censor ourselves much for the kids.  My children understand that there are words that the adults are aloud to use and the children aren't.  I think children can understand things better than they're given credit for and the best way to arm them for the world is to let them live in it.
     Our family drinks out of containers, we take walks in the rain, we shoot guns, and we travel as much as possible.  All of our closest friends get the title of Aunt and Uncle to our kids.  Likewise, the people we're close to parent our children like they would their own.  It take a village to raise a child.  It's nice to know my children will get the same discipline no matter who they're with and that they have so many people who love them. <3 

Well, I think this is where I shall end for the night my loves, I think it's bedtime.  Night all...



Friday, August 26, 2011

I get so tired of being at odds with the world sometimes.

I am a libertarian, the rest of the world is liberal and so are most of my friends.  On the other side of the coin my state is very conservative, this includes all of my neighbors, my child's teacher, my husband's family, and the men in charge of the state I live in.  I wish I could be a liberal.  I wish I could put myself on one side or the other because I'm at odds with everyone I know.  I just believe what I think is logically right and no one I know ever feels the same, and in fact openly judge me.  The liberals treat me like a country bumpkin, and the conservatives like I'm Satan.   These people who have no higher education, have never been outside their state let alone their country,  have never hung out with any ethnic group but their own, don't read, drink and drive, and straight vote. It boggles my brain.  I have a friend that wants to make shots mandatory for children.  While I agree that shots are an amazing break through, I would never presume to tell other people how to raise their children.  Her argument is that shots save lives.  I couldn't agree more, but I'm so tired of people trying to push laws on us because they're good for us.  Laws should be to keep order in society, not to dictate morality and be our mother.  Why stop at shots, lets make breast feeding a law, that's good for you, lets take away pizza, booze, breast implants, bungee jumping and pixy sticks for anyone under 21.  I think circumcision is cruel and vain but I would never tell you what you can or can't with your child, and that's fine for you because you like circumcision, you only want laws made about things you disagree with.  Trampolines kill lots of kids every year, and fireworks, and high school football.  But you don't want those things taken away because you don't have a moral stance against them.  America is turning into that overprotective parent that doesn't let their kid have sleepovers because they could come back drug addicts.  Do we really think so little of ourselves as a nation that we need to be put in a virtual play pen?  I believe that if we teach people to think for themselves they'll make the right choices, and if they don't (to an extent) it's none of my business.  Think for yourselves!  Question authority!  Come on people, shouldn't we have the right to choose what happens to our own bodies and possessions and children?  Grrr

Monday, July 4, 2011

Almost 28 and still growning up....

Some messed up crap has been going on around me lately, and for once I think it's helped me to grow as a person, funny how we keep growing and learning even when we're grown.  For the last few months it feels like the whole world just wants to pick a fight with me, and I keep trying not to fight back because I hate the drama, but some of the time I find it next to impossible not to pop off back at them.  I figured out the reason it's so hard.  When someone wants a fight they play on things that they think will get to you, not really caring if what they say is truth or not.  But when someone does that, I look inward, assuming that if they said it it must be true.  That is bad self esteem hidden under the banner of self reflection.  I just recently found out that an acquaintance was telling our mutual friends that I'm a bad Mom, and a bad person.  I had decided not to engage her, to just be zen,  but the next time I saw her, out came the snide remarks.  The problem wasn't really her, it was me.  My goal has been just to try to keep my mouth shut, but the goal should really be, not allowing any person to make me upset to start with.  She hit on a something I worry about, and I felt a subconscious need to stick up for myself.  What I need to work on is just feeling good about myself in every regard.  I am a damn good Mom and I need to believe it.  If I really thought I was pretty, smart, and a good person, than I wouldn't get upset.  For instance, if someone said I have ugly boobs or ugly freckles I would laugh them off and would feel in the least bit compelled to throw a mental punch back.  I like my freckles, so the whole thing would just seem silly.  Well, I vow to like the rest of me enough to laugh off anything anyone can throw.  Period. 
     Also, sometimes being rational with someone just won't work and it's better not to try, which is another thing I recently learned.  There are some people that don't really have an interest in working things out, they just plain want to take out aggression on you for one reason or another.  I will no longer be taking part in any argument, even if I'm clearly in the wrong, unless I can see that the person on the other end has the goal of peace, understanding, and strengthening our relationship.  It's a waste of mental energy to argue for the sake of arguing. 

     Last thing.  I am proud to say that I like my imperfect body.  I am a healthy, average looking girl, and I am happy with that. It's time I drop the silly insecurities because they don't make me happy, so why worry about it?  Wasting all this life, time, mental energy on something so superficial was retarded enough, but when you add the fact that it's all going to go away as we age, I'm now shaking my head as to why I ever bought into the bullshit in the first place.  I just don't care anymore.  I like me.  It's not about having what you want, it's about wanting what you've got.  

I plan to buy a bikini and wear it.  I like my body and if other people don't than they don't have to look.  I will just inwardly laugh and feel a little sorry for then because they are still the kind of people who care about something as silly as looks and it's probably making them as unhappy as it used to make me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just do it.

     Yesterday I just about gave up.  I haven't lost weight in a month, I went down 20 pounds, gained three back and sat.  When I got on the scale yesterday I felt so hopeless I cried for an hour and just gave up.  I have followed my diet to the letter, except the night I introduced berries back into my diet and Kiri had ten pounds of the sweetest strawberries I've ever eaten.  I ate them until my belly hurt and we finished the whole box.  I was in pain the whole next day.  OOPS!  I have jogged three miles a day every day, that's 21 miles a week, even on days that I helped people move or was running around all day.  So when people give me the advice that I might not be doing enough or that I need to change my routine, I wanna cry.  Running is the only form of exercise that I've ever felt a passion for and I strive harder at every day.  I don't know what it is about it that makes it so, but I just love it.  I do it happy for and hour and a half, until my sides ache and my legs feel like jello.  I do have more energy from it, and I feel pretty healthy.  I'm just working really really hard every single day and not seeing seeing many results and it's frustrating.
     Fortunately I have an amazing network of people that encourage me, I stuck to it.  I've decided to add 30 day shred every day, along with the three miles.  Weekends I will trade jogging for swimming laps.  Sticking to the diet with added Ali pills, which will mean I will have to watch my caloric intake.   Seems like a lot, but I thought I was already doing a lot.  Gotta do what ya gotta do.
     If this doesn't make some difference in the next month, then I'm marching into Settebello's and never coming out. That reminds me, my craving of the week!  Settebello's pizza in the slc.

The only pizza place that tastes like real Italian pizza, trust me.  My perfect pizza is white sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto, Italian olives, pine nuts, artichoke hearts, and ricotta, made crispy in a brick oven.  Yum!

 My favorite diet food this week is cherries.  It's getting to be that fantastic time of year that cherries are cheap, abundant, and delicious.  They are wonderful straight out of the fridge, I'm addicted!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Life as I know it...

     I have been very hesitant to write about my health changes on a public forum. Sadly, I worry I will fail and look like a quitter.  Trust me, willpower isn't my strong suit.  The problem is that my new routine is such a large part of my life right now that I feel compelled to write about it.  I can't seem to find my journal, so I suppose I will write it out in blog form.  Plus only like five people read this thing and they're close friends who love and support me either way.  So without further adieu, life as I know it...
      A few months ago I was just about my highest weight, 180.  Didn't particularly mind though.  I felt okay, learned to love my body, and ate like a person like me loves to eat.  I truly do believe that all we have is this one short life to live, and trying to adhere to other people's standards of beauty by running on a ratmill every day is a pathetic waste of it.  The idea of spending my days eating boiled chicken instead of indulging in all the delectable bounty this plant has to offer, holds no interest to me at all.  It's a yummy yummy world, I intend to enjoy it.  
     All would be well with my plan to live a rich enjoyable life but for the fact that I have Crohn's Disease.  I was diagnosed with it when I was about 15.  What goes on is that I have a malfunctioning small intestine.  For reasons that doctor's have no clue about, my immune system chooses to attack my intestinal tract.  The leading theories are, stress, heredity, diet, and environmental factors.  Can't be cured, and it can spread to other organs, most commonly joints and eyes.  Thank god that hasn't happened to me, the idea of loosing my vision is terrifying.  There are lots of fun symptoms for us folks, but the ones I get to enjoy are, diarrhea, bloody stools, fatigue, anemia, 20 trips a day to the bathroom, accidents (though it's been a few years), nerve problems, bloating, migraines, hemorrhoids, inflammation,  malabsorption, and best of all, daily searing pain.    The majority of people with Crohn's have to have feet of intestine cut out, and, after so many surgery's, we get the joy of being attached to a colostomy bag.  Many years of internal scarring puts us at a high risk of cancer, which claims the majority of us around middle age.  I can't believe Ken liked me with all my issues. :)
     I seem to have to have problems most with stress and bad diet.  When I was young my mother and father didn't want to put me on pills, so they figured out what my body could handle, one food at a time.  When I grew up I stopped following the diet, and took steroids for flair ups.
     A few months ago I had the mother of all flair ups, and made the decision to go back to the diet.  I really have to start taking care of myself.  I don't want to die young.  At all.  Plus, I'm just sick of the pain.  Okay the breakdown is, all meats are okay, most fruits (those with less sugar) are okay in moderation, all except the higher starch veggies are okay, hard cheeses are fine, eggs, and nuts are fine.  I absolutely cannot have sugar, corn syrup, or honey.  Can't have any breads, grains, potatoes, corn, or any dairy other than hard cheeses.  If I stick to the diet like glue than almost all my symptoms go away.  Stray, and I feel it.
      It's been pretty hard to stick to the diet, but I do feel really good these days.  I also decided to pick up running/walking.  Why not right?  My Dad is a runner and I've always loved it.
  My thought is that if I always give myself  the option to walk, at least I'll be doing something.  Can I just say that I love running so so much!  I am excited to go everyday and now I'm at 3 miles a day without stopping.  I've decided I'm going to run a 10k next summer.  There's something about running that just makes my feel goods happy.  Plus a lot of my friends have joined up, which is the cherry on the cake.
     As it turns out, not being able to eat the crap junk food anymore is such a fantastic thing.  Fruit tastes like bliss these days and I have been enjoying the summer fruits with new eyes and taste buds.  The farmer's market down here is about to open up and I can hardly contain myself!   I shouldn't wear a hat that day because I'll end up throwing it in the air with joy like Mary Tyler Moore.
     The only frustrating thing is that I dropped 20 pounds, gained 2 back, and have stopped loosing weight for the last week or two.  I'd kinda like to switch diets but I can't, and I really don't want to do anything but run.  I might have to go get some weights for my arms and legs to run with.  I'm sure as hell not going to give up.
     I guess that's about all of it.  Oh, I did want to mention my current craving.  I would really love a big bowl of Thai curry over sticky rice.  I am really starting to miss rice in general.
       My favorite new healthy treat this week is mango slices sprinkled with cinnamon.  I have been loving on the mango's in general, and thought it might be good, now I can't get enough.  Sweet things compliment cinnamon well so they're almost always paired together, so when eating mango's with cinnamon it feels like you're eating a dessert.  Yummmm!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Crisp, Crunchy, Refreshing, Tart...

These days I'm on a very restrictive diet.  Boy oh boy do I miss food, food is such a deep part of me.  And so, I thought it would be just lovely to write out my love of food.  Sit tight, this may take a while

My parents loved food. Every other day my mother would bring home a new food we hadn't tried, and my father would figure out how to cook it.  They both prided themselves as cooks and were often competitive.  My home was always full of smells.  I miss the smell of home made bread.

I was born in Japan, and spent my first 8 years there.  My parents shopped in the local stores and made Japanese food most nights.  I have this great video of my Mom preparing fresh bamboo.  I sat with my mother in little Japanese noodle houses sharing large bowls of noodles in broth. Sigh.

From there we moved to Hawaii for a few years.  I climbed guava and avocado trees and brought bags home to my folks. I ate roasted pig that was cooked all day in the ground.  There were pineapple plantations that we would drive to for fun.  We would roll down all the windows and inhale the sticky sweet scent.  So pungent that it felt like it made the air heavy and you could taste it on your tongue.

  When I got married we were sent to Italy by the military.  Every day in the car on the way to the base we passed vineyards.  Ken fell in love with wine, which flows like water in that country.

Every time we went somewhere new I would insist on one authentic well made meal.  I had a steak in Assisi at the top of the village that I will remember for life.  Chicken in wine sauce in Nice, baguettes and chocolate banana crepes in Paris, brauts in Germany, hot mulled wine in Austria, and ate sourdough in San Fran.

  At 26 I realized that food was my calling and signed up for school.  I've never been more happy in my life than I was when I was in cooking school, and will be going back this fall.  I had access to so many wonderful fresh foods and I soaked up the knowledge like a sponge.  I was excited to go everyday.  Sigh again.

I do have something to tide me over though.  The farmer's market starts up again in a few days.  I'm so excited!
Fresh juicy produce, coffees, breads, honey.  Drool!

When I cook I tend to lean more towards simple meals put together correctly, with high quality ingredients.  Don't get me wrong, I love a wide variety of foods, but I tend to go for rustic, authentic, staple meals.  Coq Au Vin is a good example.  Very longstanding French dish that mother's served to their family's.  Basically just chicken stew cooked in wine.  Very healthy, hardy, and hard to mess up.  Yum.....
I have a love for cheeses, breads, butter, garlic, onions, and evoo.  Sigh. I love creating sauces and soups.  It's so gratifying to take a handful of ingredients and create a unique flavor and texture.  With soups, I love gathering healthy things and making something all your own.  You can be so creative if you know a little about soups.  The dish I'm craving these days is chicken veggie with rice.  That and cheese sticks from Papa John's, fire roasted marshmallows, honey dew melon, apples, chi tea, and Miss Angie's egg rolls. Yep I have a list.  Proud of it.  I don't think I could have gone this long without dreaming of food.

In fact, I may do a way shorter blog about cravings every week.  It seems to help me stay away from it some how, and it's so much fun to dream about food!
What are your current cravings?