Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall

Last night after dinner we did a little decorating. I've really pared down my fall decorations. I like it so much better with just little hints of it. Like I said yesterday, it's 91 degrees again today. The house feels so much cooler for some reason. I can't believe having a couple of decorations could change my attitude so much. This doesn't mean I'll be decorating for Christmas in July, but it is something to think about. Last night I even watched a couple of British shows with a blanket on. I'm pretty sure Superman thinks of lost it (how often do I say that?)!

So here are a couple pictures of what has brightened our day. Superman and Angela( Dancing with my Father) don't look! You'll be aghast at my photography skills.


I got a lot of these pumpkins in different hues at the Dollar Store last year. What a deal. I will change them out for a cute collection of Pilgrims and Indians (also $ store finds from a couple of years ago) when November rolls around.


My dried baby corn ( I need some new ones) and a picture of one of the chickadees (they all looked the same).

In the next week or so I'll be transforming our front porch. I'm not sure what I 'm doing yet. I threw out our dilapidated scarecrows. Maybe I'll try my hand at making my own. Or Superman's hand.

Have a wonderful fall day!

julie

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Fall Y'all!

Well it's going to be a blistering 91 degrees this afternoon and I'm not feeling "fallish". Yesterday I promised the chickadees we would decorate, make a fall dessert, and have cider. Yes, I even -preplanned by buying cider. (Didn't have time to make my own-hehehe.)

We've been on a downhill slide all morning. Since I'm the co-captain in charge, I need to save this sinking ship. (don't ask)

First we'll make Pumpkin Spice Cookies. Then head out to garden at 4-H. Home for baked chicken, veggies, salad and biscuits. Then our yummy cookies ( you know they'll be good) and cider. Clean up the kitchen, let the chickens out and do a bit of decorating! These are pumpkin cookie. Sorry for the blurriness (one of the girls took a quick pic for me-not that it matters). They were good ,but not at all like a cookie. The tasted like muffun tops and we were wanting cookies. We use 2 apples, 2 cups of cider, and lots of ice to make our cider slushes. The chickadees liked it all. (and isn't that what it was all about?)

In a couple of weeks fall will come to our region and everything will kick into high gear around here. 4-H Apple sale, 4 Sweet Sisters Pumpkin Bread sale, Pickling, Backyard Camping and Thanksgiving.

I'll pop back in later and post some pictures.

julie

Friday, September 18, 2009

Blog Issues

I really enjoy blogging but often I ponder the reasons I do it. Today is one of those times. I haven't shared much of our families history because much of it is painful and we are all still dealing and healing with different issues.

One issue has been a visual disability that my oldest two chickadee's and I share. For some reason words and numbers do not bounce correctly from our optic nerves to our brains. I'll leave out all the technical jargon today but in severe cases (which one of my beauties has ) it makes life very difficult. Especially when your a very articulate and intelligent young woman. She reads and understands a myriad of things, loves history, science and writing. But can't memorize digits, words, etc.

We've been through every phonics program, math memorization program and medical visual therapy. To be left with huge gaps. Some have filled in, while others have not. Leaving the chickadees frustrated.

Enough said. Difficult especially when your an over achiever and first born. She/ we have made great strides and are still continuing.

Today someone felt it was their place to tell her how they feel about her writing on her blog........ Needless to say ......... it affects us all. Where is the grace and compassion?

julie

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dinner Tonight

Ahhhh dinner. I can't wait! I've had some really good work outs this week. I think I'm finely finding my groove and getting a routine down. A true athlete (he he). I even lost a couple more pounds. So I need to guard against unwanted head talk. "Go ahead, it's okay you lost weight." or "A little more won't hurt". Yeah, right.

As I was saying yesterday we received a bunch of peppers in our kitchen basket. (I wish I could grow organic peppers this size...) Urban Girl has been requesting stuffed peppers. Eeck, yuck! Superman and the chickadees we grossed out. So I asked a couple of question and came to find out that no one liked the tomato sauce that goes on top. Superman being the only one who has actually eaten them. I think I may have had them at my Auntie's house when I was a child. I vaguely remember the tomato sauce.

Anyway, I really wanted to give these a try. Now maybe I should have used a recipe (I thought as I was popping them into the oven). But I didn't. So we shall see. Are you supposed to cook the rice up before hand? I did, but I didn't cook the meat. I figured it would cook in the oven. An experiment!



Here's how they looked after about 15 minutes in the oven. I used:
  • 2 cups brown rice (cooked)
  • 1# ground beef
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (every taste good with it)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of the roasted garlic I made yesterday
  • a sprinkling of chili pepper
  • salt & pepper

I started the spices, onion, pepper, and garlic off in a pan with a little EVOO. Let them cool mixed it all together and popped into pepper halves. Another concern (from the family) was that there was just to much pepper.

I then mixed 1cup of my salsa and 2 cups of beef broth put them on the stove to reduce.




We also received some avocados. So of course we needed guacamole! Yum.



  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 onion
  • heaping tablespoon roasted garlic
  • lime or lemon juice a scant teaspoon
  • a pinch of sea salt

Serve it all up with a fresh salad and lime aid slushies. An end of summer treat!

What's on your plate tonight?

julie

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Roasted Peppers and Garlic


Today is a quickie. We had produce co-op and I got so many yummy looking green and red peppers. Just last week I was craving roasted red peppers and garlic. So today was the day!


Directions for Roasted Red Peppers (works with all peppers):

  1. Wash peppers
  2. Place on a cookie

  3. Set oven to broil (I broil on high)

  4. Place peppers under broiler

  5. Let peppers char on every side (rotating as needed) including the tops and bottoms

  6. Place hot peppers in paper bag and let cool 20 to 40 minutes
  7. Peel black skins off and slice pepper as wanted


Directions for Roasted Garlic:

  1. I use a glass pie plate

  2. Peel outer skins off garlic

  3. Slice just the tops off

  4. Drizzle or pour olive oil over garlic
  5. Sprinkle with a bit of salt

  6. Bake at 385 ( just a random temp) for about 45 minutes

  7. Take out and cool while peeling the peppers.

So easy and doesn't take much time.

I then mash the yummy garlic and a pinch of salt to tatse.



I then layer roasted peppers and roasted garlic. I was doing a bit of tasting at this point! The garlic is so mellow. Yum! I can't say it enough! Place in fridge an use as needed for a few weeks.

Next, I would proceed to slice some of my french boule bread. (Maybe bake it in smaller rounds or baguette style.) Slather on some P&G, sprinkle a little cheese and pop under the broiler. I now know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow.

Enjoy! Check out more fine post on We Are That Family for Works For Me Wednesday!

I'd love to hear about your favorite things to do with garlic and peppers.

julie






Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fitness Update

Just a update and a way for me to see my progress.
  • Started water aerobics the end of June. (2 times a week)
  • July continued water aerobics, but added in another day (3 times).
  • Gained 6 pounds but feeling great! I can feel the muscle.
  • Mid July added in swimming laps 40 to 50 laps in 1 1/2 hours (1 to 2 times per week and water aerobics 1to2 times per week- total of 4 days)
  • August buy swim pass. Goal: laps 4 times a week. ( 2 weeks of water aerobics, twice a week). I feel that I really need to step it up. Feeling really good. NO weight loss. Losing some inches.
  • By mid August shaving off time down to an hour for 50 laps (1000 yards). Swimming only laps 5 days a week.
  • Gained 2 more pounds (freaking out!) Feeling really good . Seeing muscle definition. Feeling a new strength in my body.
  • Mid August start eating only when I'm hungry and stopping when satisfied. A few bumps in the road, but doing well. No more dieting. Praying and asking for direction.
  • Start really upping the pace of my laps. Adding warm up and cool down with a stretch.
  • Beginning of September (end of first week) up to my 1st goal!!! 72 laps!!! (1800 yards)

That's 1 mile people!!!( come to find out that's "normal" in swimming circles, but a start;)

  • Lost 8 pounds and retained muscle! Feeling super! Changing up my plan a bit and adding in my more leg work. I can squat down and stand up without groaning!!
  • Have gone down 1 clothing size and bathing suit size!
  • Not ravenously hungry when I get out of the water anymore. Can get away with a small snack or water.

So a lot has happened in a 2 and half months! I really needed to see it, especially on the those days when I'm feeling down (they do come around). Stuff like it's not coming off fast enough... Or how about I feel like an athlete, but my body doesn't look like one! Yeah, that's a hard one. Inside I feel 100 pounds lighter than I am. So I tend to not be as happy as I should be with my achievements. A bit of perfectionism rearing it's ugly head!

I'm really having to work at eating properly. Sticking to all whole grains, organic cheese, meat and veggie when possible. Having desert everyday! Drinking water and tea. This tends to confuse me a bit as to when I'm truly hungry. So working through that.

I'm getting way to tan! I would like to purchase a swim shirt and fins, but they aren't in the budget. I wish I could make my own! We'll see what the next month holds!

How is your fitness plan going? Are you struggling (like me) in some areas and powering through in others? I'd love to hear from you!

julie

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Nette

It's been a long time since I've done a Works For Me Wednesday post. It's not that I don't have anything to offer up. It's that I can't remember when it comes time to post it. So without further ado let me show you!



Thank you to my very brave husband, Superman. We don't call him a superhero for nothing. He also believes in this concept a lot!

Ye old Nette. Has anyone ever used a nette pot? I tried and hated it. It felt like I was diving into the deep end of the pool and depositing most of the water in my sinuses. It would hurt like the dickens ( what exactly is a dickens?). Superman informed that I had the wrong technique. So I tried again with no success.
So a year has gone by and I've been sneezing like crazy for a couple of months. Rarely do I ever sneeze. I decided to give the pot another go. Superman was right! My technique was all wrong.


Here is Superman's Technique:

  1. use sea salt

  2. warm water

  3. shower (easiest place w/no clean up)

  4. tip your head as far over as you can

  5. lean your head forward a bit
  6. use half a pot for each side


It works! But don't laugh or breathe in while you're doing it or you'll be tasting the sea in a whole new way.

I'm now sneeze free. When I do notice a more than the occasional sneeze I make sure that I nette!

Check out We Are That Family for more great posts.

julie

a note to chickadees: We know we're crazy, but this is what makes life fun!