Friday, August 29, 2008

Life in general ...

I think I kicked my bad mood to the curb yesterday - which is wonderful. I wish I had been able to do it sooner, but hey, it didn't last a week - which is sort of miraculous for me! LOL

Today we were supposed to go to the zoo. But it rained. And I'm a wimp and didn't want to be outside in the rain. So I backed out, and I feel bad, because my friend would have gone in the rain happily. We will try again tomorrow.

Instead I took the kids to a local children's museum. They had a very good time and I wondered why we don't go there more often - probably because it's 30-45 minutes away and sometimes the drive doesn't seem worth it. We'd probably be there weekly if it were 15 minutes away!

On the way there though I got rear-ended. No damage thank goodness and no one hurt. Just a boom. I made the mistake of yelling loudly "That lady is so stupid! It's all her fault!" (which ironically enough a young guy hit me and the lady who I feel caused the accident got to keep going but I wanted to follow her and yell at her and telling her to take some driving lessons because frankly she was a HORRIBLE driver). Anyway, when we started to drive again, my 2 year old said "we on the road. the cars go BOOM! and we get hit cause the lady is STUPID" I know, I know, I teach my children such lovely things.

Speaking of the 2 year old, he asked me the other day "mommy, you make me something with the yarn?" My heart melted on the spot. He's seen me knit from almost the day he was born (he was probably 1 week old when I pulled it out for the first time LOL!). But usually, he only comments about the balls I make with the yarn and asking if he can, you know, throw them and play baseball with them. So I was tickled to have my child ask me to make something - and that he understood I took that yarn and turned it into something else. After a couple questions he announced he wanted a red hat. So guess what, I'll be buying some red yarn very soon so my darling can have a nice hat to wear this winter. Which should work well assuming his red coat from last year still fits.

Anyway, in other knitting news, I found a knitting group and managed to make it back for a second meeting. I like this group - very nice women who are quite welcoming and funny and fun! They meet the second and fourth Thursday of every month. So I have decided that Thursdays from here on out are definitely knitting nights for me! =)

Anyway, that's all for now ... I have a sweater calling my name and a book that is begging to be read and eventually I must sleep because I will probably be running around the zoo again like a crazy lady tomorrow! =)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

WTF Wednesday

For the first time ever, I am partaking in WTF Wednesday. I often have a WTF Wed post in my head, but it never gets translated to the blog, so here I go!

WTF Me - I've been in a crabby mood all week and I actually feel badly for the people who currently live with me. Seriously, get over it and move on. Or else your kids will grow up and go to therapy and talk about the summer of 2008 when their mom was unbearable and a pain to live with and that's why they have so many issues as adults and your husband will leave you and on the divorce papers cite "she was a major witch" as the reason.

WTF Periods - Seriously, I hate them. Hate them. Hate them. Coming smack in the middle of the party I was hosting with over 100 people there and only a port-a-potty as the bathroom was simple cruel and unusual punishment and should not be allowed to happen. Ever. This also explains my first WTF, but we don't really need to tie the two together because the last thing I want to hear is "is it that time of the month?" when I'm all crabby and witchy.

WTF Stupid people who can't keep their mouth shut for one freaking event because you want to alienate yourself from everyone around you and then blame THEM for pulling away when really I think you have some mental issues and need to get to the doctor and have them change your meds asap. I think no other explanation is necessary except that you probably think I'm being mean, when in fact I'm not. Seriously this person needs to go back to the doctor and have this dealt with because it's pissing off pretty much everyone that you know who talks me about these things.

WTF people who ask loaded questions just so you can bash people for answering exactly how you wanted them to respond in the first place. There is enough hate/bashing/fighting in the world right now, let's not try to add to it.

WTF Weather - It's freaking August in Chicago - I should be melting from the heat and humidity not wearing sweaters at night because it feels like fall has come early! And really, not helping the global warming cause at all are you. And also, if this any indication of how winter will be, uh-uh, no way. I will not be happy if we have a colder than average winter. I will be pissed and crabby the entire winter long and that will not be good for anyone.

Okay, I feel better already ... thanks Jill for letting me get it out!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I finished!!

Woo-hoo! I finished my ravelympics knitting! Of course, it was 8 hours too late, but hey, that's okay! I decided that since the closing ceremony is playing on my tv right now, that for me, the Olympics are technically not over ROFL!!

Anyway, here are some pics for you to look at:

Me putting on the finishing touches

In all it's glory:

And hanging on the tv during the broadcast of the closing ceremony:

I'm pretty sure my fingers will never work right again and lost way too much sleep trying to finish this project, but it was fun and I'm glad it's finished! =)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

we survived!

The party went well! We all survived .. but now, I'm tired! And I need a few days to try to catch up on things! =)

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I can see out of both eyes again. But my eye is still swollen - it's pretty bad when I first wake up, but it gets better during the day.

I consulted with my eye doctor today and she said if it's still doing that Saturday to come in and have it checked out just in case.

I have baked a lot of brownies today. We have a confirmed 105 people coming on Saturday to an outdoor party that does not have enough cover for all those people and rain - thunderstorms to be exact - is in the forecast for when the party is going on. To say I'm a bit worried or anxious would be, well, the biggest understatement of the year. I'm freaking out honestly and, well, it kind of sucks. But my husband says not to worry about things I can't control, so I guess that is what I need to learn to do.

Today I made a lot of brownies - not quite enough for 105 people, but enough when it gets combined with the lemon cheesecake bars, cupcakes, cookies, cake and other chocolate that we will have available for everyone to eat. All but the cookies I still need to make. And I also need to make the pasta dish (As a side, I bought enough to make 5 pounds. It should be a side dish for pretty much everyone there, does that sound like enough to you?). And I will do one batch of beans overnight Friday to Saturday and start the second batch Saturday am. I'm using the crock pot for this and I hope it turns out!

I am bit stressed about this party. It's coming quickly. Well, really, in 48 hours it will be done and over with! That's pretty crazy I think! Which makes me think there simply is not enough time to do it all.

Knitting has all but halted. I do not think, baring a major miracle or no sleep that I won't be finishing my ravelympics, but I made a good effort and I am proud of that!

On an unrelated note, yesterday we went to Brookfield Zoo. Next week I will have to share photos. It was a lot of fun - we were in the butterfly house for a bit - which was AWESOME. And we "petted" the stingrays too. That was a pretty good experience too. The kids had a blast. It was not the original plan for the week - I had intended to start my baking/cooking yesterday, but I am glad that we went. Although I feel even farther behind because of it.

At this rate, I will be able to make it to all of your blogs Tuesday of next week. I haven't even opened bloglines. I know it's going to show 1000+ entries to read! Yikes!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wah, wah, wah

Before you read this, pull out some cheese - you'll need it to go with all my whining today.

So yeah, my left eye is swollen shut. Really, it just plain sucks. My right eye wants to be shut too - it's tired of doing all my seeing for me. The good news is that it doesn't hurt - there's just a ton of pressure because my lid is filed with fluid.

It started yesterday when it was a tiny bit swollen. I honestly thought I just had a bug bite there that was making it swell a bit. Except today I woke up and I couldn't open my eye at all. Not good.

I was able to get into an eye doctor today and the good news is that my eye looks fine. The bad news is they don't really know what is going on with my eye. So they told me to take ibuprofin and ice it. And to call back if it gets worse. I guess I'm glad it's nothing major. I just wish I had gone in and they said, oh, here's some magic medicine to make it all better.

For now, I'm not doing much. Because my right eye is tired and doens't want to look at anything for a long time. I can't drive anywhere and although the world looks mostly normal with one eye, it looks different and my field of vision is not what is normally and it's freaking me out a bit!

So now, I'm off the computer. I won't be reading blogs today or anything like that. I imagine I will spend the rest of the day on the couch mostly keeping my eyes closed. And I'll be a big crab and a pain in the butt. So pray for my family because they need much patience to survive me right now! LOL

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ravelympics Progress ...


I have about 16 inches done. I need to get to 21/22 to switch to the top lacework. I'm roughly half-way through - which so are the Olympics, so not bad I'd say!


These little needles though are making my hands hurt so badly though. It was not wise to pick a project mostly knit on size 2 needles.


But it's so pretty - it's worth it. However, I should have picked a less demanding project I think!

Friday, August 15, 2008

No words necessary ...

That about sums up how I feel many days around here LOL!

Olympic Junkie!

I am an Olympic junkie. I LOVE to watch them - all of them. I wish I had more channels so that I could switch between all the NBC channels to watch more sports. I have caught a few things here and there on the internet when I can.

The thing is, for this Olympics, I have been out of the house a LOT. So I've been staying up too late to watch the reruns of them after the local news. I am hardly out of the house this much, so it seems funny to me that I'm out during a time when I especially want to be in the house, sitting and watching!

As with must people, I am especially loving the gymnastics competition. Although - seriously, what was up with the scoring tonight? It just seemed so fishy! And all the talk about people's ages ... crazy. But I am also "digging the volleyball competitions - both indoors and beach. And the kayaking was fun to watch too - although I think it brought back memories of the trip we just took =)

My kids have been watching it with me too. It is so sweet and cute to hear them talk about it. They are pretty much in awe of all of them and constantly ask "who is our team and did we win?" My 2 year old is fascinated by gymnastics and diving. He keeps saying "Wow mom! S/he made a circle!" [as a side note, he is also fascinated by circles!] He keeps asking if he can make circles too. It's pretty cute.

My 8 year old has declared - quite firmly I might add - that she will go to the Olympics one day. She will be on the softball team and help the US get a gold medal. And if I was a betting person, I would say she will indeed be there. Except rumors are that this will be the last Olympics with softball in it. I suggested maybe she try to go with volleyball and that beach volleyball looks quite fun. To which she replied "Yeah, but they do not wear enough clothes for me." Which made me crack up!

My 5 year old seems to be much like me though. She is loving watching them. Just hooked on watching them. But if you ask her will she be in them one day she has decided that she won't be going. It just looks too hard and maybe she could just do some drawings instead! Which, truthfully, is pretty much what I thought as a kid too! Sports did not, well scratch that, they still don't come to me easily or naturally. I think I was born with the opposite of eye-hand coordination. I told her that maybe she could be a famous photographer and take pictures at the Olympics so that she could still go and get to be there and she said she would think about it!

It's so strange how I just get her so well. I know exactly what she means most of the time. And my oldest and youngest, well, they are so much alike - and so much alike their father. And it even shows when we watch the Olympics together! I guess though the good news is that each of our children has one parent who really gets what is going on in their heads.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I heart Target

Today I went to Target. Not one time, but two times! Between the two trips I spent a littler over 3 hours there and almost enough to earn my 10% off coupon. If you do not know about this, if you charge 1000 at Target on the Target card, you earn a 10% off coupon! It accumulates for you but they only give you 1 a month (so if you spent 3000 in one month, you'd get 10% for the next 3 months).
That 10% is precisely why I was there for SO long today. I'm throwing a huge party in less than 2 weeks [Holy cow! How did it get here so quickly?! I thought I had more time!!!] Target was having some decent sales on things I needed for the party and I had a handy-dandy 10% off coupon that expires at the end of the month. Mostly I went for the pop and chips - both of which were on sale.
I am a bit embarrassed to tell you that with the first trip I needed two carts and one flatbed trolley thing to get everything to the car. And I also had 2 target employees nice enough to help. The second trip only required one cart, but we had to arrange it all just right to fit everything in there.
I also bought new shoes for the kids and some clothes for the kids - because I try to time that stuff with the 10% off. And we stocked up on cereal because the off-brand is pretty cheap there and then the 10% off. (yes, I use that 10% to justify purchasing many many things LOL!)

Anyway, if you are reading, and you have read all that, just try and guess how many 12-packs of pop I bought today. Because I counted 3 times the number shocked me sooo much. And indeed I believe I will have more than enough pop for the party. Now I'm worried that I don't have enough water for everyone. I only got 120 bottles - which works out to one per person.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Can't Talk ...

too busy knitting!
Realized last night I didn't have enough yarn to finish my Hush-hush. And also that I'm too slow. At the rate I'm going, I will be finished in time for the winter olympics ...
must go knit now ....

Friday, August 08, 2008


I LOVE baskets. And my mom used to love baskets. Which means that twice in the last two years she has given me quite a few baskets. And they are all Longaberger, which is great because as much as I love baskets, I can not justify spending that much on a basket.

I especially love the baskets to hold my knitting items in. So tonight, just for you my dear readers, I snapped some shots of my beloved baskets!

Apple basket holding the pea pod sweater - which I finished tonight! Just in time to start the knitting olympics

So the apple basket, now looks like this:
Yep, all the supplies to start working on Hush-Hush, which I can officially begin tomorrow morning at 7 am. But truthfully, I have no plans to be up at that time LOL!

All three baskets currently filled with knitting:
(the little one is a sock just barely started, then hush-hush supplies and the belted cardigan for me in the big one!)

I really love the baskets because they are portable. So here is a shot I took during the day today.
Interestingly enough, I did not plan this shot. I was trying to get the dragonfly (which my 8 year old caught today and we let go as soon as dad got home from work and could see it!) But that table sits on the front porch - where I am often sitting and knitting or reading and if it's a really good day - both! The table was just given to us a month ago (also by my mom - we have many of her hand me downs in our home and I for one am grateful for it!) not too long ago. And I LOVE it too! It's so great to sit out there and relax while the kids are playing.

As hard as it is to believe, summer will soon be over and I will miss sitting out, hearing the kids playing and just being out there.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Living Platic Free

Could you do it?

I've often said I couldn't do it. As far as I can tell - it's EVERYWHERE! And if you go plastic free, does that mean you never use plastic again (thereby throwing all the plastic you currently own?) or do you just not buy plastic from this day forward?

I guess each person who takes up the challenge will decide - and I bet much has to do with why thy are giving up plastic. Is it to be more environmental? Or is it because you think plastics are unhealthy? I'd have a hard time chucking all the plastic I own out because it seem so wasteful to me. But we don't heat our plastic and I don't feel too worried about the chemicals in it yet (although I will admit reading that they can now detect bpa in people's blood does indeed make me want to rethink that stand!).

Anyway, I don't have any plans to go plastic-free. I have personally cut back on plastic in our house - but only the convenient plastic to ditch (mainly plastic bags from stores) and we are buying less, which in general means less plastic. But our efforts have not be herculean nor have they been hard.

If you would like to go plastic-free or just greatly reduce how much plastic you are using, here is a list of some blogs and articles that I have found all about the topic. I will be perusing them too as I get a chance ... and who knows, maybe at my house we'll begin to work a bit harder at using less plastic!

any more that you think will help!!
Life Less Plastic
Month without Plastic
Plastic Free Picnic
Click for Carbon Plastic Challenge
Plastic and Physics
Living Plastic Free
My (almost) plastic free bathroom
Products to help make your kitchen plastic free
Life without Plastic
Living Plastic Free – year 2
Fake Plastic Fish

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Going green and debt ...

I haven't really talked about either much lately, so I shall take some time now to do it!

Going Green

We have been pretty good at sticking to our changes this summer. We are line drying as much as possible (although it's been pretty rainy around here!), using green water when possible. I have switched to Seventh Generation Liquid Dish Soap and am VERY happy with it! Bonus, we recycle rinse water when possible for the garden! Remembering to bring our own bags to the stores (and not just at the grocery store folks - I take them to Hobby Lobby, Joann, Office Max, Staples, etc). This week I bought 40 dollars worth of produce and used brown paper bags to bag it all instead of plastic bags (although, I really want to invest in a really nice, thin cotton bag to use instead - for now, paper will have to do). When picnicing we are creating as little waste as possible - I bring real plates with, etc. The air is turned up (set to 80 right now). Walking when possible. So, yeah, we've managed to keep up with the changes.

However, we haven't added anything new to our efforts. And we are in the midst of planning a party and dare I admit it? We are planning on paper plates, napkins, cups, bottled water, etc, etc. Our party will not be eco-friendly at all. And I feel bad. But its approximately 125 people. And I don't have enough non-disposable to do it anyway. However, I read about Treecycle Recycled Paper from Stretch Mark Mama and the prices look good, so I should probably get on ordering that RIGHT NOW. But, I'm all about pretty. And I really wanted pretty plates. But, I also want a pretty planet in 50 years too, so I guess I have to ditch the pretty plate idea and just buy hte plain, eco-friendly ones!

So, we're moving along nicely here, but I know there is more we could be doing. We just need to suck it up and do it.

And I talked to someone from Method today. I don't know if there will be more to tell you or not. We'll see where it goes. But I'm excited that I even got to talk to someone today and that was pretty cool!


We are still chipping away at our debt. Yes, chipping. Not making huge progress. Not have it paid off yet.

Oh how I wish I could come here and tell you debt is paid off and that we were working towards building up our 6 month emergency fund! But it is not so. Nope. We've been fortunate enough to pay more than min. balance, but not by a whole entire lot. This summer most of our extra money went to dental work for me and vacation.

The promising news is that we knew the dental stuff was coming. We got a quote and paid cash for it. It was a few thousand dollars worth of work, so that was awesome that we didn't have to add more debt to get it done (and it all needed to be done).

Vacation is a bit more fuzzy. I can tell you that we didn't go into debt to take the vacation. Again, we saved and spent only cash. We did not go over our budget. In fact I'm pretty sure we spent less than we saved for (which is good, but we haven't worked out the budget completely so I'm not positive). However, at the same time, there is a part of me that is saying we shouldn't have even gone on vacation until debt was paid off. Oh, I can rationalize it SO well. Mostly, the heart of the trip was to visit family - my husband's mom. And you can't put a price on that really, because they average seeing the kids about once a year. And to us, it seemed worth it provided we did not go deeper into debt to see it done. Which we didn't.

Of course, the extra for this month and probably next month goes to the party I am throwing in a few short weeks. But again, it's worth it. We are doing something we feel is very important and won't be going into debt to do it. And then after that, the holidays come up. And after that an important wedding that requires travel and dresses (myself and the two girls are in the wedding, so when I say I have to buy new dresses, I mean it! It's not me wanting to buy something new)

And really, that has been our mantra lately - if it is important and doesn't cause more debt, then do it. Because at the end of every month we have less debt and healthy kids and a roof over our head.

We entered this year knowing we wouldn't make much headway. We entered the year knowing that we would not be debt free when 2009 rolled around. You could say our only goal was to not make more debt this year and so far so good. We thought we would have a bit more done though. We weren't factoring in groceries going up and gas going up as much as it has. But we have less debt now than we did at the start of the year. And we have more in savings right now than at the start of the year too. So I consider both of those things very good.

However, we are still not prepared should something really big hit us. And that makes me a bit nervous. But I am hoping and praying that next year, next year we can kick that debt to the curb. I would love it if 2010 would see us with no debt because that would just be phenomenal! But that would mean next year would see us buckling down, getting serious, cutting spending as much as possible, and really working hard to knock it all out!

So, there are my updates =) Probably I haven't given many because there just hasn't been much to share honestly.

You should read this ....

especially if you live in, near, or around Chicago:
Green Parent Chicago

I discovered it through The Motherhood and am in love! =)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Why I'm planning ahead ...

aka I'm going to whine about my evening!

So my goal is get 175 wedding invitations (and I think I'm doing everything from scratch except the envelopes) done, finished, ready to give to the bride October 31. Which I think is good, since the wedding is mid-February.
Last night I measured the sample, figured out how much paper I will need to get and estimated the amount of tape, ribbon, ink, embossing powder, etc, etc to buy. I'm going to a craft night on Thursday and thought it would be the perfect time to begin cutting paper, so ideally I want to start printing tomorrow.
The best laid plans ... there was not enough paper - in either color that I need. I don't think I have enough ribbon either, but I bought what they had. I bought all the red paper they had that I needed - which was a whole 20 sheets and I need 100. No one there could tell me if they'd even get more in or not which is bad, because if more doens't get in stock soon, well, I don't want to start and have to switch 20% of the way through. I didn't buy any white because they only had small packs (50 packs) when I need to buy roughly 800-1000 pieces of cardstock. Someone told me hobby lobby will let me order a large quantity and discount the price me - I sure hope so, because tonight it was 4.00 for 50 pages of white paper. Which means it would be approximately $80 just for the white paper.

[FTR I would pay that much if there is no alternative because I so want to make everything perfect for the bride, but if I can get it cheaper, I'm going to definitely try!]

The good news is that I have time to make all of this come together. So even though I won't get started tomorrow and will bring knitting with me on Thursday, I'm glad that I went shopping for materials tonight instead of waiting! Because in general, I procrastinate as much as possible. But I knew I could not screw this up. These are wedding invitations! And I'm not going to be the person who pisses off the bride and sends her into a fit of hysteria for not having them ready on time! No, I want to be the person who she loves and adores and is happy with thank you very much!!

So, I'm glad that I didn't go my usual route (which would have had me buying supplies approximately Oct. 30) and that I planned ahead. Also, in an effort to be more organized - something I struggle with way too much, I bought a pocket calendar/planner to go into my purse. And the only thing to be said about that is about time!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Crazy or Motivated?

Many, many things are coming up here soon at the journey household:
  • my dd's birthday
  • a party with about 125 people in attendance thrown by me
  • 175 wedding invitations made by me
  • starting another year of schooling
  • me working all weekends between now and Oct. 31
  • My dh beginning to work 7 days a week starting mid-September until Oct. 31
  • My other dd's birthday
Not including laundry, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, gardening, and hopefully canning, etc, etc and all that other stuff that happens on a regular basis!

And yet somehow I have signed up to knit during the olympics, make a mystery stole, scan in a relative's photographs, start Christmas crafting, make some other gifts for other people, and the list can go on and on. I have about 10 days to get my kids to 10 local parks (except it's a scavenger hunt so I actually have a list of about 24 parks to visit to find the 10 "right" ones). Throw in some random babysitting, wanting to get out for craft nights, and having play dates with friends, and I have a feeling I'll be one very busy momma between now and roughly February 22 (that's how far out quite a few of our activities are planned!).

But I can do it. I know I can. And hopefully I will have fun doing it and not get overwhelmed or stressed out.
Right now my biggest concern is planning food for the party - if anyone has ideas/recipes/etc to share ... I need to feed about 125 people on the smallest budget possible! Actually, someone sent me money today to help cover expenses - I can't thank her enough because really, it was unexpected but will go quite far in helping a LOT. So that will help out tremendously!

Anyway, I have all this stuff to do - and what am I doing? Sitting around on the computer LOL! In my defense, I had a day from hell with the kids (I do love them, but man, we were all haveing off days today and it was not fun at all) and it's late. I can't get too productive this time of night.

So, yeah, I'm rambling, and you get to hear it! Sorry! Expect to read posts full of whining, rambling, talk of too much to do and not enough time to do it all in, but with lots of pretty pictures, LOL's and it was all worth it woven in there as well =)

I did it!

I signed up for Mystery Stole 4. This will be my first time participating and I'm quite excited about it.
Of course the start overlaps with the olympics, so that could slow down my progress and I'll be working pretty heavily in September and October - but this will be fun I think!

I ordered this yarn in Pink Posy Heather. I've never knit with beads before either and have never made a stole before. So this will be a couple of firsts for me. I ordered the beads today too (from It's so hard to tell what they look like, so I ordered 3 different kinds. Plus, if I had only ordered one, it would have been a 3 dollar order so that felt much too low to me. I hope I like one of them with the yarn but I'll post pictures as soon as everything arrives.

For now, I need to finish up the pea pod, the sweater for me and make sure I have needles to start my olympic knitting!!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

On the Knitting Front ...

I have an almost completed Pea Pod Sweater (It is all knitted, included the neck area, I just need to put in the sleeves and deal with the ends!) Of course it is gift for someone!

I have completed the back and both front pieces on the Vogue Belted Cardigan. I started this much too long ago for it to be not finished. Of course, though it's for me, so that should explain why it keeps getting put on the back burner!

I signed up for the Ravelympics yesterday.

I will be knitting Hush-Hush

I can't WAIT to start it and kind of wish I would have picked something else for the ravelympics LOL! But it will be fun and I really am hoping that I can finish it during the Olympics! It just looks so comfortable (and yes, very pretty!). I got the yarn from a sale at The Blue Blog - so thank you Alison for not wanting to hold onto the yarn LOL! =)

I bought some gorgeous sock yarn when we were in Maine and so hopefully I'll have some pretty socks on my feet soon! And I bought yarn to make a gorgeous sweater but I'm kind of hesitant to start it because it might be a bit complicated for me, but maybe after Christmas I can cast on.

On vacation, I also purchased Knitting For Peace

I have read through about half the descriptions of charities out there. It's just beautiful. To think that yarn, that knitting, can bring together so many and can bring happiness or comfort or a sense of peace to people all over the globe. It just makes knitting seem even more beautiful to me. Of course the problem is that ALL the charities seem so wonderful and I haven't found THE ONE that I must begin to knit for right this moment. Right now, I wish I could knit more to send something to each of the charities I've read about. But, regardless of if I find the one I must knit for or just randomly pick one, watch for some charity knitting coming from me soon!

And, I just read about Mystery Stole number 4 and I want to join! I haven't done one yet, but I really wanted to do the last one and just couldn't make it happen. So I'm crossing my fingers that I can get in on this one! I have approximately 11 days to figure out if I'm going to join or not!

Friday, August 01, 2008

In Defense of Food

Towards the end of vacation I found myself out of reading material. I had already finished the two books I had brought with (which, ironically in the past, I've packed maybe 5 books and not managed to finish one so this time I went lighter with 2 and finished them all LOL!). Anyway, there was a great little book store in town, so I stopped in and picked up In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. I had been wanting to read it ever since reading Omnivore's Dilemma earlier this year but hadn't been able to get ahold of it yet, so I decided to treat myself and just buy it.

I am SO glad that I did buy it. I managed to finish the book just as we were on the commuter train coming home. First of all, the book is not as hard to read as Omnivore's Dilemma (OD) - it is thinner and more concise I think. Now, I LOVED OD a lot. But my dh is not an avid reader and even though that book inspired me to change some of our eating behavior, it wasn't something I could pass on to him. However, In Defense of Food (IDoF) is something I think he could certainly read. Because again, this book is really about how to chance your eating habits. The catch phrase is "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." And for me, as I read his book and all he had to say just made a lot of sense and clicked in my head.

Pollan offers some advice on what to eat. The rules are not specific - for example it doesn't say eat 2 red vegetables a day, 3 green ones, only carbs on Tuesday and no fat at all on Friday, blah, blah, blah. Well, they aren't even rules per se so much as they are guides. And it all pretty much revolves around "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." And so, I'm trying to change our diet a bit this week. Not radically - I don't want a mutiny at dinner time LOL! However, in some sense, we already started shifting our diet last fall with my dd's dietary issues - we began then to incorporate rice, beans, more fruits and veggies, etc, etc. And so, in that regard - thanks to my dd - we began to eat much healthier in the fall than we ever were before. But, we still eat lots and lots of junk - too much. So this week, I've been tightening it up again since being home.

Even more fruits and veggies. Less meat. More cooking from scratch. Trying out a few new recipes. Still not perfect. Not even close to perfect at all. But I feel like we are getting closer. And I know our diet will never be perfect. I still love my coca-cola. My kids will probably always want to eat goldfish and cereal that is less than ideal. And yet, knowing that we won't be 100% perfect certainly isn't a reason to not try to eat healthier (which I sometimes have the mindset that if I can't do it all the way, I shouldn't even try).

The best thing, is so far, everyone in the house is responding well. We almost always have meat every night. We have had meat only 2 nights this week and it has been small portion sizes ... one night my dh made a stir-fry and used not even a pound of meat in it total. And then we had spaghetti and I made meatballs for the sauce. I have probably missed meat the most! I have always said I would NEVER become a vegetarian - that I am a steak and potatoes girl and I NEED to have my meat LOL! But, really, I don't. At least, I don't need to eat it every single night. And so now I am on a quest to be a "flexitarian" (yeah, I never heard of that word before last week but it means "A person who adheres to a diet that consists of non-animal based foods, but occasionally indulges in meat." from wikipedia). Although we might have more animal products than even a flexitarian allows for - but we are trying.

I don't expect to wake up tomorrow in perfect health at all. I don't expect to lose weight. I don't plan for all our problems to disappear. But, I do think that if we eat healthier, in general our bodies will work a bit better. Maybe not right away. And maybe not even enough for us to feel it. But at the same time, I can't imagine how this will hurt us.

So with all that said - go, go and pick up IDoF. Read it and enjoy it!