Thursday, September 19, 2013

Making of the Pinata

As you know, especially if you read my last blog post, Monkey Girl recently had a birthday, which meant she also had a birthday party. And around this house, birthday parties also mean piñatas. But not one of those pre-fangled store bought piñatas. Oh no. The girls will settle for nothing less than a custom piñata from their father.

Usually the process starts out about a month before the big day, with the selection of a party theme and the desired piñata object chosen. Mr. Incredible then spends some time thinking over ideas of how to proceed. Since MG wanted to have a party centered around the Munchkin Card Game, by Steve Jackson Games, the actual Pinata card was chosen. (The Pinata card is great, because once you defeat it, everyone gets to draw a treasure!)

Our friends in Columbus came down to visit one weekend and brought the original Munchkin deck with them, so we could draw on it for inspiration. The Munchkin piñata looks a bit like a slug with itty-bitty wings, so Mr. I went for something a little rough and haphazard looking for the final product. But I digress...

After figuring out how he wants to do the construction, he gets started. Usually this involves balloons in some fashion, but not always. For MG's piñata, he decided to go a bit nuts with the balloons and filled a long plastic bag with them for the shape of the body. (Note, this was a BIG piñata.)

Did I mention it was a big piñata?
And then he starts on the layers and layers of paper mache. Mr. I. uses a flour and water mixture for the adhesive bit and the paper this time was old computer paper. Often, though, we get the end rolls of paper from the Athens Messenger to use. (And I really need to stop there and stock up for Drama Queen's upcoming pinata making.)
The next two are a couple of process shots. Did I mention that this guy was BIG?

The body and neck from the front...
And the side. Please note my lovely indoor plants there.
And here's the head. More balloons and I think a trash bag.
Mr. I. decided to leave the balloons intact in order to make the body sturdier. It actually took them about 4 1/2 minutes and several whacks to get the candy loose and on the ground. At one point it became a game of "how many balloons can we break in one hit", which was pretty amusing to watch.
My only complaint about the whole process involved the difficulty of finding any work surfaces in the kitchen for food prep and cooking. We kept having to shuffle Casper the Friendly Maggot from the freezer top to the dining table and the head from the counter top to my desk.
And finally our poor, hapless piñata awaiting his fate...
And there ya go! As I said, he deliberately made this one rough looking because that made it seem more Munckin-y. Drama Queen's will be another matter entirely. And it might even be bigger...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Happy Birthday, Monkey Girl!

So, Thursday, my baby turned 14. Yeah, not so much of a baby anymore. And I still wouldn't trade her for anything in the world.

However, since it's apparently my job to try and embarrass her now that she's a teenager, I thought I'd share the following wonderful photos with you.

(Cassie and Little Kitty, the best cat a girl could ever have)
This would from one afternoon after kindergarten. LK really was one of the best cats ever.

And this would be from late spring, I think. As you can see, she still needs the occasional nap!
Seriously, I am very proud of the caring, kind-hearted young woman my youngest daughter is growing into. And her hugs are still the bomb!

Happy birthday, Baby Girl. Love you!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer Bucket List - Zucchini Bread

Land-O-Lakes had a challenge to create a summer bucket list for the last few weeks of the season. It seemed like a great way to celebrate the coming end of the hot, humid weather to me! So, I scurried off to Pinterest and created a special board just for the challenge. I'll try to write up everything I manage to try, provided I don't get distracted by other shiny ideas.

Right now I want to share my zucchini bread recipe. Tomorrow my Tuesday afternoon gaming group at the Wizard's Guild/Universe of Super Heroes starts meeting again. Since I know how famished the girls usually are after school, I thought I'd take in something they can snack on. And really, this is the time of year for zucchini bread, even if I did cheat tonight and use the frozen stuff because it was already grated.

With the exception of my mom, everyone who's ever tried my bread loves it. It must be one of the few things I really get right. (And it's not that mom doesn't like it, she's just more partial to pumpkin bread, which was part of her Christmas present last year.) And it's really very easy to make. I mean, I use the recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook! But I've learned a few things over the years that make mine really moist and tasty and I wanted to share them with you today.

First of all, if you don't have one of BH & G's cookbooks with the Zucchini Bread recipe in it, you can also find it online. Very nice for pinning to my Summer Bucket List board.

Melinda's Easy Zucchini Bread
3 cups flour (1 1/2 cup all-purpose and 1 1/2 cup wheat?)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten slightly
2 cups finely shredded zucchini and/or summer squash
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup totally mix-ins (raisins, cranberries, nuts, chocolate chips, etc...) (Optional.)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease two loaf pans. Set aside pans. In a large mixing bowl, combine everything from the eggs on down to the mix-ins. Stir well and set aside while you mix the rest of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Add contents of the smaller bowl to the larger one and stir well. Stir in the mix-ins as well.

Divide batter between the two loaf pans - it'll be about 2 1/4 cups each. Bake for 45-55 minutes until a tester inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool on wire racks for 15 -30 minutes before gently turning the pan over to let it release the loaf.

Secondly, this recipe works wonderfully with yellow summer squash as well. You can mix it with the zucchini or use it on it's own.

Thirdly, here's a gratuitous, badly lit pic of my two loaves. It's badly lit because, well, that's our kitchen in that area at night AND I'm using one of the girls' video camera for a camera camera. Sorry.

Fourthly, toss the walnuts. Seriously. Don't use 'em. There are so many other fun, tasty, and interesting things to add in their place. My family's personal favorite is chocolate chips, which was the add-in in the upper loaf above. My favorite is raisins or cranberries, and since I've been on a cranberry kick lately, that's what the bottom loaf contains. The only dried fruit that I haven't liked so far is dried dates. They just don't have enough flavor to either add anything to the taste or to stand out on their own. Oh, and I've been known to mix fruit and chocolate. We all win!

Fifthly, you can make it healthier by substituting half whole wheat flour and half of the sugar with a sugar baking substitute. I used a stevia blend in these loaves, although we were out of whole wheat flour. If I hadn't been feeling so lazy, I might have ground up some oats and tried an oat flour instead.

Also, I love to add some extra fiber to the mix. If you can find it, Beneful makes powdered, unflavored product that's perfect for adding to foods. For two loaves - a double batch - I use between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of the stuff. The bread sticks with you longer and slows down the sugar absorption, which is just the thing for diabetics like me.

Sixthly, have fun with the spices. The actual recipe calls for cinnamon, but I forgot that I used the last of it a week ago making zucchini bread. So I ground up some cardamon and used that instead. Since cardamom can have a strong flavor, I figured out the total of cinnamon and nutmeg needed and then halved it. One half was cardamon and the other was nutmeg. I've also used ground ginger to good effect.

Seventhly, don't hesitate to freeze loaves for later eating and gifting. We love pulling a loaf out of the freeze come January. I usually wrap them in cling-wrap and then place them in gallon bags. You can get about two loaves to a bag. If you're thinking of gifts, you might want to bake them in a small, disposable aluminum pan. You can leave it in the pan to freeze.

If you want to gift zucchini bread but don't want it to be frozen for that long, just chop/shred the zucchini and freeze it in pre-measured portions. Since I usually do at least a double batch, I freeze two cup allotments.

Finally, I pretty much always make a double batch. And very little of it goes to waste. Also, I've been using glass loaf pans and have discovered that, in our oven, 45 minutes is all it takes. The 50 minutes listed in the recipe was just 5 minutes too much.

And there you have it! Tryllyam's Tips for Zucchini Bread. Go! Bake! Enjoy!

Now, to finish out that bucket list...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kitten Update

I'm working on a couple of actual, honest-to-goodness posts. Really. It's just been a really long month and a half. However, I wanted to put sometime up new for you to look at, so here's an updated pic of of Lilly Mathilda. :-D She's pretty much doubled in size since we got her, tears around the house like a whirlwind, and snuggles on me at night to sleep. I'm seriously even more in love with her.

She's totally spoiled, getting a partial can of moist food morning and night. And you should see how excited she gets when she knows its food time. I've taken to feeding her on my desk while I work on the computer.
And here she is curled up on my work table, napping. The little pillow is there for size comparison. If you care to scroll down to the bottom of the previous post, you'll see her standing on the same little pillow.

So, hopefully that'll put a smile on your face for now. I still need to do a post on the comic convention that we went to in Marietta last month.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Meet Lilly

We have a new little girl at the house. I think she's about 7 weeks old now and boy has she grown in the week since she moved in! I forgot just how fast a kitten can change.

Meeting Baby for the first time. As you can see, he's thrilled with the new little addition. (This is day two, I think.)
We got her last Tuesday. This is her on Thursday, in her brand new collar, which is now somewhere downstairs. ;-) The hand on the left is mine and on the right is Monkey Girl's.
This was yesterday. Tackling an unfinished pin cushion. It's about 3 inches square.

Stalking my desk. Doesn't she look fierce?

And finally, snuggled in Monkey Girl's arms. Okay, really she's trying to figure out how to get away again....

Friday, May 10, 2013


I should be going to bed, as tomorrow is yet another busy day in the many days that have made up this week.

But here I sit, enjoying the cool air and the night song drifting in through the open window. In the distance, there are the sounds of traffic and once a train passed by.

The whirring of the laptop fan is running and the sound of the washing machine is going deep in the background of the house. Rosie is curled up on the sofa near me and will soon be snoring.

Otherwise all is quite and peaceful.

Tomorrow there will be the book fair, and the Friday invasion of the girls' teenaged friends.

But for now, it is still. And I am content.

Friday, April 26, 2013


You can tell it's Friday at our house. I picked up 6 teens at the high school and brought 5 of them home with me.

Oh, and you can tell it's a beautiful day, as evidenced by the shoes sitting there sans feet.

Monday, April 1, 2013

What Spring Break?

Well, that week went fast! Last week was spring break for Athens City Schools, a week during which at least the girls and I usually do something together. Usually we go spend a few days at my grandmother's and a couple of years ago, Mr. Incredible took the week off and we went to Gettysburg for the week. It's usually a fun, relaxing, recharge your batteries time. Really.

But now that we have two teenagers who are both back in public school, it's a bit of a different story. The only day I didn't either go somewhere or operate Mom's Taxi was Monday. I kid you not. On Monday, the weather was really icky, Monkey Girl didn't have track practice, and we just hung out at the house in our pj's playing on our computers.

I figured she'd have practice on Tuesday, but then I got "The Call." It came from my wonderful sister-in-law, asking if the girls could go check out a consignment shop in Lancaster with them on Tuesday, since that seemed to be the only day that would work for them. This was great. The girls were excited to go. We'd only been waiting on a day that worked for everyone. AND I'd have the day all to myself to maybe do some writing. Except that three sentences later, my wonderful sister-in-law wonderfully asked me to go along and my girls wouldn't hear of my staying home. Now, for the record, I'm not being sarcastic about my SIL. She really is truly wonderful. And I really did have a great time hanging out with the girls, as well as their aunt and grandmother on Tuesday. It was a fun day. We even discovered a new consignment/antique shop between Logan and Sugar Creek. I'm giong to try to get some of my earrings up there for them to offer for sale.

Wednesday saw us retracing our steps towards Lancaster, as Monkey Girl need to get a cavity filled up at Children's Dental in Columbus. Total time of the appointment, from the moment we hit the hospital lobby? About 1/2 hour. I think only 10 minutes were spent on her cavity, it was that little. She didn't even need anaesthesia, it was so small. Now that's the time to get them taken care of. And we still had the rest of the afternoon before us. Heck, leaving Columbus by 4:30 meant next to know rush hour traffic yet, which absolutely amazed me. it also meant I wasn't exhausted from the stress of driving with crazy people, so I had energy to brave the Rivervally Mall in Lancaster. We hit Hot Topic and Claire's, then finished up our day with dinner at Waffle House. Waffle House rocks by the way. And, once again, I had a marvelous time hanging out with the girls. Tuesday and Wednesday let to some great memory-making hours well spent. And I wouldn't trade them for anything. I still didn't get any writing done, though.

Nor would I the next two days either. Thursday was a mini-adventure hauling various kids around - not all of them were mine - as Mom's Taxi. Oh, and we mixed up the time for track practice, which apparently started an hour later than it does during the school week. *sigh* Monkey Girl missed pretty much two full weeks for practice thanks to having a bad case of strep the week before spring break.

I did however think I'd be rid of them for the night - prime snuggle time with Mr. I. But then the girls shuffled around what was happening. MG did go to her friend's house, but Drama Queen changed her mind about hanging out at her friend's. Until one of them called and they all harassed her into coming over. (She had a blast.) Mr. I and I did get a few hours to ourselves, including time out of the hosue for dinner. Since the goal had been just to spend time together, it was a success. (Applebee's, however, doesn't really have anything on the menu for someone following a vegetarian diet, let alone the CHIP diet, which is what Mr. I. has been doing.) I picked DQ up at midnight, while reflecting that my mother never would have let me stay out that late when I was her age. Times have changed.

Friday? Ummm, I'm trying to remember Friday. I know I wound up running somewhere, but I can't remember where right now.

So, that was my spring break. Busy, busy, busy. It was good though. Only now, I'm behind where I wanted to be with writing projects. But then again, none of them are on a deadline for anyone but myself at this point and I got to spend some truly enjoyable, quality time with my kids and my husband's family. And whether or not I ever get the book finished or published rather pales in comparison to those experiences. I mean, I wrote the book in part because of my daughters. They're only really mine for a few years longer. As for my in-laws, well, I love them as well. It would have been nice to see my grandmother last week, but in the grand scheme of things, I wouldn't have traded any of the rest of it for anything else.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Goin' for a Ride

Meet Rosie. She's my daughter, Drama Queen's best friend.

Hi, Rosie!

Recently Rosie reminded me of how much she likes car rides. I was off to pick up DQ after school a couple of weeks ago and she half-followed me to the van. On a whim, I asked her if she'd like to tag along. In she hopped through my door and up onto the driver's seat. After getting her to move over, we were off. It's actually less than a ten minute drive to the high school, but the poor thing whimpered all the way there. I'd thought about just picking DQ up and then heading to the Bulk Food Depot, but after the whimpering, thought maybe not.

DQ and her friend, whom I also give a ride home, were excited to see Rosie and she was very excited to see them. Ion (the name of one of his gaming characters) was happy to let Rosie ride on his lap, which left her really happy and excited. And wouldn't you know it, her whimpering increased! She was happy to be with DQ after Ion got out and yet she whimpered even more. By the time we got home, it was obvious that her whimpering was actually her excited sound. Half an hour later she followed us back out to the van, wanting to go again, tail wagging and ready to go.

Off we headed to the Bulk Food Depot, where she was not happy to be left in the van. I knew we wouldn't be in the store all that long, so she wasn't alone for long. And she totally enjoyed the trip.

Fast forward to last week, which happened to be Ohio Graduation Test time. Athens City doesn't require students who aren't testing to be at school until 9:30, so I cut DQ slack and drove her to school at the later time all week. (Normally Mr. Incredible drops her off on his way to work.) So, Tuesday morning we're getting ready to head out to the van. My hand's on the doorknob, DQ's about halfway into the dining room grabbing her bags, and Rosie's right behind her, head perked up and looking hopeful.

I'll be danged, but she followed us, right up to my side of the van, and in she hops. I tell her to move over out of my seat and she hops into the passenger seat just as DQ is reaching up to unlock it. Rosie totally stole her seat and got away with it! Half-exasperated, DQ says, "Fine! Be that way!" and plops down in the middle seat behind her. DQ wasnt' really upset, which is what made it even funnier. And that's when she snapped the above pic of a very happy dog. Happy at least until we got to the school and Drama Queen got out, leaving Rosie behind. She was most definitly NOT happy then.

She followed us out again the next morning, but we made her get in the middle seats for that trip. It was very cute watching her tail bounce as she followed DQ around the van and to the open door. I took her with me yesterday to pick the kids up again and she actually let me know that she prefers that door. At 11 years old, she doesn't quite have the umpf she used to have for jumping into cars. The sliding door lets her get in at the floor level and then climb into the seat. And it's been HIlarous watching her get her car legs and find her balance while the vehicle is moving.

She's a pretty sweet dog.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Family Time - Last Weekend.

That lovely lady on the right - and she really is very lovely - will become my niece (stepniece?) come May and I am so happy about it. That lucky fella on the right is my stepbrother's youngest son, whom we'll call "Pyroman" (everyone else does) and it just makes my heart swell to see how happy he is with the lovely Ms. G.

The girls and I were up in Monroe County last weekend for Ms. G's bridal shower, so we got to visit with several family members. We met up with my sister (I really need to think up some more family nicknames!) in Marietta for lunch and then the four of us headed off to visit The Grandmother. :-) Sis left ahead of us, so when the girls and I pulled in, she got a fun surprise. Amber'd called that morning to make sure she would be at home, but hadn't mentioned the girls and I were also going to stop by. Not having, or really talked, to each other since Christmas, I was looking forward to it. Really, I'd love to make it up there every month to see her, but the translation of that goal always works out differently, dang it. Also, normally, we'd spend the night there and then drive to my mother's in the morning before heading off to Wheeling, WV for the shower, but it was just easier - and about 2 hours less driving - to spend Saturday night at Mom's. As it was, we had a great few hours visiting with Grandma, laughing and embarassing the girls with stories from when they were babies and toddlers.

And then I HAD to stop in Woodsfield on the way to Mom's for paczies. (I probably spelled that wrong - it's Polish and pronounced push-key.) Riesbeck's has the best, unless you live near a Polish bakery, of these amazing filled donuts that you can only get during Lent. Seriously, just the small is heavenly. To actually eat one is well....maybe orgasmic? Definitly incredible.

We also had a great visit with Mom and, just as important, her dogs. The housedog, Chip, was a very special rescue who was once abandoned by his family when they moved. He was left still chained to a dog house and somehow managed to free himself and survive for at least a year on his own. I've never seen a dog with as many issues as this poor guy has, but he's come so far in the few years he's been Mom's care. And he spend a chunk of Saturday giving me the most wonderful attention - trust me, the favor was returned. What was so amazing about his attention was the fact taht both my sister and mother were there as well. Usually he'll go to one of them first because he's more familiar with the two of them, but not this weekend. He even plopped down on Monkey Girl's lap one or twice.

The next day was alot of driving - a total of FOUR hours by the time we got home - but it was so worth it. The girls and I had only met Ms. G once or twice before but we all absolutely adore her. She's sparkly and bubbly and seems truly crazy over Pyroman. AND, just as importantly, seems able to hold her own in the family. We are a loud family, so the ability to hold your own is very important.

And Pyroman just glows when he's around her. ALSO very important.

Since the shower ran a bit late, and we needed to get on the road, Ms. G was even kind enough to open our gift first, so Mom could see her open it. (Did I mention how awesome she was? And her mother and sister seem just as fabulous.) My sister outdid herself putting the gift together. Ms. G was really happy witheverything she pulled out of her gift bag...and then she got to the Rachel Ray cooker above and was REALLY happy. My (step) sisters, Hug and Snort, got them some fabulous gifts as well, all packaged in ribbon tied pillow cases tucked down in ribbon tied plastic storage bins. It was fun watching Pyroman trying to open them without breaking a ribbon and then Ms. G just said, "What the heck?" and went for it. Much laughing occured.

Okay, I need to wrap this up and get on to other things. Sorry if it's a major ramble, but it was a great weekend and a great visit with family that we hadn't seen since, well, Christmas really. We even got to see Aunt Hug and Aunt Snort, who were also at the shower.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday - Valentine's Day Door Decor, a Dollar Tree Craft

Ever since I realized that I could buy silk flowers at our Dollar Tree, that's pretty much all I've used to make my wreaths. Unfortunatly, I can't often find actual wreath forms worth buying there, but hey, I have plenty at home that I can just disassemble and redecorate. My thinking with using the $1 supplies that it doesn't matter as much if I mess things up and hate it. And the wreaths have been so much fun to work on lately. Maybe it's because we have THREE porches that I will eventually have decorated. Somehow. In the meantime, it's nice to be able to decorate a door without all the wind, rain, and ice getting to it, although we have had a bit of heavy winds of late.
Technically whats on the front door right now isn't really a wreath, but it is circular. Here's what a look-see:

I'd originally intended something a bit more, well, more. But after these flowers were on, I liked the way it looks this way, although it does seem to need something...maybe. I can't quite decide, so feel free to give me your opinion. I was thinking maybe it needed more red up around the unflowered part.
So, wanna see how I did it? It's so very easy, as long as you have a glue gun. And literally all the supplies came from our local Dollar Tree, where I love to go shop for unexpected treasures. (Also, with our budget, it's one of the few places I CAN go shopping for unexpected treasures...)
Here's what I started with:
If you want to make one just like mine, you'll only need one of the white rose bushes and don't bother with the beads. The tray is from the housewares section and is about 11 inches across. Also, this tray is metal. Over near the paper party goods, they have a larger plastic one, but I liked both the metal AND the design etched in the center of the tray. I thought it added something to the finished design.
Not a great photo, but you can see some of the design here. It reminds me of a thistle or a bit of a pineapple motif.
Start by taking your flowers apart. Clip the stems as close to the bottom of the flower as you dare, but not so close it will cause it to fall apart. I was lucky with these in that they didn't come apart easily, so I could clip right up to the bottom.
Here's my finished pile of poseys. As you can see, I hadn't decided to only do the bottom part of the tray yet, so I clipped all of the flowers. *sigh* I'll have to try to figure out something else to do with them. Maybe a winter holiday wreath later in the year.
Next step is to figure out where you want your top and bottom. I like to put together something that makes the bottom obvious, especially since I was still thinking of covering the whole circumferance at this point. So, I started with a single white rose and framed it with the two red ones. Attach your flowers with a good bead of hot glue. After I had the bottom figured out, I just started adding the flowers evenly on either side. After I had the two per side on, I decided that it really looked quite nice just like that and stopped there.
At the top, on the back, I looped around some of the ribbon and hot glued it in place.
The ribbon hanging off the bottom was just a length that I cut and then looped around the middle white rose. I made it hang the way I wanted it to with a couple of smal beads of hot glue. As a final touch, I added one of the glittery hearts in the center. I figured it's for Valentine's Day, so some bling is good.
Let the hot glue set up and then hang. As you can see, mine is just hanging from a  regular, over-the-door wreath holder.
There ya go! There's less than $5 in the finished project.
 The wind certainly makes it rattle against the door when it's blowing hard. The important thing, though, is that it makes me smile when I come and go. Seriously, if you make one using this as your inspiration, let me know. I'd love to see it!
Oh, and I should probably show you the sorta inspiration piece that led to this. It's a skeleton wreath that a friend suggested on Pinterest. I did make a skeleton wreath for Halloween, also inspired by this pin, but I'll save that tutorial for the Fall.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Shuffle Time!

(Gratutious shot of a train in the snow, taken from our back porch in December.)

I'm going to try to better organize my blogs. I know, about time, right? But it's easier said than done.

Tryl's Meanderings is going to stay pretty much the same. You'll get random thoughts that I get the energy to write about, updates on family things (because I actually have family who reads this), craft and food tutorials or recipes, and random collections of links I find intersting. And I'm going to try to publish something every week - which means I might manage to have it happen every other week. I'm certainly going to try. So, that's the easy part.

Oak and Olive is going to become home of my writing alter-ego. I think. This will make it pagan/earth-centered information as well as a writing site. I'm hoping that means I publish more there as to never publishing something on either Oak and Olive or Laurel Reufner's Lair. I'm going to try to have an article on Lupercalia up soon.

And Bridgette's Scrapbook should be seeing some action once again as I start sharing our adventures with you all. My NaNo attempt this past November was to go back to the beginnings of our group and start writing. The site may also become a discussion destination for our group as we think over our characters and settings over the years and try to restore some continuity. I'll label those posts clearly, so if regular readers want to jump over them, they easily can.

As for Ghost Girl's site, I'm not sure. I need to sit down with my daughter and have a chat. I think it could be an intersting visit if she'd only write for it. (Well, that answers that. It doesn't load anymore.)

So, off to get to work. I hope to have a tutorial up by next Tuesday on how I made a cute Valentine's wreath for our front door. It's a Dollar Store craft, which I love to do for my door decor.

And see? This was a whine free post! I'm almost back to normal after being sick at the beginning of the month. I even called my mom to talk last night! My voice is still recovering, but it's so much better now.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Boy do I sound cranky in those last couple of posts. I'd like to chalk it up to 1. hunger and 2. feeling crappy. And I need to clarify that it isn't entirely my relatives' fault that we wound up with so much junk here at home after Christmas. The eldest and a friend of her's were having a party that Friday with about 10 friends invited. Bless her heart, but the Drama Queen jumped at every excuse to add the the food stash for the party.

I still can't quite figure out why, with so many of us either dieting or with diabetes - or both, we make so much sweet stuff every year. We must just love to bake!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Stupid Celery Fast

Well, THAT lasted a long time. Apparently I was getting sick by Thursday night and on Friday I woke up with a full-blown case of whatever crud the girls had been fighting. The eldest had been down with it since a couple of days after Christmas - it really hit her hard. Fortunately, I don't have it that bad and hope not to. However, it kibbituzed the fast. No way I'm suffering both of those at once. I'll let you know when I restart. *sigh*

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year, New Diet

How was everyone's winter holidays? Our's were nice, getting to spend time with family and being silly. As happens often lately, I was once again overwhelmed by my family's generosity, although I know it's part of how they show their love. And for the last time, I brought home far too many sweets and related leftovers because "no one else would/should eat them and we have friends over every week." Seriously guys, what I brought home this year, while appreciated, was ridiculous. Not even the girls will eat that many cookies. (They were tasty, though...)

And those tasty cookies have led to the new diet mentioned in the title. *sigh* My blood sugars have grown higher and more erratic over the last few months. They desperately need to be brought under better control, but I've let some really bad habits creep in. Back when I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I started cutting back on - or cutting out altogether - lots of foods that I shouldn't eat anymore, but this time it was just too overwhelming. I've been zonked by allergies - and the higher sugars - and a little depressed and wanted my comfort food, dang it!

So, on my birthday last month I agreed to try this crazy sounding diet that my doctor had been talking to me about over the last few months. A doctor at O'bleness had been using it to good affect (effect?) with his diabetic patients. So much so that my doctor, Dr. J., eventually just asked him to send her the info. It was taking a month or more of her patients to get in to see him and get on the program. Many participants had cut back on the diabetes medication as well as high blood pressure and cholestoral medicines. All good things, right?

Ah, but what makes the diet crazy sounding? Well, for the first three days you fast, with essentially a clear liquid diet and three - THREE - stalks of celery a day. When I told her I'd do it, we decided that I could eat as much celery as I want. I like the stuff, and well, it's celery. The stuff is pretty much water with a little fiber tossed in. After the fast you start backing eating solid foods following a very specific meal plan for the next four weeks. It reintroduces carbs starting at just 15 grams the first week and works up to 60 grams by the fourth.

It was the four week meal plan that had me hesitanting and I'm still not sure of how I'll do with it, but I'm going to give it my best go. There's actually a lot of food at each meal. As far as I'm concerned, I rarely eat that much a breakfast.

I started today. So far, I'm not sick of celery....yet. However I was so hungry by dinner time and celery wasn't cutting it. It just made me hungrier. Then I noticed I could have sugar-free jello. Hey, I don't like jello, but it would taste different, right? I ate 5 snack cups. I'm now cheating a wee bit with a mug full of beef bouillon. I need something with a meat taste to it. Sorry.

The hardest part is avoiding all of the temptations! It's impossible in this house not to see or think about them. I'll think, "Oh, I'll just grab a nibble of that or a bit of this." And then I'll remember I'm fasting and have to make the conscious decision not to grab the nibble or bite. It's honestly been exhausting, but I'm almost through Day 1. Now, to just remember in my morning grogginess not to eath anything...