Tuesday, March 30, 2010

opposite day

usually at 1 i put holly in the crib to start the napping process.  usually kendal gets a half-hour to an hour of quiet play (reading books, coloring, etc.) before i make him lay down too.

today, though, he marched straight from her room into his room and crawled into his bed.  he said "kendal tired" and that was all it took. (we've been outside for 2 hours... i guess that just wore him out!)

kendal is fast asleep and holly is still awake, its been 30 minutes since they laid down.  i can hear holly rattling her crib (which means she is standing up).  i've already laid her down 3 times.

is today opposite day and i didn't get the notice?


this side of heaven

one of my facebook friends had the most beautiful status this morning.

i had to post in on here, but, sadly i didn't think of it myself.  i wholeheartedly agree with her, though.  she does have beautiful children.  so do i.

"pretty sure my children's faces will be the most beautiful things i'll ever see this side of heaven... they're beyond adorable!"

Saturday, March 27, 2010

the running bag total: 33

well, i'd like to officially welcome nathaniel into the world of throwing stuff away.  at my bag #32, he decided to "go through the file" and shred some old stuff.  like, old tax stuff, i guess.  oh, and an expired license.  (actually he was looking for our bill of sale for our car so he could finish our taxes, which he found even though i'd already looked there.  i'm glad he looked after me though i was adamant the whole time "its not in there!"  ok, i was wrong.)

anyway, cheers to bag#33 - a bag of shredded documents. 

sunny leigh

last night i was spending some "me" time walking around the mall (among other places, like whole foods where i bought the ingredients to buy the kids' stuff to get the wipes wet now that we are using cloth wipes which, incidentally, smells SOOOO good and is 100% organic and natural and contains none of the harmful stuff like SLS or glycerin which holly seems to be sensitive to and i know that because i made it myself, in a small batch so i can keep it fresh.)

anyway, while i was at belk's, they had a lot of those 50% off racks and then the "additional 25% off the sticker" tags on that.  now, i'm not #1 a sale rack shopper, for one, or #2 a big last-season save it for next-season shopper but kate is getting married and i have  few things to dress up for this spring.  i mean, since i've had kids, i think i can count on one hand the reason i've needed something "dressy" and even that was sorta casual (our neice's baptism) and well, lets just say i'm a lot different in size and shape thanks for the miracle of childbirth (and so are my feet).  so, my closet is a bit depeleted when it comes to anything dressy or "cute" (however, is abundant in comfort - i think i have like 3 pairs of yoga pants now, which i rotate wearing since i have to do laundry every 3 days!)

ANYWAY, i looked on the sale racks and decided to try on a skirt like i see a lot of people wearing now, and i grabbed a few tops and a sweater/shrug also.  they were transitional type pieces (the skirt wasn't on sale except for the standard 25% off).  nothing fit. 

but, i know this is gonna sound weird, but i have a rule with myself that if there are clothes already hanging in the room and they are my size, i'll try on one thing (like a shirt or something).  well yesterday, the rooms were packed with leftover clothes and the one i picked (the first one i got to that was empty) was full of my size clothes.

lucky me.  the person who was in there before me had great taste in clothes.  it was like stuff i would have picked out had i been a little braver in fashion.  you know what i mean?  so anyway, there was this one black jacket (after i swore not to buy anything else black) that was all ruffley  with 3/4 length sleeves and a lot of elastic around the waist and on the back in strange places - but i decided that THAT would be what i would try on (from the "rack").  it looked interesting enough.

IT FIT!  like a glove.  like it was made for me. 

i was floored.  still, not knowing the price, i toyed with the collar (it was a bit flopped to the side because this jacket was not hung up right and got "bent") - anyway, the price was, well, it made me choke.

i said to myself "well, if it is half price, i'll buy it" (which was still a lot (considering i hadn't really planned on spending anything) but technically i haven't a black jacket and the black sweater i had was really picked and this would be a good replacement, and i'm sure it'd last a long long time.

so, naturally, it was 50% off.  they were on the highest rack (that i couldn't reach) but at that point i decided that i would only buy it IF there was another one in my size (thus not having to get one with a funky collar).  and since i couldn't reach them, i picked up another jacket that was flowered and had a flat collar (the same elastic gathers).  i tried it on and it looked awful.  so, back to the rack - and anyway, they did have my size.

so, i got a new black jacket.  i showed it to mom and kate and they agreed that it looked awesome.  even dad agreed. 

this picture doesn't do it justice...  you can't even see the ruffles!  and this girl has no shape.  this jacket was made for someone with a figure.

the running bag total 32

you didn't think i'd forgotten, did you?

bags 29 - 30 clothes with holes and towels with bleach spots.
"bag" 31 was the rainforest mat that i sold on ebay.  this one made me sad because both kids used it and i still remember getting it at my first baby shower (amy and mark, along with the tub - which i still have).  my kids sure loved that mat.  and the lady said "it is in such great condition!" to which i replied "well, they just lay on it!"  but, now that i think about it, they did more than lay on it!  they both learned to kick and grab and shake and kendal learned to admire himself in the mirror...  it was the perfect baby "toy."

while i was waiting to meet the lady from craigslist who wanted to buy it (the rainforest mat, she got stuck in i40 traffic), i was going through my phone deleting pictures. guess which one almost made me cry!

(taken march 15th, 2009 - holly was 3 months old - look how bald she was!)

Friday, March 26, 2010

"there's something about you i don't like about myself" and other ramblings about getting along

whenever i am around someone that frustrates me or i don't get along with, i say that quote to myself.  sometimes, it takes me saying it over and over before i figure out what about that person it is that i feel threatened/putoff/uneasy/whatever about.  sometimes (very often), that quote rings true.  

(of coarse, sometimes it doesn't and it is a matter of morals or worse..., but that is rare!)

there's something about you i don't like about myself.

probably because you are also the oldest child and used to having things your way.

there's something about you i don't like about myself.

probably because you are a take-charge kind of person and i'm the one in charge.

there's something about you i don't like about myself.

probably because you are fighting for what you believe in and 1) i disagree with what you're fighting for or 2) though i appreciate your enthusiasm, think you should reconsider which battles you pick because i think it is silly to be so adamant about something so insignificant.

there's something about you i don't like about myself.

maybe your tooth hurts and you have cramps and just all around you are having a crummy day, sort of like everyone has sometimes.

there's something about you i don't like about myself.
there's something about you i don't like about myself.
there's something about you i don't like about myself.

next time you are around someone you don't really like or get along with, consider what it is about them that you don't really like about yourself!  

...just some "oldest child" wisdom (though i don't think it has anything to do with being an oldest - more of being 34 years old)!  i wish i had learned it years ago! it has proven most effective at getting along with "difficult" people.

(p.s. when that doesn't work, i either just shut up - "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" or do the opposite - "kill them with kindness."  i can assure you that these two things still don't work on the really difficult people, but, at least you aren't kicking yourself at the end of the day for letting them get the better of you!)

grandma's birthday

not sure what year she was born, but today - a long time ago - my grandma was born. 

interesting things in this picture:

1. right above her head is an orange vase.  i have that vase.  anyone who has used the upstairs guest bathroom has seen it.  she gave it to me when i was living in washington, which means it was right before she got sick and died because that was the mid 2000s.  we were in her house and she was in the "middle bedroom" which was a junk room at that point (now it has been remodeled in to a bathroom) and i said "what a pretty vase" and she said "well you can have it!"

2.  above her right shoulder is a picture of dad, mom, and me.  and, that's it.  mom isn't pregnant looking, and i appear to be in the 1 year range.  since grandma is opening a christmas present, the date of it must be december 25, 1976.

3. change the hair and clothes and glasses and you can call her aunt melody.  it is amazing how much they look just alike.  that smile...  aunt melody has her smile too. 

4. which means change the hair and clothes and glasses and add 30 years to it and you'll probably have melissa!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

he's not autistic, but...

by tenna merchent, M.H.

this book caught my eye in the new-release non-fiction section at the local library on one of my rare visits to an actual library.

i have no worries that either of my children are autistic.  but it was the "but..." part of the title that got my attention.  the book was somewhat interesting, i had trouble putting it down to be honest.  i found her style of writing to be easy to read and more like she was standing in front of me, talking to me.  what happened to her son and to her must have been difficult to go through as both a mother and a person, but none-the-less they made it through.  i found to have in common with her a sense of generic doctors where you are in-and-out and you don't really get anything specialized, where nothing alternative (or homeopathic) is considered, and antibiotics and immunizations and growth charts are pushed as the norm. 

i did finish the book with a sense of her personal growth (she seemed very weak as a person in the beginning) and towards the end she did become more of a fighter and a believer. i am not sure if i could "trust" some of the medicine-type practices she did during the course of her and her son's treatment, but i'm glad it worked for her. i believe with her hard work and perseverance, and constant prayer, God healed them.  i believe she wrote a book, a true book, about a modern day miracle.   

i just wanted to put my favorite quote from the book, which i think summarizes the book pretty well - both her struggles and her recovery in here.
"...i have observed this phenomenon in many practitioners.  they believe theirs is the only approach that will work.  this man believes everything is caused by our emotions.  he was like the guy who only has a hammer, so he thinks everything is a nail.  it has been my experience there are many ways to approach the body that are beneficial.."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

potato saturday 2010 march 20

it's easy to remember the date because that afternoon, [my] granddaddy died.  its great that we spent his last morning alive doing what he loved to do - with our dad, the granddaddy of today.  it was sort of like the passing of the torch.  of coarse, we didn't know it - and there was no torch, except for the sun was mighty hot on saturday.  i'm sure when dad was kendal's age, he was helping in the garden just like kendal did this year.  maybe even holly's age. 

here are a BUNCH of pictures from saturday, some will have captions.

to start, holly wore her new mushroom dress.  i got this on etsy - another one of holycrapclothing's adorable handmade dresses (this is holly's third from her).

there are three places that dad (and duncan) plant, one is right behind mom and dad's house, one is "duncan's garden", and the other is "down by the creek".  previously, the potatoes were down by the creek.  however, this year the potatoes are planted in "duncan's garden."  dad had already plowed and rowed where the potatoes were to go (red and white "irsh" - one syllable - potatoes) so we just had to walk over.

and don't think maggie got left behind.  one of the biggest treats in their house is "who gets to hold the leash" - which today was kendal.
so then started the potato cutting.  you know, to grow potatoes, you have to plant potatoes.

and then we just walked over to duncan's garden and dad instructed us on how to do it (just spacing, which meant that after kendal and holly threw theirs down that someone went after us and spaced them out...)

incidentally, kendal was not even hesitant to touch and throw the potatoes.  holly wasn't either, though she didn't like walking on the uneven dirt.  kendal did great - he walked the whole row, though he held one hand for a lot of it.  it was soft dirt, and the chunks made it somewhat uneven with the rows and all... i was happy with how he did.

holly getting help from her dad.

as kate said, "crooked rows" which are that way to keep water from wasting the soil)

i told kendal to smell it.  nothing like the smell of dirt, and a freshly cut potato.

next, dad was fertilizing some of the other rows so duncan's children could plant snow peas by hand ("torture").

kendal then wanted to try out the fertilizer thing (not sure what it is called...)  we did it between rows, though... and it was empty.

in the mean time, holly was done with potatoes and was enjoying singing and playing with mamaw and katelyn.

the tulip magnolias were also in bloom and holly wanted to eat them.  i always think of my grandma when i see a tulip magnolia, as she has one in her yard. monday when we went to granddaddy's funeral, it was in FULL bloom.

kate and kendal (and maggie) going for a walk to the barn to see mark.

granddaddy getting busy on the tractor rowing the rest of the field

holly and mom singing songs:

the itsy bitsy spider

"down came the rain" (the itsy bitsy spider)

"tip me over and pour me out" (i'm a little teapot, her daddy taught her this song all by himself!)

migraine help.book

i've read a book about migraines and i actually learned a few things!
the book was called "the everything health guide to migraines" by paula ford-martin and the most interesting part of the book was the headache-free diet.  it goes full-circle back to the blog i wrote the other day about food allergies. in it i had a link about how to figure out what you are allergic/sensitive to.  the first thing this chapter said to do was figure out your triggers.  it is the same method.  http://www.wholeapproach.com/diet/allergies.php  (along with careful label reading after you figure what they ALL are.)  and a side note here from my aunt - she and her daughters are doing the daniel diet (from the bible) for lent and she said that she's had NO migraines since she started it... so, it must be something in meat, sugars, breads, processing and preserving of foods that was giving her the migraines.  she's going to slowly add back to see what causes them (sort of a reverse elimination diet) - i think that is a great idea and am now considering the fast for  maybe a 14 or 21 day cycle to see if it helps me (of coarse, combined with much meditation and prayer - maybe i can figure out a few things)!

so, anyway, here are a few things from the book.  in HER words (consider this all quoted):

GLUTAMATE is an amino acid and is the natural form of MSG found in grapes, spinach, some aged cheeses, mushrooms, and tomatoes.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) - why it causes migraines:  MSG is created when protein is broken down and fermeted; particular bacteria excrete glutamic acid that is then filtered and added to salt to create the substance known as MSG.  MSG works by simulating the taste buds into making food seem more appealing. potential reasons for its triggering power include the fermentation inherent to the MSG making process, and the possiblility that MSG actually alters brain function by affecting the behavior of seratonin.

MSG can be found in most flavored potatio chips, corn chips, pretzels, salad dressings as well as prepared food (fast food, snacks, sauces, soups, chicken nugget breading, asian cuisine).

flavor enhancers that have similar properties to MSG and may act as triggers in the same way are:
BHA, BHT, Hydrolyzed vegetable protein HVP or hydrolyzed plant protein HPT, modified food starch, carageenan, and maltodextran

color additives can be a trigger and the book says that FD&C #5 (tartrazine dye) is one.  it can be found in soft drinks, candy, medication (both prescription and OTC) - and used to make other colors (orange, green, maroon, etc.) so be sure to ask the pharmacist about color additives if you are trying to exclude that one.

sugar and sweeteners:  when you eat sugar, your blood sugar rises.  migraineurs tend to be more sensitive than most changes in blood sugar, thus the rapid change may trigger a migraine.  it can be avoided by limiting intake of refined sugars. 

aspartame appears to lower  the levels of serotonin in the body which can trigger or worsen a headache. 

comfort foods:
chocolate contains phenyethylamine, a histamine, has been linked to migraine.  you can substitute carob (a legume) for chocolate: it has no caffeine.

meats and barbeque:  sodium nitrate, food preservative: cured meats, sausages, bacon, pepperoni, hot dogs, jerky, commercially dried fish:  all triggers. (we don't eat these things in my house.  well, except bacon. i do try to find the uncured kind when i buy it though.  they are all triggers for me.)  also consider that fried chicken from chain resturants are loaded with MSG (like the breading at chick-filet, as well as the breading at every fast food place where you get chicken nuggets if you are buying them for your child!)

soup:  check for MSG, even broth.
mac and cheese:  aged cheeses contain tyramine, an amino acid that is a potential migraine trigger.  aged cheese such as parmesan, pecorino romano, asiago, and hard cheddar tend to have the highest concentration of tyramine, so those shoudl be the first ones to eliminate from your diet.  it is possible to continue enjoying dishes such as macaroni and cheese but avoid using aged or moldy cheeses.

supermarket tips:"whole food diet" - whole wheat, brown rice, low fat dairy, frish fruits, veggies, and fish high in omega 3 FA, diet clear of fried foods and refined sugars.  shop on the perimiter of the store.
Dairy:  fresh milk, butter, cream - yogurt and sour cream are fermented and contain tyramine, as well as aged cheeses.
fruit and vegges:  some fruits contain naturally substances that can trigger an attack:  citrus fruits contain tyramine, bananas contain both histamine and tyramine, avacado and spinach also have histamine and tyramine.  dried or dehydrated fruits may contain sulfites, a trigger.  phenylethylamine foods included cheese, chocolate, citrus, cocoa, and red wine.  tyramine containing foods include aged cheese, beer and ale, fava beans, nuts, olives, pickles, red wine, salted or cured meat, sauerkraut, sour cream, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and yogurt.  histamine containing foods are aged cheese, beer  and ale, banana, citrus, eggplant, fish, pineapple, red wine, spinach, strawberry, tomato, and yeast.

i won't even get into alcohol or caffeine... we all know to avoid that!

so if you have time, check out that book from the library.  it was quite interesting. they even have it at the youngsville library - it is like one of the 101 they have on their shelves there.  that is the smallest. library. ever.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


kendal just told me "tuck in the mud" when his truck went off the build-a-road track and tipped over. 
um, where did he get that from?  i'm pretty sure that we've not gotten any 4-wheelers "stuck in the mud" yet.

healthcare opinions

so funny yesterday to see people's comments about the healthcare bill.

though i'm sure this one is a chain ("repost if you agree" type thing), it one made me chuckle.  i mean, really.  no matter what you think about the plan itself, you have to agree this is pretty funny:

So they just passed a health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he didn't understand it, passed by a Congress that exempts themselves from it, signed by a president who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese,and better yet it is to be financed by a country that's broke??
and then another one of my friends had this on hers (of which i'm pretty sure she came up with this one on her own!!!):

Hey you big dummy (to quote Fred Sanford), quit talking about how much help you need from the government to pay your bills and celebrating this health care bill while holding an iphone!

yup, there's a reason she's my friend.  she's smart, witty, and keepin' it real, yo!  (hey, wait, am i mixing inside jokes here?)

Monday, March 22, 2010

food allergies

how do you determine what you're allergic to for FREE?
by testing it yourself.
i found a great website that explains how.  i think we may do it here - with the kids.  we have such random days of crazyness (like the terrible-twos aren't consistent, i've been curious if the behaviour is more food related than age related) that i may do it myself.


melissa - katelyn - mom - i encourage you to do it  too!  ya'll are always talking about how you (or someone) can't eat this or can't eat that because it upsets your (or their) stomach.  well, maybe you are allergic/intolerance/sensitivity.  maybe it isn't that and it is something IN it.  this is the best way to determine it!  FOOD LOG!

(also is great way to determine what is a migraine trigger!)

ok so i want to know results!  and, i know it takes a few months so my label for this post will be both ALLERGY and FOOD!  you can remember those pretty easily!

melissa - this should have you hooked:
"The best known of allergy tests is the scratch test, which identifies the typical IgE antibody-mediated reactions. However, over 80% of food reactions do not involve IgE. If your body produces an IgE antibody as a defense against a substance, the allergy can easily be diagnosed with a skin scratch test. In fact, there are four other types of antibodies; IgG, IgM, IgA, and IgD. Any one of them may be involved in your reactions to foods but an intolerance involving these antibiodies will not be identified using the standard scratch test."  may explain why josh and sam are "not allergic" to milk yet when you give them milk it causes runny poop!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

thoughts on lotion

my skin has been incredibly dry this winter.  and, i've had a heck of a time finding something that moisturized it (enough) and didn't cause a reaction (i have VERY sensitive skin).  my old standby, cetaphil, just hasn't been enough.  plus, i've been TRYING very hard to use everything organic (i.e., with organic ingredients, nothing processed or man-made or "something i can't pronounce" in the ingredients).  so, a while ago, i ventured to my favorite store - whole foods - and began browsing in their whole body section.  i didn't buy anything the first few times i went, i was looking for both lotion and shampoo - and it was a bit overwhelming.

anyway, after several visits, i never got any lotion there.  i'd tried several things in the past and knew that pretty  much what they had was going to cause a problem with my skin.  after despirately needing some face wash and lotion (and not being able to get to bodylase to get my normal stuff), i looked in the lowes food "natural" section and found a lotion (lowes food's natural brand) and a face wash (?brand?) that i've been using for over a month now with no reaction.  i actually like them very much (i'll have to write another post on what they are...).  but i still was having trouble finding a body/hand lotion.

anyway, i spotted the alba products and decided to try their cocoa butter hand and body lotion.  the ingredients are ok, nothing too weird - it smells nice (not that smell really matters to me, except that it doesn't smell strong...) - and so i took it home and tried it.  you know, it does NOT work very well.  if nothing else, i seem dryer.  there isn't any alcohol in it, but maybe this would be a better summertime lotion (the first ingredient is water, the second is aloe vera).  i think over the past month my skin has gotten worse and worse in the dryness department.  anyway, i used cetaphil this morning so we'll see if that makes a difference today.

i was also disappointed to see on a recent (and RARE) visit to walmart (i hate walmart) that they sell the same alba (and similar) stuff there - same stuff is at target too, and lowes foods, and food lion!  i mean, if i wanted a generic, everyday products, i would have just gone to walmart and bought suave or something.  they even have burt's bees there now too.  what is up with that?  to me, when i see a brand in a big-box store, it means that they overprice their product and use cheaper ingredients.  not sure if that is right, that is just how it seems to me. 

anyway, guess i'll have to try the aveno salon next for some "exclusive" products next time.  haha.  jokes on me, right?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

funny thing mom said to me today

i was taking pictures of holly (i'll post them later) and mom said to me, "remember those pictures i took of you smelling the roses? i found them, do you want them?  you could put them in holly's room and it'd be cute since she looks just like you."

i thought that was funny.  mom even said today that she laughed like faith (she does!) 

we planted potatoes today, it was so much fun - didn't think planting anything would ever be so pleasant.  guess the dirt was dry enough and the air was just right too.  kendal even got his hands dirty and walked on the un-even, squishy dirt in the garden.  soon as i find my camera and upload the pictures, i'll post them. 

and, by the way, the reason for SOOO many blogs is because i'm trying to stop using facebook so much. i actually intend to stop using it altogether (except to just be able to contact people, not to actually "post" things so to speak).  i've gotten quite annoyed here lately with people (or is it me?) thus i just think i should step away for a while.

anyway, if you want to know what i'm up to or what is on my mind, you'll have to look here from now own.  i'll be posting all kendal's funny sayings and holly's cute-isms on here!  :)

feel free to comment using the anonymous person thingy - you don't have to join anything to say anything.  you can leave your name in your comment if you want, or not.  i can delete anything or you can delete your own (if you decide later that you don't want it to be shown).

okay!  that's it.  blogger:  here i am.  facebook:  ciao! (well, except to chat with my cloth diaper and/or camera friends... i'm still learning about both!)

march 20, 2010 - the day he died

well granddaddy died this afternoon, 3:05 i think was the time.

yesterday, after over two weeks of not eating or drinking (he was not on any life support save oxygen), he was sitting up and being fed ice cream.  i was laughing so hard at that because it was like a joke. granddaddy's joke.  (for those of you who knew him, granddaddy always left you with words that didn't hit you until miles later. my dad most definitely got his sense of humor from his dad... )

organic alternative to fruit loops

i finally found a comparable cereal to fruit loops. (i went to whole foods yesterday... lowes foods sometimes has a decent organic foods section - and i know the food lion in youngsville has a good organic section, they have some of the cascadian farms cereals that i'm about to discuss AND even the ah!laska chocolate syrup which is also really yummy)

my kids LOVE LOVE LOVE fruit loops.  they rarely ever eat it because it is so packed with sugar.  it is more like a snack - treat snack - than a cereal (ok, well sometimes they get fruit loops on the weekends - when their daddy spoils them - and i'm ok with that).

anyway, fruit loops is not only loaded with sugar but it is also loaded with tons of other bad stuff like artificial dyes and preservatives (i.e. BHA/BHT - incidentally that link is just the first one that popped up with i typed in BHT, i didn't have to look far to find what is wrong about BHT - and artificial food dyes - and MSG, fake sweeteners, etc.)

ok, off soapbox.  so, anyway, at whole foods yesterday they had two types of fruity-ohs that i've never seen before.  one was the 365 brand (the whole foods brand) and the other was cascadian farm's brand.  i bought both and i'm glad i did.  the whole foods brand was $3.29 for 10 oz. and cascadian farm was 4.99 for 11 oz.  they have similar ingredients just in different order, similar nutritional value - except the cascadian farm has some fiber (3 or 5g/serving, i can't remember which, the 365 brand had <1).  taste wise they are both sweet, but the 365 one is gross - it has little fruit flavor and is mushy - i would think that in milk it would get soggy pretty quick.  it is more grainy (corn meal based) and overall i didn't like it at all.  the cascadian farms one was AWESOME.  not really like fruit loops flavor or color (not as vibrant, but they are naturally colored so no dyes to make them bright purple and blue and green...) - they taste more like trix.  i liked them, and so do the kids.

i ended up mixing both boxes of cereal together in my sealed container because otherwise the 365 box would never get eaten.

anyway, next time you see the cascadian farms fruity-ohs, you should give them a try.  we also like their clifford cereal too.  (and when i say "we", i mean the grown-ups too.)  its sorta like alphabets cereal, just with different shapes.

touch and feel camera thoughts

i went to wolf camera yesterday - the ORIGINAL one in cameron village - and checked out their cameras.  i immediately ruled out all the canons for one reason or another, but the nikon stood out to me, as it did online also.  i played with the D3000, D5000, and D90 - and then the 18-55, 55-200, 35, and 18-200 mm lenses. 

Nikon D3000
the d3000 was ruled out quickly because it is 10.1 megapixel.

Nikon D5000
i first played with the 5000 (12.3 megapixels).  it was nice, was very light and smooth, however it seemed like i had a foreign object in my hand (i need a class or something - a book & a lot of practice - it had a lot of buttons).  it is nothing like my old (film) SLR.  i tried out the 18-55 and 55-200 lens which come with the package i was looking at getting.  both lenses were pretty short and light, which i was happy with - i was worried after looking on line that the 55-200 one would be longer thus heavy. heavy lens = heavy camera = tired hands.  they were nice, got a lot of zoom on the 55-200 lens (i aimed out the door across the parking lot).  next i tried the D5000 with the 35mm lens which is a fixed focal length lens.  that was sort of weird since i'm used to being able to zoom (fixed focal lengh is like the point-and-shoot disposable type cameras - no zoom).  it was really clear, though, and the employee told me about how it let in more light so the pictures would be more vibrant and clear.  that one is definitely on my "get soon" list - but maybe the 55mm?  the only downside to the d5000 is that the camera itself doesn't have an autofocus built in.  so, you have to buy lenses that have the motor in the lens.  not a problem if i want to buy nikon lenses... most of them have it.  also want to definitely make sure to get the VR in the 55-200 (or any longer zoom) lens if i'm not going to have a tripod.  as much as i shake, the vibration reduction option for an extra $50 will certainly be worth it.

Nikon D90
so next i tried the d90 just to compare-  it costs a couple hundred dollars more but my thought was that if it is WORTH IT then i'll wait.  it was HEAVY and LARGE and did not fit well in my hands. though, i did get to look through the 18-200 lens which was AWESOME.  combining the two other lenses was great - but, it was expensive.  $850.  (the other two lenses were $100 - $200 each.)   so, wondering if the heft of the camera was because of the lens (the 18-200 lens was a little larger, but still not "BIG" by any means), i removed the lens (on both cameras).  there was clearly a difference in weight.  that sealed the deal for me on which camera i wanted to get. 

d5000, i have an envelope with your name on it.  i'm selling cards, retired stamps, and tutus and as soon as it is fat enough for ya, you're going to join my family.  you and the generic two lenses.  THEN i'll get the 35 or 55 prime.  THEN maybe i'll save again for that 18-200 lens.  it rocked! OR, a fisheye lens.  that'll be sweet to have.  oh, DSLR camera, i have plans for you - what fun we'll have.

Friday, March 19, 2010

popsicle card

here is one of this month's club cards - i saw the idea online on another demonstrator's website so i just spun off of her idea and went from there. the orange on the front of MY card is scratch and sniff - orange.  i looked up recipes on splitcoast (here's the link to that thread, you have to go through it all to find the good ones and then just test them for yourself...  i ended up tweaking the recipe that was the most popular one on there just a bit, i want to try the chocolate one)

anyway, who wouldn't want to get this in the mail?  i think i'll send it to faith for her birthday.  maybe in strawberry, though, but - eh, maybe orange (since i already have one made...).

i think i may do these for kendal's birthday party this fall - wouldn't these be great?  we can all eat popsicles and have cake.  it think that is a lovely idea! (just hope he likes ice cream by then...)

sense of smell - 10 minute procrastination write

9:40 i just commented on amy's facebook status and it made me start thinking about how sensitive my nose is.  really what i need to be doing is my last set of cards for club.  i'm almost ready to make them but now i'm thinking about my nose and how maybe there is a reason why i despise libraries - and tend to not read a lot.  i do like to read, when i do pick a book, i usually REALLY like it.  but, you can pretty much be sure that what i'm holding in my hand is a new book (or practically new).  rarely do i ever go to a library and check out a book.  if i do get anything, it has to be off the new release list, thus living most of its library life out of the library and not being contaminated with library smell.  nathaniel probably thinks that i hate it when he reads in bed but really it is the smell of the stinky book he has open that i can't stand.  something about rotting books makes my head hurt, i guess.  i wonder what chemical it releases during decomposition - whether it be from the actually wood used in the paper, the ink, or the chemicals used in the processing of the paper.  something, though, is definitely a headache trigger for me.  i avoid it just the way i avoid the perfume counter at belks or macy's.  you know when i'm at the mall (alone) i'll go up and down the escilator inside and outside the store just to avoid that front section of the department store.  i just hate perfume.  it makes my head throb.  i know i have friends that wear perfume but there isn't anything i can do about that.  even nathaniel wears cologne sometimes.  the last time he put it on i heard him spray it 8 times.  isn't once enough?  one spray and i can smell it for a week in the bathroom.  i still smell it on his clothes even though they are laundered.  speaking of laundering, i got some calgon water softener (recommended for cloth diapers in hard water...) and it seems to help get out the soap scum left in our clothes.  i noticed more suds.  and, less smell left.  our laundry detergent has little to no smell (charlie's soap) but what it does have smells sort of like air so i can handle it.  (by the way, not all smells are triggers... 1 squirt of nathaniel's cologne isn't a trigger. i picked out his cologne.)
so maybe part of the reason i don't like dogs is because of the way they smell - i can always smell them.  cats really don't have a smell.  not  much anyway.  with the LB out in the garage, there is NO smell in our house from them.  when i was checking out at target the other day (buying litter) the man behind me praised the type of litter i was buying - which is the wheat litter.  he said the clay litter gave his cat UTIs and the wheat litter solved that problem.  he also said that if you dump the wheat litter in the woods, the deer will eat what is left.  i thought that was interesting.  we haven't had to dump it yet - well, maybe once, but i haven't seen the deer yet.  its warming up now and i've not seen them since it was cold. 
ok, so now it is 9:47 and i am just about out of words.  anyone have any other suggestions as to why i am so sensitive in my sniffer?  or how to fix it?  of coarse, my allergies (or a cold) are acting up right now, so i am not running at full strength.  maybe i can go to the library.  hahaha.  i did go the other day and check out two books (off the new release list).  they are interesting, non-fictions of coarse.  i put on reserve a fiction  called "the help" that i want to read.  our libraries suck here.  bad.  they have nothing there.  anyway, ok, i have 1 minute and i see a bunch of red lines above me so i need to edit.
time to make cards.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

benefits of grass fed beef

i haven't read the entire original article yet (link posted at end), but i intend to (its 51 pages and frankly, 51 pages may take me several days to get through especially since i'm making cards at the moment!)  we don't get grass fed beef simply because it isn't readily available around here.  i'm sure i could find it if it tried hard though, like from a local farm.  we have several 'organic' beef farmers in franklin county just we haven't the freezer space for a half-cow.  :)  anyway, it reminded me about what happened yesterday at fuddruckers - i ordered a buffalo burger and as we were walking away, i heard the cook say to the counter clerk that they didn't have any buffalo.  about 5 minutes later, they called us up and said to pick something else.  the clerk wouldn't let me have the salmon without paying the additional $1, so i had to pick the 1/3 pound burger - which was still delicious (but i was trying to be "good").  anyway, after we ate, the manager brought us our money back for my entire burger, not just the difference between the buffalo and beef.  i thought that was nice.
Grass-Fed Beef: Key to Cancer Prevention?
Jacksonville Fresh Foods Examiner
Joshua Horrocks

The Nutrition Journal recently published a review done by The College of Agriculture, California State University, and University of California Cooperative Extension Service. This review uses three decades worth of research to compare fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef.
This review found that several studies suggest grass-based diets are high in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and elevate precursors for Vitamin A and E, as well as cancer fighting antioxidants such as glutathione (GT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity as compared to grain-fed live stock. Along with that, they also found that grass-fed beef is lower in overall fat content, so it should be something considered for anyone watching their weight.

Not only are there high levels of CLA found in grass-fed beef, but it also is transferred through the milk of grass-fed cows. On the other hand, this review states that grain-fed beef consistently produces higher concentrations of MUFAs, which a study has linked to a higher mortality rate for women.
The only significant downside to grass-fed beef, which was noted, was the taste is not preferred because of palatability. Because grain-fed has been the norm for the past 60 years, most American’s may have to make an adjustment to the taste; the taste difference can be helped by making sure that the beef is 100% grass-fed with fresh folage or grass.

The full review and source of this article can be read here: Nutritional Journal 9:10

thought for the day

saw this quote on FB - can't vouch for the validity of it, but, the point is what i think rings true.

"You don't have to know the molecular structure of peanut butter. You  have to know how to open the jar." -- Australian CPT explaining what it means to be an Army Engineer versus a civilian engineer. 

speaking of enginerds, in less than a month, rob will be home!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

random observations

sorry no pictures here.  takes too much time.

1.  kendal decided he liked rice.  he's eaten as much as me in the past 2 days.
2. kendal is wearing his first cloth diaper right this very moment.  he pooped after lunch, so i took that opportunity to put one on him.  i hadn't even shown them to him and he said "kendal's new diaper" - very observent!
3. holly likes blood oranges.  she ate the whole thing save a few pieces i tasted.
4. blood oranges got their names for a  good reason.  i don't think i've ever had one until today.
5. uncle butch is getting better.  granddaddy, not so much.
6. i'm tired of paper bunnies.
7. i'm applying for a job in nathaniel's workgroup.  i also applied for 2 others last week. (i apply for a lot of jobs, but these are all ones i am qualified for... ones i may actually get interviews for.)
8. i thought today was the 17th.
9. holly likes rogan "josh" (made with chicken rather than lamb, thus the "  " part over the josh - which infers lamb).  i even put some of the rogan sauce on her chicken nuggets for lunch and she ate them all up!
10.  kendal and holly have officially been converted to homemade chicken nuggets.
11. holly and kendal have officially been converted to non-canned (i.e. frozen) peas (just have to cook the hell out of them). up next is corn and string beans.
12. the clothesline is working great.  figured if i do one load a day i will be ok without using the dryer.  we'll see if 1 load a day is ok.  for now, it's been ok.  the line pretty much only holds 1 load.  and, thus far its been cloudy and cold.  so, slow drying... this summer i'm sure i can do more than one a day. 
13. about to get started on my photobook on shutterfly.  waiting for a good coupon now... like a BOGO or something, since i'm gonna get 2.
14. i REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLy want a camera.  i've come up with 100 ways to make $50.  unfortunately i need the camera to get started.  so, who'd like their family portraits taken? i know some great places (in raleigh).   i'm up for a quick make of some ca-zash these days (and with some advance bookings, i may can swing the buy!)  in the mean time, the saving has begun.... (tho i just noticed that best buy has it the cheapest for the 2 lenses AND a bag... and 24m same as cash? $34/m? not to get swayed by the credit offer... dave ramsey, damn you!)
15. why do we have hundreds of ladybugs in our house?  i can't kill them.  i just can't.  seems like it is bad luck or something.  and i'm not gonna test karma on this one.  (they don't bite, right?)

Friday, March 12, 2010

suduko mojo

just want to report that as of 2 days ago, i got my suduko mojo back.

its been a month and i couldn't even do an easy one.
did the medium one in a fairly speedy time the other night at mom's house.

maybe vitD def. affects your brain.  and now that i have some, i can think again.

or, maybe i've made nathaniel stop showing me "his logic" me long enough to remember how to do them my own way.  :)

tutu portfolio

i'm not sure why i haven't taken more pictures of the tutus i've made.  i can think of 4 or 5 that i can't find a pictures for.   i wanted to make a post about the tutus i've made and put all the pictures in one spot in the hopes that someone may want to buy one.

here is the first one i ever made.  it was for my daughter, holly, when she was about 2-1/2 months old.  i used this picture for our easter cards last year.  this tutu is acually a larger tutu like for a 2 year old - way big for her in this picture.  holly is 15 months now and it is still a little long for her.  the second picture is her wearing it just a couple of weeks ago (yes, she is in her christmas pjs).

here is one i made for my neice for her 6th birthday.  the tutu was pink and white, though it looks quite irridescent in the pictures.  that'd be because i'm not good at using adobe photoshop.  my "eraser" picked up the green in the grass behind her and i'm not sure how to remove it.  anyway...  here's grace's tutu:

next is a set i did last halloween in which i incorporated ribbon into the tulle.  i think they turned out well.  the first one is teen sized and it actually sold within 15 minutes of being in the store to an adult woman.  the second is one i made for a sweet 4 month old girl last halloween.  snazzy cat is modeling that one, snazzy cat is a build-a-bear (for scale).  the last picture is one i sold to a friend with a 3 year old.  she was darling in hers...

this is the only one that i haven't sold yet (it is $30 if anyone is interested).  i'm not sure if it hasn't sold because of the colors or what.   i named this one "the sprite" because nathaniel said it made him thirsty. i was going for an organic "green" coloring, he said it looked like a 7-up can. this one has a 25" waist which is still adjustable. i can stretch out the loops already on there to make it bigger, or add more tulle loops if it needs to be REALLY bigger. also, they can be squished to make it smaller.  it would work best for a 7 to pre-teen/teen girl (or small adult). for a younger girl, the tulle could be squished up and made shorter, or trimmed, or i could just make a new one with shorter pieces. this one is kinda long for a little girl.

my tutus are really simple and are no-sew.  they are fully adjustable in the waist (the tulle bands just slide around on the ribbon, and you can tie that as big or as small as you need).  so, they would last few years for any size girl (except for the baby baby ones... those are really small).  as far as colors go, i buy my tulle at walmart, joannes, or the mill outlet - wherever i can find it (cheapest at mill outlet) -  so the colors they have are the colors i can make.  usually i blend 2 or 3 colors in each tutu to give it a soft look. 

prices are $25 to $35 depending on the size, length, and embellishments (some have ribbon in them).

if you are interested or would like more information, please comment!


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