Tuesday, December 24, 2013


So I haven't updated since September. Lol! I'll update more later, but
Happy Christmas; Happy New Year, etc etc.

Still here, still cooking, not so much crafting. Girl Scouts!
More later.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I started getting more non-fiction books from the library to fill my personal development item on my 34 before 35 list. I skimmed through 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families and it was pretty good. I learned about making situations win-win. I shared some of it with Scott. I still think we need to come up with a family motto and line out what our values are, but Scott is resistant, because it will make him commit to care about something other than the internet. But I digress.

I read through this You Can Do It girl power book. I really liked the concept, but there was not much in there that I wanted to do. One of the things it encouraged is dreaming. I spent about a week telling myself that I don’t really do that. Then I started dreaming. Small stuff – it comes down to being happy where I am- but it’s there.

I read Wheat belly and I’m looking into more healthy stuff. I’m not totally sold on his science, but I’m willing to tryish. I’m writing down a bunch of recipes, thinking a lot about it. It’s not really that different than the bariatric diet I should still be following. Just a few tweaks here and there.

So I’m dreaming about diet. I’m dreaming about a vegetable garden that I keep up with and eat from. I’m dreaming about spices and herbs and making my own foods and stuff. And canning! Jams! Sauces! Salsas! But those dreams require work. Am I going to keep up with that work? Am I committed? I want to put aside Monday afternoons to play in the dirt and now that it’s turning cooler, there’s no excuse. I need a garden mentor.

I’ve been walking every morning. I did the first couch to 5k workout, then it rained for 2 days. I started back Sunday and got most of the way through, but had to come back for the bathroom.

But I’m still dreaming.

I loved this Mutants book. I wish it were more current, but I want to buy it and write all in it. It was really good.

Books 1Books 2

I got another gluten-free cookbook that I haven’t gone through yet. I got a spices book that I’m going to read soon. I just finished FarmFood, which was interesting, but it had such odd ingredient combinations. I don’t think I’m there yet. Smile 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sassy Pants

Now that Grace has gotten older, she doesn’t like the Nick, Jr shows anyGrace restaurantmore. There isn’t a lot out there for her age group. Disney Channel seems like it would be good, but if I was watching them with her and they are terrible!

There is one that I like – Good Luck Charlie. The parents are involved, the family is close, the kids don’t get away with everything, etc. Much of the rest of the shows are just dumb. The jokes are dumb, some of the characters are dumb, etc. And many of the younger characters are disrespectful and it’s laughed at and tolerated instead of corrected.

And then Grace started being sassy. Part of it is her age, I know. Part of it is what she sees on TV.

So for about a year, I curtailed her Disney channel watching. And she was really a stickler for it. She didn’t watch it at Maw maw’s house when I wasn’t around because I didn’t want her to. So after many conversations, I relented and we started watching some of them again, but I was watching them with her so I could point out the sassy stuff, and again – just dumb. She likes to sneak off to our room and watch by herself, but we are good about tracking her down.

We’ve made Sunday our family day and last Sunday she was terrible. She lost “personal TV privileges” for the rest of the week. Again, she tries to sneak off to watch it by herself. We’ve also been dealing with a lot of screaming and fit-pitching, so I got a spoon. And every time she starts screaming and pitching a fit for no reason, she get smacked with it. It’s worked before and it’ll take about 2 weeks of being consistent with shutting down the fits and reinforcing our expectations of her behavior.

Some days are good, some days are bad. She is testing boundaries. I’m having to reinforce to her that there are some things that our family does and does not do. She can be so sweet sometimes, though. Some days she’s helpful and full of win and awesome. Fridays have become our “date” night and this Friday we went to see “Little Mermaid, Jr” at my school. It was amazing. It was a musical and they used wheelies to get around the stage. We were really impressed.

Monday, September 23, 2013

New crochet


New crochet 3new crochet 2

Since I finished my ripple afghan, I started thinking about what to do next. When I first started crocheting, I was practicing making granny squares. They were bad. Then I started crocheting them together. Very badly. So I started looking at that again. And I ripped it all up. All up. And most of the squares too. So I’m using some scrap yarns and those bits to remake and make some more of them.  new crochet

Then I found out we’re having 2 babies in our family this year, so my friend bought me this yarn for my birthday and I’m making a baby ripple afghan. So far it’s looking good. I’m so glad I found this pattern that makes up so easily.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Millie 6Millie 1Millie 2Millie 3Millie 5

This girl. This girl has perfected her drunken toddler stumble walk. She calls everyone Dada, though I’ve heard her say Maamaaa. Sometimes she says something that sounds like Gacie. She says hey.

She loves her maw maws and Paw paws, but doesn’t like strangers. She loves mama and dada and gets upset when someone goes out the door. She eats lots of different things and likes to share with Lily. She loves the bathroom and tried very hard to get in there. She knows that keys unlock doors and takes all the keys she finds to the doors. She picks up Grace’s backpack and lunch kit and goes to the door to wait. She gets into the animal food and water. She pitches a great fit and bucks and goes limp.

She loves phones and computers and remotes. She still has her mysterious rash, though it’s gotten better.

She loves baby dolls and stuffed animals and is sweet to them. She is curious about things around her. She loves to look at and handle books. She loves cartoons.

She has not been sleeping well lately. She’s been getting up in the middle of the night for a few hours and refuses to go back to sleep, which makes everyone (Scott) miserable.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


On a whim and at the mention of a colleague, I downloaded the couch to 5k app and did the first workout today. And it almost killed me. I'm not a runner. It was hard. It was in front of lots of people and my boobs were bouncing, but I did it.
We'll see how it goes. But I did it!

Bread Mix

Bread recipe 2

I’ve had this cookbook since college and it’s seen a lot of reading, not necessarily a lot of cooking-out-of.

There is a bread mix recipe that I have used a lot over the years. One of the things I use it for now is to bake bread in class to demonstrate fermentation or fungi. It’s a white bread mix- not that healthy, though you could probably make it healthier. I’m scared to mess up the proportions, though.  I use it to make a big loaf, to make 4 small loaves, to make rolls, to make pizza crust, bread sticks, pizza pockets and cinnamon nut bread.


5 lbs all purpose flour

2 c instant non fat dry milk powder

1 c sugar

7 1/2 tea salt

Additional for basic loaf -

1 pkg quick-rise yeast

1 c warm water

1 egg

2 tbsp melted butter

The mix will yield 5 basic loaves, though I think I’ve gotten more out of it.

For the basic loaf, combine 1 cup mix with yeast, then add water, butter and egg. Beat until smooth. Stir in (use a wooden spoon) 2-3 additional cups of the bread mix to make a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 mins. Shape into a loaf, put in in a greased loaf pan. Put over a boiling water bath to rise for 20 mins. Bake 350 for 30 mins.

I’ve added jalapenos and cheese to make rolls and bread. It’s really versatile, though, like I said before, it’s not all that healthy. Very basic and works every time.

Pizza Crust

2 cups bread mix

1 tea yeast

2/3 c warm water

1 tbsp melted butter

1 tbsp cornmeal

Combine 1 c bread mix and yeast with water and butter. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining mix to form a soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic. Cover and let read 10 mins. Roll dough into whatever shape you want. Sprinkle corn meal on pizza pan. Bake 450 for 10 mins. Top then bake 10-15 mins longer. 

I use this every time I find something neat to make that calls for pre-made or frozen pizza crust. Very versatile and doesn’t really take that long.

And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Tuesday, September 17, 2013



Birthday 1

My mother made me this beautiful strawberry shortcake and made taco salad for my birthday. My sister and her family and my nana came over to celebrate. It was very nice.

I tried to come up with a list of 34 things I want to do before my next birthday, but there isn’t that much I want to do. It comes down to something (I think) I’ve expressed on the blog before – about how happy (satisfied) I am with life in general at this point. I’m exactly where I’ve always wanted to be. There are issues – my husband’s current unemployment – but otherwise I’m pretty content where I’m at right now. Is that bad? I don’t feel like I’m in a rut. I’m continually adding more aspects to our life – cooking more healthy meals, growing more stuff. 

I started a list. Some are good goals; some I’ve been doing anyway and just adding more of.

1. Read 2 personal development books a month. This probably won’t happen, though I have been reading and listening to more non fiction podcasts. I’ll do a separate post on some of those.

2. Keep walking. This I’ve been doing pretty well with. I’m up early most mornings. I walk during Grace’s soccer practice.

3. Finish my t-shirt quilt. This is likely to happen, especially if I get back into my sewing room soon.

4. Finish Scott’s t-shirt quilt. Again, likely to happen. I have everything planned for his, I just have to go in there and cut and sew.

5. Learn . . . This is still blank. What do I want to learn this year? Not sure. Most things are just going to be an extension of what I’m already doing.

6-10. 5 instances of going out of my comfort zone to help someone else. I haven’t done this yet. I’ve had several instances where I needed to and I thought later about what I should have done and felt ashamed, but this is definitely something I need to work on.

11. Clear out my blog roll – done.

12. Use Twitter more often and more effectively. I’ve set this program to tweet when I update my blog. I've started following more people from podcasts and letting them know when I listen and that I like their stuff. I’m retweeting more science stuff and more funny stuff. I want to do more local stuff, but I feel weird somehow. We’ll see. I like Twitter a lot. I get a lot of news from Twitter, both local and from Huffington Post.

13. More vegetables and less take out.  I still do shops, but I’ve been frequenting the Farmer’s Market and cooking the vegetables. So far nothing has gone bad from nonuse. I’ll post more about that later too.

14. Go outside and play more. I took Grace to the park this week and climbed and played with her. She has more fun with other kids and there isn’t much to do one you’ve climbed up a few times, but I did. I like to lay outside on a blanket and listen to podcasts to soak up the sun, but that isn’t playing with my kid or exercising.

15. Keep up with my compost, grow the things, weed the beds. When I keep up with my watering, I’ve been growing some great jalapenos. I just bought some broccoli plants andPlants 2 a squash. plants 1

I love broccoli and squash. I’d love to start some seeds this year and keep up with them. I have a compost pile in a bin that I need to dump out and mix up. Mosquitos are bad outside though.


and then my list just stops. Do I dare add keeping up with cleaning the house? I hate doing that. Sappy feely stuff about supporting and making my husband feel loved? Do I need to formalize that?

Goalz – I haz some.







And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Grace’s blog

Millie 4

My parents gave Grace one of their old laptops for her birthday this year. We also relocated and re-batteried her kid’s digital camera, so I offered to set up a blog for her under my blog.

Her camera is a kid’s camera, but it’s digital and it connects to a computer, so I showed her how to do that and move the pictures over. There were a lot of old pictures on there from when she first played with the camera and lots of unflattering shots of just about everyone. 

So far, her blog is just pictures of her baby dolls and how much she loves the people in her life, but I think she may be able to use it more as she grows to document stuff that happens. Like what I do with this blog – document our life so I can go back later and see it. I have a terrible memory, so this helps to make sure there are memories there.

She chose her own name – Grace’s School Blast and all of the content is hers. Drop by and give her a comment if you can.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

T-shirt quilt

I’ve been thinking about and researching t-shirt quilts, especially since I’ve lost weight and can’t wear my college shirts anymore. So I figured out what I wanted to do and started cutting.
I cut out the front and backs of the t-shirts as necessary. I wanted a 14-inch square, then add a sashing to make it 18-inches. I picked out the sashing to match pretty well. It turned out better than I expected, but I learned some stuff for Scott’s that I’m going to do later.
It ended up being to narrow, so I’m waiting on some time and inclination to get some other fabric to add to the edges. 
I made 2 tops. I’m going to sew them RST then flip it and quilt it.   MQ1quilt top 2 (2)quilt top 2

Friday, September 6, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ripple Afghan 2

I’m just about done with it. I’m so pleased that it’s still rippling. It’s not perfect. It’s a little narrow, but I’m adding a border. It will make a nice throw for over the back of the couch. Now what to do next?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Farmer’s market and cooking

The weekend before school started, I spent cooking and prepping stuff to cook. I went to the Farmer’s Market and got this haul.
Eggplants (2 varieties), squash, jalapenos, jalapeno jelly and cheese. I got mushrooms from HEB and spent the day in the kitchen. My mother had given us a bunch of meat, so I prepped and prepped and prepped.
I browned the ground beef and froze most of it in baggies to use later. I used some of it to make a stuffing – onions, jalapenos, rice, meat, mushrooms, some homemade chicken broth, etc. I froze most of that stuffing, but I used some of it to make stuffed squash, stuffed eggplant, stuffed jalapenos and stuffed bell pepper the next week. Yummy!
I also sliced the eggplant and squash and grilled it on the George Foreman. The eggplant I added some spaghetti sauce and cheese for an appetizer for Star trek Sunday.
I also took 2 cans of spaghetti sauce along with onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and meat and made spaghetti sauce. Some of that I froze for later and some I used later in the week with tortellini  I found on clearance at Big Lots.
I processed most of the jalapenos and froze them into ice cubes. I stuffed other ones for me. Oh so good. 
I also processed some garlic and froze it into a large sheet so I can just break off some as I need it.
I ended up roasting some of the smaller squash and that tasted just like candy. I’m so amazed that I have never cooked this stuff before. Grace even liked it. 
I went back to the Farmer’s Market this week and found this.
No eggplant and no cheese this week, but I’m excited to stuff those little squashes and that huge zucchini. I took Grace with me and she played on the playground for awhile. It was a continuation of our “girl’s night” from the night before. I had wanted to find eggplant and cheese and some fruit, but there wasn’t. And I’m not paying $7 for a watermelon. Just not.  Though I paid $2 each for hibiscus tea and a blueberry cake thing, though it was delicious. I need to learn to make it myself.
We made fruit bars with pears and apples and those were good. We just need to get some other fruit and experiment.
I’m still making my yogurt and eating it for breakfast and my lunches. I still make homemade chicken broth. The freezer is full, so we are blessed.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cranky baby and the mysterious rash

For all of Millie’s adorable smiles, she’s the crankiest baby we’ve had. She can be full and clean, but still scream, holler and push you away. Especially her sister. She’s very strong willed and if you tell her “no,” it just makes her more determined to do whatever. She thinks she’s something when she manages to get into the bathroom to look around. Or when she gets ahold of your phone or remote control. She can lift the lid of the computer. She likes to play in the animal’s water.
Right now she has reason to be cranky. She’s had a rash for about 3 weeks. She looks like a leper. We took her to the doctor initially and she said it was a viral rash. When it got worse, we took her back and the doctor said it was scabies – a mite and highly contagious. I doubt that, though the medicine for it did seem to work for awhile. If it were scabies, we’d all have it, and we don’t. But it’s getting worse again. It was getting better, now it’s worse.
When I was little I had eczema and the doctor said it was hay mites. I got Millie some baby eczema lotion to help with the itch and it helped for awhile, but it didn’t heal. So I don’t know what’s going on. She’s not sleeping well, which may be related and may not be related. Poor baby. She looks like a leper. We’ve rewashed all of her bedding and stuffed animals. I guess we’ll start tracking her food to see if it might be a food allergy. Sometimes she’s pretty miserable with it and sometimes she’s just fine. It’s back on her face, so it looks worse than she feels now.
Pobre baby!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Austin Vacation

The weekend before I went back for inservice, I took another mini vacation to Austin to visit another friend I hadn’t seen in a few (maybe 7) years. My sister-in-law works for a salon in town, so I got into her stylist for a cut and color. It was the most expensive hair-do I’ve ever had and it looked great, but the red has already faded, even with the color-protected shampoo/conditioner. Still I like the dark and in certain lights, you can still see the red.

AV1So after my hair do, I went to meet my friend for drinks. I didn’t take a single picture of her or of us together. Weird, but I didn’t.

We met at Iron Cactus, then hung out at her house, drinking chocolate strawberry wine and port. We decided to go to roller derby the next night.

Saturday, we started out at a Farmer’s Market, which was awesome. They had so much more than ours here in Beaumont, which is not unexpected. If it was my town, I definitely would have gone to town with all of the fabulous goods, but we just walked around. I had a brisket taco, which I have really started to enjoy. We spent a lot of the day in Salido(?) a little north of Austin. It was a really nice day and a really nice little town. We visited the wine tasting room there, ate at a little bakery cafĂ© and walked around a bit.

We had dinner at Moonshine close to the Austin Convention Center where roller derby was. It’s a popular restaurant and we hit it just right for dinner. The food was delicious, but too much. We had to walk it off in the convention center before sitting down to roller derby. Which was pretty cool. It’s a very athletic sport.

It was nice to get away again and see my friend. I left early Sunday after going to eat breakfast with Scott’s sisters and his parents, who were in town to see the girls. I did not do as well taking pictures of this trip as I did the last one Sad smile


Monday, August 19, 2013


I started a baby blanket with this yarn, but it was turning out terribly. I finally ripped it all up and started making granny squares with the variegated yarn, sewed them together in a rectangle, then went around it with the solid light aqua for a border. I don't know why I didn't take a pic of that before I gave it, but I didn't. Summer was busy. I gave it to my college friend who I hadn't seen since Grace was born. She was finally pregnant with her "miracle" baby and I was able to go to her baby shower. Full of joy for her precious little boy. I was able to go back after he was born to see him. So nice. 

Then I found a website with great patterns and tutorials called Attic 24. My mother had given me some yarn she got at a yard sale, so I started a ripple afghan with it. I'm going to use it until it runs out, then figure out things from there. It really ripples, which is exciting. It's also infinitely variable and can be used for a baby blanket too.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Podcasts, Star Trek Sunday

I've started walking in the mornings. Not fast and  not far, but just moving. I try to get to bed around 9 (ha ha, that hardly ever happens) and get up at 5 to walk. I've been moderately successful. I walk up and down the street 3 times. In the interest in becoming a better person, I've been trying to find free podcasts to listen to on those walks. I've found the 5 am Miracle, Tell all with Ryan O'Connor, Professor Blastoff, the Nerdist, and TrekFM. I really like all of these in different ways, but I've found myself really liking the TrekFM because there are several different ones that each deal with the different TV series. It's been so long since I've seen any of them, much less heard intelligent discussion about the characters and stories. I really want to start watching them again. Hulu has some, so I think we're going to start Star Trek Sunday, watching some episodes with Grace.
The podcasts are on iTunes.  The 5 am Miracle guy is all about personal development, and some of his stuff is interesting. He's a raw vegan and a runner. Tell all is a celebrity gossip thing, but has some interesting guest stars and is really funny. Professor Blastoff is also sometimes funny, though it's hit or miss to me. The Nerdist is also hit or miss, depending on their guests. Some of it I'm just not into. But I'm always into Star Trek of all flavors, excluding The Original Series, though the current movies are fun.

Friday, August 9, 2013


I’ve found some neat books lately.
dragon-bound1 picDragon Bound is an older book and it shows in some of the dialogue. I’ve read a lot of similar books, but I was so fascinated by the mystery of the heroine, I kept with it. There are others in the series, but I’m not interested enough to keep with them.
Heart of obsidian
This is Nalini Singh’s new release and it rocks. I went to her book signing in Houston and she’s awesome. It’s like number 12 of her Psy-Changeling series and you should read them all. This one is definitely one of my favorites. How many 12th books in a series can you say that about?
Seanan McGuire - Discount Armageddon picI don’t like Seanan McGuire’s other series that everyone else loves, but this one is a lot of fun. It’s a totally different world and the worldbuilding is really great. I listened to the first 2 and really enjoyed them.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Beach vacation

My parents have a time share in Galveston and we spent a few days there when they were there. We went to Schlitterbahn with my sister, bil and nephew, leaving the babies with my parents. That was a lot of fun. Grace was big enough to ride most of the slides she wanted to, but Brady was still too little. It was a long day. We didn’t get to eat dinner until 9 or so. It was fun. I was glad we were only there 2 days. We went to Scott’s parents in Houston the next day. Grace restaurantMillie beachMillie G beachMillie windrestaurant