July 4th

I love spending time with my adult daughter.  She is a ton of fun, endlessly cheerful and thinks her mom is the greatest thing since sliced bread!  She and I are working on low carbing together and trying to dump our tons of excess weight. We had a very successful low-carb 4th yesterday, with lots of great food, a couple of movies, and loads of laundry 😉

Many thanks to Jamie Van Eaton, otherwise known as “Cleochatra” for her fabulous 4th recipes that were nuggets of low-carb gold.  The Kiddo and I had grilled chicken wings, hot dogs with low-carb oopsie rolls spiced up with garlic, onions and cheese in them (see Cleochatra’s site “The Lighter Side of Low-Carb” for recipes) with Cleo’s low carb relish made sweet instead of dill, low carb strawberry shortcake with sweetened vanilla oopsies, strawberries, whipped cream and pudding 😉

We held our annual viewing of 1776, our favorite 4th of July movie, and brooded over the bravery of the Founding Fathers in forming a new nation against the full might of the British Empire.  What a thing to do, to actually ESTABLISH a nation, based on the principle of personal freedom.  What a sad thing to behold when people turn their back on history and the Constitution and allow their freedoms to be eroded in exchange for temporary safety (yes, I know that it was not a real Franklin quote, but still appropriate).  We reviewed the 17 the amendment yesterday  in our ongoing quest to know the Constitution better.  Eventually I will get to where I can pass that 8th grade test that was kicked around on the net! Note: I checked out the Snope’s page on this test and although they gave it a “false” rating; the false was directed at whether or not this was proof of declining educational standards, not about the authenticity of the test itself. Snopes blames the failure rate for modern test takers on changing standards and specialized information and states that modern tests are much broader in terms on science, world knowledge, foreign language etc.  This is true, but I believe it still shows a decline in educational standards, especially in the area of civics and government: we need to hammer down on these issues as well as science and foreign language.  It is a  travesty that children are exposed more heavily to “social studies”,  world cultures, sports and social activities  than on their rights and responsibilities as a US Citizen, let alone a world citizen.  You can learn both.  One strengthens the awareness of how our nation is intended to function, the other stretches our minds to move beyond our own bubble and increases critical reasoning skills so that we view our nation and the world with healthy skepticism/criticism and keeps us on our toes!

Oh, and Note 2: I despise rampant nationalism and think it is akin to mental illness; don’t take this post as an endorsement of flag-waving nuttery.  I think there is much to be proud of in the ideals founding our nation (in spite of some things that were not so “nice” regarding our founder’s motivations), and much to despise in how we have squandered whatever goodness there was in our origins.

Here: have a beer after that soapbox…it will wash the taste of the soap outta your mouth;)

Rain In The Summertime

I am dreaming of hot springs today. It is chilly here in Sonora in the AM, but not cold (100 degrees during the day).  The destination that I am longing to jump in my Jeep and drive off to is Benton Hot Springs. It’s a quiet, unassuming place at the end of Hwy 120. The drive there is to die for! My favorite way to go is over Tioga Pass through Yosemite, which cuts the drive down to about 3.5 hours for me. After driving through one of the most beautiful (but severely overpopulated tourist-wise) places in America (Yosemite) , the road ends up on Hwy 395, another breathtaking and somewhat desolate stretch of highway that varies between Nevada-like desert and high windswept passes. After a brief sojourn around Mono Lake Highway 10 splits off from 395 and that’s where the real fun begins.
It’s about 50 miles to Benton Hot Springs from the split, and the road is my very favorite. As you go through winding highway, the scenery changes completely. First, stunning old Red Pine forests, with gravel-like rock that makes the forest look like it’s been paved; eerie but still beautiful. Next up: rock formations from old lava flows, piled up alongside the road in strange drips and lumps. After that, desert and sagebrush, with cattle browsing around small man-made lakes out in the honest-to-god nowhere. I like to crank up my favorite “I’m going to the hot springs song”: Rain in the Summertime by The Alarm, an old 80’s tune that was meant to travel by. The road has severe dips that when driven at 60-plus MPH launches the car into space briefly, leaving one weightless and giddy. Finally, after all of the twists and turns, you pull into the bowl-like valley that drops into Benton Hot Springs, which is a sleepy little resort on the edge of a reservation. It’s a great place to camp, with individual tubs you can fill with hot spring water. There’s also a B and B there that I intend to stay at on a trip.
http://www.historicbentonhotsprings.com/ I can barely restrain myself from grabbing my gear and taking off! Next week, my precious! Soon I will take real vacation time. Then I will be off!

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Health Renewal

Oh yeah! In the quest to regain my former stellar health
(been very sick off and on since I got out of the hospital in September
due to a problem with an old birth defect kicking my butt and being
poisoned by the hospital staff). I am back to work now, yay!
I have been working the nutritional angle overtime. Nourishing
bone broths every day, whomped up via the crock pot. Lots of
cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil. Good high quality meat
has been very restorative as well. I have dropped 15 pounds
since getting sick this go around, losing tons of puffy water weight.
The only nice thing was looking younger in spite of the moon face 😉
I also have been working on an exercise DVD called TTapp.
Theresa Tapp is trying to kill me! Or at least mangle me a bit.
The exercises are brutal, in terms of tiring a body out, but not hard;
more complicated. I will find a sample to post. What is nice is there
are no dance moves, no jumping, no weights, and no horrid music.
My energy levels are beginning to come back, and I am as sore as hell
having not moved for months.
I hope to regain my former strength and “intestinal fortitude”
after the surgery I had on Monday afternoon (which will hopefully
cure the defect) to help with an optimum outcome (AKA living and
left in relatively good shape…). I can’t imagine what it will be like,
no longer having the kidney spectre hanging over my head, weakening my body.
We’ll see.

Body by low carb?

One could only hope.

lowcarb pyramid low carb body builder 2



I could only aspire to such ripply niceness, being a girl and shaped like a pear that is a wee-bit shall we say “over-ripe”?

Tho I wish I looked like this lovely fat girl:

roses mena



Note about this picture: is is a pic of Mena Suvari from “American Beauty” that has been altered to make her “fat” to shame readers into buying their yogurt product. Dumbasses.

I am thinking about installing a nifty module I found for Joomla that is a weight tracker.  I may start using it secretly, then when I feel like I need to go public, I will set it for “public”.  I make no bones about my being FAT.  But, I am in a slow recovery process from SAD, so take it for what it is worth.  I have lost over 100 pounds, but still have a loooong ways to go. I find that this blog, along with support mailing lists help keep me on the straight and narrow.  Maybe my going public with a weight tracker would help even more.  Or I might just run and hide.  Who knows!

What’s for lunch, you ask?

For no particular reason!

I just whomped up the most scrumptious salad for lunch after lunch (bad meal out at a new local restaurant.  Made me come home for food. Baaad.):

Mixed salad greens, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, capers, red onions, crusty sourdough croutons, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, prosciutto, cherry roma tomatoes, mostaccioli, and Annie’s Tuscan Italian dressing.

HEAVEN!!!!! **insert passionate moaning here***

I would imagine Bourdain would approve of this salad.  Maybe.   Maybe we could eat it together.  While he is “dressed” like this

(NSFW image of Mr. Bourdain swiped from the MeeVee blog after the jump.  Really NSFW, if ya catch my drift. )

Continue reading What’s for lunch, you ask?

What’s on the menu for tonight, you ask?

Well, to start:
delicious, crunchy homemade crostini with baked brie to dip in and thin thin slices of good quality salami to top it with, along with green olives that are stuffed with either garlic or bleu cheese. MMmmmmmmm. I am serving a nice red wine “Alice Walker” 2005 Cab Sauv from Australia along with the crostini. I can’t drink right now, but I can lick the bottle. Shame on me.

Later on: baked chicken, from a local farm. It is seasoned with Celtic sea salt, crushed garlic, basil, olive oil, and the cavity is stuffed with onions. We will have mixed salad with it, along with baked cabbage that has been lightly salted and tossed in bacon drippings. I have a nice local Ironstone Vineyards white wine I picked up while hob-knobbing with our funders from work to serve alongside it, as well as a fresh baked baguette.

Oohh la la!!