Sunday, February 27, 2011

I Can Sew!

Well, not really.  But everyone has to start somewhere, right?  And today I learned how to sew on a button.

Just check out that handywork!  At least Husband has a button on his work pants again.  Yes I know I shouldn't have used black thread.  Give me a break, I'm a newb.

Before I could do that though, first I had to learn how to thread a needle.....which meant learning how to use a needle threader.....then I had to learn how to knot the thread......see, when I say I've never sewn before, I meant it literally!  But my mom was patient with me as she showed me these basics that I should have learned when I was a child.  I'm a late bloomer, what can I say?

Mom also gave me a sewing box that belonged to my great's gorgeous in its vintage-ness!

The lighting wasn't great, but it's a peach color.  Here's the detail on the lid, and inside the box:

Isn't that cool where it has the built in stubs for the bobbins?  Even cooler was that inside there were two of them an old box for chocolates:

And inside these boxes were tons of old buttons!

The box will look right at home on my vintage vanity.

Next week Mom is going to show me how to repair holes in pockets.  Just wait, I'll be making designer clothes in no time!  

Or at least curtains.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

6.5 Pounds Lost!


One week into the low carb diet and I have lost 6.5 pounds.  That is very encouraging.

Now to just keep at's hard to reprogram ones brain to a different way of doing things.  Especially if ones brain wants to stuff its face with every doughnut, cookie, pizza, and candybar in site regardless of being hungry or not.  Argh.

I have one more week to go on the Induction phase of things, and then I'll have to decide if I want to stay on the Induction foods until more weight is lost, or start to transition slowly to more carbs which will slow weight loss down.

I'd love to lose the whole 60 pounds as quick as possible but I don't know if I can keep at it with this much restriction.  Thank goodness I'm not tired of eggs or salad yet.


Whatever it takes.  Darnit, I hate it when reason pops into my head.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Housewifery, Ginger, and Slang...oh my!

Yesterday as I was doing some housework I was listening to my CD of "Hits of 1930!" and felt so out of place padding around the house in sweat pants and t-shirt.  The music made me feel as if I should have a housedress on and my hair tied back in a scarf. 

Of course, no self-respecting housewife should be doing heavy housework on a Sunday anyway....that should all be done prior in the week so as to enjoy Sunday off in pursuits of leisure.  Epic fail there on my part.

Well, I did get farther on my knitting yesterday, anyhow.  Maybe Husband will get to wear his Vikings scarf at least once before warm weather comes.  If not, there's always next winter!  (epic fail there too.  argh.)

Ah, well.  I say it's spinach and the hell with it.


Great segue into the next topic, eh? 

On my oldies internet radio station that I listen to, one song that frequently comes on is "I Say It's Spinach" by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, 1932.  the chorus goes

Long as there's you, long as there's me,
Long as the best things in life are free,
I say it's spinach and the hell with it,
the hell with it, that's all!

I just had to look up "I say it's spinach" to see if it was referencing slang of the era, and of course, it is.  It comes from a famous New Yorker cartoon from 1928 of a mother and daughter at dinner.  The mother says, "That's broccoli, dear," and the daughter says, "I say it's spinach and the hell with it."  And so spawned a popular catch phrase for the next several years.

I love finding out the meanings behind old phrases!

Well, I was on a roll then and had to look up more old slang.  This weekend Husband and I watched Kitty Foyle (for the millionth time, but who's counting) but this time we turned on the subtitles.

*note:  if you've never watched a movie with the subtitles/closed captioning on, you're missing out!  You'd be surprised at how much dialogue, especially in the background, is missed.  Sometimes it brings a whole new meaning to the scene.  We usually turn on the subtitles when watching DVDs simply for that reason....but then again, we're weird that way.*

Anyway......there had always been a few words that puzzled me in this favorite Ginger movie o'mine, and the subtitles allowed me to clearly see what was being said. 

One of these phrases is where Mark (the doctor) has just put poor Kitty through the worst cheapest date of her life, playing cards in her apartment.  As he's leaving he asks her on another date.  Kitty, wary of another horrid  cheap date, hesitates before he says he'll pay, and that they would "do it up brown."

A Google search on "do it up brown" gave me this:

.....I have never heard DO IT UP BROWN, but it does appear in many slang dictionaries. In searching newspapers, magazines, and journals, I found lots of examples from the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century, but then its use began to diminish. And, in fact, the last example I could fine in mainstream media was from 1983. However, I did get ~ 400 Google hits, which tells us that the expression is still alive (barely) although not favored by newspapers and magazines, etc. I think a reasonable explanation for its near demise is that when the expression BROWN-NOSING (1938) came into its own around the time of WWII, DO IT UP BROWN stopped looking as appetizing used to, and, in fact, BROWN-NOSING was my initial personal guess for DOING IT UP BROWN.
DO IT UP BROWN verb phrase: To do something decisively, thoroughly, excellently, or perfectly; to spare no pains or expense in an endeavor or undertaking; to go all out without scrimping or cutting corners.

Another mystery solved!  For kicks I'm going to start incorporating some of these old golden era slang words and phrases and make everyone look at me funny. 

Because I'm weird that way.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What Would Ginger Do?


(What Would Ginger Do?)

That's my new motto for staying motivated to get things done!

Inluding staying on this diet.

It's day 4 of low-carbin' it and I'm doing well, despite the severe restrictions I have to follow for the first few weeks.  Meat, eggs, certain veggies, a little cheese, and that's it.  Of all the things I thought I'd be craving.....french fries, potato chips, pasta, wine, chocolate, what I'm craving the most is MILK!  Yes, milk.  Weird.

But, it's working, because I've lost 4 lbs since Tuesday!  I know it's mostly water but seeing the numbers go down every day is just the motivation booster I needed right now. 

To stay motivated, I've been downloading Ginger Rogers photos.  Ginger was very athletic and active, that's how she maintained that svelte figure.  So I'm putting up these photos the treadmill, in my bathroom, at my office at remind me that I CAN lose this weight and be thin again. 

How do you stay motivated?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Are YOU Ready?

Remember on New Year's Eve 1999 when everyone who had hoarded supplies for the Y2K apocalypse woke up the next day disappointed that the world *didn't* end?

They remained fodder for jokes for a long time.  Poor things.

But, they did bring the concept of disaster preparedness from out of the backwoods militant groups to the mainstream. 

They do have a point.  Now, I'm not saying everyone should stock up on firearms, tin foil hats and zombie-prevention kits like some of the more crazy zealous out there, but I do think it's a good idea to have at least some plan in place for an emergency, whether it's as little as making sure you have working flashlight batteries in the house at all times or three days supply of fresh water.

Last week I had a dream that Husband and I were the only survivors of an apocalyptic event that was so real and intense that I've been thinking about it for days.  In my dream, we were OK for awhile as long as we could raid the grocery stores for food, but when that food ran out or spoiled, then what? 

Obviously we'll never have to experience anything this catastrophic (right?  please say "right")  but it got me thinking about smaller-magnitude emergencies that we should be prepared for.

Case in point: 
  • 4 years ago an ice storm knocked out power for days.  We had only a small amount of candles for light, no working batteries for flashlights, and if we hadn't of had an older gas range that didn't require electric pilot ignition, we would have froze because that oven was our only source of heat for days.
  • 2 years ago a tornado ripped through town and while we didn't have any damage, power was again knocked out for a couple of days.  As it was spring we didn't have to worry about freezing, but once again we were caught short handed on the small things, like batteries and food that didn't have to be cooked before eating.
It's the little things that get ya, ya know?

For me, as an asthmatic, if I had to go a couple of days without medicine it could be a life or death situation.  Do I have backup?  Nope.  Not yet anyway.

I've run across a couple of sites that give information on how to gather emergency supplies, from small stuff like having an emergency kit in your car to the big stuff like if you wanted to build your own fortress (to protect you from the zombies, of course).

Safely Gathered In

The Place With No Name

The second link is to a site a guy in New Orleans created based on his own family's experience during Katrina.  Quite the read, and worth the time.

No matter where you live, you should take the time to assemble even a small stockpile of emergency supplies, and have an emergency plan worked out with your family.   Especially if you live in an area that is prone to weather disasters. 

Everyone always thinks "Oh, nothing will ever happen to us." 

Those are the people the zombies will go for first.  Mark my words.

Do you keep emergency supplies on hand?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like.....Spring!

February 13.  Sunday.  It's supposed to be cold, snowy, and frigid this time of year.

But not today!  It's a glorious 63 degrees, the sun is shining, and a warm breeze is blowin' through the windows I pried open for the occasion.

The critters are enjoying it too.

This is Max (left) and Runty, in our "office".

This is Sisco, rolling around on the floor of the porch in a sunbeam.

This is Bessie in one of the porch windows, glaring at me for waking her up from a sunny nap.

And this is our dog, Ginger, giving me grinny-face in anticipation of getting a you-know-what.  (read:  walk)

It's supposed to be sunny and warm all the rest of this week, too.  (warm = 50's and 60's)

How's the weather where you're at?

Do you have spring fever?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Living Without TV

After much whining thought, Husband and I decided to take the plunge and cancel our cable subscription.  Not just moving down to a lower, cheaper package, but we got rid of the whole shabang.

We still have our internet service of course, and our DVD player and VCR, but no programming whatsoever.  Doing so will save us $100 a month.

Looking at it like that, it makes perfect sense.  Especially when one is trying to stay afloat financially.

We did this three weeks ago.  I anticipated going through some withdrawal because I just couldn't wrap my mind around being without TCM, The History Channel, and The Food Network.....but amazingly enough I've been doing alright.  I'm surprised at how much reading I've been able to get done, among other things, without the constant distraction of the "boob tube."

Do people even call TVs "boob tubes" anymore?  Would kids today even get what that means?

Probably not.

To soften the blow a little I ordered the first season of the Donna Reed Show on DVD and we've been enjoying slowly making our way through the episodes.  I have to say this is my favorite TV show of the 50's, even above I Love Lucy.

Of course, we could buy a digital converter box and an indoor antenna so we could at least get the local channels for free.....and we still might do so.  But for now we're enjoying the novelty of filling our time with other things.

How about you, have you ever voluntarily given up television?

Would you?

Could you?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Not-So-Healthy-Eating...It Happens

As healthy as I've been trying to eat and cook lately, sometimes the day just calls for delivery pizza.

Last night was a pizza night.  I just couldn't help myself.

And one of the best parts of delivery pizza is....leftovers!

Now, I know that Domino's Pizza has sometimes gotten a bad rap over the years, but I'm partial to it, especially since they've improved their sauce and crust.

Mmmmm......just look at the lovely garlic and spice encrusted crust!  

(Encrusted crust?  Give me a break, it's Friday.)


It's been my goal recently to try and replicate a homemade crust that tastes as good as that one.

So far, I've failed miserably.  

If you have a to-die-for pizza crust recipe, please please please share it with me!  I'll love you forever.  And so will my Husband.  Wait, nevermind.....that would be weird.

Ok, just share your recipe in the comments or post a link.  We'll figure out the love thing later. 

Happy Friday!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Homemade Salsa - lesson learned

On Saturday I made homemade salsa for the first time. 

I was surprised at how easy it was!  The more I learn about this Real Food stuff, the more I'm wondering why in the world would I want to buy it at the store when it's easy to make at home.  And healthier.  And mostly cheaper.

However......this was also the first time I ever handled jalapeno peppers. 

Now, I had read different recipes over the years that called for jalapenos, and I always thought that the direction to wear gloves was just an overly-precautionary thing.

In other words, I ignored the glove rule.  How bad could it be, after all?

So after chopping up the jalapenos and de-seeding them (with bare hands), I threw on the food processor and watched all my lovely ingredients whirl around gettin' choppy.  This was awesome!  Who knew it was this easy?

After turning the processor off I had to taste test it.  Forget about getting a spoon, I just stuck my finger in for a lick.

And got a full blast of concentrated jalapeno oils off my finger, you know, the bare finger I used to handle the hottest parts of the pepper.

I was so hot I didn't even taste the salsa.  I, of course, assumed that it was the salsa itself that was so hot, but couldn't figure out why because I followed the directions explicitly!  All except the wear-gloves-while-handling-jalapenos-part, that is.

Holy Buckets of Cheese!  Here it is two days later, after having washed my hands several times, and the jalapeno oils are still embedded in my skin.  I even tried to neutralize it by soaking my hands in a bowl of milk....which didn't work.  Let's just say that taking my contact lenses in and out have been rather interesting......and I have definitely learned my lesson about jalapenos. 

Wear. Gloves.