Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What I'm Reading III

Alternate post title: Thank God for Libraries Full o' Free Books
Second alternate post title:  Unfinished Book Reviews (Again)

The list of books I want to read is growing so long, it actually hurts my head a little to think of it.  I'm not complaining, mind you.  I love reading, and the fact that there are so many delicious books that I have yet to dive in to makes me feel exhilarated.  Often, I find myself inwardly whining about not having enough time to read, but recently, I came to a realization that changed things for me.

Me: Ugghhh!  Another book to read?  

Less Annoying Me: Ugghhh!  More whining?

Me: But I don't have any tiiiiime!  Grr!

Less Annoying Me: Shut up.  You're a stay-at-home-mom, and half the time you don't even do laundry or dishes.  Not many grown-ups have more time than you.

Me:  So, what you're saying is...?

Less Annoying Me:  Maybe try a new plan.  Step 1- stop complaining about not having any time when you're wasting it on facebook and Subway Surfing on the Kindle Fire.  Step 2- read more books, simultaneously.  There's no way this "one at a time" nonsense is going to work.  Duh.
See, the last reading plan of mine has not been quite as effective since Baby has been sleeping through the night.  Hence, the Great Threebook Experiment.

Book #1- 

This is one that my dad and my oldest nephew have been insisting that I read for years now.  If I had taken their advice and read it a long time ago, I probably could have borrowed it from the library.  Now, there's even a wait for the audio version on CD, because, as my dad mentioned in the frantic text message he sent to me last week, the movie comes out in November and even the trailer is full of spoilers.  Lucky for me, the Kindle version was less than $5, and now I'm 72% done.  Let me say this carefully, so as not to be like the spoiler-filled movie trailer:  the beginning made me feel sad-almost unbearably so-because I'm the mom of a 6 year-old.  The middle made me angry, and during the last 15% or so, I've started to get "The Gotta" (Stephen King's term from Misery, meaning exactly what you'd think.  If you've ever read a good book, you know about The Gotta.).  So far, I've also managed to avoid seeing any ads for the movie (thank you, DVR!), and I'm confident that I can finish the book without having the ending spoiled for me.

Book #2-

At least 255 days of each year, Husband starts his morning watching Mike & Mike on ESPN 2.  They've been hosting a morning sports radio talk show for many more years than I've known about them, and at some point they started showing the radio broadcast on TV.  I enjoy talk radio, and I enjoy sports, and I enjoy my husband being happy, so I've gotten into it, too.  There are occasions that I turn it on before Husband wakes up, or keep it on after he has left for work.  Both Mikes are the kind of guys that you expect to be friends with as soon as you meet.  Also, they disagree about things sometimes, but not in the put-on, super annoying way that a lot of other sportscasters disagree.  Plus, they almost always have great things to say about my team's QB, even though my team is not usually the greatest.  I probably didn't need to ramble on and on about all of that, just to let you know that I feel like I know the Mike who wrote this, his first novel.

Back to the book!  Husband picked it up for me from the library the other day (prompting the whiny conversation in my head that I relayed up there) and I've just started Part 2, about 1/3 of the way through.  I'm really, really enjoying it so far.  I do sort-of "hear" Greenberg's voice, especially in the humorous parts, and my suspicion that most radio personalities have potty mouths when off air has been bolstered by the language in the book.  (I don't mind when book-people curse, as long as the words fit with their persona.)  I keep looking for evidence of inexperience or poor writing skills, but I've been pleasantly surprised to instead find myself engaged by and relating to the characters.  The only problem for me is that I read the summary of the story a couple of months ago when the book had just been released.  I was hoping all through Part 1 that I was remembering the summary of a different book, and that what I suspected was going to happen wasn't really going to happen to these women whom I already am attached to.  Alas, my memory served, and the first sentences of Part 2 confirmed my sad suspicions.  Without having finished it, I feel like it's kind-of cheating to recommend it.  Howzabout I'll let you know if I change my mind at the end, and want to take back my recommendation?  For now, go ahead and grab it.  I can vouch for Part 1, at least.

Book #3-

Because, well, I said I would.  Plus, my parents gifted me with it.  I'll admit, the multiple before-chapter-1 chapters annoyed me.  A LOT.  I figured there must have been some sort of dare, like, "Betcha can't use every sort of introduction in one book" so the authors were like, "Oh, yeah?  Watch this!"  Author's note.  Foreword.  Preface.  Introduction.  Chapter A.  A note to the reader. That's when I stopped reading, for a while, but I've picked it back up because, well, I said I would.  Like when reading a textbook or the Bible, I've even been prompted to highlight passages.  It's written pretty well, once the actual chapters start, and seems to be well-researched, too.  Probably you didn't know it, but I have a relative (NOT the sister I always mention) who is an addict, and that's one of the kinder words I use to describe her, lately.  If you're of a mind to do so, please pray for our family.  Even while reading the helpful words of those who have lived through the horror of a loved one's addiction, I'm finding it hard to be encouraged.

In other news, I found another great deal today!

Quick!  Get your bottled water before the sale ends and it goes back to the regular price!  Oh, and make sure you use your extra special card for the purchase.

Read more, whine less, and don't pay too much for bottled water.

What are YOU reading?

Snagged any great deals lately?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Never Have I Ever...

...played the drinking game with the same title as this post.  For real, Mom and Dad.  I never did!  I just saw it on tv.  Feel free to check out the rules in the link and play as you read this post, though.  Then you can comment with how many times you (would have) had to drink  Sometimes, I am taken aback by how ridiculously happy and blessed I am, and I start to feel a bit guilty about my cheery, adorable-photo-filled, mushy gushy, sunshine and rainbows, I-love-my-husband-and-running posts.  I feel like I should make it clear that I am also often taken aback by how imperfect I am; how many stupid things I do, how many bad decisions I make.  Please enjoy (It's okay to take pleasure in reading about the shortfalls of others- we all do it.  Right?  No?  Well, then there's one.) my Confessions of Ineptitude.

Never Have I Ever...
...opened the box containing the iron or unwrapped the ironing board, both purchased over 3 years ago, because I didn't own either one.  Yes, that means what you think it means.  6 y.o. has never seen a clothes iron used in our home.

...washed our house's windows or screens.  I have dusted the blinds and vacuumed the windowsills, but I wouldn't even know where to begin actual window washing.  I seem to remember using the garden hose to spray water at the windows when I was growing up, but that may not have actually been helpful to my parents.
...mowed a lawn.  I see our old lady neighbor, out using her push mower, and feel a little twinge of...something.  Embarrassment, probably, but it feels a little like regret mixed with fear (of getting to retirement age and having to sacrifice buying coffee so I can pay the lawn guys) and relief.  Again, I wouldn't even know where to begin.
...put money in the buckets held by people standing in the road, or in the hands of people holding signs.  I actually consider myself to be a pretty generous and charitable person, and I do donate food, clothing, and money to different organizations.  The people on the side of the road scare me, though, and I always pretend I don't see them.  When I think it through, it's very silly.  As if throwing a dollar into the bucket of the reflective vest wearer will somehow give him the inclination to drag me out of my car and murder me?  As if lowering my window and handing spare change to the person holding the "homeless and hungry anything help godbless" sign is going to instigate an attack or kidnapping?  Probably not.
...been so ashamed of my feet.  I have a spa gift card, waiting to be used on a pedicure, and I can't bring myself to set an appointment.  I'm sure they're not the most disgusting feet in the universe, but they're easily the most disgusting I've ever owned.
My actual feet, before they betrayed me and turned to the dark side.
...been asked for hair styling, makeup, decorating, fashion, or dancing tips.  I'm quite certain I never will be asked, either.
...been the Fantasy Football league champion.  I did make the playoffs last season!  I was even ranked first for several weeks.  Ended up in 4th place, my highest (just out of the money) finish yet.

Almost Always, I...
...procrastinate.  I put off easy tasks.  I put off difficult tasks.  I put off necessary things, I put off phone calls and emails and really silly things like filling up water bottles.  Why does "later" always seem more appealing than "now"?  Procrastinating is almost always the wrong choice, and I wish I could give advice on how to stop it, but the only tip I can think of is the obvious one- just do it now.
...park my car crookedly.  Yep.  I'm one of those.  Mine is the car you shake your head at as you walk through the lot, and mutter, "Wheredja learn to park?" or something.  Even more ridiculous than the fact that I am so bad at parking after almost 20 years of practice (GAAAH!  I'M SO OLD!) is the joy and pride I feel when I occasionally find my car in the center of the space.  It's not such a huge accomplishment.  Really, I should be celebrating and sending pictures to my family when I have not procrastinated doing a simple chore like folding laundry or emptying the dishwasher.
...am late.  I'm terrible at estimating the time it takes to do anything, even if I've done it 100 times.  I'm also easily distracted.  Not sure if you know it, but that combo does not equal promptness.  Remember what I said up there about doing stupid things?  Here's one that I do way too often: I set my alarm to wake me up with what I think is 20 extra minutes to get ready.  Stay in bed an extra 5 minutes.  End up with 5 extra minutes before I need to leave the house, and rather than just getting in my crooked car and leaving early, I start a task that I've been procrastinating.  I tell myself it will only take 3 minutes.  Inevitably, it takes at least 10.  I check the clock, feel genuine shock, and rush out the door.
...skip flossing.  I was going to put this in the "never have I ever" category, but I'm positive I've flossed my teeth at some point in my life.  I remember my gums bleeding.  I think the last time I flossed was pre-Y2K.  I stopped, figuring that if the world was going to end anyway, there was really no point in having super healthy teeth.
10 years, no floss.  Na na na boo boo, folks with a genetic predisposition toward tooth decay.

I have a hard time remembering...
...what the red and blue, elephant and donkey represent.  I mean, I know they symbolize Republicans and Democrats, but I can never remember which color is which and which animal is which.
...how to tell the difference between a bass and a regular guitar.  Yes, this is coming from the same gal who has attended a really awesome number of rock concerts.
...to concentrate on my form when I'm running.  One day, I went to the gym at 5 a.m. and ran on the treadmill directly in front of the window so that I could see my reflection perfectly.  I had forgotten my iPod.  There were only 1 or 2 other people anywhere close.  I still got distracted from watching myself and fixing my obvious errors.
...to respond to party invitations.  I feel like such a heel about it, too.  Not a pretty, just pedicured heel, either.  Like, one of my heels.
...to use coupons before they expire.  Nothing makes me growl and stomp like throwing away money.
...due dates.  For more than a decade, I didn't set foot in the library because I had forgotten to return some books that were in the trunk of my car when I sold it.  I was granted a library card again a few years ago, and now I think of my late fines as donating to a charity that I like.  If I don't think of it that way, I get all growly and stompy again.

I could go on, of course.  I thought about asking Husband for additional evidence of my ineptitude, but then I figured I would get upset, no matter what he said.  Here's something you should remember- asking people to tell you your faults, in detail, will usually not make you feel so sunshine-y and smiley.  Better to just concentrate on the triumphs and joys in your life, and put off fixing your faults until tomorrow.

How many times would you have had to drink in agreement with my statements?

Any tips on window washing?  I might try it soon.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Looking Back

I went for a run today.  It was (relatively) short, in beautiful weather, on familiar roads, with only my iPod for company.  Sometimes, I plan what I'm going to think about on my solitary runs.  (Although I don't think it's actually possible to plan one's thoughts.  Is it?  Go ahead and try, why don't you.  Try to think about sleep disorders and dreaming.  I bet that within seconds, your thoughts will have drifted off to a recent dream you had, or why you're tired, or whether it's normal to fall into a deep sleep within mere seconds, while holding a glass of red wine water and having just been in the midst of a not-even-slightly-boring conversation. Ha!  Now you're thinking about me, aren't you?  Wondering if I have narcolepsy?  I don't.  I'm almost positive.)  Today, I was going to think about zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzhuh?  Wha?  What was I saying?  Oh, yeah.  Ahem.  Anyway, it isn't important what I planned to think about.  What I ended up thinking about was how far I've come (har dee har) as a runner.  

Me on the left
I shared my how I became a runner tale a while back, but I'm not sure that I made it clear how much of a runner I was not before those early morning drag outs with my sister.  I was one of those, "Do you need money for gas?" people when I talked to runners.  I didn't understand why anyone would run when walking or driving takes so much less effort.  During my previous fitness phases, I had always skipped cardio.  I mean, I would pretend, of course.  I would sit comfortably on the stationary bike, pedaling at the nice, I-can-still-read-my-magazine pace of around 3.5-4 m.p.h.  I would use the rowing machine for 8 minutes and then check my pulse, making sure to look concerned, like I had just exerted myself SO much, but made it look effortless.  I smoked a lot of cigarettes.  I tried to walk 5k  to benefit breast cancer research and literally could not make it up the first hill.  After working out in front of my tv with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders or Jillian Michaels, I would brag for days about, "I was sweaty."

Now, I'm a runner, and strangely proud to call myself so.  I know about PRs and BQs and carb loading and negative splits and Yassos and that I over-pronate.

My black toenail

1 of 7 medals
During today's run, I found myself looking for roads I could run down to add a bit of mileage to my planned route.  I smiled a bit, remembering that my sister used to have to threaten and ridicule me (in a nice way, of course) to get me to add on an extra tenth of a mile.  Not too much later, a woman came running toward me, and then slowed to a walk before she climbed the hill between us.  She had on (what I hope was) her oldest t-shirt, raggedy cotton shorts, and was more than a little overweight.  We grinned happily at each other as our paths crossed, and I remembered how many times I have walked up the hills.  Walked for no reason.  Walked because an injury forced it.  I wanted to tell her, and probably should have, that she was doing something great for her body, her mind, and her life.  As I looked back at her, I thought she might want to know that it does get easier, better, more fun, and faster.  I would love to see her again someday, zooming up the hills with that same happy grin on her face.

I don't know how the transformation happens, exactly, from Hater (with a purposeful capital H) to runner (with a purposeful lowercase r, it isn't like I'm a professional or whatever), but it's pretty awesome that it does.  Maybe it's like planned thoughts- suddenly, you find yourself thinking of something entirely different than you expected, and you're not quite sure how your thoughts traveled in that direction.  I'm sure glad that I experienced the H2r change.  If ever you think, "Not me!  I'm no runner.", I advise you to remember me.  My red, burning thighs, as the blood circulated through them faster than ever before.  My whining about an extra tenth of a mile.  My whining about another hill.  My repeating, "I'm going to die.  I'm really going to die" to my ever-so-patient sister during every run.  And now, my planning each day around my run.  My silly grin, when I see other runners working hard.  My 5 a.m. speed workouts.  My hundreds of miles, without a single one regretted.

Sheesh.  I'm sappy lately, huh?  I blame Ronde.  His retirement from my favorite football team has me all sleepy...I mean emotional!  I'm totally awake while I type this.

Okay, for real.  Were you able to think only about what you planned to think about?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Honest Tricks

You may be wondering, "What's the deallio with all the non-running-related blog posts, lady?  Have you not been running?  Have you no more races to recap in painful detail?"  Well, I'll tell you.  I'm totally well-rounded, for one thing.  I'm not just a runner.  I even did, like, a whole workout thing the other day that didn't involve any cardio at all.  I have been running, though, and I can prove it!  See that counter thingy over there? ----------->  That number goes up almost every day.  Hah!  No way anyone could fake that!  I'm not exactly training for anything specific, at this moment, but I am trying to build up my base mileage to at least 20 miles/week.  Finally, yes, I do have more races to recap, but I figured it might be time for a little break from those for now.  Don't fret.  I won't leave you hanging!

Have you ever had a toddler meticulously, carefully pick up pieces of the food that you lovingly, painstakingly, and thoughtfully prepared and throw them across the room?  Have you ever had a child take one bite of chicken prepared according to a new recipe and promptly spit it out, gag, nearly vomit, and run to the bathroom to wash the taste out of his mouth?  Has your spouse ever smiled his/her way through a bite or two of dinner, and then quietly made a bologna sandwich in the kitchen, scarfing it down quickly so as not to cause a ruckus?  If you answered "yes" to those questions, then you're either writing this post, or should definitely be reading it.

I was going for "healthy-looking".  Did I succeed?
Also, this may have been our Christmas card photo.  Is it bad that I can't remember?
Also, credit where due: Denise Marie Photography <3

It's really important to me that my family and I eat a healthy diet.  However, I know I'm far less concerned about what we eat than are many others, and I rarely deprive myself of anything that I really want to eat.  We eat sugar and butter and gluten and meat, salt and fries and lots of chips.  Intolerance to some foods combined with dislike of others makes meal planning and healthy eating rather difficult in our house, though.  Therefore, I decided to share my not-at-all dirty tricks for filling the bellies of my new-to-food eater, my bombarded-with-junk-food eater, and my "I know what I like and it isn't that" eater.

New To Food:
  • Rethink time-of-day-specific foods.  It's okay to serve vegetables at breakfast.  It's okay to serve cereal at dinner.  At the end of the day, if the right balance of carbs, protein, vegetables and fruits has been reached, it is my firm belief that the "when" doesn't matter one bit. 
  • Don't watch the clock.  Although Baby had me on a strict nursing schedule for the first many months of her life, now that she's eating real food, she seems to be hungry at different times each day.  Also, there are some days that she'll spend an hour in her chair, slowly picking at her food.  Inconvenient, yes.  But at least I know she's eating!
  • Read labels, but not like they're the Bible.  Sugar not being the first or second ingredient is important.  Organic, not so much according to this article and our pediatrician.  So, while feeding my baby organic foods isn't super high on my list of parenting concerns, I will say that it's actually not that easy to find dairy-free foods for her that are cheap and NOT organic.  Dairy-free is the most important part, for us, as her tummy cannot handle even a small amount.
  • Variety may be the spice of life, but eating the same dozen or so things every day never killed a baby.  (Did it?)  Many people have a "sweet tooth".  Baby has a "cracker tooth".  She has learned to say "please", and she knows where the crackers are even if they're hidden.  If I had a dollar for every time she has pointed at them with one hand, rubbed her chest with the other (sign language for "please") and said, "Pba?  Pba?  Pba?" I think I would have at least $10k.  I try to hold her to one cracker snack each day, and I often spread them with avocado, hummus, or peanut butter to force some protein into her tiny body.  I do give her new and different things at least once a day, but she makes it quite clear whether or not she likes them.  
  • Be patient, be calm, and be creative.  Easier said than done.  I know someone who, when her son was Baby's age, had been trying forEVER to get him to eat some cereal.  She had been cajoling and singing and trying many different ways to get him to open his mouth and eat, and he responded by spitting out the bite she finally managed to get past his gritted teeth.  She turned the bowl upside down on his head and walked away.  He didn't mind a bit.  Time after time, Baby frustrates me and makes me want to pick up the bits of food and throw them back at her.                
She does have eyes that open.  Just not for pictures, most days.
So far, I've been able to walk away without dumping food on her head, and try a different tactic after taking a break for a few minutes.  I remind myself that it really isn't a personal attack, her hitting my hands away from her mouth as hard as she is able.  I remind myself that we taught her to tell us "All done" (or, Ah aah duh uh un) when she's finished.  No, we didn't expect that she would say it before we gave her any food, while trying to break free of her restraints.  I know, when I think it through, that she doesn't understand "you have to eat something other than crackers".  It's up to the grown-ups to be patient, and to think up different ways to make mealtimes more successful.
Bombarded with junk:
  • Be reasonable.  I think it's crazy to try to restrict a child from ever eating junk food.  6 y.o. tells me there is a kid in his class who isn't allowed to have any sweets, ever.  And, well, that kid just happens to be the biggest one in the class.  Either the "no sweets" rule in his house is a new one, and therefore really difficult to adapt to, or it has never been enforced.  As we all know, un-enforced rules are stupid.  Also, that kid sneaks sweets at school all the time, at least according to my nosy observant son.  6 y.o. is usually allowed 1 small treat per day, but that isn't even a given.  After every holiday, we end up with piles and piles of candy, and it always lasts us until the next holiday, at which point we throw out the old stuff and replenish.  Right now, his Easter bunny is only missing its ears.  The fact is that school-aged kids are totally bombarded with sugary, unhealthy, unnatural foods.  To try restricting them from all of it would be like trying to paddle a raft away from Niagara Falls.  Realistically, futile.  Instead of banning it all, allow specific treats in moderate amounts.
Breathtaking beauty, breathtaking amount of candy in our house.
  • Try it!  There's nothing quite so infuriating as someone insisting they don't like a food item they've never tasted.  6 y.o. is required to try everything I prepare for him, except barbecue sauced things.  He really hates barbecue, and I really hate hearing gagging sounds at the dinner table.  Even if he's tried something before, especially if it's a vegetable (we're more lenient about him trying jelly belly flavors), we insist that he try it again.  I've read somewhere that it can take up to a dozen times of experiencing a new taste for someone to become accustomed to it.  If the taste of bell peppers gives him goosebumps again, he doesn't have to eat them.
This particular nephew of mine is not fond of trying new foods.  Obviously, though, he's much more cute than infuriating.
  • Don't start habits you'll want to break.  I cannot, for the life of me, understand why parents give their small children sodas, caffeine, kool aid, etc., but they do.  I worked in restaurants for years, and wished time and again that I could report to someone about the toddlers I saw being given Coke and sweetened tea.  6 y.o. wasn't allowed to taste soda until he was 4.  He still isn't allowed to have kool aid or caffeine.  I tell him that kool aid is poison, so he can never have that, and caffeine can wait until he's 17 and needs it to stay up studying for the SAT.  I can't think of a single reasonable explanation for why a parent would start giving their child items with absolutely no nutritional value on a regular basis.  If you're a parent who does so, you are by no means obligated to justify your actions to me, but I kinda wish you would; I would like to understand if there is a good reason.
  • Oh, and DO start habits you'll want to continue.  After school the other day, 6 y.o. said, "Mom, can you please only give me 100% juice in my lunch?  'Cause I tasted some today that someone else had and it was not 100% juice and I did not like it one bit.  Why would they say it's juice if it's not all juice?  Are they liars or something?"  I realize that even 100% juice is not the most nutritious thing for my child to be drinking, but I feel way better about it than the liar-juice, that's for sure.  He knows that fresh vegetables and fruits are a big part of his daily diet, and he drinks water without complaint.  He knows when mealtimes are, and what is an appropriate portion size for snacks.  
  • Include and involve.  It's a fact that children are more likely to eat food that they helped cook.  Please don't ask me for a reference, just take my word for it.  I invite 6 y.o. to help me in the kitchen fairly often, and he gets so excited about watching and aiding me.  Plus, when he's involved in the decisions about what to buy and what to have for each meal, he complains a whole lot less than when I act like Momdel Castro.

"I know what I like and it isn't that."
  • Play fair.  I really dislike being tricked.  I assume that others dislike it also, and since I love my husband madly, I don't try to trick him into eating foods he has told me his doesn't care for.  When I dice up mushrooms so finely that he can't taste them in the meatballs or puree extra vegetables and add them to my tomato sauce, I tell him that they're there.  He's okay with it.  When I switched from ground beef to turkey for our burgers and several other dishes, I didn't try to fool him into thinking it was the same.
  • Keep your eyes on the prize.  Really, it's not a big deal if he dips his healthy, fresh herb filled and flavor chocked main course in ketchup.  He's still eating a nutritious meal, with the family.  There isn't much better than that.
  • You are NOT what you eat.  Nor are you what you serve.  If Husband doesn't like something I prepare, it doesn't mean he doesn't like me, or that he doesn't appreciate my efforts.  (Do you think that's a record number of "doesn'ts" in a sentence?)  Realizing this, and remembering it when I'm disappointed in the reaction I've received to a new dish, has made me able to take criticism constructively, rather than feeling judged or hurt, or like I just got Chopped.
  • Pay attention to portioning.  This may be the easiest way to reduce the intake of calories.  Have you noticed that many recipes call for a pound of meat?  I don't know if it's like this everywhere, but at my grocery store, it is rare to find a package of meat that is 1 pound.  I'm sure it helps their bottom line to add more meat to the package, since they charge by weight, but they will sell you the exact amount you want if you ask.  Ok, so, I've never actually asked.  I'm too shy, and I hate accepting help from the very helpful people who offer in stores.  It's ridiculous, and there's no good reason for it.  But I've seen other people ask for specific amounts of meat, and the kind, helpful people always quickly oblige.  What I actually do is this: buy extra, and re-portion it myself.  
  • Remember the good.  After way too much time spent desperately trying to figure out how to duplicate a dinner that we all enjoyed, I now write down my recipes and notes.  Sometimes, I even take pictures!  This is also helpful when Husband asks, "What is that?"  My first response is usually, "You like it."
Newest family favorite: Imperial Walkers (6 y.o. named them during his Star Wars obsession phase)

If you stuck around and read this whole post, thank you!  If you looked at the food pyramid on the side of your cereal box instead, and learned the value of vegetables, fruits and whole grains from that, I understand. I have a leeetle bit more to say on the subject of feeding my family than you may have expected (or cared about.)

 Would you like to offer me any feedback?  Ha!  Get it?  Feed?