Random Tuesday Spring Fever

Stacy

You know, it’s been ages since I’ve participated in Random Tuesday Thoughts, so why the heck not?  Tomorrow, I shall endeavor to have a recipe for you that involves sea scallops and Meyer lemons.

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On a whim, early last week, Beloved and I booked a cabin at Hocking Hills State Park.  We drove down Friday morning and came back yesterday afternoon.  It was wonderful – peaceful, with beautiful and sunny, if a tad chilly, weather.  We purchased what turned out to be a pretty large set of dominoes and set about teaching ourselves a couple of games.  There were marathon sessions of Chicken Foot when we weren’t in the hot tub or taking lovely strolls to see sights like this:

Waterfall
Click the image to enlarge

Unfortunately, our hopes of having no cell phone reception were dashed.  The kids found us anyway.

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The cabin was equipped with satellite television and had both The Food Network and The Cooking Channel.  At one point over the weekend, while playing dominoes, I watched Alton Brown make cottage cheese.  I am SO doing that this weekend – I love the stuff.  Always have.

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And while we’re at it, let us be eternally grateful that there is not a Tim Horton’s in Podunk, Ohio.

*stands up*

Hello, my name is Jan and I am powerless over honey crullers.

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It proceeded to rain all day yesterday and when we got home, I was loathe to put away my new camera so I ventured outside and took this photo:

CrocusClick the image to enlarge

The crocus are coming up, and I can’t tell you how absurdly pleased and excited this made me.  Or maybe I can, since I spent 10 minutes hunched over this, attempting to protect my camera with a lawn and leaf bag. I’m sure the neighbors were amused, if not bemused.

“Mabel, that crazy woman across the street is lying in her flower beds, in the rain, with a plastic bag over her head.”

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And that’s all I’ve got for today.  You can wake up now, and go visit Stacy to see what other Randomness is going on.

RTT: Sex and The College Boy

Oh, look – it’s Tuesday and I actually have some Random!  Yay!  You guys know the drill…

Stacy

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We were incredibly fortunate to be gifted with a deer for our freezer this year – this makes me especially happy because we decided not to get a goat again this fall.

We went to pick her up after she’d been processed and packaged this last Saturday, and while we were perusing the freezer cases at Whitefeather Meats we noticed they had some nice-sized domestic rabbits, already cut into pieces, for sale.  Our last two forays into cooking rabbit were quite successful, so I grabbed one and added it to our purchases.

It wasn’t until we were headed home that I realized we had both Bambi AND Thumper in the trunk of our car.

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‘Tis the Season, of course, and The G Man has informed us that what he wants most from Santa is a “hewicopter wif a ‘mote” and…batteries.

Yes, he asked for batteries, and at the rate he’s playing with all of the battery operated decorations on the tree and around the house we, at least, are going to need them by Christmas.

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As I’d noted earlier, The Young One has been accepted to Kent State University and we did the obligatory campus tour yesterday afternoon. He’s bound and determined to live on campus and I’ve resigned myself to letting him go, even though we live close enough for him to commute if he wanted to.  I have to say, it’s a nice school and I’m excited that he’s so excited about going there.  But they certainly seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time assuring me how safe the campus is.

I guess as long as they keep the National Guard away, I’ll be okay.

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Kent State is a big school; I’m a bit worried about the quality of the food available to The Young One while he’s there – at one point I thought I’d wandered into the food court of a shopping mall.  It seemed every kid we passed on our tour was sipping a Pepsi, and I was absolutely appalled when we were told there is a Quaker Steak and Lube in the student center.

Is it inappropriate to send him care packages of pastured eggs, raw milk cheeses and grass-fed ground beef?  I hear you can accomplish amazing things with a microwave if you know what you’re doing.

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One of the things we learned while touring the campus is that he can buy just about anything on campus (apparently as long as it’s a product of PepsiCo or ConAgra) with the exception of toiletries, which he’ll have to buy in town.  He was pondering that as we drove away, when we passed a CVS and Walgreens, right next to each other and right off the college grounds.

“Oh, look, hon,” I said, “You won’t even have to go all the way in town.  You can go right there if you run out of toothpaste or shampoo.”

He turned to me and grinned.  “Or condoms!”

Why…oh, why, did he have to say that.

RTT: Fame, Food and Anarchy

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Oh, look…I’ve got some Random today.

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I was pleasantly surprised last week when I received an email from someone at Huffington Post – not my favorite publication by any means, but when they tell me they’re doing a feature on recipes using apple cider in the Taste section and would like to make my Autumn Beef Stew part of the article, I think I can find it in me to like them just a little bit more than is normal.

The recipe is #19 in the list, but if you check the little box at the lower left-hand corner of the slideshow next to “sort by ranking” you’ll see it’s #1.

W00t.

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We have The G Man all week, and we’re both a wee bit frustrated with each other when it comes to breakfast.  And lunch.  And dinner.  He’s frustrated because he can’t have peanut butter and jelly and chocolate milk for every meal, and I’m frustrated because he wants peanut butter and jelly and chocolate milk for every meal.

I can get him to eat part of a scrambled egg if I sneak it into a grilled cheese sandwich (he is surprisingly accepting of my choice of sprouted oat bread), but generally will only eat half of it.  So this morning I only made half a sandwich…of which he ate half.

We won’t even go into the fiasco of the Swedish meatball and broccoli dinner last night.

One of us is going to persevere, ahem, and I can only hope he will still love his Meema when Mommy comes back from her cruise on Sunday.

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He’s an amusing and surprisingly adroit little bugger, though.  One day when Jolly picked him up from the sitter, he had scribbled all over his arm with a marker.

“What’s on your arm?” she asked.

He looked at her like she’d lost her mind.

“My fingers, Mommy.”

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Since yesterday was a holiday here in the states, The Young One had the day off from school…but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a thing or three to say about it.

“Columbus Day?  That’s stupid – Columbus didn’t discover America, the Vikings did!”  (Yes, we too shall conveniently ignore the Native Americans for the time being.)

“So, what – you want ‘Erik the Red Day’ instead?”

He shrugged.  “Works for me.”

This coming from a kid whose friends have formed an Anarchists Club at school – if you show up for a meeting, you’re kicked out.

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Okay, I’m done.  Go forth, visit Stacy and behold more Random Tuesday Thoughts.

RTT: The End Is Nigh, Date Night and Geeky Troubles

Random Tuesday Thoughts

My goodness – three Random Tuesday Thoughts in a row; I’m on a random roll.  You know the drill – click the link, visit Stacy, read more Random.

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OMG – just 3 more days, then the Whole30 is over.  If you’d asked me on August 1st what I thought my chances were of completing the entire 30 days, I wouldn’t have given you very good odds.  But, by golly, I’m going to make it – I’ve been really tempted to relax “the rules” over the last couple of days, but I keep saying to myself, “It’s just a couple more days; why not just do it?”

And I have.  Even more amazing, I’ve made a conscious effort to exercise every day.  Last night I got on the treadmill with my Kindle Fire, and before I knew it, 2 chapters of the book I’m reading and 35 minutes had passed.  If I can’t swim, I’ll take that as my exercise any day of the week.  Every day of the week, if I can swing it.

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That all being said, I’m so looking forward to Friday I can barely stand it.  Since it’s a holiday weekend here in the U.S. (Monday is Labor Day), and since it’s been officially forever since we’ve taken any time for ourselves, Beloved and I are taking Friday and Tuesday off from work.  Friday we’re taking a leap of faith and leaving Scooter and The Young One on their own overnight while we drive to Columbus to visit our very favorite restaurant in Ohio:  G. Michael’s Bistro.  I will absolutely avoid sugar and gluten, and do my best to avoid dairy (they love butter and cream at this place), but other than that, all bets are off (we are definitely having a cocktail…or two).

Hey – if you were confronted with a menu like this, you’d agree: this is no place to diet.  Oh, the Game Duo and Pan-Roasted Duck Breast are calling our names…

Saturday, we’re going to go a bit out of our way and head over to Athens, Ohio and visit their farmer’s market, which is the oldest and most well established in the state before heading home.  I absolutely cannot wait.

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If you’ve been receiving the Whole30 motivational emails, you’ve seen this, but it certainly is worth posting here for those who haven’t.

New England Journal of Panic-Inducing Gobbledygook
New England Journal of Panic-Inducing Gobbledygook

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Suzanne, better known to her large and loyal following as Twenty-Four At Heart, is back from her vacation on the island of Kauai – today she has posted one of the most beautiful photographs of a rainbow I’ve ever seen.  Go, look, and ooooh and aaaaah a bit.

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I’ve been blogging for 4 1/2 years now, and since I began blogging about the change in our diet, traffic to this site has simply exploded.  In August 2011 I had 15,553 unique visitors (up from 6,036 in August 2010) and 83,852 pageviews.  So far this month I’ve had 38,648 unique visitors and 157,271 pageviews, and August isn’t quite over yet.  I’ve been more than doubling the traffic to this blog every year since 2010, and have had to increase my bandwidth three times this year alone.

At present, I have 65GB of bandwidth, and I will come very close to using every bit of that up by the 31st.  If you know anything about websites and webhosting, you know that bandwidth costs money – the more you need, the more it costs you.  Most of the bandwidth used here is from legitimate traffic (my advertising stats/revenue back this up), but some of it – more of it than I’d like, frankly – is from people who come here and link to my images on their sites, giving them content they do not have to host on their own webservers.

Hotlinking is effectively stealing, both my images and my expensive bandwidth, and once most people realize this they stop doing it.  Others, though, could care less – they view the internet and its content as one great, big free-for-all.  So in the interest of my bandwidth (and my wallet), I’ve had to add hotlink protection to my site.  For most purposes, like the recipe sharing sites (Chowstalker, Foodgawker, etc.), this isn’t a problem because I upload the photos to their servers.  It is a problem, however, with RSS feeds and search engines.

Please, let me know if you’re having trouble viewing the images in my posts in your RSS readers, or if you run across a link to a recipe on this site without an accompanying photo during a search engine search.  Bandwidth and image thieves are annoying, but far less important that the readers of this blog.  If you’re having trouble, I’ll find another solution for my hotlinking problem.

Have a lovely Tuesday, y’all.

RTT – 3 Weeks In, Politics, and Back To School Blasphemy

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Well, here it is – Tuesday again.  Menopause seems to have stolen my brain this morning, so I’ll just do some Random rather than try to write something coherent.

You’re welcome.

(And bless you, Stacy.)

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Today is Day 21 of the Whole30.  I have to admit, at the beginning I was more than a little dubious about my ability to see it through (having failed miserably twice before), but I am confident that I’ll make it through the next week without a problem.  Even exercising every day is not as hard as I thought it would be; the day before yesterday as we were getting ready for bed, Beloved said, “Hey – you haven’t exercised today!”  So I dropped to the floor and did 40 crunches before my abdomen gave out.  The above mentioned brain fog began last night – I’m just so darn tired and am having a lot of trouble concentrating – and I was not in the least bit motivated to take my usual mile+ evening walk, so I did three sets of 10 squats and 10 pushups.

Ouch.

At any rate, I’m glad I subscribed to the daily motivational emails; they’ve been great at informing me about what to expect over the 30 days.  For instance, today’s email talks about forming habits, and a curious effect called “extinction burst.”  Simply put, “Any time you quit something cold turkey, your brain will make a last-ditch effort to return you to your habit.”

Which probably explains why I’ve been craving a damn waffle like mad for the last 3 days.

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I’m sorry, Mr. Akin – apologize all you want.  You’re still a douche bag.

And people wonder why I don’t view my Libertarian vote as a wasted vote.  Just about anyone would be better than the clowns in office, or those running for it, in either of the “major” parties.

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We hit another milestone at the Sushi Bar tomorrow:  The Young One begins his obscenely expensive senior year in high school.  As he’s the youngest of five, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that 1) after 23 years, I’m almost done with public school and B) good gawd, I really am THAT old.

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Yesterday, while we were out and about, engaging in our annual tradition of waiting until the last possible moment to go school shopping, I noticed the arthritis in my hands twitching.  Since changing our diet over two years ago it has almost completely disappeared, but once in a while I’ll notice it.  I commented on it, and The Young One asked me why it was bothering me.

“See those rain clouds on the horizon?  It’s probably going to rain, and for some reason, cold or damp weather can make your arthritis act up.”

“Why?”

“I really don’t know,” I replied, “but it probably has something to do with the barometric pressure.  It drops when it rains.”

“Well, why don’t you Google it and find out?” he asked (and quite reasonably, I might add.)  “You can find out anything on Google…”

“I guess I should,” I said.  “Does that, like, make Google a god?”

“It might as well be!”

That does it.  I’m going to spend every Sunday morning henceforth as the Church of the Almighty Search Engine.  Does that make Larry Page and Sergey Brin Co-Popes?