Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This was too fun to resist!

I've seen this on other peoples' blogs and can't help but think of smartaleck answers for them so you guys get the brunt of my sarcasm!

1. Started your own blog-obviously
2. Slept under the stars-lots and lots of times! There's nothing else to do during summer break in Montrose, Colorado
3. Played in a band-yeah, clarinet in school
4. Visited Hawaii-no, and don't really care to
5. Watched a meteor shower-yep, the result of living outside for three months a year
6. Given more than you can afford to charity-no
7. Been to Disneyland-yes but southern California is hotter than all get out in May so we only went one day
8. Climbed a mountain-how tall does it have to be to be considered a mountain?
9. Held a praying mantis-of course! I raised six of them from egg to adult.
10. Sang a solo-only in the shower!
11. Bungee jumped-no!!!!!!!
12. Visited Paris-no
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea - yes and it's not that exciting if your boat is tiny.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch-i have many hobbies that could be considered art that I had to teach myself
15. Adopted a child-no, but maybe someday
16. Had food poisoning-yes and I still can't even look at an eggroll
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty-no
18. Grown your own vegetables-that's what I was doing when I wasn't sleeping under the stars
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France-no
20. Slept on an overnight train-no, never been on any kind of train
21. Had a pillow fight-with 27 cousins you're bound to get into one kind of fight or another
22. Hitch hiked-yes
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill-never had a job where I would want to do this
24. Built a snow fort-no, Colorado didn't get much snow where I lived
25. Held a lamb-yep, bum lambs are the cutest!
26. Been to Royal Gorge-not so as I can remember
27. Run a Marathon-not on your life!
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice-no
29. Seen a total eclipse-yes
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset-who hasn't
31. Hit a home run-yeah, once or twice in P.E.
32.Been on a cruise-yes and worked one for a summer out of Juneau
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person-no
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors-Umm, that would take a lifetime!
35. Seen an Amish community-no
36. Taught yourself a new language-not yet, but I'm working on it
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied-yes, temporarily, for a few seconds at least
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person-why does this one specify 'in person'?
39. Gone rock climbing-do indoor rock walls count? I went rappelling in fifth grade.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David-no
41. Sung karaoke-no
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt-several times!
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant-no, but my mother did
44. Visited Africa-no
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight-yep, and it was FREEZING!!!
46. Been transported in an ambulance-no
47. Had your portrait painted-I believe so
48. Gone deep sea fishing-halibut?
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person-no
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris-no
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling-can't say as I have
52. Kissed in the rain-well, I kissed my behind good-bye when I got caught out in a lightning storm
53. Played in the mud-of course!
54. Gone to a drive-in theater- Indiana Jones, I'm not sure which one since it was forever and a day ago
55. Been in a movie-not that I know of
56. Visited the Great Wall of China-no
57. Started a business-yes but it was a scheme perpetrated on me by unscrupulous business people
58. Taken a martial arts class-once
59. Visited Russia-no, but I can see it from my house. (Just kidding!)
60. Served at a soup kitchen -Bean's Cafe in Anchorage on my senior trip
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies-no but I've eaten them
62. Gone whale watching-yes, on several of the cruises
63. Got flowers for no reason- from little kids
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma-no
65. Gone sky diving-no! Why jump from a perfectly good airplane?
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp-no
67. Bounced a check-no
68. Flown in a helicopter-no
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy-many, many, many
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial-no
71. Eaten Caviar-no and I can't say that I want to
72. Pieced a quilt-some of one, helping my mom
73. Stood in Times Square-no
74. Toured the Everglades-no
75. Been fired from a job-I was temporarily laid-off... nine years ago. Does that count?
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London-no
77. Broken a bone-not that I haven't done my best but no
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle-no, they scare me
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person-yep and I even remember the wrinkled Navajo weaver who sits outside the visitor's center
80. Published a book-no, but soon
81. Visited the Vatican-no
82. Bought a brand new car-Matchbox?
83. Walked in Jerusalem-no, maybe someday
84. Had your picture in the newspaper-yes
85. Read the entire Bible-probably
86. Visited the White House-no
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating-refer to earlier posts
88. Had chickenpox-yes, still have scars
89. Saved someone’s life-not that I'm aware of
90. Sat on a jury-yes, and it was fascinating and so satisfying
91. Met someone famous - Dennis Weaver in City Market in Montrose, Colorado. I even got his autograph. Jeff King, Jon Little, Paul Gebhardt, Deedee Jonrowe, Doug Swingley, Mitch Seavey, and Lance Mackey used to be my neighbor. I know that they are mostly famous up here but this does not specify!
92. Joined a book club-yes
93. Lost a loved one-yes, I lost Charlie in the store once.
94. Had a baby-sure, baby chickens, baby cats, baby dogs... Not the right kind of baby? Then no.
95. Seen the Alamo in person-no
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake-no
97. Been involved in a law suit-no
98. Owned a cell phone-no
99. Been stung by a bee-yes, too many times to count
100. Been to a birthday party where they put something on your eyes and have you feel through a bowl of rice for different objects-umm, no and have never even heard of this. Sounds creepy

Friday, December 19, 2008

Okay, friends and "family"

This is our new cat... Fred. He's an intact, male, tabby who's also maybe a calico. If he is a calico then he is worth a lot of money. He showed up when I was housesitting and Mom finally coaxed him out from under the house a week later. We fed him for a month before he would come in the house. Since he can come and go as he pleases he is a great cat. He's bigger than Midnight and Ashley but Baby (haha) is still the heavyweight in this house. We advertised but nobody has claimed him so he belongs to us now.
This is my pastor, Ron Lambert, and his wife Anita. He is a wonderful pastor and he is so funny. He has a million stories and can make any situation seem hilarious.
See? He's a camera ham too.
This is Jaime, a friend and fellow member of the church. She's one of the guitarists, along with Pastor and she's really good.
This is Ariana, a friend who comes with Jaime. In case you can't tell, she's an albino which she thinks is a really funny joke. She's very up front about it and has no problem making jokes at her own expense. I really like her and it's my sincerest desire that she would be saved. She has been through a bible-study and acknowledged her lost condition but the repentance and specifically, faith in Christ is missing. Please pray for her.
My Phaedra Thyme. Ain't she so cute? It took a dozen shots before she would pose without her face-wide, all-teeth, camera grin.
Raisa Rea! I think the flash was confusing her.
There's the grin! And Raisa was bound and determined to get ahold of that tree. I'm not sure I got a full face shot after she realized that it was there. India was slouching in this picture and she had ahold of Raisa's hand so she didn't pull the tree into them again.
I felt so bad for India since she is so much taller than Phaedra and had to scrunch to get in the same frame. She loves to get her picture taken. I tell her not to be a ham but she just can't help herself.
I don't know how I got this shot but I love it. I think she was laughing at my Mom and this was the beginning of a smile. She's so sweet, the best baby ever and I'm not even Mommy-bragging. (Since I'm not their Mom).

At last, Thanksgiving! And Raisa

Lemon Meringue Pie from Nourishing Traditions

Okay, I finally sat down to figure out how to get my pictures onto the computer, not that it was too hard I just had not taken the time to do it. Enjoy.

The tom in the middle, strutting, is the tom we ate for Thanksgiving.

I know he looks a little ragged but it was cold in the garage and we were in a hurry to get him plucked. If you look closely you can see the fat pads on his breast and the legs. That is a result of the detox diet they've been on. I really like it!

He weighed between 15 and 20 pounds dressed and we had to lay him on his side to finish him in the roaster. I cut the wings off so I could get the flight feathers before he was scalded. I have plans for them.
Christmas dinner will be nearly identical to Thanksgiving, just a different turkey. This time it'll be the smaller tom that got hurt in the power struggle after this guy was removed.

I got Christmas dresses for the girls when we went to Anchorage to pick up Kathy. I'm going to frame a nice picture of the three of them and give them to Tony and Kiki for Christmas. India is getting much better at keeping secrets so she knows what we are doing this for but I just told Phaedra that it was a surprise for her Mommy and Daddy so don't say anything. She's a pretty good secret-keeper too I guess.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Next rant

Just remember, I get boring because I care.

Artificial and refined sweeteners are on the chopping block this time. First to the guillotine is HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup). I'm sure you've all seen the nifty new commercials by the corn refiners talking about how HFCS is just fine and you should include it in your healthy diet. I have to call baloney on that one.
HFCS is a highly refined, highly processed pseudo-food that does indeed come from corn (hence the CORN syrup). However, that's where the similarities end.
Chi-Tang Ho found that soft drinks sweetened with HFCS are up to 10 times richer in harmful carbonyl compounds, such as methylglyoxal, than a diet soft drink control. Carbonyl compounds contribute to diabetes and diabetic complications. Also, the fructose elevates triglyceride levels, increases insulin resistance leading to diabetes once again.
By the time HFCS enters our bodies it has been genetically and chemically altered so much that our bodies get confused by it. It affects the satiation response, making our bodies think we are still hungry, leading to obesity and, again, diabetes. Lastly, the admonition to eat it in moderation is ridiculous. This particular franken-food is in EVERYTHING. Just pick an aisle, any aisle and I guarantee you'll find it in the majority of foods. Not every country though, mostly the US, due to sugar tariffs and corn subsidies in this country.

Splenda(sucrolose) has been touted as a suger-lover's friend, in the US and Canada, but is it really? Splenda has no nutritive properties whatsoever for the simple reason that, if it was utilized by the body it would poison us. Splenda is nothing more than chlorinated sucrose.
"Basically, the chemists force chlorine into an unnatural chemical bond with a sugar molecule, resulting in a sweeter product, but at a price: a huge amount of artificial chemicals must be added to keep sucralose from digesting in our bodies"
There is no small amount of research that says a small amount of sucrolose is released into the body, poisoning as it goes. The process of making splenda is a five step process that is very technical and very alarming. You can discover it for yourself if you want to know the particulars. Needless to say, sucrolose has no place in my house.

Aspartame has a long history of government cover-up and shady research. Ultimately, it is a chemical sweetener that is very unstable at high temperatures. It has no calories so in our, "calories are evil" society, it is guzzled by the gallon. When it does degrade it releases methanol, formaldehyde and diketopiperazine among others. Since you don't know if your particular packet is degraded or not you never know when you might be ingesting these toxins. I choose "NO".

Acesulfame, saccharin... They are all the same thing, artificial sweeteners designed to get you hooked on a product so they get more money. If it makes you sick, so much the better since the pharmaceutical industry is helping to fund the majority of the research.

Instead of this poison I have managed to whittle down our sweeteners to just a few, natural ones. Honey is the big one. Most of our stuff is sweetened with raw honey that I buy from Save-U-More. Raw honey, while containing many enzymes that aid in digestion also comes with it's sugar molecules already divided into glucose and fructose. Table sugar's molecules are bound together forming sucrose. It is easier on you body to utilize honey since the simple sugars are ready to be used.

Maple and birch syrup are only heated to boil the water away... You guys know how maple syrup is made don't you? A very natural product unless the syrup producers use formaldahyde pellets to keep the sap holes open longer. I didn't know about that but organic producers don't use them so if you are like me and don't happen to know anyone who makes syrup I suggest you use organic and no Mrs. Butterworth for above reasons!

Palm, date and other fruit sugars are okay in moderation. They are processed to some extent but again, are not manufactured in laboratories. We go for organic there as well to eliminate the pesticide residue and genetically modified franken-food.

Lastly, we use succanat as our sugar substitute. It is simply dehydrated cane juice. Another option is rapadura, made by the Rapunzel company. Rapadura is crystalline and succanat is granular but other than that, they are the same thing. It tastes a lot like brown sugar but I love that taste so I don't complain.

Perhaps some are wondering about molasses. We have some and I love the taste but it is made in the sugar refining process. It is the vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are removed from the sugar. Since I'm trying to move my family from that end of the food supply I will not be buying it again. If we continue to demand these products then the producers will continue to supply them.

I've read and talked to many people that are very adamant that we need new legislation to get this stuff out of our food supply. I disagree! There are already laws preventing poisonous substances from entering your local store but somehow they've ended up there anyway. Corruption and greed can find a way around any law. Instead, we need to be educated and spread the word. Those commercials about the corn syrup are illustrating a very valid point. Most people, while knowing that HFCS is bad for you, don't have the foggiest idea why it is. I know that I bore my friends when I read their ingredient labels to them, pointing out the garbage but I do it because I care about their health. I guess it's like spreading the Gospel. You can tell them a million times but until they are ready to listen it just makes them mad. Oh well, just try and shut me up, I dare you!
I guess my rant has petered out tonight. When I get another head of steam I'll post on my personal "favorite", soy.


About Me

We're a family that came to Alaska in shifts. We've been here since 1995 and don't plan to leave any time soon.

For Jaime

Comment from a SMART President

" The government that is big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have."

Thomas Jefferson President 1801-1809
Died on JULY 4th, 1826



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