DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Girls Night In

My fabulous husband is out of town for work for a few days. Some would say it's time to party, but when he is gone, I have to come right home from work to let the dogs out--do not run errands, do not pass go, do not collect $200. (I know, I'm most upset about the $200 too.)

So I invited a few ladies to girls night in. I really hadn't planned anything, cleaned anything, or prepared anything. Worst. Party. Planner. Ever.

I don't remember which of my ladies said it but someone was happy to see that I really live in my house, basically telling me that it is a relief to see my house a mess. Hmm. I'm glad I can make y'all feel at home but I'm still a little embarrassed.

I split a bottle of white wine with A and J and made a box of Cook Simple jambalaya (available at Fresh & Easy or Sprouts) with Sprouts (Sunflower) andouille sausage.
Cake and cookies
K brought treats to share, some for the group and some for me. Just for me? Yep, just for me! From the Gluten-free Creations bakery. J had already left but A says the Italian wedding cookies taste like the real deal. I thought so but what would I know?! The German chocolate pecan cake is so amazing. I don't recall anyone taking a bite so that was not confirmed, but WOW. I have to figure out this baking thing!
Oh, cake, how I love thee...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mrs. Whites

We went for haircuts and my hairdresser says that my hair IS getting fuller. I thought maybe I was getting better at doing my hair but she is certain that it is filling in. Hell yeah!
We were going to meet my grandparents and family for lunch for my grandma's birthday. She was so funny when she called, letting me know they were going to meet at Mrs. White's and "you can eat there, right?" I'm thinking, hell no, I can't eat soul food, what are you thinking, but I just said I'll eat later if I can't.
Then I got all crazy and took food but Mick thought I should leave it in the car until I knew if I could eat or not. Well, my grandparents have known the family who owns and operates the restaurant for-frickin-evah. I don't know if that made a difference or not. But they totally accommodated me.
I had a chicken fried steak without the chicken fried--so I had steak and onions. I also had black eye peas and beans since all the other sides have flour and/or butter. And don't forget the sweet tea.
Yep, no veggies.

There was a little family drama but very...understated. When we got there, only my grandpa's family was there so we sat together. The kids hadn't seen us in a while so it took a while for them to warm up to us, but they did.

I have awesome hair (when a professional does it). I also have rabbit ears.
My cousin told us some interesting thing about how he gets baptized for dead people so they don't go to hell or something like that. I guess it's a Mormon thing. I'm sure I'm misstating it but he got baptized like 30 times one day.

I got baptized once. I was 14. God talked to me; it was like a feeling of peace came over me, which was unbelievable to me after such a tumultuous life.* I was saved by the blood of Christ and baptized in the Baptist Church. Amen.

*(Yes, in case you don't know me IRL or haven't heard anyway, I lived in hell on earth when I was a kid. Fortunately, there were moments of non-hellness which kept me from complete insanity. Escaping in books and looking out for my sister and, later my cousins, helped a lot too. But FML started really early for me. And repeated way too often.)


We had a large enough group that we needed at least a couple large tables. So almost everyone came in with my grandparents and sat with them, except my uncle J who came to sit with us. He's always fun to chat with.

Then my grandparents' friends came in so room was made by some people going to another table instead of ours. Most of them never said anything to us.
I went out of my way to talk to my aunt P as people started leaving. She made some weird comment about my Facebook being all photos of food.
Huh. I had no idea.
Because it's not true!
I had to check but it's been four months since I posted a food photo and that was when I posted photos of our garden bounty and what I made with it.
At least she hasn't unfriended me like my other aunt. True story. Can't make this shit up.
Later we went to my friend's party. I took food "just in case" and was assured I wouldn't need it. Her house is one of the most likely places I can eat, but they don't live my life so there are some misses. I grabbed like half the guacamole before it got contaminated with bagel chips or whatever those things were. I couldn't eat the soy sauce doused chicken though. I ate plenty throughout the evening so I can't complain. I'm just a PITA. Not a pita chip like they were using in the guacamole. Just a PITA.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Shopping highs and lows

Just in case you think this shopping thing is getting any easier...
I went to Fresh and Easy and found these...
You love my blurry photos.
Hmmm, what is natural flavor? Or fruit concentrate?
So I guess I should get the ones with the toxic red dye.
On clearance, I found these Kale chips.  Although they are "Ranch" there is no dairy. O. M. G. I have not had anything "Ranch" long.
It's sideways, yo.
It's in the bag.
And they would be way better if there wasn't kale. Ha. Actually, I was kind of wishy washy about whether I liked them so I probably wouldn't get them again.
So I ate some of this to get rid of the kale taste.
Because I'm worth $3 (or more) chocolate bars. Apparently.
Then at Whole Foods, I see dairy-free sour cream which I assume is soy based. But it's not.
Not sour cream. Not soy. Let's flip this bitch over.
It. totally. says. Lima. fucking. beans.
And "Wayfare Natural Flavor"? WTF.
That's right. Lima fucking beans. What vegetable can this girl not have? Lima fucking beans. What is in the only non-dairy, non-soy sour cream I've seen? You fucking got it--Lima fucking beans.
But I got these newbies: new uber bar flavors and Applegate grilled chicken breast strips which would both be good "travel" foods for the day.
Yep, this shopping thing is totally getting easier and less frustrating. #sarcasm

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blew it

I was going to work at home today. But my monitor showed nothing , just a black screen. Mick thinks I blew the graphics card. I went into the office. Because I love commuting. When I could be working at home. Damnit.
I forgot to start a new batch of cold press coffee last night and I was now running late so I went without coffee and only managed to eat half my Glutenfreeda oatmeal. But I remembered my leftovers for lunch. I went to Terra Java to get a coffee drink to go with my lunch. I was told they have almond milk. And they do. I was paying when she started my drink so when she was done, I confirmed she used almond milk. She did not so she remade it. Lesson learned: always ask. It was good with my chili too.
Corn from our garden :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Low. And sick?

The more I need to do, the less motivated I am to get it done. Why? (I don't have any great insight; I'm just wondering.)

I made this mug pancake with sausage links for breakfast.  I don't think this can be an everyday meal. But this is a good, interesting way to have some oats in the morning.  I tried it yesterday with almond flour and it was okay but I liked the oats (ground up to flour) better.
Looks messy, tastes pretty good.
I slept with my eye mask upside down hoping it would keep my eyes closed. I think it may have but it was uncomfortable since the nose piece was in the wrong place. The tighter part of the mask was across my eyes so I thought that would help. I woke with my eyes hurting. Usually it's the left eye but the right eye is really bothering me today. I also realized as I was driving into work that my eyesight was very blurry. I got better as the day went on but I'm kind of freaked out. My right eye is in a lot of pain.

It was "smoothie" day at work. These girls do not have it figured out yet.

I had a doctor appointment with the naturopathic doctor. The students E and N asked a bunch of questions and Dr. H came in. My estrogen is in the range but a little high; my testosterone is definitely low. After our Q&A, back and forth, Dr. H prescribed nettle tea and a tincture of elderberry, licorice and a couple other things.

She also had E look for non hormonal ways to increase my testosterone. Among them or have more sex which is circular because you don't want to have sex when you have no testosterone. One of the suggestions is to weight/strength train which has been on my to do list for quite a while; I follow several paleo websites that include information about CrossFit or other weight training . I guess it's time to move forward, proceed, make a plan and do it. Who's with me?

Best of all? She claims I will "feel sexy" when we get my testosterone where it should be. Huh. We'll see about that.

Then I went to the eye specialist. He said I have a scratch on the bottom of my right cornea, which would explain the huge amount of pain I'm having. I also have a scratch on the top of the left cornea, but he said it was more like a "skinned knee" so not so much a scratch as my eye is totally fucked up. He really didn't explain why this happened except that I have Grave's disease and open my eyes in my sleep. He claimed I wasn't making it worse by wearing the eye mask.

So you are going to LOVE this. (That is in sarcasm font, right?)

He said I don't have to wear the eye mask unless I want to. Well, why would I want to wear an eye mask if I don't have, you might ask. Because I have to start taping my fucking eyes shut when I go to sleep. I am so not kidding.

I just had a doctor tell me I am going to feel sexier, and the next doctor tells me to tape. my. eyes. shut. when I go to bed. with my husband. Um yeah, I WILL be wearing an eye mask over this freak show.

And. Like that's not enough. I had to order the tape online because Walgreen's and CVS and Target and Walmart don't have it. (The doctor acted like I could just go out there and get it.) There may have been a woman who looked just like me who was crying in the aisle at one of those stores but I will not confirm or deny that.


I also went to a baking class at Nourish. It was "allergen" free--no wheat, soy, yeast, corn, eggs, dairy. I can have corn but still. It was more of a demo and tasting, not a hands-on learn how to bake. However, I learned a lot from Chef Dan. The downside is that they are still figuring out this baking stuff too, so some of the recipes tasted gluten-free. That means I wouldn't make them. But the millet cake, which was very cornbread like, was great and he served it with honey and coconut butter. I really like that idea. Although this was not a "sweet" cake, it was my favorite thing of the night.

Millet cake
The whole cake. Mmm, frosting.
Looks good!
The Chef
Spice cake, maple frosting

apple crisp

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's my birthday. Weekend.

I started my birthday weekend with a pedicure. Blue toenails in August--perfect.

We went to Nourish with Mick's family. With the exception of the Celiac among them, I think they kind of hate it. The service was pretty terrible--we were there over two hours--but I loved the food. And I got dessert. But the kids couldn't have soda so that wasn't a good start. He liked the burger and she liked the sweet potato fries. There was unhappiness and anxiety about the time everything took. My husband says the food is okay but he got something that had vegetables and seaweed in it so he said it's like eating at home but I haven't picked out the stuff he won't eat. Yeah, he doesn't like it because he wants to eat "bad" when he goes out.

I guess next time I'll take them somewhere more mainstream like Outback. Sigh.

Sunday, we went with friends to see 2 Guns--my boy Denzel! After, we went to Carrabbas. It's not open for lunch during the week but apparently it is on the weekend. They have a gluten free menu but not any g/f pasta. However, something rare happened: I can have the soup that's always on the menu. They just leave out the pasta.
YES, it was good!
Then I had salmon with salsa and veggies. And the veggies had a bunch of garlic (looks kind of like cheese, right? I was kinda freaking out but it really was garlic.) That's a pretty good lunch.
And they didn't skimp on the veggies.
Later, at home, I had a pint of ice cream to celebrate. I should NOT have done that.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Lunch Mats

I know y'all think I'm paranoid, so I'd like to confirm that for you today.

At work, we have a small glass table in our kitchen. In case you want to visualize it, it has the pastel 80s colored desert pattern chairs and gold color base that originally came with it. The office manager is always upset about the state of the toaster oven, the microwave, people leaving stuff in the sink or putting stuff in the dishwasher incorrectly... Now that you have that picture...

Lots of people bring things to share so they put them on the table and people, well, they do what they do. When I go in there, I see crumbs.

There are plastic place mats in the middle of the table to help with keeping the glass clean. I have no idea how often or how well they get cleaned. So I've been using a large paper towel as my place mat. After washing the area of the table I'm going to use.

Or I avoid the kitchen and go out. But that's not a great solution.

So I'm trying this one. I got these Matooga place mats (see, I have found something useful on Pinterest!) that fold up and include napkins. I got two packs of 3 and they threw in a freebie so I have more than enough for each week. Then I can throw them in the wash and start over.
Mine in front; theirs in back
I hope my little investment will save me money eating out.

You think I'm paranoid, don't you? I haven't taken my own toaster oven supplies yet! (...yet...)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Grill shopping

We went to price and purchase the parts for our outdoor grill area. My husband's parents went with us. My MIL insisted on buying me a measuring cup and a garlic press because they were on clearance and very good prices. It was very nice of her, just not necessary.

We also went to look at options for fire bowls/woks for the columns that will be on each side of the stairs going down from the house/patio level to the garden/pool/yard level. The designer had included these ribbed round bowls. They were...old fashioned...boring...uninspired...what everyone has? My taste runs more modern (which is what we've clashed on the entire time I've worked with him) so I like the simple round bowls.

We found the ribbed bowls at Phoenix Precast and I hated them. The ones that had some contrasting color (like the ribs were dark colored) were better, and Mick liked those. He thought the simple bowls were too plain and his parents agreed.

And then I saw Mick and I discussed our options and the sizes and how it would look.
this is from online, not the store
the ribbed ones are in the background
They are square. They are so awesome.

On the other end of each wall will be another shorter column but we aren't using another fire bowl. The project manager suggested either a lantern or a planter bowl. We are concerned because our concrete planter gets so hot my mint died this summer. So these planters won't have much/any shade. That means we'll have to plant seasonally in those. I wasn't able to talk Mick into lanterns so we looked at deeper versions (and 2 foot across instead of 3) for the planters and I think we've agreed.

I was frankly worried that I would get outnumbered into something I didn't like. But I actually got exactly what I wanted even though I didn't know that was what I wanted until I saw it. (and my MIL said we would know when we saw it. LOL.)

I'm super surprised. And happy. It was exhausting. And hot as hell out there in the sun. But it is done.

We had lunch at BJ's. They no longer carry Tito's vodka but they had Smirnoff. They had an interesting mojito on the menu that included muddled watermelon and mint so I asked if they could just do that with vokda and they did. I don't know how it has this much liquid because it does not taste like straight vodka. It's actually pretty good.
I had the Thai Mango Chicken Salad without wontons, same similar to last time. It was drowned in dressing and it seemed like a very small salad. I'm guessing they have a lunch portion and I should have asked for a regular. Otherwise, it was very good.

Mick got his normal pizza and beer so he had leftover pizza for dinner and I had other leftovers.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Grocery Shopping--Enjoy your life much? edition

Last night, I went to Sprouts for double ad Wednesday. I got some awesomeness.

I had already gone to the Farmer's Market at lunchtime before going to the dentist, so some of the produce is from the farmers market and some from Sprouts.
veggies and fruit
NEW. Cooking spray. NO SOY!

I can't figure out the difference.

Can you?

Large size g/f nuggets
Litehouse freeze-dried Lemongrass
An alfredo sauce I can eat!
When I got to the meat department, I had to ask the guy there for something that was on sale that wasn't out. He was putting meatloaf out for sale and trying to talk everyone into getting one. Of course, I can't eat it for at least three reasons. So when he said something to me for the second time about it, I said I can't eat it. It has cheese on it. And he gives me that look. Like I have two heads. Sigh. I can't have cheese. And then he said...

"How do you enjoy life then?"

REALLY? I mean, I know my life is different and fucked up, but I can't enjoy life because I don't eat cheese? Are you fucking kidding me? Is this what it has come to--is this why "everyone" is fat? We aren't enjoying life unless we are stuffing our face with cheese? O. M. F. G.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I went for my routine dental cleaning. My dentist talked to me about my teeth grinding again. He isn't pushing but thinks I should consider a mouth guard instead of my retainer or at least on nights I don't wear my retainer. He's going to have the front desk price it for me.

My naturopathic chiropractor, Dr. QM, also talks to me about grinding my teeth, so I know it's for real. I wake up with headaches/earaches from it sometimes. But it's one more thing to do before bedtime. And in the morning. And one more expense. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Salmon and butternut squash

I have a print out of a salmon recipe that has brown sugar and red pepper and it is becoming one of my standby recipes. I'm not sure that is a good thing.
fish and butternut squash fries
But it is so good. And quick. I made a quick tartar sauce with it for some reason. It didn't need it but I saw it and thought I'd try.

Monday, August 5, 2013

We have gas.

Not like that! Well, maybe like that, but that's not what I'm talking about. Geez, people...

Now that the well is done, the patio project has begun. I know you're thinking "what more would you need in your yard once you have a bright blue Tardis portapotty water tank" and I would be inclined to agree. But there is still a lot of dirt yard not covered.

So it begins.

The gas guy was out to put in the lines for the grill, fire pit and two fire bowls. Surprise, surprise, surprise!

They are all a few feet from where we thought they would be. The grill area is closer to the house, basically moved forward toward the gate, more lined up with the patio, and the firepit follows.

The fire bowls will be on the columns at the top of the stairs going down to the rest of the yard. The stairs were supposed to be lined up with the back door but they appear to be lined up with two of the patio columns.

Our project guy apparently used the design he got from our landscape designer instead of the one he got from my husband Mick. Mick was upset. And immediately on the phone with his dad (who was at the house today supervising). After they were done, I walked through it with him and the plans that were submitted for permits to see if it was acceptable.

Although the grill area is closer to what will be our basketball court, it will also be nearer our outdoor dining table (we don't have yet). The paver area will be bigger on that side and smaller on the firepit side, giving more area for the walking path and maybe some plants in front of the wall they will be building to separate the top and lower areas.

At the neighborhood progressive pool party last month, we realized our current pool design would not have enough shade so we've discussed putting the ramada on the other end; instead of being nearer the wall (on the right if you are looking at the yard from the house) it would be near my garden, kind of the middle of the yard.

Prior to that revelation, we thought you would come out the back door and have a view all the way to the back of the yard, a view of the grass and trees. But having the ramada there has changed the vision. So the accidental moving of the stairs to the right will actually lessen the view of the ramada, a little more of the pool area.

I think it will work out fine. So it continues...

Sunday, August 4, 2013


We went to the movies and saw Wolverine in 3D. The movie was okay, not great, but sets up the next one nicely. So 3D movies require 3D glasses. I was able to wear them over my glasses but they wanted to be lower so I had to keep moving them up and kind of catching them on the side which would work for a little while. I need to take a little tiny hair clip or something to attach them!

My drink and S' beer flight
We went to Yardhouse and I had what I always have: rice bowl (shrimp today, sometimes chicken) with jasmine rice and sub Thai basil pesto. And Tito's vodka and cranberry juice.

At our house, we made watermelon margaritas using one of our watermelons. All the recipes say to use watermelon chunks but I think I'm going to either juice it next time and/or make watermelon simple syrup. I also forgot to get a clear tequila besides the 1800 coconut; it was too coconutty so everyone else had Cuervo gold. It might be okay but I don't know what the caramel color is so I can't be sure.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Roast chicken and portabellini pizzas

I bought a whole chicken and needed to get it cooked. I decided on a version of a recipe from Practical Paleo but instead of her spice mix, I used TJ's 21 seasoning and instead of ghee (which I can't have) I used duck fat. (You can find it at Whole Foods--it seems expensive but I use it pretty slowly and in small amounts so it goes pretty far.)
Paleo chicken
While it was cooking, I made portabellini pizzas. I used some leftover pizza sauce, chopped pepperoni and chopped artichoke hearts.
ready to bake
I baked them in the toaster oven since the chicken was in the other oven. I don't know why I always forget that I have it. Maybe because my husband always uses it for his gluteny stuff and it rarely gets cleaned so I feel kind of yucky. But the pan is foil lined so it should be fine. It's not like I'm paranoid or something! LOL.
ready to eat
And the chicken is finally ready. And it is really good. Unfortunately, the seasoning is on the skin which I don't really eat. Next time I will try to figure out that thing where people put the seasoning under the skin.

Update: So Mick tells me he doesn't like chicken. He's not at all interested in eating this. WTH. I totally blame his parents. Ha-ha. Not really--his brother will eat anything. Mick does eat chicken but he doesn't eat chicken on the bone. It's so weird. He even does that with chicken wings. So I have lunch for a week. All for me. I'll have to remember that every time I make whole chicken, I get it all to myself.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


I was late. I'm usually late when I go to see Dr. Q on my work at home day. It stresses me out. The receptionists get weird about it. But. He. Is. Always. Running. Late. Today is not an exception.

Since he was running so late, the student actually had me lay down and he examined me. That was a first. He didn't do any adjustments but reported to the doctor.

My knee has been bothering me on and off for about a week. Dr. Q. reminded me to up my magnesium. Yeah, I forget what I'm taking for what. Of course the shoulder, the eye, all the normal adjustments. Get more sleep...
Sleeping Teka-roo