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Sep
29
2012

Lessons learned.

561689_4607946087514_1328031851_nThis vegetarian (hopefully transitioning into vegan) thing is actually going pretty well.  It has been several weeks since I ingested meat.  I can honestly say I don’t miss it.  So far.  I have watched my men eat big, fat, juicy steaks.  I have cooked eggs and bacon for them.   I have made pot roast.  There was chicken/andouille gumbo…not one bite.  I am kinda proud of that.  But as I have re-learned as of late, pride does indeed come before a fall, so I am not getting too cocky. Just taking it one meal at a time, then one day at a time.

IMG_3003And really, if I were ever going to gorge myself this past week would have been it.  If  you think you are a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond never think your words don’t mean anything.  They do.  They can help or they can hurt.  It’s quite a shame to find out at such an advanced age as mine that I am still stupid when it come to such things.  There are for certain two ways words can hurt.  By repeating something said in confidence that should have never been said.  And by being the person that said it to begin with. You never know how things will then get repeated or how many times or how close to what you said is the end of the story. So at 53, I have learned several very valuable lessons over the past week.  Not the least being, if you don’t want your thoughts/words repeated, embellished, misconstrued  ~ then don’t say them to begin with.  I want to be that person that doesn’t say or repeat unkind things.  I know you have all heard the saying “Karma is a bitch.”   Well, only if you are first.  So Karma came back and bit me in the bum.  Nothing I didn’t deserve.  And now feelings are hurt.  And I can’t un-hurt them.  I can apologize, which I have done.  I can learn from my mistakes, which I have.

Why do people gossip and tell things they know are not true or true but hurtful?  To build themselves up.  To feel better about their own faults and shortcomings. To make themselves feel important and bold and truth bearers.  But frankly it makes the opposite true.  And anything said in confidence likely should have never been said to begin with.  So you can’t blame anyone but yourself if what you said was repeated, misquoted or completely changed and embellished upon.  Don’t say it to begin with. Don’t repeat things that are detrimental to someone.  What purpose could it have?  Only something bad.  Keep your mouth shut.  OR remember the old but true adage : If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything.  That will never be the wrong thing.  Because once the hurt has happened, asking for forgiveness is weak and may not be granted.  But that is about your only option.  Words can’t be taken back.  Hurts can’t be taken back.  And maybe before you repeat things you know will hurt someone if they hear it, it would be best to keep it to yourself.  What good purpose could there be for doing such a thing?  It honestly shouldn’t have taken me 53 years to put into practice since it is something I have known my whole life.

I am here to say publicly to anyone who sees this that from this moment on, I am done with the gossip.  I am done with the talking behind anyone’s back.  If it isn’t something I would say to you, you can be sure from today forward, I won’t say it at all.

I plan on taking some serious time to reflect on my  own life, shortcomings, faults and personality flaws.  That will likely take me the rest of my life if I live to be an very old woman.  I have a lot of soul searching to do. Hurts to try and mend. If I tend to my own life the way it deserves to be tended to, I won’t have time to get involved in conversations and things that will serve no good purpose.  And if I am not a party to those conversations, then I can’t be misquoted or held accountable for what I heard.

I have witnessed so many times what women will do to each other in the name of friendship. And most of us have things to be ashamed of in that department. Not the least of them being me.  I have been just as guilty as anyone in voicing my opinion as fact as if I were smarter or more knowledgeable than everyone else. To sound important or whatever the reason, it was wrong.  I have never lacked self esteem and it has been my downfall I am afraid.  This very week I have been humbled by how insignificant I am and what and who should be my priorities.  But my insignificance in no way lessens the impact of my alliances and words. And for that I am sickened and so very sorry.  Honestly and truly sorry.  That’s about all I can be.  I can’t take things back.  I can’t know what credit I have been give for things that I actually have not done.  But I am guilty of enough that that is really not important.  I can’t blame anyone but myself for my poor judgement and alliances.  I take full responsibility for my own actions and words.  I am one to throw caution to the wind in the past not being careful what I say or to whom I say it. Those days are gone forever.

Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.  I am going to wake up everyday thinking about that and try to make it to the end of the day without making any that are irreversible.

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Sep
14
2012

This is the first day of the rest of my life…

I started a new blog a week or so ago and almost immediately regretted it.  I felt I was forsaking this one.  One that has been so good for me.  That is so ME.  Well, like every other person who puts their life online, the ME I let you know.  But what I am going to attempt from today forward is to be a little more real (hang on gals, it could get rough), a little less careful, painfully honest at times and if you can’t handle it  or don’t like it, that’s okay.  I am who I am, what I am and I have a lot of good qualities and a lot of vices.  What I don’t want to ever be is bored.  Or boring.  That would be the most horrible thing to hear about myself:  Susan, you’re boring.  YIKES. So what I have decided to do is move those posts over here over the next few days and share my renewed need to put myself out there for all the world.

Still not going to get “all political” on you or anything of that nature.  I might quip occasionally on the subject but in the spirit of honesty, I will go ahead and put forth my disclaimer, lest some of you think you know me “as your kinda folk” and be slapped in the face one morning and it ruin the rest of your day 🙂  Now don’t bother saying nasty things to me if you find me a heathen or not of your chosen political mindset because my comments are set to be approved and I won’t give you a voice.  Not on MY blog.  If you decide, even though you have been following my blog for years, that I am not who you thought I was, don’t worry about it.  Just take me out of your blog feed.  You’ll miss me, but you’ll get over it 🙂 As will I.

Okay, hold on to your hats ladies (and gents if you are there)…

I am a Democrat with Libertarian leanings. Though I don’t vote only for Democrats because they say they are Democrats. I vote for who I want to.  Who I believe the most, or distrust the least. But I DO vote, which is very important to me.  I am a proud American who believes men and women have died for my right to step in and close the curtain and participate in the process and I honor them by taking a few minutes to do just that.  But even before I am an American, I am a human being and I try to see myself as a part of that family first.  Accept differences when possible, allow for different ideas, beliefs, philosophies.  Never accept hatred or oppression, genocide, injustice or abuse.  I don’t believe war is the answer we should look to first, second or even tenth, but I also know it is inevitable.  So I support our military personnel and wish them only safety, always.

I believe in equality for everyone. This means all colors, creeds, religions, genders, sexual orientations.  And any other way we humans can figure out to divide ourselves into selfish little groups. I don’t believe the government or anyone else has dominion over my body.  Period.

I am not a religious person, however I do consider myself spiritual. There are things and ways that separate humans from the other animals.  Sometimes the lines are fine and sometimes I wonder how we landed on top when it seems we have less of a grasp of the meaning of life than other species. But I do feel connected to the Universe in a special way…human love I suppose. That and I have opposable thumbs 🙂 I find all religions to have a bit of the ridiculous in their beliefs and teachings.  I wasn’t raised in a religious home so this is just how my life has evolved. Oh, and I do believe in evolution, btw.  I could never ever join a group that thought me and other women anything but equal to men. I cannot tolerate intolerance (I hope that makes sense) and I am nauseated by hypocrisy.  So that weeds out the majority of mainstream religions available to me in my geographic area.  Not that I am looking.  I am most certainly not.  I have no answers to any of the big questions and don’t believe anyone else does.  I try to live my life in a good, useful, helpful  way.  I believe that if you hate anyone then you truly cannot love completely, like we should.  There is not room in the human heart for both.  So practice LOVE.  I think it is perfectly normal and fine to hate things that happen, actions but to pick out one particular person to hate, causes you to think about them far to much and waste too much time on something you cannot change.  So rather than hate them, I choose to just separate myself from them and forget about them.  To find it in me to be indifferent rather than continuously irritated and angry. If I had to pick a religion to know more about or that I find interesting and could abide by most of their teachings, it would be Buddhism.  But only in a very general way.

I hope to leave this world having done no lasting harm to my family, friends and as little as I can on the Earth. I am in awe of what all this world has to offer and I want to see as much of it as I can.  There is always something new to learn.

Am I all that I hope to be?  Nope.  Not even close.  But I am working on it.  That is really all any of us can do.  Perfection is not attainable and really shouldn’t be a goal for anyone.  Your best.  Just do your best.  If anyone asks more than that they are likely working through some things themselves and feeling inadequate to the tasks before them.  Cut them some slack and keep working away at your own life.

Well, there’s a start to the weekend, don’t you think?  If you find I am too much for you, I bid you a fond farewell and wish you all the happiness you can find.  If you stick around, I promise everyday won’t be like this. Much less philosophizing and much more food, sewing, crafting, gardening…you know the good stuff 🙂   It’s just sometimes, one has to regroup.  Recharge.  Confess.  Start fresh.  Turn the corner.  You get the gist.  So without further ado, welcome to the new NotQuiteJuneCleaver.  And have a wonderful weekend.

People make the statement “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.” for various reasons.  Some have an epiphany, wake up and realized they are in fact on the wrong road of life.  Some have circumstances come to them and change is not their choice but change it is.  Mine is nothing so dramatic, I am happy to report.  It just that I am fat.  Chubby.  Plump.  Fluffy.  I have the middle age spread. If I live to be 106.  Which at the rate I am taking care of the only body I have, is bloody unlikely.

I have lots of excuses if you would care to hear them.  I have had six children.  I was a fat baby.  I have had 5 abdominal surgeries plus my gall bladder removed.  I eat my feelings.  I am a good cook, therefore good food is relatively easy for me to obtain. I have weak ankles therefore I cannot do real exercise. Blah, blah, blah.

The real facts are: I hate to exercise. I eat too many empty carbs and have for a really long time. I am addicted to sugar and soda, diet or not.  But the fact of the matter is really good food doesn’t have to be bad for you.  My ankles might not be weak if they weren’t trying to hold up 70 more pounds, or five stones in Brit-speak, which I love,  than they were made to.

So what am I going to do about it you might ask.  Well, my best.  That is all.  I am going to do my best.  That is not too much to ask of anyone on any matter.  I find later in my life, I have not been keen to do my best always.  But I have people in my life who do.  Always.  And I think I owe it to myself to do the same.

Eating healthy and concentrating on my health will take more time.  But really, time is all any of us have.  We spend it wisely or we don’t.  It will take more planning, but that is one of my strong suits.  I am a plotter and a planner from way back.  And I like a good project as well as the next person.  So, that won’t be a problem. And it won’t cost any more money because I won’t be buying junk to eat.  Or drink.  Not to compare poor choices too closely but I will have to treat my struggle with food like an alcoholic treats their addiction.  It will be an everyday struggle until one day I will not crave the junk any more.

I had an appointment with my doctor this week  to get all my numbers run.  I have every reason to do this and no reason not to.  I need to know just exactly where I am and what I am up against.  And frankly I am running out of time.  I turned 53 on 14 August 2012.  I don’t feel old.  I don’t think I look too old.  But I also don’t feel good.  I don’t feel good about how my body works.  Or how tired it gets.  And I feel weak in spirit that I let this happen.  I haven’t posted a full body picture in many, many years.  But here goes.  Not a great one, but one that is accurate in showing my girth.

IMG_2692

Not a pretty sight.  So now that you have seen me, you might as well know the numbers.

  • 53 years old
  • 194 pounds or 13+ stones (as of today 189 -yay for me!)
  • my measurements are 45-39-49
  • my height is 60.5″
  • my arms are too big for sleeves and my legs are too big for boots at 14.5 and 17.5 respectively
  • and I have 1.5 too many chins

So what do I propose to do about this?  First and foremost, set reasonable goals.  Hold myself accountable.  I would join a group, but I am not much of a joiner.  Not cheat myself by eating the very thing that will make me want to cry later.  Put one foot in front of the other until my body is strong enough to bear me putting one foot in front of the other in rapid succession.  Not compare myself with others by saying things like “oh I don’t know why I try, I will never be that thin” or “well, at least I am not that fat”.  I am going to pay attention to every morsel of food that goes into my mouth.  Every drop of liquid. I am going to enjoy my food.  I am going to take time to choose, prepare and eat meals.  Not fly by life, with a bag of crisps and a candy bar washing them down with a diet soda. I am adopting a mostly vegetarian diet with a serving of fish every now and then when I feel the urge to eat the flesh of a dead animal.  When you say it like that it makes it easier to fore go.  And rather than give myself a weight/size goal to achieve, I am going to give myself time, a year to be exact, because after all that is really all we have…time. And of course I am going to write about it honestly.  Follow along if you like. Later on I want to tell you about the wonderful shake I am drinking every morning.  But if you can’t wait  go to Rockin’Wellness and look for yourself.

What I am not going to do is judge others for what they eat, don’t eat, drink or don’t drink.  I am responsible for my own intake. I will also not hate judge others who are thinner than me or  take the weight off easier than I do.

I would have told you a year, even six months ago that everything tastes better with bacon drippings.  Or some other form of animal product.  But really it isn’t necessary.  It’s delicious, don’t get me wrong.  But not necessary and not good for you.  You know ignorance is bliss many, many times.  And I think my ignorance about healthy eating knows no bounds.  But I am learning.

Those of you that know me in real life know I am not a wagon jumper.  The band brand of wagon.  I believe almost nothing of what I hear and only about half of what I see. And the friend that introduced me to this new plant based way of life knew that about me when she approached me.  She knew not to tell me how amazing the information was. Or how scary.  She just ask that I watch a DVD with an open mind.  Our friendship spans nearly 40 years, so I trusted her.  The DVD she asked me to watch was Forks Over Knives.  I have to say, I am so glad she cared enough to ask me to watch it.  The information was eye-opening to say the least.  I won’t go on and on about it because, I am assuming, we are all adults here and you don’t need me jumping up and down shouting how incredible it is.  Follow the link, read the reviews and if you have time and are interested in that sort of information, you will find it very informative.  Possibly life changing.

Here is an example of how I am trying to cook for myself.  My love of food makes the prospects of new recipes, healthy eating very exciting to me.  So you might not get your standard recipe format but I will try to share things I find that are tasty, and are good for us. A few nights ago I sauteed a variety of vegetables for my supper.  I brushed my skillet with a little, very little, EVO.  I added green onions, garlic, 3 colors of bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts and celery.  I took out a little bowl for my supper and then to the skillet I added about 2 cups of vegetable broth, leftover corn, peas, limas and a can of diced tomatoes.  I added some chives, parsley, thyme and let it cook while I ate.  I couldn’t resist the aroma!  I had to have a little bowl of soup too.

IMG_2835

So delicious.  I think I will add a little okra to it for supper tonight.  And whip up some gluten free corn muffins.  Even though there is a heat advisory for today, I am thinking towards Autumn…and this bowl just looks like Autumn.  And reminds me of my mom’s vegetable soup.  She would save vegetables thru the week from our meals and dump it all in a pot on Friday night for soup served with cornbread.  My mom was not a big meat eater.  In fact many of our meals were meat-less long before it was “a thing”.  We were on a very tight budget and beans were less expensive than meat.  So beans it was.

One more addition and then I will get off of here and get busy and let you do the same.   I am so glad to catch up with all of you and thanks for stopping by.  ENJOY!

This recipe is gluten free and Ovo-Lacto-Vegetarian.  I left out the oil called for to cut some of the fat content and honestly, they were a little dry and slightly packy.  However, dipped in the vegetable soup  they were delicious!

cornacorns

2/3 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 TBSP aluminum free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk (I used 1/2 rice milk)
2 TBSP all vegetable oil (omitted)
Preheat oven to 425F and place pans in oven. Whisk together  flour baking powder, and salt into bowl. Stir in corn meal. Add egg, milk, and oil, if you use the oil. Mix until just smooth, about one minute, do not over mix. Brush pans with light coating of oil. Put about 1 TBSP of batter in each acorn mold. Bake in hot oven (425 degrees) 9-12 minutes.
acorn pan
NOTE: You could make this recipe into another shape if you don’t have the acorn pan or similar pan.  A madeline pan is very good for these little cornbread yummies.  Or mini muffin tins and of course regular size muffins as well.

Have a great day.  Eat good things that are good for you.

With warmest regards,

Susan

Jul
25
2012

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Squares from GBP 101 Breakfast & Brunch Recipes

Cinnamon

I have another wonderful and easy recipe from Gooseberry Patch’s 101 Breakfast and Brunch Recipes.  I am writing to you this week from the beautiful state of Washington.  Jerry had a thing for work and I flew out to meet him.  We have had a wonderful time and when I get home I will post some pictures of our trip.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Squares

  • 2 8 oz tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • cinnamon- sugar to taste

Unroll one tube of crescent rolls and arrange in a lightly greased 13 x 9 baking pan; pinch seams together.  In a bowl, beat together cream cheese, vanilla and sugar; spread over rolls in pan.  Top with remaining tube of crescent rolls, pinching together seams.  Drizzle melted butter over top layer of crescents and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden.  Serves 10-12.

And of course as always, you can win a copy of this new cookbook.

To enter this Early Bird Review and Giveaway:  All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of each post pertaining to this giveaway and Early Bird Review and consider yourself entered.  I will be posting amazing recipes from this book over the next two weeks and then on Monday the 30th of July,  I will draw a name from the trusty mason jar and announce the winner. You have a few chances to get your name in the drawing.  And of course it would be nice of you to tell your friends if you have facebook or a blog of your  own.

gooseberry

Find even MORE from Gooseberry Patch online!

www.gooseberrypatch.typepad.com

www.facebook.com/gooseberrypatch

www.twitter.com/gooseberrypatch

www.youtube.com/gooseberrypatchcom

www.scribd.com/gooseberrypatch

And if you like what you find here at my blog you can check out the right hand column and subscribe to my feed and follow me on twitter and facebook.

So here you have my third recipe review from the new 101 Breakfast and Brunch Recipes from Gooseberry Patch.  Try these turnoverse, you will love them!

And of course as always, you can win a copy of this new cookbook.

To enter this Early Bird Review and Giveaway:  All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of each post pertaining to this giveaway and Early Bird Review and consider yourself entered.  I will be posting amazing recipes from this book over the next two weeks and then on Monday the 30th of July,  I will draw a name from the trusty mason jar and announce the winner. You have a few chances to get your name in the drawing.  And of course it would be nice of you to tell your friends if you have facebook or a blog of your  own.

Find even MORE from Gooseberry Patch online!

www.gooseberrypatch.typepad.com

www.facebook.com/gooseberrypatch

www.twitter.com/gooseberrypatch

www.youtube.com/gooseberrypatchcom

www.scribd.com/gooseberrypatch

And if you like what you find here at my blog you can check out the right hand column and subscribe to my feed and follow me on twitter and facebook.

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