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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Crunchy Collards?

I'm learning that just because I decide to eat healthier doesn't mean the whole family is on board.

This summer it's been much easier to eat better. I'm out for the summer so that means I am less stressed and I have time to actually take the time to cook! I also have had time to read about healthy recipes and better ways to prepare foods.


I have been feeling better by eliminating sugars, drinking more water and trying to do the "clean eating"!


Thought I'd try to get everyone on board but wanted to start with the other adult in the house: husband.
Things WERE going well until I decided to steam collard greens. We are both from the South and both grew up on collards. It's a staple or at least it should be.

Prep time: 20 minutes while he watched ESPN
"You know the way we grew up on collards was different. I know it was considered good eatin' but we now know that they weren't seasoned the best or healthiest way. We don't wanna overcook them. We want to keep the beneficial vitamins," I began.

Now over the years since we've been married I have been able to cook them differently, electing to use turkey or chicken broth and spices. No problem consuming them that way.

Cook time: 15-20 minutes So I seasoned and steamed them while he was still glued to ESPN. Good outlook for the Cowboys so I knew he was in a good mood. But I knew that cooking collards in such a short time period may not be great. I tasted a few, AND washed the fork I ate from. I know people still double-dip in the kitchen when folks aren't looking and that is nasty.

They were a little crunchy but hey, here's to good health I thought. Worried that he may not like them I did what anyone else would do...I added some cayenne pepper. This would at least, prayerfully, distract from the crunch. I put a little vinegar on them and Voila Wa-lah!

The flavor was so foreign, that he had to stand up! "These are greens? But they're crunchy! I've never heard of crunch greens!"

"Well. You know I told you I was cooking them in a healthier way. Remember?" I offered, as I chewed through my forkful.

"Wooh! And they are really hot!" he almost screamed. Well, he did. I guess from the shock and "Awe!"

"So I'm thinking it's a no on steamed collards?" I said, as I blinked through the tears that sprung up from the over powering cayenne pepper I'd just swallowed.

I think he thought I was trying to kill him.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Sweating it Out!

Our oldest will be transitioning to high school, later this month. Where did the time go?

So, she plans to go out for volleyball at her school. Workouts begin this week. She will have a difficult time with the uniforms. Thankfully, she doesn't like to wear anything too short, tight or low-cut shirts! I'm hoping that doesn't change. I guess, if she makes the team, we will maybe try to get the shorts in a larger size? Maybe they will fit a little bigger or looser for her.

"Can I wear leggings under the shorts?" she asked as I drove to a local sporting goods store for knee pads. Almost crossing the line, into the opposite lane, I maturely answered, "What kind of sense would that make? How would that look?"

I delighted at her conscious effort not to show too much when dressing. Over the years we had conversations-easy conversations about it.

I'm fortunate and grateful that she is different from the younger me. She is more interested in reading, drawing and singing than shopping, dressing and hanging out.

When I was her age, not only did I love shopping for clothes and shoes, I lied to get more of them. Junior high was that time when your look became really important. My parents bought me plenty of clothes and shoes- and name brand. But it wasn't enough sometimes. Not sure how I came up with it but it worked.

"I have to speak in front of the whole school next week," I'd tell my mom. "I don't want to wear the same ole stuff I've been wearing, in front of everybody," I added. Somehow we'd end up at Belk or Dillards. That one worked a few times.

I was tall and skinny then too. I never wore things that were too short but I wanted to be noticed by boys in junior high. I got the brilliant idea, after being teased relentlessly by boys in the neighborhood, to make myself look a little more plump. I wore shorts under my pants or several pairs of thick tights. I guess those were our leggings back then. And when Margaret's exercises (from the Judy Blume book-earlier post) to increase busts didn't work, I just got padded bras in a bigger size. Had great posture when wearing those things.

Wearing layers of clothes under my pants was short-lived. Caused lots of itching and sweating in the warmer months. Seventh grade language arts class was the last straw. Mrs. McKenzie was very strict. I'd already been to the bathroom after lunch. I had on thick tights and shorts under my Vidal Sassoon jeans. I was itching and hot. Couldn't sit still. Only one sweating. I felt like my eyes were crossing and I was going to pass out. Didn't want anyone to see me but they could hear me. Well my desk. I was moving around so much my desk was knocking the desks on both sides of me. She'd pause in between conjugating verbs and glare at me. Sweat was a good verb she could've conjugated. After a few minutes I was getting delirious and the other students were now staring at me. She got the class started with an assignment, then came over and gave me a hall pass. I was a mess in that bathroom. Took the tights off and slammed them in the trash can. Needless to say I never did that again.

Saturday, August 01, 2015


I love home remedies and natural cures! I have found numerous online.

Daddy should be happy about my interest because I've saved us a lot of money. Made my own natural conditioners and pedicure solutions. I mean not all are completely successful but it hasn't cost me much to buy and make. I did try to make my own body scrub and although it broke me out I should have tested an area first because I have sensitive skin and allergies, in the end it only cost me about a week or so of itching and a copay for a trip to an allergy specialist but hey...could have been worse.

And there was that one time I tried onion juice for my hair. Read that it was great, topically, for itchy scalp and thinning. This was an easy one to try- we always have onions! Definitely no loss there. Easily made the juice and patted it on my scalp. Not long later, son comes in from outside and got excited, but wrong, about dinner, "Yes! We're having subs!" Washed that out.

I find these ideas everywhere: Pinterest, Facebook, and more recently Twitter! I get these Google Facts on Twitter. There was one about the benefits of Vodka. Only things I knew about Vodka was what I drank saw in college. But according to a March 2015 tweet from "Applying vodka on your face cleanses the skin, tightens pores and can prevent acne breakouts."

Well... I was all in! Even though I'm approaching mid-40's, I still have oily skin, and large pores so I get breakouts. So I did what anyone in my skin would do...I set out to go to the ABC store to get vodka!

Now the last time I drank purchased it was probably two decades ago.

I was in a nearby, smaller city, where I didn't know many people. Funny because I felt like I was doing something illegal. I quickly prepped the kids as I drove by the store, for the third time.
"For your face Mama?" our son questioned. He and his sister snickered. I didn't have to explain anything to them. "Yes! And I'm grown!"

As I finally turned into the parking lot, my heart started racing. I wasn't going to rob the place. The kids' snickering came to a halt. "Mommy, are you really going in to buy BOOZE?" daughter asked. Referring to it that way, really put me on edge. "It's not BOOZE! I'm getting vodka but not to drink it!" I yelled. I sat in the car for a few minutes. Looked around and watched a few people come out. They all seemed to be staring at me.

I almost fell trying to lock the kids in the car and sprint in quickly. I jumped when someone said, "Hello!" It felt really hot in there too. I just had to grab the booze, I mean vodka, any vodka and go. And no one came over to help me. I guess I looked like a regular. My behavior probably made me look like I was inebriated already. AND...the guy barely looked at my ID. So he thought I looked old. Finally, got back to my car. Dropped the keys like the victims do in the scary movies. The kids were huddled together. "Did you get the booze Mama?" son whispered. I sped off.