Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Electile Dysfunction – Part One

I know, I know… the election is over. Let’s just say I’m getting ready early for 2012. Or, I’m doing a little do-it-yourself psychoanalysis about my reaction to the election.

The title of this post comes from something I read several weeks ago. It defined electile dysfunction as, “the inability to become aroused over any of the choices for President put forth by either party in the 2008 election year.” That’s how I felt.

I don’t vote by party. I vote issues. There was no single candidate who I felt spoke for me, who would support the issues that matter to me. My main voting issues are limited to just four. My ideal candidate would be:

1. Pro-Defense
2. Pro-Gun Rights
3. Pro-Life
4. Pro-Gay Marriage

It’s pretty easy until you get to number four. Most conservative candidates are pro-defense, pro-gun rights, and pro-life. No one seems to want to stand up and say they support gay marriage.

McCain? I like mavericks. I think he’s an amazing man who doesn’t get nearly enough credit for everything he’s done (and sacrificed) for this country.

When Palin was chosen as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Republicans, I was kind of excited. No, I didn’t necessarily think she’d be a great VP but I didn’t think she’d be any worse than the other choices. I was excited because she was different. She wasn’t afraid to go against her party. She didn’t seem to be intimidated by the whole process.

Still, I wasn’t going to vote Republican because… well, I’ll explain that in a little while.

Obama. Obama wasn’t going to get my vote because he threatens my paycheck, my right to own guns, and the right-to-life movement. He’s also pretty wishy-washy on the gay marriage issue.

Biden? Barely a blip on my radar. From what I’ve observed, read, and heard - he’s your standard Democrat-politician type. Not too much to get excited about there.

I’ve often said that if I was forced to choose a political party, it would be Libertarian. They believe in smaller government, lower taxes, and more freedom. That’s the short version. If you’d like to read more, check out the Libertarian Party Platform (It’s a link! Go ahead! Click it!)

Still, their candidate didn’t excite me all that much. Bob Barr seemed to be, again, more of the same stuff we’ve always had but in a shiny, new Libertarian package. Bob was a Republican until 2004 although he did, frequently, opposed several Republican-sponsored actions. He didn’t really appeal to me that much but he did get my vote.

Why, you ask?

Here’s why.

I live in Alabama. McCain was going to win Alabama. I could live with that. What I wanted was for my vote to make a difference.

I admit it. I was a bit jealous of my liberal and Democrat friends who had a candidate who made them feel excited and passionate.

I want to be excited about an election and a candidate during my lifetime. The only way I’m ever going to have that feeling is if there’s a viable candidate who isn’t part of the Republican or Democratic sameness. The only way we’re going to see other candidates is if the people who fund them believe they stand a chance.

Barr got my vote* because I wanted other Libertarian and Independent candidates to step forward in the years to come. I hope that if Independents get enough votes that, during the next election and the ones after that, there will be more choices. It won’t happen soon but maybe, someday, there will be a candidate for me.

Call me an optimist.

Over the next few posts, I plan to talk a little bit about my political issues. I’m not planning on beating anyone over the head with my beliefs; however, I’ve learned that simply understanding where someone else is coming from (even if you never feel the way they do) goes a very long way. Understanding, even with disagreement, leads to peaceful discussion.

Kumbayah, y’all.

*My vote was one of 4,991 for Bob Barr in Alabama. Other candidate totals: McCain – 1,266,546; Obama – 813,479; Nader – 6,788; Baldwin – 4,310. Just think! If I hadn’t voted for Barr, he would have only received 4,990 votes. It’s hard being an optimist some days.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Certain Things Make Me Uncomfortable...

Apologies, even when they're heartfelt can be uncomfortable. You know, like apologizing for not blogging in freakin' forever.

Dear Chef~H, Pinky, AndiKandi and everyone else who has scolded, cajoled, pleaded, or given up on me ever posting again,

I'm sorry.


Are we all over that now?

Apologizing about my absence isn't what has really made me uncomfortable, though.

It's toesocks.

Yep. Toesocks.

My daughter's really weird about feet. I mean, no one touches her feet. She doesn't like seeing or touching feet belonging to other people. She loves toesocks. She's a bit of a freak.

Me, I'm cool with feet. As long as they aren't dirty and don't have clawnails instead of toenails, they're mostly non-offensive to me. Don't tickle mine and we're going to get along just fine. I really don't like toesocks. I am also a bit of a freak.

I want to like toesocks. They're cute! The ones I purchased in yet another failed attempt to develop an appreciation for them even have monkeys on them! Monkeys! I love monkeys. I love socks! I like feet! Why, oh why, do I have such an issue with toesocks?

I was talking to my dear friend, Chef_H, the other day and she summed it up perfectly:

"It's like your toes are wearing thongs."

That Chef~H may have issues with fried chicken but she's a genius when it comes to toesocks.

Just a bit of a sidenote... I have Spock toes. If you know me in person, you've probably seen them sans socks. Seriously. Spock toes.

Live long and prosper, Internet.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Racing for the Cure!

On Sunday, I will be participating in my 4th Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Last year, I did a whole Boob Week to raise awareness. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to post as much recently. However, I am still raising money and would greatly appreciate any help you can give. Seriously, any amount helps. A dollar? Five? Twenty?

Today is the deadline for donations and you can reach my secure fundraising page by CLICKING HERE. That link will redirect you to my Susan G. Komen / Kintera fund-raising page. My nickname on the team is Mz Grinch (just in case you're wondering who the heck that is).

Thank you!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Give Me Some Breathing Room, Okay?

Close contact with other people can be one of the greatest pleasures in life.

Close contact with other people can be one of the creepiest experiences in life.

I'm a hugger. I hug my family. I hug my friends. I am quite affectionate and, usually, I really like people.

I don't like the inappropriate hug. I don't like the person behind me in the checkout lane who gets close enough to bang my foot with their shopping cart. I don't like people who breach the my space/your space boundary at my desk. I prefer you to keep your distance at the ATM. Please, keep your child at your table when eating out. If you're going to come by my house, a courtesy call announcing your intention prior to your arrival would be most appreciated; otherwise, I will porch* you.

I recently saw a lovely graphical representation of these kinds of social blunders. I have printed several wallet-sized versions so that I will be able to quickly hand them to the guilty. For your viewing pleasure, I have added one here.

If you are one of the guilty people, stop it. If you're not sure, hug me. If you get a card, you are one of those people. If you don't get a card, hug me again.

*porch; v. the act of stepping out of one's house and onto the porch in order to keep an unannounced visitor from entering.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pinky's Poem

Pinky is a friend of mine
Pinky wears pink shoes
I promised Pinky two posts
To read when he webpage views

This effort isn't quite as good
As some others I've attempted
It's sad that I must work for pay
Dear Pinky's been pre-empted.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Made It All By Myself!

Finding Greek-style yogurt isn’t always easy. Finding Greek-style, plain, fat-free yogurt is even more difficult. Greek yogurt is much like regular yogurt only thicker. Plus, it doesn’t get that weird, icky, pale yellow yogurt juice on top. Blech. You can read more about it here, at Wikipedia.

I like Greek-style so much more than regular yogurt that if I can’t find it, I normally just pass on yogurt altogether. You can use Greek-style yogurt in place of sour cream in a pinch and, when sweetened, it provides an acceptable substitute for whipped cream.

Recently, while I was out of town, I really wanted some yogurt. No Greek-style yogurt could be found. I remembered that a friend of mine had told me how I could make my own so I gave it a try. It worked perfectly and I shared my yogurt joy with MrWurdi.

Me: You know how I’m always bitching about how hard it is to find Greek yogurt?

MrWurdi: (cautiously) Yes…

Me: I made my own! It was fabulous!

MrWurdi: How did you do that?

Me: I lined a colander with several coffee filters and put it over a bowl. Then, I put the regular yogurt in the colander, put a paper towel over the top, and put it in the refrigerator. The next morning, TAH DAH! Greek yogurt!

MrWurdi: No way!?!

Me: Exactly! No whey! Hahahah, get it? No whey! W-H-E-Y! Hahahaha!

I am such a dork.

Monday, July 07, 2008

It's Over

The beginning of a relationship is so exhilarating. From the relief that it’s not like the old relationship to the thrill and excitement of all the new discoveries, it’s no wonder we get lost in the bright, glowing light of new love.

Even as the newness begins to wear off and we start seeing the minor (and not-so-minor) flaws, we try to hang onto that glorious rush of euphoria. We forgive the flaws. We tell ourselves that things will get better; things will change.

As time goes on, we try to focus on the positive and ignore the negative. We form mental pros and cons lists. We tell ourselves that the good outweighs the bad.

Eventually, the faults start accumulating and we find ourselves getting inappropriately angry over insignificant events. That’s when we know the end is near. We realize that all those things that infatuated us at the beginning are just glittery window dressing and that the substance just doesn’t exist. They aren’t really there for us when we need them. That’s what happened to me and that’s why it’s over.

I’m breaking up with Target.

Oh, I admit, I was smitten by the wide aisles and clean stores. The OXO brand kitchen implements and the whole wheat pasta selections wooed me. It may have just been the tint of the rose-colored glasses of infatuation that made the screaming, irritable babies less grating and irritating but even that seemed more tolerable at Target.

Sure, they weren’t open twenty-four hours a day and they didn’t carry the fat-free Fage yogurt but no one’s perfect, right? They had a Starbucks and they were less than five minutes from my office. Convenience, cleanliness, and caffeine all in the same place? What’s not to love? They even carried the elusive Honeycrisp apple for a few weeks each year.

Even with all the good, I realized there were problems in our relationship. The pharmacy failed to perform and the staff wasn’t exactly what I’d call satisfying. Still, I returned time and again hoping to recapture the glory of my early love for Target. I should have realized when I bought the pump spray bottles for my canola and olive oils that the end was near. I filled them, pumped them up, then watched in dismay as the oil went from a light, misting spray to a sputtering, dripping, disappointing drizzle. It made me think of old men with prostate problems and that’s not how you want to feel about things you use in your kitchen.

The final straw was a few weeks ago. I didn’t have time to go the long way and hit the drive-through Starbucks on the way to work. I debated the merits of stopping at the Target Starbucks. Sure, I’d have to get out of my car and it was raining but it was just a minute out of the way on the way to the office and it was only ten minutes until eight. I had time. I pulled into the parking lot, thrilled to be getting a spot up front. I unfurled my umbrella and made a damp dash to the door.

It was locked.

I was shocked.

I looked at the sign on the door and saw that they’d changed their hours. They didn’t open until eight o’clock. That was it for me. The end. Target just wasn’t there for me when I needed them.

I can’t close this post without a small confession. Recently, I was out of town on business and my customer wanted to run by Target. I wasn’t going to buy anything but I had a gift card. The lure of the Archer Farms Chai Cookie was too much and I really did need a hat.

I feel so dirty.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bok Choy, Jicama, & Apple Slaw

Gadget Girl, Transparent Boy, Chef Helen and several other friends made a special request that I post this recipe after I brought it to dinner the other night. The recipe below is how I prepared it and it makes a light and refreshing side dish. I've also made it and added diced cooked chicken and whole wheat couscous which makes it suitable for a light main dish.

Bok Choy, Jicama, and Apple Slaw
3 apples, sliced thin then chopped (I use whatever I have on hand; this time it was two Fuji and one Braeburn)
1 medium jicama (about a cup), sliced thin then chopped
One half head of bok choy, chopped with greens shredded

1 cup orange juice or the juice from two oranges (pineapple juice would probably also be good)
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 Tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
dash or two of salt and pepper, to taste

Combine apple, jicama, onion and bok choy in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients together and pour over the slaw.

Doubling the recipe for the dressing will give you a nice marinade for chicken or fish.

In an attempt to be more entertaining, I'll be posting something that's NOT a recipe later this week.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I Need a Break.

The Scene
Monday night. 9:15 p.m.
After nearly a month of 60+ hour work weeks and putting in an absolutely brutal day at work, I'd hoped to get home for a relaxing evening before packing for my 6:30 a.m. flight the next morning. I was at work. I was tired. It didn't look like I'd be leaving any time soon.

The Conversation

Bossman: So, how are you doing? Hanging in there okay?

Me: I'm beginning to suspect that I have horribly wronged you in a past life and, as a result, you are trying to kill me in this one.

Fortunately, my boss appreciates my sense of humor.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I've Been a Little Distracted

Once again, my blogging has stalled due to unforeseen events.

I have a new housemate.

This is my new housemate.

He showed up with about a hundred of his friends last week. Don't recognize him? Here are a few of his family members, also residing in my home.

Termites. Damned termites. Munching on the wood within the walls of my house.

I am not a happy camper.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

From Ima's Kitchen - Core Granola

First, a little bit of background. In order to balance out my love of food and drink, I also do Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers has two eating plans, Core and Flex. In 2004, I lost 30 pounds using the Flex plan.

Flex allows you to have any food you like but within a certain number of Points per day, based on your height, weight, and several other factors. Points are calculated using the calories, fat, and fiber in a serving of food. In addition to those daily Points, you get 35 weekly points to use as you'd like for extra things.

Core is the Weight Watcher "no count" plan. As long as you eat from a specific list of foods, you don't have to count the Points. If you want something that's not on the list, you can use the 35 weekly points. With Core, you eat until you are satisfied - not full or stuffed - just no longer hungry. It can take a little bit of time to learn where that "Comfort Zone" is but by eating mindfully and paying attention to your body's signals, it can be done.

While I used Flex to get to my goal weight, I did it by eating a lot of overly processed foods. The frozen meals, cereal bars, and other not-so-healthy foods were a means to an end; i.e., lose fat/weight. I was hungry much of the time because I wasn't eating real foods or getting enough protein or meeting many of Weight Watcher Good Health Guidelines.

What I love about Core is that it, mostly, focuses on real, healthy foods - whole grains, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, fat-free dairy products, and healthy oils. Note: This is not a complete list nor does it list some of the restrictions; that would be infringing on WW copyright. I still have those "extra Points" for wine, martinis, and carrot cake.

For this post, I wanted to share my recipe for granola. It is adapted, as most of my recipes are, from a combination of other recipes.

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup non-fat dry milk powder
1/2 c. cream of wheat
1 cup kasha (buckwheat groats)

Mix together and add

1 cup SF syrup, any flavor (I've been doing a half-cup of Davinci sugar-free hazelnut and a half-cup of sugar-free vanilla)

Mix well, spread into a cookie sheet that's been sprayed with a healthy oil (I use canola) and bake at 275 degrees for approximately 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes of so. It's done when the granola is crunchy and dry, but be careful not to burn it.

Cool well. Divided into six one-cup servings, each counts as half a dairy serving.
Oooh! Look! Pictures!

I just picked up some sugar-free cinnamon syrup and will be trying it next.

My dear friend, Kay, at Gobstruck is blogging about eating clean and focusing on whole foods these days. Be sure to check out her blog.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Recycle Yourself!

In the past few weeks, I’ve been talking a bit about what I’m doing to be greener. Several years ago, it wasn’t something I really worried or thought much about. I had other priorities (keeping the lights on, not killing my children, relationship drama). I depended on take-out foods and convenience everything. There weren’t enough hours in the day for everything I had to do. I was just trying to make life a little better for those living under my roof and I wasn’t that concerned about the bigger picture.

There was one thing I did do. I signed up to be an organ donor. It was just a little checkmark on my driver’s license but I also made sure I told my family that if anything happened to me, I wanted them to donate anything that could be used. I also told them to put whatever was left in a box and bury it with a headstone that read, “See? I told you I was sick.”

Don’t have the money to buy organic?
Don’t have time to cook from scratch using whole foods?
Don’t have time to separate your cans and plastics and cardboard boxes?

It’s okay. There’s still something you can do.


Unless your religion forbids it, why not give your body parts to people who can use them once you’re finished with them? From my recent reading, it turns out that humans don’t make for very good compost so why not put those parts in other people who can live a little longer and better because of them.

*I first saw this very cool phrase on one of my favorite blogs, Driving With the Brakes On in a post titled, "A Holiday Reminder." Her husband is an Organ Recovery Coordinator for the Donor Alliance. Driving is not only a supporter of the Recycle Yourself plan, she’s also growing her very own new human.

Friday, March 07, 2008

55 Fiction Friday! March 7, 2008

All the details on what 55 Fiction is and how to play are at the end of the post. Come on, you can do it!


Following her usual Friday afternoon routine, Janie stopped at the grocery store. Puzzled by the large crowd and full parking lot, she went about her shopping. The barren bread shelf should have been an indication but as she approached the empty milk cooler, it all became crystal clear.

The weather forecasters were calling for snow.

55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here.. You can also click on the 55 Fiction label below to see what Wordy Bitch and Wordy Bitch readers have done in the past.
Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Seriously, what is it about the threat of snow that sends everyone to the grocery store for milk, bread and toilet paper? Getting snowed in means you should eat French toast and go to the bathroom a lot?

I'm having a dinner for my parents and son this weekend and now I'm going to have to deal with all the alarmists. Boo. Hiss.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Publix Embarrassment

I left my shopping cart in the Publix parking lot last night. They don’t have cart corrals. I left it right there. In the parking lot.

I am so embarrassed.

I didn’t want to do it.

I was under the influence of that dreadful condition… being nice.

Let me explain.

First of all, to understand how completely hypocritical I felt, you have to read my rant: Return Your Cart Here ~ or ~ People Irritate Me – Chapter2. I have publicly scolded people for their inconsiderate cart abandonment.

There I was, in the Publix parking lot. I’d just finished my little bit of shopping. Now, since you know I’m all about trying to be greener I was feeling rather proud of myself because I’d even remembered to grab my canvas bags out of the truck. This, in itself, was not an easy task. They were in the covered bed of the truck when I got to the store. They’d slid all the way up and I had to climb up in the truck. I was on my way home from work so I was wearing a skirt and heels. And it was windy. I had to boost myself up on the rather high tailgate (I’m short), then scoootch back, then lean back while holding my skirt down with one hand and reaching for the bags with the other.

Picture it.

Oh, hell, don’t bother.

Here’s what it looked like:

See? Not easy.

I went in and I looked at the organic produce. I didn’t need any of the produce they had that was organic but I did look at it. I did buy a non-organic cucumber because I like a cucumber garnish for my Hendricks martinis and I usually have cucumber as one of my snacks. I’m wandering, aren’t I? Do you see what’s happening here? I hate being hypocritical and I was and I’m just delaying the inevitable confession of my hypocrisy. And yes, it is inevitable. I’m a recovering Catholic and once you’ve learned how to confess you just can’t stop yourself.

I put the few things I needed in my cart, including my non-recombinant bovine growth hormone milk. I didn’t buy the organic milk. I was going to because that was my plan and I do like a good plan. They just didn’t have it in gallon size containers. More containers = less green, right? Plus, while I was blocking up the aisle, debating the merits of organic plus more packaging versus non-organic with less packaging, I noticed something in small print on the non-organic, Publix brand milk: No bovine growth hormones. Seriously. Store-brand milk with no hormones! Score! I’m still planning on trying some organic milk, it’s just going to have to wait until I can buy it a gallon at a time.

I was so pleased to see that the lady in front of me in the check-out line was also using canvas bags. I think the lady behind us was feeling guilty. She didn’t have canvas.

Usually, at Publix, a bagger person brings your groceries to your car and then returns the cart to the store. This eliminates the whole “return your cart” issue. Last night, there wasn’t a bagger person available so I got to bag my own groceries. Really, I’d prefer to bag them myself all the time because, well, because, um. Look. It’s like this. I know the best way to bag my groceries. I do.


I was just about to detail my OCD bagging tendencies but I think we all know that I’m just trying to keep from telling about how and why I left my cart in the parking lot. Besides, that can be a fun little story for another day.


I bagged my own groceries and wheeled my cart out to the truck. I was just getting ready to walk back to the store to return my cart when some (probably very nice) lady in a mini-van pulled up to my parking spot. It was a nice spot. It was pretty close to the store and the weather was getting worse and I could see why she’d want my spot. She rolled down her window, leaned out and said, “I’ll return that cart for you.”

“Great! Thanks!” I said, on the outside.

But, but, I can’t leave the cart in the parking lot! I just can’t!” I said, on the inside.

I really had a problem with this. Yes, I know. I’m a dork but let me explain.

She would know that she’d taken responsibility for the cart. I’d know that she was taking responsibility for the cart. (Of course, I was planning on watching her in my rear view mirror and if she didn’t take that cart in, I was going to drive back around and give her a good scolding.) It’s just that anyone else watching would not know that Mini-van Mom and I had an agreement about the care and returning of the cart. It’s not that I care (that much) about what people think about me, either. It’s that someone watching might not be a regular returner. Seeing another person not returning their cart could nudge them right off the return-the-cart fence onto the “everybody leaves their cart” side.


Still, what was I supposed to do? I had to leave the cart. There just wasn’t another good solution. I carefully positioned the cart so it wouldn’t roll into someone’s car and I got into the truck. Just as I was about to back up, a bagger person walked by. He was heading back to the store. He saw and retrieved my cart.


You have no idea. Well, if you read my rant, you have an idea but, really, the actual shame was horrible.

He’ll probably not remember the inconsiderate woman in the big, honkin’, gas-guzzling truck who just lazily (not really!) left her cart in the lot. My concern was more that it might have colored his whole customer attitude for the rest of the evening. The ripple effect. He might have been testy with customers for the rest of the evening because his perception of the customer had been unjustifiably tainted by my cart abandonment.


I should probably get a hobby.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Oh! Oh! Oh! I'm Having an Organic Moment!

In February, I posted about how It Ain't Easy Bein' Green. I mentioned that I’m buying some organic foods. These posts on being greener are my way of examining, out loud (out blog?), my actions and potential actions. Just writing that I was working on turning off the water while I brush my teeth made a difference. By acknowledging it, my attention became focused on it. I turn off the water now. As in all things, though, I think there has to be balance or there’s a danger of becoming fanatical. Here’s a bit of my balance.

It’s mostly haphazard, this buying of organic foods. I’m spoiled, you see. I’m spoiled by lower prices and prettier produce. Organics cost more. For far too many years, I’ve had to be frugal. I don’t know about you but I haven’t seen many generic organics. Spending more because it’s “better for me” seems kind of vague and hard to defend at times. Then we get to the arguments for and against organics.

There’s the whole “what makes it organic?” argument. There are reports and studies that show that some of the stuff that’s being touted as organic isn’t really organic after all. Then, you get all the conflicting reports about which foods are worth buying organic. Today’s general rule of thumb is that those foods with thick peels we remove, such as bananas and oranges, aren’t worth the cost of buying organic because any of the residual pesticides and chemicals won’t be in the actual fruit. Peaches, apples, and strawberries are a completely different story. The thin skin on these fruits make them worth buying organic. Some fruits and vegetables don’t, for whatever reason, absorb the chemicals. The Wall Street Journal has a pretty good article on “When Buying Organic Makes Sense -- and When It Doesn't”.

Okay. This is embarrassing. I have another problem. It’s part of that being spoiled thing; i.e., prettier produce. Because they’re not sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals, the organic fruits and vegetables have blemishes and spots and potential cooties. I have this nurturing thing going on. In fact, if I were a superhero, my tagline would have to be “Surprisingly Domestic!” I carefully choose the food I buy. Each piece of fruit or bunch of vegetables is carefully scrutinized. No bruises or dents for my loved ones! Cans aren’t dented. Meat is lean. The dairy has the furthest possible expiration date. (This obsessive attitude toward food is probably part of why I need Weight Watchers.) Honestly? A lot of that organic food looks kind of oogy. I should get over that but a lifetime of habit is hard to overcome.

Still, if I pick up something, intending to purchase it, and find out it’s organic, it really does make me feel better about it. I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading about organic meats and dairy (or at least recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rBGH free) and I think that’s going to be the next change in the Wurdibitsch House. rBGH is given to most cows to boost milk production and may cause higher rates of breast, prostate and colon cancer. That doesn’t sound like good stuff.

For my balancing act this month, I’m going to be looking a little closer at the organic fruits and veggies. I don’t know that we’re making the change but I’m considering it. I will be buying the rBGH-free milk and when the freezer full of FoodSavered meat is running low, I’m heading to the specialty butcher. Hold me. I’m frightened.

National Geographic has a quiz on Getting To Know Your Inner Organic Foodie. I liked this quiz because it has good explanations behind the answers. Unfortunately, you don’t get a score. I’m a competitive person. I like scores. I had to go to FreeRice.com and rack up some free rice donations (and scores) to get my competition fix.

In the interest of more balance, I discovered some very funny movies to balance out all the organic/hormone/chemical/cootie talk:

The Meatrix!
Be sure to see Meatrix 2: Revolting and Meatrix 2 ½. Leo, Moopheus and their pals explore the meat industry.

After you get done there, head over to Grocery Store Wars and check out Cuke Skywalker and friends as they battle against Darth Tater.

Friday, February 29, 2008

55 Fiction Friday! February 29, 2008

All the details on what 55 Fiction is and how to play are at the end of the post. Come on, you can do it!


There was a blogger with block
Stress built with each tick of the clock
No matter her drive
She could not fifty-five
She thought to herself, “What a crock!”

This blogger fashioned a rhyme
Hoping it’d work for this time
Feeling immense shame
Hoping it isn’t lame
And that no one calls it a crime.

--There is a new post this week at I Paid For That--

55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here.. You can also click on the 55 Fiction label below to see what Wordy Bitch and Wordy Bitch readers have done in the past.
Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Random Thought #10 - MRIs

I once heard the experience of having an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) described as follows:

Take a metal ironing board minus its cover and put it down on the ground. Stretch out on it with a metal wastebasket on your head. Have someone beat on the wastebasket with a rubber mallet for at least 20 minutes while you stay completely still.

This is an excellent description.

A friend's husband is having this procedure done today. Please feel free to support him by having your own faux-MRI.

Friday, February 22, 2008

55 Fiction Friday! February 22, 2008

All the details on what 55 Fiction is and how to play are at the end of the post. Come on, you can do it!

Her skin was bright and clear; her hair shiny and soft. The whole grains, lean meats, and boatloads of fruits and vegetables were healthy and aided in her weight loss.

She considered, happily, that she was going to save a fortune in future medical bills.

Unfortunately, she was spending that savings now on air fresheners.

55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here.. You can also click on the 55 Fiction label below to see what Wordy Bitch and Wordy Bitch readers have done in the past.
Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It Ain't Easy Bein' Green

Over the course of the past few years, I’ve been making some greenish changes in my life (and not just the new blog color!). Along with the seemingly never-ending quest to eat less (making a smaller, leaner Ima), I’ve been trying to consume less in other ways. I want a smaller, leaner life. More balance, less excess. I’m making the move to a greener existence.

I’m buying less packaged foods. By focusing on the outer edges of the grocery store, I’m purchasing foods that have less packaging. I still hit the aisles because I do need some convenience items but I try to stay away from overly packaged goods. I’m buying in bulk when I can and when it makes sense. I’m fine-tuning my grocery shopping in an attempt to not throw away food because it’s spoiled. I could go on and on about my love of the FoodSaver for protecting food from spoilage and freezer burn but Duchess Jane has already covered that topic completely AND with pictures. I make stock from chicken, ham, and beef bones (shrimp is next!) along with peelings from my veggies. There are articles on easy stock making here and here. I’m buying some organic foods.

General shopping:
I’m purchasing less stuff. I’ve never been much of a shopper, so that helps. I use lists to keep me away from those impulse purchases. I try to only buy those things I need and/or love. My new peep-toe black pumps fall into both of those categories!

Gasoline Consumption:
I play a little game with myself since, admittedly, I drive one of those shame-inducing larger vehicles. I have a gauge that tells me what my current gas mileage is. Sure, it does the average, too, but by keeping my eye on the current number, I can see that gunning it makes it go down (duh) while a slow, steady pressure on the gas pedal has less of a bad effect on my mileage. It’s an ongoing contest with myself to see how high I can keep it. I try to figure out the shortest route to where I’m going and I combine trips as much as possible.

Electrical/Water Consumption:
I suck at this. I’m working on it. I leave the TV on when I’m going to sleep; although I do put it on sleep timer. I have a hard time remembering to turn the water off while I’m brushing my teeth but am working on that one, too. I’m slowly but surely replacing my light bulbs with these super-efficient, long lasting ones. They last for YEARS.

Existing Stuff:
I’m trying to give away much of the stuff I have in my home that I don’t need or love. If I feel “eh” about it, it’s going to end up at Hannah Home or Goodwill sometime soon. I’m not going all FlyLady about it (she scares me) but I’m trying to get rid of at least five things each weekday. MrWurdi’s son was talking last year about people who let their stuff own them. He’d been preparing to hike the Appalachian Trail and was, therefore, figuring his bare necessities so I suppose that had him pondering what he (we) really need. We end up accumulating so much stuff that we soon have to live in a bigger place or rent storage to keep up with all that stuff. We spend large quantities of our time maintaining and repairing our stuff. With all the time and money and effort we spend on our stuff, it ends up being our stuff owning us rather than us owning it. I will not be owned by my stuff.

We’re just getting started on this. Our local pick-up doesn’t have a large range of items they pick up for recycling but I suppose every little bit helps.

How Green Are You?
NPR has a neat, little quiz to help show you how green you are. The Consumer Consequences game asks questions about your lifestyle. While you play the game, it keeps up with how many planet "Earths" of natural resources it would take to sustain the 6.6 billion people on this one Earth - if everyone lived the way you do.

I know I’m not going to live completely green. I drive an Avalanche and a ’77 Corvette (with a high performance engine). That’s not at all green. So, I make the changes I can and am willing to make. I also try to balance the “me stuff” by doing for others. Whether it’s raising funds for breast cancer research with Team GDT or donating goods or volunteering for a local clinic or goofing off, improving my vocabulary, and donating food to hungry people or just trying to help my family when I can, I try to make it all even out. Balance, not fanaticism about anything.

I’m always looking for ways I can be more green. Any ideas?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

From Ima's Kitchen - The Best Carrot Cake EVER

A while back, Chef H aka Wormy, asked me to make a carrot cake for the birthday sillybration of one of our friends. I did what I usually do when asked to make something I haven't already made. I looked at about 50 recipes and came up with something that is a combination of most of them. I admit, I was nervous. The folks at this party know food. Hell, Chef H cooks for us on a regular basis and oh.my.god. can Wormy cook. I was told that this was The Best Carrot Cake EVER. It didn’t have a name prior to the party. That seems like a good one.

The Best Carrot Cake EVER

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups grated carrots
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese , softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9x13 inch pan with canola oil.

Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; then, make a well in the center and add sugar, oil, applesauce, eggs and vanilla. Mix these ingredients together with a wooden spoon until they’re smooth.

Don’t lick the spoon. That would be horrible. That would be awful. You’d hate it. It’s not good for you. If you choose to disregard my advice, get a fresh spoon for further stirring because… well, ewww…

Stir in the carrots and pineapple.

NOTE: You can add the chopped pecans here, too, but I prefer to put them on the top of the cake so the folks who don’t like nuts can easily avoid them. The freaks. Walnuts are also okay but could be bitter so why risk it? Also, if your nuts are bitter it might… um, nevermind. This is not the right place for a sexual innuendo, is it?

Pour the batter into the prepared 9x13 inch pan and bake for about 45 minutes.

Do not run your finger around the almost empty bowl and through the batter for another taste. Use a spatula. You get more batter that way.

Allow the cake to cool.

While the cake is cooling, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth then add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until creamy. (Another bad place for a sexual innuendo.) Frost the cake, then sprinkle the pecans on top.

Again, if you’re going to conduct quality control to guarantee a good dessert for those lucky enough to get some of your cake, I recommend using a spatula.

I make a decorative edging with the nuts so there are a few pieces of cake that are completely nut free. You know, for those freaky people don’t want nuts because they’re already nuts because they don’t like nuts. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, who am I to judge? Nuts.

Monday, February 18, 2008

New Post!

There's a new post at I Paid For That.

Wormy (aka ChefH)has been riding me about some recipes so I'll try to get them posted here tonight.

I'm also feeling a bit green and that has nothing to do with my dinner.

Friday, February 15, 2008

55 Fiction Friday! February 15, 2008

All the details on what 55 Fiction is and how to play are at the end of the post. Come on, you can do it!

You Say 'Bitch' Like It's A Bad Thing
Meredith sang:

Bitch. Lover. Child. Mother. Sinner. Saint. Shameless.

Hell. Dream. Nothing in between.
All these characteristics have been admired.

“…take me as I am
this may mean you'll
have to be a stronger man.”

Bitch. Tease. A goddess, on my knees.
Trying to be there for hard times.

Sometimes just being yourself is hard.

55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here.. You can also click on the 55 Fiction label below to see what Wordy Bitch and Wordy Bitch readers have done in the past.
Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Friday, February 08, 2008

55 Fiction Friday! February 8, 2008

All the details on what 55 Fiction is and how to play are at the end of the post. Come on, you can do it!

Strange creatures emerged from the glowing light. One had hooves for feet. Another creature resembled a wolf yet walked erect. While Jill watched in horror, they reached out, grabbing her lover. Seemingly drugged, he went with them. He joined them in their strange, colorful land only returning home for short visits.

Damn World of Warcraft.

55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here.. You can also click on the 55 Fiction label below to see what Wordy Bitch and Wordy Bitch readers have done in the past.
Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Friday, February 01, 2008

55 Fiction Friday! February 1, 2008

All the details on what 55 Fiction is and how to play are at the end of the post. Come on, you can do it!

The young woman strode into the library. Her golden hair shimmered brightly as she walked up to the counter and stated her need.

“I’d like a cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate shake.”

Frowning at her, the librarian responded, “This is a library.”

Chastened, the blonde whispered, “I’d like a cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate shake.”

55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here.. You can also click on the 55 Fiction label below to see what Wordy Bitch and Wordy Bitch readers have done in the past.
Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

From Ima's Kitchen - Split Pea Soup

I used to always take the shortcut of using the boxed or canned broths when I made soup. Then, I read two interesting and, sometimes contradictory, articles on making your own stock. The first one was Michael Ruhlman's and he proposed making it in the oven. It seemed like a much simpler method than simmering on the stove all day so I tried it with the turkey at Thanksgiving. I also read an article called "Stock Tips" by Janet Fletcher of the San Francisco Chronicle. Between the two articles, I came up with my own method - a mishmash of everything I'd read.

I L o v e H o m e m a d e S t o c k. It is completely worth the effort.

Just this week, I made ham stock with two ham bones I'd frozen a few weeks ago. I guess it would be more honest to say that I helped make it. MrWurdi stepped up and pitched in with this one. I've been working way too much and he picked up the slack, repeatedly, on the making of the ham stock.

Today, I wanted to make split pea soup so I consulted about forty recipes and came up with a recipe I could almost call my own. I probably need to give credit to those other forty but I couldn't tell you what ideas came from which cookbook, website, or recipe card so I'll just say, "Thanks, everyone!"

I would like to note, for the record, that I did not talk to Duchess Jane while making this soup and, so, managed to avoid scalding my face.

Here's what I did:

Ima Wurdibitsch's Split Pea Soup
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 big handful of baby-cut carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice***
1 pound dried split peas
About 3 quarts of ham stock
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup diced ham


In a large heavy pan, saute onions and carrots in oil until they get a bit soft. Then, add the peas, stock, and bay leaves. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about three hours. When the peas get soft, run your immersion blender (finally got one!) through it a bit to let some of the peas thicken the soup. Add the diced ham and continue simmering and stirring, until the ham is heated through. Discard the bay leaves.

This recipe fits the criteria for the Weight Watcher's Core Plan.

Here's a picture of the finished soup. It's in a really small bowl so, for size reference the carrot pieces are about a quarter-inch big.

*** If you're not familiar with the baby-cut carrot conspiracy or the response from the World Carrot Museum, click the links!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not Exactly a Standard 55 Fiction Friday - January 11, 2008

Blogging’s stale and posting’s slow
I’m lacking my inblogspiration
There’ll soon be an overhaul
Perhaps, worthy of an ovation.

Today I’m skipping the regular post
(My weekly Fifty-Five endeavor)
Maybe you’re uninterested in this
And muttered, disgusted, “Whatever.”

Onward, with unwavering resolve
I’m forcing this silly rhyme
It’s completely unresistable
To fifty-five one more time.

New look, new goals, new posts - coming soon!

Friday, January 04, 2008

55 Fiction Friday! January 4, 2008

It's the first 55 of the New Year!
The 55s from MrWurdi and I were written last week but never posted.

All the details on what 55 Fiction is and how to play are at the end of the post. Come on, you can do it!

Roxie Rufus did!

Here's my 55 Fiction that I wrote last week and neglected to post:
Dr. Seuss Had It All Wrong

The hectic holiday time passed. Kids and grandkids returned to their homes. Turning to the love of my life, I took his hand in mine. Finally, we’re alone. Longingly looking into each other’s eyes, we realized – his knee was acting up and I was down in my back.

That’s how the Grinch really stole Christmas.

Without seeing mine first, MrGrinch wrote this last week:
Time Is Ever Fleeting

It has been forever since a good night sleep. And the stress has manifested itself in my mood and physical well-being. I walk with a limp and have seen disappointment in so many young eyes. Less money to give; it all seems painful. Growing old and missing the joy of Christmas past.

Christmas, Bah Humbug.

Despite the whining, we both really did have a great holiday. We stayed super busy with family and friends. I apologize for the lack of blogging. I haven't even read any blogs in weeks. That's changing. I have GOALS for the New Year.

We have a newcomer to 55 Fiction Friday - Roxie Rufus! She wrote several 55s. Unfortunately, I can't access them right now and will have to add them later so be sure to check back for them.

55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here.. You can also click on the 55 Fiction label below to see what Wordy Bitch and Wordy Bitch readers have done in the past.
Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.