Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I wanted to tell you as an addendum to my last post about healthy weight loss that Fucoxanthin is a seaweed that is scientifically proven to raise your metabolism. I've used it and I think it works. And it's all natural with no side effects.

The Garden of Life brand is called FucoThin.

Healthy Weight Loss

Did you know that just by eating breakfast when you get up, you can speed up your weight loss? That's sounds pretty simple, and it is!
Here's the secret to weight loss....move in closer, listen up closely, here it is... there is no secret!! We've known it all along. The calories that you burn have to be more than the calories you consume.
I know we all know that. And, I also know that its hard to put it all together and know which diet really works and what supplements a person should be taking and the best time of day to exercise. So, I'm going to break it down for you.

First let me tell you just a little about my dieting history. I've never been overweight. I have been really thin at times, a little chubby at times, pregnant once, and on the verge of anorexia once.

As a teen, my dad would every now and then call a family meeting and tell us that we've become spoiled and we need to get back to basics (never mind that we were poor and didn't have much! But ok Dad!) So we'd all have to start a new workout regimen. For a couple of weeks when I was in eighth grade, he made us all run around White Rock Lake....before school....without breakfast first. That's when I learned what dry heaves are. So, we'd all run several miles, get in the truck when he decided we had enough, and then he would cheerfully call out, "Who wants a big donut?"...Me! Pick me! I do! That's just one example of my dad's crazy fitness plan. But, I did learn a love for fitness from him.

I took an aerobics class in college for a pe credit and loved it! I joined a gym and after my son was born I decided it would be fun to teach aerobics. Actually, I really just thought it would be a good way to earn enough extra money to buy workout clothes. PLUS, you get a FREE membership to the gym! Yipppeeee! I loved it and started teaching all over Dallas. Then, I thought it would be cool to be a personal trainer. And it was for awhile. So, at one point I was teaching about 15 classes a week and training people, AND lifting weights, AND closely monitoring my fat intake. I got all my diet info from reading fitness magazines. For some reason, I decided to only allow 10% of my calories to be from fat.

I had gotten to the point where I was working out ALL the time, eating a decent breakfast then eating again around 4 pm after all my classes, clients, and personal workout. I would drive home trying to not fall asleep at the wheel and then think 'Man, I saved up all these calories all day, I can eat a pretty big dinner.' I was doing all that and I had no energy and I couldn't do anything to lose weight. I met a PhD in molecular biology who does nutrition counseling and hired him to help me. He told me something. It really works and I'm going to share it with you. He told me I was not eating enough fat, protein, and calories. Thank God!!!!! I already knew I couldn't eat less and I for sure couldn't workout any more. So this is what he told me to do:

Our metabolism is the highest its ever going to be all day long the minute you wake up. It requires a tremendous amount of energy just to wake up. Then, as the day goes on, your metabolism gradually starts slowing down. If you workout, your metabolism will briefly speed up and then slow down even further than if you hadn't exercised. Also eating raises your metabolism. It requires some energy to digest food.

2. So, you should eat small meals frequently. For example, For a 1500Kcal diet, maybe eat 300 calories 5 times/day. This will keep your metabolism going all day.

3. When you eat, try to divide your plate into 4ths. You should have a protein, a starchy carb, and 2 veggies (or sub a fruit) one cooked and one raw. At least have a protein with your carb to keep your blood sugar from spiking. When your blood sugar spikes, your body releases insulin. Insulin pushes the sugar into your cells. Too much sugar causes your body to store fat.

4. Eat like your eating a rainbow!! Try to eat foods from the whole color spectrum to assure you're getting the maximum number of nutrients. Different colors offer different nutrients.

5. If you have a history of disease in the family or you workout alot you need even more fruits and veggies than every one else. Believe it or not, exercise actually increases the number of free radicals in your body. Think about it, when you run, you're improving your cardiovascular fitness which means you can utilize oxygen more efficiently. The free radicals are a by product of oxygen consumption. Don't stop exercising. It's important!!! Just eat more fruits and veggies, otherwise, you might have a killer body but be called dog face!! You don't want that!

Here's an example of what I ate and immediately dropped 5 pounds.

Upon arising: a bowl of cereal with goat's milk and 1/2 banana

midmorning: small can of tuna, a few crackers, and the other half of that banana.

early afternoon: 2 slices of cheese, 2 Ry-Krisp crackers and pickled okra

mid afternoon: apple with peanut butter (un-hydrogenated of course)

dinner: 1/2 bbq chicken breast, small caesar salad, broccoli with cheese, a little pasta or roll (never both!!). I eat this on a small plate and don't measure anything. I only eat what will fit on the plate.

That is easy breezy and I promise if you do that, you will lose weight!!

You're welcome! :)

Leave a comment and let me know how it goes. Or leave a comment if you have any questions.
BTW, a friend of mine followed the Perricone diet which is basically what I've told you with more info and how to look younger with diet as well. My friend, Melanie lost 150 pounds following this diet. Check it out!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Is chivalry really gone?

This may be a sensitive subject, but I've become increasingly aware of the fact that you don't see a lot of chivalry from guys much anymore. I know there are some guys out there who are chivalrous but, I gotta say... I haven't seen a lot of it lately.

I was at Home Depot last week. I was making a raised garden bed. I'll tell you how I did it later. I bought about 6 large bags of garden soil. I had it on one of those big carts. Man, it was pretty heavy too! Right by my truck was a couple of guys hanging around with their wives and kids chatting, just milling around really. Not one of them offered to help me load it. I thought 'Dang! I should have worn those ratty shorts and halter top. THAT would have gotten them loaded. Then I thought 'Maybe they don't want to help because their wives are jealous types and will be angry. Hmmmm...' I would be irritated with my man if he DIDN'T offer to help.

I was mildly irritated at male society after that little interchange. I let it go, then last Sunday I went to Home Depot again to get more dirt (that bed is bigger than I thought!). Again, guys, INCLUDING guys that actually work there allowed me to load up all those heavy bags without even an offer of help., I'm seeing an annoying pattern!!

Today, I went to a local gardening center and bought 6 good sized plants and a bag of ferti-lome. There just happened to be one of their landscapers sitting down right beside me. I clumsily pick up my purchases and begin carrying it to my truck. He NEVER even gets out of the chair!! The lady who owns the place offers to carry it for me, but that's not the point.

Is it just me or has anyone begun to notice this phenomenon as well? Maybe the feminist movement has gotten our guys gunshy about helping the ladies. Maybe they are afraid of being hit with a sexual harassment suit. Maybe there is too much display of lack of courtesy and respect on tv. Or maybe parents just aren't teaching their boys chivalry anymore. I don't know, but I don't like it!

For the guys, most of us like to be treated like ladies. When we're treated like ladies, we like to take care of our men.

I only hope my son grows into a chivalrous gentleman regardless of society's norm.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Brown Recluse Bites

Last night, Robbie was bitten by a brown recluse spider. ooooohhhhhh!!!! Oh My Gosh!! you're thinking. I know!! So was I!

Here's what happened and then I'll tell you what I learned.

He got into bed and all of a sudden was thrashing around making all sorts of attention getting noises. I was ignoring him because I was annoyed at him for earlier snapping at me. Our conversation went like this...

Me: "Don't snap at me!!"
Him: " I didn't snap at you!"
Me: "Yes, you did!"
Him: "No, I didn't!"

You can see where that's going. Nowhere really. We've been married 20 years this August and we work together. Trust me, that conversation was pretty tame as you can probably imagine.

Anyway, so we're in bed and then he's thrashing and I'm ignoring and he says "I just got bitten by a spider, it's right here in the bed tell me what you think it is." Well, I will tell you, that as a country girl, spiders don't bother me much. HOWEVER, I do NOT want to be in bed with one!!

So, then, now I'm thrashing around and catch the spider on a knitting magazine. Then, I catch it with some tiny little pliers. I don't really know what a brown recluse looks like at this point. Robbie is all worried and I tell him. "No, it's not a brown recluse." The whole time I'm thinking, 'hmmmm, I wonder if this is a brown recluse'. I'm a good wife like that.

So, I put the spider in a jar just in case a trip the ER requires a specimen viewing. Plus, as a homeschooling mom, I'm used to looking for educational opportunities where they arise. I grab my nifty new phone with internet, head back to bed and look up pictures of brown recluse spiders. The picture at the top of this post looks EXACTLY like the spider I have in a jar!!

So, then I look up treatments for brown recluse bites. I will pass this on to you, in case you ever find yourself or your snappy husband in this predicament.

Brown Recluse spiders have a scientific name but I won't tell you what it is. Seriously, who cares, right?? It's a Brown Recluse! They are pretty mild mannered little creatures that aren't aggressive unless they feel threatened, For instance, if someone, say lays on top of them or puts their foot on them while they are just minding their own business in your shoe, sock, or bed. Most bites, I learned, occur when someone is in bed and rolls over on them.  Lesson 1...Check your bed for spiders. That's the kind of thing that makes you go "muahaa!"

If you happen to get a bite, you'll feel a very mild sting and then it won't really hurt at all. Which is what Robbie said. Then, in most cases, nothing happens. In fact, a lot of people get bitten without even realizing it. Wow!!! Who knew? But, in some cases, between 1 and 8 hours, people begin to feel itchy and then intense pain. That's because, the venom in the bite actually liquefies human tissue. eewwww!

But, the really bad pictures and scary stories that we've all heard generally don't happen. And when they do, it's caused by an infection. Not the bite. A lot of MRSA cases have been misdiagnosed as Brown Recluse bites. My mom has MRSA and she initially thought it was a spider bite. It wasn't.

Another interesting thing to note is that there really isn't any effective medical treatment for brown recluse bites. Antibiotics don't work because its neither a bacteria or a virus (not that antibiotics are anti-viral). But, I did read that a strong immune system is important and also a paste of baking soda draws out the toxin as does charcoal. I don't think charcoal briquettes would help, but you can get charcoal capsules at the health food store. The paste is 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Do you know that I'm out of baking soda?

Anyway, it didn't matter, because Robbie is just fine. I came back in the room and asked him if it was itchy or painful and he said "No, and I didn't snap at you!"

"Fine, if you're leg falls off in the middle of the night, don't come crying to me!" Because I'm a good wife like that! :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Originally uploaded by
I love this car!!!!!!!! I want to drape myself over it. I will happily rub my face on it smiling like I've died and gone to heaven. I wonder if the man who owns would mind if I just hugged it for awhile?


Friday, May 21, 2010

We got change all right!

My brother married a girl he really didn't know very well. She was a little negative, needy, and very manipulative. We tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. We welcomed her in all our family functions, hugged her, and hung out with her. No one ever said they didn't like her, but my brother one day asked me to tell him why the family wasn't as in love with her as he was. I said (BIG MISTAKE here on my part) "Since you asked, I'll tell you. She's a little negative. She speaks badly of everyone in the family. It's not endearing." To which he replied, "She's just repeating what others in the family are saying!!!" It doesn't matter! Families can bicker, fight, and disagree. But, families will defend each other, by God, to outsiders.

This my friends is the point I'm making.....Our president is going to other countries and leaders and speaking badly of us. It's disgusting and absolutely traitorous!

The Mexican president spent an afternoon lecturing our president about our immigration policies. How dare he!! Our president spent the afternoon telling him he's right and we have no right to enforce our own laws. Double how dare he!!

Firstly, Arizona's law is not new. It's simply a way to enforce a federal law already in place.

Secondly, it very specifically prevents any sort of discrimination. The major Washington critics of the new law admitted they haven't even read it. They adamently oppose it and its something they wouldn't support but they don't even really know what's in it. This little bit of information is extremely important. It tells me they're a bunch of buffoons!! I don't know about you, but I'm getting more than a little irritated at my elected representatives passing laws and speaking for me to other countries without knowing what they're even talking about. They apparently can't read in Washington!! They apparently don't listen either! The majority of Americans are supportive of Arizona's new law.

Thirdly, Mexico doesn't give us carte blanche in their country. If you're there illegally, they put you in jail and deport you! Without due process.

Fourthly, it needed to be done. Arizona has the highest rate of illegals, kidnapping, and drug trafficking. Are we not going to allow them to defend themselves?? Again, it is already a federal law!! They didn't create some half baked, redneck law to go round up everybody that might be from another country! They simply created a law that allowed them to enforce a law that is already in place. Police officers already ask for ID when they pull you over. WE as citizens already have to show identification if we get stopped by the police. Should we now refuse and claim that its discriminatory??

And lastly (deep breath here because its a biggie) they are here ILLEGALLY!!
Why, oh why in God's name do the liberals want them here?? The very fact that they are here is demonstrative of the fact, they don't feel a need to assimilate and follow our laws. If they did they would go through the proper channels and come here legally like immigrants have done for hundreds of years.

At what point, then, do you draw the line? You can come into our country illegally but you can't steal anything. You can sell drugs but you can't be a prostitute. You can steal but you can't murder. You can murder but you can't write hot checks.
It makes no sense. So, then if we allow them to break one law how do we prevent them from breaking all our other laws?

Not only that, thanks to our great leaders in Washington, all the illegals are emboldened. They're protesting on our streets and claiming that we owe them healthcare, education, social security and citizenship. Honestly, I don't, at this point, know why they even want to be citizens. They apparently have more rights than we do! And they get it all paid for by those of us who are following the rules and abiding by the laws.

And the leader of the American people should have our back!!
He just threw us under the bus the Mexican president was driving. SHAME ON HIM!! nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Btw, my brother and his wife are no longer married in case you were wondering. It didn't have anything to do with us!! As it turns out, she...... oh, never mind. Its a long story and they should be the ones to tell it. :b

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Money From Home (part 2)

Yesterday, I told you how we started our swimming pool business from home. I forgot to mention that we also had a sign put on the back of our truck. We also had shirts made. When in business, advertising is extremely important!! You have to let people know what you're doing. After 6 years in our pool business, in a small town, we still have people tell us they didn't even know we were here.

But, let's move on. I'll tell you how we changed from a home based business to a traditional store front. When we were working from home, we were just a service company. We tried to get into some retail and offered free home delivery but it was hard and people like to go buy products. So, that part didn't work out. Which reminds me of somerhing else important to think about when you're deciding what you want to do. You want to fill a void somewhere. Meaning, you want to offer products or services that are unique or lacking in your community.

If you'll recall from yesterday, my husband was selling cars for a GM company. Every day, he would tell me how much he hated his job. I would respond with "Quit!! We'll open our pool store and it will be fine." He wouldn't do it. He was afraid of quitting his crappy job and losing his increasingly smaller albeit steady income. So you know, there is some risk involved when you're in business for yourself. As you may know, GM has had their own financial struggles. So, quit, shmit! He got laid off! He called me while I was working and told me. What I didn't tell you is every night, that man would lie in bed at night worried about money and his job. He'd already made it through several rounds of lay offs.

So, that was a PERFECT time to open a store! :) So, the absolute first thing we did was figure out how much money we needed up front. We had to figure rent, utilities, signage, office eqipment, and oh yeah! INVENTORY!!

Once we did that, we decided we didn't want to go into debt. So, we started small. That's worked very well for us, but we don't have any competition. Think about that for YOUR business. How will you set yourself apart from the competition? We started with about $9,000. Once we had a store front, sales reps started calling on us. I called them and told them we just opened a retail location and asked if they had any display items for free. You know what? They do!! And they start giving you all kinds of stuff to promote their products.

Now, I still go out and do all the service work, along with Jake and Melanie. And Robbie mans the store. It's like our little home away from home! (We have high speed internet there!)

Now, on Sunday night, Robbie actually looks forward to Monday instead of the cranky dread he was feeling before. He's much easier to get along with too!

Which brings me to one other thing.When you're in business for yourself, you generally will have to work harder, longer hours than if you work for someone else. I think its worth it, though.

"Profits are better than wages!" - Jim Rohn

Tomorrow, I'll tell you how we got into network marketing. You won't want to miss it! It can change your life. It did ours.Search for zig ziglar

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Money From Home (part one)

I have never in my entire life owned a swimming pool. I have, however, my entire life WANTED a swimming pool. I grew up in the country and my parents didn't have much money. Every time my dad dug a stock tank or had a back hoe available to him, we begged for him to just fill in the hole with cement and we'd have a pool. Bada Bing, Bada Boom! Instant, easy pool! Our very own cement pond. As you'll recall from the very first sentence, I never had a pool. Ergo...he always said "no".

My husband, on the other hand, grew up with a pool. He had to clean it, love it, pet it and call it George. Ergo, he never wanted a pool as an adult. How did we ever get married????

So, we've gone through all our married life without a pool. I've also alway
s thought it would be fun to own a
family business. Before we had
kids, my
husband told me that he
wanted to homeschool our children. I was like "No! That's freaky amish weird, and I'm not doing that." BTW, our homeschooled son graduates in 2 weeks. I'll tell you all about that next week. But,
right after that, we watched a television show called How'd They Do That?. On the show, there was a family that homeschooled. They did school for 3 hours a day and then the whole family packed up and went to work in the family restaurant. The kids were super smart and I immediately changed my mind on the homeschooling thing. I also LOVED the idea of the family working together. But, I honestly didn't know what we could do. My husband was in sales. I was a stay-at-home mom that taught fitness classes. I knew for sure we didn't want a restaurant. I just didn't know of anything that we could all participate in.

So, years went by and his family bought a swimming pool service business. As they started talking about how it works, my husband starting getting excited about it. We live about 2 hours from them and there isn't a pool store in our town of about 36,000 people. We started talking about it. I informed him that I know NOTHING about pools. We decided for the sake of making a living tha
t he would have to continue at his jobs selling cars and I would go out and clean pools.

We bought about $300 worth of supplies and chemicals to get started, gave our business a name, and ran an ad in the local newspaper and waited for the phone to ring. Meanwhile, I apprenticed myself to my in-laws so I could learn the basics. We would go once a week to visit and I would essentially work with them for free for a few hours and learn something new each time.

When we got our first customer, we decided we needed a way to bill people. So, we found a software that was like Quickbooks for pool proffesionals. So, we ordered that. That makes life super simple for billing. I understand Quickbooks and Peachtree offer the same thing for other businesses. I'm sure there are other options out there too. But, those are the ones I know of.

Our first customer gave us a check for Pearson Pools. Our bank doesn't know tha
t we have a business so we needed to do something about that. Also, we needed a way to separated business and personal expenses. So, we had to get a DBA (Doing Business As) from the county courthouse. We also had to get a federal ID # and a State Sales Tax # (because the government needs a taste). When you're getting your DBA, you have to know if you want to be a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, LLC, or Corporation. It's a good idea to not do what I did and just figure it out on the fly at the courthouse. They can't tell you anything about the benefits or drawbacks. So, it behooves you to research that beforehand.

We then, contacted the yellow pages people to run an ad there. When you're working from home, you have to be proactive and hunt these reps down. They don't know how to find
 you and they generally don't make housecalls.

Then, we found distributors for our supplies so we could buy them wholesale.

We continued on like that for 5 years, working from home.

This arrangement could work forever if we wanted to continue doing this. I have no doubt that we would continue to grow. We've had some people helping us with the cleaning in the summer. One of my dearest friends, Melanie, has been working for us after we'd been in business for a year. No
w, our teenage son works for us as well.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you how we progressed into an actual store front business last summer.

FYI, we STILL don't have a pool. Now, I'm not sure I want one.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This evening on tv

My husband makes me watch the Texas Rangers every night they play, which is really every night. But, he'll switch over to the Red Sox and Yankees games during commercials. Derek is cute and now I'm sharing this with you to keep you busy during the game. Have a good evening.

Home, Sweet Home....Now Get To Work!

In this economy, it occurs to me that people are looking for ways to make more money. Also, there are a lot of stay-at-home moms that would like to help with the family's finances or just have a little extra money to do fun stuff.

This week, I'll be writing about ways one can go about starting a home based business. I'll also be telling you what we've done. Our family owns two successful home based businesses. One is a network marketing business that we just love. And the other is a traditional business that has evolved over five years into a store front business. We're very proud of the fact that my husband was able to quit his job selling cars (which he hated) and come to work full time in the business. And, even better, we didn't have to go into debt to do it.

I'll be telling you what we did and what other successful business owners have done.

In the meantime, here are some things to get you started thinking about your business.

First and seemingly the easiest, but usually not, is what do you want to do? I know a few people that are so "with it" they know exactly what they want to do and how to get it. Most of us, however, are just sitting around thinking "Hmmmm....I want to do something, but what?" That was me, honestly.

There are different types of home based businesses.
Some are service type businesses that require you to leave home to do the actual work and basically you're just officing out of the house. This might not be a good option for someone with small children and lack of child care.
Network marketing is a good choice for someone who likes people. If you are shy, quiet, and introverted, this might not be a good option for you. But, according to Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki, this is one of the least expensive ways to start a home based business and reap the most returns. Most network marketing companies require very little start up capital and someone who is ambitious and likes helping people can literally make millions.
Other types of businesses could include computer work, mail order, crafts, etc.

The list is endless for someone who is creative and ambitious. Sometimes, an idea just falls into your lap, which is what happened for us. I'll tell you how it happened tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here is a really good book. Why We Want You To Be Rich, by Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cuppa Joe

It's Sunday morning. As a funny little side note, I typed Sinday. Hmmmm....wonder if that says something about me? Nah!!

My husband, Robbie, and I along with our teenage son own and operate a swimming pool business. We have a retail store and we also do service work. Its just us and a very, very, very dear friend Melanie working the business. You probably know Melanie. She knows everybdy. I'll have to tell you her story soon. She lost 150# following the Perricone diet. She's kept it off for years too!!

Goodness, I'm easily distracted! I told you all THAT so I could tell you we only have Sundays off. Soooo, I relly relish the quiet Sunday morning with hot cup of tea sitting on our porch. It overlooks our pasture with our horses and trees and a couple of ponds (fyi, we call them tanks, as in stock tanks). Its very peaceful. I'm having tea right now sitting in my favorite chaise by my window listening to the birds while my guys are still asleep.

I used to not like tea. At all. Of any kind. Which is weird being Southern and all. You know we like our sweet tea down here. I always WANTED to like tea. I would buy box after box and keep trying and hating it. I had read that tea is very good for you. PLUS, people on tv who drink tea seem so much more "with it" and peaceful than coffee drinkers. That appealed to my yoga sensibilities.

Meanwhile, I thoroughly enjoy a cup of coffee with cream. One day, on a January morning, I was drinking my coffee flipping through a Yoga Journal magazine and found an article about giving up coffee as a New Year's resolution. There were product reviews and I will tell you that I tried them and they're GOOD! So, I'm going to share with you.

Yerba Mate Royale tea is my favorite tea ever!! Its higher in anti-oxidants than green tea. It can steep for hours and not become bitter. It is sweetened with the stevia leaf right in the bags. It has less caffeine than coffee, cokes, and black tea but more than the amount in green tea.

Cafix is a very good instant coffee substitute. Its naturally caffeine free. It tastes a lot like real coffee but its made from barley, chicory, figs, and beet root. So, I don't know where the coffee flavor comes from but its good. I like to make lattes with it. Take a spoonful of Cafix, a teaspoon of cocoa, a packet or two of stevia, and a splash of cream. Delicious!

Teeccino is good too. Its not instant. You have to brew it. Be sure you read the label on brewing!! You use way less than coffee. My friend brewed it like her regular coffee and it overflowed all over her kitchen. We like to mix it with half caffeine coffee so we get the coffee smell. I've given cups of my "herbal" coffee to some hard core coffee drinkers and they all loved it.

I don't honestly know if coffee is bad or good for us. I've read varying opinions on it. I do know there is a difference in farming in the beans with chemicals and such. So, you decide. I just want to give you a healthy, tasty alternative.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


This is my mama hen. She's been sitting on eggs for at least a week. I've been patiently waiting to have little chicks running around that I don't have to raise.

As you know, from previous posts, I allow my chickens to roam freely so as to have the freshest, best tasting, and most nutritious eggs. This practice is a gamble. As you may also know chickens are very tasty indeed.

They are also very low on the food chain.

My coop is surrounded by cattle panels so the chickens can run in and out of the coop but dogs can't. The downfall of this plan is that other small varmints can also move in and out of the cattle panel squares. So, I open the chicken coop door in the morning and then close it at night keeping all my chickens safe from nocturnal predators.

Well, last night I got home late. I'm sure you can already see where this going can't you?

I now have 12 chickens. 11 hens and 1 rooster. All but 1 hen have been roosting in my carport. That's a whole annoying story by itself. So, this one mama hen is in the nesting box. Well, I still go open the coop and close it up in hopes that they will start roosting in the coop again.

Okay, back to last night... I got home late and neglected to ask someone else to do it. This morning I opened the coop and black feathers were all over the place. Not only that, eggs were broken and scattered. :(

I was extremely disappointed as you can imagine. In case you haven't been up to speed, I have to tell you that we've had quite the possum problem. So, this morning I was ready to shoot something!! I spent all day mourning my mama hen and all her unborn babies.

Then, as I was typing this post, I heard an odd commotion outside. One chicken was running around in the dark. That's weird!! I wonder what's wrong with this weird bird?? I finally catch her which is no easy task. Ever seen that scene in Rocky where he has to chase a chicken to improve his agility? Its cuz its hard!!! So anyway, I catch her and notice that she has no chest feathers. Eeeew! But....could it be? Possibly? Maybe? I count the birds in the carport and OH MY GOSH!!! It's my dead bird back to life!!! Hip Hip Hooray! So, the poor thing lost all her babies. I'll miss the little chicks but maybe she'll still be in the mood to try it again.

I think tomorrow will be trap buying day....

Thursday, May 13, 2010


 I live with guys. Guys who eat meat. I married a meat and potatoes guy, oh and bread! Every night at dinner he says "Where's the bread? You know if we were in a restaurant, they would bring us bread." To which I respond "Then you should have taken us to a restaurant. So be grateful you even have food." But, I digress. I then gave birth to a just meat guy. I have a 17 year old son that responds to the question, 'What do you want for dinner?' with "Steak!" Every single time. *sigh*

Personally, I think I could be vegetarian. Not the real vegan type. The kind that also eats milk, eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, and quail. What???....Oh!!...then never mind. I don't want to be vegetarian. But, I could, however live without beef I think. As an aside, as a yoga practioner I've read lots about the health benefits of vegetarianism. I've tried a few times to be vegetarian, then found myself eating a Turkey Original from Schlotsky's. Then, all of a sudden, as if waking up from sleepwalking, I think "CRAP! I was gonna be a vegetarian!" Oh well, the reason I'm not vegetarian is because I keep forgetting that I'm vegetarian. That and the fact that I like to eat birds and fish. :) Again, I digress. I really have something to tell you. I'll get to it. I'll try anyway.


and we're back...

In our house, aside from the occasional trips through Schlotsky's and Taco Casa, we eat grass fed beef, free range chicken, wild caught salmon, raw dairy, and eggs from free roaming chickens that we raise ourselves.

Those are my chickens in the above picture. I'm new to blogging so I just learned how to add pictures and tweak them. It's all very exciting and is also now one of those mad skills I was telling you about earlier.
Here's a sweet hook-up

This book tells you how to raise your own pastured poultry.

Okay.....Now, back to the meat of the story.

We eat grass fed beef, free range chicken, wild caught salmon, and our own eggs from our chickens that are free ranging. Why do we do this?? I'll tell you.

It's way more nutritious. And, it's just common sense.

Cows are made to eat grass. That should be all you need to know. But, I'm sure you would like to know some details. Since the 1930's cows in large beef operations are finished in feedlots where they are fed all manner of unhealthy things such as candy, french fries, rotten potatoes, or even a combination of all these things. They are also fed a diet of corn and soy. The problem with the corn and soy is that they are the most genetically modified crop that U.S. grows. There's not a lot of studies on the health effects of gmo crops, but so far, it doesn't look good. When plants grow unaided, they develop immunities to harsh conditions, bugs, etc. When we and other plant eating animals eat these plants we  get the health benefits as well. GMO crops don't have to develop those immunities therefore, making them not as nutritious.

Grass fed beef is raised and finished on a diet of grass. This is what nature intended for them. Because feedlots are overcrowded and unhealthy, they have to be given hormones and antibiotics. We, then ingest those as well. The benefits to us are that grass fed beef is lower in fat. It is actually lower in fat than skinless chicken thighs. It has the same fat equivalency of wild deer and elk. It is also higher in heart healthy vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid.

Pastured or free range poultry is also better than it's commercially raised counterparts. Commercial chicken operations are overcrowded. Again, because of overcrowding, they are filled with antibiotics and hormones. I will tell you, because I've seen first hand, that chickens will eat ANYTHING. If they are cooped up in a small space, they will peck at everything. That includes their own poop and dead chickens. Soo...If you eat those chickens, you are ingesting the nutrients stored in their meat. Surely, you don't want to eat chicken poop!! Also, I just read that Europe won't even allow U.S. chickens to be imported into their countries because we chlorinate them to remove bacteria. I also know as a swimming pool business owner that chlorine is toxic. Chickens are made to eat grasses and bugs. If given the opportunity that's what they'll do and be happily disease free. The eggs they produce are healthier as well, with more vitamins d and e, along with higher levels of omega 3s than the store bought eggs. They taste a heck of a lot better too!!!! Even if you buy "free range" eggs at the store, it's not much better. To get that rating, they only have to be allowed access outside for 15 minutes a day I'm told.

And, then finally to the fish. I have to say that I do eat farm raised fish sometimes. I like tilapia and it seems you can only get it here farm raised. But, ideally, we should be eating wild caught fish. Salmon is super easy to find, just read the can or package and make sure it says "wild caught". Also, common sense. Fish were put in large bodies of water by God or Mother Nature or whatever you believe in for a reason. They can survive in the wild without the aid of humans thank you very much. So, it only makes sense to eat those things as they were intended to live. If fed as close to their natural habitat, they will be healthy and we will be healthy if we eat them that way.

I hope this has been helpful and here's another 'sweet hook-up' for you. It just makes sense. Read the Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

They're at it again!!!

Okay, so this is important!!

You have to go to Suzanne Somers blog and read about the new bill John McCain has written. Basically, Sen. McCain wants to give the FTC control over our dietary supplements. The drug companies have been lobbying for this for years. If this bill passes, our supplements will be ultra expensive or non-existent.

If you go to her blog and read it, go to the end and there's a link to contact your senator. It's super quick and easy to make your voice heard on this issue.

Here's the link to her blog:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hi-Ho, the Dairy-O!

You know what's really good? Queso and chips! Nachos! Omelettes full of gooey cheese! Hot fudge sundaes! Cold chocolate milk! Cream in my coffee! MMMMMMMM.............Good!

NOT! Well, not really. doesn't have to be that way. I'm going to tell you the problems with dairy and what you can do to continue eating your favorite foods.

The problem with dairy isn't generally the dairy itself. For the most part. Before industrialized farming became the norm, cows roamed on large pastures, ate grass and were healthy. If they weren't healthy, they were put down. Now, cows are penned in small areas, aren't allowed to graze freely, given antibiotics and hormones. Because they aren't allowed to graze in big green fields is why they need antibiotics. They are then given hormones to increase milk production and to fatten them up for beef. Also, dairy farmers use chemicals to clean their milking instruments, their barns, and the milk storage tanks!

It's become increasingly common for people to have sensitivities to foods. There is a thing called "masking" of these symptons. Basically, what that means is people have symptoms for so long or are so bombarded with allergens that they aren't even aware of them until they remove the offending food for a while and then re-introduce it. Or, they have symptoms that they link to other ailments.

Did you know that dairy consumption is linked to asthma, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and heart disease?

In addition to the problems with the farms themselves, pasteurization and homogenization have also added a negative impact on health. the protein globules in raw milk are very large. They are so large, in fact, that they can't pass the arterial walls and get into the blood stream. They are also very heat sensitive. Well, when milk is pasteurized, it is heated up. Here's an excerpt about homogenization from

 First, let me tell you how milk is homogenized. Essentially the homogenization of milk is strictly a mechanical process. The milk is forced through a small passage of 2,000 to 2,500 P. S. I. at velocities of approximately 600 to 800 feet per second. This amounts to crashing the milk globules up against a brick wall to shatter the fat globules to a fraction of their normal size.

Webster says about 'homogenized': "Reduced to small evenly distributed particles." Thus, milk does not separate into milk and cream.

Sometimes, people think they are allergic to milk. Some people truly are. However, a lot of times it's just they can't digest pasteurized, homogenized milk. Milk is also full of enzymes that start the digestive process so your body doesn't have to work so hard to digest the milk. Pasteurization and homogenization kills those enzymes.

I never really noticed any side effects from consuming dairy. My husband on the other hand was having severe IBS symptoms. (I'm sure he loves that I'm sharing that! He tells me about it all the time, however. There should be some mystery in a marriage. But that's for a different day.) I read about dairy and digestion and suggested to him that he cut out the dairy and lo and behold, his problems went away!! I started reading about raw dairy and it doesn't bother his delicate digestive system at all. Raw cheddar cheese is much tastier than the orange colored, waxy junk you get from the grocery store.

I will tell you that I've been eating the raw dairy as well. Now, when I eat regular ice cream or cheese, my stomach aches and I have indigestion for hours! So, there was a little of that masking I was telling you about. I had no idea. You can buy raw cheese at the health food store. You can't go to the store and buy raw milk however. You can go to small farms and get it though. You have to check around. I know there's one in Tioga, Tx. Leave a comment if you want their phone # and I'll look it up.

Also, I understand that goat's milk is highly digestible as well. You can find that readily at health food stores and small farms all over the country. I don't particularly enjoy goat's milk so I don't have just a whole lot to say about it. I will say this, however. My friend Sue gave us some goat milk recently and it was delicious!! It was not goaty at all so I know there is some out there. If you have some good information on goat's milk or you have goats and would like to share your information, leave it in a comment below.

There is lots of information about raw dairy on the web. Two good sites I found are and

Now, I'm off to have some herbal coffee with real cream. mmmmmmm.....good!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Oily mess

With all the hubbub in the Gulf, I started thinking about oil. Most importantly the oils we put into our bodies. The worst thing, I believe, that you can consume is hydrogenated oils. Here is an excerpt from

Let's take hydrogenated oils and see what this substance really is and why it's so incredibly bad for you. Hydrogenated oils are oils that are often healthy in their natural state, but are quickly turned into poisons through the manufacturing and processing they undergo. They take these naturally healthy oils such as palm, kernel, soybean, corn oil or coconut oil and they heat it anywhere from five hundred to one thousand degrees under several atmospheres of pressure.

They then inject a catalyst into the oil for several hours. The catalyst is typically a metal such a nickel, platinum or even aluminum. As this bubbles up into the oil the molecular structure changes and increases in density and rearranges it's molecules so that instead of a liquid at room temperature we now have either semi-solid or solid oil. This creates either partially hydrogenated or fully hydrogenated oils.

The molecules in this new product are now closer to cellulose or plastic than to oil. In fact hydrogenated oil is only one molecule away from being plastic. When you eat anything containing this material, just as the oil is now thicker and more viscous (dense), so too does your blood become thicker and more viscous right along with it. The heart now has to work so much harder to pump blood throughout the system. This is one of the major ways that consuming hydrogenated oils contributes to high blood pressure.

As you can imagine, this thicker blood with this gummy substance flowing with it can easily lodge in the arteries and build up the arterial plaque. It doesn't take anywhere near as much time as you may think for this to occur. Some studies have shown that negative health effects of eating processed foods occurs within only minutes of consuming such foods.
When I learned of this years ago, I heard a report on the news that said "This is the first generation of kids not expected to outlive their parents." As a mom that scared the crap out of me!! Number 1, I expect to live to be 120 and I don't want to be here by myself! So, I decided right then that we're absolutely not consuming hydrogenated oils. The first thing I did was start reading labels. Do you know what I found?? If you go to the grocery store and read labels you find lots and lots of food like substances with partially hydrogenated oils! Yuck! there were alot of foods we had to give up. My son was devastated that we could no longer eat Pop-Tarts. We started making food from scratch and shopping the perimeter of the store like we've all been told. It's not hard at all. Here is a sample dinner:
BBQ chicken breast on the grill
Caesar Salad
broccoli with cheese
pasta with real butter and tomatoes
You might look at that and say "Oh My Gosh! Look at all the fat!" No. Its healthy, trust me. I put real cream in my herbal coffee and I can still lose weight. It's the TRANS-FAT you have to watch out for.
After about a year, I discovered that the health food store has all my convenience foods without the hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup that I told you about last time. Now, I could buy my son organic toaster pastries and I could get taco shells again!!! Yay!! However, the health food store is very expensive! I had huge sticker shock the first time I bought groceries. I used almost my entire weekly budget on 2 bags of food!! 'We'll starve!' I thought. Then, common sense took over and I realized that we will not starve. We're just trading our cheap, junky foods for high quality, nutrient dense foods. We'll eat better just less.
THEN, my little community of friends banded together and created a co-op. We now order directly from the distributor. We pay cost plus a small percentage to the person who organizes the whole thing. So, basically we're able to buy the same food you get at the health food store for wholesale. yippee!!!!!! I can help you work on setting that up in your town if you need advice or if you're in the Gainesville, TX surrounding area and want to come by once a month, you can join ours.
It can be overwhelming to try to overhaul your diet all at once. This really should be your first step in that endeavor. It's not hard, you just have to be diligent and a little creative at first. Leave a comment if you have questions or need advice.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Radical Homemaking

Homemakers in America are under seige! They have been for about the last 40 years. A long time ago, men left the cave and hunted and brought home the bacon while the women gathered berries, tended the fire, and kept the children safe at home. Fast forward thousands of years. Moms are leaving the home to work full time jobs, leaving the children to be raised by strangers then coming home to make dinners, check homework, give baths, and put children to bed. And as a great reward, get up the next morning and repeat the entire process!

How has this improved our society? (insert waiting music here)

Could you think of anything that's improved since the feminist movement? I can't. It occurs to me that for the most part women don't know how to be homemakers. In addition, we're made to feel as if we're not contributing our part to society. I will tell you that I've been married for 20 years. I homeschool, I spent the majority of those years at home. Until just recently, I too struggled with feelings of "being lazy" because I didn't work outside the home. I recently had an epiphany. Its because we're TAUGHT to feel that way! We're being brainwashed by the public school system, tv, & government. I own a business with my husband where I work at least 40 hours a week. So this isn't just a homemaker ranting about being unappreciated.

This is about people who have lost the basic skills that truly make home where the heart is. Now THAT'S utopia!! The liberals got it all wrong. They want to transform our country into a forced utopian society where everyone goes out, works, contributes, and gets equal pay.

Home is where you're supposed to be able to renew and restore the spirit. How can that be if no one is there to welcome you home? How can your soul be nourished if you don't have good, warm food in your belly? A good friend of mine recently told her future daughter-in-law that the mom is not the head of the family. The mom is the HEART of the family! How can mom do that if she's in need of restitution herself? I'll tell you. She can't!

There are women out there at home raising their children, growing food in gardens, sewing buttons, and putting home cooked meals on the family table, and loving their husbands even when they are occassionally unlovable. Applause, Applause!! Good job! There are also women who desperately want that but truly don't know how to get it. Ask someone who is doing it! Dont ask anyone else. They are right there with you and they will tell you that you should leave your husband because you're too good for him. You're not. Unless he's violent, then of course, you ARE too good for him, so get out! Now! Otherwise, we all have faults. Then, there are a few women, some in powerful positions, who sneer at those of us who place God, and family over wealth, status symbols, and prestigious jobs.

I applaud the radical homemakers!

Friday, May 7, 2010

How Sweet!

I read a book recently called 'In Defense Of Food, An Eater's Manifesto'. It was very interesting. It tells how we as a nation have gone from eating whole foods that come from the earth to eating man made food like substances. Our food supply is becoming increasingly toxic and ever less nourishing.'s all political.

Do you know that disease is on the rise? According to the CDC in the 1960s the cancer rate was 1 in 300. Now the cancer rate is 1 out of every 2 people! It makes me wonder if in a few years, it will be 1 out of every 1!! Not only that, MS, Parkinson's, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alzheimer's, and a host of other diseases is on the rise. Think about it. You can't throw a stick without hitting someone with a disease. That number continues to rise. You probably know lots of people suffering from one of these diseases. They are all caused from inflammation and they are all linked to diet.

That's good news and bad news and bad news for us. The bad news is that our food supply is increasingly toxic. The good news is that diet is the easiest thing we can do to to prevent disease.

It can be overwhelming to try to radically change your diet in one day. It helps to do one or two things at a time so that it becomes a healthy lifestyle change. That's what we've done. I'm going to write a series of articles so that you can easily begin to make positive changes in your family's health.

The first thing is your sweetener of choice. There are so many great all- natural sweeteners there is no reason to put nasty chemicals in your body. For instance, if you read a label on the majority of food in your grocery store you'll see that one of the first 5 ingredients is high fructose corn syrup. I'm being very generous here because generally, its in the first 3 ingredients!

HFCS has a host of negative effects on our bodies. According to The Well Being Journal, HFCS is linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. It can cause fat cells to grow around the organs. In The Times, Lois Rogers writes "Fructose bypasses the digestive process that breaks down other forms of sugar. It arrives intact in the liver where it causes a variety of abnormal reactions, including a disruption of mechanisms that instruct the body whether to burn or store fat." Don't confuse High Fructoes Corn Syrup with fructose, the natural sugar found in fruit. Dr Roger Rinn claims that fruit is the most essential part of our diet.

Another very dangerous alternative to sugar are artificial sweeteners. You really should avoid putting anything artificial in your body, but one of the worst things to consume is aspartame. Aspartame is said to be toxic to the nervous system. I've seen firsthand what aspartame can do. I was at a nutrition seminar several years ago and a nurse told me that a neurosurgeon saw her drinking a diet coke. He told her that he can tell from the integrity of the brain if a person consumes artificial sweeteners. OUCH!!

Then of course, the most commonly known sweetener is sugar. It IS all natural. However, it is highly processed and highly inflammatory. You can read anything published by Suzanne Sommers, Dr Mercola, Dr Perricone, and Dr Atkins to learn more about the inflammatory effects of sugar. The basic thing you need to know about that is inflammation causes disease. Also,cancer needs sugar to thrive.

So, what's a body to do?? Well, there are so many delicious and safe alternatives. First of all is honey!! What could be more all natural than honey. It is high on the glycemic index but it is full of b vitamins and is anti-viral. It's perfect in your tea when you're feeling under the weather. It is not recommended for infants, though. Maple syrup and Molasses are also very sweet and natural and won't harm your body other than spike your blood sugar. Agave nectar has the same syrupy consistency as honey and maple but the really cool thing about it is its very low glycemic so it won't spike your blood sugar. It comes from a cactus. Stevia is a very sweet herb and tastes a bit like aspartame. I love it!! You can get it in powder, liquid, and my favorite, herb form. You only have to use a little. It's extremely sweet. Xylitol is good option. It is low glycemic and is proven to help prevent tooth decay. You can also order Somersweet from Suzanne Somers website. It comes from a mung bean extract. It's very sweet, low glycemic, and you can bake with it. She even has a dessert cookbook using Somersweet.

Be proactive about your health. Read lots and remember that food really does matter. All the cells in our bodies use food as the building blocks for every tissue. It only makes sense to put in the things it can use instead of chemicals that it has to try to decipher and filter.

I will be writing more about nutrition and health in the coming weeks. So, stay tuned if you want to take charge of your health and become less dependent on our new government run healthcare system.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mad Skills

My son and I were driving down the highway several years ago and we saw what appeared to be a carload of gangbangers driving what appeared to be their grandmother's car. We started laughing at them and joking about how funny it would be if there was a tv show called 'Pimp My Granny Car'. He said they could have old ladies on the show talking about their mad skills and sweet hook-ups. It thoroughly cracked me up and now my quest in life is to get as many mad skills and sweet hook-ups as I can. I'm going to share a few of them with you today.

Okay, first: I can run in high heels! You may applaud now. Let me just qualify this by saying that I could do this when I was in my 20s. But I have no reason to believe that I can't still do it. Sure, the knees aren't as steady as they used to be but I'm sure in a pinch, I could still run in those stilettos. I said I could, so don't argue with me!! I'm going with it. Besides, if I was ever being chased I would just take off the damn shoe and hit my attacker with it! So get off my back about not being in my 20s anymore!

Allright, moving on.....I can change the drum bearing in my dryer. I did that almost 10 years ago and the dryer is going right now as I type. That saved my husband hundreds of dollars! He's not very mechanical so he would have had to hire someone or buy a new one. I did it one day while he was at work. It took me all day. I had the whole thing in pieces all over my kitchen floor. It was quite exciting. When my husband came home, I told him what I had done. His response was "huh, okay, what's for dinnner?" What's for dinner??!? I don't think you unserstand what I had to go through! He was very lukewarm. Then, I had to replace the sink faucet in my son's bathroom. He was home when I did that and you probably know there's really nothing to it. He gushed!! For hours! What? And the dryer was a big nothing to you? Whatever. I, and now you know the heroic actions I took that day!

Hmmmm..... let's see, what else. I can change the oil and battery in a tractor. I can change the battery in my truck. I can break a horse. I can cook (not that I really want to, but I can). I can back a trailer. I can perform minor surgery on myself. I just did that last night. I had the absolute biggest splinter in my hand. It was HUGE!! It went through the base of my middle finger and into my ring finger. I had to use a razor blade to cut it out. Surgery. I had to spend the evening in recovery. That's what I told my family.

I can knit a scarf and a big, damn sweater. Baby blankets too. I can catch a chicken. I can do a spinning reverse crescent kick and downward facing dog. And.....I can blow out my hair better than my current stylist thanks to my previous stylist! I can replace a swimming pool motor and sing (but only while I'm alone and in the car.)

Oh there are other things, like eating a whole pint of ice cream in one sitting but I want to leave you in suspense so I'll leave you waiting for that. There's a cliffhanger for you. Okay, gotta go get those clothes out of the dryer....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's In A Name?

I have a confession to make......I'm not a blogger.... What?? How can that be, you ask. Well, let me tell you. Until very recently, Ive never read a blog. Well, now that I'm actually thinking about it I'm pretty sure I have unknowingly. Anyway back to what I was saying; I'm not a blogger. Ive recently found a few blogs that I really enjoy. One of which is my friend Nicki's. You should check it out:

I enjoyed Nicki's blog so much I decided there may be other blogs that I really enjoy too! Do you know what I found? There are A LOT of blogs!! Some good, some not as good, and some neglected. It occurred to me that this is EXACTLY what I needed.

I'm very conservative. *GASP!* OMG, she's conservative?..yes! And, like most Americans I watch the news. Watching the news seriously wipes me out. I go through so many strong emotions as I watch what our elected officials are doing along with what evil things in general that people are always doing to each other. Throw in an oil spill and a natural disaster, and its about all I can do not to jump back in bed, throw the covers over my head and just hide. Well, I'm busy sooooo not really an option. I really have contemplated stop watching the news and just retreat into more peaceful pursuits. It really would be so easy to do. Then, I realized how cowardly that is! If we don't watch the news, how will we know what's going on in the world? We can't make a difference and make the world a better place if aren't aware that it's all falling apart around us.

So I decided to suck it up and keep watching the news, continue listening to talk radio and occasionally retreat into my country home and enjoy those peaceful pursuits. This blog is a reflection of that. Attack/Retreat, Attack/Retreat.

Okay, that's all well and good you're thinking but what does that have to do with the name? I'm getting to that. Sheesh! I love learning new things. Every time I learn to do something I couldn't do before I joke to my family that I have mad skills. And well, I live down home. I hope to share some of those mad skills and some stories from small towns around the country during some of those retreat times I was telling you about.

With this outlet and someone to share the burden of watching our government, I think I can stay ABOVE the covers and actually be able make at least a little difference. Thanks for letting me share with you!