Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I I I I'm Stayin' Alive

The weak ones have perished but a dozen feisty crawfish remain alive! Tomorrow will be the field trip to the creek for release. Paul is warming up to them and this year he is not constantly dumping shovels of sand into the pool - hooray! Giselle likes to fly them through the air, pull them apart when they are dead, and scream when they try to pinch her. Eh, she screams when ANYONE tries to pinch her.

Monday, February 26, 2007

crawfish in the pool

It's fresh crawfish season again in the South so that means that we once again have a kiddie pool full of 2 dozen live crawfish in the backyard.
So at this point most of you are saying "oh, they're going to have a boil. I wonder if I'll be invited." First off, 2 dozen crawfish would barely feed one full-sized male. Second, these crustaceans are in a pool filled with 3 inches of de-chlorinated water and several rock caves for them to hide in. Yes, these crawfish are not for eating they are for playing with and then releasing in our local creek in a few days. We'll do this every week during crawfish season and then eagerly await it's return next year. Last year when we were releasing one of our batches we caught some BABY crawfish in our net! They were about 3/4 of an inch long and clear. I just hope that there is still water in the creek for these guys to be released into! And before I get razzed for releasing them not in their native area - this creek is a toad/mosquito/dragonfly creek NOT a fish creek since it doesn't have a true origin other than water runoff from all the surrounding neighborhoods.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Now you see it ...

Now you see it

and ......

now ......

you ........

.................. still see it!

For $1.3 million I hope that the City got a guarantee of completion from the demolition company!
for video of it see:
The alarm went off at an early 6 am. The kids complained until I reminded them what we were going to go see. We were out of the house by 6:20. We parked at 7th and Nueces. We watched from 6th and Nueces - right next to the Star Bar, KVUE tv van, and a police car. It was loud and it was cool to see in person. It would have been cooler if it had collapsed all the way. I'd do it again.

Sunday Seven #1

Seven things that I am thankful for in this past week ended 2/24/07
1 – The health of my children – Please send good thoughts towards a wonderful little girl named Maya (and her parents) who doesn’t deserve the health problems that have just been discovered.
2 – The company of old friends – The monthly Friday night dinners are so much fun, we always learn something new about each other even though we’ve all been friends for over 15 years.
3 – The company of new friends – Its amazing how quickly you can become great friends with someone when you share common goals.
4 – The new show on CBS called Rules of Engagement.
5 – The great weather that we have in Austin – Park Day is so much better when it’s over 60 degrees.
6 – Access to farm-raised organic food so that I can feed my family healthy meals.
7 – The trust and love of my fabulous husband.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Dinner Out

Our afternoon playdate turned into dinner tonight - Marinated chicken tenders, whole wheat rotini pasta w/ Parmesan cheese, raw red bell peppers, cucumbers and carrots, and broiled pesto & cheese topped tomatoes. And a bottle of 1996 Montapulciano that I had been 'cellaring' in my closet for over 5 years. It was really good - smooth, cloudy, it looked like sherry or port - brownish purple, no bite and definitely not too old - plenty of flavor and no vinegar. The kids played some more after dinner so we didn't leave until 7:30.
Unfortunately we didn't get home from our Friday Dinner With Old Friends event last night (spaghetti w/ meatballs, raw veggies, warm wheat bread and birthday cake) until 10:45 and I'm still planning on going to the blow-up tomorrow am - we'll have to try really hard to make that.

Like I expected anything less than expert?

You Scored 80% Correct

You are an 80s expert
You never confuse New Order with the Pet Shop Boys
You know which classical musician Falco rocked
When it comes to 80s music, you Just Can't Get Enough!

Friday, February 23, 2007

It's coming up next weekend!

Hopefully there will be wind this year, last year there was NO wind and the festival was REALLY boring. Zilker Kite Festival Home Page

Thursday, February 22, 2007

the Intel building coming down with no black helicopters involved

Here is a report on what it is and why it's coming down: News 8 Austin 24 Hour Local News Intel Implosion What happened with the Intel building?
The demolition is scheduled for this Sunday at 6:50 am. I think that this is something worth setting our alarm clock for. I know that News 8 will broadcast it over and over all day long but it will be cool to see it in person. We'll get home and Joe will ask how it went and I'll say "It blowed up real good!"

Dove does it again

Dove� pro�age™ ads I'm amazed that some WOMEN find these ads offensive!
I stopped trying to keep up with younger women when I was 27 - we were hanging out at the lake with friends and their 21 year old ti**y dancer girlfriends. I remarked then that I was 27 years old and no longer cared about trying to look as 'hot' as someone almost 10 years younger than me. I was happily married and had no desire to waste my time competing with other women about looks. That's when I actually started telling people that I am 10 years older than I really am because at that time I looked great for 37 and now I look great for 51!
Way to go Dove!

Thursday 13 #4

The First 13 States of the United States of America

1 – Delaware – December 7, 1787 – Once I got to go inside a giant cargo plane at the Dover Air Force base.
2 – Pennsylvania – December 12, 1787 – We went to the annual Pennsylvania Dutch festival in Kutztown every few years when I was growing up.
3 – New Jersey – December 18, 1787 – I rode the bus through here on the way to visit my grandparents.
4 – Georgia – January 2, 1788 – We visited my Uncle Ted in Atlanta on the way to Texas once.
5 – Connecticut – January 9, 1788
6 – Massachusetts – February 6, 1788 – My Uncle Dan was from Boston.
7 – Maryland – April 28, 1788 – My husband used to live here.
8 – South Carolina – May 23, 1788 – My dad is from Charleston.
9 – New Hampshire – June 21, 1788
10 – Virginia – June 25, 1788 – I used to live here.
11 – New York – July 26, 1788 – My grandparents lived in Little Russia in New York City.
12 – North Carolina - November 21, 1789 – My sister Cea lives in Durham.
13 – Rhode Island – May 29, 1790

Texas joined up on December 29, 1845 – I live in the Capitol city, Austin.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Fish industry no longer relies on fish meal
So, do I only buy wild-caught seafood (what I currently do) which contributes to the over-fishing of our planet's waters or do I buy the farm-raised/less nutritious/genetically modified seafood that keeps our oceans and rivers from being over-fished?

home town business makes big(ger)

Whole Foods to acquire rival Wild Oats for $565 million - MarketWatch
I wonder if they will keep the Sun Harvest at Brodie Oaks open. WF doesn't have a presence in South Austin but the location IS just across the street from Central Market at Westgate. I'll still shop at Wheatsville.

Tonight's dinner

Baked whiting on a bed of spinach and rice Florentine
Take a 9x9 baking pan, cover with leftover spinach & rice Florentine, push 2 frozen whiting fillets into rice (do not cover them with the rice, just nestle them into it), place several tiny slices of butter on top of fish, cover the pan with foil and bake in (toaster) oven at 400 for 15 min. After 15 min, lift foil and LIGHTLY sprinkle the fish with Old Bay seasoning, replace foil and bake for an additional 5 min. Take off foil and bake for 5 min, then drizzle creamy salad dressing over the fish (we used 3 Cheese Ranch) and bake at 450 for a final 5 min. Plate it up with the fish laying on the bed of rice. Made fish for 2 and rice for 3. And the kids loved it!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

2nd grader and fractions

I've seen my future - - and it resembles my present. I think that I'll be well prepared.

1st grade TEACHER attacks 5th grade CHILDREN

This teacher needs to attend some stress management classes and more.
I sure am glad that this can't happen during OUR p.e. classes here at Casa De Galletti!

BTW, Giselle voluntarily washed the dog in the back yard during her morning recess today and afterwards she and Paul washed their own hair outside too. When it came to rinse time they regretted their decision but they also learned why the dog wasn't too happy about getting hosed down either. It was in the mid 70's but the water was COLD!

pork chops

Man, I forgot to take a picture of the finished pork chops! I seared them in in butter in the cast iron fryer and then cooked them on low until they were done (140 in the center). Then, while they rested on a plate, I sliced then cooked up some portobello mushrooms with more butter, garlic and oregano (of course salt & pepper) in the same frying pan. I Reduced it all down and served the mushrooms to the side of the pork with spinach Florentine rice (brown rice, spinach, butter, garlic, salt, Parmesan cheese) rounding it out. The kids and I split one chop and Joe had the other. The dog got the scraps and the bones are in the freezer for my next batch of split pea soup. The kids had apple-strawberry sauce for dessert and I totally cracked up while putting the jar back into the fridge as I remembered the Brady Bunch episode where Peter was walking around talking like Humphrey Bogart saying "Yep, that's what we're having for dinner. Pork chops and apple sauce." Ahh, childhood was grand - that episode originally aired in 1971.

He wasn't a king and he didn't live in Scotland

The Last King of Scotland
Not that I'll go see this in the movie theater but checking out the website for this movie and then clicking on the link for the interactive time-line is quite an education. I had heard the name Idi Amin when I was a kid but I never knew what he was all about. Now I know! This reminds me that I want to see that movie with Don Cheadle did about Rawanda, I guess I'll try to rent that soon.
These are just some of those things that you heard on the news or read in the paper when you were a kid (those of us over the age of 40) but it never really sunk in: the reality of what was going on in another part of the world at that very moment. It's kind of like how I felt about 10 years ago when I realized that the Vietnam War didn't end until 1975. We common people in America are so isolated from events in the rest of the world, we have so little sense of the Big Wide World picture. We only know what other people tell us - what we see on TV and what we read in print (newspapers, magazines, Internet).
I have no answer on this and don't know if I should be ashamed for not knowing or be happy that I don't know.
Even worse - when getting the link for Hotel Rwanda I saw that it just happened in 1994. What's my excuse for not knowing about this before the movie was made?

thumbs up to new blogger

As you can see, I played a tiny bit with the colors on the blog. I'm actually very happy with the orange so I didn't go making any crazy changes. I really like that I can do this in the New Blogger (no longer in beta) - I just made the switch to an updated template last night. I'm still not happy about IE not always recognizing me but I'm getting used to it. You can check out the new templates before you change - most of the old templates are available if that's the reason you haven't changed yet.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Pork Chops Soon!

They have been thawing since this time last night but they need another day to be all the way un-frozen. Tomorrow night it will be food of the gods - giant pork chops for us all! I was inspired to finally cook these behemoths after reading this post on .
Now to come up with what to serve with it - carrots, beans, rice, potatoes, salad, I just don't know! Maybe Martha will help me out, she usually has good ideas.

Last Night's Dinner

So I spent the last 2 days going through my Kraft Foods magazines culling out the recipes that I want to keep and recycling the rest of the magazine. While going through one issue I came across this recipe and, when we got home from Marie's, I made it for dinner:

Spaghetti with Zesty Bolognese The picture is VERY enticing
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing (I used HEB brand)
1 lb. ground beef
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce ( I used a 32 oz jar of my homemade sauce)
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained (I omitted this)
2 Tbsp. PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese (I used garlic basil neufanchel cheese from Full Quiver Farms)
12 oz. spaghetti, uncooked (I used Bionature organic whole wheat)
1/4 cup KRAFT 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese (I forgot to add this)
COOK onions in dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Increase heat to medium-high. Add meat; cook, stirring frequently, until browned. Stir in tomato sauce and tomatoes. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 min. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese until well blended.
MEANWHILE, cook pasta as directed on package.
SPOON sauce over pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. (I mixed the pasta into the sauce in the big pan so the finished product looked like the picture)

All 4 family members loved it!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

now THAT'S a nice winter day!

Acording to NOAA weather it's supposed to be 87 for Suzanne in California today! Now that's what I call a beautiful winter day! Although our highs in the mid 60's for the next several days isn't too bad either...

Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday Night Dinner

Tonight for dinner Giselle, as she usually does, picked what I was to make for us. I opened the pantry cupboard for her and she said "The can of mixed beans, the ones with the garbanzos". I said "And what else?" "What do you mean "What else?"?" "Well, we can't just have a can of beans for dinner, there needs to be more to it like some rice or something." "Tube pasta and beans, no pasta sauce. That's what I want you to make." So I then sat on the kitchen floor staring at the two named ingredients trying to figure out what to make - a bag of whole wheat penne pasta and a can of salad beans (kidney, pinto and garbanzo). Inspiration struck and after convincing Giselle that it did have to have diced tomatoes in it, I commensed to preparing a masterpiece. I love to cook and I take great pride in being able to create great tasting food with hopefully not a great amount of effort. So without further ado, I give you tonight's dinner:

Pasta with Beans
Cook 3/4 lb dry whole wheat penne pasta according to the directions on the package (we used BioNature organic) DO NOT throw out all the pasta water. While the pasta is cooking, heat up a large skillet/pan/flat-bottomed wok over medium/high heat (6). Add to pan 1/2 slice super thick bacon, finely diced (we used Full Quiver Farms bacon) and 1 heaping tsp minced garlic (we used Spice World minced garlic), cook until bacon is browned. Decrease heat to medium (4.5) then add 1 TBS butter (we used Central Market organic unsalted butter) and 1 tsp olive oil (we used Spectrum Organics extra virgin olive oil for everyday use). When the butter is melted dump in 1 can drained beans (we used Westbrae Orgainc Salad Beans) and stir occasionally until heated through. Pour in 1 can of drained diced Italian seasoned tomatoes (we used Muir Glen diced tomatoes with Italian herbs) and 1/3 cup of the pasta water, stir until mixed. Add in cooked pasta, stir until mixed, sprinkle generously with shredded parmesean cheese (we used DiGiorno three cheese shredded), stir until mixed. Turn off heat but leave on stove for 5 min while the pasta absorbs all the liquid. Stir again and serve in bowls.

The Power (and Peril) of Praising Your Kids

This article from New York Magazine is making the rounds on everyone's Yahoo groups but if you haven't read it yet then definitely check it out now.
How Not to Talk to Your Kids: The Inverse Power of Praise. By Po Bronson

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thursday 13 #3

13 advantages of nursing my children
1 – I never had to deal with cleaning bottles – Breastmilk comes straight from the source.
2 – They never ran out of food – The body makes as much or as little milk as the child wants so it never runs out and your breasts never get left at home by accident.
3 – I saved us over $5000 by not buying formula – A $7 32oz can of ready-made formula every day for a year for 2 kids = $5110.
4 – I’ve decreased my chance of ovarian cancer – Extended breastfeeding delays the return of ovulation thus lowering the risk of ovarian cancer.
5 – I’ve decreased my chance of breast cancer by 32% and still counting - According to a study, a woman's risk for breast cancer decreased by about 4.3 percent for every 12 months she breast-fed. The risk went down 7 percent more for every child born.
6 – The kids had fewer and less severe illnesses than if they didn’t nurse – The month after Giselle weaned she got sick every week at gymnastics, the month before she was weaned she never got sick.
7 – I feel that my bond with my children would not be this strong if just anyone could have fed and comforted them - I intuitively know when they need something and what it is that they need.
8 – I would be a lot crabbier if I didn’t get that relax hormone kicking in every time my child nurses – Oxytocin is released when a woman nurses and gives her a relaxed feeling.
9 – My kids know what breasts are really for - Nourishing a child.
10 – I would have never joined La Leche League and consequently I would have never met some of my closest friends – La Leche League is an international mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group that meets once a month in communities everywhere.
11 – My kids’ first Spanish word was comida (food) – It’s our codeword for nursing.
12 – My kids ate 100% organic for the first 6 months of their lives – Eating organic has been shown to be healthier than eating non-organic.
13 – It’s a great excuse to sit on my bottom and play on the computer every 2 hours - Yes my kids were the kind that nursed every 2 hours for their first 2.5 YEARS.

How Food and Drug Recalls Happen

So Joe made a comment to me along the lines of "The reason that you heard about this recall (Peter Pan PB) was because it's a big company." I'm not sure if he was implying that bigger companies are safer than smaller companies or if he was saying that there are more recalls than this but you never hear about them because it's not a nationwide problem. Well, that inspired me to go investigating via Google and I came up with the following information:

Who regulates food products?
The type of food product determines which Federal agency is responsible for regulation.
• Meat and poultry products – The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA inspects and regulates meat and poultry products. FSIS is responsible for ensuring that meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.
• Pasteurized egg products produced in federally inspected plants – Pasteurized egg products are eggs that have been removed from their shells for further processing. FSIS is responsible for inspecting the products while they are in the manufacturing plant. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assumes responsibility for pasteurized egg products after they leave the processing plant.
• All other food products – All other food products, except those regulated by FSIS, fall under the regulatory authority of the FDA which is responsible for ensuring that the foods are safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. However, because FSIS is the primary agency for commodity foods, they act as the liaison agency in all recalls of commodity foods including those regulated by FDA.

This is a listing of all recalled products – put out weekly
FDA Enforcement Report Index
The FDA Enforcement Report is published weekly by the Food and Drug Administration. It contains information on actions taken in connection with agency regulatory activities. Inquiries about individual actions should be directed to the companies involved.
Recall and Field Correction: Action taken by a firm to either remove a product from the market or to conduct a field correction. Recalls may be conducted on a firm's own initiative, by FDA request, or by FDA order under statutory authority.
A Class I recall is a situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.
A Class II recall is a situation in which use of or exposure to a violative product may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote.
A Class III recall is a situation in which use of or exposure to a violative product is not likely to cause adverse health consequences.
This is the most recent report :

This site also lists recalls
Who regulates food products? The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspects and regulates meat, poultry and processed egg products produced in federally inspected plants. FSIS is responsible for ensuring that these products are safe, wholesome, and accurately labeled. All other food products are regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services' Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
What is a food recall? A food recall is a voluntary action by a manufacturer or distributor to protect the public from products that may cause health problems or possible death. A recall is intended to remove food products from commerce when there is reason to believe the products may be adulterated or misbranded.Who decides when a recall is necessary?Recalls are initiated by the manufacturer or distributor of the meat or poultry, sometimes at the request of FSIS. All recalls are voluntary. However, if a company refuses to recall its products, then FSIS has the legal authority to detain and seize those products in commerce.
How are unsafe products discovered? There are four, primary means by which unsafe or improperly labeled meat and poultry products come to the attention of FSIS:
1 - The company that manufactured or distributed the food informs FSIS of the potential hazard;
2 - Test results received by FSIS as part of its sampling program indicate that the products are adulterated, or, in some situations, misbranded;
3 - FSIS field inspectors and program investigators, in the course of their routine duties, discover unsafe or improperly labeled foods; and
4 - Epidemiological data submitted by State or local public health departments, or other Federal agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal unsafe, unwholesome or inaccurately labeled food.
As soon as FSIS learns that a potentially unsafe or mislabeled meat or poultry product is in commerce, the Agency conducts a preliminary investigation to determine whether there is a need for a recall.
What occurs during a preliminary investigation? The preliminary investigation may include some or all of the following steps:
Contacting the manufacturer of the food for more information;
Interviewing any consumers who allegedly became ill or injured from eating the suspect food;
Collecting and analyzing food samples;
Collecting and verifying information about the suspected food;
Discussions with FSIS field inspection and compliance personnel;
Contacting State and local health departments; and
Documenting a chronology of events.
How does FSIS notify the public when a product is recalled? FSIS notifies the public through a press release for Class I and Class II recalls, and a Recall Notification Report (RNR) for Class III recalls. (The RNR provides substantially the same information as the press release; however, the format is different.) The press release is issued to media outlets in the areas where the product was distributed, and is also distributed through an email listserv. The press release or RNR is posted on the FSIS Web site. When possible, FSIS also includes pictures of the recalled product as part of the online recall press release. Recall press releases and RNRs are posted on the FSIS Recalls area of the Web site, at

other information on why and how food recalls happen:

Salmonella linked to Peter Pan peanut butter

Feb 15, 2007 ATLANTA (AP) — Consumers should throw away certain jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter after the spread was linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened almost 300 people around the country, ConAgra said.
Lids of jars produced by ConAgra Foods with a product code beginning "2111" can be returned to the company for a refund, the company said
Officials: Salmonella linked to 2 brands of peanut butter

Our jar of Peter Pan No Sugar Added Creamy is one of the ones recalled. Of course sending the lid back (which is what you are supposed to do to get the refund) will cost me more than the refund will be for.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fun With Books

Tonight we finished Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House In The Big Woods. We read one chapter every night so in theory we should have finished it in 13 days but in reality it took almost 3 weeks. We had a lot of fun along the way. One chapter was about the Sugar Snow at the end of the winter that gets a second flow of maple syrup out of the maple trees - so the next night we had whole wheat pancakes for dinner with pure maple syrup on them just like in the book. In another chapter the girls got to go to town for the very first time and they got some Necco Conversation Hearts so that's the kind that we bought for Valentines' Day. Another was about their Mom making cheese so we talked about that with the Cheese Guy at the Farmers Market. It ends up that they've read the Little House series to all of their kids and are actually on their second collection of the books, having worn out the first collection. They are currently reading Little Town On The Prairie to/with their 9(?) year old son. I'm looking forward to the fun things we can do with the other books, and so is Giselle.

Valentines' Day

It was cold today! So this morning we broke our TV rule of "no TV until after lunch" and watched all the Valentines' shows on Disney live not on TiVo. During that the kids got their boxes of Necco Sweethearts. In the afternoon the kids shared a small heart-shaped box of chocolates while Joe ate his General Tso's Chicken. Then Giselle helped me make the cookie dough for the Stained Glass Cookies while Paul helped Joe make go-carts in The Shop. After the dough had finished chilling, both kids helped me make and bake the cookies. I started dinner while we finished up the cookies - Baked Garlic Chicken (thighs) with rice and mixed veggies. Then we opened the bottle of Andre Blush Champagne, toasted the day of love with the ones that we love the most, and then ate dinner. Afterwards, the kids got in their pajamas, brushed their teeth and waited in bed for me to come read them tonight's chapter. Tonight we read the last chapter of Little House In The Big Woods and then the first chapter of Little House On The Prairie. We usually read only one chapter a night but the last chapter of Big Woods is really short and I didn't want to leave us hanging until Friday night to start LHOTP.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

This lady needs to get a clue!

Family Scholars Blog: Sperm Donor? One-Night Stand? or 'Katherine's' Baby Daddy?
"Gee, I'm too messed up to form a lasting relationship with a man but I'm going to be a GREAT mom!" NOT!!!

Interesting Read

I came across this while researching W. Bradford Wilcox in preparation for an upcoming La Leche League Couples Meeting that I'll be leading : IAV Child Tragedies: Missing Marriage Commentary by W. Bradford Wilcox .
Here's a quote of his from another editorial from him "Why do fathers matter to children? Fathers typically bring an extra pair of hands, an extra set of kin, and extra income to the child-rearing enterprise, not to mention extra concern for the child's well-being. They also perform better than mothers when it comes to disciplining their children--especially their sons. Finally, fathers who are in good marriages with the mothers of their children implicitly teach girls to expect respect from members of the opposite sex, and boys to treat girls and women with respect."

Monday, February 12, 2007

I'm not outraged but ...

I really like the last few paragraphs of this article.
KRT Wire 02/11/2007 Mom's milk fuels fight

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Give Blood, It Could Save Somebody's Life

So after dropping Giselle off at Sunday School, Paul and I went by the sanctuary to pick up today's program and the most recent newsletter. On the front of the newsletter there was a big ad for a church blood drive going on RIGHT NOW (from 9 am to 1 pm). So Paul and I hightailed it down to the pretty-painted blood bank bus and I whipped out my donor card and gave blood for the first time in exactly 8 years - the last time I gave (according to my card) was 2-12-99. And since I was fully hydrated, my blood flowed quickly - I even beat some guy who started at the same time as me!
So, in honor of Valentines day, go give blood this week! It could save somebody's life!
I'll post later about the fake blood that they now make.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Sunshine House - Surf Naked

So, this evening for bedtime I put on a long-sleeved Tee that I knew would make Joe do a double-take; It's my red Sunshine House Surf Shop shirt. I got it in 1982 while at a Young Life retreat in Ocean City Maryland. Joe said that you can still find the shirts out on the web so I Googled the store and pretty much came up with nothing. In looking at all the possibilities that Google pulled up I came across this tidbit ( ) regarding Spike Jonze - that guy who did the strange videos for Fatboy Slim back in the late '90s. Evidently he grew up in Rockville/Bethesda Maryland and worked at Sunshine House for a bit. Does that count as a degree of separation? Evidently the store closed sometime between 1999 and now but that's all I could gleen from the web tidbits. Oh Well.
sorry about no hotlink to the Spike Jonze site - I'm doing this on a Mac that has an old version of Internet Explorer - evidently (according to my IT guy) the newer versions of IE are not compatible with the newer versions of OS X.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Thirsday 13 - MIA

My Thursday 13 was only 7 so I'm working on it for another week. In the meantime check out Jamie's 13 - It's kind of Seinfeld but in a very good way!
And read Alasandra's 13 valentine information.
Still trying to remember what I had written in my lost comment!

Thank you TiVo

We just watched the Feb 2 episode of Jack's Big Music Show (it's on Noggin) and not only did John Stewart play a TV news interviewer (he was interviewing the groundhog) but Steve Burns(formerly of Blues Clues) played a song with a guy from the Flaming Lips. It was really neat to see Steve again. and,,20010466,00.html

Unfortunately, in the process of finding the link for this blog post, I came across the news that Anna Nicole Smith has died. Maybe this will be the end of her tragic comedy. Maybe they will broadcast reruns of her reality show that she did for E! TV. Maybe her daughter won't have to life in constant shock/shame of who her mom was. Ironic, but I bet that's one little baby that was never breastfed.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

More from Martha

This sounds delicious although I would probably pour half of a jar of my homemade pasta sauce over the top before putting it into the oven - I prefer a moister sauce than a cheese sauce usually is. Baked Pasta with Spinach, Ricotta, and Prosciutto

Organic Catsup has more lycopene than non-organic

ANOTHER reason to go organic:
Organic Catsup Found to Contain More Than 50% Higher Levels of the Beneficial Antioxidant Lycopene The Organic Center :: State of Science :: Nutritional Quality

What Martha Taught Me Today

"Stacking nonstick pans on top of one another can scratch their surfaces. Sandwiching paper plates between them, however, will protect their finishes. Inexpensive plates are the best choice because they have more give than the sturdier kind, allowing the pans to stack easily. "
Everyday Food Newsletter

It's Coming, It's Coming

I just checked with my UPS tracking number and my new mixer is in Mesquite, TX as of an hour ago!

Monday, February 05, 2007

My Views On Life

B Positive is not just my blood type, it's also my outlook on life.
What you feed your mind and body has a profound effect on your physical and mental health. If you feed your body and mind crap then you will be likewise, if you feed your body and mind healthy foods and thoughts then you will be healthy.
Don't hang around other people spewing their toxic thoughts because that will make you toxic too.
Nothing positive ever came from negative thoughts.
If you think happy thoughts and hang out with happy people then you will be a nice person to be around.
100% of your life is under your control, what you make of it is under your control. If your life is great then it's your doing, but if it's messed up then that also is your doing!
Be proud of your acomplishments, because if you are not proud of yourself then you can't expect others to be either.
There is a positive to be found in every negative - it's all in your thinking.
Be proud of your true failures. There is no shame in trying your best and still failing, the shame is in quitting when you haven't given it your all.
If you insist on building up your self-esteem by talking badly to/of others then you will eventually find yourself without any friends.
Every woman can be improved with a bit of makeup.
Keep your baggage to yourself unless someone asks to hear it, even then only give them your smallest bag.
If you can't say something positive then you aren't trying hard enough.
Life is too short to waste it on hateful people.

oh and it was a beautiful day again!

It was sunny and in the 70's for the second day in a row with 2 more still to come.
Joe and Jessie's Dad put together the see-saw yesterday and the kids have spent almost every waking hour on it.
Thank you Joe/Daddy!!
ps - If you want one of your own, get it from Sam's - it's $50 less there than at Costco.

Current Thoughts on HEB / Grocery Shopping

(I'm feeling a bit link-happy so don't complain and just click on them to open in another window/tab.)

So, my closest HEB no longer carries Stonyfield Farms organic yogurt in the single serving size. The new HEB over on Escarpment charges more for some items than Central Market does (and we all know that CM charges an automatic 10% upcharge on all items (not really on ALL items but on a great number of them)), not to mention that the store (HEB Escarpment) is the worst when it comes to layout - I've gone at least 5 times and have yet to have a pleasant shopping experience - so I'm not going to switch to that one just to get our yogurt. So today I tried the HEB on Brodie because while the kids don't mind me buying the big tub of vanilla and mixing fruit or granola into it for them when they (I) want, they (I) would really love it if they could do it themselves. Not only do they (HEB Brodie) not have the Stonyfield Farms organic in the single size but they don't even have half of the Central Market brand food items that the Oak Hill HEB carries. They (HEB Brodie) doesn't carry any of the Cascadian Farms organic cereals or the Organic Valley shredded cheeses or the Orowheat Oat Nut rolls, oh but they do have an in-house tortilla machine and sushi bar - like I have a need for those. I guess next week I'll go to the HEB on Bee Cave. We go there occasionally and it's identical in layout to the Brodie one and I know from prior experience that they also don't carry all of my usual food items that the Oak Hill HEB previously carried. The other issue with this is that Sam's (mother of The Evil Empire) now carries the yogurt in a 12-pack of single servings, unfortunately the only flavors are blueberry and strawberry and my kids really like the peach and vanilla too. And there is the fact that while the kids will eat 10 singles in a week of 4 different flavors, I'm not sure that they would eat 12 of just the 2 flavors. And I don't want to drive to Sam's every week just to get yogurt. As it is I really dislike shopping and having to go to HEB weekly, Wheatsvile bi-weekly, and Sam's and Bark'n'Purr once a month is enough to do me in. Silly me, I so dislike Albertson's that I won't even go into the one in my neighborhood to check if they have the yogurt. Then again, they're closing that one down anyway so why bother. I know, they said that they were going to keep that one open but you know how corporate takeovers are.

All this over some silly cultured milk, wow!

Oh, and last week we tried some of the new Daisy brand cottage cheese, the 4% small curd variety (it's so new that it's not even listed as a product on their website so I can't link to it). Our verdict here at Casa De Galletti is that they should stick with making their sour cream (which we love)! The curds were so uniform in size and shape that it was strange -extruded or cut but not formed naturally - and the flavor was good but rather blah even when I added in some Italian salad dressing (my favorite way to eat cottage cheese). Paul took one spoonfull and promptly spit it out - I think that from seeing the container he thought that he was getting a spoonfull of sour cream and when he tasted that it wasn't he was very unhappy. Giselle had two spoonfulls and declared that she prefers the sour cream.


Texas Gov. orders anti-cancer vaccine - Yahoo! News

This is crap! Heaven forbid people just teach their kids to have safe sex, but that would mean that we teach our kids about birthcontrol and we CAN'T have that happening because that would just encourage them to have sex. YES, it's MUCH better to just give them a shot that will keep them 'safe' if they have unprotected sex. Just like that Hep B vaccine that protects them incase they have unprotected or anal sex with an IV drug user. Yep, I'll be jumping right out to get those 2 vaccines for my kids, NOT!!!
Here's Mercola's take on the issue (note: I don't agree with about a third of any of Mercola's views on anything)
And here is a Letter To The Editor of The Washington Post because DC is proposing the same law

Safety for Ladies at Gas Stations

Go to for a VERY informative video on how to keep your valuables from getting stolen while at a gas station. Those of us with kids would say "I don't need to worry, my kids would tell me that someone was trying to get into the car." But when you see how quickly these guys can steal your purse, you will realize that your bag would be gone before your kids could even get your attention. You may know that your neighborhood gas station is safe but think about all those times that you are at gas stations that you are NOT familiar with!

Link to a great post about the new new math in PS

SunbeltBLOG: If you care about education, watch this video (and weep)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sorry it's been so long

Sorry that it's been a week since I last posted. Here's a quick rundown of the last 7 days.
Friday - Nice weather for Park Day. We got a late start to the park due to a slow moving school day. Paul played with a boy I don't care for (kind of mean and doesn't do any playing, just walks around staying on the fringes (no it's not Mark - they don't come to the park anymore)), Giselle played with Rachel the whole time (Grace, Luke and Sam are still in OK), and I talked with my friends. After talking to Paul about keeping rocks on the ground I got jumped into by him and my nose got broken. Thanks to several doses of 200C Arnica there was no bruising or swelling but 1 week later it's still tender to touch. We left the park early to go to the well-checks at the Pediatrician. Giselle got her hearing and eyes checked - perfect hearing, 20/30 vision near and 20/40 vision far - and got her tetanus updated. My glasses aren't working as well as they used to so I think that we'll be searching for the eye dr coupons in the next Val-Pak that comes in the mail. Since Paul got all his shots in Feb, the Dr said that he's set until his tetanus comes due in 9 years. Ooh, I think that it's been 10 years for me (my last one was just before I got hit in the eye with the softball) so I guess I'll need one at my next checkup.
Saturday - We went to the Farmer's Market to pick up some cheese for us and bread for Gayla since we were on our way to visit them at The Farm. We spent the day there since it was our last chance to see them before they left for Costa Rica and it was about to be Teal's birthday. The weather was BEAUTIFUL - mid 60s and sunny but it sure was muddy. I brought the kids' boots and extra clothes (should have brought extra for me too) so that they could play in the gooey mud. The cows aren't giving milk since the lush pastures are too water-logged for them to graze in so there was no milk to be had but we got some eggs and an entire crate full of collards and a case of chard. The Yorkies are doing great and one of the girls seems to be pregnant, so there will be TINY PUPPIES in two months. Edgar & Gayla won't be back to the market until the beginning of March and our milk from them is almost all gone so we'll be stuck drinking the Central Market Organic Whole Milk for a month. Giselle didn't even get upset when we had to leave - it helped that I gave her 1 hour's advance warning before we left so that she could say goodbye to the dogs.
Sunday - Sunday School and that's about it for the day.
Monday - We did laundry ALL day long and never went grocery shopping.
Tuesday - We had a homeschool field trip to visit the radio station Mix 94.7 with a bunch of our friends - that was pretty fun but I think that they will enjoy the field trip to the TV station in March more. We did all of our shopping - groceries at Wheatsville, got the first 3 Little House books at Half-Price Books, did a return at Sams, got diapers (White Cloud for overnite use) and other stuff at WalMart, then on to HEB for the rest of the groceries. Giselle started singing one of the songs from the play that we went to last Thursday at The Dougherty Arts Theater, Marvelous Matriculation Musical. Our homeschool neighbors are in it and we got to see a dress rehearsal - it was so much fun!!
Wednesday - We went no where and did nothing other than play and school.
Thursday - We went no where but all morning we watched Discovery Health so that Giselle could watch babies being born. We did school in the afternoon since we were watching TV during our usual school time. I chopped and froze up the huge bundle of cilantro that I got from Edgar and I'll chop and freeze up the collards on Friday. The chard will have to wait until Saturday.
And that brings us to today, Friday - It's only going to be in the mid 40's and cloudy with 5 to 10 mph north winds so we are skipping the park. All of our friend are either sick with pink eye or are out of town - I'll be so glad when Marie gets back on Monday - so no playing at someone else's house or them coming over here. The homeschool family down the street has a school co-op that they go to on Fridays so they aren't available to play with either. It sounds like it's going to be an arts and crafts kind of day after I finally make my green juice for the day and we do school/dishes.