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I can relate

books2Some of my shelves are actually double-stacked.

books4It really does make me sad, because of all they are missing out on!

books1I’m attracted to book stores like a moth to a lamp.


There are books literally in every room of my house right now!

books5Sadly, this describes me.  I only read a fraction of the books I did 10 years ago.

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An actual statement from my husband not long ago:

“Wow, Baby!  You must not be feeling good!  You put the toilet paper roll on upside down!”


Read more about my ocd here. 🙂

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IMG_6491APregnancy Round 2

Oh my goodness!  I’ve been so sick!!  You may remember when I was pregnant before that I had a problem with the computer making my morning sickness worse.    Well, this time it has been so much worse!  I’m told that’s a good sign……

Phase 1:  Made the discovery at about 6 weeks.  Feeling fine, just a little bloated in the belly area.  I was pretty nervous about telling people because I was afraid of miscarrying again.  It made for some very awkward moments last time when people we don’t see often would congratulate us and we would have to explain that we had lost the baby.

Phase 2:  Nausea, dizziness, super sensitive sense of smell, super hyped up gag reflex, and no energy at all.  For about the next 4-5 weeks, I had lots and lots of nausea.  Just that feeling you get when you feel that you could throw up at any moment…. I felt like that all day.  It was almost 24-7.  In fact, it was like the opposite of morning sickness.  I usually woke up feeling fine, then after an hour or so, I would start feeling sick.  It progressed throughout the day and I usually felt pretty awful by the end of the day.  I also couldn’t stand anything touching my stomach or my neck.  I stopped wearing anything that’s not elastic waist, and even then I wore it pretty low.

I’ve never had a weak stomach in my entire life!  I used to laugh at people who got grossed out by stuff!  (the benefits of growing up with a lot of boys)  But, wow….  Many times I have run from the room gagging and choking.  The smells of certain foods (especially while they were being cooked), the thought of eating certain foods, touching raw meat, seeing something gross, the thought of something gross, emptying the trash, pieces of food floating in the dish water……….. and so many more.  Not to mention I gagged every time I brushed my teeth, and smells that I generally enjoy (like our hair gel, shampoo, soap, deodorant, etc) literally turned my stomach.

I stopped cooking meals during this phase.  I just couldn’t do it.  I was basically surviving on toast, jello, grilled cheese sandwiches, and 7-Up.  My poor husband had to fend for himself.  The things he tried to cook usually made me sick, so he ended up eating out a lot.  I stayed in bed or on the couch all day long.  I didn’t go anywhere.  Lots of watching tv and reading.  I was miserable.

Phase 3:  Indigestion, reflux, constipation, headaches, and fatigue.  The nausea has gone!  Praise God!  It wasn’t a sudden stop like last time.  It just kind of slowly dissipated.  The gag reflex is still going strong though.  Smells being highly offensive has lessened slightly.  I’m generally feeling way better, but I want to sleep all day so I’m still not getting much done around here.

Tomorrow will end my first trimester.  Right now, I am at the exact same point I was when I miscarried the first one.  Yes, I’m still nervous, but I am feeling much more confident about this pregnancy.  It’s just different.  And I had a checkup a few days ago and was able to hear the baby’s heartbeat which has given me great peace of mind.

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our healthy-eating cookout menu

Six weeks ago, due to health issues, my husband and I began an elimination diet to see if we have any food sensitivities, and to give our bodies a rest and a chance to heal.  It’s a very limited diet.  The things we have to eliminate are many of the foods we eat on a daily basis.  Eggs, dairy products, wheat (and several other grains), sugar, honey, oranges, peanuts, soy……..  I can’t say it hasn’t been stressful!  Missing the foods hasn’t been the issue.  Sure, we’ve had our cravings, but the longer it lasts, the more stressed out I am about reading every label, scrutinizing every recipe, trying to keep variety in our meals.  I’m ready for it to be over.

Something you don’t really think about beforehand when starting a diet like this is how it will affect your social life.  We have eaten out only once in the past 6 weeks!  (and boy was that stressful, finding something “wrong” with everything on the menu)  We skipped a church luncheon, we went to a friend’s anniversary party and watched everyone enjoy cake and punch, our family felt obligated to cook foods we could eat for our Mother’s Day gathering, chickenetc.  We just don’t go out much because every meal or snack has to be home cooked, mostly with fresh ingredients.

The least stressful outing was the Memorial Day cookout.  Some friends invited us to join them at a park where they would be grilling burgers and hotdogs.  Of course, we can’t have either, so we had to bring all our own food.  So here is what was on our lunch menu….

Grilled Chicken

  • Butterfly cut chicken breasts.
  • Brush both sides with Drew’s Roasted Garlic & Peppercorn Dressing.
  • Grill about 6 minutes on each side.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • (After scouring the health food stores for a salad dressing I could eat, I finally found one.  It’s very good, both on salad and meat!)

Garlic & Rosemary Pasta

  • Cook a 16oz package of spiral pasta according to package directions.
  • Saute 1/2 cup finely chopped onions and 6 cloves chopped garlic in about 1/4 cup olive oil, until garlic becomes crispy.
  • Add 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary to onions and garlic, cook about 2 more minutes.
  • Stir olive oil mixture into drained pasta until coated.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  • (I made this ahead of time.  It still tastes good cold.)

Roasted Broccoli

At home, I use this recipe for cooking broccoli. (omitting the parmesan while we’re on the diet)  I’ve never cooked veggies on a grill before, so this was an experiment.  I chopped it and tossed it at home, then grilled it in a foil-lined grilling basket.  It didn’t turn out too well and we ended up throwing most of it away.  It probably would’ve been preferable to do asparagus or something like that, but I had broccoli on hand.  I’m sure with a little tweaking we could make it work.  I may try it again some day here at home.

And for dessert…..

“Baked” Apples

  • Core 1  golden delicious apple and cut into 1 inch chunks.  Place in a glass bowl.
  • Add 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil, 1 tsp shredded coconut, 1 tsp cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg.  Toss until coated.
  • Place plastic wrap over the bowl, leaving a small vent for steam.  Microwave for 2 minutes.  Stir and serve.
  • I usually do 4 or 6 apples at a time in a large bowl, cooking them for about 2 minutes per apple and stirring every 2 minutes.
  • (I made these just before leaving the house, so they were still warm when we ate them.)
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repurpose craft

Here is my latest craft project.  There really wasn’t much to it, but I just love how it looks!IMG_6172One of the curious items my husband and I found in our attic was a Denver Mint money bag from 1978.  This bag has some significance though, a little piece of family history.

………………………………………..the story behind it………………………………………..scotty1Many years ago, my husband’s father was in the traveling carnival business.  In fact, that’s how he met my husband’s mother.  In each town, he would go into the local coffee shops to recruit girls to work in his carnival booth.  He hired her to work with him for a few days, but when it was time to move on, she decided to go with him.  They married in 1973.  They were still in the carnival business when my husband was born, but they soon settled down and built a house (the one we live in now).  IMG_6173The money bag was left over from his carnival days.  I wanted to keep the bag as a special memento for my husband, so I decided to make a pillow out of it.  Its tea-stained coloring matches perfectly with our living room decor.  I like that it’s not in perfect condition.  It even has circle shaped stains on the bottom where it sat full of coins!

The one problem was that it had been written on with blue ink.  It was just kind of unsightly.  I tried a couple of gentle stain removers, but saw only slight results.  Bleach wasn’t an option because I really did not want to alter the natural aged discoloration, and I certainly didn’t want a bleached white spot!  So I pulled out my handy-dandy nail polish remover.  (Yes, nail polish remover works pretty good on ink stains.)  I was afraid at first that it would be too harsh, but it wasn’t.  The coloring of the canvas was almost unaltered!  And believe me when I say I soaked and scrubbed at that ink.  It’s almost completely gone now and hardly noticeable.IMG_6171  Like I said, not much to it.  Besides the stain removing, it was just a matter of stuffing it and sewing the end shut.  But I’m so happy with how it turned out!  I enjoy the uniqueness of it and I like the story that goes with it.


confessions of a grammar geek

I want to make a confession.  I am a grammar nazi.  Ok maybe not quite that extreme.  I only pick on people who think they’re right.  For example, I used to know a man who was extremely particular about his grammar when writing or speaking publicly.  He was very proud of himself for his correctness, it gave him an air of superiority.  It secretly gave me great pleasure every time I heard him say “irregardless” or use the wrong form of who/whom.

I’m not the type of grammar geek who goes around speaking perfect English and correcting everyone who doesn’t.  I had a couple of friends like that in high school and it irritated me to no end.  grammarIf you want to use the style of speaking that you grew up with, I’m ok with that.  I do that.  I live in the south, I know we have a reputation of having bad grammar and incorrect pronunciation.  That’s fine.  It’s our way of life.  And you have that right too.  I won’t correct your conversational grammar.  But when it comes to giving a speech or writing a business letter, you better get it right.  Using your lingo in any writing you do for a business is completely unprofessional.  Intelligent people will find it hard to take you seriously if your writing and speaking are full of mispronounced/misspelled words or bad grammar.  If you just can’t get it, hire an editor.

Conversational grammar is also fine for facebook, twitter, blogs, and so on (unless they’re business related).  Even so, please (PLEASE!) spell the words right!  Is that too  much to ask?

But what really gets to me is these grammar snobs who don’t really know grammar and try too hard to sound like they do.  grammarFor example, they know the commonly used phrase “me and you” is wrong, that it should be “you and I”.  However, they don’t know all the rules and believe that it’s always correct to say “[other person] and I” so they end up saying things like “This is John and I’s house.”  Another example is using lie and lay.  They know it’s common to use lay when it should be lie, so they always use lie even when it’s very wrong.  “John lied on the bed.”  This, in my opinion, makes them sound more stupid than saying it wrong in typical conversational style.  They have that condescending know-it-all mentality but not much to show for it.  I love to correct these people.  They’re just begging for it.

Additional confessions:

  • I still occasionally refer back to my college grammar handbook when I’m uncertain.
  • When I’m listening to a speaker, I have an unintentional habit of mentally noting mistakes they made.
  • I searched Pinterest for pictures to add to this post and spent an hour laughing at all the grammar jokes.
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I can relate