New Books

So yesterday I had some new books arrive in the mail, and I had one arrive the day before.  I am still expecting one more, but I thought I’d show you these anyway.  🙂

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I needed this one for school.

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And this one for school, too.  It looks pretty interesting.

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And this one is for school, too.  I haven’t looked at it yet.

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And this one I bought with some of my Christmas money.  I have another friendship bracelet book, and I thought it was time to upgrade and get some fancier stuff going on.  I’ll let you know how it goes – there will be photo updates!

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Lately

I haven’t posted a good post lately.  I really feel like it’s been very “touch and go.”  No real substance.  Just a quick write-up with no real feeling, and then photos or a recipe.

So.  What have I been up to?

School.

Cooking.

Reading.

Placing our first Azure Standard order.

Using lots of coconut milk.

Eating chocolate.

Having fun with friends.

Ironing.

Poor little Lucy puppy has been scratching like crazy, poor thing.  And I had just given her flea medicine!  So we took her to the vet yesterday, and he put her on some medicine.  She seems to not be as itchy as she was, which makes me SO happy.  I really don’t like it when she doesn’t feel good.  My little puppy love.

The black flies/gnats have been bothering the chickens.  They buzz all around the chickens, and especially bother their faces, making it hard for the chickens to breathe.  If they get too bad, they can kill the chickens (we lost one a few years ago to them).

But there is an easy repellant: vanilla.  So today I mixed up some vanilla and water in a spray bottle and went out to spray the chickens. (Sometimes I think it’s like putting perfume on the chickens.  It is nice to have sweet-smelling chickens, though, so I try to dismiss that thought.  :))

At first I had the spray bottle on mist, but once the chickens found out what I was doing and decided that they didn’t like it, and then they started running.  So the mist no longer really worked.  Then I had a great idea:

Use stream.

This almost immediately made it more fun – it could be related to a first-person shooter game, but better, because it’s real.  It could be compared to a squirt gun fight – but better, because NO ONE SHOOTS BACK.  So I didn’t get wet.  And I wasn’t running that quickly (more fast-walking) behind that chickens to get close enough to squirt them.  It turns out that if you pursue the chickens for long enough, they just run into the coop.

Bonus round!

Now I have a whole bunch of chickens in a tight space to spray.  Talk about efficient!

School has been going really well.  I am loving it!  I thought that learning some of the more technical stuff (like anatomy and physiology) was going to be difficult, but I am not finding it that difficult at all.  The midwifery module that I am working on now is on caesarean sections and prevention. 

I just finished reading Joel Salatin’sFolks, This Ain’t Normal.”  I liked it.  It discussed how our culture, compared to history, really isn’t normal, from the food we eat to how we get entertainment.

I started working on the reading program from the library.  It’s been going pretty quickly, since I do so much reading, especially for school.  I am almost halfway done.

And I think that’s about it.

So what have you been doing?

These Days

I made my bed this morning for the first time in 2? 3? days.  It’s just been like that lately.  I don’t get to make it in the morning, and then, when I do have time in the mid-afternoon, I just sort of look at it and think, “I’m going to be getting into it in a few hours anyway.  Is it really worth it to make it, then mess it up?”

So I’ve been leaving it.

These past few days have been filled with school, piano lessons and practice, reading, and the like.  Really, it’s been filled with life.

Something I’ve been thinking/reading quite a bit about the past few days is makeup and skin care.  Clothes and style.

I have been reading one book on beauty, and I have several more that I am looking at.  And then there was that book about color.  It just confused me.

Am I warmed-toned, or cool-toned?  Pink or peach?  What color are my eyes?  What is the color of my face when I blush?

And don’t get me started on clothes.

Mom tried to take me out clothes shopping the other day, but we couldn’t find anything.  Well, at least not what we were looking for.  We were trying to find some everyday long-sleeve shirts.  We ended up with a sweater (I have lots of sweaters) and a short-sleeved jacket and a knee-length skirt, all of which were on clearance.

(I want to be very, very clear – I am extremely happy with the things we did find.  But they don’t help incredibly when one has mostly short-sleeved shirts and sweaters, and it is 40*F out.)

And on top of it, I didn’t totally know what I was looking for.  It can be hard – I have a picture in my head, but of course we couldn’t find that, and I couldn’t describe it.  So combine frustration from looking at TONS of clothes, trying on lots, most things not working, and add the fact that I ate grain beforehand, which was altering my mood.  Basically, I was all but crying in the department store, and feeling so bad for my mom, who had taken me out shopping, and was putting up with me totally loosing it and us not finding anything, and she stayed so cheerful the whole time.  (You’re the best, Mom!)

And then I started looking at my dog and thinking how much easier it would be if we all just had fur.

(Thinking about it now, that might even be more work.  Tons of conditioner and several hair brushes.)

And hair?

We’re not even going there.

But things are starting to look a little bit brighter.

We walked into a different clothing store, and it looked like it had potential.  Not only that, but in the fifteen minutes that we were there, Mom found a cute blue jacket for me.

I think I need to go to a few more thrift stores.  Inexpensive clothes.  The best kind (if they are cute!).

And the beauty book I am reading is making a whole lot of sense, and not asking any questions about my coloring, and I am starting to feel like I could choose makeup without knowing if I am warm-toned or cool-toned.

And I am starting to look on the brighter side with doing my hair (like I am going to be trying a few things).

Soon I am hoping to start making some of my own products – lotion, cream, makeup remover, and face soap.  We’ll see where it goes from there.  I’m not sure I am ready to jump into making my own cosmetics, although that does sound fun.

And on another happy note, I started exercising again this week, after two weeks off (pre-Men’s Advance and post-Men’s Advance).  It’s been really, really great.

Well, I started this post just to post a few photos that I took today, and all that just came out.  If you’ve read this far, thanks for listening to my rambles and rants.

It’s good to get it all out there.

But, I must get to bed if I want to get up.

And I was only going to spend 5 minutes to post some pictures.

🙂

Here they are.

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My new jacket.  Love it next to my purple wall.

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I was prepping the beans for tomorrow’s dinner, and this one kidney bean was in the bag with the black beans.

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When I went in my drawer to grab something, one of my hair bands was in the perfect shape of a treble clef.  I moved it out carefully, and took a picture, so I could show you.  🙂

 

Good night!

Trusting His Grace,
Allison

What I Want to Eat When it’s February (and More!)

Hi!

It’s me, Allison!

(It feels like so long since I have been on here that feel like I need to reintroduce myself.)

I’m still here.

Really.

What’s up?

Not a whole lot exciting or new here.  Just school.  And my midwifery course.  It has been so wonderful!  I love it.  I am wrapping up (or should be – but I am blogging :)) the first nutrition module, and enjoying it heartily.  It’s been great.

A few days ago I came down with a little bit of a cold (this is starting to sound like the story of my life, isn’t it?  It really isn’t, though).  I have a little sore throat and a little congestion, and a LOT of tired.  So this afternoon I ended up taking a nap.  Hopefully it will help me feel better faster.

When I woke up, I glanced at the clock, and it was time to start dinner!  Still rather groggy, I got up to head to the kitchen.

Then Mom came in.  And she basically said, “We have all these leftovers.  I would be so much happier (and I think it would be better) if you didn’t make dinner and we just ate those.”

So I am not making dinner.  Which makes me really happy, since I am still a little groggy.

So I thought I would post.

 

I have been thinking.  (Again, I try to do this once in a while.)  About what I want to eat when I am back to eating “normal-ish” things.  After I introduce the things I haven’t been eating slowly.  And these are some of the things I have been craving/wanting/thinking about.

1.  Brownies.  A whole pan (NOT!).  There is an AWESOME looking recipe in Practical Paleo.  I really want to try it (both making and eating!)

2. Baconaise.  Again, another recipe that is in Practical Paleo.  We went to a friend’s home, and they made an AWESOME broccoli salad with it.  And I want it again.  And it might be fun to try some other things with baconaise. (Tuna salad?  Egg salad? Any suggestions?  It has to be grain-free.)

3.  Egg casserole.  And quiche.  Something different for breakfast.  I’m getting a little tired of leftover meat.

4. Cheese.  Cheese sticks.  I miss it.

5.  Sun-dried tomatoes.  I have a jar in the fridge, and I think they would be good on a salad.

6.  A faux-Chipotle meal.  Keep thinking about it.  And I really want to try to imitate their steak.  I will say it again:  I LOVE CHIPOTLE!  Especially the cheese.  Don’t ask.

7.  Zucchini linguine noodles with tomato sauce.  And cheese!

8.  Cake.  Not sure where this craving is coming from, because I usually am not that big on cake.  Maybe because I want a baked good?

9.  Paleo French toast, like I made 2 days before I started this.  It was good.

10.  Chocolate chip cookies.  Need I say more?

11.  Peanut butter cookies.  Maybe with chocolate chips added in.

12.  A peanut butter spoon.

13.  A large peanut butter spoon with chocolate chips.

14.  Quinoa.  I want it again.  This has been even longer – several months since I had it last.

15.  Cookies, in general.  I haven’t made that many grain-free cookies.  And I need some.  (Yes, I do know the difference between “want” and “need.”  This IS a need.)

16.  Some sort of really good bar thing with a bunch of ooey-gooey toppings.  With caramel.

Well, that is it for right now.

If you have ANY suggestions of things that I should make (and eat!) when I get off this diet, I would LOVE to hear!

Well, off to work on that nutrition module.

Love,

Allison

Frost. Ice. Books.

The theme for yesterday’s 6 Lenses photo was favorite book.  So I took a large stack of books and all the necessary extras out to the-trees-in-the-pasture-across-the-road to take a picture.

Now the distance from the gate to the trees seems quite long when you are hauling a wagon containing 2 bags stuffed with books, a thermos of tea (for the pictures, not to drink), a camera bag, a quilt, and a teacup, with the other hand holding the camera.  Also, the tall grass covered with ice didn’t aid my journey.

Basically, after hauling out there and back, I was tired.  And cold.

So when I was done, I went inside and started a pot of coffee.

Then I went back outside with just my camera and macro lens to take a few pictures before I went in to have my mocha.

 

These past few days have been normal, or as close to normal as my life ever comes.  Just the norms.  School.  Chores.  Dinners.  Nothing all that exciting.

Something a bit more exciting is that the first part of my midwifery correspondence course came last week in the mail.  Mom and I ordered the first group of books that I need for it on Saturday, and I started it today.  I can’t wait for my books to arrive (the earliest I can expect them is the 18th).  Oh, I am SO looking forward to reading and learning!

I am not currently planning any desserts this week – but I am hoping that we will be able to pick up another of my favorite chocolate bars (Lindt 90%).  I finished the one I had today.  It was really good.  And now I want more.

I am planning a few new dinners for later this week, from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  We’ll see if they make it on here.  I haven’t been posting that many savory things lately – mostly just the sweets.  🙂

Oh.  I just remembered.  I will be making Mom some coffee chocolate chip coconut milk ice cream this week, and I will hopefully make Dad some chocolate peanut butter frozen yogurt.  I also owe my brother Noah a chocolate cake.  (For Christmas, I let both of my brothers choose any recipe they wanted, and I would make it for them.  Noah requested a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  Drake wanted Brazilian Black Beans.  I think I am going to make Drake’s when I come off this diet, so I can eat it.  I really like Brazilian Black Beans.)  But I probably won’t make his chocolate cake until next week.  (I need to add all three of these things to my schedule.)

Well, that’s all for now, folks!

And now, a few pictures.  (You can never tell beforehand how long this section is going to be.)

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The frozen grass I was trying to plow through

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Frost

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I should have tried to get this shot horizontally, but I guess I forgot.  Plus, this blade of grass was very close to the ground.  And normally I am not very close to the ground.  This made photographing it rather difficult.

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Thistle

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Hate these things.  Vehemently.  I was VERY careful to walk AROUND them.

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This is the photo I posted on 6 Lenses yesterday.  Couldn’t decide if I liked the vertical one…

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…or the horizontal one better.  What do you think?

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(Said with an accent) A spot of tea!

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Throwing out the tea

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Ice is SO FUN to photograph.  It has all the benefits of photographing water, except it stays much more still.  The only downside is that it is cold out.  Freezing cold.

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There is a slight focusing difference between these two photos.  Which one do you like better: 1…

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…or 2?

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SPARKLES!

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A Fun Breakfast and Today’s Walk

I have had a bit of inspiration for a yummy breakfast dish, and on Sunday I finally had all the pieces together, so I made it.  It consisted of a piece of warmed ham, sautéed spinach, and a poached egg, then drizzled drenched with some hollandaise sauce.  It was yummy!  I might have to make one tomorrow for breakfast.  We’ll see how much time I have…

Here is a link to the hollandaise sauce recipe I used.  I think I halved it.  This recipe is great, as it is made in a blender, and is so quick to throw together!  Just what we all need – hollandaise sauce at the touch of a few buttons!

Now for the photos! (Yes, I *actually* remembered to take a picture of my food before I ate it all!  I could have a serious gallery of empty plate photos if I took one each time I didn’t remember to take a picture before my food was gone.)

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LOTS of hollandaise sauce!

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The lovely colors

 

I took some photos on my walks today.  I took my two youngest siblings on a walk first (on this walk I took my camera with my macro lens.)  Then I went up to the pasture-behind-the-pond by myself, bringing normal lens.  I also brought my hymnal and psalter.  Yesterday I discovered that the pasture-behind-the-pond is an ideal spot to sing.  It is so open and peaceful, it is a joy to lift up one’s voice there.  You can hear it echo just a little, and you are secluded enough that you can sing at the top of your lungs and not be worried about anyone being too near.

I am hoping to start taking walks every day.  I will try not to post too many photos of my walks here, but if it snows, you know there will have to be lots of photos!  (I LOVE snow.)

So first, the photos of my walk with Meiling and Noah.

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My favorite trees are the out-of-focus blob in the background 🙂

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Who knew weeds could be so much fun?

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An old grave – I am not sure, as the stone is very worn, but I think it said 1836.

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Now the photos I took on my walk.

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A girl needs her chocolate, right?

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The pasture-behind-the-pond

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My hymnbook

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Heading home

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In my science book I was reading about astronomy, namely, the Milky Way galaxy.  Now every time I read “Milky Way,” you know what I though of?  Milky way candy bars, of course!  (Why do I seem to have this special ability to wrap food into anything?!?)  So, since my success with the Twix bars, I decided it would be fun to try to make Milky Way candy bars!  I am hoping to make them tomorrow.  Be sure to come back tomorrow evening – if I do make them, I will be sure to post pictures!  Oh, and they will be grain-free, made with coconut sugar, and all that good stuff.  🙂  It should be SO FUN!  (I am really excited, if you can’t tell!  :))

Looking forward to some Milky Way bars,

Allison

P.S.  Thank you for reading.  🙂

Today – 10/1/12

Happy October, everyone!

I told that to my sister this morning, and she promptly asked me what October was.  🙂

*Urgent News*  This is going to be a ramble-y post.  So it is a little disjointed.  Some of it will make more sense when you see the pictures.  I’m not sure about the rest of it.  😛  If you would rather, just scroll down to the pictures. 🙂  (I am in a bit of a smiley face mood today.  You’ll se what I mean in a minute.)

Today has been a quiet day.  I spent it giving my room a good cleaning since we have a good family friend coming to visit us tomorrow, and she will be staying in my room.  She will be here for ten days.

Once I was finished with my room, I spread out the cookbooks that are in my room, and continued with the menu planning.  I currently have 30 recipes/meals picked out for October.  I still need to pick out the recipes for the nights when Noah, Meiling, and I will be cooking ethnic foods.  And I need to chat with Mom about what we are going to bring to church on the meal Sundays.  I just realized that 30 recipes is enough.  I kept thinking that I would need one more, not remembering that we already had tonight planned.  Well, it only took me till now to figure that out.

We have lots of cats right now.  Most of them are technically kittens, as they were born this Spring and Summer.  They are feeling the slight chill in the air, and have been cuddling in a large pile on the deck.  Very cute!

I have had a cold over the weekend, a most miserable cold that hasn’t wanted to go away.  I have been taking the home remedies that I usually take, but I didn’t start them until I had already had the cold for a day.  I thought that the cold was allergies at first.  But I figured out that it was a cold on Friday morning.  Now I have been taking Master Tonic and Elderberry Syrup hourly (except at nights and while at Church).  I took a break for a few hours today since I was getting a bit tired of the Master Tonic.

On Friday, while I was sick in bed, I finished “Health for Godly Generations” and started “How to be Your own ‘Doctor.’”  It was quite fun reading that while I was sick.  I read about a few things that I could use while I was sick.  I have been drinking peppermint/parsley tea to help with congestion.  I’m not sure if it is helping, or if I am just getting better, but I am definitely less congested than I was yesterday!

Another remedy that I read about (and tried!) said to take an onion, chop it up, put it in a bowl, and sleep with it as close to your pillow as you could.  I tried it, and it kept my nose so clear!  But I had this feeling that I was going to knock it off the bed during the night.  Well, on Saturday night I didn’t knock it off. But last night was a different story.

I woke up to a clang just before 4 this morning.  Sure enough, I had hit the bowl with my arm and sent onions flying across the floor.  Not only were there onions, but onion juice, too.  I just grabbed the onions, tossed them in my trash can, wiped up the juice, and used the Swiffer to mop up the area quickly.  I decided that I would just leave the Swiffer and put it back in the morning.  (Trust me, there is a point to me telling, and you reading, this!)

At 5:30 our outside dog, Shadow, started barking at something.  My window was open, and the sound came through quite clearly.  Lucy, my little dog who was sleeping right next to me, immediately sat up, put her paws on me,  and started barking.  I shushed her in a few seconds, but she kept staring at something across the room.  It was the Swiffer.  She did not like the Swiffer.  I finally got her to calm down, but the next few times Shadow barked, she would lift her head to watch the Swiffer.  I don’t think that she quite trusted it.  🙂

Oh, I am SO excited.  We are going to get some more herbs.  Actually, quite a few.  I can’t wait.  I am going to make all kinds of things with them.  Can’t wait!

Here are a few pictures I took today.  None of them are particularly good.  But they are Today.  🙂

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Kitty pile – the one looking right at us is Toby.  We don’t know if it is a boy or a girl, but it has one orange toe.  Hence the name:  Toby.

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Meiling swinging

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Upis down!  (means upside down – some little one in our family said that, not sure who)

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Ooooooh, I love this.  Like LOVE love this.  The last roses of summer (actually, there are probably more that a dozen on our knockout rose bushes)

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Kitty

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Asparagus for dinner – we were going to grill it, but the grill is out of gas.  So I pan fried them, with the leftover marinade from the zucchini (see below).  They were very good.  Quite different than what we are used to, but in a good way.

And it is not going to fall off the plate.  I just felt like tipping the camera that far.  So I did.  😛

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The zucchini.  Again, we were going to grill these, but [see above].  I marinated these for a half hour in an Italian dressing I made.  Next time I will marinate them longer.  But they were pretty good.  Again, very different than what I am used to.

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Another kitty pile

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The view from our driveway

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The trees on the other side of the pasture that lies across the road

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I LOVE this fence.  It’s just so…country…semi-rustic…fence-like.  Like you couldn’t tell that last thing.

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Love that sky!

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Up the road

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The mums have bloomed

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I LOVE these leaves.  They are in my favorite part of the yard.  The trees are so close together that the leaves practically block out the sun.  It is absolutely beautiful.