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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Easy as pie!

   Tonight my daughter and I made a thick, creamy, lovely, cold, summer-will-soon-be-here Kool-aid pie. We are rather fond of these easy pies. I was first introduced to the rich taste of one at a church function. The sweet-toothed kitchen staff at a weekend church camp, it turned out, had found a simple dessert recipe to feed a crowd of hungry teens with little work and basic ingredients. No matter what the teen's taste buds might hanker for, offering an assortment of these tasty treats was a easy as 1-2-3 by using a variety of Kool-aid  flavors.

   On tonight's test menu was a Pina Pineapple Pie. I was hoping it would taste like a Sonic Pineapple Milkshake but it wasn't quite as good as I had hoped. Good, but not the BEST. We've learned that some Kool-aid flavors make D-E-L-I-S-H pies (orange, key lime, or strawberry, for example), some are mediocre (such as tonight's pie), while some are just sort of odd and sort of weird and sort of good all at once (grape pie, anyone?). Then there are some Kool-aid pies that ought not to be (wild berry---sounded great but was not a repeat on our dessert menu; same for cherry).

   To make your own yummy goodness in a pan, you'll only need 4 ingredients, about 5 minutes to prepare the pie, and then a dinner to eat while your pie chills for an hour or so.

  Here we go folks....Kool-aid Pie:

1 packet any flavor Kool-aid unsweetened drink mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 8 oz. tub Cool Whip topping, thawed
1 graham cracker pie shell

   In a medium bowl mix the first three ingredients well, so all the drink mix powder is well-blended (trust me, you DO NOT want to bite into a pocket of un-blended powder later on). Pour/push/scrape/ and scoop the now-thick filling into the pie shell. Refrigerate the pie for an hour. Go do a word search or walk the dogs or drink some coffee or hit Pinterest...I don't care. Just don't eat the pie yet. It's really good when it's chilled. You'll be glad you waited. :) Oh, you can lick the spoon....and the bowl. 

  Here's a cool idea: try a chocolate pie shell with a compatible Kool-aid flavor....like strawberry. Don't forget to top the pie with fresh fruit when possible. Mandarin oranges are a MUST on the orange pie. Bet you can come up with some nifty flavor sensations, too. Leave me a comment with your flavor combos.



Sunday, April 28, 2013

The rest of days two and three with FASTIN

   When I signed out yesterday I had just taken the recommended dosage of my new diet pill, Fastin. I had the jitters and could barely type so I decided to chill a bit and see what the day brought. I can tell you...my day brought me nausea and not much more. I stayed just at the "slightly queasy" level of functioning all day, with an occasional spinning head tossed in to boot. I was not completely rendered useless, but just felt kind of crummy all day. I had no desire to eat or drink whatsoever, but forced myself to do a little of both. My usual day of eating is three meals (with dinner being way too big) and at least 3 snacks a day (often unhealthy cravings toward bedtime). I also crave sodas continually. I craved NOTHING on Fastin. Not even water. In fact the thought of food made me feel sick. ....all day. :(  By dinner time I forced myself to eat a small cereal bowl of taco salad. I haven't forced myself to eat in years! I guess that's how it works. I can see where there'd be some really rapid weight loss that way, but my goodness, who wants to take that dangerous route?

   Not one to give up so easily but deciding to tweak the program a bit, I only took 1/2 of a pill with my morning cereal today. MUCH improved. No nausea, no jitters, and only slightly (as in reasonably) hungry (I do confess to eating a slice of chocolate loaf bread with our Sunday school class but I felt full really fast and didn't crave that second piece). Now it's 2 pm and I am about to eat a little lunch. That's a big change for me as typically I'd be hearing my stomach growl by 11 am. Just took a full pill, too, to see if the nausea returns. That way I can plan my dosage before I go to work in the morning. I have no desire to feel queasy in a room full of 3-year olds for 8 hours. ;)

    Again, I'm not really hungry; just kind of snacky. This is do-able. This is great. This was what I hoped for on FASTIN. Nothing dangerous or with horrible side-effects. Just a little help suppressing my appetite so I can gradually lose the weight (and hopefully feel better physically so I can up the exercise).

Wish me luck and I want to hear your comments on diets/medications you've tried,

Saturday, April 27, 2013

My weight loss journey with FASTIN

    I am a mom to three kiddos. Love it! But over the years, as many of us have, I've put on a few *ahem* pounds. I am not the five- foot, seven- inch tall, 117-pound girl I used to be. Now I don't want to be pencil thin, just healthy. But all my plans have been thwarted in the last couple of years by a medicine I have to take to combat horrible hormonal migraines, which sadly, has made me gain eighteen pounds. :(  And the real kicker is this---around the time I began the medicine I learned I have heel spurs and some back and neck problems with arthritis (thank you, genetics).  You can imagine what standing at work most of the day with the heel spurs and that extra eighteen pounds is doing. I don't sleep longer than 5-6 hours at night, most every night, even on sleeping medication, because something, somewhere, begins to ache. Not even middle-aged and I find myself getting up sometimes to sleep upright in the recliner. That in itself sounds like something an eighty-year old would do (my apologies to my sweet senior audience). I am still young and offended that my body doesn't do what I want it to.  I am on a long road to feeling my best and not ending up like other family members whose arthritis became so bad that they became wheel-chair bound.

  Since exercise is a wonderful thing to do daily, God saw fit to move us into town where our dogs have to stay chained in the backyard. And since He knew I would look daily upon their sad little faces and feel compelled to walk them a block or two, that has been my exercise for a while. Every day two strong horses, er, I mean dogs, drag me/walk me/gallop me forcefully one block and back. You'd think that would help my weight loss.... Nada. Zero. Zip.

  From January-February, our staff at the daycare decided to play Biggest Loser. I think only a few people actually lost so I don't feel too bad there with the results. ;) But here's the rub: I banned all colas (at least that weren't zero everything), drank water 'til I could have floated away, and switched most of my foods to healthy ones. Even tried watching portion sizes. Pounds lost at the end=zero!

  I don't know what else to do except try ANOTHER diet pill. And believe me, I've tried quite a few with no results. I read some reviews about Phentermine and I wanted to try it, but it's pricey with the doctor visits and all, and my insurance won't cover it. So after lots of online study, I bought Fastin.


     So I began yesterday and plan to keep a daily, if possible, journal of sorts to see if it really works. I also wrote my current weight on the calendar and a goal I want to reach. I will eat and drink normally as this medicine has been claimed by many to work regardless of diet and exercise. I will continue to walk the horses each day but otherwise doubt there'll be much other exercise in my life.

Day 1: took one pill at breakfast only because many reviewers say 2 pills makes you jittery. Only ate 1 slice of pizza with lunch instead of my usual 2. Did cheat and have a cookie as an afternoon snack. Wasn't terribly hungry again until supper, which was late because I worked late and then we grilled out. I ate a plate of grilled chicken, a roll, and corn and green beans. No bedtime snack either, and I ALWAYS get snacky before bed. Felt really sleepy all day yesterday (which surprised me because most reviewers say you can't sleep at all on this pill). I fell asleep on the couch before 9 pm and slept til 6:30! Wow for me.

Day 2: I just had a bowl of shredded wheat and took the recommended 2 pills. My gosh, my hands are so shaky I can barely type this and my heart is racing. I am wide awake and feel like I could run the block and back with the horses' help. We'll see what this day brings. I am not sure about the jitters though.

Will post again soon,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Shop/craft room DONE!

     It's been a while since we've updated a room in our fixer-upper but Jarred decided this week was a good time to renovate his shop since we didn't need to buy anything but a gallon of paint. ;)

     Here is what the "shop" looked like when we moved into the house.

   Pretty bad, right? Unfinished walls that resembled cardboard. A previous roof leak had left water stains. More "stuff" from previous owner (I have no complaints there; I love nothing more than pawing through a box of mystery items). Moldy, dusty carpet. Moldy, dusty everything. This room hadn't seen action in years when we walked in.

    First we had to sort the stuff. Then for a time we had to use some of the space to store our own stuff. Meanwhile Jarred has been working around all the piles of things. This is how the shop looked from about November-well, last night night.

My crafting side is beginning to take shape

This old shelf we found in the blue bathroom is about to find new life in my craft area!

soaping supplies

Jarred's side for his game console repair business

Lots of repair work to be done which, praise the Lord, equals lots of paychecks!

      I am so proud of the "new" shop. It is a nice place to go and work when you need a little solitude. It's clean, bright, and airy. It smells good, too. lol    I can hang with my man while he works or maybe find some time to begin my crafting again, since Jarred organized my area too. He even mounted that old bathroom shelf on the wall and repainted it to house my odds and ends. I really enjoyed running my two Etsy stores and have an awful lot of supplies just begging to be used. Now I can locate them and have a wonderful place to spread out and create. :)

Shelf is mounted and paint has begun.

Leftover tiles from our breezeway and Parisian bathroom.

Jarred's side...DONE!

worktable and shipping area

my crafting side....DONE!

I think working here will be great.

And the shelf on the wall is working out just beautifully.

Thanks Sweetie! Everything is so nice and clean and organized.

Take heart those of you with fixer-uppers....we will get this done...one room at a time. And we will make ourselves PROUD.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Goodbye, Strep throat...it's kinda been oddly nice knowing you

     I know that sounds weird to say. Strep throat is NOT fun and it's extremely painful. I had it repeatedly as a child and teen, and every five years or so it comes back to haunt me as an adult. It wasn't fun missing work (or the paycheck I WOULD have had if strep had not come knocking on my door over last weekend), but it was nice to be able to stay home (sans kids) the last 3 days. I got to rest (without guilt since I had a good excuse! lol)....clean a little house when I had a burst of energy....plop back down on the couch when the energy failed....catch up on some college course work...goof off for hours on Pinterest when no one wanted to be near me and it hurt to converse anyway...you know the things moms typically don't get to do unless they are sick. It's a shame I can't be some successful blogger...or  novelist....or an uber-talented crafter who actually makes a decent living doing it, because being home this week has reminded me of just how much I L*O*V*E being home. You see, I'm a natural introvert (who also just happens to be quite OCD about order and cleanliness in my home). So being home just makes sense to me because I accomplish all these silly things on my trivial to-do list that no one else ever really notices or cares about in the first place. Check off the list....ahhh...inner-most satisfaction. Now lest you think me totally strange, you other busy women admit it: it IS nice to be home long enough to catch up on stuff, even if you could never ever stay home 24/7.

     You might not know I am introverted from my job (I'm a daycare worker in a class of sixteen little ones--but my boss and co-workers will likely tell you I am sort of quiet), or from my past (as a high-schooler with a massive list of clubs and activities in which I thrived), or from my homeschooling days (when not teaching my own children I worked with three different homeschool co-ops, 4-H, cub and boy scouting, church, etc.). But even in all this, deep inside, I just always liked being by myself. I love my "littles" at work; I really really do, and have no regrets about the decision to finish college so I can keep working with children, but I relish the quiet time I find at the end of each work day. For an introvert, having a time alone is how we recharge our batteries. Being in the public constantly is actually very emotionally draining to an introvert.

      I have found over the years, that I enjoy the "mundane" duties of a homemaker very much because they require only 1.) ME. I don't need to be out in the public to find satisfaction. Taking a trip to Walmart once a day, sadly enough, is about all I require of interaction. Learning new homemaking skills such as baking fresh bread from a starter I started, to planning a delicious dinner, to cleaning the house, to reading a good book, to getting some in-depth Bible study time, to organizing a closet or room, to learning new crafts from Pinterest, could easily keep this simple mind entertained for years to come. But since I doubt I'll ever get rich from selling glass photo jewelry or writing witty blog posts to the masses, I'll finish my education and continue on in the teaching path. The social path. The path that pays a little (at least I hope, since I'll owe the government a small fortune in college loans). But every so often, when I get worn down or a bit under the weather, I'll *secretly* slightly*enjoy the small break from "normal" society. :)