Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ask Dr. Gott

Many of you are familiar with Dr. Gott's column in your local newspaper. He recently published a book entitled "No Flour, No Sugar". The basic gist of the book is that any refined flours or sugars should be eliminated from our diets as much as possible. It's not the "low-carb" diet that was the fad not too long ago because you can/should eat carbs... albeit healthy/natural carbs from veggies, fruits, and whole grains. Dr. Gott calls it a lifestyle. So, you can eat corn, popcorn, corn chips, peas, potatoes, apples, pineapples, millet, oatmeal, brown & wild rice, etc. because those are natural carb foods. But anything with refined flours/sugars or even raw sugars should be avoided. I've heard a lot of positive things about a new sweetner called Stevia. I think I'll look into it. My in-laws have been following Dr. Gott's dietary advice and in one week, my FIL lost 8 lbs!!! Here goes... I'm going to try it. And then maybe just maybe I can shed the remainder of these last 10 lbs of stubborn baby weight. ;-)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My sweet hubby

Ok... I just want to take a moment and brag about what a wonderful and thoughtful hubby I have. A long while back, I briefly asked for a tanning package to boost my moods. It's pretty dark here in this basement apartment. I've heard and read lots of stuff that suggests tanning if your feeling blue. Something about tanning beds increasing your vitamin D levels which make you feel better... Anyways, I had briefly mentioned it several months ago not realizing that RD took a mental note. Well, come this past Valentine's Day, RD comes home from work and at the bottom of the mail pile he brought home was a T-shirt from Exotic Tans and an appointment card. Woo hoo!!! RD is so not into celebrating Hallmark holidays so I wasn't expecting anything. He sure surprised me! What a sweetheart! Love you, babe!

I crack up every time I read the sign for Exotic Tans... "We make you look good!"... what, like I need help or something? Kinda like Maybelline ads... "Maybe she's born with it"... or maybe she really needs help and therefore "Maybe it's Maybelline".

"Joseph" auditions

I auditioned this past Monday evening. I think it went well, but we'll see. (I was actually the only one who auditioned for the part of Narrator that night... but, there are also (3) other days of auditions left). They first make you sing scales to find your range. I was able to hit a strong high B and we discovered I am SO not an alto. Then they made me sing a brief clip of one of the songs the Narrator sings. After that, I had to learn and perform a bit of choreography. I think I was born with two left feet. Dancing is apparently NOT my forte. Hopefully they judge more on vocal performance than on leg performance. ;-) We'll see what happens. I've REALLY been praying about this whole theater thing and I'm not really getting a strong "yes, go for it, Mel" or "no Mel... not right now" from God. That's why I posted my desire to be in "Joseph" on my weblog earlier to see what you all thought about it. I didn't get a single negative response. I took that as my OK from God to at least try-out. So, I've auditioned and now... it's just waiting to hear back from the directors. I'm really ok with whatever is decided. If I get it, great! If not, then that was God's way of shutting a door and there's something else I am supposed to be available for. As soon as I find out the results, I'll be sure and let y'all know!!! Also... the performance dates are NOT in August. They are in JUNE... like the weekends of June 17 and the following weekend (20-something). Keep you posted on that, too.

My new sling

Thanks, Cyndi! We LOVE it!!!

Organic Gardens

Well well... it's that time of year... time to begin planning this year's garden. RD and I've been talking and we're decided on starting off with a small organic garden. We're definitely going to plant Roma tomatoes and hot peppers (for homemade salsa), but that may be it veggie-wise. We're wanting to focus more on herbs like lavender, chamomile, peppermint, oregano, basil, etc. I've gotten a couple good leads on organic gardening books, but I wanted to hear from you ladies if you had any good book/website recommendations. We're looking for info not only in regard to planting & caring for our herbs, but also how to dry, store, and use them (like in teas and herbal remedies). We would love any info you can provide! Thanks so much!

Aiden pics

This is Grandpa Easley & Amara (the big 'sis) with Aiden

No joke... Aiden's hands were the size of Cassandra's!

Proud Aunt!!!

Cyndi's labor went on-and-off all last weekend (contractions started last Thursday). We were hoping she'd get to go naturally, but it actually worked out well that she was induced on Monday. Come Tuesday, we had a blizzard come through, dumping off a couple feet of snow. If Cyndi hadn't gone in Monday, there's a good chance she would have been stuck at home/unable to get to the hospital. She maybe would have had the child at home... which could have been dangerous considering my sister's medical condition. Everything worked out great and there were no complications whatsoever with her labor & delivery. PRAISE GOD!!! What a blessing from God!

Cyndi had her baby!

My sister, Cyndi, had her baby (Mon.) 2-12-07. His name is Aiden Samuel. He weighed in at 8 lb.s 7 oz. and was something like 21 in. long. What a handsome young man!!! What struck me the most was the size of his hands and feet. They were huge!
Due to a medical condition, Cyndi is not allowed to have pain meds during labor. (Go Cyndi!) They induced her Monday AM and she had Aiden later that evening, around 4pm. We're SO happy for you, Cyndi and Jamie!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm gonna be an aunt again!!!

Yeah! As we speak, my sis, Cyndi, is experiencing contractions every 15 min.s apart. Today may very well be the day I get to meet my new nephew (Aiden Samuel)! We're pumped. This is her second baby but her first was induced. It'll be cool if she gets to have this one naturally. Please pray she has a safe labor & delivery. Keep y'all posted!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Joesph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Ok, we all have crazy fantasies of things we want to accomplish before we die. Here's mine: I want to play the part of "Narrator" for Andrew Lloyd Weber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. -sigh- It's been my dream ever since I first heard it on tape when I was a child. ;-) Well... my chance has come... that is, to at least try-out for the part of "Narrator". The Auditions for the Civic Players of Logansport are at the end of this month. RD's given me the OK to do it. I'm psyched! The actual performance will be this August. I'll let you know if I get the part!!!

Ham & Cheese Omelet Roll

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup milk
2 T all-purpose flour
1/4 t salt
12 eggs
8 oz. ham, finely chopped (1-1/2 cups)
6 oz. Swiss or cheddar cheese, shredded (1-1/2 cups)
1/4 cups green onions with tops, thinly sliced
2 T Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 375F. In a 1-quart bowl, combine cream cheese and milk; whisk until smooth. Add flour and salt; whisk to combine. In 2-quart bowl, gently whisk eggs until blended. Add cream cheese mixture; mix well.

Cut an 18-in. long piece of parchment paper (or wax paper, if in a bind). Press into bottom and sides of a cookie sheet to prevent egg mixture from running under parchment paper; pinch corners. Pour egg mixture into bottom of cookie sheet. Bake 30-33 min.s or until egg is puffy and golden.

Remove omelet from oven; immediately spread with Dijon mustard. Sprinkle with half the cheese; top with ham and green onions. Sprinkle remaining cheese. Roll up jelly-roll fashion; that is, so you have a long, thin roll. Let stand 5 min.s to allow cheese to melt; slice.

Yield: 8 servings

Stuffed Green Peppers

4 large green peppers
5 cups boiling salted water
1 lb. ground beef
2 T chopped onion
1 t salt
1/8 t garlic salt
1/2 cup grated cheese (like Cheddar)
1 cup cooked rice (or millet)
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes); divided

Heat oven to 350F.
Cut a circle around stems of peppers and remove stems, seeds, and membranes leaving shell of pepper completely intact. Cook peppers uncovered in the boiling salted water for 5 min.s; drain.

Cook and stir ground beef and onion in medium skillet until onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in salt, garlic salt, cheese, and rice and 1 cup of the tomato sauce; heat through.

Stuff each pepper withe meat mixture. Stand peppers upright in ungreased 8x8x2 in. baking dish. Pour remaining tomato sauce over peppers.

Cover; bake for approx. 45 min.s. Uncover; bake 15 min.s longer.