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Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's a Celiac Miracle!

Well, maybe miracle is too strong a word. Or maybe my food life has just been more sad than I'm willing to admit. Either way, today was a good day.

First, breakfast. I had Cocoa Pebbles. Yup. Apparently everybody and their sister (including Rachel Ray) knew this already, but I had heard that Post had changed the recipe for Pebbles and had added barley malt, thus rendering it inedible to me. That was only for the Fruity Pebbles, though.

Here's the great part: Jim bought Cocoa and Fruity Pebbles for breakfast, and I picked up the Fruity Pebbles box to longingly peruse the ingredient list, pining and wishing the barley malt would not be on the list. AND IT WAS NOT! This of course prompted me to rush right to the web and check for the possibility that Fruity Pebbles were again gluten free, which led to my discovery that Cocoa Pebbles were, which led to my investigation of polydextrose (labeled as "fiber source"), which led to the discovery that polydextrose really isn't a fiber, but just more of a sugar/lubricant/thingy, which led to me eating one of my favorite cereals of ALL TIME for breakfast!

Tomorrow: Fruity Pebbles

(That may not seem so great to some of you, but I stopped eating cereal several years ago. I thought that the high amount of cold milk in the morning was making my stomach hurt. Silly me. It's fanTAStic to be able to eat some of my favorite cereals again and not hurt a bit.)


And if that wasn't enough, we checked out a new restaurant for dinner: T-Rex. Think Rainforest Cafe meets dinosaurs. Pretty great.

When I asked if a gluten-free menu was available, the staff said they could do one better, and one of the chefs came out to talk to me and walk me through what I could eat. Fully half of the menu was available, and he said that there were also several things that he could alter for me if I really really wanted them.

He said he would be making my dinner, and once I had ordered, he would come talk to me if I accidentally ordered something I shouldn't have. This turned out to be a good thing as the server forgot to make a substitution and accidentally left the gluten-filled side on the order. Oops! The chef popped out right away to check with me what I wanted in its place.


And the food was good, too!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday. Friday? Friday!

Somehow this whole durn week got away from me.

And by away, I mean...

  1. I sat in divisional meetings from 8 AM Monday through 12 PM Wednesday, for a total of 18 hours of meetings.
  2. I totally forgot to post a recipe for this week for What's for Dinner Wednesday over at the Gluten Free Homemaker.
  3. Somehow I totally missed Thursday. I was going to be productive after my last official day of work until August, but Overlord II came in the mail, so I did that instead. :)
And now? Now it's Friday. How did it get to be Friday already?


It's Friday! Wooooooooooo!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Meadow, Part 2

Here are a few more photos for you from our trip to the meadow. I've included several of the kids' more experimental shots in this bunch. We took a lot of pictures. The small ones are Annie's and the larger ones are mine and Jimmy's. (Captions are for the picture above.)

"Purple grass, Mom?!?"

One of the many butterflies

Kinda hard to see it, but there's a brown and orange butterfly just above center on this picture.

Baby trees in the grass. This one was 3 inches tall.

This is the picture Annie was taking when I took her picture.

"Look! They're mating!"

Run-off track headed for the pond

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Meadow

On Tuesday, I came home from work and announced to the kids that we were going for a walk.

They were excited until I told them that they could not bring scooters and we were not headed to the playground.

I also refused to tell them where we were headed, and so regretfully leaving their wheels behind, they followed me out the door...

When we arrived at the meadow, they were, shall we say, hesitant to be excited or interested.

In spite of that, I armed them each with a cell phone camera and told them to explore: take pictures of anything you like, watch out for thorns and thistles, and see what you can see.

I also encouraged them to take photos from unexpected angles.

Within minutes, they were enthralled and I could barely keep up with them.

Annie went from flower to flower, photographing as many different kinds as she could, along with their various bugs.

Jimmy remarked on how easy it would be to get lost in the grass, some of which stood as high as his head (almost to my shoulder).

We talked about types of plants and bugs and what it would be like crossing the plains in grasses that went on for miles and how to find field mice and snakes and the kinds of birds that circled the meadow above us.

On the way home, we gathered flowers to put in a vase and the kids made me promise to take them back soon. It was so great just wandering about in a spot where we could see no cars, no houses, and no other people.

Jimmy writes:
My most favorite part was wishing I could jump in the pond. The pond was huge, but Mom said no because it was all dirty and muddy. It felt great and we kept picking flowers for a bouquet. I saw flowers like dandilions and Annie saw flowers that look like Einstien. And I saw a giant pinecone!

Annie writes:
If I may say so myself, the trip to the meadow was awesome! Wildflowers and wild, unkempt grasses as far as the eye can see! As long as you can't see far. There are bugs everywhere! A beetle on this flower, a butterfly on that bush, a dragonfly near the pond! It was so full of nature, it was overwhelming!

The flowers we saw included brown-eyed Susans, Queen Anne's Lace, and daisies.

Plus, some little spiky balls on stems with grassy things sticking up out of them, and I named them Einstein flowers.

I also saw a butterfly that was orange and brown. Mom hadn't seen it before, so I don't know what it was.

Plus there was a dragonfly with see-through wings hanging out in the grass. These are key points in our trip to the meadow.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

When I Grow Up

When I was a kid, I wanted to be everything at some point or another, but one of my big, Big, BIG dreams was to go into the field of meteorology and study clouds and predict weather patterns and chase tornadoes and maybe even be on TV.

So, you can imagine my excitement when today at work I heard that a new type of cloud had been discovered. As with many things you hear, that statement is mostly accurate. According to the National Geographic story that I read, this "new" cloud type has been observed and recorded in various places around the world since at least the 1950s.

Here's a shot of one of these new clouds from Iowa care of the Natl Geo article:
This type of cloud is an undulus asperatus cloud. It's characterized by rolling waves moving through the lower surface of the cloud, causing an undulating motion.

It's nickname is the "Jacques Cousteau" cloud because looking up at the clouds can remind you of looking up at the surface of the ocean from underwater.

My friend at work has nicknamed them "Apocalypse" clouds because they look like something you would see at the end of the world, especially when the sun hits them just right, as in this Natl Geo photo from New Zealand:

Don't you just love it? What a spectacular shot!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Steak and roasted potatoes - What's for Dinner Wednesday

Over at the Gluten Free Homemaker, Linda hosts a weekly recipe exchange. If you have to eat gluten-free, head on over and check it out!

This week, I'm posting an easy one: Steak and Taters!

I like to marinade my steaks, or at the very least, season them with some pepper and garlic. Then, to the grill! Yum.

One of my favorite sides, though, is today's recipe: grilled baby red potatoes. Now I probably have about a hundred different ways to cook potatoes, but this is one of my favorites.

  1. Half or quarter potatoes so that the pieces are about the same size as the pearl onions.
  2. Peel pearl onions and garlic cloves.
  3. Toss all three with olive oil and seal tightly in a long, flat tin foil package. The goal is to have a single layer of veggies in the packet, so you may need more than one packet if you're making a lot of potatoes.
  4. Put the packet on the grill about 10 minutes before the steaks. I usually throw them on first and then come back in and get everything together for the rest of the meal and then I take the steaks out to grill.
  5. Flip the packets when you put the steaks on. The potatoes should be done when your steaks are.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Things that make me happy:

Happiness is a choice, you see. Well, maybe not happiness, but joy is. Even when I'm sad, I can be glad. I can be joyful. That's a lesson that my mom taught me a long time ago. Even when life's awful, be glad you can find joy in your life somewhere, even if the only place you can find joy is in the comfort you always will receive from God. His joy always will bring you that promised strength.

So choose joy. Be happy. And remember what a very dear, very smart, very wonderful friend of mine once said to me:

We couldn't have sunbeams if we didn't have clouds.
- Nate Buzdor

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's for Dinner Wednesday

This week in our What's for Dinner recipe exchange over at the Gluten-Free Homemaker, we're doing lunch recipes. One of my favorite lunches is salads, so I'm sending everyone back in time to my hamburger salad recipes.


Be sure to jump on over and check out the rest of this week's recipes, too!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's about that time...

...time to go back to blogging, that is.

I can tell because...
  • Vanilla called me out on my last post ("two weeks and then some," he said. Too true).
  • School's almost out.
  • I collected my last assignment today.
  • I started noticing that the animals are cute again.
  • I started noticing the kids were cute again.
  • I finished my paperwork. Almost.
  • I've been inspired by my students' culminating projects
  • My inbox is lonely.
  • I took pictures of my food this week.
What shall I write about first? Hmmmmm. Oh, wait. I just did.
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