Juicers- The New Snotty Elite

How did drinking juice become The Thing to do? How did this healthy habit become a club of snobby elitist Food Nazis?

A guy came through my check out line the other day, with enough produce to supply the entire herbivore section of a city zoo. Either that, or he was a restaurant owner whose shipment of fresh veggies didn’t make it on time.

So…I asked. “Oh,  I juice“, his voice dripped with ambrosia and pious reverence for both juice and himself. “Ah, I see. Cool, cool. ” I always think of Lance Armstrong at times like these.

I like to make smoothies with kale, veggies, fruit, yogurt and protein powder, so I thought I could relate. “So good for you, isn’t it? I love to use kale and spinach in my…” “Oh, good , yes, me too,” he oozed. Then came a rant, really, about the virtues of adding lemon juice to the mix, to really pull out the microscopic micro nutrients from each and every cell, and the breakdown of the plant’s cellular walls, and so on. While he waxed on, I bagged all his dirty, wet produce and was ready to take payment for the elephant salad. He kept talking the entire time while slowly extending the cash in my direction. I smiled and nodded and “uh-huh’ed” my way through it all.

Finally, he did it. He asked me which elite Juicer I owned.  “Well, actually, I just got a Ninja. Works great!” The expression on his face turned from we-in-the-club bliss to disgusted confusion. “Yeah, I make smoothies.” ‘Oh..” he muttered, clearly miffed for being taken in by a NON-juicer, a mere Smoothier- obviously of less status, class, and education. I almost laughed out loud at the look on his face. It was priceless.

So, let me just say this to anyone and everyone out there who have decided that your way of life is SO amazing, so enlightened, so IT, that you have somehow been elevated above mere mortal trash; (the non-juicers, non-vegans, gluten eaters, etc.) unless and until your excrement fails to stink, please come back to Earth- and have a smoothie 🙂

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Low-carb AMAZING and G.F. recipes/food

www.ibreatheimhungry.com

The author of this site, that I just discovered, is a food genius! I have seen some truly amazing looking and sounding recipes and ideas here that I have seen nowhere else. I went there looking for low carb grasshopper pie, and found a lot more! Go check out her site- you might be as amazed as I was.

Top Ten Gifts I Absolutely Despise

OK, first of all- let me state that any gift that comes my way shows, to some degree, that I was thought about enough to cause some poor soul to part with some cash, wrap a gift, and put my name on it. That, at least, took some thought, some care, some semblance of decency. Thank you all. But to set the record straight, there are certain gifts that should never have been. A card would have sufficed. A $5 gift card to the local McDonald’s would have been better, even for the dedicated low-carb dieter.

Here is the non-exhaustive list of gifts that I will flat-out BURN if any of you Cretins dare bequeath them to me again:

1) The Pithy Plaque. “Live, Love, Laugh”. Wow. Printed on mass produced white pulp pressed into a ‘wooden’ square, and sold for .99 at any Buck-a Bang store, proudly emblazoned with a golden sticker proclaiming “Made in China”. I have a few of these already. I am not impressed. Please, please don’t do it.

2) The bath bead/balm/oil pellets/jelly orbs, whatever. I do not wish to smell like lavender, cucumbers, amber, nor lilacs. I don’t  wish my children to slip on the leftover oil slick in the bathtub and fall to their deaths, and I certainly don’t need any bath time salt crystals. At all. Ever. Don’t DO it! Think- “UTI risk” , and just SKIP IT.

3) Gifts for YOU or the house, cleverly disguised as ‘gifts’ for me. So, you know I am on a low-carb diet, but you filled my stocking with your favorite candy. How convenient. You bought pictures for the bathroom wall, and after giving them to me, you clearly give me directions on how and where to hang them. Perfect. If you wanted my creativity to shine, you should have just given me a gift card to the craft store or framers and called it good. But, no. You used your taste and you selected the ‘art item’. So, take it and hang it… Ditto for the “Love with all Your Heart, all Your Life” coffee mug. Was I not loving enough that you thought I must need a reminder?  Rubbish- take it away! Where’s the receipt, seriously…

4) The gift that was clearly never intended for me, or you just don’t know me at ALL. OK, I love tennis, but you got me a racquetball racket. Clever. Thoughtful. You don’t even play friggin’ racquetball! So-  WHY?

5) The completely meaningless gift: A crew-neck tee shirt advertising some brand name I don’t care about, in a color only you like. Plus, it’s a medium. Way to play it safe.  Oops! Must have tossed it in the Christmas Trash Bag….so sorry! That’s OK, we can replace it sometime when I go to the dollar store…

6) The all-in-one cosmetic tray of value. For $ 9.99 you get all the recycled watercolor paints and colored whale blubber a woman could dream of , all crammed into an enormous palette of goo that any 2-cent whore would be proud to own. Genius. You know I am burning it just to see the pretty colors melt into some semblance of temporary artwork.

7) Stale, plastic wrapped ‘coffee and tea’ set. Unknown brand, unknown flavors- like, “Mango-hazelnut Vanilla Rum Spice Cake” tea. Hmmn, Nummy. I know, let’s not and say we did.

8) THE MUFFLER/Scarf. You ever seen me wear a scarf? No. Clue # 1. I am not gonna start now. Thanks, though. I am sure Aunt Beth worked really hard on it, or was it Walmart again?

9) The “I have designs on your life” gift. Self help books, “How to beat Booze Addiction with Yoga Breathing”, “Jax Branfield’s Guide to Living without Regrets”, and ” I think I can be Famous” are not books I want to see under the tree, or anywhere. Thanks, though. Oh, and I will throw diet books straight at your head, so DUCK fast, a**holes!

10) The gift of ” I didn’t remember you at all”. In some cases, this gift is preferable to many of the above, but when it’s someone you really care about and who you believe cares about you, nothing speaks louder than silence. Well, that’s all folks, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Fall 2012 Horoscope: My Way

The Summer Solstice this year will bring the usual feelings in all signs of  impending doom, a need to eat mindless amounts of comfort food, or an overwhelming sadness and need to sleep. Other side effects may include a need to bake desserts, visit Pier 1 and buy the new fall dining table decor, and purchase unneeded Fall-ish items.

That’s the sun’s waning effect playing against our modern lifestyles. We’re supposed to be gathering and storing, slowing down, and preparing for winter. Unfortunately, this manifests itself in a myriad of undesirable ways. Ordering more crap from Amazon.com and eating dozens of cookies is not what nature intended. Nevertheless, to the horoscopes:

Virgo: Aug 23- Sept. 22

Stop stalking your love interest. They are not interested. You seem to enjoy ignoring the obvious, and you are so ‘cool’ and ‘real’, that you end up seeing mostly what you want to see, not what truly is. Work on that. The stars suggest a trip to Pier 1, as you enjoy the best life has to offer, and this will take your mind off what’s-her-name for a while. Throw a party. Mingle.

Libra: Sept. 23-Oct. 22:  You could stand a bit of spending on essentials after all your hard work and saving. It’s ok to have more than rotten vegetables in the fridge, and one pathetic cup of yogurt. You have no towels. Or a phone. Ditto the car. Anyway, you get the idea. Stop being the starving artist. Your obsession to never be poor will inevitably draw the poor energy into your life. Haven’t you heard that what you fear most is what gets drawn your way? Enjoy the abundance of life. Don’t worry.

Scorpio: Oct. 23-Nov 22: You’ve been working hard at keeping negativity at bay, cultivating friendships, maintaining a consistent work ethic, and routine. Now, of course, the stars, and your personal Scorpion need for challenge, excitement, mystery and change is kicking in hard. This is Pluto’s fixed deep water, at war with Mars hot, mercurial intensity. When things get too easy, you get bored, and are likely to sabotage your own best interests in the name of new pursuits. The problem is, this doesn’t fulfill you in the long run. In fact, you are one of the least contented signs long-term. You always dig too deep, get a bit paranoid, and can suffer greatly with depression. You need to surround yourself with positive people who are strong enough not to get pulled down by your highly intense negative power surges. Involving yourself in consistently serving others in a noble or spiritual cause will give you an inner contentment that your job and even family cannot provide.

Sagittarius: Nov. 22- Dec. 21: Summer’s ending and sun waning don’t thrill you unless you can continue to stay active. Look for leadership positions now, and be willing to listen as well as you speak. You’ll be looking for a partner in adventure, but the pull of commitment can leave you feeling scared. Remember that adventure that is shared is the best kind.  Guess what?  Commitment is just another of life’s greatest adventures.

Capricorn: Dec 22- Jan. 19: Your drive and determination have gotten you far. You also usually know how to keep your work and personal life balanced, but lately, you may be striving to prove yourself to be as important and vital as always. This cycle is ending this year, as change is offering up a chance for more of a mentoring role, requiring less drudgery on your part, and more consulting. Your hard work is paying off. Allow yourself to trust others to have your back, and let them take the lead. You trained them, let them show you what they have learned.

Aquarius: Jan 20- Feb. 18: You’ve been in the limelight lately, and everyone loves you, but you don’t always seem to value that, because a certain adoration has always been there. But that adoration is superficial to some degree. True friends know your heart, your pains, your struggles, not just your peppy Facebook posts. Don’t be afraid to be real. This is the season to dig deeper into yourself, be introspective, and find a new layer of depth in yourself. You have enough heart to share.

Pisces: Feb 19- March 20: The time for crying and struggling are ending. You are coming into your own. You are healing and becoming the person you have always had the potential to. You have trouble accepting others who  to you, seem inferior , because they threaten your own sense of identity. It’s time to grow past that, because your own self-esteem increases as the year comes closer to its end. You begin to realize that nobody is perfect, not even you, but that doesn’t mean you will wallow in the mire. You accept that pain is part of growth, and embrace it!

Aries: March 21- Apr. 19:  Get your head out of the clouds and come down to Earth now and then. Quit partying so much and enroll in some college classes! Another vodka and Tequila night? Really? Look at your life.

Taurus:  April 20- May 20: You’ve been quiet lately. Unlike you, unless you’re brooding and a big Taurean storm is brewing. Channel your great energy into cooking for others this fall- it feels good to give. Forgiving is nice, too. Not everyone can be as perfect, methodical, hard-headed, and RIGHT as you! Work out, play racquetball, or adopt a cat.

Gemini: May 21- June 20: Your life has calmed down lately. You’ve put away painful choices and memories. You’ve switched over to your practical side and are feathering your nest. But, what’s this? Love life on the back burner ? As long as you have breath, you cannot live without feeling in love for very long. It won’t be long before you throw caution to the wind again, as loneliness becomes stronger than practicality. This time, work on you first before that first date. Have you rid yourself of baggage, or just put a pretty tablecloth over it?

Cancer: June 21- July 22: You know, keep doing what you are doing and giving what you are giving, and that is always and exactly what you will keep on getting. Whether that will be an amazing and phenomenal life, or just lazy, piss-poor nothingness, you alone can determine. Your life is in a cycle of reciprocity. In other lives, rewards don’t seem to match effort, nor punishment match the crime. In your case, you tend to get immediate results commensurate to effort, so we suggest best efforts now. Only you can change you and your life.

LEO: I left you out at first, because so many of you annoy me. You take everything as a joke,  with your  unique sense of humor, so I know you won’t be too upset about the oversight . Here’s why you can suck: You’re an attention whore and your laughter, whether loud or just too frequent, rides my last nerve harder than a prize winning rodeo rider. Then there’s your supposed obsession with luxury. Boring. It’s more that you seem to want everything of everyone else’s that unhinges me, and I am watching you! Plus, there’s such a thing as overshare. Leos invented it. Your Fall will be a big blur of self- indulgence, followed by a winter of honing in on parties and conversations you were not invited to, telling stories nobody wants to hear. Luckily, I don’t know any of you personally who would read this, because you make me scared when you’re angry. 😉 Oh, on the positive- you are quite brave and altruistic, being very loyal to your true friends- too bad you have so few.

Astrology : Horoscope circle Stock Photo

Young- Minded

I have never been one too keen on sentimentality. This, I believe, is the result of having to part with things and people so much in my life, that I realized long ago that things don’t carry meaning. People and their memories do. However, about photographs I am particularly sentimental. I love to see how we keep changing over the years. I love to see photos of my children. I take everything in. What an ugly sofa we had back then. Which toys were the girls playing with? Oh, look- Ash still had some baby teeth in that one! I notice the red noses from the latest cold they had, or the fact that my daughter was washing dishes while standing on a plastic step stool designed for brushing teeth. She was wearing her little girl undies under a one-piece bathing suit. Priceless. Then there are photos of times, people, and places we’d almost forgotten. Seeing them again, so much younger, brings back a lot of memories.

I say I am not sentimental….Perhaps I am just lying to myself and everyone else. I cried when my Saturn finally blew up. I’d had that car for about ten years. My husband repaired it. Prior to that, the car ran  zero maintenance other than tires, brakes, and oil changes. My beloved car served me and my girls faithfully until the bitter end. The car had over 300k miles on it when my daughter parked in the wrong spot, it became impounded, and the lovely people at the towing company wanted us to pay $1,500 ransom to get it out. See ya, Saturn.

I believe that staying in the present, and not feeling the need to continually live in the past, the ‘glory days’, is what keeps us young-minded and moving forward to new learning and greater challenges. It drives me crazy when people over fifty have this deep need to share with anyone and everyone how much better and different it was ‘back then’. There is a time and place for history telling. I am all for keeping a journal of the good ol’ days, and I applaud anyone who wants to re-establish ways of the past that are better than the way things are done, now; for instance, men and boys wearing their pants as to completely cover their rear-ends.

It’s always interesting, also, when people who are in their twenties don’t know what an 8-track is, or fail to understand any of my pop-iconic references. When I make a stupid joke which involves looking up at an overhead prop plane and then pointing up while lisping, “Duh plane, boss, duh plane”, I just get looks one saves for a special group in society that most of us might call ‘completely mad’.

Another phrase I hate to hear, and hate even more when it pops out of my blather-hole, is “Nowadays”. If I don’t like something that’s new, I don’t blame it on the newness of it. I simply dislike it. If my daughter turns on some music I don’t like, I don’t feel the need to give her a lecture about how ‘today’s music don’t have the same soul, I like that old time rock-n-roll”, I just say, “Turn that crap off, please. I am so not in the mood.” I would say the same thing if my mom turned on her ‘easy listening’ instrumentals and sappy songsters crap. Wait- I would not say that to my mom, because she’s my mom. I would just daydream of a dull knife in the eye while figuring out which appointment I can make up that I just ‘have to’ be to- right now.

The point of it all is, don’t get too attached to the past. And don’t get too caught up in the now, because tomorrow it will be history. Finally, don’t worry about the future. You will still be seen as an old fart no matter how progressive you may wish to believe yourself to be. I will keep you all posted when this phenomenon finally occurs to me, but until then, stay young-minded. Don’t be afraid to do something different, and to embrace something new.

They say there is truly nothing new under the sun, after all. It’s all been done, whether in toga or pajama jeans. By the way, I hate those! Nowadays people think being couch-comfy is more important than being well-dressed and presentable. Back in my day, we wore crotch cutting jeans and we were proud of it! 😉

Took me Five Days to Recover from our Vacation!

Ah, the great American pastime of camping. The persistent smell of campfire smoke in your hair and clothes for weeks, the bodily injuries that linger, the true test of a family’s ability to get along and work together without killing each other. 

Our camping adventure began well enough. We were all raring to go, and pulled out with my brother-in-law’s pick-up truck, fully loaded 196? camper trailer behind. Yep, each year that thing becomes more priceless- to be still fully functional at its age, with no maintenance whatsoever on it, year after year. You catching my drift? 

So, almost 80 miles into the trip, it’s still early morning. We’re all having fun in the car. The kids are reading magazines and playing on the latest techno-gadgets to pass time. I am chatting and reading. The sun is coming up over The Gorge, and it’s going to be a beautiful day. Away now from the misty mountains of the coastal range, it’s starting to feel like a real summer day. The temperature is about 80 now, and it’s still only 8:30-9. 

We start climbing. A chime in the cockpit sounds-  the “CHECK GAUGES” light has come on. Our temperature reading is sky-high. We pulled over, checked everything out, could not readily determine a problem, and just sat and waited for the truck to cool. This began the pattern for whole trip, but my husband also very good-heartedly managed to change/remove the thermostat, change out the water pump, and ultimately the radiator, all during this trip. This involved many stops along the highway, many ‘cooling breaks” as my stepdaughter described them, and turned an 8 hour trip into a 15. The radiator didn’t get fixed until the first day at camp, but that’s a separate story. So, before we finally gave up on getting to camp that night, we were driving through an amazing electrical storm in eastern Oregon. The area is high and dry , and a lot of times these lightning strikes cause brush and wildfires. The show was spectacular and a little scary, but not as scary as the “Whack- thump, thump,swerve, whack thump” of a trailer tire blowing. So, on the side of the highway, my amazing husband and mother-in-law jacked up the trailer and put the spare tire on the camper trailer. 

We were all exhausted by the time they had finished. It was nearing 10:30, and we had left home at 5:30 a.m. We stayed at a decent Holiday Inn Express, all taking turns getting showered. 

The next day, we left early, to travel most when the temperature outside was still at its coolest, and despite getting hot, we didn’t have to stop too often, and when we did, we made the best of it. We pulled the camp chairs and coolers out – and had snacks and drinks on the side of the road. We had great views and quite a few nice people offered to help. We told them thanks, but we just had to wait to cool down. Our last stop was near a really nice flowing creek. We all played in it a bit and cooled off. The dog loved it, too. I actually shaved my legs with lotion, creek water, and a towel on the side of the road, ignoring the taunts of “wow, how redneck can you get”, that were aimed my way. ‘Hey- I am making lemonade out of lemons, just like YOU SAID, so never mind!”. 

The next few days of camping were a mixture of great fun and torture combined. I am still waiting for my knee canyon to heal- I took quite the spill on my bike race through the marina parking lot, hit a curb too hard, and splatted. The lump on my head is gone, but the road rash from Hell and knee gouge remain. 

Everyone was tested to keep their stamina and sanity throughout the trip, but nobody killed anybody else. I have to say that it took me a good 4-5 days of work to rest up from vacation…

Next year, I am thinking Spa Retreat…

News of the Week. Can we not do Better?

The news. First of all, the networks keep rehashing the same stories, stringing them out over a week’s time, with just enough change to the preview blurb to make you think there may be new developments in what you’ve already heard. But, despite their attempt at jazzing it up, it’s the same story.

Facebook’s IPO fail. Why was I never surprised by the story?  Nobody can make real money without the exchange of real goods, or a least a really great concept, that in some way makes money. Facebook ads don’t really get looked at. I have personal proof of that. What, exactly, is generating real income for Facebook? The deceptive practices lawsuit is not surprising either. What if investors actually relied on common sense, as they seem to have so much of?

The triple murder/suicides. I don’t know about your part of the country, but here in the Great NW, the crime of the decade is to apparently do off your entire family, set the house on fire, and then shoot yourself, too. I don’t know why people keep repeating this theme…maybe they’ve been conditioned by the constant news stories of the same that this is an option for them should things go awry. This is all very wicked, disgusting, evil, and nauseating. But, I have had enough of hearing about it, being drenched in the collective blood of it. There’s nothing I can do, nothing I could have done, to stop it.

The Secret Service and their various dalliances. Shocking? No. Only surprise is that anyone is surprised; as if the government has ever held itself to the high standards of decent society. Ridiculous. Then the lady rep., what’s her name, saying, “I’m sure this isn’t the first time”. Really? And you find this whole sordid affair a surprise, too? Not buying it. You probably have plenty of skeletons in a closet of your own.

Oh! THIS JUST IN! The actor on Big Bang Theory, Jim Parsons, is gay. Wow. OK, why is this not a stretch of the imagination for me? He’s cute, he’s funny as hell, and I like his work. I don’t care what his orientation is- and why do we have to get all ruffled and excited about it? Why the shock and awe? He PLAYS a gay character already, and yes, while it is true he is an ACTOR, he’s just too good, OK? Let’s move on.

Gas prices are up, and people will be driving more than ever, especially here in the northwest, over the Memorial Day Weekend. Really? Says who? Someone must have done a poll of motels and hotels and campsites, as well as Aunt Janice’s and Grandpa Tom’s, to find this information. Or was it the man on the street poll, where if you ask ten people if they’re traveling over the holiday weekend, and five say  “yes” or “probably”, then we have clear scientific data. I’ll give you all a clue. SOME of us have to WORK taking CARE of everyone else who actually has plans and a life this weekend. You need charcoal briquettes, Lil’ Smokies and a refill on your Viagra? Who’s going to do that for you? Yes, all of us retail workers. Going out to eat? Thank your cooks and wait staff. There’s at least HALF the population whose travel is the commute to work all weekend long. And I really pity the guys who pump gas. We still have that in Oregon. They get to hear complaints and whining all day long. They should be paid for their therapy work.

Mitt Romney. If I hear one more sound bite from his cheesy head I am going to puke. I am not voting for your fake ass, Mitt.  Or is it Mit? I don’t really care. I don’t want to see him now, I don’t want to see him for the next four years after November, either. So please, people. See through his shtick and don’t vote for him.

The rocket taking Scotty’s ashes to space. (Star Trek Scotty) That’s actually pretty cool. I can respect that. Makes me smile, truly. What I’d like to see is being able to have our ash urns dropped off on the moon, so you could be looking up at the night sky with your kid, and tell them, “See the moon? Well, that’s where grandpa is. So every time you look at the moon, you’re looking at grandpa, too, and he’s not so far away after all, is he?” But that would mean that someone would have to buy rights to the moon, and you’d have to BUY a moon plot. All very stupid, crass, and the worst example of imperialist capitalism ever. It would also mean answering interesting, unanswerable questions from the kids… Still, I like the concept.

And, Finally.. the toddler in the washer story. How stupid are people, really? Apparently, very, very stupid. I am glad that beautiful child is OK, and I really hope that other people might learn the valuable lesson that putting a CHILD into a WASHING MACHINE is not funny and NOT a good idea! OMG

So, what do you say about the news this week?