Sunday, October 22, 2006

Grey (and other stuff)

It started one day when I was primping in the bathroom at work and saw a glint of something in my hair. Much to my horror, it was a grey hair. And not just a little bit grey at the roots. The entire strand was silvery pale! I tried to chalk it up to a fluke, but I remained unconvinced. I was hypersensitive about grey hairs. The more I looked, the more I found. All of them completely grey. I thought going grey started at your roots and grew in that way, giving you time to adjust and make decisions. I didn't know it would invade all at once. Like aliens.

I asked my stylist if she thought it looked grey and she asked if I would like "highrights" (no, I still haven't found an English speaking stylist - see previous entry) because they would hide it. Frankly, I didn't feel like I could trust her. (See a different previous entry where my eyebrow waxer told me I should wax my lip.)

I finally gave in and bought a box of hair color that I put on myself and no one has seemed to notice, which is good. I'm only 33! I am too young to have grey hair. And even though Lala thinks it's amusing, and claims that she won't fight growing old, I dare her to go grey before 40 and see if she doesn't do something about it.

Plus, I just have to say that this week's Battlestar Galactica was possibly the best ever. I predicted what happened with Starbuck actually, but I still cried. So sad! But the worst was the beginning. oh man. How do those writers take someone and make me hate them, and then make me like them and then make me cry for them? Most shows these days (Lost is an exception) don't change your feelings toward the characters. You pretty much feel the same about them from week to week, while still being entertained by their stories. Good job to the writers and actors that have raised the television bar.

The paper shredder is safely stashed away under DH's desk.

I didn't get any catsup packets last week.

My latest attempt at quick cooking burned me out. I would make 2 huge meals on Sundays and then heat them up during the week for leftovers. I'm done with that though. We've wasted too much food, and I'm so tired by Sunday night and it takes half of my weekend (while DH watches football all day, so I get mad) and then the kitchen is trashed all week. I might just start making a huge batch of spaghetti (DD calls it sableckley) and letting them eat that. I doubt it if either of them would complain.

I was reading old blogs and saw that in February I was losing 2 lbs/wk. if I hadn't quit I'd be down at least 50 lbs now! Alas. Today I decided to diet and last until about 4pm when I remembered that I had made chip dip and had a bag of chips in the pantry. I really should start dieting when I don't have so much junk food in the house.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Catsup Catastrophe

Chick Fil A gave me this entire bag full of condiments and a stack of napkins thicker than a dictionary at lunch on Monday.

Granted, I called ahead food for 12 people, but we had condiments back in the office so I didn't ask for any at the store.

It wasn't until I got back to work and started handing around the food that I realized they'd included a full-size fast food bag of condiments. What an extravagant waste.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils

If you've read my blog you'll see that I've switched us over to free-range animal meat, and locally raised eggs and beef, and organic products. I've also been converting to non-toxic, biodegradable cleaners and detergents (thanks in part to Lahdeeda. Here's what we're using - Let me know if you want to sign up for them so I can get credit!).

Then this vegetable oil thing came up. DH kind of started it, nagging me about margarine. I really like margarine on toast. Really like, as in favorite food. He bought this tub of margarine alternative, but it makes the bread soggy on toast or grilled cheese sandwich, and forms a watery looking puddle in a pan if you melt it. I fully intended to stick with my stick of margarine, but finally decided to do some research on it.

Apparently there is solid scientific evidence that partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is directly related to heart disease. There are entire countries in Europe that have banned it. NYC is considering banning it from all restaurants and street vendors, etc. Wendy's has gotten rid of it and so have some other places. This stuff is bad news. I have been aware of "trans fats" and that they're bad and so I try to buy stuff without them (excepting my stick margarine), but get this - the FDA allows companies to put "0 Trans Fats" on their labels as long as there is less than .5 g per serving. So these companies are just making their serving sizes extremely small, but the trans fats are still in the foods! A lot of trans fats. You have to read the ingredients to find them though. Research shows that even the smallest amounts of these is bad for your heart. There is no minimal healthy amount you can eat. Not only do PHVO's raise your bad cholesterol, but they lower your good cholesterol.

The night I did all this reading I stayed up 'til 3am, going through our pantry and setting out every food that had PHVO's on the nutritional info. It was in a number of things, here's where it was mostly - microwave popcorn, cake mixes and frosting, instant hot chocolate, instant oatmeal, dehydrated soup, chips, stovetop stuffing, crackers, fish sticks, ice cream sandwiches. Mainly, it's in the foods that don't resemble foods so much any more. Lots of convenience foods. The most surprising find was in Quakers Heart Healthy Oatmeal. DH just about flipped his lid. I think he wants to sue!

It was his birthday this weekend, and he wouldn't touch a cake with all this stuff, so I found an organic cake mix and frosting mix and made it with butter instead of margarine. The frosting is sooo good, but the cake was a little dusty tasting. I will probably have to start making more things from scratch. I made the best ever blueberry muffins last weekend.

We're making slow progress, but we have a few hold-outs. My stick margarine is still in the fridge and DH put the stovetop stuffing back in the pantry. I have only used butter so far though, and I may try to learn to make stuffing from scratch. The hardest part I think will be the eating out. You just don't know what these places are putting in their food. I grilled six chicken breasts today and boiled some eggs and fried some bacon and I'm planning on having salads all week with carrots and cucumbers and maybe a little lettuce.

No spinach though. Pretty soon nothing will be safe to eat but what we've grown ourselves.

Long Enough Jeans

Long enough jeans are something most people take for granted. Try finding jeans with a 36" inseam in a plus size though! I wear capris all summer and in the winters I have to wear dress pants or else jeans that are slightly, (like an inch) too short. I finally got some long jeans though, and I love going barefoot in them and seeing just my toes peeking out. I could wear a heel with them and it would look right, and I'm no longer seeing glimpses of my socks when I walk by a full-length mirror.

I wore them out shopping on Saturday and it rained. The back of the jeans by my foot got wet from puddles and slapped against my heel. It was uncomfortable, but I was happy about it. I never knew that happened. It's like a whole new pants world out there now.

Books June-Sept (18/20)

Black Dahlia – Nora Roberts
The Giver – Lois Lowry
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – Ann Brashares
Tangerine – Edward Bloor
Replay – Sharon Creech

Black Dahlia is typical Nora Roberts, but know that it's the first of a trilogy. I wish I'd known. I don't mind finishing a campy romance, but I'm not really into committing to a trilogy of it. The Giver was the best book I read in June, and Replay was the worst. Traveling Pants was good. I'd have liked it at 15 or so. Tangerine was kind of weird but not in a great way.

"B" is for Burglar – Sue Grafton
A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray
Rebel Angels – Libba Bray
Our Man in Havana – Graham Greene
"C" is for Corpse – Sue Grafton

DH checked out a bunch of the Sue Grafton books on CD and that's what was in the car, so that's what I had to listen to on the commute. They are crap. After 3 or 4 books I still don't care about the characters, the plot devices are totally contrived, and they are very predictable. The 2 Libba Bray books were fun though, kind of goth and dark and Elizabethan and young. The best book this month was Our Man in Havana. It was subtle and funny and made me LOL.

"D" is for Deadbeat – Sue Grafton
Modesty Blaise – Peter O'Donnell
My Life on a Plate – India Knight

I am sure I read 5 books in August, but I am drawing a blank. Good thing I was ahead for the year already. More Sue Grafton nonsense. I read Modesty Blaise for my book club. It was fun, it was like a woman 007. My Life on a Plate was one of those britcom mom books, kind of Jennifer Weiner-esque, but edgier.

Housekeeping – Marilynne Robertson
Confessions of an Ugly Step-sister – Gregory Maguire
Forestwife – Theresa Tomlinson
Spinners – Donna Jo Napoli
The Book of the Lion – Michael Cadnum

Housekeeping was like an Oprah book or maybe like Snow Falling on Cedars. It had a lot of imagery and beautiful writing, but it was also dark. Its themes were about beauty and abandonment and loss and gypsies. It was kind of haunting, and I'm not sure if I liked it or not. Book of the Lion was mediocre.
I took DD to the library and she was causing a ruckus and ended up putting a bunch of books from a fairy tale display in my bag. I like fairy tales so I kept them - Confessions was a great re-telling of Cinderella and an interesting angle. Forestwife was Maid Marian, and it was very juvenile. I really liked Spinners at the beginning (Rumplestiltskin) and I even wanted to start knitting again (since I will never learn to spin or weave) but I hated the last page. It ended far too abruptly.