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Thirst Trap

I need to take one of those coding boot camp classes so I can learn to make my own phone app:

my app is a glorified alarm clock that reminds you to get a drink of water every so often.

While you’ve got the app running,  every so often it will chime with a reminder of “have you had a drink of water lately?”  and you can respond with yes or no.  If you respond Yes, it gives you a picture of a hot actor and a cute caption like “you go girl!” or “looking good!”.

the name of the app will be “Thirst Trap”.

I love my “mermaid hair”. Yes, i’m flinching when you call it that.

this is a post about hidden baggage.   and how you never know what baggage someone is carrying around.  They might tell you, they might not, they might not even know it’s there.   What can you do about this?  what you can do, is not freak out if someone reacts in a surprising way to something you say to them.

I love my long curly red hair, and yes, it’s natural.  There was a “mermaid stuff” trend around the time I was starting to grow my hair long, and my secret vain dream was to have someone say “You’ve got mermaid hair!”.  “Mermaid hair” became my secret, never spoken, name for myself.

When I was around 20 years old, i got a part time job at a furniture store. This was my first “grown up job”, where I was expected to have a professional appearance every day, be on time, know what the hell I was doing.  I was the only kid who worked on the sales floor. I was TERRIBLE at this job, my friends, TERRIBLE.  But, it was a great experience, everyone who worked there was very kind to me, and even better, everyone there treated me like an adult. I loved being there, because i felt like a real grown up when I was there.   I only worked there for about a year.

There was a guy I didn’t usually get shifts with, i don’t even remember his first name. He was kinda cute in a distant sort of way, rather quiet, didn’t have the ego that salespeople usually have, and was just a very kind person. I think he was younger than I thought he was, so maybe he was 25? I don’t even remember his name, which makes me a horrible person.

About a week after we met, he gave me a funny look and said “that’s what your hair looks like! You have mermaid hair!!” .

This guy had guessed my secret name for myself.  Once he said it, other people at the store said it too, and weather they knew it or not, this was a huge ego boost for me.  I have always had a soft spot in my heard, for my co-worker whose name I can’t remember, who first said “mermaid hair” out loud to me.

about 6 months after we met, he committed suicide.

1. this was the first person i’d known who had ever committed suicide

2. this was the funeral I’d ever been to as an adult

i feel like the worst human being ever, because i don’t remember his name. What I do remember is wanting to bury the phrase “mermaid hair” so deep inside that it would leak out the heels of my feet.  That phrase would be forever linked to someone who saw something beautiful in me, who gave me an ego boost, but who couldn’t go on living for reasons unknown to me.  I felt guilty everytime I looked in the mirror and admired my own mermaid hair.

I’ll be 40 this summer, so it’s been nearly 20 years since that year at the furniture store.

On occasion, a well meaning person will give me the compliment of “you’ve got mermaid hair!”.  I want to smile, because way deep down that is still my secret nickname for myself.  But outwardly, I can’t help but flinch.

there’s some baggage that we should let go of. I’m not ready to let go of this one.

“Never refuse my son anything”

I have removed the first paragraph of the original post, to make identifying this person harder.

an acquaintance and her husband share “pick the kid up from day care” duties, and this is a “let me tell you something silly that my husband did!” story she recently shared with me.

On certain days, their son attends daycare from 7:30am until noon, and her husband picks up the child on those days.   Apparently the rule at daycare is “we start picking up toys at 10am, and as soon as you are done picking up toys you can eat lunch”, and the kids have from 10am-noon to complete toy pick up and eat lunch.  sounds like plenty of time right?  I’m also assuming they are picking up a normal amount of toys, not like hundreds of toys.

Their son decided that instead of picking up toys, he would be his stubborn self, and sit there pouting until 11:58. He didn’t pick up toys, so the daycare provider didn’t give him lunch.  Dad picks the boy up at noon, and the boy says “They didn’t give me lunch”.

Dad then screams at the day care provider “You will never, ever, ever refuse to feed my child again!”.   His wife,agreed with the daycare provider’s policy, knew her child  had a stubborn streak, knew her child wouldn’t starve to death if he had to wait another hour to eat, and thought it was hilarious that days afterward, her husband was still angry about it.

I’m a little angry too, but for different reasons.  No, angry isn’t the right word.

help me figure out what word I’m looking for:

By screaming at a woman who refused to serve his son (regardless of the fact that the child knowingly didn’t do what was asked of him), the father was telling his son that women should always say yes to him.  He was giving a young boy the impression that if a woman says “no” to you, she is in the wrong.

What’s the word that is a combination of disgust, disappointment, face-palm, and exhausted resignation?  that is how I feel.

 

 

You probably don’t need this.

fair warning: I am not a fan of conspicuous consumption.   People think I’m cheap because I don’t buy tons of stuff.   I’m not overly cheap or frugal, I just get offended when companies tell me I have to have  their product, and if i don’t buy their product, I’m missing out.  Yes, yes, I understand their job is literally to make money. . .   but still, i don’t actually need whatever it is they are selling?  And If they don’t trust me to make that determination for myself, are they insulting my intelligence?  I’m not talking about things like groceries and medication. I’m talking about luxury crap.

You didn’t need air pods until Apple told you that you needed them

You didn’t need to go on a 7 day cruise until Carribean Cruises told you that you needed to go on one

You didn’t need an over the top wedding until the wedding industry told you that you needed one

You didn’t need a McMansion until that realtor told you that you needed one

you didn’t need to buy whatever it is you just splurged on until instagram or a marketing company (wait, aren’t they the same thing?) told you that your life was incomplete without whatever that thing is.

if no one tells you that you need something (or when they do, you just don’t listen), what luxuries will you continue to spend your money on?

 

 

fear of missing out?  hyper-consumerism?  peak marketing?  i guess?

 

What did you have for lunch today?

For not having much in the way of leftovers in the fridge, I think I did pretty well for lunch!

plain fage yogurt with low-sodium train mix stirred in

2 oz pepperoni

a handful of cherry tomatoes (ok, more like 2 handfuls!)

one small sweet bell pepper, sliced

hummus

i had a granola bar, but ended up not needing it. Lots of protein in the yogurt and the pepperoni, and the hummus was filling too.  but i was pretty hungry by the time I got home from work around 6.

what did you have for lunch today?

clean ONE thing a day

i find cleaning to be VERY intimidating.  everything about it seems demotivating.   i just seems like a never ending to-do list.  so many items on the to-do list, just to clean the bathroom!!!

but like, i like having a clean kitchen?  and a small amount of cleaning / tidying up / decluttering makes me feel better?  I just don’t know what amount that “small amount” is.

But i have figured something out: I can clean / declutter ONE  thing. ONE thing is totally do-able!  and takes like, 1 minute!

here are the things I hate about cleaning:

  • takes forever (or at least feels like it does!)
  • lots of little steps makes it feel intimidating
  • situations that have even the vague possibly of feeling judgemental “you missed a spot”, “that’s not how I would have done it”, make me feel super de-motivated.

ok, so how do I adapt these things to make them enough less awful that I’m going to do some cleaning?  Here’s what I tried:

 

  • takes forever (or at least feels like it does!) – every morning before work, clean ONE thing. limit yourself to ONE.  just the bathroom counter. just the bathroom mirror. just dust one bookshelf in the living room. just wipe down the counter in the kitchen next to the sink. ONLY ONE!!
  • lots of little steps makes it feel intimidating – every morning before work, spend no more than 3 minutes cleaning something.  if it takes less than 3 minutes, that’s great, but STOP at 3 minutes.
  • situations that have even the possibly of feeling judgemental “you missed a spot”, “that’s not how I would have done it”, make me feel super de-motivated – i’m doing this when no one else is awake, and no one in the house even knows I’m doing it. it’s  like my little secret.  somehow doing something good, without anyone knowing, is a motivator?

 

seems to be working pretty well so far.  One morning I dusted the bookshelf in the living room, and while walking to the closet to  put the swiffer away, i was walking right past the other bookshelf, so I dusted that too! time spent: less than 3 minutes.

We keep our boxes of tea and hot chocolate on top of the microwave. that area always gets missed when we clean the kitchen. so  one morning I audited the tea and cleaned the top of the microwave.  Time spent – about 2 minutes.

one morning I cleaned the bathroom counter. Didn’t let myself feel guilty about not sweeping the floor. time spent, less than 1 minute.

 

bonus: i feel accomplished before I even leave for work!

 

does the house still need more heavy duty cleaning? Yep. still gotta vacuum, still gotta clean stuff. that’s never going to go away. but somehow I feel like i’ve already crossed off half the items on the list.

 

let’s see how long I can keep this up!

Hey, long time no see! let’s talk lunch!

Hey, i didn’t forget about this blog, I SWEAR.    i just, um, got distracted. and then I wanted to hibernate because it was winter. I then i had a very fun and very fail-y Kickstarter, and then stuff got super busy at work, and then i was just procrastinating.

 

so, um, Hi! long time no see!

 

I was going to take pretty pictures of my healthy lunches as foodspo and inspo, and GFspo, but if I eat lunch at my desk, there’s no windows anywhere nearby, so my food photos look like zombie food, and if I try to take pictures upstairs in the lunchroom (where there is windows!!) , I’ll have to explain to everyone why I’m taking pictures of my lunch.  so, at this point, no photos. 😦

but I still want to record what I’m eating for lunch, so I can look back at these posts and see if my meal planning was actually helping me eat better-ish.  For me, “eating better” means gluten free, cuz my insides don’t like that stuff anymore.

What did I have for lunch today?

baked sweet potato, topped with fajita steak, sauteed onions and sauteed sweet pepper. lots of spices, some olive oil, a little bit of salt.

a Fage black cherry yogurt

one of those little oranges that’s easy to peel

sliced cucumber and sliced sweet pepper (oh, you don’t like raw sweet peppers? More for me!)

and then i was really hungry around 4pm, so i ate a Luna granola bar. i like the lemon flavor.

that stuff is just for cocktails and pickles, right?

is there anything Vodka and Vinegar won’t clean?

The inside of the windsheild of our 2 year old Honda has gotten very hazy. At first, I thought i just needed to run the defroster, and that just made this worse, now whatever this haze creating crud was was baked on.  Thanks to the internet, I learned that it the haze was most likely caused by the plastics outgassing, and a good solution was to wash the inside of the glass with alcohol.   a few tablespoons of vodka and some paper towers later, and the windshield is now as clear as it was the day we got the car! Win!

And no, I do not clean with the same Vodka I drink.  there is a bottle of Absolut for drinking, and whatever the cheapest vodka the store had (i think it was $5?) for cleaning.

We have hard water and a vinyl shower curtain. Means our bathtub is disgusting all the time, and our shower curtain is covered in soap scum and hard water residue all the time. it’s pretty gross.   Vinegar surely couldn’t make the situation worse, would it?  Some vinegar soaked paper towels and about 15 minutes of elbow grease later, and the shower curtain looked nearly brand new.  Then i had the thought to shake some Bon Ami onto my vinegar soaked paper towels and wash around the tub.  Grimey stuff? Gone.  soap scum? Gone.  other scary gross stuff? Gone.

and i bet you thought vodka and vinegar was just for cocktails and pickles!

 

What are your favorite Gluten Free cookbooks?

Don’t get me wrong, I love internet recipes just as much as the next girl, but i do LOVE me a good cookbook!  We probably own, i dunno,  20 cookbooks? I read cookbooks the way most people read lifestyle magazines.   I love that some of our cookbooks fall open to our favorite recipes, that I write notes on recipes that work, or suggested added ingredients.  A cookbook shows me the cooking path I’ve been on, and all the stops I’ve made along the way.

And now, I need to invest in some Gluten free cookbooks.  I recently picked up the Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten Free Cookbook, and I’ve been having a ton of fun with it. The first chapter is all about gluten free grains and seeds – amaranth, millet, chia, sorghum, etc.  Just reading those few paragraphs about amaranth, I went out and bought a bag!   Nearly all the recipes are written with different option, that if you don’t have amaranth you can use chia, or if you don’t have millet you can use something else, or if you don’t have almond butter you can use peanut butter.  This cookbook is designed around using gluten free whole grains, using other pantry items that match your preferences, and easy recipes with easy to follow instructions.

I’m always looking for gluten free crunchy snacks, so the first thing I made out of this new cookbook was some crackers that could be made with a combination of chia and quinoa, or a combination of chia and amaranth. you also add sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds and a pinch of salt. And, well, I had this brand new bag of amaranth, so let’s get cooking! The crackers looked and tasted delicious, had they had perfect crunch!  I had plenty of cooked amaranth leftover, so I mixed it with chickpeas, chopped cucumber, dried cranberries, chopped olives, vinegar, and oil for a nice chickpea salad.

One of the reasons amaranth keeps you full so long is because it takes forever to digest. Between the crackers and the chickpea salad, I was eating more amaranth than my insides (which had never had it before!) could handle.  I want to make these crackers again, but i think I’ll use quinoa next time.

Next up was quinoa salmon patties.  These babies were freakin’ amazing! I upped the spices a bit because I was really craving something with kick, and this recipe you could easily add whatever flavorings you want, or swap out the green onion for a different kind of onion (exactly what I did. I didn’t happen to have any green onion, but I had a shallot.)

Sorry the photo is so terrible.  the first batch of patties we sauteed were on the light side, the 2nd batch the pan was finally hot enough so they came out perfect, and we ate them in about 5 seconds. Actually, I ate them.  Husband helped me cook them,  but he doesn’t care for salmon, so i got to eat them all! and I did!  They were perfect for lunch the next day, even not being heated up.

Next up is no-bake  date oatmeal honey granola bars. They are firming up in the freezer right now, so I’ll know later today how they came out!

So, what are some of your favorite gluten free cookbooks?