Wednesday, April 29, 2009
My tomato "trees" :)
Mmmmm....Leafy, green lettuce!
My squashes are coming along nicely!
As are my radishes!
And finally, I have some strawberries ready to harvest today!
Now, doesn't that make you want to plant a garden for yourself? :)
Anyways, I'm doing pretty well today. Other than the fact that I have spent about 20 minutes with Matt since Sunday, things are great. The house is clean (sort of), I have no homework (except to study for a final), and I can just relax for a minute until Matt gets home. Hopefully soon!
Ok, well, guess I'll putz around on the computer for a bit.
UPDATE-Well, see that juicy, red strawberry in that picture? The really big on right in the front? Well, it sure did taste good! YUMMY!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Oh, and about 15 minutes. :)
So, I decided to try to fix my pedometer, and I think it worked. Every time I stopped during my walk, checked the number, counted ten steps, and checked again, it was right on. I think the worst part is when I'm just moving in a small space, and I jiggle the pedometer. It makes it think I'm walking more than I really am.
Anyways, I was hitting my afternoon/evening slump, and thought I would beef up my walking numbers for the day. BTW, 2000 steps is just about a mile for me. :) For some reason, I thought that the route I decided to walk was my 1.5 mile route, and when I got back and looked at the mileage on the pedometer, it only said .99 miles. So I was terribly confused, until I got on google maps and sorted it all out. It was my 1 mile route that I walked. Whew! I was afraid I had broken the pedometer even more than I thought! :) At least the steps are fairly accurate. I feel better now using it more. I'll just try not to drop it again. If I can manage that, that is.
I had a fun day today. I worked out really early (5am) and ate breakfast. I called Kate, thinking I would watch the boys for her while she did her challenge, but she's not doing her challenge until tomorrow, so she didn't need me to. I was more sad than I expected, so I offered to watch the boys for her while she cleaned her house-Monday is cleaning day. She decided to take me up on the offer and dropped the boys off around 9am. She came to pick them up around 1230. We had a fabulous time. We played in the backyard: looked at bugs, worms, and bees. Played croquet, watered plants, pulled weeds. We also had breakfast and lunch and watched a movie. We were pretty busy, and the day was pretty warm, so the boys were HOT! Sweaty! Kate came to pick them up, and Parker said, "I want to come over to your house and play again in a few minutes!" He doesn't quite have a good concept of time, but that is ok. I got the point. He kept saying to me "I love you, Mimi!" at random times. It was so cute! Preston is getting to be much easier to understand. He says my name, Mimi anyways, and most of the time I can understand what he wants. I can definitely tell his "yes!" from his "no!" which makes my life easier. So, if I'm not sure what he is saying, I can ask him a question that he can answer and it usually works out.
Matt has duty today :( So I won't get to see him until tomorrow night. Late. B/C my class tomorrow night won't get out until around 10pm. I'm not looking forward to that class. Even though it is the last class and it will be a "pot luck" dinner/snack session, the topic at first will be on death and dying. I'm not sure I'm ready to talk about that subject. Just reading the chapter on it had me in tears...
Anyways, I think it is almost time for me to eat some dinner. I'm having Roasted Red Pepper Spread Sandwiches. Yumm....Maybe I'll post the recipe. It is so easy!
All righty then. I'll write again later!!!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Kate's boys are such a riot! I taught them to wait for the water to come up and get their feet wet, and then run screaming away. Preston kept saying "Mi Mi!" I would say, "yes Preston?" Then, he would hold up a rock, or stick, or shell and show it to me. Then he would throw it into the water. Repeat about 80 times! And it never stopped being cute!
Parker is starting to be so grown up! He informs us of a lot of things. For instance, while we were driving in the car, he said "Emma isn't at her house." It was so random, we were like, "What?" He said, "My friend Emma isn't at her house." He was referring to his friend who used to live here in an apartment along the way to the beach. Kate said, "Where does she live now?" Parker said, "By the temple." Very matter-of-factly. (The family moved to D.C.) Hilarious. Especially since he was so serious!
After we got done at the beach, Matt and I headed home where we ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. After lunch, we decided to take a load of bricks and concrete to the dump, which took us about an hour and a half. We spent the rest of the afternoon
1)mowing the lawn
2)fixing the outside faucet that burst when it actually froze this winter
3)adding mulch to the veggie beds
4)spraying weed killer over the lawn
Yes, that's right, Matt and I finally set up our croquet set and played a few rounds. Matt had never played before, but he's a natural. He even won the first game! Of course, I won the others, but hey, I'm an experienced player. It was so much fun. We kept the wickets up, just in case we want to play again soon.
Tomorrow morning, Matt and I are going to ride on a memorial bike ride. A fellow cyclist in the area was killed recently in a collision with a car. So, a bunch of cyclists are going to get together and ride, and they are going to construct a ghost bike for him. It should be a good experience.
Well, I hope everyone had wonderful weather this weekend and got out to enjoy it. It is so funny because there was a time in my life where I never would have thought to get so much accomplished in one day. Ask my friend Matt Timmermann, once I talked myself out of doing ANYTHING for the whole evening because "I only have 5 hours left to get it done." So I didn't do any of the things I needed to do. Boy, am I glad that I am not like that anymore! I like this new me. I think I'm going to keep her :)
Thursday, April 23, 2009
So, I have class today, I have to leave in about a half an hour. Then I have two classes on Tuesday, my last for both classes. One of those I have a group assignment to complete by Sunday and a Multiple Choice test to complete for Tuesday. Those are my last classes! Then I have a final next Wednesday (not the one coming up, but the next one). I should have PLENTY of time to study for that test, but we'll see about that. I'm glad I took the classes this semester that I did. I think they were the ones with the most course work due. So the summer's three classes should be a piece of cake, right???? I sure hope so.
Ok, I am SO ready for my daily ice cream bar. Did I mention that I reward myself for working so hard with a 100 calorie ice cream treat every day? :) That is seriously what keeps me going some days. I am not joking!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
If you can believe it, the pants and the shorts are a size 4!
It is crazy! I've never worn pants that small. I went directly from wearing Junior size 13s to size 6 in women's. I'm glad that I finally have some clothes to wear. Oh, yeah, and I bought one more pair of shorts. They look similar to the other ones, just a different color. It was really frustrating shopping. I think I tried on every pair of shorts in Kohl's. It was hard getting the right fit. I mean, if I'm going to spend $18 on a pair of shorts, I want them to fit and look good. I got the pants on the clearance rack for $13. Incredible, considering they were normally $70. :) I love getting good deals.
Anyways, just thought I would share. Now I really, really need to get going on my homework. I have class this evening and have a bunch of stuff to get done.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Here's a table to give you an idea--
Calories burned per mile by walking
|Speed/Pounds||100 lb||120 lb||140 lb||160 lb||180 lb||200 lb||220 lb||250 lb||275 lb||300 lb|
Biking of course would count, but we would count every 3 miles riding as one mile walking. Or something like that. I'm thinking that Matt will set up some sort of bulletin board or forum for us on his server that we can keep track of our progress and motivate eachother.
What does everyone think? Is this doable? Is it something you guys would want to do? I was also thinking that we could have teams. Maybe families, maybe mix it up. So, maybe me and Jill would be one team, while Kate and Beth are another. Lani and Gwen could make up a third, with Penny and Peggy a fourth. It would be cool if Matt and Mike would join in (all four of them :) but you guys get the picture. I think this is something we all could do, it would motivate me knowing that you all are "walking" the same path as me. And shoot, maybe this is a way for me to "walk" across the country before I bike it. :)
Let me know! Comments are appreciated. Neices, Nephews, Cousins, Spouses, In-laws, everyone is invited! The more people doing this, the better. Mom, that means you, too! I know you walk about a thousand miles a day, so you would probably be ahead of all of us!
I'm going to do this, and anyone that wants to join in can certainly do it! I am fairly certain that Kate is going to join in. We'll probably start sometime next week. I'm not sure exactly how it is going to work, but we'll get the kinks worked out and let you all know. Email me or comment and let me know if you are willing to do this.
I love you all,
*UPDATE* We have a platform for this challenge. It is at http://helmwalk.ning.com . Anyone interested is welcome to join-you don't have to just be a Helm sibling. Let me know, and I'll "Invite" you to join our "social network," (I need your email, if I don't already have it) since that is what it turned into- a social network, just for us and this challenge. I'm actually hoping that it turns into something more than just a fitness tracker. I hope we're able to share with eachother more easily as a family and get to know one another better. :)
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
My tomato forest :)
A little squash plant, peeking it's head up.
My radish/carrot/lettuce bed. As you can see, the radishes are doing quite well. They are in the far half of the bed. The sprouts in the near bed are the lettuces. And the carrots, well, I don't expect them for a couple more weeks. :)
Isn't springtime fun?
Ok, here goes.
Recent events have prompted some thought on my part. The recent engagement of a member of our family after a time of cohabitation really got me thinking. That, coupled with my class discussion last night on divorce, remarriage, and single-parenthood. Why choose marriage? What is the difference, and is there a difference, between living together and getting married? Until recently, I actually hadn't thought about it much. And when I did think about it, I was more of the persuasion that there was no real difference between living together and being married. Well, after our class discussion, I realized a few things. 1. There is a difference. 2. We, as Americans, are denying something precious to certain citizens of our country.
Let me expound. So, two people decide to move in together. Great. No big deal, right? (Unless, of course, you think it is a big deal. *shrug*) Well, I must admit that I didn't think there was a big deal when I moved in with Matt. In fact, I saw it as a stepping stone toward marriage. Unfortunately, he didn't see it the same way, and we had some conflict. When we both finally got on the same page, got back together, and moved in together the second time, life was a whole lot better. So, what was the difference? The commitment level. And by commitment, I'm not just talking about being committed to the relationship. I mean, committed to the future of the relationship, and by that I mean planning on marriage. Engagement. I didn't actually think that our relationship would change when we got married. I mean, we were both pretty committed. To me, marriage was simply a piece of paper that legally cemented the commitment we already had. But then we got married. And something changed. It was subtle, this change. But it was there. There is something about being married to someone that gives, what? Reassurance, or maybe something else. Something tangible, though. Obviously marriage isn't some magical cure for all relationships. In fact, the recent statistics are that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. 50%!!! That's crazy.
So, that was my experience with the idea of marriage. I didn't think it would make a difference, but it did. And now, someone else close to me is experiencing something similar.
So, what is my point? Why am I going on about marriage? Well, because in this country, in most states, we have denied homosexuals this right. This right to take their commitment level to the next step. There IS a difference between living together and being married. Maybe this is at the bottom of what is so "wrong" about homosexuality. Maybe by denying these couples this step in the relationship ladder we are unwittingly perpetuating the stigmas attached to homosexuality. That "these people" are immoral and uncommitted, could these ideas be simply because they are denied the same rights as heterosexual couples?
Well, it is a thought. And these are my thoughts.
I hope I expressed them in a way that others can understand.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Do you see it? That's a little baby radish that is coming up through the soil. By the end of the day, there were a couple dozen sprouts pushing up through the dirt.
:) How cool is that? Pretty soon we'll be having radishes in our salad (the lettuce just started to come up this morning), strawberries on our waffles, and before we know it, we'll have green beans, squash, and tomatoes. I'm way excited for this summer.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
1. Unique Individual Morally Injured in Fall
2. Serious Overcrowding Discovered in Unique Dwelling.
3. Remote Country Home Vandalized by Blonde.
4. Friendless Waif Adopted by Group of Miners.
5. Musical Feline, Amused Canine Witness Lunar Leap
6. Couple Suffering Dietary Allergies Reach Agreement.
7. Elderly Housewife and Canine Pet Face Starvation.
8. Lovely Somnambulist Wakened by Royal Caress.
9. Rural Homemaker Terrorized by Sightless Rodents.
10. Shepherdess Proves Derelict in Her Duty.
What, didn't do so hot? Or were you on fire? I hope you had fun trying to figure these out. It is good to work your brain a little bit, isn't it?
Love you guys.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
I was cleaning out my old planter, deciding that since the weather was a balmy 80 degrees or so, I would think about putting in some vegetable planters. So, here they are!
There are 4 planters, each 12 feet long by 2 feet wide. There's a 2 foot path in between each planter so I can easily weed them. I haven't planted anything yet; that's what tomorrow is for. But I do have some seeds. I just need to decide where to put them. I have:
California cowpea- or black eyed pea
Contender bean- green bean
Salad Mix Lettuce
Salad Bowl Lettuce
So far, anyways. We also want to plant one entire planter full of tomatoes. I'm hoping my brother-in-law can give us some pointers on how to get some high yield tomatoes. They usually do pretty well for themselves as far as tomatoes go :) Oh, and I really need to figure out how to keep the rabbits away....I'm thinking something similar to what we did to get rid of the mice in our house. There's something you can plug into an outlet, and it uses the electrical wire in the house to emit a sound at a frequency that mice don't like. It worked fantastically for us with mice, I wonder if it works with rabbits. We could run an outdoor extension cord around the perimeter, and plug the thing in...We'll have to see. I'll be doing some research on that one.
Anyways, it has been a fun-filled, sun-filled (I got a little burnt) day. We worked hard and we are going to hopefully reap the benefits come 50-90 days :)
Talk to ya'll later,
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Pam & Matt take on P90X
And here are the results in two pictures, one on 1/1/2009 and the other on 4/1/2009
Nutrition 911, Part VIII: Pop Goes the Diet—The Worst Food in the WorldBy Steve Edwards
Since all great things come in threes (or is it celebrity deaths?), we're going to complete our sugar trilogy with a look at the worst food in the world: soda pop. Forget about brands; whether it's Coke, Dr. Pepper, or even Hansen's Natural, it's all junk. There are different degrees of "junkiness," but this is Nutrition 911, so we're sticking with the bird's-eye perspective. The taste might make you happy, but from a nutritional point of view, soda's only place in the world is to make people fat, sick, and unhappy.
In America, we drink a lot of cola (or "un-cola"). A lot. On average, we each drank 52.4 gallons in 2005, and this figure includes infants, healthy folks, prisoners, etc., meaning that the average soda drinker actually gulps (their word) more than this. Carbonated soft drinks are the biggest single caloric source in the American diet. Teenagers in particular are hooked on the stuff and get an average of 13 percent of their daily calories from "pop." If this doesn't scare you, it should. In terms of sheer amount, these statistics could be alarming if it were any one food. A proper diet should have some balance and diversity. And soda pop is the antithesis of "any food." It's bad food.
We use the term "empty calories" for foods like soda that have no place in a nutritious diet. This term is ridiculously misleading. The calories in soda are far from empty. Most of them come from sugar. In the U.S., it's nearly always high fructose corn syrup, the cheapest, most processed sugar on the market. Other ingredients include caffeine, various phosphates and acids, and artificial colorings. We'll get to their effects on the human body in a minute, but first, let's stick to the simple stuff. Per day, the average teenager consumes between 10 and 15 teaspoons of refined sugar via soda—which, according to government standards, is about their daily requirement for all foods. This means that for the average teenager, his or her soda consumption virtually eliminates his or her chances of eating a balanced diet. There's nothing empty about that.
The soda companies are a marketing juggernaut. They spend roughly $700 million a year on media advertising alone—not to mention hundreds of millions more sponsoring events, athletes, musicians, and such. This volume of cash makes it difficult for consumers to avoid them, by design. To avoid the temptation to drink Coke, you've got to be highly principled or living in the middle of the jungle. And even then, well, I once happened upon a soda vending machine halfway up Mount Yarigatake in the Japanese Alps, and a friend traveling in Guatemala found Coke in a rural area that didn't have running water. Let's just say that soda companies are going to continue making it easy for you to find the stuff.
This type of marketing machine won't go away quietly. With the stats listed above, you could certainly put two and two together and link soda companies to the childhood (and adult) obesity epidemic that is arguably the world's most serious health crisis. Yet, while researching this article, I came across a widely published "study" stating that "soft drink consumption has no effect on childhood obesity." Suspicious from the get-go (the word "no" being a huge red flag), it didn't take me long to find this statement: "The research paper was supported by an unrestricted gift from the American Beverage Association." Bingo. Remember those Phillip Morris tobacco "studies" that promised a long and healthy life from chain smoking?
What makes it so bad?
Besides the simple caloric trade-off, sodas are formulated to give you a rush. The sugar is mixed with phosphates designed to speed it into your system. It's so good, in fact, that many cyclists prefer Coca-Cola to specific sports food when they need a sugar rush near the end of races. And while a sugar rush is a good thing when you're trying to exceed your anaerobic threshold and you're out of blood glycogen (never mind if you don't know what this is), it's a bad thing whenever you're not, which even for a competitive cyclist is 99.9 percent of the time.
Beyond the simple sugar rush, these acids and phosphates alter your body's pH levels and inhibit the absorption of other nutrients. Then there are the effects of certain artificial coloring agents. For example, yellow #5, commonly used in soft drinks, has been linked to attention deficit disorder, hives, asthma, and other allergic reactions in some children.
Then there is the nutrient trade-off to consider. A person who drinks one Big Gulp per day must go to great lengths to maintain a balanced diet. Otherwise, they will almost certainly be deficient in numerous vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and essential fatty or amino acids—none of which is found in soda. For this reason, soda is often linked to type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, dental erosion, and a higher risk of kidney stones and heart disease. And that's just a start. There's plenty of less scientific data linking soda to poor scholastic habits, which we'll get to in a later class.
Diet sodas and juices
In an attempt to become thought of as healthier, soda companies have diversified into non-carbonated beverages and diet sodas. While these are an improvement in some ways, they are hardly a solution to the problem.
First off, most juices and other caloric non-soda alternatives are mainly just sugar and water without the carbonation. A quick label comparison between a commercial orange juice and a Mountain Dew would show a similar "bottom line" with regards to calories and sugar. The only improvement would be the lack of the non-caloric offenders.
But that's no small matter, as the true effects of these ingredients have not been thoroughly studied. Despite their no-calorie status, diet sodas have been linked to assorted illnesses. Recent studies have backed up my more anecdotal evidence that I've yet to have a client not lose weight by kicking diet soda. Granted, all of my clients drank an excessive amount, but regardless, there is little doubt that the pH balance of diet sodas hinders the body's ability to absorb nutrients, and that just may be the tip of the non-caloric iceberg.
A large-scale study in 2007 showed that men and women who had more than one diet soda a day were 31 percent more likely to be obese and 25 percent more likely to have both high triglycerides and blood sugar, and they had a 50 percent greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Never mind if you don't know what metabolic syndrome is. Just trust me when I tell you that you don't want it.
So, anyways, some of you have asked me about soda and what is wrong with it. I hope this gave a pretty clear picture of soda.
Ok, well, I better go.
Talk to you guys later.