Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Green and growing

Do you like to grow things? 
I sure do.
I love having a big ole vegetable garden, but haven't been able to have one in some time now. 
I've had some really great ones in the past. Crazy thing is, I have no luck growing ornamental plants outdoors. Like, flowers for example. Even bulbs. I plant and plant, and it just never works out. Everything either doesn't ever grow at all, or dies. I had (had being the operative word here) two big aloe vera plants. I read that they would benefit from being outside once the danger of frost had passed. So I put them outside. Then they died. 
 I have an indoor garden instead! This is my jungle corner. It is my favorite area in my whole house. 

The huge tree like plant in the back? (Ya, I have no idea what it's called.) I started it from a tiny little cutting off of one of my sis in law's plant. 

I saw a post on Facebook about re-growing celery from a bunch purchased in the produce department. Do not mind my messy window sill and backsplash there. We had new windows put in A YEAR AGO and the inside is yet to be finished. This is my kitchen window, out of which I can see the neighbor's ladder to their pool.  
Back to the celery...I decided to give it a go and see what happened. So right there it is, in my kitchen window...the bottom off of a celery bunch.
And in this horribly lit photo, it has been growing for about a week...

Annnnd....a little longer.....and in the yellow and green pot, there are some succulents (I don't know which ones) growing from leaves that fell off of my other succulent plant. I just love it when one little ole thing turns into a bunch of other things, don't you?

And here it is as of today! It has roots and everything! So now it's time to plant it in some dirt, if I ever get around to that. I have no idea how long it will take to make new celery stalks. but I will be interested to see! I have another bunch of celery in the fridge waiting to be in some salads and stir frys and whatnot, and i'm going to regrow that one, as well. I just won't put them outside. 

I have a sweet potato vine started, too. It is taking it's sweet time but it finally has some roots. 
Speaking of growing things, here is grandbaby duck #2, running back and forth down the sidewalk. This little girl is something else! It is finally warm enough to utilize the wading pool (1.5 ft deep) on the days that it isn't raining, but at first she wanted nothing to do with it! I finally coaxed her in, and now she doesn't want to get out...ever! I guess there are worse things than an afternoon in the pool! (I babysit her 5 days a week.)

Baby Duck #3 and baby Roscoe were here for a visit this passed weekend. It was so great, and there is supposed to be a picture of Roscoe in this post, but I don't know where it is. I figured out how to post pictures to my blog from my phone, so I do that and then publish it. After that, I get on my laptop and edit the post with text, and it seems that transactions sometimes go awry. 
(I totally just had to google how to spell awry.) 

If you were wondering if the celery trick that you saw on FB or Pinterest really works, now you know! It does! Go forth and grow new celery!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

lopsided layers

So. I recently read a blog post about successfully blogging. Apparently, one must pick a subject and blog about that thing. For example, there are health and fitness blogs, food blogs, book blogs, diy blogs, etc etc etc. 

But lets talk about Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, for a minute. I'm kind of a fan girl, to be honest, and I was following her blog before she got all super famous. But see...She doesn't blog about just one thing. She has food posts, and homeschooling post and gardening posts and ranch post and all kinds of posts! And she wrote an excellent book about the beginning of her life with Marlboro Man, and she has a cooking show, and cook books....

Not that I ever set out to have a "successful" blog. Or that I in any way compare to Ree Drummond. I mean...she is energetic and talented and funny, and she seems to be a genuinely nice person. Also, she has an interesting life on the ranch. Also maybe she has technological skills. 

I do, however, write about a variety of topics. This is a health and fitness food book random rant blog.  This is a blog for the untalented, uncrafty and undomestic but wish they were and keep trying.  Or, the untalented, uncrafty and undomestic who don't actually care, but want to make a layer cake on occasion.  For those who are on the ADD side of center instead of the OCD. Or, the talented and crafty and domestic who just want to laugh at somebody. Or whoever.

Today's post happens to be about food. So today it is a food blog. 
Actually, cake. This post is about cake. I saw a recipe on Facebook for an old fashioned butter cake. Now, I am 50 years old, raised 5 baby ducks, and have been feeding them for about 31 years. But I have never made a layer cake.  It just seemed so intimidating. My mom has made some beautiful ones over the years, and just watching her perfectly shave that dome off of the top...well, it just scares me. 

One time, I decided to trim Baby Duck 3's hair. It was about hip length when I started, and shoulder length when I was done. Because it was lopsided, and I kept trying to make it straight. Do you see where I am going with this? If I tried to shave a cake straight, I would end up with no cake, so I never even tried. 
Until yesterday. I just decided that I was by gum going to do it. 
So I did. Using the old fashioned butter cake recipe. 

Ha! There are crumbs on the table! I didn't even notice until right now! So that is the final result, and the thing got eaten. I must tell you, though, that the recipe did not meet my expectations. It is supposedly a one hundred year old recipe...when I told the Chief this, he said "It tastes a hundred years old." Bahahahahahahhaha! But seriously, the texture was weird and it wasn't really moist and delicious. The frosting was yummy, but it is pretty much the same chocolate butter cream that I have been making for years. Now, the reason the first photo is of a half eaten cake is because I am not technologically accomplished, and I was switching between my phone and laptop, and, well...that's just how it is. I also don't know why my text is not aligned on the left. 

The first problem I had in making this layer cake was pans. I don't actually have two round cake pans. Well, I do, but not the same size. I have three sizes of spring form pans that I have never used, a bunt pan, two angel food cake pans, about a dozen cookie sheets, a bunch of pie pans, and 4 13 by whatever cake pans, but the only round cake pans I have are the ones that I bought for baby duck 3's baby shower. There are about 5 of them, in graduating sizes, for a tiered cake. Baby duck 1 had left a round cake pan here, and so I picked the one from the tiered set that was closest to the same size, and ta da. There ya go. One was slightly bigger than the other. Both layers slope to the right. I don't know why. Probably the stove is not level??  I did not trim the tops. I did try to align the slopes. Anyway...I put a lot of frosting on and you couldn't even tell. 
OR maybe you can.  Also, I didn't have a cake plate to put it on, so that is a regular ole dinner plate and I kind of made a mess with the frosting. 

There you have it, my first attempt at a layer cake. I want to try again, but with a recipe that actually tastes good. I might even get a couple of same sized round cake pans. And maybe a cake 
plate. Except the budget is still squeaky tight, so maybe not. Maybe my next layer cake will still be odd sized, lopsided, and messily plopped on a dinner plate. But I hope that it tastes good!

The moral of this story is: make layer cakes even if they are imperfect and a little messy. 


Friday, May 1, 2015

I'm a fatty and I know it (but I work out sometimes).

Phone blogging! I guess we will find out together how this is going to work! Bet it will be a shirt post...No, not a shirt post, a short one! Sorry, I'm all thumbs right now! I attached some photos, but I don't currently know where they are, and therefore can't caption them.

The first is my dining was dark red and now it is sage green, and I love it so much, and I wish I would have taken before and after.

Next is me and my oldest grandchild. We participated in a local 5k together, and it was super fun! I love that kid! I have two more 5k's lined up in June, and one in October!

The third is a pic of my second daughter, her hubby and my only grandson, Roscoe. They were here for Easter weekend. We made some memories!

Lastly, this is my scale. I gave it a makeover. I have launched a personal "Project Joy" in which I am no longer just enduring and powering through, But am experiencing actual joy in my life. This whole weighing and getting healthy thing has heretofore been dreary and depressing and painful, and I have decided that it is now going to be a joyful dance to my best self. So I painted my scale so that I would smile when I face it. It works, just so ya know.

If my pics don't show up, I hope you have a good imagination! The scale is an oceany blue with a sailboat on the bottom right corner, and a big fat sun on the top left.

And now for today's actual post subject...
I'm just going to go ahead and say it.
I'm fat.
Its not a secret.
At this point, there is no hiding it.
Its not that I'm a reasonable weight and just think I'm fat, like when I was in high school.
I'm actually fat now.
So what is so wrong in saying so?
Seems like there is a movement in the weight loss community where the word fat is a bad word. Curvy, full figured, plus size...
It all means the same.
In many cases...but not all...definitely in mine...being this fat does indicate a certain lack of self discipline.
But so what?!
I'm not an Axe murderer, or a child abuser. Most people seem to like me well enough.
For the fat shamers out there...there are all kinds of human weaknesses...not being fat does not make you a fabulous person, or not. It just means you have different weaknesses.
So I like brownies and I would rather read or make greeting cards or chit chat with a friend over coffee than work out.
I am genetically dispositioned towards weight gain to start with, and yes that is a thing. Case in point: I birthed 5 kids. Three if them were (are!) skinny little things and two of them were chunkier. Served the same meals, raised in the same atmosphere.
Some medical conditions and some medications cause weight gain as well.
Having said all of that, I'm well aware that my fatness is causing health issues.
Even if I were to get back to ideal weight, I won't have a perfect body or be a head turner, but I will feel better and improve my heart/bp issues.
Sorry, that was for the fatty haters...I saw this subject discussed on Dr. Oz (just a short clip on YouTube, I've ditched the TV habit...didn't take long to get tired of all that mess, and I'm having the cable turned off for the sake of saving the budget) and got a bee in my bonnet.
Back to the subject: I don't  understand the avoidance of the word fat. It is what it is, and I already know that I am.
Clearly, though, I desperately need to change that. And so, here I go on my joyful dance towards good health!

Did I mention that I recently turned 50? It was sort of anticlimactic. So here I am, half a century old.

And I'm pretty sure I'm done now!
So I'm now going to post this and see if my pics show up!

Quack! (oops I'm.missing a pic)