an off day… in a good way

Overall, this summer was fast paced and full of fun, just like we like it.  We headed to Texas twice, had family here for a few weeks, did lots of gardening, a little hiking, a ton of park days, play dates and I even got to sneak away for an adults only camping trip.

We’re just home from our last trip, and this week we’ve spent lots of time hanging with Jeanne and her kids to try and get this ol’ blog in order.  It’s actually been really fun and we’ve been cooking up a storm of new recipes to share in the coming weeks!  The kids were troopers, and enjoyed a late night jammie party while us mamas wrapped up a few things.

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With all the hustle and bustle, yesterday I realized we needed a day at home.

Part of what came with always being on the go this summer is I got sort of lax on what we were eating.  Still (mostly) organic and stuff, but we’ve been making pancakes and pizzas and all sorts of fun stuff… often.

So to begin our day at home we had a smoothie for breakfast.  I just headed out to the greenhouse and grabbed some kale and a cucumber, and then added in some frozen cherries, an avocado, some local honey and raw milk

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My youngest sucked it down, but my four year old took a little convincing.  We’re all having to work at getting back in the groove.
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The rest of the day consisted of lots of down time, making a gallon of pesto with basil from the garden, bike riding and getting ready for the food swap.  For the food swap I brought tomatoes, basil, parsley, green peppers, tomato sauce, pesto and some grass-fed ground beef.  I think I did pretty good taking home a huge spaghetti squash, some jam, a giant head of purple cabbage (that I can’t wait to ferment!), a bunch of orange beets, some red onions and an almond version of this homemade Nutella that Jeanne made (recipe coming soon!).

So I guess we didn’t technically stay home all day, but it was still so relaxing and refreshing.  It was a great reminder that sometimes it’s best to just be….  I’m thinking we may need to do this at least once a week!

on becoming that girl who takes pictures of the sky

I have taken more pictures of the sky this week than ever before. The daily thunderstorms followed by a break in the clouds just at sunset have been breathtaking!

I’ve taken all these on my iPhone with no filter added, and my kids keep asking, “MOM!! Why are you pulling over the car AGAIN?!”

How can I not with views like this?

Even after living here three years, I hadn’t given much thought to the fact we live in the “Big Sky State”.  I mean, technically isn’t the sky the same size everywhere?

I think I finally understand… you’ll see why.
Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman, Montana

boys to men

Jeanne here.

With a sad(ish) story.

Okay … well … it’s not really sad.

It was just traumatic (in a not-so-traumatic way) for the mother.

And the father.

Because we have a sweet baby boy.

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Who needed a hair cut.

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So Mama (I) cut his hair.

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And it was cute.

It wasn’t too short.  Just sort of cleaned up but a little foppy.  With a little attitude.

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It looked sweet in his hat.

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But I guess his sister didn’t like it.

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?!?!?!????!?!?!?!? 🙁

So I cried.

Then Dad (who was home for the weekend and had a much calmer head) went to get the horse clippers …

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All of a sudden, we have a little man …

 

a perfectly portable homemade chia “pod”

After a nearly two-week technology vacation, it’s Jeanne here.

I’m going to admit that it’s weird to be back after almost 14 days mostly unplugged.  The littles and I were on a 3,000+ mile road trip to visit the Cowboy, my mom and stepdad, my sisters, a new baby cousin, and some very dear friends.

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The real reason we made the trip:  it was take the kids to work day (not really) … but they loved sitting at Dad’s very fastidious desk (his desk at home is a little less neat :))

To describe it as “whirlwind” is sort of putting it mildly.  We trekked from Montana to Utah to Los Angeles to Palm Springs to north of San Diego to southern San Diego to LA to Palm Springs to Utah to Montana … and we did it in just under 2 weeks.

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I am so thankful our littles like to travel … this was taken on the very last leg of our trip in a hotel room in Salt Lake City. It was a very happy dance.

And honestly, it wasn’t a totally conscious decision to be offline.

We were just in the car so much … and after reading about Werner Herzog’s new 35 minute “short film” From One Second to the Next about the dangers of texting and driving I had made a commitment not to text or talk while driving.  Mind you, I have NOT seen the film.  I just read about it and it changed my life.  I don’t think I have the courage to actually watch it.  But I agree with the message … whatever it is you have to say?  It can wait.  But I digress.

I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of our trip because not everyone wants to be invited over to watch a home-movie (but if you invite me over to watch yours, I will do so happily :))

Plus … there’s a good chance the real reason you’re here today is this:

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My San Diego sister introduced me to these little nuggets of goodness, which she found at Sprouts.

It has four organic ingredients:  Coconut Milk, Bananas, Blueberries, Chia Seeds.

I love how good for you they are [Chia seeds have been shown to stabilize blood sugar, increase brain power.  They are 20 percent protein.  Jam-packed with digestible fiber, calcium and antioxidants.  They have strontium (which helps assimilate protein) and can help with weightloss by boosting metabolism and promoting lean muscle.  There’s evidence that these tiny little nutty-tasting seeds can help reduce blood pressure and encourage heart health.  They’ve also been shown to aid in detoxification and elimination. And I haven’t even mentioned how good for you Coconut Milk is.]

I love the portability (although I wish it weren’t in plastic with two plastic covers and a plastic spoon).  It’s a great texture (it’s kind of yogurty … not slimy like I thought it could be because sometimes that happens when you add chia seeds to liquid).  And it doesn’t have the “it will go bad by lunch if it’s not refrigerated” that threatens dairy products.

I tried the blueberry.

I was uber ready for it to be delicious.

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It was okay.

Actually, it was sort of bland.  Like the bananas weren’t ripe enough.  Or maybe it was missing just a hint of sweet.

But I love the idea of a Chia Pod.

So I have been obsessed with making my own version of this since Saturday … waiting (not so patiently) to get home, get to the store and whip out the Vita-Mix.  (Plus, it gives me an excuse to use all those dang jelly jars that have been cluttering our cupboards.)

I started simply, with four ingredients …

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I used peaches instead of blueberries because when we were in SoCal we stopped at a local farmers’ market and bought way too many to eat on a drive home and I didn’t want them to go bad and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. (How’s that for a run-on sentence?)

But my first attempt had the same problem as the store bought Chia Pod.

Tasteless.

So here’s what I did:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 very ripe peaches (pitted and cut into large chunks … it was about a cup and a half to two cups of chopped peaches, but it could have been strawberries or blueberries or mango or a blend of any berries or fruit that trips your trigger)
  • 2 ripe bananas (I will likely reduce this to one banana next time because the taste is pretty heavy on the banana)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup of chia seeds (the Chia Pod uses white chia.  I only had black chia on hand and while it doesn’t look as “pretty” as the store bought version, it still tastes pretty much the same and packs the same amount of awesomeness)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey (or use grade B maple syrup or raw sugar or agave if you want to make this a vegan treat)
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and pulse until well-combined.  Divide into individual serving cups and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to “set.”

And …

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I know they’re not as cute as the one’s my Sis got at Sprout’s (or it might have been Trader Joe’s). I’ll have to work on the packaging when I make a strawberry version next.

I love them.

I had one for dessert last night.

Our little guy had one for a snack … and his big sister ate half of it.

And there are still six in the fridge to pack and go anywhere anytime (breakfast, lunch, snack, dessert).

So life is good.

Except for maybe what I found in the freezer after being gone for two weeks.

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But I don’t want to leave you with this image that’s haunting my brain … so here’s one of our kids after going to a block party with their cousins …

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It may not be helping you much, but it definitely takes my mind off my task for the day 🙂

 Find us also at:
Pinworthy Projects @ The Domestic Superhero
& Pennywise Platters @ The Nourishing Gourmet

that time my kid ran out of an airplane

Saturday night after the kids got to sleep, on a whim I decided to book flights to Texas and surprise my parents… the next morning… at 7AM.

Logical, right?

I was done booking around 10:30 PM, leaving me seven hours to pack, sleep and wake my kids up to tell them were getting on a plane.  I’m a light packer anyways, so one load of laundry and we were good to go.  I packed one carry-on for me and the boys for ten days, which I realize is either awesome or pathetic… you choose!

Needless to say, the kids were ecstatic when I woke them up, and we breezed through the morning.  I knew we’d be alright though… the kids are pros at this by now.

20130827-124241.jpg I’ve written some tips for traveling with kids (HERE) before, but honestly I can boil it down to 3 things: have low expectations, don’t stress over it and bring snacks… lots and lots of snacks.

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20130827-124233.jpg My youngest is turning two this week, so our trip here was the last time he will be a lap child.  Which is awesome and horrible.  Awesome because I GET MY OWN SEAT! Horrible because more money and it’s further proof that he is no longer a baby. When my oldest turned two I was five months pregnant.  So here I am, with no bun in the oven, and feeling a bit more sentimental about my little guy turning two.

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So here’s where the title of this post came from:  We had just boarded our second plane in Salt Lake and everyone had taken their seats.  It was going to be a few minutes until we take off, so we squeezed in a trip to the potty for my 4 year old.  We walked to the back and he went in while I held on to the little guy (He’s the type of kid you have to watch EVERY SINGLE SECOND).  So when Elijah opened to door and needed a bit of help, I let go of his hand FOR A SPLIT SECOND, and off he sprinted.  From the back of the huge plane to the front.  I pulled Elijah’s pants up as quickly as I could and took off after him.  Remember, everyone on the plane is seated… watching my kid sprint through the plane and laughing hysterically.  Why no one helped a sister out and stuck out their hand to stop him… I don’t know?!

So he made it to the front, past the flight attendants, and took a left and headed off the plane onto the jetway.  A flight attendant headed after him yelling, “SIR! SIR!  YOU CAN’T DO THAT SIR!”  I finally caught up with them as she had picked him up, and this leads me to a question:

How are you supposed to discipline a toddler on an airplane?

It’s a good thing his mama is easy going. 🙂

Anyways, we got back in our seats and the plane finally took off.  We made it Texas, but not before a complete stranger gave my boy his half eaten Snickers bar.  Honestly, I was appalled and might have given the guy a dirty look… oops.

My sister and brother-in-law picked us up from the airport, and we headed straight to my parents.  The kids knocked on the front door and they were shocked!  So fun!

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“shaving”

We’re enjoying our downtime here for the week… just trying to survive the heat.  My active Montana boys turn into tomatoes minutes after running around outside!

-Abby

 

 

 

2 camping rookies celebrating 5 years of marriage

I could have called this post: Two Love Birds Who Haven’t Camped in a Decade Celebrate Five Years of Wedded Bliss With A Short Camping Trip (Without The Kids!!) In The Bear Country Armed At Everysinglemoment With Bear Spray.  

But I didn’t want to confuse anyone. And plus that seemed like a run-on sentence and Jeanne is forever having to fix my typos.  She’s on vacation, and I wanted her to have a break.

Truth is, getting away without the kiddos hasn’t been our strongest suit, so we really needed and enjoyed this short little getaway.  And what better reason to celebrate than five years of marriage!

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And although we’ve both done a lot of camping pre-marriage, it’s been a long time.  We car-camped near a trailhead where we saw tons of hikers packing in for 3-4 nights in the mountains.  It was almost embarrassing how jam packed our car was with everything you could possibly need, only to use 1/3 of it.  And I didn’t leave the tent without my bear spray.  Not even an inch.  My boys needed their parents to come home. 20130812-221529.jpg

20130812-221536.jpgWe came home amped up about life and parenting.  It’s amazing how just a short amount of time away from your little people will make you remember how absolutely awesome they are.  

The main thing we realized is how we don’t want our kids to remember their parents addicted to technology, with a phone or iPad always in their hands.  We want them to remember that THEY were what is most important.  We’re trying to be realistic in this, but also very conscience of how we spend our time.  We’ve “officially” set aside a few hours each day (when John gets home from work till the kiddos go to bed) to be completely “technology free” and really spend time as a family.

It has been WONDERFUL!

After all, these two won’t be little for long.

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5 reasons I love my bicycle (not including that it’s fuchsia).

You know that funny moment that you’re “caught” doing something and all you can do is laugh?

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Abby drove by us the other day (and captured this lovely photo that just makes the wicked witch song from the Wizard of Oz pop into my head) and it was all at once awkward and funny and I was weirdly embarrassed and joyful at the same time.

I’m not sure why it was weird … or funny … or awkward … because we are on the bike all the time in the summer.

We don’t live far from downtown, and getting on the bike is often just easier and faster than getting in the car.

In fact, I can rattle off five reasons right now why I love my bike (not including that it’s fuchsia and has flowers on it):

(As an aside: this is a rare moment that I am thankful for autocorrect … because until this moment I had no idea how to spell fuchsia.)

1.  Exercise.  I’m always looking for ways to incorporate exercise into daily life because I don’t love going to the gym.  Getting on the bike gives me an excuse to burn off a few extra calories tugging 100 pounds of kiddos and trailer along.  Add groceries and it’s 120 pounds!  And we live in a valley, so no matter where I go, one direction is uphill.  So even if I only go a few miles, I feel like I’ve done something.

2.  Loading up is way easier.  We’re in that trying time in a young man’s life when the last thing he wants to do is get into his carseat.  It doesn’t matter where we’re going, our little guy does NOT want to be strapped in.  But the bike trailer?  Totally different story.  He wants his helmet on.  He wants to be buckled in.  And he wants to be close to his sister.

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(That might not be true for his sister.)

3.  Parking.  I drive a SUV.  (I know that’s not PC, but when you’re carting two big dogs, 2 kids, and large bags of feed for horses, a Prius just doesn’t make sense.)  Anyway … parking is sometimes almost always a bummer.  But never on a bike.  There’s always space at the bike rack (although Bozeman is a bike-friendly town, so sometimes the racks are as crowded as the parking lots).  And if there’s NOT space at the rack, there’s often a street sign that’s easy to tie-up next to.

4.  Gas and Money.  I drive a SUV. (Do you hear an echo??)  It’s summertime.  Gas is expensive.  So every time we opt for the bike over the car I’m saving a little money and using a little less of our natural resources.  It’s cost effective and sustainable.  Woohoo!!

5.  Safety.   Sometimes, when you’re in your car, your smartphone rings.  Or you get a beep that you have a text.  Or the email notification bings.  And then you get to a stoplight and you can’t help yourself so you check it.  And then all of a sudden the guy behind you is honking and you look up and you’ve missed the green light and then you think about the car that flipped over on South 19th the other day and wonder if the driver was texting while driving and then want to kick yourself for checking the dang phone.  That doesn’t happen on a bike.  Because on a bike, your phone is safely in the bag in the back of your bike trailer and you don’t know if it rings or bings or dings or beeps.

And one more for good measure …

6.  Exploration and Discovery.  I found the perfect color that I plan to paint the kids’ bedroom while riding through town the other day … it’s a gender-neutral shade of blue-ish greenish blue and it’s perfect.  I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.  And now I have to go back and see if I can capture the hue with my camera so I can bring it to the paint store and find a low VOC version of it.  But it’s not just paint colors … it’s seeing gardens that our neighbors are planting, happening upon new pastry shops, exploring side roads and alleyways that I wouldn’t think of driving in my car.  It’s actually getting to see and know the town we live in.

When was the last time you jumped on your bike and went for a ride?

solo-ish camping

solo camping

I don’t know about you, but every time I turned on the radio last week I heard about the Perseid Meteor Shower.

And Saturday morning was no different.

Which kind of bummed me out because I really wanted to see an unadulterated sky filled with meteors, but thought: “Oh well … maybe the Cowboy will be home for it next year and we can go camping.”

And then I thought: “Wait a minute … I can take the kiddos camping.  Why not?”

I mean, I’ve traveled with them by myself and stayed in hotels.  How different could it be to take them camping?

With the dogs.

In the wild.

Out of cell range.

In bear country.

“HahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaHAH,” said my inner voice.  (My mother said I was crazy.)

But I really wanted to see the meteor shower.

I remember seeing it the summer I graduated from high school, right before leaving for college, hanging out with my two best girlfriends, laying on the hood of someone’s car way too late at night and thinking it was an incredible gift and a sign that amazing adventures lie ahead (not aware that it’s an event that happens every August, and that the only reason this was the first time I was seeing it was because it was the first time I’d ever been out past midnight.)

But I digress.

Truth is, I wanted to see the meteor shower.  And our little girl wanted to see the meteor shower (we’ve spent a lot of time this summer talking about the night sky and she was as excited to see it as I was).  And I couldn’t think of a real reason that I couldn’t take the kids overnight on a little camping adventure.

So …

This is the photo I sent to the Cowboy just as we were about to embark on the journey … in case we went missing and someone needed to know what I was wearing in order to find us.

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Thankfully, he didn’t need to forward it to the local news station because it would have been embarrassing to have that “out there.”  🙂

We found the “perfect” campsite.

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FYI … my brain went to as many insane doomsday scenarios as it could muster over the course of the 18 hours we were away … 

For example, the thoughts that go through a mom’s head as she’s deciding what makes a perfect campsite when she’s alone with two toddlers is WAY different than the thoughts of someone traveling with more than one adult and two kids … like … will a psycho killer be more inclined to approach a camp that’s close to the road or one that’s off the beaten path … if we’re close to the road they’ll know it’s just me with the kids … if it’s off the beaten path no one will hear us scream? … AAAAAAAUCK!

Then the ballerina did a dance to celebrate finding firewood nearby.

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And rocks.

Both kids were happy to find rocks.

And I was thankful that no one threw a rock at her brother’s head … even by accident.

I was also thankful that when picking up said nearby firewood, I wasn’t bitten by a rare deadly spider and left paralyzed with no way to get the children (or myself) to the closest hospital about 58 miles away.

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Aaaaaaaaaah.  The joy of the campfire.  The relief of not catching my hair on fire while starting the campfire.

Good times.

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Fun that kids can have while Mom doesn’t light her hair on fire while building the campfire … so happy that my car’s in the shop and we had to take the Cowboy’s big ol’ rig which gave the kiddos ample play room for coloring.

IMG_0562Fun kids can have when Mom decides marshmallows are okay when she wants the kids to stay up later than usual to see the much-talked-about-Perseid-Meteor-Shower … (So thankful no one ended up in the fire with a need to be rushed to the hospital with face burns, but glad to know I have burn cream in the camping first aid kit if, God forbid, I would ever need it.)

Do you see what’s going on here?  My brain was like a train wreck … Horror thought after horror thought, and I just couldn’t look away.

IMG_0579Bedtime.

At last!

We slept in the locked cab of the truck … with all the food and garbage and bear spray.  And I only woke up about 26 times … twice because the dogs were barking … a few times because the dogs were shivering so much on the bed of the truck that the cab was shaking and I thought it was an earthquake … once because a car drove by … once because the kids stole all the blankets and it was about 38 degrees outside and almost as cold in the cab … once to sneak outside and spend a blissfully quiet (and terrifying) 15 minutes looking at the meteor shower convinced that in the darkness someone was approaching camp, only to realize it was just the sound of the river about 100 yards away.  Does that add up to 26?  Anyway … you get the drift.

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There were angels sleeping in our “nest” … a few minutes after sunrise and before they realized they missed the meteor shower.

In closing, I’ll just say this … camping without the Cowboy was majorly different than camping with him.  Despite all the crazy goings on in my head for these few hours, the kiddos had fun.  They explored.  They toasted marshmallows.  They got good and dirty.  And they both wanted to stay another night.

I’d say it was a success.

Seeing the meteor shower was a different experience this time than when I was 18.  And while I might want to lose the crazy brain syndrome, I’d be psyched to do it again.

ADDENDUM:  Here’s what we brought in our cooler for dinner, snack, breakfast, snack (because that’s what I always want to know):

SATURDAY DINNER:  Raw milk cheddar cheese, apples, roast beef, sourdough buns, homemade blueberry kombucha

DESSERT: Marshmallows.  The big ones.  Totally not healthy.  But we don’t camp enough for me to stress out about it.  One day maybe I’ll make my own so the kids don’t have to have the HFCS, but I figured it’s one day.

SUNDAY BREAKFAST:  Applegate organic uncured bacon.  Musli soaked in yogurt and honey.  I had tea.  Kiddos had more homemade blueberry kombucha.

SNACK on the way home:  Applegate salami, raw milk cheddar cheese, apples, water

What happens when YOU step out of your comfort zone?

GMO 101 … a gut feeling

Jeanne here.

If we’re friends on Facebook, you’ve probably seen all my “shares” about the anti-GMO movement and my constant encouraging of people not to eat GMOs. (If we’re not friends, you can find me here and friend me!)

My GMO obsession … you see … it’s a significantly personal issue for me.

The thing is my stepdad has Parkinson’s Disease.

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My mom, stepdad and me, two Christmas’ ago in a cabin in the woods after a carol-filled sleigh ride in the snow. So fun!

It’s a really ugly disease.

It causes tremors.

Stiffness.  Rigidity.

Weakness or mild paralysis in the muscles of the face and throat.

Slow or limited movement, difficulty walking, balance-problems.

Decreased dexterity.

Muscle cramps, made more complicated with a sudden, brief inability to move.

Incontinence (or conversely, constipation).

Low blood pressure.

Webmd.com says that “up to one-third of people may develop dementia and confusion, similar to Alzheimer’s disease, late in the course of the disease. Depression can further contribute to memory loss and confusion. Memory loss, hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there), and vivid dreams may sometimes be caused by drugs taken to treat Parkinson’s disease.”

What’s worse …it doesn’t go away.

And it doesn’t get better.

It just gets worse.

And worse.

And worse.

And the drugs used to treat it do some good, but it’s a complicated cocktail of medications that have some awful side effects. There are radical treatments available today, too.  Like Deep Brain Stimulation which involves implanting electrodes into the brain and running electrical currents into the deep brain tissue.

Now for the actual point of this post (which was not supposed to be a lesson in Parkinson’s Disease):  While there’s no known single cause of this degenerative disease (from which my aunt and uncle both died), studies (like this one from a research team at MIT) are showing links between exposure to pesticides like glyphosate to the onset of the condition.  And glyphosate is the primary active ingredient in Round-up, the most widely used pesticide in the World. Monsanto makes Round-up. They also make “Round-up ready” crops, which are grown from genetically modified seeds that have been scientifically altered to allow the fruit or vegetable to “take up” the pesticide and then defend itself from pest invasion because they become poisonous to the invader.

Apparently, even though I have not spoken to a company representative myself, it’s public knowledge that Monsanto asserts  glyphosate is harmless to humans because we don’t have the genetic ability to process the chemical.  But the good bacteria in our guts have the ability.  So then that bacteria is destroyed.  But our relationship with that bacteria is complicated.  And losing that bacteria to this poison leaves our bodies without the ability to detoxify the food we eat, absorb nutrients, synthesize vitamins, and has an incredibly negative impact on our immune system.

That study I referred to earlier … the one from the MIT researchers … that study also suggests that glyphosate exposure might also be linked to gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

And like I said, GMOs are designed to uptake the glyphosate.  So when we eat GMO food (like soy, corn, sugar from sugar beets, etc), our exposure is multiplied.  and more of the good bacteria in our bodies is destroyed.

Phys.org reported in June that by 2012, 88 percent of corn (maize) and 94 percent of soy grown in the United States were genetically modified, according to the US .

There are heavy hitters on the pro-GMO team … folks with lots of money, lots of influence, and a lot to lose if GMOs are proven to be as unhealthy as I’m convinced they are.

Why, if the science isn’t totally proven, do I care so much about not feeding our family GMOs?

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It’s a gut-feeling.

Resources: Food, Inc (documentary), Genetic Roulette (documentary), Occupy Monsanto (Facebook movement), Webmd.com, onearth.org (online alternative news source), Dr. Mercola (natural medicine expert)

what to do with an old door DIY

 

We have a few old doors in our garage the Cowboy found at a local art school garage sale/giveaway.  And I’m not entirely sure, but I believe he had visions of tables and future homes and neat things in those old doors.

We’ve been storing them in the garage on a steel shelf above the freezer … a shelf that is doing yeoman’s work by holding up these super-heavy-fire-door-like wooden slabs. (To say it makes me nervous every time I go out to the chest freezer might be an exaggeration.)

And before he left for his job, I asked my stronger half to help me get one down because I had this idea to turn one into an outdoor chalkboard.  We spend a lot of time outdoors.  And the kiddos LOVE sidewalk chalk.  They love playing “school” and I was thinking it would give us an opportunity to use  a new space in the backyard a little differently.

We picked up the only two colors of chalkboard paint carried at our local Paint Pot that weren’t black (which turned out to be green and purple).

And I started sanding (just to get the big scratches out).

Then, I followed the instructions on the paint containers and got busy (with a little help from two sets of small hands).

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We let it “cure” for 3 days (in the shade).

And then followed more instructions:  As a gang-of-three, we “chalked it up.”

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IMG_0208 And then our 4 year-old wiped it clean with a clean damp cloth.

IMG_0212 I think it needs another wipe.

I’ll say this … The chalkboard paint would have worked a little better had it been more evenly applied.  But for a 4 year-old, a 2 year-old, and mom who wanted to have an activity to do together, I think it’s gonna work out just fine.

Now, can I please borrow someone’s husband for 20 minutes to get this thing hung up on the fence so the kids can use it?

xo,

Jeanne