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I Need an Olive Branch, the Ark Has Landed

October 27, 2010
Noah's ark & friends

Image by weennee via Flickr

Whatever is feasting in our front yard, raccoons, deer, squirrels, birds were back again last night at exactly the same time! They destroyed what was left of the bird feeder that was still outside and dug a few more holes in the yard. It’s rained here the past few days so the birdseed from the potato shooter is nicely embedded in the dirt in the front yard. It’s storming now. We are under a tornado watch.  Birdie freaks out whenever it thunders and Rudi is anxious from all the animal smells he must be picking up from the yard. The animal anxiety level is pretty high here right now. I told my daughter last night it was like Noah’s ark landed in our front yard! It feels a bit like an ark inside right now!

My grandsons spent the night with us last night and I cooked Mahi Mahi for them. It’s the first time I’ve opened that canola oil bottle in almost a month! I roasted some yellow squash and asparagus (both boys love asparagus!), leftover baked beans and fresh bread. This time, I used a different brand of whole wheat flour that was stone ground. It was much more course and the bread even nuttier and more dense. It was still delicious, though and we froze about 2/3 of it.Making the bread was also much, much easier. It’s amazing how much difference the experience of making one loaf of bread could increase my confidence, making the task easier.

I also made apple crisp bars from a recipe I found on They were amazingly tasty. It called for apple juice concentrate which I didn’t have. If I’d thought of it, I’d have used apple butter instead which I did have. They were a tad dry and the absence of butter was obvious, but for a fat-free dessert, it’ll definitely do.

Though I was writing just about sticking to the more strict no dairy version, those apple bars had both fat-free milk and egg whites in them. If my writing seems a bit like watching a ping-pong game, it is only a hint of the pinging going on in my mind.

I’m getting a little bored with our diet and with this cooking. Everything is tasting the same and though I’m sure I could come up with something different or find great recipes, I’m feeling less motivated. I’m sure this will pass, but it’s part of the ugly I promised to share.

I tried making a snack from the FatFree site, too. I drained a can of chick peas, spread them on a cookie sheet, seasoned them and baked them for about forty minutes. I stirred them a couple of time during the baking (sprayed the pan with non stick spray first, too). They were sort of good, but could have been spicier. They tasted a little like a corn nut and might be good for a road trip when we might normally be munching on something.

Another snack we found is “Post Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Lightly Frosted”  cereal. They are like the “Frosted Mini Wheats,” but with less sugar. Total fat is 1 Gm, o sodium, 5 Gm fiber, but 12 Gm sugar. No added fat though and whole wheat. Lee divides the box into one cup snack size ziplocks and uses them as a snack at work.

Tonight, I think I’ll stick to rice and beans. At the end of the cooking, it tastes as good as anything anyway. Maybe my lack of additional weight loss is adding to my melancholy. I know. I know. How can I expect to lose weight when every other post includes tales of caramel or some other forbidden fruit. It’s not that evil apple that entices me, but the serpent of caramel that sucks me in every time! Serpents and evil witches with houses made of candy, six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Did you know they sell caramel bits now for baking? They are like chocolate chips, but little round balls of caramel. The caramel apple wraps package includes a recipe for turtle brownies where the brownie batter is layered with the sheets of caramel. I need to be transported to a land without sugar. I didn’t even covet my grandson’s fish last night. It was perfectly cooked, if I say so myself, moist and flaky and they said perfectly seasoned. It is not a juicy steak I dream of or even a loaded pizza that haunts me.

An interesting thought just came to me. If I had a choice right now of a cigarette or a Milky Way (with no adverse effects, of course), I would choose the Milky Way.




Just, Wow.

Maybe eighteen  months from now, I will no longer long for chocolate.

That thought just undid the Wow.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary permalink
    October 27, 2010 11:53 am

    Holidays are so devious. If it’s not Halloween Candy, it’s Thanksgiving carbo loading and pie and whipped cream. If it’s not that, then it’s Christmas candy and cookies and all that stuff. If it’s not that, then it’s New Year’s celebrating with pate and blue castello appetizers and dreams of champagne. And if it’s not that, then it’s Valentines and then Easter time, Cadbury chocolate eggs and Sees eggs.

    I’m tired of temptation and the “celebrations” of the food that germinates ill health being “shoved down my throat”. It’s so hard. Once, Bob and I went to Hawaii just before Christmas and it was so great to hear Christmas carols in the stores, go outside and sit on the beach, eat grilled fish Maui tacos and go snorkeling ~ instead of craving these triggers. Yes, it was strange, but it made us realize just how conditioned we are, like Pavlov’s dogs. OK, maybe it makes me a little annoyed. Maybe more than a little? Just not fair.

    • October 27, 2010 12:05 pm

      Thanks for just being here with me Mary. Maybe it’s those dogs that dig in the yard in the night. Maybe it’s us in our dreams. The beach sounds wonderful…why can’t it be brussel sprouts or celery that clogs arteries?

  2. Donna permalink
    October 27, 2010 4:40 pm

    Consider this your Branch – I have no Olive Trees, but I do have a huge, ancient Oak that drops branches in every wind over 20 mph and any rain longer that 10 minutes – needless to say, I have lots of branches I could get to you today.

    There is an old song – that has a line – “rainy days and Mondays, always get me down.” As much as what you’re eating or not eating, the weather stinks a bit today, but if we want flowers, there has to be rain. (I think that’s aquote from a song too.) Here are some interesting facts and tips that may help you with the “Ark”.
    **Did you know that Chipmunks are protected as an endangered species in Georgia? I have been tempted to contact the state Wildlife people to let them know there is no shortage of chipmunks, they have simply moved to the lot my house sits on. There are literally dozens of holes everywhere..they come up in my garden and all over the front and back lawns. They have tunnels into my crawl space and under the slab my heat pump sits on. Their tunnels can be miles long and no exterminator will help you because of the law. Two of my dogs, Roo & Joy, are obsessed with them (FiFi is not a dog, so chasing anything is beneath her.) and they chase them endlessly. When they shoot down a hole, Roo digs furiously at the hole enlarging it like mad! Then, working as a team, Joy attemps to go after them. Some of the holes get so big, Joy gets her entire head down in it…I fear she will one day do her own Alice in Wonderland and fall down the hole! In the meantime, the chipmunk being persued has traveled underground to the other side of the fence, and will ofter pop up and sit and watch them still digging away. When you see it, it really is a hoot! Because the holes are made so large, and I worry, I spend much of my energy filling holes. No matter what you do to a chipmunk hole, if they want to use it again, like some weird miniture border crossers they will open the tunnel hole again, many times overnight! I tried putting dozens of stones down once, covering it with dirt, and the next morning the hole was open with all the stones scattered around the entrance!
    **If you want to deter but not loose the deer, you can try giving them something they like. Often setting up a salt lick and or a corn block away from your flowers will work. Check with your local feed store (I know where you live, and they have feed stores). Also, stop planting everything Tennessee Orange – you are in Bulldog Country, woman! The deer are “dawgs” here! Try Red!
    **I have 3 bird feeders….2 are lovely ceramic ones that were gifts….the squirrels get them 1st so I no longer put food in them. I still hang them because they are so pretty. The 3rd is what is called a “squirrell-proof” feeder, and it really does work pretty well. The birds actually get to eat most of the seeds. As for your crazy potato shooter friend, the birds, squirrels and chipmunks will clean up the seed. The rest will spout and fill in bare spots in your grass….you can’t tell the differnce when you mow. Squirrels are very acrobatic – so a hanger needs to be well away from all porches, rooftops and trees. They can climb straight up a brick wall and push off, hit the feeder so it swings wildly and spills out the seed. (My house is brick.)
    Now for the melecholy Food Blues:
    ** As for your food problem, over the years as I supported one friend or another trying to loose weight, I read an enormous amount about “diets”. In almost everthing I have ever read about why people have trouble staying on them 2 things are always mentioned. 1. Meal plans that totally eliminate something cause a great deal of failure. People with eating disorders cannot do abstinence…..they have to eat…..they simply have to monitor what and how much. The most sucessful plans limit, not eliminate the “bad” stuff. The stress of completly giving up all sugar for instance makes true chocolate lovers crave the stuff all the more. Perhaps setting a 1 day a week or every other week as a time to have a limited amount of sugar would help you avoid doing it willy-nilly and looseing control. 2. It has to be a life style change, just like recovery from any addiction, we change gradually. Hang in there, but take a good look at your plan….with a little tweaking, it may not be so depressing.
    ** Last, as I have said before, I am not a happy heart patient! My disease is complicated by COPD and Emphyseama, as yours is by the PAD. This week I am ill with the chronic bronchitas that accompanies this. Instead of the normal 6 medications I take daily, I have 9 to take. I understand the furstration of not being able to do things…..this week breathing is particularly elusive! The shortness of breath that makes it difficult to walk drives me to very dark thoughts. You wrote not long ago about wanting to live! Me too!!! The thought of leaving so soon is a bit scarey…I want to see how my daughter and grandaughter turn out…I want to know what happens to my friends. I want to enjoy a few years without having to work every day of my life. I want to have just enough breath left to dance once at my grandaughter Dori’s wedding – although she would have to start dating sometime in this decade for that to happen. I am on partial disability right now, and work only 4 days a week. Next month I will be moving to 3 days as I march toward my retirement in January or February. Let’s plan to visit on a regular basis….just you and I and maybe the girls to play with Rudi…we can keep each others spirits up and maybe learn to walk together. Perhaps I can sample your menu and give up some of the stuff I should…..but my friend, given the choice between a Milky Way and a ciggarette, I am sorry to say I will still take the ciggarette!

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