Monday, October 5, 2009

Microwave Scrambled Eggs

Being pregnant, I've been needing to increase my protein intake because I'm so hungry all the time. Especially in the morning. When I discovered this technique for making scrambled eggs in the microwave I was skeptical, but pleasantly surprised to discover that it works really well! And you can add some cheese to it too for a cheesy scrambled egg that hits the spot.

Perfect Microwave Eggs
by Ivory Soap on September 1, 2009

It’s not possible. I know. But trust me. It all works off that ‘eggs continue cooking after they leave the stove’ thing.
1. Place eggs in CERAMIC bowl and scramble well.
2. UNDERCOOK them. For my micky, it’s 30 seconds per egg.
This is too wet:

What you’re looking for is just before it permanently adheres to the sides of the bowl. Little sloshy puddle in the bottom. For me, it’s 30 seconds per egg.

3. Break it up and salt it. It looks like this:

See? Still a little wet. That’s intentional.

4. Let it sit to finish cooking. Stir a few times to coat. If it doesn’t set after a minute or two, pop it back in for, like, ten seconds…tops.
5. Serve
6. Rinse out the bowl before the remaining egg sheen turns to super glue.
(I would say “Waa-laa!” but the humorless French Police keep beating down the door to my inbox.)


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Student Accident Insurance

I used to think insuring your child was morbid. I wondered who would want to cash in on the possible death or dismemberment of their child? I would throw out the student accident insurance forms as soon as they come home.

This year I realized that it had nothing to do with "cashing in" or benefiting from your own family's misfortune. Do you know how much income you would have to give up to care for an injured child or how much time you would need off from work if you were grieving? What if your child required long-term care?

I know for those of you with healthy children and uneventful lives, these things are unthinkable. And so they should be. But I also know that you cannot predict what the future may bring or keep the unthinkable from breaking through. If you're like I was and have been unwilling to consider the necessity for insurance, maybe look at it this way. I don't call it student accident insurance, I call it family care insurance. Your family can be taken care of so you can take care of each other.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Real Reason

OK. The real reason why I didn't follow through with vegetarianism was that I was newly pregnant. And not because I don't think you can have a healthy vegetarian pregnancy, but that this baby wants MEAT.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Well, I went vegetarian (practically vegan most of the time) this week and found it a lot harder than I wanted it to be. In my typical style, I had forged ahead with a new lifestyle change without preparing for it adequately, so I was depressed at my lack of choice of items to cook with and prepare for lunches. I was cold, irritable, and had a vague sense of anxiety most of the week.
By the weekend, with no visible change I was hoping for with the digestion issues, I went back to the Bible and God graced me with this passage from Genesis 9:

1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. [emphasis mine]

OK, so God did intend for us to eat meat, too. But I still don't think factory-farming fits into His covenant with us. So, I strive for a happy medium. A compromise. Because after a week of one extreme, I went to the other extreme this weekend. I felt more satisfied, and warmer again, but it didn't help the digestive issues at all either.

Here's the new plan:

1. Search out sources of meat and eggs approved by the Winnipeg Humane Society. There's a number of places in the city that sell locally-grown, free-range, pasture-fed meat and eggs.

2. Eat less meat and more vegetarian meals. There are an overwhelming number of facts out there that show that our greed for flesh protein is at a huge cost to the environment and to the amount of food that could be produced to feed the world.

3. Choose wisely when eating out. Anything that is cheap and easy is that for a reason.

4. Choose grain alternatives to wheat wherever possible. I still have reasons to believe that wheat sensitivity is part of my issues. And modern-day wheat does not have the nutrients, fibre, and protein content that other whole grains such as spelt and quinoa have.

5. Choose to treat meat and animal products with respect. I want to be mindful of the sacrifice that was made to nourish me and my family.

I think if I had given it more meal planning, and had stocked my fridge and pantry better, my week may not have been so difficult. However, I go on these journeys to learn something. I learned that my body needs some meat. I learned that eating whatever way I want still does not help me. I also have learned about where my food comes from and I think that's important. What worries more is the quick reply, "I don't want to know..." and the refusal to listen to the truth. If you don't listen to truth, what do you listen to?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

To Veg or Not To Veg?

I'm considering becoming a vegetarian. I haven't totally committed to it yet because I'm having a hard time making the culture change. I'm a foodie, and love to cook. Depression set in when I realized how much my range of ingredients would be limited by this choice.

But I'm overwhelmed by the way my body has decided NO MORE. I'm not sure what NO MORE is, but I have been eliminating a lot of things right now to try and figure it out. Wheat, red meat, dairy, and lately, pork and poultry too. I'm also overwhelmed with the responsibility of ensuring that I'm a good steward of the Earth that our Creator entrusted us with. Do you think He would nod and smile at mutilated chickens crammed into a smelly barn, never to see the light of day, only to produce meat and eggs for us until they die?

I go around and around with this because I want to be healthy, and to feel good about what I eat. Some research indicates that we were meant to be omnivores, and need the nutrients we can find in animal products. Other research indicates that vegetarians are healthier.

I have no answers right now, only questions. A LOT of questions. When I asked the Lord what to do, He reminded me of this passage from Matthew 6:

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. [emphasis mine]

The part that jumped out at me was in verse 32. I don't want to run after the latest trends, or the most current research, spending all my time trying to figure out what I should be eating. I just want to respect God's creation, and care for my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit that it is. I guess this thing will have to be led by God, because it's too big for me to figure out.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Power of 15 Minutes

Have you been feeling overwhelmed by something that you despair will never get done? Maybe it's cleaning out the hall closet, weeding your flowerbeds, or clearing the pile of clutter off your dining room table.

In one of my desperate searches for tips on how to get organized, I discovered the Power of 15 Minutes. You can get a lot done in 15 minutes. Take a small project, or a piece of a bigger project, set a timer, and get as much done as you can. Then sit down with your book and cup of tea and congratulate yourself for accomplishing something that you have wanted to get done for a while.

When I tell myself that "it will only take 15 minutes", I am much more likely to get it done than telling myself "I'll do it tomorrow when I have more time." And I don't know about you, but getting things done makes me feel pretty darn good. I get a lot more accomplished in pieces of 15 minutes than any other way.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baking Soda is Your Friend!

I don't use shampoo anymore. Yes, I do wash my hair - every day, in fact. But I use baking soda instead. The concept is called "No 'Poo" and if you Google it, you will find many converts to this age-old wisdom.

The way I understand it, and feel free to do more research than I have, is that shampoo is a detergent. Detergents strip not only dirt from your hair, but everything else too, including the natural oils your hair needs to stay healthy. Thus the need to follow up with conditioner.

What you've bought into then, is a complicated, often expensive, system to clean something that can be easily, thoroughly, and cheaply cleansed with humble baking soda. Since going "no 'poo", my hair has become shinier, healthier, and has actually encouraged a lovely natural curl that I've always wanted. And don't get me wrong - I'm an avid hairspray user (when my hair grows out long enough, we will be weaning ourselves off of that one too) and the baking soda removes it much more effectively than shampoo ever did. With no buildup.

I simply mix about a tablespoon of baking soda in about a cup of warm water, pour it over my wet hair, rub it around a little (but not necessary), and rinse. It works beautifully! Then, to soften and shine (and reduce frizziness and static), I mix a splash (about a tablespoon?) of apple cider vinegar in about a cup of warm water and pour again over my wet hair. Rinse, and beautiful soft, shiny, detangled hair is the result.

I have very fine, non-colored hair. I cannot guarantee what the results would be like on chemically-treated hair. I gave up coloring my hair a while ago because I couldn't be bothered to keep up with it. (We'll see if I change my tune when the gray starts to appear....) But I do know that my hair has never looked better and that I love that I don't need to use over-priced, over-marketed, unknown chemicals when there's a simpler, cheaper, healthier way.

Something to keep in mind, is that if you are considering going on the "no 'poo" adventure, that your hair may need to go through a transition period before it stabilizes into its ideal. But once your oil glands have understood that you're not stripping them with shampoo anymore, they get all happy again and produce their natural oils the way they're supposed to.

So, get your lonely box of Arm & Hammer out of the back of the cupboard and dust it off. Try out a natural way to care for your hair, but don't stop there! Baking soda makes a really good gentle facial scrub cleanser too!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Doggie Training Tip: Shaker Can

We have a Wire Fox Terrier who likes to stand at the corner of the chain link fence, let those who approach know she's there, and chase them, barking all along our wood fence along the sidewalk.

Needless to say, it was getting seriously annoying.

So, I borrowed an old trick I learned a long time ago. The shaker can.

I took an empty pop can, rinsed it out, put 3 pennies inside, and taped it shut. Then I let Cleo out, sat nearby and waited for the inevitable. It didn't take long before someone walked by and I banged the can and tossed it at her feet. It worked so well that she was reluctant to even go near her "barking corner" for a few days. I only had to shake the can a little bit after that if she happened to forget.

Don't get me wrong, I think a dog should be allowed to bark and be heard. It was the yapping and fence running that needed to be stopped. I think we've achieved a happy medium. The other day, she let out a couple of woofs, started toward the fence, then stopped herself and looked at me, the "Assassin of Fun". She then plodded over to me to be rewarded for her good decision.

And by the way, it worked on the cat too, when she decided all of a sudden that she wanted to be outside as well. She's 15 years old and we live on a busy street. You do the math. I shook that can and she decided the outside world was too scary to explore. All in all, a good result for something that took about a minute to make.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


After cleaning out Sabrina's bedroom again lately, I was disappointed by the amount of plastic toys and junk I hauled out of there. McDonald's toys, dollar-store toys, trinkets from loot bags, the sources are endless.

So, after a plastic toy is no longer usable, where does it go? Yes, it can be recycled, given to thrift shops to sell, and regifted, but you know where it will ultimately end up. The garbage dump. How can we in good conscience continue to fill our houses with a crazy amount of plastic that we cannot recycle? Is this the gift we want to leave our children and grandchildren with?

I started to research toys made from natural, recyclable materials, or fibers that could be composted, and discovered amigurumi. I've started crocheting a little clown and Sabrina is so excited that I'm making a toy for her that she is constantly asking me to work on it. Thankfully, these projects are simple and small and can be worked up in a few hours to a few days.

I'll post a picture of the finished product when it is done. If it goes well, I have a "kitty in pajamas" and a frog that I also have patterns for.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Mom Who Works

Let's face it: if you're a mom, you're a mom who works. What I'm talking about is referring to myself as a "mom who works" instead of being a "working mom". I choose to put the "mom" before the "work".