Monday, August 16, 2010

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again. Then quit. There's no use being a damn fool about it.

That's it. I'm done.

I am not an Org Junkie, and I cannot stick to a meal plan.

I posted on a message board last week, that I had an epiphany about why I cannot follow my own plans.

I am a huge proponent of fresh ingredients, and I love improvising. That's probably my FAVORITE thing aboUt cooking. I can't do that if I'm working off of a plan. I prefer to grab what sounds good, and make something rad out of what I have fresh right away. That's probably why I do fairly well playing at vegetarian.

I mean, what's the point of a meal plan? To ensure that you use what you have, to have a better handle on your budget? To not be scrambling wondering what you have for dinner?

Well, it's not really an issue. I don't generally run out to the store OR eat out if I'm missing something. I use what I have on hand. So... the end result is the same, right? Why fight myself into doing something that I don't wanna, when I reach the goal just the same?

So I'm not. I'm not menu planning, for a week, any more. I am free! If it works for you, great, please keep doing it. It just isn't my thing.

Instead, I'm gonna try to keep a daily food diary... hopefully it will confirm what I am thinking... that I eat from already owned items. Hopefully. Who knows. Maybe I'll do this and it'll be awful, and I failed. At least I'll get a kick in the ass.

Today's dinner is planned already - roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and some salad or something. Today - check!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Meal Plan Monday!

I am giving this (another) shot... but (hopefully) giving myself enough wiggle room to be comfortable... I'll probably switch some of this up, and trade days, so.. I guess really, it's more like "Stuff I'll Make For Dinner Sometime This Week".

Monday - Pasta Carbonara
Tuesday - Roast chicken
Wednesday - Chicken Tacos
Thursday - Hamburgers
Friday - Pizza (homemade)
Saturday - Kids' Pick night, probably something Japanese
Sunday - no plan

#1 picked up a Japanese cookbook at the library this weekend, and she's dying to try it out, so we have plans Saturday to go for sushi, hit up the Japanese market, and let her make dinner.

Sometimes, I really wish I could get better at sticking to menu plans... But then I consider this, and... really, I don't run to the store all willy-nilly to pick up stuff; I tend to make do with what I have. My grocery budget is probably under $75 for 5 people - I'm pleased with that. We have one staple item that we use pre-made (H cannot let go of his Aunt Jemima Complete pancake mix), but everything else is homemade. I'm going to call us... above average. And, also, humble.

As always, I'm linking back to, and someday, when I grow up, I can be more like her.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods... there is a rapture on the lonely shore.

I treated our last camping trip, to Carpinteria State Beach back in May, as a test trip. It was close to home, close to town, had real, water running bathrooms, showers. I figured I'd break us in slowly.

Since it went so well, I took Snork up on her invite to Mammoth over 4th of July weekend. Snork was meeting some dirtbiking friends. We were just touristing.

So, I rented a tent, again, from REI, because I'm not quite so committed that I was shelling out a couple hundred bucks to own one yet, when I can rent one for $45 for 3 days.

But a few days before we leave, a mutual FB friend of ours (well, FB friend of mine, RL friend to her) tells Snork she has a tent she'll give me for free - giant, 3 rooms, we could practically LIVE in there. I'm so stoked.

I am also paranoid, and like to be fully prepared for anything. So despite Snork's laughing at me, I did not cancel my REI rental tent.

So we left the day before Snork did, spent the night in Fresno, and toured Yosemite the next day before heading to camp. Meanwhile, Snork is picking up our magical new (free) tent on her way up from camp. Promising, even, to have it all set up nice and pretty for us when we get there.

Cell service in Yosemite is pretty spotty, but I start getting texts from Snork, like...

"Did you cancel the REI tent?"

"hey, do you have a tent?"

"did you cancel the tent????"


"But did you cancel?? CALL ME!"

Turns out, the tent picking up was unsuccessful. There was a bag. There were stakes. There was a footprint. Alas, there was no tent.

Moral of the story: Do not laugh at your friends' preparedness, even if it borders on paranoia.

Camping this time was a bit more... rustic, than last. And by rustic, I mean, 40 minutes from the closest "town", up a dirt hill 20 minutes into the mountains, no water, no cell service.

The upside to this, was the blanket of stars we saw all night. It was kind of mind-boggling, coming from LA, where it's a handful of stars in a night, to this.

Being a dirtbiking trip, there were plenty of bikes around, which the kidlets kind of dug...

Baby made friends with Riley, whose name is burned into my psyche forever, thanks to Riley's owner screeching for him every 10 minutes while Riley wandered through neighboring campsites....
It was super, super dusty - far worse even than the windy beach camping. This was not sand, this was dirty, grimy dust. And it flew. And was everywhere. So it was tough to stay... clean, and not FEEL dusty. I watched Mr. Snork molest his feet with baby wipes for a good 10 minutes....

Apparently, ones feet must be dirt free prior to putting on dirt biking boots.


We toured the town of Mammoth, which is cute, and houses.....
Yep. A Coach outlet. It was pretty exciting. I was hesitant to even go in, you know, with the dusty and all, but I did, and it was glorious.

We went to the beach at June Lake. The water looked pretty chilly, which was confirmed by the shivering children who kept playing in it. I grew up in Florida, where we do not swim in fresh water (gators, yo). But this water... was clean, and clear, and had fishies, and snowy mountain top reflections, and was perect. If it were 20 degrees warmer, I'da been all over it.

#2 likes to show off that she is completely unfeeling, so she frolicked in the lake like it was a bathtub. Which, let's be honest, after 3 days in the wilderness and no running water, it essentially was.

I was shocked - shocked! - by how cool it was still in the middle of summer. Day times were warm, but the second the sun started to set, it dropped down to Hella Cold. And stayed that way until mid-moning. The Sierra Nevada's? That isht is cold at night. My gas station hat from Gorman came in handy....

We watched July 4th Fireworks at Crowley Lake... Baby tossed pebbles into the lake where people were trying to fish...

#1 and The Niece made questionable fashion decisions...

And, as it does, the sun set over the lake.

If I were a better planner, I'd have had batteries for my camera and could show you said fireworks. But trust me when I say, the $25 was worth it, and it was spectacular.

We did some hiking around camp, up the mountainside, which gave me some time to play with the macro setting on my camera....

The drive home, on the eastern side of the Sierra's, was... interesting...
Eat? No thanks.

We left camp early, around 7 am... when it was about 45 degrees. Which we were dressed for - sweaters, jeans, hats, the works. The 395 runs along the western edge of Death Valley. Shockingly....
Didn't really feel that bad. Obviously, it's hot, but... it's a dry heat? Anyway, when we got out of the car to run into CVS for drinks, we looked... ridiculous.

All in all, I'd call it a success. No one hated it, we mostly enjoyed it. The biggest complaint was that the vault toilets were icky (and, legitimately, they were.... Baby even told me one time, "This is NOT a potty. This is a trash can." Even she knew.).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion"

Happy 4 month No 'Poo-versary!

In full disclosure, I have used shampoo twice - once after each camping trip. It just seemed necessary.

But aside from those two digressions, I've stuck to my honey/baking soda mix, and it's been good to me. I've had none of the hair weirdness that Snork seemed to have, which is good because I don't know how strong my resolve would have been in the face of waxiness. I've also stuck to my home brewed rosemary rinse (again, local and from the farmers market, $1 steeps me enough for a bit over a month!), and it is full of sunshine and rainbows.

Originally, the plan was to put the kidlets on No 'Poo as well. I'm less enthused about this, now, because now it seems like it might be more work for me, and I am not an advocate of creating work for myself. I'm a little torn on this, I gotta say. I'd love to say I'm all types of crunchy and don't want chemicals on my kids' head, but... truthfully, I'm equally lazy. It's a tough path to balance, I suppose.

What I've noticed, is my previously tricky, shady, good-for-nothing-frizzy hair, has turned into easily manipulated, wavy hair. I approve. I'm *thinking*, that since #1's hair is more like mine, it will also do well with no 'poo? And since she's older, she'll be easiest to break in? Hard saying. I have a few more weeks left in summer to consider this...


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