Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

An Idea for the Police Force

Corrupt police are one of my biggest pet peeves.  Racist cops make me downright angry.  And I understand that a certain percentage of the male population are sociopaths.  And a higher percentage of them are in law enforcement, just due to the aggressive nature of the job and the skills required/the skills that many sociopaths possess.

So I was thinking that there could be a morality test to go along with the physical and written tests.  This morality test would be fully anticipated and agreed to in writing by the police applicants and current officers.  What would happen is: sometime, when they aren't expecting it, they'll be set up with a moral quandry.  Not something in the grey area like finding money on the ground or listening to someone tell racist jokes.  Something that everyone could easily agree is someone offering a job selling drugs or bribe to not get their speeding ticket.

A police officer who has passed his morality test with flying colors

Thursday, July 22, 2010

cooking class

So I signed up for this cooking class for WIC and/or Headstart participants (read: poor people).  I've been to two classes and the cooking part is pretty cool but the nutrition lesson afterward is like nails on a blackboard to me.  More on that later, but first, some of the cool things I'm learning in the cooking class:
  • Always boil pasta and vegetables in water with a dash of salt (I knew that but I forgot).
  • Cook asparagus in boiling water for just a few minutes til it gets limp "How you want your asparagus, but not your man," said the cook.  He cracks me up.  Then immediately put in ice cold water so it will stop cooking. 
  • Cut unripe peaches in half, saute in butter, reduce honey, fry peaches in the sauce.  Then bake.  DE-licious!
  • An easy way to cut bell peppers:  slice of the bottom.  Then (with it upside down) you can easily cut the sides away from the core.  It actually works!! That was my favorite tip.  
  •  There is this great Italian dehydrated sausage that you should keep onhand and cook with small bits of it to add flavor.  I have to ask for the name of it again and add it.  sorry.

OK, now for the torturous nutrition lesson.  I know I sound so conceited but... I know more than these college major nutritionists teaching us.  Seriously.  I'm an RN, a former ACE certified personal trainer and I even wrote a book about weight loss (Albeit a short one), not to mention a voracious reader.  An example of a lesson.  "This is the food pyramid.  Let's talk about it.  What do the colors represent?"   (with the pictures of the food groups that it represents at the bottom of the colored stripes.)

Now let me tell you what I know about the food pyramid.
  • I knew that the old pyramid was bad advice loooong before they changed it to the new one.  I know that the new one isn't so great either.
  • I know that it's dumb to have dairy in there because 1/3 of the world is lactose intolerant.  I know that the only reason that they have dairy in there is because the dairy industry is a powerful lobbyist and most nutritionists are not correctly informed (thanks to dairy lobbyists).  In fact, the first day when I introduced myself and a little about my family's diet and I told them that we don't drink milk; everyone chimed in with questions and advice like: have you tried soy milk?  And I wish I had said "we don't drink dairy because dairy is not good for you.  And soy milk isn't great for you either.  Don't believe me?  Look it up."  But I'm more polite than that.  (In person anyway.  lol).  Not that I don't like dairy.  We eat tons of yogurt, kefir and cheese.
  • I know that the food pyramid doesn't clarify the most important issue, which is that crackers, and muffins and basically 90% of the carbohydrates you can buy in shopping market isles are not properly classified in the carbohydrate category, but rather in the "eat sparingly" category.
  • Juice should not be classified as a serving of fruit.  It has the sugar, concentrated and none of the fiber. 
  • Food groups are actually a completely made up way of categorizing food.  There is no basis for it whatsoever.  There are only three macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fats.   
  • I know that there are food pyramid's designed for various ethnic diets.
So basically, it's a torturous hour (actually, it's kind of like what nursing school was like for me, only worse).

I guess, though that really these cooking classes are a way for the government to provide nutrition information for poor, dumb, fat people, and if you happen to be poor, smart and healthy, you can come but it's a privilege and you're just going to have to endure the rest, because the class wasn't meant for you anyway and if you want to tag along they'll let you. 

But you, my reader, have the best deal of all, because you get to learn all the cool things that I'm learning in class without enduring the degrading nutrition lesson and wasting 1 1/2 hours of your time.

  • The Okinawa diet food pyramid

Monday, July 19, 2010


I was driving by a yard sale a few weeks ago- I never stop at those because I hate clutter- but I saw a bike,

which I've always wanted so I stopped. It was pink.  And a ten speed.  In really good condition.  My dream bike.  The guy sold it to me for $5.  It was the happiest find in my life. Now I had to buy one of those baby bike trailers for Saphira.  (See picture).  But I never have a hundred dollars so while I was waiting to come up with that money I had to come up with something else to carry her.  So I put my hiking backpack on and rode with her on my back.  And it turns out that I like it! So I don't need to buy a trailer.  It looks unusual.  I imagine I'm the only person in a hundred mile radius doing this.  But I bet in other countries it's a common practice.  Plus I'm not riding on trails so in the city there's lots of turns and busy streets.  I don't know how easy a bike trailer is to maneuver, but basically I'm very glad I couldn't buy one and didn't buy one.  I was telling Timmy that I like it much better and I said that the trailer drags behind you so a car could hit it or something and "if my baby dies, I want to die with it".  And Timmy said that we should sell them as bike packs and that would be our tag line.  He cracked me up with that one.

I was breastfeeding Saphira at the beach yesterday, covering us with a towel.  There was this father/body builder sitting about 20 yards in front of me, facing me and he kept staring at me.  It was creepy.  I joked with my mom "maybe he's a lactivist".  "Aren't thay all?" she replied.  ha ha.


 Today I walked to the corner store to buy some eggs because I was craving french toast on the one day we are out of eggs!  Isn't that how it always is.  (See my post on how cities should be designed, including the importance of corner stores).   When I got there I saw fajita wraps that I wanted and Saphira wanted a banana and a teenie for her and her brother (isn't that sweet).  It came to $6.25 but I only had $5..  So I was going to put the fajita wraps back but then the guy said it was OK I could take it.  I told him I'd pay him back next time but he said I didn't have to (I still will).  I thought that was so awesome.  So if you're ever in the area be sure to buy something from Los Amegos.  (What an appropriate name)!  It's a  family business.  We gotta support those, ya know?  Especially when they are good people like that. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bipolar depression

There's this ad for a depression medication in which it shows depressed people with blank faces and the background talking says things like "I don't feel like doing anything" "I'm tired all the time".  "I have aches and pains" and there's another ad in which the depressed person is kind of see-through so he/she blends in with the background, representing the nothingness/worthlessness the person feels. 

Well, let me tell you: bipolar depression is a whole other ball game.  Those ads don't even come close to describing it.  Here's what a bipolar depression ad would sound like:

"My thoughts race."
"I feel like killing myself."
"I'll do anything to make the pain go away.  Cut myself.  Drink.  Anything"
"I breath shallowly.  I breath fast.  I breath slow.  I can't breath normally because I'm so upset."
"The devil whispers things in my ear.  Suggestions on how to kill myself."
"I go into a catatonic state."
"I go into a manic state."
"I imagine myself in fantasy situations to get away from life."
"I want to kill people because this must be their fault."
"This must be because my life is so hard or because of a certain circumstance.  This can't be because of a disease or a chemical imbalance in my brain."
"I want to die."
So that's real depression for ya.  Make a commercial of that, pharmaceutical companies.  I dare you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I want this so badly!!

As my close friends know, I'm not a materialistic person. Quite the opposite, I prefer pure simplicity and being somewhat of a socialist, believe that I should share my wealth with the poor.  So it is a rare thing for me to drool over an object.  But thisThis I want!

It is the newest, coolest scanner which is designed to create the ever elusive paperless office!!! It's called ScanSnap. It detects different sized papers: regular 8 by 11, receipts, business cards, etc.  It comes with special software to catalog your material (including one that automatically transfers business card data to your contact book!).  You could potentially scan your entire file cabinet and throw it away!!!!

I, being a passionate decluttering, have strong opinions on paper clutter.  Here is my other post on it for some background.  Ironically I was just about to redo my file cabinet.  When I do that I get a whole new bunch of folders and a label maker.  I label them all in order with tabs neatly arranged into left, middle, right.  It's very satisfying.  And while I'm at it I go through and thin them.

Friday, July 02, 2010


I am branching off the farmer blog posts to a new blog .  And, as you know I'm writing the more scholarly stuff at
Then I'll password protect this one to make it private, available to friends and family.  Email me if you want the password. 

Happy 4th!


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