TL;DR Tuesday

October 29, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Random stuff I took photos of since last weekend…

The guest room bed has been sitting in our pool table room curing since Saturday.

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I think it looks really good.

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Time to buy some mattresses and finish organizing the guest room.

On Sunday morning I made some paleo pumpkin pancakes, based on this recipe. I tweaked it a little, and I think they came out okay. Everybody ate them. I put some honey in the batter for the boys’ pancakes, but mine contained no sugar or sweetener of any kind.

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Later on Sunday morning the boys and I went to Whole Foods in Tampa (we don’t have one in St. Pete).

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They had a bunch of well-priced pumpkins ($6.99 for good sized carving pumpkins), but the “Big Mac” pumpkins (as big as Mack) were ridiculous…$150!

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All of the departments had decorated pumpkins on display. They were pretty good.

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We hit up the hot food bars first to get lunch for the boys (they ate while I shopped) and I found a couple of NSNG (no sugar no grains) items to take home for me to try.

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I didn’t get a photo of the Mojo Pork, but it was great.

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The Lemon Herb Chicken will appear in a dinner later in this post.

A couple of other things I was happy to find at Whole Foods:

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I had previously only been able to find coconut cream at Trader Joe’s (in a can with a brown label). This is my favorite thing to have in my coffee so I was happy to find it a little closer to home. I had it this morning in my coffee and it seemed pretty good.

I also found bacon without any sugar!

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This is exciting. I think it is new to our Whole Foods. There was no price in the cooler and it would not ring up at the register. The cashier called for a price check, but then I don’t think she even charged me for the three packs of this that I got! I can’t find it on my receipt so I have no idea how much this actually costs. But free bacon is good, and it has to be less expensive than what I had been ordering from U.S. Wellness Meats. I also buy Gwaltney brand bacon at Publix sometimes and they have a couple of varieties without sugar, but it is more conventionally farmed pork and I don’t feel as good about it. I won’t cook with the grease from the Gwaltney bacon. From what I can tell from the Pederson’s Natural Farms website, their methods seem better than conventional, while still not totally free range. Real free range pork doesn’t seem to really exist.

My main reason for going to Whole Foods was to restock on meat. My freezer is mostly depleted. I need to make some more homemade breakfast sausage, so I was hoping for some quality ground pork. Unfortunately the only ground pork they had only had a 1+ rating, so I ended up just getting one pound of ground pork and two pounds of ground turkey and I’m going to make sausage out of that. Honestly the turkey did not have a great rating either (2+), but you just have to do the best you can.

They did have some 5+ rated pork steaks at a decent price.

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Also, the cashier invited me to take some free chicken broth on my way out!

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Good trip to Whole Foods…free bacon and free chicken stock!

After we finished shopping I met my friend Steph in the parking lot to make a veggie/money exchange.

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This was the last weekend of her Co-op for a Cure fundraiser. Glad I could participate Steph!

Another thing that I got at Whole Foods were some pretty mums. They were two for $15.

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I can’t stop adding things to the porch.

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It makes me happy whenever we pull up to the house (ten times a day).

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I really need to paint that patio set so that it doesn’t disappear on the porch. What color should I paint it? I was thinking maybe terra cotta or coral. Something darkish.

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Sunday afternoon Cal and I went to see a production of The Birds at American Stage downtown with our friends Ali and Molly.

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These kids of ours are so great.

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The play is kind of a typical post-apocalyptic tale, psychological and depressing.

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We all agreed that it was morose and disturbing and that we enjoyed it.

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Sunday dinner was some excellent grouper from Sam’s Club that Chad grilled. He also grilled some eggplant for me (so delicious), and prepared the asparagus on the grill.

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On Monday morning Chewie and I walked Mack to school. First day for Mack wearing long pants to school and first day for me wearing long pants on the morning walk (but no jacket for me).

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My breakfast Monday morning was awesome.

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That’s leftover grilled eggplant, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, and leftover deviled egg filling (mostly avocado and egg yolk), all sprinkled with Frank’s Red Hot Original.

After breakfast yesterday (Monday), I went back to Mack’s school to volunteer. OOTVD (outfit of the volunteering day):

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I made that t-shirt in college when I used to work at a screen-printing shop, so it is about 25 years old. I wore my candy corn earrings and the Halloween bracelet given to me by my friend Cindy many years ago.

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I guess I am “that mom”, but the kids do like when I dress this way.

Mrs. C had a list for me yesterday.

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I graded spelling pre-tests…

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and put together homework packets. Then I took down the old vocabulary words and put up the new ones.

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Then I hung out with Mack while he had his lunch in the classroom.

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I have an idea for a healthy snack to take to Mack’s class Halloween party on Thursday, so after volunteering at school I went by Party City and Publix to get the things I need. More about that on Thursday.

Last night’s dinner was the Whole Foods hot bar lemon herb chicken for me and some hamburgers from the freezer for the boys.

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The hamburgers were leftover from one of our cookouts last summer. The boys had white potatoes and I had sweet potatoes.

Random photos…

The first holiday sale flyer from Target arrived.

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I don’t love our green shades in the den (they are the same color as the walls), but I do like the leaf shadows that appear on them in the mornings.

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It looks like art to me. Please ignore the messy coffee table and sofa.

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This morning I had an appointment with a new doctor!

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So far, so good. I liked him. He didn’t condescend to me. He seemed open to my opinions. I’m having blood drawn tomorrow and going back to see him again next week. Fingers crossed that it will be a good relationship. My friend, The Fat Slow Triathlete, recommended this doctor to me. Thanks John!

Okay, caught up. Cya.

Chewie has a playdate, I paint a bed, and a tour of our pig pen

October 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Yesterday’s breakfast (because I know you want to see it):

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I can’t remember what lunch was because I didn’t take a picture, but for dinner I marinated a bunch of chicken legs in some Tessemae’s buffalo marinade (which I can’t find on their website, so maybe they don’t make it anymore). I also made another one of Melissa Joulwan’s recipes from Well Fed 2.

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I made the “Simple Lemon Spinach”, but used Swiss chard instead of spinach.

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The chicken was good, but the marinade didn’t really impart much buffalo flavor even though I marinated the legs all day. They were flavorful, but not BUFFALO. Maybe that’s why they don’t have that flavor on their website anymore. We have also used the Cajun and Chesapeake marinades from Tessemae and both of those were fabulous. All of those flavors are whole30 compliant. They even have a “whole30 approved” category on the Tessemae site. I also have their ranch dressing and it is pretty good (not a creamy ranch, though).

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The Swiss chard was also good, but too lemony. I only had about half a pound of chard, and the recipe called for a pound of spinach, so I should have gone easier on the lemon juice. The pine nuts are an excellent addition, though. I’m going to try it again some time and make sure not to use too much lemon juice. The boys still ate everything up, though. Those kids of mine will eat anything I put in front of them.

I actually went on the family evening walk with the boys last night since we finally had a cool, non-humid evening.

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I haven’t been going with them much lately because I enjoy that quiet time in the evenings after our always-crazy afternoons.

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They usually walk about a mile and a half every evening.

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This morning brought actual chilly weather! Hurrah! Of course, chilly by Florida standards means around 70 degrees. Still, it was the first morning that we wore jackets on our walk to school.

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As I was getting close to home on the way back someone honked at me and it turned out to be my friend Valarie. She came by the house and had her two boxers, Daisy (Chewie’s best friend from our old neighborhood) and Duke, with her so the dogs had a little playdate.

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Chewie was in heaven.

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He showed them all around his yard and let them read his pee-mail.

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They were in a constant state of motion so it was hard to get a good picture of them.

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Then the garbage truck came by and that was the icing on the cake.

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Chewie had an awesome morning and then slept the rest of the day.

My breakfast this morning was so good.

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It was grated sweet potato, red onion, red bell pepper, and kale sautéed in ghee and coconut oil. Then I scrambled two eggs in bacon grease, tossed in a few bacon crumbles, and mixed everything up. Delish.

Since we finally had a cool, dry morning I decided it was time to spray-paint the bed frame for our guest bedroom.

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We have two saw horses, so I put those out on the grass to lean the headboard and footboard against.

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This is an old metal bed that I bought from a junk store when I went to law school over 20 years ago. It’s been in our storage unit since we had Cal 13 years ago and lost our guest room in the old house. It was filthy and very banged up.

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There have been rumors that we may have house guests for Thanksgiving, so I am now finally tackling getting the guest room in order. I bought the paint and supplies for this little DIY a while ago, but have been waiting for a non-humid day to finally paint.

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First I used a sanding sponge and just quickly lightly sanded everything, focusing on the spots that were chipped or peeling, but going over everything just to remove the shine.

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I also rolled up paper towels and stuck them down into the slot that the rails go into since I didn’t want the slot to get coated in paint and then potentially stick to the rails once I slide them in. I’m not painting the rails as they won’t show anyway.

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After sanding all the surfaces I wiped them all down with paper towels and liquid deglosser while wearing rubber gloves.

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This stuff is super toxic, but easy to use.

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The liquid deglosser sort of left a white haze on everything…

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so I wiped it all down again with a dry rag just to make sure there was no remaining dust on the bed frame. Then it was time to spray. After one coat:

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I have read Young House Love enough to know that multiple thin coats is the way to go with spray paint to avoid drips.

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2 1/2 cans of spray paint later…

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I let it sit out in the yard all day…about 5 hours. At that point it was dry to the touch so I brought it inside. It has to cure for 48 hours and then I can touch up the spots on the back that were blocked by the saw horses. Hopefully I’ll get it completely finished this weekend, then we need to buy some mattresses for it. Chad said he likes the color better than he thought he would, and that’s about the best I can hope for from him sometimes. I’m calling it a win.

I used some spare tiles that were laying around under the feet of the bed to keep it up off the grass for painting. We have TONS of extra tile here that the previous owners left after renovations, and I knew there were a few pieces in the pig pen. What’s the pig pen? It’s this strange outdoor room we have in the corner of our backyard.

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We are not sure of the purpose of this walled-off area. It has a nice wrought-iron gate just like the gates to both of our side-yards.

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It has a concrete slab floor.

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It has no roof and has solid cinder block, stucco, and brick walls all around except for the gate.

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Things left by the previous owners:

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I have no idea what is in this chest:

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We have lived here almost six months and I have yet to feel the need to open that box and see what’s in there. I did find some odd pieces of tile back there to use under the bed feet in the grass, though.

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If anyone can tell me definitively what the purpose of this room is I will send you a prize. It has been suggested that maybe it was a laundry-drying area because at one time there was a city ordinance that you couldn’t dry your laundry in a place visible from the street. That does not make sense to me, though, because our entire backyard is not visible from the street. It’s just an alley running behind there, not a city street. We just call it the pig pen. We have talked about maybe putting a fire pit in there. It’s a fairly big space. A big, useless space. What would be a good use for this area? Any ideas?

The afternoon was spent running the boys around as usual. The boys had Tour de Pizza for dinner and I had leftover chicken legs, beets, and sautéed cabbage, onion, and carrots.

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That’s all I got. Cya.