Monthly Archives: February 2015

Carb Crasher

This is how I envision my withdrawal from carbohydrates.

Me: “Hello, My name is Sandy.”

The room replies with nodding heads of assurance: “Welcome Sandy

I shamefully admit to a room full of strangers: “I…I’m…I am a carb-a-holic.”

The room will break out in unison sighs and gasps with a recognition only us at this meeting can relate too.

Lately I’ve noticed some serious carb crashes.  It took me a while to figure out what, I believe, is going on.  I would eat ‘something’ and need a nap almost immediately.  And by nap I mean 3-4 hours of sloppy sleep as I drunkenly try to make myself to a bed and flop down and try to leave my misery.  (sloppy sleep = toss and turning all while being light headed and feeling heavy headed at the same time.  Fun times).  I am very dozy if sleep isn’t available and in what felt like minutes, I would be hungry again.  Ok, it really isn’t minutes, I just talk a bit exaggerated sometimes.

I started paying attention.  Hmm, looks like pasta, bread, potatoes, rice and popcorn all make me sleepy.  Back to my sesame street days, what do these items have in common?  They are all super delicious and full of yummy carbohydrates.  Ahhhh HA!

I live with an Italian, Einstein.  Flyp is also a natural Italian.  Not 100% Italian (thanks to his mother) but Flyp thinks he is one with his eating habits and his suntan capabilities in the summer.  HA!!  He is pasta all the way with loads of bread and meat.  Holy meat batman!!  This kid is a meat-a-tarian.  But I think it is because he is in teenage years and his body is craving the proteins.  Both of their lives consist of pasta and bread.  I make it often, too often for my liking.

I also eat a lot of rice.  I love rice.  When I make rice for dinner, I sing my song “rice is nice, nice little pellets of rice even mice will like.’  Yup I sing about rice, that’s how much I love it.  Basmati is my favourite!!!!!!  YUM! I also think popcorn is heavenly and eat it an embarrassing 3-4 times a week as a snack after dinner.   Like I mentioned above eating after dinner is because I’m frigging hungry again.  It’s very frustrating.

Side Note:  Due to a lot of corn being GMO’d, I only eat organic popcorn.  And it’s not even microwaved.  We don’t even own a microwave. Smart eh?

Does anyone just not eat carbs?  Really not eat any or just say they don’t?  Will my life suck without carbs?  No doubt.  But I’m definitely going to reduce my carb intake just for the sake of feeling better.  At least I hope I will feel better.

I also have a diabetes test to get done.  Eventually I’ll get to it.  It requires me fasting and leaving the house without a morning latte.  The fasting portion is fine.  Leaving the house without caffeine is not recommended for public safety.  WTF!! Fix your test pharmaceutical science!

Last night I made a spinach salad with strawberries, cucumbers and feta cheese to go with pasta and meatballs.   I didn’t eat the pasta.  It’s not hard for me to avoid pasta as it definitely is not my favourite.  It’s over used in this house thanks to the Italians that live here.  Pasta to me is like rubbing your leg in the same spot over and over and over and frigging over until it has irritated you so bad, that you never want to touch that spot on your leg again.  That’s pasta for me.  Not hard to never eat again.  I did eat the meatballs which had minimal bread crumbs but life was different after dinner.  It was definitely a noticeable difference after dinner and I felt much better.

Today I had a bowl of organic granola around 11am.  Not even thinking about carbs.  I almost fell asleep at the computer 20 minutes later.  I haven’t gone to look at the box of granola yet but I’m betting carbs are high.  This carbohydrate reduction will definitely will be a big change for me.  Consciously looking at and considering the carb factor is bound to come with some ooops until it becomes regular routine.   After many years I am now used to shopping peanut and nut free for Flyp, its second nature, but considering carbs will be a new learning process for me.

I have always cooked meals primarily based on their liking, rather than my own.  I would eat much differently if they weren’t around, but they don’t care for my west coast style meals.  Meals in our home need to change, for me to feel better.  A spinach leaf for everyone!  HAHA.

Direction:  For me, my carbohydrates are on immediate reduction.  For them, I will make it gradual and hopefully they won’t even notice.

Tonight for dinner I’m making honey mustard organic chicken breasts with Caesar salad.  For the men in this house, I will add a few roasted herbed potato wedges.  Let’s hope for night #2 of feeling better after dinner.

I should look into the Paleo Diet.  I’ve heard its primarily carb free.  I just don’t care for so much meat in my diet.  I’ll have to check it out.

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Boys will be Boys

Remember my post about racking up points for Mom of the year award at the auto show this weekend? Well, it seems there is talk of blog awards, inspiration awards etc. I am not even concerned with a blog award.  Yet.   Find ME a metal the size of Texas for mom of the year.  This mom tolerates a very dirty teenage boy!  If he hasn’t ditched the snowmobile in the 3 feet of snow, or gone swimming in the swamp with our German Shepherd looking for amphibians, he is head to toe in mud on his ATV.

Sunday, after spending the previous day at the auto show, I was out in 3′ of snow rocking the snowmobile helping to get it unstuck from the face plant he managed to get it to do.  I don’t dare ask him to try to do that twice.  I know him.  Challenge accepted.  Points x 10,000

Spring, summer and fall is when we go puddle splashing!  Often me too yes.  If not, I sit on my ATV and watch him and think gawd this laundry machine is going up in flames later.  I’m his biggest fan.  The dirtier the more points you get.  If you can still see, get back in there, you aren’t dirty enough! Points x 100,000

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Poor snowmobile on Sunday.  This poor beast is so old it should be retired, instead it has a wild and crazy teenager on its back every day. Way to go Arctic Cat!

There’s been accidents.  Dented trees and bruised egos with a bit of new fear.  This mom has been the one to be persistent to get him back on the ATV or snowmobile.  Once he had a pretty good accident on the ATV, needed stitches in the chin, thank goodness for the helmet!!  I gave him his space to get back on the ATV. He ordered the parts and fixed his ATV and shinned it up at least 5 times during his ‘off’ time.  A week went by.  Still no ATV zipping around the property.  (we have a glorious 23 acres and a lot of surrounding trails).  You must understand.  For 7 – 8 years I have listened to an ATV or snowmobile every day.  To not have one in the background noise was an eerie silence I didn’t want to get used too.

That’s IT!!! I had enough of fear being in control. I packed up my knapsack, got the ATV gear on and said see yah. I walked to the shed with him following in tow, having a mini fit that I was going without him and a million questions.  I said I’m counting to 20 if you’re not on yours I’m leaving without you.  I’m pretty sure he swore under his breath while he put his helmet and gear on and then started with we’re not going far right?  I said ‘you can follow or you can stay’.  I said ‘I won’t have your fears control me and they shouldn’t control you either’ and off I went.  I did the trails around our property with him cautiously behind me.  Then when I felt it was right, I left the property.  He hesitated. Hesitated long enough for me to no longer see him in our driveway when I looked back.  I kept going.  I just knew deep inside he would come.  Or at least I hoped he could break the chains he put around himself.  In my head I’m saying, c’mon little man, you can do this.  Then he showed up beside me with his back pack and off we went in search of some serious puddles for our favourite puddle splashing hobby.  We were covered and got stuck in mud so deep we needed help getting out.  Thankfully passer-bys helped us out.

We took a drink and snack break and we talked about respecting fear but not allowing it to take over.  He listened but said little.  Then we got back to being the mud masters that we are.  We had a blast and fears were respected but not in control and a lesson was learned.  For the rest of the weekend he renewed his relationship with his ATV, on it all day and even started his jumps again and mastered his pop-a-wheelie.  Its been full steam ahead since.  Points x 1,000,000,000 right?

I don’t need an award to prove I’m THAT mom.  I’m just being cheeky when I refer to mom of the year award.  I just need our ATV’s, mud and us.

Get Your Sexy On

I love music.  I have music for every mood.  I have a lot of moods, so that means I have a lot of music. I am also well rounded when it comes to music. Well, there’s no heavy metal or scream-o shit in my house.  I have music on all day and usually have it on at bed time in the background while I read, although lately I am trapped in Dexter.( Season 4)   When I’m listening to music, its the one time I feel completely free.  My brain is free, clear and my body knows no pain and I’m completely immersed in the music.

When I drive I rap it out and could care less if anyone is watching.  We live way out in the country so going anywhere is time spent driving.  I couldn’t enjoy the driving if I didn’t have my music.  Flyp, the teenager, thinks his mom is a pure bred wacko.  I’ll drive into the high school to pick him up with Enimem rapping, base booming and me giving it all.  He just dies.  He avoids directly walking to the car and looks around to see who is watching as he loads the crazy bus.  I’m a crazy 45 year old that can rap it out with Jay Z, 2 Chainz and Enimem like I own those the lyrics.  I’m saving funds for a killer sound system for the new Equinox as the pioneer system just isn’t doing it for me.  These upgraded factory sound systems can’t handle this 45 year old!

Then I have my days when Burton Cummings is all I listen too.  He’s on my bucket list; I must experience him in concert before I leave this earth.  Simply put; one of the best!  He’s in concert in B.C. soon.  I would love to go … I could go.  But I have no one to go with.  AWKWARD.  My dad listened to him often as I was growing up and it was a huge influence on my tastes today.  No.  I’m not stuck in the 80’s, I just appreciate killer talent.  Just mentioning Burton made me switch to his play list.  Burton won’t be in this playlist.  How do you listen to one or two Burtons?  I can’t!

So if you’re looking to get your sexy on, I have the perfect playlist for that mood.  Check it out!

– I Put A Spell On You – Annie Lennox  (I challenged you to walk/move without swag to this song)

– Georgia on my mind – Annie Lennox

– Summertime – Annie Lennox

– Seeing Things – The Black Crowes

– Stranded – Van Morrison

– Nothing But A Tease – The Powder Blues Band

– Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran

– Still Got The Blues – Garry Moore

– Twenty Eight – The Weeknd

– Earned It – The Weeknd  (I challenged you to walk/move without swag to this song)

– Oh Josephine – The Black Crowes

– Love Me Like A  Man – Bonnie Rait

– Million Miles – Bonnie Rait

– That Wasn’t Me – Brandi Carlile

– I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz

– Not In That Way – Sam Smith

Go on, give’er a listen.  Now, tell me you didn’t get your sexy on.

Cheers,

Sandy

Share The Wealth

I would like to remind anyone who reads this about my disclaimer in ‘All About Me’

For those of you who haven’t read that one, haven’t read any or just need a refresher of the rules.. here’s a copy of my disclaimer posted there.

Let’s get this disclaimer out of the way: Warning: I’m a bit sarcastic and can be pretty controversial at times. You now read all and any of my writings knowing this and assume all responsibility for your feelings/emotions. I also might swear if I deem necessary.

So I obviously put this at the top of the blog as I know I’ll piss someone off with this blog. I write being prepared for this, just as I also speak knowing I’ll annoy someone and often offend. (I am better with age I will admit).

So..crowd funding. I have mixed feelings about the crowd funding trend we are in. Let’s talk positive first. You can hate me later.

Crowd funding has financially helped countless families and individuals who usually have had their lives altered negatively or completely shattered. Expenses for funerals have been covered, medical bills – uninsured treatments paid to save lives, dream trips or dream encounters for the terminally ill of all ages, a car bought for someone who walked a ridiculous distance to and from work every day for 12+ years, who also had a perfect work attendance regardless of weather (top that eh?). The generosity from around the world that is given to so many individuals, with each unique situation, is phenomenal. Crowd funding has the capability to make something typically financially unattainable, attainable, with the majority of donators being strangers who are compassionate about that particular circumstance. Let’s just agree that absolutely no wrong can come from helping your neighbour.

With all the good behind crowd funding, I somehow have an internal struggle with the abundance of money that is often raised for one event. For instance … A crowd fundraiser was set up to help a family who lost a child and to help cover funeral costs. The goal set for the fundraiser was $20,000. Twenty thousand dollars is a good size pool of funds to pull from for a funeral and hopefully enough left over to help the grieving parents take extra time off work to cope with their loss. Money can not replace whom we have lost and adding a financial burden to tragedies has never made sense to me. This is truly amazing that the community (far and wide) has pitched in to pay for the funeral costs. Words have failed me here, on how to express exactly how they must feel to have complete strangers mourn with them and care enough to want to help them through this time in their lives.

However. When the funding date closed for this particular event, it had reached over $170,000. This is where I personally get conflicted. What’s the point of this amount of money to one family/person? It’s excessive to the 100th degree. Not that anyone who donated above the $20,000 should be deemed silly, nor would I ever say don’t do it, but I’m just wondering if a respectable line should be drawn in these cases. Should we cap the donation amount? Or should we just let the money fly in?

Reasons I get conflicted are many. There are so many ways $150,000 could be used within our communities and local charities. (let’s just keep the $20,000 goal out of the equation). I don’t know what the family’s plans are for the money donated for the tragic loss of their very young child, nor should I, but ultimately $170,000++ went to one person/family. Perhaps the family will open an education trust fund or something along those lines. Perhaps they won’t. Do we have an opinion with what should be done with the money? Should we care? We shouldn’t have any expectations if we donate money to individuals, its entirely the receivers prerogative. In this case it’s most obvious the funds exceed the cost of a funeral.

Share the wealth.

I volunteer at a food bank. I see a lot of people go without and struggle to meet their daily needs. I know some local food banks in the surrounding areas are on reduced hours due to lack of food availability. Currently we are taking in an overflow from outside of our area due to food shortages. In this group is children, seniors, families and singles. Hunger doesn’t choose what side of the street it comes from. It’s in the average neighbourhood and on every corner. It can be your neighbour whose had to choose food or electricity or maybe they don’t get to eat every day so their children can. It’s real and it’s right here. It’s beside us and most often we are looking hunger right in the eye and don’t even know it.

I think hunger and homelessness is possibly a stale issue in our memories. It’s out of the spotlight. It’s been around for so long that perhaps we don’t even ‘see’ it anymore. Like a new neighbour. New people, new dynamics, we look and check it out often. A week later, your used to their vehicles in the driveway and their comings and goings. It’s yesterday’s news and your back to your regular routine. Did that make sense?

These tragedies have a bright spotlight and are usually unique in its description and we are easily drawn to them with an overwhelming response of compassion for our fellow community members. Fresh news always gets the first read. Have we forgotten the age old problem of hunger and homelessness? Maybe.

I’m thinking if we take the abilities we have shown with crowd funding, it really is truly remarkable, and disperse it more evenly, more could benefit from all this generosity. It doesn’t even have to be food banks, it can be any charity of choice. It can be $10 today and $10 or $20 next month. We have the ability to make a difference. We prove it every single time with the crowd funding responses. We are quick to respond to tragedies. We are quick to care and want to help. We are quick to donate. I’m not saying don’t crowd fund. I’m saying lets be smart about it. Let’s absolutely keep crowd funding, it keeps the sense of community in us all. For me, I choose to have a thought process and exercise my limits.

To-date I haven’t participated in a crowd funding event. I participate other ways within my community. I volunteer and donate at a local food bank and I volunteer at a ‘Free Will Dinner’ program once a week. I help out with fundraisers for these programs and donate financially often. I buy an extra ‘meal’ with each grocery shop and give to the food bank. Can be pasta and sauce or pancake mix and syrup. Simple things go a long way. Donations don’t always have to be financial. Time is priceless.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t wait for a tragic news story to help in your community. The need is always there. It’s up to you how often and to whom will benefit from your generosity. Spread the wealth, share your love.

Rocking The Cool Boat

Saturday I was busy racking up bonus points to win mother of the year award. (I usually operate in the negative but this brought me closer to a positive point system)

Auto Show. Fifteen year old son. Need I say more?

Once I got over the fear of a horrible germ death when this elderly man was hacking up a storm sitting ACROSS from my on the Go Train, telling myself repetitively I can double up on oregano when I get home to kill all the germs I was forced to inhaled, I was able to relax and settle in for a long day.

I went with absolutely no time agenda. We could of stayed until they shut the lights off and it would of been fine with me. We did a complete round then a second round to revisit the favourites. It’s a huge facility and more people than I’d like to come into contact with in my lifetime. But Saturday wasn’t about me. It was about my little man being in his element and knowing more about Cummings Diesel engines then some of the young sales reps; it was about him showing me shocks and engine sizes and towing capacity. I love it.

He didn’t work that day (he’s a work-a-holic in the making) with his Dad (we have our own small construction company) and he typically works every weekend and after school. I talk to him, often, about being his age and doing age appropriate things. He prefers to always work, works his energy off (ADHD) and keeps him on the straight and narrow. He’s a busy young man. A very disciplined 15 year old who is appreciated and respected on job sites. I do worry that when he is 30 he’s going to wonder where his youth went. I’m glad we went together. I got to see him be 15. Best part of my day? All of it. Even if I had to be hacked all over by the General public.

Weird he takes his mom to this stuff? Nope. Not at all. This mom rocks the cool boat!

Badge Of Dishonour

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/three-toronto-police-officers-charged-with-sex-assault-1.2243467

At the time I have written this, it is an alleged crime.  I’ve held back a lot.  But needed to put something out there or my brain is going to burst.  I’ve put alleged in a lot of places.  Some other areas I haven’t as it’s irrelevant.

I’m sorry. I’m furious. I’m ashamed. I’m cautious.

As a citizen I would like to extend my sincere apologies for the events that (allegedly) took place. I’m truly sorry. It’s shameful. Inexcusable. Barbaric. I’m sorry members of our society have let you and others down in unthinkable ways. From one woman to another I would like to encourage you to seek help and continue to get help. I wish for you a strong support system and eventually inner peace.

I acknowledge this victim has had her life changed by this tragic event. She is changed. Forever. Such acts of violence change who we are at the core of our being.  These violent acts alter our personalities and alter our feelings of safety and trust. They install triggers, put us on a sense of alert most others don’t have to experience in their lifetime. This is an absolute tragedy. She will hopefully receive some level of support and counselling, but she is forever changed. I’m hoping one day, for her, she will be counselled through her victim stage and emerge a strong survivor.

Three police men from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 51 Division are facing charges of sexual assault and gang sexual assault against another female officer who works in the parking enforcement division. These 3 police men have been suspended with pay. Situations like this need to have a stronger set of consequences and suspended with pay just doesn’t cut it.

Here’s my thing. Police. Integrity. Safety. Security. Protection. One of these 5 words doesn’t belong. Police. They have lost my trust as a citizen and they have lost my trust as a parent. A long time ago.

As a parent who exercises caution, I instruct my child to do whatever it takes to get home if the police are after him. Yes that means not stopping if he is driving, when he does start to drive. If he is far from home, in a city setting, set up his phone to record before stopping and put it out of sight. Never ever stop on country roads. Ever. Call 9-1-1 and tell them you aren’t stopping as you’re in a remote location and fear for your safety and you’re heading home and the police in pursuit can follow you. Let 9-1-1 know where you live and your parents will be there waiting. Don’t speed or be reckless. I’ll handle it when they all arrive. They don’t intimidate me but they definitely would him. I don’t teach my kids to disobey the law, in fact it’s the opposite. Behave in a manner where you will never need to have police intervention at your own doing. That’s where I’m at with police. It’s no longer a sense of safety, it’s a sense of avoidance, insecurity and knowing you’re potentially always at some level of risk with police. I don’t know about anyone else, but I sure can’t tell a good cop from a bad cop when in uniform. The uniform and badge has been disgraced. Too many police officers have tarnished the badge of honour and it no longer represents the law, safety and security. For me.

A few years ago I was stopped at a traffic light. I saw police men on bikes and thought they were yelling excessively and be a bit too aggressive with this 50+ year old women who wasn’t resisting had her hands up and honestly with a ton of other people around watching. Of course an audience formed on the sidewalk with this chaos happening. They turned her bag inside out and had dumped all her items on the sidewalk. I’m not sure if she was homeless, but she did look like she was having a hard time with them. I pulled over, put my car in park and got out my phone. I started to video and one police officer noticed me and blocked my view at the car window and told me to stop videoing. I said ‘this is accountability sir’ and got out of my car and continued to video. There is nothing they can do to stop me on a public street from videoing. This I know. The police officer attempted to intimidate me, this is a regular routine ma’am, no need to video ma’am and I strongly suggested you stop ma’am. I said if he continued to address my videoing in what I felt was a threatening manner I was calling 9-1-1. They didn’t address the crowd that had formed as persistently as they address my phone videoing. Thankfully things didn’t get out of hand that day. I’m not so sure they would of anyways with the audience they had. Regardless I felt compelled to video for the citizens safety. Not the police officers. That’s a very strong internal message to myself. For the citizens safety, not the police officers.  Let that sink in for a minute.

The woman was left to pick up her belongings in front of the crowd as the police biked away telling everyone to disburse. I helped her pick up her things – which included a few groceries from the farmers market around the corner. Not one other person helped her, including the police officers who dumped her belongings. We’re missing a code of conduct within our police force. Well I’m sure there is one, but perhaps it should be executed. Not one person out of 50+ people helped her gather her belongings and asked if she was ok. Society in general is such a let down.

There have been so many cases brought against members of our police forces at all levels, in recent years. These criminal acts are introducing a lack of trust for people and it is being adopting into their lives more and more. When police, on duty or off, behave badly it just seems to sting so much more. Its a heightened sense of distrust with abuse of power. I can better tolerate criminal behaviour from our neighbours than I can from members who wear a uniform and badge to honour and protect. This badge of honour needs to be ‘lived’ while on duty and off duty. These 3 police officers were off duty when they allegedly sexually assaulted the woman. On duty, off duty, it’s irrelevant to me. A police officer is a police officer 24/7/365. We, as society, need to hold our police men and women to a higher standard in order to entrust our lives to them. As more and more people distrust the police forces, the harder it is for police to get control of situations and enforce the law in a manner that is community like.  It’s a vicious circle.

I was there. Today, I’m not. I don’t trust. I question authority at every opportunity and have taught my children to question authority. Always. Shame on every police officer who has broken the code. Shame on their breach of trust to this victim and society as a whole. This alleged criminal behaviour, by these 3 police men, will haunt the victim for her life. I know it’s an alleged crime…right now. I also believe I know where this will end. Every act of dishonour is a tarnished smudge on all police men and women. The act doesn’t just stay with the police officer(s) who has committed the crime(s), it is applied to every single police officer, globally.

There is always potentially other victims in situations like this. Usually it’s not an isolated incident. Could be isolated, but usually not. We don’t know and maybe we never will. If there are other victims, they may not step forward. The reasons are plenty for that. These 3 police men have also put their families at risk. What if they have children; I can’t even go there. Parents, siblings, wives, girlfriends. It’s not a egocentric criminal act. It’s an assault on a victim, our community and all those within it.

This doesn’t sit well with me in the least. I have a gut feeling. For once, I can honestly say I hoping to be horribly wrong.

Carrot Zucchini Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a great moist loaf and its full of flavour. If you prefer more spice in your loafs you can add more or less to suit your taste.  If you’re a Nutter, I would imagine walnuts would taste pretty darn tootin good in this recipe, however we are a peanut nut free home.  Raisins it is!

As with all my recipes, butter.  Margarine is oil based (and absolute garbage) and not recommended by me for anything other than lubing your car door joints.

CARROT-ZUCCHINI BREAD WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 cup butter milk (or cream)
2 large organic eggs
1/2 cup organic sunflower oil
1/8 cup honey or agave
1 tsp. organic vanilla
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup shredded organic carrot
1 cup shredded organic zucchini
3/4 cup organic raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8×4″ loaf pans. In medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. In large bowl, beat eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla, mixing well; then add brown sugar and mix well. Gradually add flour mixture into the egg mixture while beating on low, then add buttermilk, beat on low untill it is all mixed well. Stir carrot, zucchini, and raisins into the batter; mix until well combined. Pour batter into the greased loaf pans. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Let cool in pans about 5-7 minutes before removing; then completely cool the loaves before adding the frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. half & half (or any milk)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

In medium bowl, beat softened butter and cream cheese with mixer until light and fluffy (well as fluffy and cream cheese and butter can be) add powdered sugar and beat well. Add in the half & half and vanilla, and beat all ingredients. Spread frosting liberally over the top of the carrot-zucchini bread. Keep refrigerated.

Parmesan Crusted Potato Wedge

Nothing quite like a baked potato wedge to compliment your meal.  Add some herbs, garlic and parmesan cheese and you can’t go wrong.

In our home these make it to the breakfast table with Sunday morning breakfast or dinner table.

Recipe

4 large organic potatoes
Cleaned and cut into wedges

Toss in enough olive oil to coat all potato wedges
2 garlic cloves grated over hand grater into wedge mixture
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (or more if you like)
Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper to taste.

Throw in rest of ingredients into potato amd olive oil mixture and stir well. Ensure potato wedges are well covered with all ingredients and place on baking sheet (I line with parchment paper) and cook @ 400 convection bake for 30-40 minutes or until soft all the way through with fork.

Enjoy with your favourite dip. I like on their own 🙂 I’m a simple gal.

Dear Alcan

Dear Alcan

I am, without a doubt, your biggest disgruntled fed up consumer of your Aluminum Foil Wrap product.

I’m sure I speak for the Nation when I request:

STOP GLUING THE SHIT OUT OF THE BEGINNING OF EVERY F’ING ALUMINUM FOIL ROLL!!!

How is this even necessary? The box in which the foil roll is contained is SEALED for crying out loud. The days of it rolling across a grocery stores’ floor is long gone.  History.  Move on. Why is any glue usage inside a sealed box necessary.  Fire, axe, trash that person who has deem these glue gobs essential for all aluminum foil rolls.  Dismiss the glue application dude before I take that dense hard paper roll inside the foil and beat the gluer all the way to the unemployment line.

We are all sorry for rolling your precious foil down grocery isles and pretending they are our magical silvery carpets as children.  We get it.  Put the glue gun away.

In case you are wondering, you’re too heavy on the application of glue for the end of the tin foil roll.  For the sake of tolerance I will allow the gluing of the roll at the end of usage, just lighten up.  Maybe 1 gob instead of 20..  Although there is a lot of foil wasted on that end also, if I do say so myself.

I’m sure you will agree that my request is an appropriate compensation for all my pain and suffering for decades.  Decades of fighting with glue gobs. I would appreciate at least one dozen, 250′ replacement rolls of UNGLUED aluminum foil to help recover the loss of the tin foil that has crumbled, got torn, ripped and knifed while trying to get unstuck from the glue all these years.  You know, the glue you insist on applying to a sealed product. I would also appreciate a Cruise to Alaska, easily paid for by the funds saved from the cease of glue applications, so I can gather my marbles that have been lost over the years all while dealing with your beginning glue gobs.  I need glue gob free sleep Alcan.

Please send all replacement rolls and trip itinery in priority mail next business day.

Thank you Alcan.

Sincerely

Anti-Glue Warrior

Vac-Bate

The Vaccine Debate lives on…forever. And ever.

Oh this hot hot topic just won’t die. How we do get so fired up while we debate the pros and cons of vaccination. It’s a hot topic at many dinner tables these days with the measles cases recently, with a solid line of division for sure. I don’t really get fired up over this .. Just have my own conclusion.

Of course, like many other bloggers I am prompted to write about my theory on vaccines after a new parents’ blog has gone viral with her obvious frustration over people choices to not vaccinate. First off, I totally respect new moms level of protection for their newborns. I’ve been there. Fear often turns to anger. I also respect choice and individuality. All this I understand with great compassion. As much as she is passionate about being vaccinated so many people are passionate about reasons why to not vaccinate. Hence the debate.

I am not here to say one way or another for you or your children, to vaccinate or not. I exercise my rights often and make decisions based on my own research and knowledge. I expect you to have the same free space to construct your own views and decisions. Respectful. We, as responsible adults, have a moral and ethical responsibility to do our best. This doesn’t mean your way is better than mine or visa versa. We hopefully make our decision based on information and what we feel is best for ourselves and loved ones.

We likely know people from both sides of the debate. Each are so passionate about their reasoning. In my experience, previously most people didn’t feel compelled to do much  research, if any, before they immunize their children or themselves, including me previously, and the people who don’t immunize themselves or children have done a fair amount of research. Not immunizing is going against the grain which typically is a result of a fair bit of research and investigation. Immunizations have been around for decades and have had wonderful results. However, with the good is often the bad.

I notice often people invest more time choosing a daycare to send their children too in comparison to the possible effects of vaccines and/or whether to vaccinate or not. I do think this is changing.

One of my first thoughts when the new parent was full of anger towards anti-vaxx’s: does a vaccinated mother passed on any immunity to their baby while in-utero and nursing. I googled. I’m not a professional. Don’t crawl up my back. But it appears our immunity is passed on for up to six months.

Source: http://seattlemamadoc.seattlechildrens.org/measles-outbreak-with-a-baby-at-hom

For Babies Under 6 Months of Age: If a baby’s mother has had her MMR shots and/or had measles infection in her life she passed antibodies to her baby during fetal development while in-utero and continues to pass them passively while breastfeeding. Those antibodies provide protection for young infants and typically are thought to protect infants for up to 6 months or more. The reason babies don’t get the MMR shot sooner than a year of age is because of the persistence of these maternal antibodies — if you put a vaccine in while maternal antibodies are still around the vaccine won’t stimulate the baby’s own immune system to respond, it will just get soaked up by the maternal antibodies doing their job.

Do we trust the research behind that? How valid is this tidbit of info? Maybe you’d find a different source that is contradictory. However, if we can or do trust that, we should have some peace that a newborn should have at least a medium level of safety for the first 6 months. I completely feel the first 6 months should always be approached with caution for exposure anyways, but I don’t think I would fret and alter my daily life. Would I got to Disney world right now. No. Would I purposely expose my newborn to any disease. No. Would I go to a friends house whose toddler has chicken pox? No. Would I continue my typical life of grocery shopping, visits with friends, family and doctor office visits etc., of course.

Remember the days of hurry up and find a child who has chicken pox sores oozing goop? Expose your child, as it’s easier to deal with while they are young? Now they have vaccines for that. My daughter who is 24 didn’t get immunized for chicken pox. She got them around age 3 and definitely had a miserable time with it. My son, who can’t be immunized due to a severe life threatening auto-immune response to the MMR vaccine, got vaccinated against chicken pox at age 6. By the time he was 8 he had chicken pox twice. Twice!! I was told he got it twice because the first time wasn’t severe enough. The second time definitely was a full blown ugly case of chicken pox. Ummm, what about his immunization? Not so much eh? So what’s my thoughts on this immunizations? Flop.

Pro-Choice.

Maybe ‘science’ should explain why according to a document filed on December 13, 2012, Chief Special Master Patricia E. Campbell-Smith awarded Ryan B. Mojabi $969,474.91 for injuries caused by the MMR vaccine. They want it noted that any money awarded is paid from the tax money from vaccines not the vaccine company itself. WTF. DOES IT MATTER? New Jersey girl gets awarded $4.7 million for her debilitating consequence of her vaccine at 2 months of age. Her brain stopped developing. She is almost a pre-teen and has the mental capacity of a 2 month old. There are over 5000 settled cases.

While the government and pharmaceutical companies are busy promoting the safety of vaccines, maybe someone, anyone? can also explain the existence of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The compensation program is funded by a 75-cent tax on each vaccination. (Remember, it isn’t the vaccine companies, it’s the tax from the vaccine. Ugh). Congress created the fund in 1986, at a time when a growing number of lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers was driving them out of the marketplace. Since its inception, the fund has settled more than 5,500 claims, and awarded nearly $1.4 billion. The fund provides compensation for injuries from all vaccines mandated by the federal government: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP); measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR); polio, hepatitis B, chickenpox, and H. influenza Type B. (Remember this is a national fund, however I don’t believe the Canadian government mandates chickenpox and flu type B) I’m totally hung up on this compensation fund and that a special tax was created to pay for the damages. This find was a game changer for me. Jump started my thought process.

There is so much information on the web about how vaccines have caused or triggered underlying issues that are later express as Autism, ADHD/ADD, Mental Health, Allergies and Auto-Immune Diseases. (Remember ‘underlying issues’ when you get to my GMO paragraph). There are also as many articles that say vaccines are safe and not linked at all and it is all false. I am comfortable saying vaccines were created to save lives. That is also debated by many. Vaccines have and will continue to save lives. But they also will cause irreversible damage to lives. Both sides of the argument are proven.

However, may I suggest an obvious need to revisit the formulas in vaccines. Or perhaps an alternative method to ‘herd’ control. Tweak it or something. Something. First thing to tweak the F out NOW is the Mercury. Get it out of all vaccines.

I’ve asked myself many many times how has this remarkable increase in ADHD/ADD, Auto-Immune diseases, Autism etc. occurred. How? Until science can PROVE to me that immunizations don’t cause any or all side effects and PROVE to me what does cause these health issues, I would not immunize my children, knowing what I know today. The onus is on science.

Flyp. Born and stamped with a seal of good health. With each immunizations his reactions got worse. He had 2 sets. The swelling, the burning, the flaming red at the injection area was alarming for a parent. Each time he was hospitalized. As a parent I failed. Miserably. The doctors told me some babies reacted in this manner and it was not dangerous and considered among the norm. Why is he hospitalized crying non-stop for at least 12 hours each time. The crying and screaming. You could not calm or settle him. Period. I can not tell you how badly I was at war inside my head.

Stop the immunizations, something is wrong.
But how will he be protected.
Can I not immunize my child.
What do I do.
What are my options.

It was later decided amongst the specialists and doctors he would wait until he was 18 months to see if he could ‘tolerate’ them better and would be administered at the children’s hospital as a precaution. I failed. I agreed to more. My child, a test monkey in a lab. Compliments of his uninformed conflicted mother. I was so uninformed. Hind sight: I should of said no. No to vaccines.

At 18 months was his worst reaction to date. From that moment on he has a blanket exemption from MMR’s and any other related immunizations. Despite that horrible experience I got him the chicken pox as he was struggling with what they thought was some kidney issues and some other health concerns and they feared chicken pox would be really hard on him (chicken pox was spreading like wild fire through daycare – only to learn later that the protection wasn’t immediate anyways) The doctor assured me it wasn’t even close to MMR. What did that mean? It wasn’t even close to MMR. It’s not as toxic? I failed again. Got him immunized against chicken pox. Or did I? He got chicken pox twice. Fortunately without any visible reactions.

Flyp is anaphylactic to peanuts. Flyp has been diagnosed with ADHD as a young child. Flyp has struggled with anxiety past and present. I have researched enough to accept that the vaccination attempts likely played a role in his allergies, anxiety and ADHD. On what level I can’t say, however I’m very confident the vaccines’ ingredients did play a role. I absolutely believe vaccines are linked to these side effects with varying degrees. Now that I am informed and aware, I would not vaccinate either of my children. Ever. However, I know maybe I feel that way because of the diagnoses we have for Flyp and the challenges he deals with daily. For the rest of his life. If all was a smooth running engine would I feel the same? Would I of ever had a reason to be interested and indulged in the available research and information? I’m still not promoting one or the other. Vaccination or not. I’m saying be informed and educated. Make your educated decision. No matter what that decision is. Regrets really suck!

In Addition…
I believe GMO’s and environmental toxins are also responsible and proven to be linked to a lot of health issues, including some of the ones listed above. A real consideration for me is, we as pregnant moms, are toxic bodies carrying our developing babies all while creating their immune system from toxic building blocks. Are we giving birth to toxic babies? Absolutely. Babies have cancer. Toddlers have cancer. Teens are dying of cancer. 20-30 years ago this was almost unheard of. Something is going horribly wrong. Maybe MMR’s were better tolerated before GMO’s were introduced to our daily diet. Maybe not, since the compensation fund was set up in 1986 and GMO’s in our daily food supply followed a few years later. Maybe our toxic children’s immune response (underlying problem) is so altered by GMO’s and environmental toxins that when we add an additional heavy toxic load of mercury and disease, in the form of a vaccine, the response/consequence manifests into Autism, ADHD/ADD, allergies etc. Maybe. Will science ever let us know the truth? Not as long as science is funded by the government and pharmaceutical companies. Not. A. Chance.

Do we really believe that Andrew Wakefield’s research was discredited with absolute unwavering integrity? Or has he been silenced like so many other whistle blowers? If we truly believe Mr.Wakefield’s research was false and doesn’t warrant any factual information, why do we have a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program? (Can you tell I’m hung up on the compensation fund yet?) We must ask questions. Reasonable logical questions. It’s imperative to ask questions to make our informed decisions. Are we willing to risk it? Should we? Will we? Should we risk the possible consequences of unvaccinated children? Should we risk the possible consequences of vaccines?

I am a parent who is much more informed today than yesterday and I wouldn’t vaccinate my children if it was applicable. My twenty four year old daughter is fully vaccinated. My son does not carry enough anti-bodies to be classified as protected after his horrible experiences. I support my distrust in the vaccines and immunization protocols with extensive research and personal experience. If I could go back, I would have both children unvaccinated. Simple. With that said, I would not drop my kids into a pool of measles patients or expose them purposely to any disease. Vaccinated or not.

What science does acknowledge is that each immune system responds differently. That applies to receiving a vaccine as well. You can have the vaccines administered, but maybe your immune system didn’t create antibodies after all. That’s how in the past, present and the future we will have adults who are vaccinated and get the measles. Or maybe if we are 30+ years old do we have enough anti-bodies left to fight the measles? We know vaccination/immunizations aren’t forever. So does that mean at 30 or 50 years old or somewhere in between, we need another round ?

In my opinion, the likelihood of a car crash, or airplane crash, or early exposure to street drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, bad parenting and tolerated bad behaviour (including entitled spoiled kids) pose far more risks to your vaccinated child(ren) and can carry worse consequences, than my unvaccinated child. It’s just the way the odds fall on the chart.

Thanks for reading. Hope you’ll stop by next time.

Cheers,

Sandy
Just a side thought … Perhaps with our baby welcome package, formula diaper info and/or samples etc. (do they still do that?) They should give information on vaccinations. Not one sided, the truth. The good, the bad and the ugly. All the relevant information we need to make an informed decision, no matter what side of the fence you end up on.