Backyard Feeder

Backyard Feeder
photo taken through porch screen

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Life on the Home Front

This is the second day that my husband is at his orientation for his new job as a truck driver. I'm pretty proud and happy that he is doing this, not least because it takes some of the stress of supporting the family off my shoulders. He calls each evening and we talk about our day. He's doing fine. I'm NOT doing drugs...though sometimes it sounds tempting.

Being home alone sounds wonderful. Until I realize that I'm not alone. I'm with a roommate/friend who might also have a mental disorder. She is a bit paranoid--hey, maybe they are out to get her, what do I know? And she thinks that she has the only valid point of view. I can live with that because I'm used to irrational thought and being able to not take it personally or seriously. Unfortunately...

I also live with my son and his fiancee. I love this girl, but she takes everything personally and tries to argue with insanity. YOU CAN'T WIN! Yes, I yell it in hopes that she'll actually hear me and let it sink in. Nope. Two mildly irrational women arguing about nothing until everybody's mad and...get's all MY fault. I even get a call from my son (he's at work) telling me that I need to apologize because I made his fiancee cry and she called him to tell him. WHAT THE....

I'm on vacation from my day job, so I guess I've become the de facto referee. Thanks, but I don't want that job. I want to retire and be a professional writer and publisher and spend my spare time marketing the books that I've written. I don't want to spend forever in the middle of crazy. I've been there and I didn't like it and MY crazy got himself help and takes pills to ward off crazy so I can live in peace. I think dropping lithium in the water supply to this house might be beneficial.

I read something today about addictions and abuses of prescription drugs and I heard about someone, husband of a friend, who can't get in to see a psychiatrist without a therapist's referal because they are afraid patients are just trying to get drugs. Huh? There's a black market for lithium? They hand out Ritalin like candy and lock up the mood stabilizers and wonder why the world's gone mad? Start handing out mood stabilizers like candy and keep your amphetamines under lock and key and see what happens. It would have to improve things.

So, my bipolar husband is stable, working, and living a normal healthy life while I am still home living with crazy. Sometimes I think it's not him, but me with the problem. Any other crazy magnets out there?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Stone Soup--or how to eat better with less

I'm not really ready to tackle this topic yet, but it came up in a conversation that it is too expensive and too much work to eat healthy. I just don't buy into that way of thinking. Yes, there is a lot of cheap and easy junk food out there, but there is also a lot of cheap and easy healthy food. How hard is it to bite into an apple? ...drop a chicken in the crock pot?...toss together a salad? ...make a sandwich from leftover sliced meat?

OK, I admit I'm a gadget girl--I actually HAVE a crock pot and a bread maker and a pasta machine and a twisty cutter and... so maybe those things are a little easier for me, but come on, there's so much more to food than Big Macs.

And while it is cheaper to eat nothing but Ramen Noodles or generic macaroni and cheese, unless you are a college student you're not going to convince me that you are doing that on a regular basis. Most of us aren't just buying cheap food, we are also buying overpriced and overprocessed foods as well because we think that they provide a convenience. Maybe they do, but at what cost?

One thing people seem to miss is that you don't have to put a lot of time and effort into cooking vegetables. Most of them can be eaten raw if you rinse them thoroughly and cut them into bite sized pieces. Use them to make a salad or serve them as finger food. Buy whatever is in season and cheap in your area and incorporate that into your diet. If you can't use it all, learn ways to preserve it--canning is work, but freezing can be as simple as putting it in an airtight bag. Some vegetables do better when partially boiled before freezing, but that's usually worth the trouble.

Another thing that seems to be common knowldge but we ignore it is that we really don't need as much meat. Did you know the most expensive part of your food budget could be cut in half just by eating half as much? The average fast food meal provides meat for three days, lots of white bread and starch and almost nothing else. Fill up on fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Sure those cost money but compared to the meat you are replacing they are an excellent value.

One of the books that I have in very rough draft form is a description of how we did, and how you can, create simple and healthy meals that satisfy your family, your budget and your schedule. Watch for Stone Soup to be released around Christmas 2011 as an eBook and later in paperback. The book makes this all much more concrete with meal plans and recipes that make food pyramid cooking simple.