The Weekly Ramble

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The weekly ramble: where I blog like it’s 2004. 

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This week flew by in a flash. I know, I say that every week. Why can’t time stand still?

It was a pretty mellow week, started by my day of rest. Did I mention this already? I am reading through the Bible via a chronological reading plan from YouVersion. A month or two ago, the day’s reading was the 10 Commandments. When I got to the part about working on six days and resting on the 7th, I was convicted. Not in the Little House on the Prairie, don’t-do-anything-fun-on-Sundays-kind-of-way, but in the what does this passage say kind of way?

So, since then, I’ve been trying to be deliberate about resting. Getting an autoimmune disease diagnosis kinda clinched it, you know? Over the last 5 years I wrote four cookbooks (all while schooling six kids and writing two blogs), and I’m tired and worn out. 

At first “resting” was hard, especially since the house is usually a wreck by Sunday morning. My current weekly pattern is school and survival M-F, do blog/cookbook work on Saturday with church on Saturday nights. If I’m locked in my office for most of Saturday, people do what they want, and cleaning up after themselves is not typically “what they want”.

We’re working on this, though. The dishwasher broke. Again. This is the 4th time since we moved into this house in 2009. Handwashing never killed anyone, but my kids were a little surprised when I instituted the DRY AND PUT AWAY practice. The kitchen has never been so clean for two days in a row. We’ll see how that goes!

Anyway, after that initial “learn-to-turn-a-blind-eye-to-the-mess” Sunday, I’m getting more and more excited for Sundays to come. I’m finding things throughout the week to plan for Sunday. This past week it was coloring with my girls and watching Brave, my all-time favorite Disney Princess movie.

When my new coloring book came, I wondered if the girls would “need” new coloring books of their own. They did. I’m sorry to say that Walmart has a very sorry collection, but Michaels kinda rocks it.

The day also had some errands in hot weather with whiny children – not exactly restful and it made me crabby — but I’m learning. I’m learning. You pull the ox out of the ditch, you take one for the team, and you try to be restful.

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On Monday, FishBoy18 started his first day of classes. I just might have cried on the drive to the train that day. You can read more about that here. It’s a sobering moment when you realize that your kids are growing up before your very eyes. And I do insist that the times goes by too quickly, and I wish I could go back.

Since I can’t, I’ll just do the best I can with what I’ve got left.

I will confess that I was thrilled when he asked for my help on something later in the week. And DO YOU KNOW HOW EXPENSIVE TEXTBOOKS ARE, MY PEOPLE? Wow! I’m very thankful that he got financial aid this year. We are saving our pennies to fund next year. Just wow.

(Edited to add: he did buy some used books, however several of his classes only use Connect resources which means the information is all online and access codes are non-transferable. Digital is not as freeing as one would think.)

Tuesday was my appointment with The Irishman. Turns out he isn’t Irish-born. He’s a Canadian-American with Irish heritage and did his medical studies in Ireland.

I’m still calling him the Irishman.

FishPapa went with me, and we fought our way through early morning traffic together. The Irishman was very nice and a super good listener.

“I’ve read what your records say, but I’d like to have you explain to me what’s going on.”

Major points right there. He disagreed with my GP on a number of points, including the iodized salt controversy.

Me: My GP said that I caused this since I was using non-iodized sea salt. And that it would stunt my children’s growth.

IM: Um, no.

Me: Does it matter what kind of salt my family uses?

IM: No.

Certainly, YOU need to do what’s best for you and according to what your doctor says, but if my previous post caused some unrest, I thought I’d share.

Needless to say, we both felt really good about this doctor, about his professionalism, and how with-it the staff was. He might have started me on a lower dose of meds, but said it was fine; we’ll do labs in a couple weeks to see where things are at.

Overall, it’s still “autoimmune hyperthyroidism”. He didn’t call it Graves’ because I don’t have the antibodies, but said it is probably Graves’ due to the fact that cousins of mine have Hashimoto’s, another autoimmune thyroid disorder.

He said it’s easy to treat and we’ll try to get off the meds as soon as possible. We had a big discussion about diet. He would love to know that diet would work, but there’s no data to support it, only anecdotal evidence. (To be noted, he did not act like I was some weirdo in asking, so he gets some more points there.)

I’m a little conflicted about the whole gluten-free thing. I’m not super pleased with the ingredients lists of gluten-free products. They don’t seem that “nutritious”. So, for the moment, I’m focusing on making wise choices that have the most nutritional value. This would put baked goods and breads lower on my list anyway, so we’ll see.

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Since FishPapa and I were in La Jolla, we made the most of the day by heading to The Coffee Cup to use up the Groupon I bought in 2011. Go ahead and laugh. We did. The waiter didn’t know they did Groupons. Well, that’s because they don’t. anymore. Haha!

It was a really good meal, but not cheap. Hello, $3 Coffee, where did you come from?

For some reason we explored La Jolla a fair amount when we first moved back to California. I have no idea why we chose that chi-chi town, but we did. It was funny to walk around without six kids in tow.

After that it was only a short drive from there over to IKEA where we became grown-ups. 😉 We’ve had the same metal bed frame for over 20 years. We upgraded and bought a real bed and two new bedside tables.


The other furniture in our room is honey pine: a chest of drawers that FishPapa built when we were newlyweds, our first kitchen table-turned-desk, and my hope chest, circa 1986. The glider is a Dutailier that we bought in 1997 for FishBoy18. Needless to say, our room design looks “vintage” at best. But, I think I’m okay with that.

Someday, I will transition the hope chest and glider to a guest room for grandbabies, right? So they are worth holding onto, I think. Then I’ll match my gramma furniture.

I’m springing for replacement cushions on the glider. They have a number of different patterns to choose from. Search product 11780 here if you want to give me your suggestions.

I’m also in the process of making over my office. This includes lots of decluttering and lifting of heavy items. Not a good thing when your back is threatening to go out. Again. I will need to find a minion to do the heavy lifting. I found a sofa bed at IKEA that I want. Believe it or not, I’m leaning toward the orange.

So that’s what’s going on around here.

Meanwhile, here’s what’s been happening on Life as MOM:

Here’s what’s been happening on Good Cheap Eats:

gce 30 cover shot

Coming soon:

  • My new book is shipping soon! Pre-order your copy now so that you get it in your hot little hands as early as Tuesday!
  • A New Month of Meals – This Month of Meals is FREE! Grab your copy now.
  • Allergy-Friendly School Snacks
  • An Emergency Supplies Checklist
  • Freezer Cooking Days! Watch your newsletter for the new Freezer Cooking Plan and to chat on Facebook on September 8th at 6pm.

Do ya get the newsletter?

If you already get the newsletter, you know that I’ve been handing out freebies and special bonuses over the last few weeks. If you’re not on the list, then you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

Be sure to sign up for bonus offers, surprise giveaways, extra content, and special deals for Life as Mom “insiders”.

Last week several people said that they did not receive theirs. It usually goes out on Sunday afternoons. Shoot me an email or leave a comment here if yours is MIA as well? I pay big bucks for the delivery service. If they’re not going out, I want to know! Thanks!

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  1. You know there are lots of options for cheaper textbooks, right? If you need ideas, let me know. #4 is a college freshman this year; I’ve got “save $$ in college” down pat! 😉

    Fyi, I never did receive last week’s newsletter. Even after you said it was resent. (We had a conversation on Facebook about it.)

    • Well, unfortunately, this school uses a lot of Connect resources (“the all-digital solution,” according to the publisher). This means that he needs a printed code to get access to the online resources. My understanding is that you cannot resell those. Leave it to the digital age to make a way for textbook publishers to strong arm you.

      • Believe it or not Jessica, the cost of digital is almost always a fair amount cheaper than the paper version – new or used! Crazy, I know, but as a college professor that’s one reason why professors use digital now.

        Thought I’d share so you know that.

        I’m not saying it’s cheap just less expensive. 🙂


  2. My adult daughter has that bed. We have moved it several times. It is a bear to assemble. And we learned the hard way to put the angled metal wrench thing in a safe place (like in a bag, taped to the bottom of the bed). Unlike the typical IKEA wrenches, you can’t get a replacement for that weird one.

    • I am glad to know that. I saved all the random pieces I found. I just might go tape it to the bottom of the bed. We just renewed our lease, so who knows next time we’ll be moving.

  3. One option which might make sense for the digital resources for next semester and beyond: share with a friend in the same program. One of my sons is in an engineering program and those texts are expensive. On the other hand, he sees the same people again and again in his classes, so it’s easy to make friends and plan to share the nearly $200 digital text.

  4. The irishman sounds like a keeper – happy for you about that!

    The bed is nice too – shhhh I’m still on a metal frame . . .

    • There’s nothing “wrong” with the metal frame. 😉 What I’ve noticed, though, is that lying in bed know feels more like a vacation because we only have headboards on vacation. Haha!

  5. My 16 year-old son is GF to try to clear up acne. I’ve had hit and miss luck with baking, but teff flour is whole grain and quinoa flour is high protein. Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day has a GF book; I’ve checked it out if the library several times and had some luck with some things there. They have a lot of info on substituting flours, too. I liked most of the stuff I’ve made even if he didn’t. 🙂

  6. MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    My newsletter was in junk mail (which usually doesn’t happen) and when I marked as not junk and put it in my inbox it just had a link that didn’t bring me to anything.

  7. I have also worked hard the past 2 years to make my Sundays more restful. One thing that we do that helps on Saturday night/afternoon is set a timer- usually for around 15 minutes- and the whole family works really hard at doing a “Sabbath clean” of the house. Basically trying to get the house as tidy as possible so I can relax on Sunday. If everyone works hard, we can usually get things mostly picked up and major surfaces wiped and main floors swept/ vacuumed in that amount of time. It’s not perfect but it’s usually enough to do the trick

    Glad you liked your doctor!

  8. I loved reading about your week. I need to find a way to get more rest in on Sundays too. Since I’ve had to go back to work to pay for my son’s college(he goes to UCI and we didn’t get financial aid), the weekends are when I get everything done, but I’m exhausted. Yes, I definitely know how expensive textbooks are – even used! I like your shirt – I just wore my UCI Mom shirt yesterday.

  9. Glad to hear you feel comfortable with “the Irishman,” and that the rest of your week went well. I’m continuing to pray for you and your family.

  10. I’ve been gluten free for almost four years. At first I just substituted gluten versions with the gluten free versions of things. But, I quickly realized I didn’t feel that much better doing that. As you said, their ingredient lists aren’t the best, and most gluten free flours are heavily processed and are not nutrient dense. At that point I made the switch to consume naturally gluten free foods for the most part. I still have gluten free bread (whole foods brand is the best) but it’s once a week, rather than once or twice a day. I do spaghetti squash instead of gf pasta, and just skip crackers since I think they are all bad. I do love tortilla chips though! It’s definitely a balance!

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