a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Initial and Emotional "Trauma" of a Newly Diagnosed Diabetic

 My doctor has been telling me for years to lose weight and for the past couple of years that I was pre-diabetic.

Six weeks ago I began to eat really well---  mainly, I must admit,
so I could prove him wrong at my visit next week. 

When  my pre-visit blood work results came back.......... the numbers were up!!!

I am now officially, apparently undeniably, diabetic!!!

My first action was to eat three of Dave's malt ball Easter eggs. I hadn't had one single piece of candy up until then --- not even one of looked-forward to yearly treat: Peeps  Note when they started making Peeps for the other holidays I refused to buy them.  It just didn't seem right!

For years I have (alternately and repeatedly) counted calories, fat grams, "points" and exchanges and
felt really really righteous eating all fruits and non-deep-green-veggies and stuff labeled low-calorie.

Now, it's count carbs!!!!  Not just the obviously high-carb items but the many I had never considered high-carb. Fruits? Vegetables?

Low-Fat foods have more carbs than full-fat! Don't ya love it.

And things I previously ate, along with the accompanying guilt I can now have actual guiltless servings --- bacon, ham, beef, eggs, cheese!

This I can love!

It seems so wacky.

After several hours of book and internet searches and trying to grasp it all. I came to the conclusion that it not only "seems" wacky it is and consoled my self with a generous slice of pecan pie which I had stashed away in the freezer.  I first consumed a smallish "sample"  in its still frozen state ---- and it was fantastic.

Since that splurge I have been back to not just being good, but extremely good. Looking up the carb count of zillions of foods, actually measuring the servings of food*, counting those carbs, writing them all down, and totaling them up each day.

*I imagine I will be able to "guestimate" after a time.

I still have to learn to eat lots of low-carb veggies (which are mainly dark and not, to my mind, very tasty) and lots more of them to beef  bulk up my diet.  Baby steps!

I know it is waaay too early to brag or think I can keep doing this forever but I have to tell you what I have found out already.

  • I feel much better.
  • I walked 1/3 of a mile for the first time in many, many months (for me, a big deal).
  • I don't have cravings (and I am not making this up).
  • One 12 ounce can  of V8 juice and two one ounce mozzarella sticks will keep me feeling full for 4-5 hours. Honest!!! (This became my main go-to breakfast.)
  • I have lost 10 pounds! (without my usual going to Curves for two weeks because of cataract surgery--first one last week and the second yesterday). 

Last week in  going through my favorite recipes (to pack away---deep, deep, away---) I ran across a newspaper clipping from 2005 which I had never tried.  Until NOW!

Foolproof Omelet in a Bag

Quick, simple, no mess and next to NO CARBS. I've had it twice this week and it is foolproof just as promised.  Could be a fun build-your-own-omelet bar l for a family or small party.

First,  Put a large pan of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Or two pans, if it is a group thing!

1. Crack one extra large or two large eggs into a one-quart zip lock bag and smooosh it around, breaking up the yolks a little. 
2. Add to the bag: whatever else you want, in whatever quantity you want. I did sliced olives, red bell pepper, green onions, shredded cheese and chopped cooked bacon, plus a dash of  Lawry's season salt and pepper
3. Give it another smooosh or two, press out the air, close the bag and put it in the boiling water.
4. Set timer for exactly 13 minutes and let it boil away---no need to do anything else with it. 

Immediately remove bag and open (careful of the steam), turn it over your plate and watch it roll out on the plate (in even an omelet shape!!!.)  No sticking, very little residue in the bag.

And, enjoy.

  • Warning/Apology/Explanation (you choose)  In case you hadn't previously noticed, I can be (read am) a wee bit compulsive and  must immediately try to wrap my head around whatever it is that comes my way.
  • (this dot and the one below mean nothing (except I can't find the way to eliminate them) 
  • I  will probably be sending low carb recipes your way.  But hopefully no whining!

  • I haven't  been feeling well for quite a while, thus the lack of posts.

  • .Oh yes, we just purchased an air fryer --- had never heard of such a thing until a couple of weeks ago. (They are apparently very popular in India, Europe, etc. Read great reviews for cutting out fats, and mess, and with no possibility of  bad burns (been there done that not fun). 
  • Found a Faberware one at our local Wally store for $79 whose reviews compared very favorably to the $200-$400 models. Because of my post-surgery blurry eyesight I haven't opened it yet. But very soon! 
  • So possibility of air fryer results/recipes, also.
Many years ago in Missouri there was a gas station that had some kind of shiny silver pumps. I don't know how it "did it" but when you looked at your reflection while pumping your gas, this is the image you would see.                                        That station did a LOT of BUSINESS!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Squashing Toilet Paper! or . . .

Honey, I shunk the tissue.

Just as I was finishing up the "visual aid" for this post our youngest son telephoned. He asked what I was doing.

"I am vacuuming toilet paper",

and he didn't blink an eye (I guess that would grammatically be an ear since it was a phone call!).

This gives you a good idea of what it was like growing up in our home with Simply, Gail their creative cheapskate mother.

Or as our oldest son likes to refer to me:  Simple Gail

Whatever works!!

And here is the latest thing that works for us as we enlarged and re-worked our storage area.

The package on the left is an original 36 roll package of Costco toilet paper.  This original  package measures 14"x 24"x 9-1/2"

The package on the right is a large Ziploc brand space saver bag filled with 50  rolls (36 Costco brand + 14 additional same-size rolls of another brand) after it has been vacuum squashed to  
14-1/2" by 21-1/2"  x 10-1/2"

If I were a math major, or knew a math major, I could tell you the exact difference in inches but since I'm not and I can't, suffice it to say a picture is worth a thousand measurements.

And, it is soooooo much fun to watch it shrink!
I used up all my large space saver bags and  still had  24 rolls of TP left.

That will never do (and, again vacuuming has never been so much fun!)  ---- so........

I shrunk it in the medium size bags - 12 rolls fit in each bag!

More fun when I  discovered the packages fit neatly, stacked one on top of the other, between the studs of the unfinished (and to remain unfinished) new addition.

I was showing off our new storage area to a friend who exclaimed, first off:, "Where did you get those cute little rolls of toilet paper?"

Spousal Points of View:

He: You are sometimes and somewhat compulsive.
Me: I am on a roll.
He: Patience is not your strong suit.
Me: The stuff is already out---I am efficient.

Image result for rolling toilet paperImage result for potty trained cat

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Homemade Dog Biscuits, Healthy Simple ...

and named for our shelter acquisition!
It is hard to believe Milo has been a part of our household for 15 months.
How time flies!
We adopted him  the day before Halloween. The shelter provided the "costume"
Milo is an Australian cattle dog mix and is nine years old.  Even though Dave asks him quite often, Milo will not tell  how he lost his ear. It certainly has not affected his hearing!!! Nothing gets by him, even though our windows are insulated double-pane.

He is a well-muscled 60+ pounds and very strong. You wouldn't want to enter our home uninvited!

Surprisingly he is also a particular and very gentle eater. He doesn't like veggies, nor most fruits---not even the ones that are vet-okay-ed!

We rarely feed him any people food but on rare occasions we will give him slivers of left over meat (we take outside to give him) he will sit down and take the offering one bite at a time.

He doesn't like rawhide bones, and is not crazy about many commercial dog treats.


he does love his "Milo Bites", a healthy recipe I have adapted (and simplified) from another.

1 egg
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 medium-sized banana, ripe and thinly sliced.
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet or cover a baking sheet with lightly sprayed parchment paper.

Using an electric hand mixer, combine first four ingredients mixing until bananas are well "smooshed" up.

Add flours and wheat germ.

To roll out the treats, I cut open the sides of a gallon size zip lock bag,  lay it flat on my counter and dust it lightly with flour.

Actually, the zip lock bag thing is the way I roll out any dough --- rolls, biscuits, cookies, pie crusts, tortillas.  It is great, quick and makes very little mess. And because I am a creative cheapskate, I wash and reuse the cut open bag.  

I place part of dough on the “down side” of the bag, fold over the top portion to cover the dough, and roll to about 1/4 inch thickness.

I then turn the whole piece on to parchment.

And, repeat with remaining dough.

Once on the cookie sheet, I cut the whole thing all at once using a pizza cutter*.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes until  dry.

At the end of the baking time if  I don’t feel they are dry enough, I may bake them a while longer or I may just  dump them off the paper onto the cookie sheet, turn them over, break them apart and let them sit in the turned off oven. (the very first time I made them, some possibly thicker than others, were not dry enough and got a little "hairy"  in the jar. A little extra baking solved that without harming the taste.

Notes:  *You can use a cute doggy bone or other cookie cutter and cut them out one at a time but I am not only cheap with money, I am cheap and efficient (read lazy) with my time. Who cares what they look like---certainly not the dog!

(I even cut my biscuits in squares with the pizza cutter, rather than a round official biscuit cutter and to date, have not had any complaints! ) 

I usually double the recipe because I have a large cookie sheet and again, it is efficient time- and   energy-wise.
And finally. . .
               Another great thing 
about these doggy treats----               
they are not 
harmful to humans
 if ingested 
accidentally or on purpose! 
They even taste okay, or at least bearable. 
Have a happy and grateful day!

I am Simply, Gail