Monday, December 27, 2010

Best Laid Plans

..of mice and women bloggers! So, I had all intentions of posting some great ideas for keeping your slim and trim figure over the holidays, and look how far I got! One idea! Sweet potatoes! Sweet!
The holidays were like a freight train on iced rails, barely slowing down enough for me to get a good look at them! (OK, so New Years hasn't arrived yet, but I know how it's going to be...a blur!)
Over the break I did discover a new blog that I am very excited about. It's called The Pioneer Woman (, and it is so incredibly inspiring to me! She's living the country life that I sometimes dream about having but probably never will (total city girl at heart!), she is an amazing photographer, and she's really funny. Especially her blog posts about adventures in the kitchen and with her "Marlboro Man"-- husband and father of their 4 kids. Anyway, check it out; I think you will be inspired, too! Hmmm...New Year's Resolution....set up a chicken coop in the back yard???? You never know, this city girl might have a little country in her after all!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Healthy Holidays!

Part of an attempted series of posts highlighting yummy holiday food that won't make you fat.

Today, it's sweet potatoes. Now, if you want the fat-making version, load a bunch of brown sugar, butter and maybe even some marshmallows onto your sweet potatoes. Congratulations, you've just turned one of the healthiest foods on the planet into junk food!
I have to say, I don't understand adding sugar to sweet potatoes. It's like adding sugar to sugar. Sweet potatoes have LOTS of flavor and sweetness already; you just have to bring it out. I find the best way is to roast them. Roasting brings out the sugars and caramelizes them and they taste amazing! Just dice them into 1" cubes, toss in a little olive oil and salt and pepper, put in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, and you're done! VERY delish and loaded with vitamins!! Healthy food status remains intact!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Give Thanks

It's nearly Thanksgiving and I'm counting the days. I love the smells of the turkey slowly roasting in the oven, the spices of the pumpkin, the baked bread smell of the stuffing...I love watching the Macy's parade in the morning, as cheesy as it is...I love having a day that's just about being together. It's kind of surprising to me that I love Thanksgiving so much, considering I don't really like turkey or pumpkin pie, I don't care about the football game (especially not this year, Vikings!), and I know too much about the true history of the first Thanksgiving to feel very warm and fuzzy about the origins of this holiday.
But still, I find a way to appreciate the parts of it that I love, and I guess that's really what the message of Thanksgiving is. We find something in our lives to appreciate and be thankful for, and for one day (or hopefully more), that's what we choose to focus on. Forget the checking account balance, the weather, the project at work, or the funny noise your car just started to make. Forget all that, and be thankful. Thankful that you have more food than you could possibly eat, thankful that you have loved ones to share it with, thankful that the car making funny noises will-probably- get you home safely, and thankful that you have a home to return to. With a cat in it who is very happy to see you and your leftover turkey!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's the Great Pumpkin!

I wish I could take credit for this one, because it is brilliant! This photo is of my son this morning, with his gift from the Great Pumpkin. Let me tell you all about it...
I was at my "book" club (loosely termed because we rarely actually read a book!) last week and we were all lamenting the vast amounts of candy that our kids still had stashed away from Halloween. How to get rid of it? Throw it out while they're at school? (Seems dishonest.) Donate it? (That one always sounded to me like passing along my problem to someone else.) Then someone piped up, "Well, haven't you heard of the Great Pumpkin?" We all agreed we'd heard of it from the Charlie Brown cartoon, but so what? How does that help us get rid of gobs of candy? So she told us that the Great Pumpkin comes in the night, like Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny-- they all hang out together and share the same MO-- but in order to get something from the Great Pumpkin, you have to give him all of your Halloween candy! In exchange, he leaves you a small gift. I love it!!!!
So, I proposed this to my son, and he was all over it immediately, like I knew he would be. He likes candy, but he likes toys much better. So, what to give for the gift? I think the best way to do this is to buy something that you had already planned to give for Christmas. That way, you're not spending more money on yet another toy. My son had asked for this Lego Advent Calendar a few weeks ago, and I was planning to get it for him as an early Christmas gift, so it fit the bill perfectly. We let him open Door #1 this morning, so he would have something to play with, and you can see the little snowman there in front of the box. So, we have the advent calendar and NO candy!!! It's a beautiful thing!
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Candy Train to Easter

I once heard someone say that Halloween is the first car of the candy train to Easter. For those of us who are following a healthy lifestyle and slimming down, this can sound terrifying. I imagine a big, bloated back train huffing out gobs of candy from its smoke stack (this is an old train!) and me gaining 5 pounds as each car goes by. Yikers!

So, I'm making a plan. I'm preparing myself and my family for the sugar rush that is the holidays and trying to think up ways to have fun, participate in all of it, yet not hate myself in the morning.
Since opting out is not an option, I'll tell you how I'm planning to enjoy the ride.

First of all, I'm going to keep temptation to a minimum. With Halloween, I didn't buy my favorite candy to had out to the kids. Too hard not to need to "sample" it. And test it. And make sure there's no razors in it. Aaaaand maybe just one more sample. Yeah.

Once the trick or treaters were done for the night, I got rid of all the leftover candy. I packed it up and told my husband to take it to work the next day. I could have taken it to my office, but I didn't even want it that close to me! So, off it went to wreak havoc on someone else's hips.

Now, we just have the 10-lb. bag of candy that my son collected to deal with. For some reason, I'm not tempted by it. I had a few pieces on Halloween, and that's it. I let him have a piece in his lunch, a piece when he gets home from school along with something healthy, and a piece after dinner. Once the candy is a few weeks old, we'll either throw what's left away or take it to Lifetime Fitness. I hear they have a box where you can donate your leftover candy and they will send it to the troops overseas.

As for the run-up to Christmas, as much as I love the smell of baking cookies, I'm just not going to go there this year. It's not worth it. I know I'll get plenty of treat temptation other places; I don't need to have it in my own kitchen.

This battle of the bulge is really aptly named. Sometimes it does feel like a war. It's amazing how much junk there is out there that can derail a perfectly good diet. Instead of the candy train, I'm taking the healthy eating and exercising train. It's not glamorous, but damn it will feel good to go bathing suit shopping come Spring!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Picky Eater

You know one, you probably love one, maybe you even are one. The dreaded picky eater. I actually have counted myself as one of them in times past, so I can't bash them too hard. Growing up, I remember sitting at the table long after everyone had left because I didn't eat my sausage or my fish stick. (But maybe it was really the wiser part of me who knew those foods weren't really healthy for me anyway!) I vowed that when I had my own kids, I would not force them to eat foods they didn't like. For the most part, I've actually kept my vow, but with a caveat: my son HAS to at least try the food before he decides he doesn't like it, preferably several times. And luckily, he is not a picky eater. Did I just get lucky? Were the culinary stars aligned when he was born? Maybe. But I also think it's the result of some planning and seed-sowing from the very first spoonful of mashed peas that I airplane-ed into his little baby mouth.

I'm no food expert, but I did manage to raise a boy who is willing to try any food, and for the most part is reasonable about what he likes and doesn't like...and he likes quite a bit, including salad! So, I'm going to lay down some of the methods that have worked for me in the hopes that they will help you to also raise a child whose palate is trained beyond Spaghetti-Os and pizza.

1- Start early!! In college, I studied in the south of France for 6 months and lived with a family. I learned a lot about French culinary heritage and was struck by the fact that children were expected to eat the same foods the adults ate. And as you probably know, the adults in France have a pretty sophisticated palate. There was no "kid food" in France, no "lunchables", no boxed Mac n' Cheese, no frozen pizza. When I saw this, I made a mental note to feed my future kids the same way, and 8 years later when I had my son, that's exactly what I did. As soon as his little teeth and tummy were able to handle a new, adult food, I gave it to him. Avocado was an obvious baby food, as were sweet potatoes, but later on I was giving him salmon, vegetables (without dip!) and even salad. I advise starting with the sweeter fruits and vegetables, since babies palates are very tuned in to sweet flavors. Sweet potatoes, cooked carrots, corn (organic only), cooked apples and most fruits are good starters. Then, gradually move on to the more bland veggies.

2- If you have to, dress it up. If a little ranch dressing is what's going to get the carrots and celery down their throats, go for it. Just read the label of the dressing, or better yet, make your own. A lot of dressings out there have a ton of sugar and other unmentionables that don't belong in your child's body. I like Trader Joe's brands, as they are most always free of chemical additives, but you can also go with Annie's or another organic brand.
If your child is not allergic, peanut, sunflower, almond, or other nut butter, even Nutella in small portions, can make eating fruits and some vegetables more enjoyable. Of course the old celery with peanut butter is a classic (for a good reason), but apples or bananas with nut butter or Nutella are delish, too.

3- Don't force it. Forcing kids to eat anything usually backfires big time. Remember my story about sitting at the table because I didn't eat my sausage or fish sticks? Well, I STILL hate sausage and all red meat in general, and it took me into my adult life to try fish again. You don't want the same thing to happen with your kids when it comes to truly healthy food. But again, I add the caveat that they have to at least try it. Just one bite. And then maybe one more, if they can stand it. If they take two bites, congratulate them and move on. Next time, ask them to take two bites again. This time, tell them that it takes at least 10 bites of something for your mouth to truly decide if it likes it or not. Then, try to get them to just take a bite or two whenever that food is being served. If they still don't like it, tell them that's fine. You respect their opinion, but that they shouldn't be surprised the next time you prepare that food if you ask them to "just take a bite". They may never come to like the food. But on the other hand, they might. And they've learned a valuable lesson along the way-- the art of trying new food. This is a skill that will serve them their entire lives.

4-Don't fix it. You'll be tempted to fix them their own separate dinner, when it looks like all your child ate for were those two bites of sweet potato. Don't do it! You'll be going down a long, one-way street that leads to a life as a short-order cook. Your child will not starve; it's against the laws of self-preservation. If they get hungry enough, they will find something on the table to eat. If they are stubborn enough to sit through the entire meal without eating, don't make a big deal about it, don't get mad. Just clear the plate. Later, when they are saying they're hungry for a snack, offer them a few healthy choices, but no junk food. If you stick with this pattern, eventually they will learn that they are expected to eat what is served to the family because they are part of the family.

5- When all else fails, hide it. I'm not a big fan of this one, but when you're desperate you're desperate. The reason I'm not a fan is because hiding healthy foods doesn't accomplish the goal of developing your child's palate and helping them to truly LIKE the foods that are good for them. Remember, when feeding your child it really comes down to 2 goals: first, making sure that they are adequately nourished today; second, making sure they will be adequately nourished when they are on their own as adults. Hiding healthy food doesn't really help with the second goal. But it helps with the first one, and if you can combine hiding with the "take one bite" method, you should be able to cover all your bases. If you have to hide good foods-- and veggies are usually at the top of this list-- start with shredded zucchini. It's so easy to hide in everything from baked goods to dips, there's no reason not to. Another is spinach. This one you can whir into a smoothie and they'll never know it's there. Experiment with your own ideas, or consult the cookbook "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld. I've not tried it, but I've heard it's full of great recipes designed especially for hiding healthy foods in the kinds of foods that kids love.

Well my dears, that's all the sage advice I have for today...tune in next time when we discuss...well, you'll just have to tune in to find out!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No One's Perfect

I loved taking the Eat Local Challenge! So much so, that I'm not doing it anymore! Wait, what?

Eating local is still something I'm fired up about. It's still something I aspire to. Unfortunately, it's also something that got dropped by the wayside as life got busier. My weekend mornings were spoken for for a couple of weeks so I couldn't make it to the Farmers' Market, and my Friday grocery shopping time got eaten away (no pun intended!) so quick food grabs at Super Target were the solution. But as I've said before (and try to remind myself), this is not about perfection. It's about becoming conscious and making small changes.

I'm SO not good at small changes, though! I'm a "dive into the deep end" kind of person. Problem is, after a while, I realize I'm in the deep end, I freak out, and I leave the pool entirely, rather than swimming over to the kiddie pool where I can safely stay in the water. But small changes, I'm learning, are what sticks. Small changes mean being OK with the kiddie pool for a while, while you acclimate to the water, "get your feet wet", maybe even get your hair wet, and then start the journey to the deep end. It requires patience and time, and I'm not long on either one!

So, small changes in the world of eating local...what will that mean for me? I'm going to start with a trip to the co-op once a month to get some of my favorite local items-- butter, bread, eggs, and whatever produce is in season. I'll still supplement with my more usual Super Target or Trader Joe's run, but at least that gives me a few local items to enjoy on a regular basis!

Little by steps...kiddie pool...I think that's going to be my mantra for a while!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why Local?

OK, so I want to explain a little bit about what eating local is something I've decided to try, and why I'm so passionate about being conscious about my food choices. The most obvious reason is the desire to support local, small businesses. This often happens two-fold when you buy local: first of all, you're supporting local farmers. That's a no-brainer. But often, you're also buying that local food from a local retailer, like your neighborhood co-op or other local small business. Here in the Twin Cities, we have several wonderful co-ops, and in St. Paul there's also the small grocer on Grand Ave.,  Golden Fig.  These are great resources for anyone who wants better-quality, local food. While I still love buying from the Farmers' Market, I can't always make it there during its limited hours, and not all products that I need are available there, so that's when I seek out those local retailers.

But there are other, most subtle reasons to choose local food that we may not always think about. First of all, the concept of food safety is something that, for the most part, we have the luxury of taking for granted in this country. We don't have to boil our water in order to drink it; we don't have to wonder how old our milk is or whether the grocers' meat is rotten. Usually. As you are probably aware, there is a huge egg recall going on right now that has many people asking questions about our food supply and how safe it really is. Add that egg recall to a list of several other recalls we've had recently, including peanut butter, spinach, and green onions, and it becomes an alarming trend.

How does eating local protect me from contaminated food, you may ask. Well, it won't protect you from EVER having to think about food safety, but eating local drastically reduces your chances of buying bad food. Why? Because much of this problem of tainted food comes form the fact that there are fewer and fewer mega-farms supplying more and more of the food that we buy. This creates problems on a variety of levels, one being the existence of mega-farms. To be blunt, they're terrible. Terrible for the animals on the farm, terrible for the environment, and terrible for us when it comes to food safety and quality. To maintain such large-scale food production, land use quickly gets out of control, animal populations become very dense, contributing to disease, and quality control goes out the window. Take the case of the Iowa farm where the tainted eggs are coming from. This farm has been cited for numerous violations going back to the 1970s, but somehow people haven't been adversely affected. So, it was allowed to stay in business. Now, people are getting sick and people are finally asking questions.

Keeping such dense animal populations is the root of the problem. In order to do it, animals have to be given antibiotics, they can't be fed high-quality food so they're not healthy, and their waste products are a never-ending issue. Do you ever wonder how vegetables get tainted with eColi? eColi is a bacteria that is only found in the lower intestinal tract, and it only comes out into the environment in the form of feces. Yep-- poop. That means that somehow, poop got on those vegetables. Most of the time, it got there from runoff from a mega-farm. For me, that fact alone is enough to turn my stomach and make me want to get my vegetables from a reliable farm that is not right next to, or part of, a mega-farm.

Mega-farms aren't just contaminating food, though. They contaminate the water supply in the communities where they exist, and they contribute heavily to greenhouse gasses. Did you know that the emissions from livestock contribute more to greenhouse gasses than cars and trucks?  A 2006 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated that livestock contributes 18% of total greenhouse gasses; a 2010 study upped that number to 51%!

On a brighter note, choosing local food from a small farm means that your food is just going to taste better! Because it doesn't have to be shipped far and wide, the fruits and vegetables can stay on their vines, plants, or trees much longer, getting ripe and sweet and delicious! You may not even recognize the flavor of some fruits and vegetables when you try the local version. Heirloom tomatoes, ripened on the vine will blow your mind. Good, local potatoes and corn are so sweet, they need nothing added to be delicious. 

All of these reasons and more caused me to think long and hard about the food choices that I make, ultimately leading me to the decision to choose local whenever I can. I must say, it's been very easy and extermely enjoyable! Of course, at the height of the local harvest, it IS easy to choose local. Come winter, it's going to be a bit more of a challenge, but one I'm going up for.

Choosing local doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition! It's just not practical for me to choose local 100% of the time. But like I said, I do it as often as I can. If you choose to take on the challenge, you decide what is right for you. Maybe it's one meal a week that's entirely locally sourced. Maybe it's a little bit of every or most's up to you! Make it what you want, and have fun!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Photos of a Local Feast

Finally, some photos of our feast a couple of weeks ago. I had to order a new cord for my camera-- my old one was no where to be found! I so rarely lose things, I was sure it would turn up, but no. It has fallen into the other dimension. So... our yummy local feast consisted of: mozzarella made in-house at the Mississippi Co-Op, a cave-aged cow and sheep cheese from WI, tomatoes from the farmers' market (ours were just not quite ripe yet), basil from our garden, and bread from A Toast to Bread in St. Paul. It was fabulous!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Challenge Continues...

We made it through the weekend and it was so much fun to try to eat as much local food as possible! And need I say, it was delicious, too!
So, a little bit more about how I'm structuring this thing so that it really is do-able...
First of all, I'm not restocking my kitchen. I just don't have unlimited funds to replace all condiments and whatever groceries we still have from our Trader Joe's shopping trip from last week. I'm working within my means, buying local as I go along, as often as I can. I keep telling myself, this is about exploration, not perfection. So, the olive oil is not local (nor could it be), the lemons and limes...not local. In fact, there were hardly any fruits for sale at the farmers' market this weekend, so we're having to supplement with shipped-in fruits. Big B loves his bananas so I don't intend to deprive him of that. (If I have time this week, I'll stop at the co-op and get some local fruits there.)
 So, Saturday morning we ventured out to the St. Paul Farmers' Market, bags at the ready, cash in hand. We stocked up on tomatoes, zukes, cukes,  onions, garlic, cheese, and bread. The tomato stand I recommend is the one where their tomatoes are pesticide-free, and all varieties are $2.50/lb. That includes heirlooms!! Compare that to the co-op, which will charge you up to $5.99/lb. for heirlooms! So, we filled a bag with a huge, gnarly red heirloom, some smaller roma-like tomatoes, and a couple of purple ones (I don't remember the names.) The big one was amazing! When I cut into it that evening, the flesh was smooth, juicy, and tasted like the earth it was grown in. It tasted like a tomato-- and you probably know how hard it is to find a tomato these days that tastes like a tomato!
I snagged a couple of onions from a guy who was selling the largest ones I've ever seen-- about the size of a 1-year-old's head! He said they were super-sweet, like a Vidalia. He was not kidding; sliced super-thin and tossed in the Greek salad I made that evening, they were heavenly.
Next, it was on to my favorite bread stand, A Toast to Bread. I get their rosemary or basil baguette whenever I visit the market. They are so dense and chewy, you can't take just one bite. And the ingredients list: flour, yeast, sea salt, water, herbs. (I'm going from memory here; there might be sugar in that list, too, but that's it!) Compare that to the litany of ingredients on the labels of bread at a big-box grocery store, and that alone may convince you to eat local and/or organic. (Seriously, next time you're grocery shopping, read the label of some of those breads that are supposed to be "healthy"! Many have HFCS and other nasty ingredients. It's unbelievable!)
After a few more veggie purchases, we made our big splurge of the day: a big, $10 wedge of cheese from (I think it was) Love Tree Farmstand Cheese. The mother and son were selling that day, dressed in their finest pink T-shirts. Hers read, "Aged to Perfection" and his, "Got Mold?" I've met her before; she's quite a character, and VERY passionate about good, artisinal, cave-aged cheese. They had 3 kinds there that day: a fresh sheep's cheese they had just made the night before; an aged goat cheese that was super-mild, and an aged cow/sheep cheese that had the most beautiful, bumpy rind, was pungent and smelled to high heaven. Guess which one we chose! Hint: the kitchen smelled like feet for hours! But, oh was it ever delicious-- rich, creamy, amazing.
We went home loaded with treasures and excited about digging in. I had even stopped at Heritage Liquor on Frost the day before and picked up a bottle of Crispin "The Saint", a hard cider made in Minneapolis, and a 4-pack of Liftbridge "Minnesota Tan", brewed in Cold Spring.
So, do you want to know what we did with all that goodness?? First, I have to say that if you want a plethora of great recipes that use ingredients readily availble in MN, pick up a copy of "The St. Paul Farmers' Market Cookbook" and "Simply in Season". The former orders the recipes according to main ingredient, so that when the market is overflowing with carrots and parsnips, you can just flip to those sections and find lots of ways to prepare them. "Simply in Season" groups recipes by season, according to what foods are growing at that time of year. I'm a seasonal eater by habit-- I can't even fathom eating apples in the Spring or strawberries in the Winter, so this cookbook is a godsend.
OK, so back to Saturday dinner: I made the Greek Salad from p. 100 of "Simply in Season": tomatoes, onion, and cukes dressed in olive oil, wine or balsamic vinegar, garlic, and dill from our garden. With that we had caprese stacks: the baguette sliced thin stacked with a slice of tomato, cheese (either the fresh mozz I got at the co-op on Friday or the lovely stinky cheese), and a basil leaf on top, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. Even Little B can't get enough of those! On the side, we had local corn drizzled with lime and salt, of course our hard cider to wash it all down. We dined (and sweated) al fresco and it was beautiful!
I took some great pictures of the spread, but until I find my USB cord, the pics are trapped inside my camera. Hopefully it will turn up soon!
Later this week, I'll tell you about the pizzas we had on Sunday, and how we fared on our weekday meals....the adventure continues!

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Eat Local Challenge

OK, I'm doin' it. I'm going to eat only local foods for 1 week. It's the Eat Local Challenge and it's designed to encourage and educate people about the benefits of eating foods that aren't shipped in from miles away, generating tons of CO2 and harming the planet. But the planet is not really why I'm doing it. While I would definitely call myself a "treehugger", and very proud of it, my decision to eat local is based on something much more selfish: pure pleasure.

It started with a trip to the St. Paul Farmer's Market, which I LOVE!! It's one of the things I get excited about each Spring, and mourn the loss of every Winter. (Yes, they're open all Winter, but let's face it--it's not the same!) So, the Big B and I went to the market last weekend and filled our bags with more produce than a family of 3 could possibly eat. We always do that. Can't help it. So that evening, while we were preparing dinner, a huge smile crossed my face as I thought of the farmer right here in Minnesota who grew all this amazing food. Beautiful, fresh-picked just that like it was meant to be. I thought about how nice it would be to eat this way all the time. And that's when my stomach said, "Take the Eat Local challenge!" To which I said, "I can't; it's too hard!" To which Stomach said, "Stop your whining or I'll give you heartburn for a week!" I shut up at that point because I realized I was talking to my stomach. I also realized that it's August, there is bounty to be had at the markets and my co-op, and it really wouldn't be that hard. Would it?

I haven't started yet, but I'm planning to start tomorrow, after I make my morning trip to the Farmer's Market. I shopped the co-op today to get a few things like local cheeses; I'll probably just stick to produce and chicken from the market. I'm going to blog about the whole sordid affair so that you, dear reader, can learn from my fumblings and hopefully do something like this yourself! The planet, and more importantly, your stomach, will thank you!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mr. Dyson, You Suck!

Oh, Mr. Dyson, why? I'm sure you meant well. You're so suave and distinguished and brilliant, and you have a great accent. I just wish you had never invented that vacuum. See, you went and invented that pretty, robot-resembling bagless vacuum that everyone just HAD to have, and every other company just HAD to copy, and you made vacuuming a royal pain in my side forevermore.

I was just running the old suck machine a couple of days ago, and I have to admit that it's not a Dyson, but another popular brand that copied the technology, complete with the "cyclone" feature and yes, the bagless dust tank. So, I finished vacuuming (OK, full disclosure, my son finished vacuuming), and I went to empty the tank and of course it was completely full. As I'm pulling out the container, dust flying in my face-- dust that was HEPA filtered, by the way-- I'm cursing the inventor of the fancy yellow machine who convinced everyone that vacuum bags are evil. Why?!? What is so horrible about bags? It seems to me that bags keep all the nasty stuff I just vacuumed neatly contained and out of my face! What is the point of using a filter at all, let alone a fancy HEPA filter, when you're just going to open up that container, shake it into your trash can, and immediately inhale all the dust, mites, fur, and who knows what that you just filtered! It makes no sense!!

I don't hold it against you, Mr. Dyson. Well, OK, maybe I do a little bit. And while I know Mr. Dyson is very proud of his sucking vacuum-- "it never loses suction"-- and I actually think my knock-off sucks pretty hard, too,  I'm just not sure I (or my nose) can ever forgive him for his illogical hatred of the vacuum bag. I hear he's moved on to inventing a new fan which looks very cool and will probably inspire many knock-offs as well. Maybe he should just stick to inventing/"improving" things that blow and leave the things that suck to Mr. Hoover and friends.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Au Revoir, My Friend!

Today one of my best friends in the whole world is on her way back to her adopted home in London by way of Chicago. I dropped her off at the MSP airport this afternoon after a fabulous weekend of relaxation and ribaldery. (I don't think that's a word but somehow it seems appropriate.) We always end up solving all the world's problems until about 3 AM, this time covering parenting (even though she's childless by choice), right wing nut jobs, and why it is so dang hard to lose those last (or more truthfully, those first) 10 pounds! She'll be back for New Year's celebrations, as has become our custom. It will be here before we know it, too. It's hard to imagine in the middle of the summer, but next time I see her, we'll be donning scarves, hats, boots, and coats! Ah, la vie in Minnesota!