Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My latest kick?

In the mail today, I received a tea strainer I had ordered.  My husband said - what is this?  Your latest kick now?  While I answered quickly that I would be drinking "leaf" tea as opposed to commercially packaged tea bags, his statement did give me pause.

What did he mean by "my latest kick"?

So, it might have something to do with what I read.  Anything I read that seems worthwhile, I do like to apply to our daily living.  Yes, "us" as opposed to just "me".  He might be on to something,

Order up!
About a year ago, I read about the amazing benefits of maca.  I didn't even know what this was but I quickly googled maca and before I knew it, I had ordered two different colors, one for each of us, If it works for Jennifer Aniston.....This was a powder and not very tasty if it wasn't mixed thoroughly in a drink.  After that experiment (well, we might have gone through several rounds of the powder), we progressed to the liquid drop supplement,  Not bad at all but it just didn't last as long.  Currently we are taking maca supplements.

I did go through a phase (solo on this one) of drinking apple cider vinegar (like shots) but after a few weeks, I just couldn't stomach it anymore.  Surely there was something else I could try,

Before we go any further, you might be asking yourself, why do I try these different things.  Thanks for asking.  Many reasons of course, with the primary one being for the benefits of anti-aging and long term good health.  Mr. French always has one foot in the grave (so to speak) so it compels me to continue to find things that are good for him,  And if it is good enough for him, then I better get on board.

Lately I have been subscribing to Hello Fresh.  I can promise you that all this "non processed" eating is having a great effect on my menu planning (and hopefully our health).  I had to skip my delivery this week since we were out of town.  No worries, Hello Kari can put together a plated meal with the best of them. Every day is like a restaurant meal (except I have to fix it....and I have yet to receive a tip).  Yet, I am having fun,

So back to the tea strainer.  More recently I have been drinking hot tea at least once a day for medicinal purposes.   Just to name a couple, it could be ginger tea (digestive benefits) or peppermint tea (soothes an upset stomach) .  Black and green tea are great also.

Then I read the benefits of drinking loose leaf tea.

So apparently I am on my latest "kick".  I will say that most of my "kicks" tend to have staying power.  Did I mention my twice weekly yoga classes?

Until next time,

your pal,

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Eyes have it!

Beginner glasses with bifocals
When I was in third grade, I failed my first test....eye test, that is.  I was soon picking out frames for my new constant companion.  And what a difference they made.  Being near sighted, I didn't notice the discrepancy in my vision close up, but once I had glasses....WOW!  Everything was so much crisper and clear.

I wore glasses with bifocals (no, they aren't just for old people) until I was in my twenties.  Then I was told that because I had been proactive with the bifocals, I no longer needed them.  It was also around that time I switched to my first pair of contacts.  What a thrill to be able to wear sunglasses and still see!!
Happy New Year glasses!

When I was 15
Not really glasses

family glasses

Aviators at 20

But the eyes are fickle creatures.  After a lifetime (well, since third grade) of being near-sighted, when I entered my early 50's I thought I was going blind.  I could no longer see up close without my contacts.  In reality, I could no longer see up close WITH my contacts.  I went to the eye doctor who told me, my vision was changing.  Instead of being near sighted, now I would soon be far sighted.


My choice (if I wanted to see) would  to wear reading glasses WITH my contacts.  Ummm, no.  Just not going to pay for both.  So it was back to glasses for me.  This time, I don't really need them to watch TV or read things from a distance.  Just close up.  So weird.

But more than just my eyes have changed.  In my humble opinion, the whole thought process around who wears glasses has changed.  Not to mention the fashion!

In my grade school years, I was called 4-eyes.  Nice.  I hated wearing glasses.  But I hated not seeing more.  I did go through a phase in junior high where I tried not to wear them.  I also went through a phase of being called by my middle name around that same time.  Neither worked for me.

Next generation glasses!
Fast forward to probably the past decade.  Now, if you don't need glasses, you can get clear lens so you can still wear them.  My daughter Marissa (who does need glasses) has invested in several pairs so she can choose, depending on her mood.  Daughter Madison used to just put on glasses for fun.  Now she is a diagnosed necessary wearer (for reading anyway).  But why stop there?  She just likes to wear them. Finally, the other day I say a picture of my niece Rachael, wearing glasses.  I had to ask - necessary or fashion. Turns out, a little of both (think Madison).

Necessity and fashion aside, as long as my eyes can see, I will be sporting a pair.

Until next time,

your pal,

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What is the why?

What we do everyday is make choices.  All.  Day.  Long.  Sometimes these choices are different than others made in similar situations.  Or, we might make the same choices, in the same circumstances, over and over again.

And we will continue to do so until we understand the why.  Not all "whys" are profound, yet they must be examined to understand the eventual outcome.

What do I need to do, (for example) to quit losing the same three pounds, every other week?  More importantly is the why.  Could it be that one week I am respectful of my body and my diet, exercising diligently, monitoring portions, saying no to dessert (at least some of the time).  Followed by the next week of hit and miss exercise, lack of understanding when it comes to portion control and
it's apparently KATY BAR THE DOOR as my intent seems to erode around the possibilities of cookies, dessert wine, etc. etc. etc.

And that is just one What is the Why?

What possesses me to repeat some of my old mistakes, when I know the outcome.  Again, I need to review the why.  It is always so telling. What do they say the definition of insanity is?

Doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting a different outcome.

Are we all just a little crazy?

Throughout the years, I have listened to conversations between siblings, parents with children, etc. and many times I can guarantee where the conversation will go.....based on the initial words spoken. How?  Because they are navigating that familiar path, looking for sunshine and roses, when they are plunging head-on off a cliff.  A cliff they are VERY familiar with.

I know there are certain topics I can bring up with my husband (sister, mother, child, friend).  And I can already picture the body language, facial expressions....and this is well before we get to words spoken.  Occasionally I might try going at the topic from a different angle but rarely does the outcome change.  What am I thinking?  Truly, there are times when I have convinced myself that this time will be different.  WHY??

When I have less than positive outcomes, I always try to reflect on "what could I have done differently" that would/could change things.  Many times there are other options, many times there are not.  But it is always helpful for me to understand the why in my what (or the what in my why).

Until next time, when something doesn't work for you, or maybe something does....what is your why behind it?

Your pal,


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Master Chef

In the six decades I have been alive, I have been cooking and baking for five of them.  My first exposure to cooking was when I was in 4-H.   We studied measurements, different types of ingredients, how to read a recipe and how to safely use the stove/oven.  When I was in junior high (which then was grades 7-9) I took Home Economics.  Not only did I continue to learn how to prepare food, I also learned the basics of sewing.

My brother and I were quite adventuress when it came to trying our hand at new things in the kitchen. One major memory is when my two uncles were in Kansas visiting, Erik and I decided to make them breakfast.  At that time the eggs were prepared over-easy (something Madison wouldn't even recognize because I gave that up long before her time) and we fried the bacon.  My recall is that the meal was an amazing success.  We were probably around 13-14 years old.  Mom's memory will be slightly different.  Since we were preparing this feast before school (and she was already at work), when she came home she saw all the "failed" attempts.  There truly is more than one truth to a story.

Mini meatloaf with
Roasted green beans w/almonds
Roasted cube potatoes
Fast forward just a couple of years and Erik and I also became quite familiar with the Betty Crocker cookbook for kids.  We quickly became fans of baking and not just cookies and brownies (which we promptly divided equally among us five kids and bagged separately).  We left nothing to chance on equality.   We baked a castle cake.  This was quite a project and I believe it was for Mom's birthday.  I only wish we had pictures (and that old cookbook) now.

Through my adult life, I have gravitated more to baking.  All my girls learned to cook with me and know their way around the kitchen.  Again, baking seems to resonate with all of us.

Until now!

Lemongrass Pork Burger with
Sweet Potato Fries
Margarita optional

Yes, just when you think there can be no more new experiences in life, I have been introduced to "Hello Fresh".  This opportunity has been wonderful.  Not only are we clean eating, healthy, fresh foods, I have been exposed to ingredients I have never used before.  Not only new ingredients but new ways to prepare that chicken breast that we have been eating regularly for too many years to count.

Every Tuesday my Hello Fresh box arrives complete with three new recipes and all the ingredients needed to make these three dinners.  For example, last week we enjoyed Pan-Seared Chicken with Herbs De Provence served over a warm Farro, Mozzarella and Tomato Jumble.  NO, we were not eating in a restaurant - this is K's kitchen going on.  And when I plate this ensemble, my photos are not FAILS when compared to the original.  If I do say so myself, I have got it going on.  And what the heck is Farro?


This Tuesday the box had not arrived when it was time to begin dinner.  Okay, Kari, get out the frozen boneless chicken breasts you keep on hand for this emergency and pop them in the oven. While those were baking I also decided on broccoli florets along with quinoa and bulgar.  Wow, I didn't even know how to prepare those a few weeks ago - now it graces my pantry.  Still concerned that the chicken would lack in flavor, I quickly tossed together a sauce to serve over the meal.  WHO AM I?  I promise you, before, I might have slapped a bottle of barbecue sauce on the table.

Meals used to be something that just needed to be prepared and eaten. Now I relish the prep time. Apparently I have become a Master Chef.

Special thanks go out to my sister Katy and niece for introducing me to this phenomena.

Until next time,

Your pal,
Kari, M.C.

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