Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Instant Pot!

Today has been great and it has been so much fun, because Drew & Ellie, our dear world-traveling friends came to see us this morning.

The minute they arrived we started talking non-stop and we laughed so much my back is aching. I knew this would happen to my back, but seeing them is well worth it.

When they arrived we sat around in the big room drinking coffee. And I served them the delicious black bean brownies that I had made a few days ago and like us—they loved them, too. And Ellie even asked me for the recipe, so I printed one out for her.

When we were discussing eating whole food plant-based foods, because for several years they have been eating this way, we started trading recipes and they gave us some helpful tips to help keep us on track, etc.

At one point when Drew noticed that we have an Instant Pot, he told us that they have one and then he asked if he could cook lunch for us, because he wanted to show me how to cook this easy soup recipe. And of course our answer was yes.

Then Ellie went out to their RV and returned with all of the ingredients he needed to cook us soup: carrots, celery, rice, Edwards & Sons Not-Chick'n 4 bouillon cubes and a package of Quorn Meatless Pieces (chicken). And as Drew chopped up the vegetables I took these pictures of the packages.

Thirty minutes later after Drew had seasoned the soup with some salt and pepper, we enjoyed eating his incredibly delicious soup and Tony ate a second bowl of it, because he loved it so much. 

 A few hours later—Bottom  Line: We hated adios-ing these two special people, because we love them so much.

After they drove away I was feeling a little down because they had gone and I knew it could be months or even a year before we would see them again. 

Anyway after I had cleaned up the kitchen my mild depression didn't last very long, because we had to go to the Post Office, in Medina, so I could pick up my George Foreman 4 Serving Grill & Panini. Also we went to Medina, because Tony had to go the Medina Ace Hardware to buy some air compressor parts that he needed for a job.

 When we got back home I opened up the box. Omg, I love this grill and I cannot wait to grill us some delicious vegetables on it. And now I am wondering if I could grill pancakes on it since I no longer have a waffle maker.

And that is about it for this evening, because I plan to do some writing and editing.

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Twice As Much!

Today has been great. This morning Tony walked into the kitchen and announced, "I've lost 11 pounds!" And he was so thrilled about it, he did notice the waffle maker, inside the trash can.

"I've lost 6 pounds," I said, as I covered up the waffle maker with a couple of paper towels. "And I know it is not water weight, because I'm drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day." Then Tony left to go to work next door for a few hours. And I tied up the trash bag and took it outside.

Feeling a little jealous, because Tony had lost almost twice the amount of weight than me I decided to get some exercise, so I finished drinking my cup of coffee and then I washed it down with two glasses of ice cold water. Then I went outside and started pushing the lawn mower around for a few hours. And I got everything mowed before Tony came home for lunch.

This afternoon Tony and I had to go to Kerrville to wash and dry a load of laundry, at the Country Clean Laundromat, and to buy more vegetables and fruits.

When Tony and I were walking up to the laundromat, a friendly voice opened the front door and Kinky greeted us, "Hi Nance and Tone!" So we had a fun visit with him, outside and before we adios-ed each other Kinky had invited Tony and me to eat lunch with him and Dylan, at 2:30. But we declined his invitation, because of bad timing and also because we had already made plans to go visit Sandy & Jon, at Wolfmueller's Books, while waiting for our laundry to dry.

While our laundry washed, at the Country Clean Laundromat, Tony and I went to the big H-E-B to get gas and to buy more whole plant based groceries . And after we returned to the laundromat we tossed our clothes, etc. into a big dryer and then we went to go visit Sandy & Jon for thirty minutes, because the dry was set for 42 minutes.

We had a wonderful visit with Jon & Sandy. We caught up on each others latest news and we also did a lot of laughing. And that is about it for now.

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Rinse & Repeat! or Waffeling!

Today and the last few days have been great. We worked a lot, at Escondida Resort and when I wasn't working I spent most all of time writing or sleeping and I spent the other hours shopping for vegetables and fruits and preparing us delicious, healthy meals. So yes, Tony and I are still only eating vegetables and fruits and we really are loving this new lifestyle change. Plus the pounds are melting away. And it is not water weight, because we are daily drinking a ton of water and eating as much vegetables and fruits as we want.

The other evening, at Escondida, while we working in the kitchen, Rob grilled these beautiful, delicious vegetables outside and they were so tasty it inspired me to try to grill us some vegetables. So the other day I picked up some vegetables when we went to the big H-E-B. for groceries. Here is a picture that I took of Rob's grilled veggies that Escondido's guests raved about.

Yesterday morning around 7:00, when Tony and I were drinking coffee, before going to work—the electricity went out. So I stayed home and Tony went up to the top of the pass to phone in the outage. Then he went to Escondida to see if their electricity was out, too. And they too had no electricity. 

Then Tony came back home and told me that the Bandera Electric was aware of the outage and they were working on it. And we should be getting our electricity turned back on around 9:00.

Then Tony went back over to Escondida to work. I stayed home, because I did not want to leave our dogs  alone without electricity.

Around 8:45, knowing that we would have power soon and I needed to go to work, I jumped into the shower to wash my hair. And everything was fine until I had lathered up, because suddenly there was no more water, because the pump had no electricity.

So  there I stood in the shower covered in shampoo and soap with no way of rinsing it off. So I dried myself off with a towel and then I waited for the power to come back on, so I could do a do-over—like the shampoo bottle suggests—Rinse & Repeat. And the good news is the electricity finally came back on around 9:30 and I went next door to work for a few hours.

This morning while Tony was next door working I was cooking and preparing our dog's breakfast for tomorrow morning and I decided to multi-task and that can be very risky for someone my age.  

Anyway while the dog's brown rice was cooking in my Instant Pot, the first thing I did was mix up a batch of black bean brownies using dates (sugar substitute), raw almond butter, vanilla, natural non-alkalized cocoa powder and ground chia seeds. Then I tossed them into the 200 degree oven for them to bake for 90 minutes.

With so much time on my hands, I finished preparing our dog's breakfast and then I put it into the refrigerator. 

Then I decided to make us healthy (non-alcohol) Bloody Mary juice to drink with our lunch. Here are the ingredients that I juiced together: tomatoes, red bell peppers, celery, lemon juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper.

After I put the faux Bloody Mary juice inside the fridge to chill, I cleaned the juicer and put it back where it belongs, on the counter.

Then I decided to try to cook the squash and zucchini like Rob did the other night. But I did not want to grill it outside, so I went hunting for my small, pink, George Foreman (dorm-sized) Grill, but I could not find it anywhere.

I was really disappointed about not finding it, so I got creative. I pulled out my waffle maker machine and decided to try using it to grill the vegetables.

Because the brownies were still baking in the toaster oven, I knew it would take at least 5 minutes to cook two sliced veggies at a time, on the waffle maker, so I decided to water-sauté a few mushrooms, because we are suppose to eat mushrooms everyday. 

When Tony came home for lunch I had just pulled the cooked brownies out of the oven to cool.

 And I had also just finished grilling the last of the vegetable waffles. And yes I know they don't look as pretty as Rob's beautiful, grilled vegetables with the grill marks. But I'm fine with it, because I like the little, square dimples pressed into my grilled veggies.

When Tony saw my dented grilled vegetables he teased me about using the waffle maker instead of grilling them outside, while I sliced up a Roma tomato and then we ate lunch.

Our lunch was totally delicious and we also had a delicious brownie for dessert, because we had to, because we are supposed to eat at least one serving of beans everyday. Here are pictures of the healthy lunch that I prepared for us today.

P.S. I do not recommend using a waffle maker to "grill" vegetables, because I think mine is ruined, with stuck on burnt veggies. I tried heating it up and let it burn-off, but I can't get it clean enough to use again. So I guess next the time we have company I will be cooking them pancakes instead of Belgian waffles.

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Day 4!

Today has been great. Tony and I worked this morning and tonight we will be working again, at Escondida Resort. So this is going to be a short post.

Well today is day 4 of our diet lifestyle change and Tony and I can already tell we are losing some weight, because our faces don't look fat. But then again, it could just be my poor eyesight.

For lunch today I really knocked it out of the ball park. I water-sautéed all of these vegetables:
purple cabbage, zucchini, onion, corn, black beans, cauliflower, garlic, carrots, mushrooms and I seasoned it with Bragg's Amino Protein. And it was so delicious, I was going to show you a picture of my plate, but it was not a pretty picture even though it was so tasty.

Never mind. Here is the picture anyway.

I made us smoothies using these ingredients: cabbage, kale, beet, blueberries and almond milk. And yes, it was delicious, too. (Note: That is Henry Standing Bear and Beau Bridges looking out the front window.)

Then for our afternoon snack I used our juicer and made us Pear Bear juice. For several years this has been one of our favorite juices and here is the recipe:

Cousin Nancy's Pear Bear Juice

2 Beets
1/2 Lemon
2 Carrots
1 Apple
1 Pear
1" of Ginger

Tomorrow after we work in the morning Tony and I are going to Kerrville to stock up on more vegetables and fruits. And since our dogs love the scrambled eggs with brown rice, kale and carrots so much—we'll up a couple of cartons of eggs for them. So Life is good.

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

One Board At A Time!

The last few days have been great. Sunday afternoon Carol came over to see us and we got to show-off our new ceilings. And needless to say Carol was totally impressed with Danny's and Ernest's beautiful kitchen and big room ceiling.

And Carol also loved our bedroom ceiling that Tony and I put up—one board at a time.

Anyway, while she was visiting with us in our much cooler, air-conditioned big room, we got to talking about the healthy, plant-based whole food diet, because she has been doing it religiously for a very long time. She absolutely loves eating plant-based whole foods and she swears by it.

Carol talked about watching the documentary What the Health, on Netflix, and I thought I had seen it a few years ago, because after watching it, if I remember right, I had downloaded the Kindle version of Dr. Fuhrman's EAT TO LIVE COOKBOOK. But because I realized I don't enjoy looking at cookbooks on Kindle—here is a picture of my hardback copy.

Anyway after we had adios-ed each other I decided to check out the documentary to make sure that I had seen it. Bottom   Line: I had not watched this documentary and I totally loved it. So Monday morning, Tony and I only ate plant based foods.

This meant no more red meat, chicken, fish, pork, lamb, dairy, fried foods, sugar, white rice and white flour products. Needless to say Tony was not all that guns-ho about it. (Because he had not watched the What the Health documentary.) But Tony was a good sport about it as I filled our grocery cart with vegetables and fruits, etc.

Tuesday afternoon Tony and I met Kris & Jim for lunch, at the Acapulco restaurant and on our way there Tony asked if it would be okay with me if he got off of the diet and ate carne gaisada. I told him, "Sure. But I am only going to eat side orders of: guacamole, charro beans and corn tortillas." But the truth is I actually ate a serving of guacamole, charro beans, corn tortillas and rice. Because I had forgotten about not eating white rice. My mistake.

Long story short, last night Tony and I watched What the Health together and after we watched it Tony told me that he was glad he watched the documentary and he was now ready to get serious about only eating plant-based whole foods.

So today for our lunch I water-sautéed all of these vegetables: cabbage, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, red kidney beans (already cooked) and garlic and I seasoned it with Bragg's Amino Protein (natural soy sauce). It was totally delicious and this is what my plate looked like.

And instead of us drinking water or milk with our meal, I used Jaws, my Vita-mix machine, and made us delicious, healthy smoothies using: kale, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, frozen mixed fruit, banana and almond milk. And the second Bottom    Line: It was totally delicious, too!

As I finish writing this here is a link to a short YouTube video of Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen Check List, if you are interested in eating whole food plant-based foods. And here is the link to the What the Health trailer. And here is a picture that I took of sweet Henry Standing Bear napping in our much cooler cabin.

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!

P.S. Because I watched What the Health, I am now cooking our dogs breakfast using: scrambled eggs, brown rice, carrots, kale and vegetable broth, etc.—using eggs instead of hot dogs.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Thank You, Danny! We Love You!

Today has been incredibly great thanks to our dear friend Danny and his awesome helper Ernest!
Bottom    Line: We have the prettiest and best insulated ceiling in Texas!!!

I keep pinching myself, because it looks so beautiful and The Cabin is so cool, in so many ways.

Thank you, Danny! We love you!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Be Cool!

Today has been great and this past week has simply flown by. It is hard for me to know where to start telling all of the things that have been going on, so I will just highlight the main events.

As y'all already know Tony and I put in a ceiling in the bedroom and it was a ton of work, especially for Tony, because he had to nail up one board after another and  then shoved the pink insulation between each rafter.

Anyway, because we were so thrilled how much our/his work helped cool the house we decided to go ahead and do the rest of The Cabin—the kitchen and the big room.

Long story short the other day when our dear friend Danny was here, Tony told him about our upcoming ceiling project. Danny offered to install the new ceiling and it turns out that Tony and him worked out a trade, so the only thing that would cost us was the materials.

So this past Saturday Tony and I took the day off from working next door and we worked here—helping (gopher-ing for) Danny and Ernest, his electrician helper. And just so you'll know, before we started The Cabin's front porch looked like Medina's version of Home Depot and the inside of The Cabin looked like a tornado had hit it.

With the four of us excited about putting in the ceiling by end of day things went south fast, because all 22 rafters were hanging at various heights from the roof and we also needed more electrical work than anticipated. So to say the least I tried to be optimistic about it all, but it was hard trying not to frown even though Danny had figured out a solution.

In no time flat Danny and Ernest started running string lines from the kitchen to the front door, underneath the rafters, etc. so they they could accurately measure and make each rafter the same height from the roof 

It took several hours for them to "rip" 22 strips from 2 x4s. And basically one end of the strip would be as tall as 3 inches and would go from 3" down to a thin sliver. And the pictures below shows some of the strips in place. (They are the white looking strips nailed to the bottom of the rafters.)

And while Danny and Ernest were fixing things Tony pulled me aside and suggested that I go work on my writing cabin, because I was talking to much to Danny, when he was trying to think.

My feelings weren't hurt, because I knew Tony was right, so I hauled several boards to my writing cabin while Tony was setting up the chop saw and connecting the nail guns to the air compressor, so I could work inside the cabin. And in no time at all I was chopping wood, nailing boards, etc. while listening to my music.

Around 6:00, the four of us called it a day, because we were all tired and exhausted from the heat. And even though only six sheets of 4 x 8 OSB were hung up and the insulation installed we all felt good, because all of the building issues and electrical issues had been solved and fixed. And the only thing that left for us to do was put up the OSB sheets and insert the insulation. And this is how we left things, until Danny and Ernest come back this Saturday to finish putting up the ceiling. Then we will be done with expensive electric bills and be cool and comfortable.

And to my disbelief I honestly do love the new OSB ceiling, even though Danny had suggested that we paint it. But I've decided not to paint it, because it looks rustic just the way it is. So all is great.

This afternoon Tony and I went to Kerrville to run a few errands and I purchased a new rain gauge, at Home Depot, because when we had that freak hail storm it broke pieces out of the top yellow funnel—giving us inaccurate rain counts.

And here is our new magnified rain gauge that we purchased for less than $4.00!.

And that is about it for today, because Tony and I are going to go visit with Kent & Ruthie (Ruth Buzzi) and Sarah next door, at Escondida Resort. And then I plan to write the rest of the evening.

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Big Foot Ranch!

Today has been great. This morning while Tony worked next door for a few hours, I felt guilty for not working, so I ended up mowing over here. Big Foot Ranch now looks beautiful once again and the only mowing left to do is down by the mailbox and the driveway entrance.

It appears that Tony and I will be working a lot of hours, next door, for the rest of this week, so I doubt that I will have much time to write a post for my blog.

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Stuffed Chicken!

Saturday and today have been great. Yesterday afternoon my dear friend Carol called and left a short message. She said that she could not wait for Tony and me to come over to her ranch, because she was finally finished decorating her newly painted kitchen and the big room.

You see about a month ago Carol decided to take a leap of faith and have her beautiful kitchen and big room painted—white. She was a little nervous or better said, "a little reluctant" about painting over the beautiful wood covered walls. And my advice to her was to do if that's what she wanted to do. It is your home and besides, if you don't like it you can always remove the paint.

Yesterday evening Tony and I had a about an hour before we needed to go to work, so I called Carol and then we went over there.

Well, my jaw dropped to the floor when we entered her beautiful home, because I loved everything—the color of the white paint, the rugs, the furniture arrangement, the to-die-for ottoman and the paintings she chose to put on the walls.

"Carol, I've always loved your home the way it was and I never dreamed it  could look even more beautiful as it does now....This is totally incredible. It feels so restful and peaceful....I would love to blog about this, because your makeover can not get any better than this. This should be in a magazine or something."

"You can blog about it," Carol said. "I love how it turned out, too. I took before and after pictures and I will send you some..." And before leaving Carol's ranch Carol handed me the cutest, chicken with chicks needlepoint throw pillow—"I know how much you have loved this pillow and I want you to have it....And I can't use it anymore, because it does not go with the decor."

This afternoon, after working next door for a few hours, I checked my e-mail and Carol had sent me the before and after pictures. First I will show you her kitchen makeover and please note that the before picture was taken after she had removed everything from the kitchen, because the painter had requested it.

And this is how her kitchen looked when we saw it yesterday. I loved it so much that I wanted to move in.

Here is a before picture of her cozy, beautiful big room.

Now with the paint and her decorating skills—simply using the stuff that she already had in the house.

Like me, after seeing these makeover pictures, I am sure that you will agree with me that Carol is a natural-born decorator. And as I finish writing this, this evening, here is a picture of my awesome stuffed chicken with  her chicks throw pillow! That I absolutely love. "Thank You, Carol!"

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!