mixed greens salad

Adulting 104

I had all the good intentions of posting this yesterday, but I got sick and spent the entire day blowing my nose into an assortment of paper products. I love you guys and hope your week has been productive and positive.

Shoutout this week to @tylersneverland​ and @bisexualgradient​. Just keep doin’ you!

1. Reuse containers. Get takeout often? Takeout containers are microwave and dishwasher safe, and are often durable enough to substitute as tupperware. Wash and reuse them!

2. Kick the soda habit. Switch to seltzer! Zero calories, carbonated, and they come in so many different flavors. I’m partial to Polar and Schweppes seltzer, but you can buy store brands for a fraction of the price (the Stop & Shop brand is particularly good).

3. Electric budget. Stop what you’re doing and get on a budget with your electric company. Instead of paying for how much electricity you actually use each month, you will pay a monthly flat fee. If you use more, they cannot charge you for it. Electric companies say that people use more electricity in the winter and less in the summer, so the difference evens out. At the end of the year they will issue you a check if they owe you money or credit it to your account. Last year I ended up overpaying and my electric company credited the difference to my account, and I had free electric for two months. 

4. Check your screens. This applies to pets in general, but especially to cats. Before allowing your pet to sit on the window ledge or by the screen door, make sure that the screen is secure. Rental units are notorious for their cheap craftsmanship, I secure my screens with duct tape because they’re so poorly made.

5. Laundry. Doing laundry in a communal area? Always check to make sure that the lint drawer has been properly cleaned before starting your dryer. Not only is it dangerous (I personally know someone whose house burned down because of a rogue dryer) but it will prevent your clothes from drying properly.

6. Soak it. Hard to scrub pot? Fill it with water and soap and let it sit for five minutes- I guarantee you it will be easier to clean. If something is really scorched and difficult to clean, let it soak overnight. 

7. Foaming hand soap. Lasts about three times as long as liquid hand soap, and is roughly the same price.

8. Invest in a multi-functional printer. As a college student, this may seem like a daunting expense, but it’s a necessary one. You can always use a college or library to print or copy at, but some places charge up to 50 cents per copy. If you need a reliable source for printing homework, make the investment. 

9. Skip the mixed salad. Instead of a buying a container of mixed salad greens, purchase only one type of leaf. Each lettuce has its own expiration date, and greens that have a shorter shelf life will go bad and take everything else in the container with them. 

10. Check your blinds. Here’s something I didn’t know before living on my own- there is a right and a wrong way to face blinds. Close your blinds and stand in front of them. Can you see out of them? If you can’t then flip your blinds around the other way. People will be able to see you through the slits in your blinds if they aren’t hung properly.  

6

I’ve been really bad at documenting my outdoor plants’ and garden’s progress so far this season!  So here are a few snaps of what’s been happening! 😌

Peppermint and broadleaf sage have doubled in size since March.

Decided to let this B-52 flytrap flower. If you think most of the leaves/traps look sad and sunburned, they are. I don’t baby them when putting them outside. New growth from the center is green and healthy.

Separated the leaf lettuce mix into two 3-foot pots. They’re the first plants this season to use my homemade compost, so I’m really excited to see how that goes.

The hens are EXPLODING with chicks! Even LAST year’s chicks are exploding with chicks! No signs of flowers, but I’m fine with that.

Quick Profiles + Likes/Dislikes

For marriage candidates only. This is based on my own game experience plus data from the guidebooks.

West Town   

Wayne 
Birthday: Spring 23
Residence: Postino (post office)
Lives by himself and works as a mail carrier.
First Appearance: The game’s opening. 

Personal Details: He’s really friendly and outgoing, and rather flirtatious. Has a lot of fan girls, although he doesn’t take them too seriously, which sometimes gets him into trouble. Despite this, he really hopes to settle down and have a family of his own someday. Hobbies include exercising, reading, and star gazing.   

Favorite Item: Cafe mocha
Really Likes: Coffee, cappuccino, chocolate cookies, almond cookies, baked cheese, perfume
Likes: All flowers (excluding wild), all milk teas, all cheese, all herbs, all coins, lychee, lychee wine, prickly pear cactus
Most Hated: Coconut milk
(He hates coconuts all dishes containing coconuts. He’s also not a big fan of coleslaw…)
Easy gifts are coffee and herbs. 

——————————

Ford
Birthday: Winter 20
Residence: White Capsule (clinic)
Lives by himself and works as a doctor.
First Appearance: Spring 6 (or later), Year 1.   

Personal Details: He’s rather cold and very work-oriented. He has little interest in socializing. Even so, he’s friends with Wayne and Brad, both of whom are younger than he is. He spends lots of time studying and researching new medicine, and sometimes uses the protagonist as a test subject…   

Favorite Item: Soup pistou
Really Likes: Carrots, spinach, bananas, all herbs, coffee, green juice, mixed salad, summer salad
Likes: All vegetables, milk, eggs, tomato juice, carrot juice, fish pie, fried veggies, stir-fried broccoli, green smoothie
Most Hated: Azuki jelly (youkan–ようかん)
(Hates anything spicy or sweet, and also dislikes fish. In other words, he likes bland and healthy foods.)   
Just like Wayne, the easiest gifts are probably coffee and herbs. 

——————————

Lisette/Carolina
Birthday: Fall 5
Residence: Thousand Bouquets (flower shop)
Lives by herself and manages the flower shop.
First Appearance: The game’s opening.   

Personal Details: Very sweet but a little naïve. She speaks fondly of her family, who live in a nearby town. Loves fairy tales, and enjoys handicrafts.   

Favorite Item: Quiche
Really Likes: Anything containing peach (tea, jam, ice cream, etc.), peaches, herb salad, emeralds, hydrangea, water pimpernel (a wild flower)
Likes: All herbs, all cooking that contains herbs, pretty much all flowers (including wild ones), all bouquets, omelette, milk +
Most Hated: Octopus wasabi
(She hates anything with octopus in it.)   
Herbs are an easy gift for her, too. So are peaches, once you have them growing. 


  

Lulucoco Village   

Ludus
Birthday: Spring 12
Residence: Lala Salaama (the inn)
Lives with his grandmother and their dog, and manages the the jack-of-all-trades (mostly, carpentry) shop “Relation.”
First Appearance: Spring 15, Year 1.   

Personal Details: Kind but very direct, and has trouble saying no to anyone who needs his help, regardless of whether it inconveniences him. Many in Lulucoco Village look up to him, and he has the reputation of an “older brother” figure. He was raised by his grandmother and still lives with her. He was raised along with Iluka and Siluka, even though the latter two aren’t related to him (or his grandmother). Even so, he thinks of the twins as his younger sisters.   

Favorite Item:Totomanpura…? I have no idea how to Romanize this, but it’s a spicy fish containing fish.
Really Likes: All lumber (stone and wood), maple branches, pine branches, ginkgo branches, bananas, dishes containing bananas (including sweets), spicy dishes, blue down
Likes: Fruits (that grow on trees), chilli peppers, fish feed, pizza, coins
Most Hated: Sea urchin
(He’s the only marriage candidate whose most hated item is not a cooked dish. He also hates sweets—except for sweets containing bananas. He’s fine with those.)
Lumber is by far the easiest gift for him. BY FAR.   

——————————

Iluka
Birthday: Fall 28
Residence: The twins’ house.
Lives with her sister and manages the beachside cafe.
First Appearance: Spring 15, Year 1.   

Personal Details: A bold, hot-tempered and strong-willed young lady with a sharp tongue. She tends to be kinder around strangers and customers—tends to be. She’s very close to her twin sister, and both she and Siluka were raised by Ludus’s grandmother and refer to her as their own grandmother, even though there is no blood relation. Iluka excels at making drinks, though her cooking skills are a bit lacking.   

Favorite Item: Chai
Really Likes: All tea leaves, hibiscus, hibiscus tea, seasonal milk teas, all herb teas, tapioca milk tea (bubble tea?)
Likes: All flowers (not wild), all jams, all fruits, all juices, all herbs, almost all milkshakes
Most Hated: Amazake (sweet, mild rice wine-甘酒)
(She’s not fond of pickles, spicy dishes, or Japanese-style teas.)
Tea leaves are the easiest gift.   

——————————

Siluka
Birthday: Fall 28
Residence: The twins’ house.
Lives with her sister and works at the beachfront cafe. 
First Appearance: Spring 15, Year 1.   

Personal Details: Extremely laid back and kinda spacey. She’s often in her own little world, and she doesn’t talk much. However, like Iluka, she can be honest (and tactless) to a fault. She’s very close to her twin sister, and both she and Iluka were raised by Ludus’s grandmother and refer to her as their own grandmother, even though there is no blood relation. Siluka is a good cook, and makes most of the food at the cafe. (Iluka makes the drinks.)   

Favorite Item: Fruit sandwich
Really Likes: Strawberries, watermelons, melons, pineapples, all fruits (except mango), tropical salad, fruit salad, ice cream (pineapple, banana, or mango), sherbet (lemon or orange), tarts (orange or lemon)
Likes: Mangoes, cassava, all herbs, breadfruit, avocado
Most Hated: Glazed carrots
(She dislikes just about anything with carrots, and also hates pickles.)
Fruit is an easy gift. 


 
Tsuyukusa Village   

Hinata
Birthday: Summer 11
Residence: Shed behind Daikokuya (the big retail shop in Tsuyukusa Village)
Lives with fellow apprentice Sumomo and a cat, works at Daikokuya.
First Appearance: Summer 5, Year 1.   

Personal Details: Friendly and helpful, he’s another “big brother” type of character who loves to help anyone in need. He’s currently working as an apprentice shopkeeper, but is probably nearing the end of his apprenticeship. He dreams of becoming a professional actor someday, and already works in productions by a local theatre company in his spare time.   

Favorite Item: Tofu steak
Really Likes: White rice, mushroom rice, chirashi-zushi, egg over rice, mitarashi dango(みたらし団子), anpan(あんぱん), daifuku(だいふく), dorayaki(どらやき)

Likes: Red rice, toasted rice balls, takikomi rice(炊き込みご飯), grilled fish, umeboshi(うめぼし), avocado, aloe, yellow down
Most Hated: Coleslaw
(He also hates milk and just about anything made with milk.)
Egg over rice, mushroom rice, and mitarashidango are all easy gifts. In fact, all three Tsuyukusa bachelors like mitarashi dango. 

——————————   

Yuzuki
Birthday: Fall 7
Residence: His grandparents’ farm in southern Tsuyukusa Village. He sleeps and works in the shed next to the house, but eats all his meals with his grandparents.
First Appearance: Summer 25 (or later), Year 1.   

Personal Details: He’s calm and extremely respectful, but has a fairly rocky past. Most of that stems from the fact that he used to be very sickly, and his life was frequently in danger. He eventually grew out of his illness and became a fairly healthy and robust adult. He’s good at handicrafts and absolutely loves sweets—which stems from his sickly days, when he got to eat sweets as a reward for downing nasty medicine. (The game seems to hint that his illness was something related to his metabolism, and regular meals and sticking to a proper diet helped him a lot.)   

Favorite: Grass dumplings
Really Likes: Chestnut rice, yam rice, anpan, mitarashi dango, youkan , castella (sponge cake), kibi dango(きび団子), dorayaki, ujikintoki ice(宇治金時かき氷), strawberry milk ice, monaka (もなか)
Likes: Pudding, donuts, crepes, vanilla ice cream, rice pancake, green tea, green plums, bamboo, pine branches, sakura branches, ginkgo branches, maple branches, branches
Most Hated: Coffee (He likes pretty much any Japanese-style (Tsuyukusa) dish under the “desserts” category, and dislikes anything bitter or medicine-like, including actual medicine. He dislikes many vegetable juices.)
Chestnut rice and yam rice are both quite easy. Since Yuzuki can appear no earlier than Summer 25, you’ll just have to wait a few days before you can begin buying chestnuts from Ittetsu. They can be found in the wild, too.   

——————————

Komari
Birthday: Summer 18
Residence: The tea house, “Harahachibunmei.” She lives with her father.
First Appearance: Summer 5, Year 1.   

Personal Details: A cheery and tomboyish waitress. As she’s been trained since childhood to work in her father’s tea house, she has never been able to make time for other hobbies, and therefore doesn’t really have any. She focuses on cooking and serving customers. Though she’s good at her job, she has a bit of a temper, and sometimes gets into big arguments with her father, right in front of customers.   

Favorite: Softshelled-turtle soup
Really Likes: Wasabi, octopus wasabi, white rice, yam rice, red rice, sea urchin rice bowl, amazake, green plum tea, rice (processed but uncooked), yuba(ゆば), fugu stew
Likes: Sweet potatoes, baked yam, boiled eggs, three egg fried egg, chestnut rice, takikomi rice, green tea, soy milk cookie, green plum
Most Hated: Yogurt rice
(As you can see, she likes a lot of traditional Japanese dishes. She hates milk and many things that contain milk.)
White rice and wasabi are both pretty easy—rice can be bought and easily cooked at home, and wasabi is the fastest-growing of the paddy crops.   

——————————

Kasumi
Birthday: Winter 26
Residence: Kasumi’s house. She lives alone.
First Appearance: Summer 15 (or later), Year 1.   

Personal Details: A serious and mature but fairly androphobic teacher. She’s long had issues with men, even though she was trained in a lot of masculine arts herself—such as archery, horse riding, and wielding the naginata. Her speech and mannerisms toward the protagonist will change dramatically depending on whether you’re male or female.   

Favorite: Kenchin soup
Really Likes: Mushroom soup, spinach soup (suimono–吸い物), red rice, mushroom rice, mackeral and daikon(さばだいこん), oden(おでん), matcha, green tea
Likes: Eggs, persimmons, grilled fish, boiled eggs
Most Hated: Nata de Coco
 (Hates anything sweet.)
Kasumi is a woman of discerning taste. She has the shortest “likes” list of all the marriage candidates. Once you have the recipe and ingredients, tea may be the easiest gift. Grilled fish, eggs, and boiled eggs are easy, too. 

——————————  

Inari-chama
Birthday: Fall 11
Residence: The Inari’s shrine. They can ALWAYS be found in northern Tsuyukusa Village, usually around the shrine.
First Appearance: Fall 1, Year 1.   

Personal Details: A divine being who watches over Tsuyukusa Village. Cannot be seen by the rest of the villagers, some who even doubt that they exist… Inari-chama is very serious, and tends to overthink things. They’re a hard worker and try to carry out their duties as thoroughly as possible, and will get depressed when they can’t help someone out as much as they’d like to.   

Favorite: Inari-zushi
Really Likes: Mitarashi dango, azuki beans, dorayaki, daifuku, unprocessed rice, soybeans, three-egg fried egg, youkan, kibi dango, monaka, grass dumplings, kitsune udon(きつねうとん),senbei (rice crackers–せんべい), aburaage (あぶらあげ)
Likes: Grilled fish, baked yam, chestnut rice, yam rice, egg over rice, castella, shiso juice, matcha, green tea, rice pancake, boiled egg
Most Hated: Kimchi
(Hates anything spicy, and isn’t very fond of things you foraged, either.)
Inari-chama prefers food that’s been cooked. They’re especially partial to Japanese sweets, but like almost all Japanese-style dishes—provided they’re not spicy. Anything containing wasabi or chili peppers is a no-no.

I done made my first fursona.

I’ve got a commission (message me if you want one) for a Kitsune coming up that I’m excited about but I thought I’d get a lil warning shot out there.


Ever find yourself eating a salad in a café and suddenly a good friend walks in and you go “OMG HIIIIIIII!”

Yeah well, that’s this Fursona. Except instead of a wolf in sheep’s clothing it’s a rabbit in lion’s clothing.

I am a rabbit. In lion’s clothing.

Re: The Following Weight Loss Tips (stay tuned)

I have been on a weight loss plateau for a looong time. No matter what healthy changes I made, I couldn’t shake even a single pound. Instead, if I’d indulge a little for a day or two, I’d gain even more weight. Here I was working my butt off to lose weight, but instead of making progress, I’d backslide even with minor cheat meals. It was discouraging to say the least. On paper, I should have been dropping pounds like flies, as the saying goes. I was

- jogging two miles a day
- lifting weights at the gym to my max capability
- yet the weight I gained wasn’t due to increased muscle mass
- drinking 64 oz a day with no additives
- NEVER drinking soda (regular or diet)
- eating 1,000 calories less than the calories burned for the day (I’d keep track and log and measure everything every day with my Fitbit and the Fitbit app)
- drinking green tea religiously
- exercising a few minutes every day using my own weight as resistance, such as planks
- drinking daily smoothies with power greens, berries, pasteurized eggs, almond milk, flax seed, bananas, etc.

Gluten (found in anything that comes from wheat, barley, or rye) would trigger major depressive episodes and a host of other problems, so I’d avoid it like the plague. That means I wasn’t eating

- bread
- pasta made from whole wheat or white flour or even veggie pasta with gluten added as a binder
- normal pizza (it had to have a gluten-free crust)
- cake
- cookies
- pie
- the crust of cheesecake
- Chinese noodles and wontons (usually made with regular flour)

I started to feel the effects of overtraining and how it can cause adrenal fatigue, so I cut out foods that would aggravate that. That meant I avoided foods that would trigger the adrenals to have to manufacture and release adrenaline unnecessarily, so I avoided anything with a higher glycemic index/load, such as

- refined sugar
- unrefined sugar
- honey
- agave nectar
- white rice
- maple syrup (natural or made with mostly corn syrup)
- tea
- more than one cup of coffee
- artificial sweeteners
- fruit juice of any kind
- dried fruit (dried cranberries were my weakness, but most add sugar, and dried fruit concentrates even natural sugars)
- any chocolate with less than 70% cocoa (dark chocolate IS good for you - in moderation)

If you have to sweeten something up a little just like I do, use stevia and erythritol, as unprocessed as possible. They are natural, are the next best thing as far as taste, and have no glycemic impact/load. I have to allow myself to have a little bit of sweetness in my oatmeal and smoothies or anything else that I’d feel deprived without. It doesn’t cause that blood sugar high and crash or increase appetite as any other sweetener would. I’ll talk more about that later in my tips.

Because of the overtraining, I was packing my body with macronutrients, eating everything from salmon, black beans, eggs, oatmeal, broccoli, rice, kale, mixed berries, broccoli, mixed salad greens, olive oil, lettuce, carrots, quinoa, flax seed, plain nonfat yogurt, ricotta cheese, unsweetened almond milk, bananas, etc. while still keeping at 1,000 calories less than I burned. Between that and getting sufficient sleep at night, I was feeling pretty good, but I STILL was not losing any weight. Rather, I’d still gain with any nutritional indiscretion.

HERE IS THE PART WHERE I SUDDENLY STARTED LOSING WEIGHT. I’ve finally lost between 7 to 10 pounds and am going strong, which isn’t a lot, but I’ve shattered the plateau and finally started dropping pounds like flies. I don’t have a lot of weight loss tips yet, but what I do have is working, so it’s all that’s really needed. I’ll also add tips as I come across them.

In your quest for weight loss, you can pick and choose what works for you, though the obvious ones that you can’t do without in moderation, are

- get adequate sleep
- exercise a couple of times a week, even if it’s only a little bit
- reduce sugar intake, even if you’re still staying under your desired calorie intake
- cut out anything sugar free that uses artificial sweeteners
- CUT OUT ALL SODA, regular or diet
- cut back on refined foods
- increase water intake
- burn more calories a day than you consume, even if the gap is minimal
- eat at least something every every day with some nutrition (A carrot stick? A teaspoon of brown rice? A piece of cheese? A tablespoon of peanut butter? A reasonably small square of dark chocolate? A yogurt? Fish? Eggs? Lean red meat? Chicken? Milk? Whole grain cereal with minimal added sugar? Oatmeal? A handful of nuts? An orange or apple? If feeling really adventurous and committed, a tasty smoothie with frozen berries, and/or mango, pineapple, bananas, protein powder, cherries, peaches, etc. to add flavor to your kale, mixed salad greens, almond milk and/or uncooked stir fry veggies? Surely there’s something in that list that you’d like, and thinking you’re covering that by eating cake or pizza doesn’t count. 😊)
- reduce juice intake

Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head, though I’m sure there are more.

Don’t completely deprive yourself of things you like to eat unless they cause a bad reaction to your health, such as food allergies or diabetes, or you won’t stick with the lifestyle change. If you do indulge, just keep it in moderation. Find an exercise activity that you enjoy so you’ll stick with it.

I hope this helps you, and I wish you a HAPPY LOSING! You CAN do it!

BIn41 Sneak Peek, by request...

I had a CuriousCat request to post a BIn sneak peek, so here ya go:


Robin texts her on Friday around noon, when he finally wakes up: Hope you got some sleep last night. Dreamt of you all morning.

She answers a few minutes later, telling him, I did. Thanks.

Robin frowns. That was a bit… short, particularly for someone who’d had him balls deep inside her last night. Then he remembers just why, and that she’d said she needed a few days to work off her anger, so he texts: Still pissed?

Mmhmm. It’ll pass.

He sighs, and tells her, I’ll leave you to your work then. Call if you need anything.

He considers it a small consolation that she replies at all, even more so that she tells him, Thanks, I will. And thanks for last night.

So not all bad, then, he deduces with a little smile, unable to resist the urge to text back: Your knickers were thanks enough luv, with a devilish little emoji as punctuation.

Speaking of… He rolls over, fishing her thong from the pocket of the jeans he’d left crumpled on the floor when he’d fallen into bed early this morning, then flops back onto his mattress with a sigh just as his phone buzzes again.

It’s another text from her, three words that make him laugh out loud: With. Your. Life.

On my honor, I swear to protect them, he shoots back and then he tosses the phone aside, and lifts the little scrap of fabric. He hooks a fingertip in either side of the waistband and holds them up, finally getting a good look  – he hadn’t really had much of a chance last night, now, had he?

It’s just a small triangle of pale grey, not cotton, something softer than that, with lavender lace along the waistband. Her bra had been lavender, too, come to think of it – quite possibly this exact lavender, and lacy, just like this. It occurs to him then it was probably a set, and no wonder she hadn’t been keen on parting with them.

Alas, too late now, he thinks with a smirk and very little remorse.

She has such a bloody tiny waist, he muses, giving the lace a little stretch and turning her knickers around to appreciate the back side – or lack thereof. God, she must have looked bloody incredible in this; he almost regrets not taking her skirt off altogether so he could enjoy the view.

Almost.


Not quite.


The view had been pretty spectacular as it was. Really, incredibly fantastic.

He’s just settling in to enjoy the memory of it, of her on top of him, all wild and fierce (and yes, angry, but it appears it’s an anger that will blow over, so he’s willing to overlook that for now), just starting to mull over the lovely details, and feeling his cock start to stir when he hears the pounding scamper of feet up the stairs, and a voice calling his name – “Robin?”

His heart lurches when he realizes it’s Henry, and he has just enough time to shove the boy’s mother’s knickers (Christ, she’d absolutely murder him) under his pillows before his door swings open, and Tuck comes bounding in, Henry behind him.

Nothing has ever killed a boner faster. Thank God he’d still had his shorts on.

Henry skids to a stop and scowls at the sight of Robin still in bed, asking, “Why aren’t you up yet? It’s lunchtime.”

“For you, maybe,” Robin tells him, sitting up and hoping he doesn’t look nearly as panic-stricken as he feels. “Some of us work late and sleep late.”

“Oh,” Henry remembers, with a look of regret. “Did I wake you up?”

“No, I was awake,” Robin assures him, swinging his legs off to the side and pulling on those same jeans, because, well, they’re there, and they’re clean enough. He spies the open condom wrapper that he’d pocketed on the floor where it must have slipped free at some point, and sends up another prayer of thanks, this time for the fact that Henry is on the other side of the bed.

“What did you want?” he asks, as he toes it surreptitiously under the bed and fully out of sight.

“I was bored,” Henry shrugs. “I thought maybe you could show me some new stuff on the guitar. Or we could go to the park or something.”

One of those sounds like it takes a bit too much brainpower for his newly awakened self, the other a bit too much energy. So Robin suggests instead, “How about we start with some lunch?”

.::.

The flaw in this whole lunch plan becomes apparent as soon as they get to the kitchen. He and John are, to put it plainly, shit at keeping a full fridge. With John away so often for work, and Robin eating half his weekly dinners at the bar, they don’t need to keep a whole lot of food in the house – not proper food anyway.

And he’d meant to do some shopping today on his day off – refresh their stores of white bread and cold cuts and cheese. Pick up some proper fruit and veg for the weekend with Roland, and restock his supply of mac and cheese, maybe get some hot dogs to throw in, or one of those ready-made rotisserie chickens.

But as he’s just rolled out of bed, he hasn’t exactly had a chance to do that yet, so they’re left to fend for themselves with what they’ve got: a tomato that’s starting to wrinkle a bit, some eggs, a carton of milk he pulls out and takes a whiff of – and then regrets with a wince, setting it back on the shelf with a stern reminder to himself to dump the little that’s left down the drain later. Some three-day-old take-out pork lo mein, and a lime.

Well, then.

Robin zeroes in on the eggs, suggesting, “How about some fried egg sandwiches?”

He has enough bread, and there’s a half-spent jar of ketchup in the fridge door. It’ll do for lunch.

And Henry is game, tells him, “Sure,” with an agreeable shrug, so Robin reaches in and pops open the carton to find one lonely egg resting inside.

Right.

He looks at Henry and asks, “I don’t suppose your mum has eggs?”

She does – of course she does – so they head next door, dog in tow, and take advantage of Regina’s decidedly fuller fridge.

She’s down to the last egg in the carton as well – but there’s another full dozen resting underneath it. The ketchup he pulls from the door is organic, the bread they find in the breadbox is a hearty seven-grain – not ideal if you ask him (there’s something nice about the bland, pillowy softness of WonderBread when it comes to an egg sandwich) but it’ll do.

She’s also got a crisper full of apples, a half-full carton of raspberries, two cartons of milk (a quart of skim that he imagines is hers, and a half gallon of 2% for Henry), a small pyramid of yogurts, some fresh-from-the-deli shaved turkey, and a packet of pork chops. There’s one of the plastic cartons of ready-made mixed greens for salads, a carton of cherry tomatoes, and a cucumber.

It’s a well-stocked pinnacle of health that puts his paltry bachelor pad selection to shame, and he’s half-tempted to beg her guidance for his own shopping. But then, half of it would probably just go bad on the shelf, and that’d be a waste, wouldn’t it?

And it’s neither here nor there at the moment, so he puts the thought aside, and gets to making their eggs.

Henry watches, and helps, pulling out four slices of bread at Robin’s urging, and cutting up a couple of apples for them with this corer-slicer thing that is handy enough Robin makes a mental note to look into getting one himself for Roland’s snacktime.

Before too long they’re settled at the table, munching away at their sandwiches and apple pieces, Robin occasionally tossing Tuck bits of that turkey from the fridge (he and Henry have sworn a pact of secrecy about feeding table scraps to the dog).

Two bites in, Henry declares, “This is really good,” and Robin discovers the boy has never had a fried egg sandwich before in his life.

“You’re joking,” he tells him, and then he decides, “No, you’re probably not, are you? Now I regret making it with fancy bread – you should have had a proper one.”

“Mom says that white bread is a waste of calories, unless it’s homemade or from France,” Henry tells him, and Robin snorts a little laugh.

“That sounds like something your mum would say,” he chuckles, adding, “I bet she’d have a stroke if she saw my fridge.”

“Probably,” Henry shrugs munching away. “Why don’t you buy better food? Or more food.”

Robin smirks and tells him, “To be honest, I’m rather a lazy git, or at least – when it comes to food only I’m going to eat, I don’t care as much. I was going to go shopping today – for Roland. But during the week, I don’t really cook all that much, so I don’t need a lot of food.”

“If you don’t need very much, then you should buy better stuff than just eggs and beer,” Henry tells him, and Robin snorts.

Touché.

“Maybe I’ll ask your mum for some pointers,” Robin tells him, taking a bite of his sandwich after he adds, “She seems to have things pretty put together.”

Henry answers, “Yeah,” but then he’s frowning into his plate a bit, something clearly on his mind.

The boy’s never had trouble speaking his mind, though, so Robin waits him out, lets him gather his thoughts. After a few seconds, Henry says, “I’m worried about her.”

“Your mum?”

“Yeah,” he confirms. “She hasn’t been, y’know… Mom the last few days? We had a bad weekend, and then she had that headache, and she looks kinda sick. And last night, she went to bed before I even did.”

“She’s having a hard week,” Robin tells him, adding, “She’ll be alright, though; she’s tough,” before taking another bite of his sandwich.

Henry just frowns at him, and then asks, “How would you know? You were here for like five minutes on Tuesday.”

Robin freezes mid-chew.

Right.

All their other visits were a bit more… nocturnal. Henry has no idea – nor should he – that he’s seen Regina nearly every day this week.

He half-finishes chewing, then swallows heavily, and tells the boy, “We text sometimes.”

“You do?”

“Mmhmm,” Robin confirms. “About you, most of the time – if she needs me to take you for a bit, or has a question about your lessons, or whatever. But sometimes just about… life. How our days are going, what’s on our mind. Stuff like that.”

Henry lets out a surprised little Huh, and takes a bite of his own sandwich.

He seems to leave it at that, so Robin counts his blessings, and takes another bite of his own – and then nearly chokes a bit when Henry asks, “Are you my mom’s best friend?”

I am so perfectly content eating dinner alone in the caf every once and a while. I put together a delicious salad: mixed greens, grilled chicken, croutons, black olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots, red onion, cucumbers, chick peas, all tossed in sesame dressing. SO AMAZING.

Feldsalat is also known as Rapunzelsalat, Ackersalat, Mäuseöhrchensalat, Vogerlsalat, and Nüsslisalat in German and lamb’s lettuce, field salad, corn salad, and mâche in English. It’s a seasonal, delicious lettuce in Germany that is grown as a winter or early spring green and often sold with the small main root still attached. It’s famously known as Rapunzel, the vitamin-rich food that cost a peasant family their only daughter in the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. It resists frost and can be harvested well into the winter. It’s available for most of the winter season in German grocery stores. It’s used like lettuce to make salads. It has a nutty taste to it and often comes dressed with a hot bacon vinaigrette, mustard vinaigrette or is used in a mixed greens salad. It has high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, and potassium.

Fasting Meal Plan Ideas

B: coffee, almond milk (10), oatmeal w/ 1 tbsp earth balance (190)
L: baby kale/mixed green salad (15) with 2 tbsp homemade lemon vinaigrette (70)
D: miso soup x2 packets (70) with nori (30)
S: carrots (60) with 3 tbsp no-oil hummus (60), almond milk (35), grape tomatoes (30)
Total: 570 kcal


B: coffee, almond milk (10), coconut yogurt (140)
L: nine-grain bread (140) w/ tofurkey slices (70) and dijon mustard (5)
D: vegetable soup (100) 
S: banana (90), pistachios (100)
Total: 655 kcal


B: coffee, almond milk (10), nine-grain bread w/ earth balance (120)
L: baby kale/mixed green salad (35) with 2 tbsp homemade lemon vinaigrette (70), kalamata olives (50), grape tomatoes (30)
D: miso soup x2 packets (70) with nori (30), pistachios (75)
S: almond milk (35), blueberries (30), rice thins (34) with crunchy peanut butter (85)
Total: 640 kcal

8

Grilled Lamb Chops with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Citrus Wilted Mixed Greens

Ingredients for Lamb Chops + Marinade 

1 lamb shoulder chop per person 

Dry ingredients for marinade: 3 cloves garlic pressed and then minced, granulated garlic, granulated onion, smoked sweet paprika, kosher salt, ground black pepper, dill weed, ground rosemary, red chili flakes, oregano, and lemon zest 

Wet ingredients for marinade: Olive oil and juice from ½ lemon 

Ingredients for Mashed Sweet Potatoes 

Large sweet potatoes, washed, peeled, and cut into cubes 

Unsweetened almond milk

Cinnamon

Kosher salt 

Smoked paprika

Small sprinkle of nutmeg 

Date puree (for Whole30) or honey to sweeten 

Ingredients for Mixed Green Salad 

Mixed greens of your choice 

Juice from ½ orange 

Kosher salt, black pepper

Directions 

In a large bowl or ziplock bag, squeeze lemon juice and olive oil over lamb chops. Little by little, sprinkle in dry seasonings and massage meat until no more seasoning blend remains. 

Marinate in a large ziplock bag for 2 hours in the fridge + 1 hour at room temperature or for 1 hour at room temperature. 

Begin boiling your potatoes about 5-10 minutes before you begin to grill your lamb. 

Boil until soft, drain, mash, and prepare to your liking. 

When done marinating, pat lamb chops dry with a paper towel and heat a grill pan over medium heat. 

Grill lamb on both sides until medium rare [please use a meat thermometer]. Let rest for cutting. 

While lamb is resting, wilt your greens in a sauté pan with a bit of orange juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Once lamb has rested about 5-10 minutes, cut and assemble your dish. 

Serve hot.

Enjoy! 

Why I love Amanda Palmer: An Election Night Story by M.L. Wahl

Dear Amanda,

I love you. I love you because you put out music that means something. I love you because you consider your signing table to be a confessional of sorts. I love you because you are unabashedly loud and proud about things that many people don’t dare to speak of. I love you because you genuinely want to know how we are doing, and celebrating holidays. I also love how you crowdsourced things to help illustrate points in your book when you were writing it.

However, I love you most for your community. Somehow, you find followers that are truly genuine, and who want to connect with each other. We connect over one or two topics, and then we add each other as friends on Facebook. We read each other’s more private status updates, and we frequently comment on them more than friends within our immediate communities. We send each other gifts around the holidays, even if we have never corresponded before. We buy each other’s art, which tells them that we see them, and that they are real. We donate to people’s funds to keep roofs over heads. We stay at each other’s houses, and celebrate very human things together.

Or, we post to be seen like I did tonight. I posted in one of the AFP groups to whine about not having any meat or veggies in the house until Friday. I described the kinds of protein that I had left in the house as evidence that I would not starve. I just wanted to be seen, because it’s something that we never see people struggle with in public, and it sucks to struggle with it behind closed doors in private alone.

A woman who I have never seriously talked to until the beginning of this month asked me if I was close to a Safeway, and I told her, “Yes, I’m close. I can survive with what I have until we get paid though too. It’s just a lot of beans and rice.”

I didn’t even have enough time to beg her not to do anything out of embarrassment before she told me “too late. Check your email.” She had sent me a $25 gift card saying, “A girl has got to eat more than just beans. I mean seriously.“

I was able to buy 2.4 pounds of chicken, mixed salad greens, a block of cheese, 10 pounds of potatoes, tortillas, an onion, and two boxes of 79 cent mac and cheese. More than enough to complete meals that I already had most of the of the ingredients for until Friday. I took the doughnut, (even if was offered to me like Jason Webley offers his CDs when he’s given money when he’s busking.)

Tonight is the first night I have been full in a few days. Tomorrow, I won’t have to eat a bowl of refried beans by itself for lunch like I did today. On a day such as this with a major election, a day of collective anxiety, a wonderful woman gave me money to buy groceries. No matter what happens, life will go on. Our special community will still exist, and for now that is enough for me.

Thank you Amanda, for creating and encouraging a community such as this. Thank you for being uniquely you. And when people ask you about crowdfunding, you can point them to this blog post. We crowdfund to support you, because we love the ideas that you foster, and the community that has been created because of it.

All my love.

Coming Home Chapter 2 (Shalaska) - Jem

AN: Hi, it’s Jem. I’m so grateful that you guys like this story. Here’s the next chapter. Now that I’ve got two stories going on I’m trying to alternate posting from each but we’ll see if I can keep that up.

Story Summary: Sharon and Alaska are girlfriends and decide to foster a teenage Violet

Keep reading

Season - complete!

The growing season has come to an end, and I look back on the year with both pride an absolute astonishment at my successes and.. not so successful successes.

So I haven’t recorded all the seed packet weights and work hours etc. yet, but I do have final production figures. So over the whole growing season, from 32 individual 1 by 100cm rows, the garden produced:

14.4kg mixed salad greens, valued at 1.5p per gram, yielding £215.70 (an average £2.45 per row).

1.2kg radishes, valued at 0.75p per gram, yielding £8.90 (an average 50p per row).

335g dill, valued at 2.25p per gram, yielding £7.54 (an average £1.26 per row).

Giving a total produce value of £232.14.

So, I’m fairly pleased with that. I’m excited to refine the system for next year too, to hopefully up the value per row to £3 each.