Wednesday, July 25, 2012

cow milk vs. goat milk

doodle by yours truly
Unfortunately, I can not drink cow milk and then have a functioning digestive system like most normal people. It took me two or three [painful] years to figure out that I was lactose intolerant. Looking back now, it was blindingly obvious, but hey hindsight is 20/20 right.

That being said I have been looking for something to replace cow milk with that still gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling when I pair it with a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies. So far I have tried:
Soy milk - pretty good, especially the vanilla, still doesn't have that 'milk' taste, is also less viscous
Almond milk - wow *lots of sugar* and incredibly too sweet for my taste, but upside it was creamy like cow milk is
unpasteurized goat milk - not quite as creamy as cow milk, but definitely has the milk taste, also not as sweet as cow milk, has more of a flat taste than I thought it would

I have been reading into lactose intolerence, maybe just to add insult to injury based on the fact that I can't eat ice cream anymore, but I have learned a lot bout milk and how we digest it.

One of the reasons people have trouble digesting cow milk is because of the fat globules in it. Our body lacks the proper 'good germs and stomach stuff' so to speak to break down the globules properly before they enter into our intestines. Once the globules get to our intestines, WOAH NELLY, red alert captain, this ship is going to sink! It is at this point that our own intestines begin to mutiny against us, and what ensues is not pretty at all folks, not pretty at all.

You might have noticed in my list of milk alternatives I have been trying that I put the word unpasteurized in front of goat milk. If you don't know anything about pasteurization, it's simply a process where milk is heated up to kill any harmful bacteria that would cause you to become sick. Unfortunately, by heating the milk up to kill the bad bacteria you also kill all of the good bacteria that helps your body to properly digest the milk. Obviously, because it is hard to regulate and monitor all of the milk processors around the country, most states will not let you sell unpasteurized milk of any kind (cow or goat) for human consumption. I bought the goat milk from my local farmer's market as a 'pet product' because it was unpasteurized even though it is incredibly safe for human consumption.

If you think about it, how big is a human baby when they are born? like 6-10 pounds usually? That is about the same size as a kid (baby goat). A calf on the other hand is about 50-60 pounds when it is born! Talk about a big ol' baby! Doesn't it make more sense that the ratio of fat our bodies are created to handle would be a lot closer to goat's milk than cow milk? The smaller fat globules in goat milk, along with the fact that I buy mine unpasteurized is the only reason my digestive system will not mutiny against me anymore. Phew, thank goodness I finally solved that problem.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The art of staying in touch in an online world

Admittedly, I am not the best at staying in touch with people, old friends, cousins, other relatives. I sincerely intend to keep up with people, but I am noticing an alarming trend with people I don't see on a regular basis - we become friends on facebook, and our communication will slowly dwindle to a few 'likes' of photos and comments when something monumental happens - say a wedding, birth of a new baby, or a horrible hair cut.

Although facebook has it's perks, it's difficult to engage others the same way you do when you actually TALK to someone. You can't hear the inflection in their voice, or perceive their emotion in quite the same way. I was listening to the radio and older gentleman used the same argument for why he never uses text messaging, and insisted on calling people in reply to texts - he also didn't own a computer - what a rebel ;)

Facebook, twitter, and similar forms of online social media, allow us to 'check in on people' so to speak, but not engage them in the same way a phone call or face to face meeting would. While people may talk about very personal joys, or troubles they are having on the phone or in person, I have found, they usually  are not so keen on communicating and engaging in as deep a manner online.

This really got me thinking about the same trap I have unwittingly fallen into for the past few years, the same trap that I feel many people my age are in as well.  I have been substituting 'checking in' on  people for engaging them and showing true concern and love. I'll admit, a lot of it has to do with effort, but that's a sorry excuse. I shudder to think of the amount of time I spend on social media/watching television/eating bon bons. My grandfather has friends who haven't lived in the same city as he for decades, and somehow they manage to keep up with each other. How is it that my generation seems so terrible at doing the same? I've come up with a few ideas of my own and ones I know my grandparents would also appreciate.

1. Sending a birthday card, or calling someone on their birthday. It's once a year, right?  When I married my husband, his Aunt sent me the most heartfelt and loving birthday card, and I think prior to that I could count the number of times we had met on one hand. She put in that little tiny effort to brighten my day and the happiness and love I felt from that effort far outweighed any birthday greeting someone jotted quickly on my facebook wall.

2. Make a weekly phone call to someone you care about just to say hello. I am so guilty of not following through with this one, but I am going to try to set aside some time on Sunday to call two or three folks just to say hello. Just think, if you rotated out who you called each week you would get to talk to a dozen or so people a month.

3. Be an active communicator. Keeping in touch is a two way street at times. Try to establish a routine, and then hopefully if you forget to call, the other person will note the gap and call you instead. I have found that persistent effort on my behalf is the key to getting the routine established, and usually once you do, you are golden and it doesn't seem like the effort is quite as much then.

4. Use social media/emails/texts to fill in the gaps. I know I spent a good amount of time downplaying social media in this post, but it is awesome for checking in on people and filling in the gaps. A simple 'Hey Jill, I know you said you had that big project at work last week when we talked, just wanted to check in and see how it went'  is all it takes to keep the communication going.

5. Find out what communication that friends responds to the best and go with it. One of my close relatives is sometimes is not the best conversationalist on the phone. I expected the same result when I emailed him, and I was blown away when he wrote me a lengthy and detailed email back! Sometimes it's best to just figure out what works and run with it. Some people are not [insert media here] people and that's ok.

What about you? How do you stay in touch with relatives, and out of town friends?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

School teacher skirt fix

I have incredibly fond memories of kindergarten: Storytime, the giant colored cardboard building blocks, and my plastic pink mini mouse lunch box that my mother would tape my milk money to. What I really remember most from kindergarten was my teacher, Mrs. H, and how sweet she was. Mrs. H had a poof of black curly hair that sat on top of her head that bounced about when she moved quickly. She always wore tea length skirts or dresses and she could have passed for Elaine Benes from Seinfeld (played by Julis Louis-Dreyfus)

Inspired by the tea length wardrobe of my Elaine look-a-like kindergarten teacher, I spotted this beauty of a skirt at good will for $2. YES, you read right only 2 buckaroos!

In an effort to live out the age old motto of 
'Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without'
I made not one rad item out of this tea length skirt but dos!

It's actually incredibly simple procedure for those that have a sewing machine and the ability to cut in a straight line, both abilities which I can dutifully credit to my excellent middle school education.

1. Find a tea length skirt
2. Determine where you want the skirt to fall and lie the skirt flat on the ground with the seams aligned and make a straight cut leaving and extra inch or so for the seam fold over

Marty couldn't understand why he wasn't allowed to lay on the new 'rug' i was playing with o n the floor

3. Have a friend help you pin the skirt to the desired length while you are wearing it
NOTE: Make sure you use a friend you can trust with sharp pins and will not poke you in the shins
4. Iron the hem flat so that it is easy to sew
5. Sew your hem!

I took the extra ring of fabric from the bottom, repeated the pinning and hemming process and, ta-da, made an incredibly stylish scarf!

The finished skirt and scarf!

6. Wear your new skirt and scarf about and play with your pup (if applicable)

Monday, July 9, 2012

lately from my iphone

I have this irrational fear inspired by the early 2000s that I will use up all of the storage space on every digital device I own. I haven't had this problem since 2002, but yet I always move through and delete photos/songs/files as if the next one might push me over the capacity edge, nooooooo!!

Truth: It's 2012, and I am not 14 and I work full time, thus I am not capable of taking enough photos to fill my phone, so calm down self!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Anna Banana

Happy Birthday Anna! No one actually calls you Anna Banana, but I decided to start doing that!
- this is what sisters are for, to give you nicknames that stick for the rest of eternity ;)

We enjoyed a scenic birthday brunch with the rest of our family over the weekend to celebrate. The view was fabulous, but what you can't tell from the pictures is that we are 5 seconds away from melting into puddles on the sidewalk! Talk about heat wave, ah! We were only outside long enough to say cheez and then sca-daddle into the air conditioning.

ps -Bonus points if you can tell us apart!
pps- I can still only correctly spell banana when I sing this song in my head
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