Good Sunday friends and followers,

I’m loving taking a stab at this new venture with renewed passion. I hope to make this a place to read, discuss and maybe learn a thing or two.

Today, Sunday, is the day I do the majority of the planning for the week. The day usually goes:

  1. Church
  2. Lunch
  3. Relax
  4. Plan

I’m used to planning for the lessons of the week and what workouts I want to do. But now I’m finally including some meal planning in the process. My guys (DangerBoy and Sheepro) are 12 and they are boys. That means they eat whatever comes to hand, whether it’s healthy or not. I thought I had been doing a decent job of suggesting food choices until the day I saw Sheepro pop his THIRD bag of popcorn in one afternoon.

Sooo …

Here we have breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinners planned for the week:

Breakfasts –
M .. muffins/yogurt
T .. egg sandwiches
W .. cereal/Yogurt
R .. waffles/bacon
F .. grilled cheeses
Me … 4 egg whites with oatmeal

M … Grilled sandwiches
T .. chef salads
W .. leftovers
R .. hot dogs
F .. leftovers or salad
Me .. salad with 4-6 oz of tofu/tuna

Dinners –
M .. leftovers (Boy Scout Night)
T .. pork chops with noodles, green beans and salad
W .. spaghetti with corn and salad
R .. cod with corn and fries
F .. deer chili with corn muffins

Snacks –
Apple with protein shake or PB
Protein shake alone
Trail bars .. one/child/day
Popcorn .. one bag/child/day
Ramen … Same
Cookies … 2/child/day

Do I have lessons planned out? Not yet. A migraine can do things to a woman, after all. But they will get done – eventually. Likely the day of. But they don’t have to know that.

I do have a couple of things in mind for the blog. DangerBoy wants to be a chef for a career. So we’ll be doing cookbook reviews monthly. That and this TPfTW (The Plan for the Week) will be regular features, with more to come.


Thanks for hanging out in my loft.


What I just sent my Republican representative in regards to the shut down.

Dear Representative Nunnalee:

First, thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I know with this government shutdown you are trying hard to find a way to open part, if not all, of the government. However, I must take you and all of Congress to task over the shutdown.

Your votes to not only keep the Affordable Care Act from becoming law but to attempt its repeal are commendable. There are very few, if any, positive aspects to this law and its passing was disheartening. So to was its endorsement by the Supreme Court. A tax is still a tax, no matter what it is labeled. All of that is to say, regardless of anyone’s personal feelings, the Affordable Care Act is now the law of the land.

So, for those that are acting to block it now by defunding the act – to the point of government closure – is nothing short of embarrassing to me not only as a Republican but an American. I cannot condone such spoiled behavior in my own children, so I will not condone it in a group of grown men and women who know going into the job that things will be difficult and not go their way at least half of the time. Things are not going to change so long as liberal minded people control either house of Congress or the White House. The way to change or repeal the legislation now is to fight like mad to take both houses and the Presidency. But, that is not going to happen if those that are blocking the budget vote continue to play this game. I’m sure all of Congress can see the polls saying that, according to CBS News, over 70% of Americans are opposed to the shutdown and 48% of republicans.

I will admit I do have a personal stake or two in this shutdown. This weekend, our Cub Scout pack was to take its first camping trip of the year at Arkabutla Lake. For some of these children, this was to be their first camping trip ever. Food has already been bought, fees paid, everything it takes to go camping except or the date to arrive. Now parents will be trying to explain to their first graders why the tent is still in the garage, explaining something challenging for a lot of adults to understand.

Two, next week my family is planning on taking a vacation to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park starting Oct. 12. For obvious reasons, this will prove difficult. We will still be able to do many of the things we enjoy; but, we will likely cut our vacation short – not able to access the park – depriving hotels, restaurants and attractions of our tourism dollars. Granted it may not be a lot, but ours plus who knows how many others it will put a stress on the cities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.

To conclude, I implore you to try whatever you can to reopen the federal government and fight the battle of gaining seats to defeat the Affordable Care Act and not burdening the American people with such political scheming.  



[My name]

[My city]

The Memphis Farmers’ Market and Me

First of all, I’d like to thank the 160+ that took the time to read and the many shares of “Where’s The Apology” since I published it last Saturday. I’m humbled that my rant connected with so many of you. If you’ve not had the chance to look at it, I would appreciate you reading it, sharing it and letting Drake and J Cole know that using the word autistic in such a derogatory way is akin to hate speech and not acceptable.

All that to say, the post I originally wanted to post last Saturday didn’t quite get the attention – I don’t think – it deserved. It’s about the Memphis Farmers Market and that facility truly merits your time and attention, even if my post doesn’t do it justice.

mfm logoI have found a new addiction. It’s a place I’ve been to twice and plan to go to no less than once a month – at least until they close in October. It’s the Memphis Farmers Market located at Central Station, S. Front Street at GE Patterson in the Historic South Main District, Downtown Memphis.

Farmers mkt 6The Memphis Farmers Market is a wonderful place to find loads of really great, locally grown, food and flowers and locally made artisan products. They have just about everything from tomatoes and green beans, to metal art, goat milk soaps and mushroom teas. On my most recent excursion, I came home with some wonderful cherry tomatoes, seriously good granola, goat cheese, pesto and even more. I even found multiple species of fig trees, one of which I may come home with my next time there.

Farmers mkt 1

The atmosphere is wonderful! Everything is so laid back, even though it’s crowded. People are shopping the stalls, or eating at one of the food trucks or even just sitting on one of the benches listening to live music and just people watching. All the vendors I have talked to have been very friendly and informative, especially on items they sell I would have no idea how to use.

But that it part of the point for the Memphis Farmers Market. Their mission is to:

  • Improve public health nutrition options by providing a vehicle to educate the community on nutrition and good health
  • Provide access to local food choices
  • Assist area farmers, producers, and artisans with sustainable business opportunities
  • Generate a sense of local pride while furthering the economic development of our community
  • Serve as a community-gathering place

And part of that is not only providing space for vendors to sell their wares; but, they also have cooking demonstrations on how to use the food sold there, Farm to Fork Dinner Tours, and Harvesting Good Health events.

Farmers mkt 2

Like I said I went there a couple of weeks ago and took my mom and Danger Boy. He had been with us before mom had not. But it was nice to let them both just explore and discover something new. Mom was super and bought me a bar of goat’s milk soap from Hearts of Eden and some chevre` from Bonnie Blue Farms. I got some vegan pesto from Harvest Fresh Farms and those together on some sourdough I had at home made for a wonderful lunch. Danger Boy couldn’t keep his hands out of the cherry tomatoes I bought from Mai’s Homegrown Produce. I still have some Bok Choy I need to use; but, I have some tofu marinating for that. (Scratch that, I did a stir fry with that this week, it was my very own Genghis Grill.)

Farmers mkt 3

Today,  L’Ecole Culinaire is having a cooking demonstration, Dogs 2nd Chance is going to be there with dogs available for adoption near the pet sitting area and three different local artists will be playing. And who knows, if you go by the right booth, you might meet a local news celebrity serving coffee. He served me mine and was super nice! 

That was last week, TODAY master gardeners will be answering question from 7:30-11:30. I may have to ask them about getting some reaised beds started in my back yard. WellWorx is sponsoring a “Cardio Boom” class led by Eric Cook, Street Dog Foundation is holding the pet adoptions, and there will be music from Rob Halford (not this one), Shelley Brown and Yancy and the Good’uns. But if you still stop by the right booth, you might meet a very nice local news celebrity!

Farmers mkt 5I really enjoy farmers’ markets and plan to find more. I’ve been to the one in Hernando, MS and where I live has one in the court house square Friday afternoons. More on them soon as I re-familiarize myself with them.

What’s the best thing you’ve picked up at a farmers’ market? I’d like to know so I can find new things to try.

I am NOT Adam Lanza’s Mother

December 14 saw the second worst school shooting in American history. I don’t have to rehash the numbers or the horror that happened that day. The nation truly empathizes with those who lost wives, mothers and children in an event so horrible I cannot get my imagination around it. But there is something I do understand. I understand that even in the aftermath of what happened in Newtown, CT, those that share in a condition Adam Lanza may or may not have been dealing with should not be stigmatized.

To date I have seen no evidence that Mr. Lanza has been diagnosed by a licensed psychologist, or other qualified personnel, with high functioning autism (Asperger’s Syndrome). Everything reported in every media outlet has been conjecture or from a ‘family friend’ or ‘sources’. No credible person has come out saying with any certainty that Mr. Lanza has any form of Autism or any mental illness.

This can be the most damaging thing that could happen to the cause of Autism in not just the past decade, but ever. Those with high functioning autsim have an initial stigma around them because of their lack of eye contact and perceived lack of empathy. Often times, they are immediately brushed off as aloof, or unintelligent or both by their peers; and, there are times they are bullied because of it. Scholars and scientists in the Autistic community have studied people with Autism for years and are only now making strides in showing the community at large that those with Autism only lack the ability to pick up on social cues. Once they are able to understand the emotion being felt, they are able to connect fully, feel joy or remorse or whatever the situation calls for. So, for Mr. Lanza to suddenly become the proverbial poster child for high functioning autism is a disgrace and a disservice to the Autistic community.

Ninja Cat is one of those that gets to deal with this on a daily basis. He is a super smart 8 year old boy. He loves Minecraft, pizza and our trusty dog Bucky – not always in that order. He’s never been a big snuggler like Danger Boy and when he gets in trouble I have to tell him I am upset with him and exactly why. Is he given outbursts? Yes. Have I gotten a call from school because of them? Yes. Do I think this is going to make him a mass murderer? Not for a minute. He takes good care of his stuffed animals as if they were Bucky. There are times when he sits in my lap and lets me stroke his hair. Just today he helped a toddler to his feet that had fallen in the hallway at school where just two years before he would have just the tot stay on the floor because of his then dislike for ‘babies’. When he senses an injustice against his code, he will defend himself, his brother, or whomever to his utmost. Ninja Cat’s base personality is like 99% of the other Autistic children I have met – happy go lucky and will band together to support each other when things get tough.

Because of all this, it pains me when anyone in the media says Mr. Lanza ‘supposedly’ had or ‘may have had’ high functioning autism, to the point I have to bite back tears. Citing an unnamed source does not make it any easier on me, or those trying to see their way with this diagnosis. My hopefully faithful readers, I would love it if you help me spread the word, contact the mainstream media, or even your local media, and ask them to stop reporting speculation and stick to the facts. Isn’t that what news is supposed to do?