Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bee Pollen??

Apparently I've been living under a rock because I just read that bee pollen is one of nature’s healthiest and most powerful “superfoods”!! It’s been used as a dietary supplement for thousands of years. The early Egyptian and early Chinese civilizations both used it as a physical rejuvenator and medicine. The Greek physician Hippocrates, recognized as the father of modern medicine, used pollen as a healing substance over 2,500 years ago. Today natural health practitioners often refer to bee pollen as an herbal “fountain of youth” that can be used for everything from weight loss to cancer prevention. It may be nature's most perfect food...

Bee pollen has been shown to help people:

  • Lose weight
  • Increase energy, vitality and stamina
  • Enhance the immune system
  • Relieve allergy and asthma symptoms
  • Improve sexual function
  • Correct digestion problems
  • Slow the aging process

One thing is certain (according to people who consume high-quality bee pollen almost always experience an increase in energy, zest, and physical endurance. This is precisely why thousands of world-class athletes supplement their diets with this natural substance.

What’s in Bee Pollen?
Bee pollen contains an incredible array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, co-enzymes, and hormones. It is especially rich in B vitamins and antioxidants, including lycopene, selenium, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and several flavanoids. It is composed of 55% carbohydrates, 35% protein, 3% vitamins and minerals, 2% fatty acids, and 5% other substances. Overall, it's one of the most nutritionally complete natural substances found on earth. Who knew???

Well, buckle the fuck up, cuz guess who bought some bee pollen today??!! Yep, you got it. Yours truly!! I'm puttin' it in my oatmeal tomorrow morning!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Woo Hoo!! Yaya's Coming to Town!!

I was going to call or email Yaya with a little tidbit that warmed my heart today but thought I'd like to share with a few more. It's the little things after all . . . .

First, a little background. I never had a super close relationship with my grandparents. I have a few random, yet vivid memories. They were amazing people, I cried when they died but I didn't mourn the "relationship". You know what I'm saying?

Chad's mom was the MOST amazing Mom and Memaw. Even though we lived far away she always made sure she saw us at least every 3 months. To say she was loving and generous is to put it mildly. It is truly tragic she left this earth so early. I sincerely mourn my relationship with her that was cut so short. Even more deeply, I mourn the fact that Sharon will not see her grandchildren grow up and they will not truly appreciate the person she was. I am extremely grateful for the time we did get to spend with her but it wasn't enough!

And so here we are. January 2010. My mom (Yaya) has made the HUGE decision to keep her wonderful home and darling husband in Tulsa AND rent an apartment here in Sewickley for 6 months so she can test the retirement waters and be close to her one and only (biological - which trumps the rest of you btw) fabulous child and three wonderful grandchildren. In Lucy's words, we are Super DUPER excited!!

I'm finally getting to the heart warming tidbit . . . When Henry got off the bus this afternoon he was carrying one of his favorite stuffed animals. How sweet is it that he still takes stuffed animals to school?! Anyway, the first thing he said was, "When is Yaya getting here?" He then proceeded to turn his little dog upside down to show me the tiny hole in it's belly. He then told me he had a couple of things that needed fixed. Lucy has a couple things lined up too.

I LOVE that they think of Yaya when one of their prized possessions is wounded. I think they will forever remember her as being the only one that can "fix" those things. Daddy can fix just about anything under the sun. But he doesn't sew. Mama is good for cooking, cleaning and cuddling when you are hurt or sad (as long as it doesn't drag the fuck on). But unless dollies and stuffed animals can be fixed with super glue or tape then Mama is worthless. Enter Yaya.

There are probably many aspects of their relationship with Yaya that we adults don't even realize are important. Yaya definitely knows kids speak up at the most unexpected moments with the most unexpected things. I am thrilled beyond words that she will be able to experience many more of those moments!

So, Mom and Tom, I know this change is BIG. I realize the sacrifice is HUGE for both of you. I am deeply grateful you two are open and willing to take on the challenge! Thank you, Tom, for understanding and sharing her with us! Regardless of things bought, moved and left behind I truly believe that it's the little unexpected moments that will make it all worthwhile.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Most Popular Passwords

According to a new analysis, one out of five Web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat: they choose a simple, easily guessed password like "abc123," "iloveyou" or even "password" to protect their data.

"I guess it's just a genetic flaw in humans," said Amichai Shulman, the chief technology officer at Imperva, which makes software for blocking hackers. "We've been following the same patterns since the 1990s."

A genetic flaw??? I guess that's a nice way of saying at least 20% of Americans are dumber than a fucking rock.

For entire article go HERE.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brown 52%, Coakley 47%

From Demoralized Democrats were left grappling with the notion of a once-obscure GOP insurgent snatching the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s seat in the so-called bluest state, only to possibly seal the demise of the late senator’s health-care dream - and single-handedly knock President Obama’s agenda off course.

From Sarah Brooks: Woo Hoo!!!!! All that keeps running through my head when I think of Obama is the following quote from the movie The Hangover.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Movie Review: Book of Eli

5 Word Review: I Fucking Hated This Movie.

OK, so to be fair, this is not the type of movie I would normally watch in the first place. This was the plot summary I found online, "In the not-too-distant future, across the wasteland of what was once America, a lone warrior must fight to bring civilization the knowledge that could be the key to its redemption." After reading that I didn't want to watch it in the theater, at home, with a gun to my head . . .

But, I really [REALLY] wanted to get out of the house with two of my girlfriends and this was the only movie that fit into our timeline. They wanted to see it and, believe it or not, they loved it! They really, really did. So, this is just one fabulous person's opinion.

My one friend loves Denzel and, as a devout Christian, loved the message. Spoiler Alert! Don't read any further if you don't want to discover the "knowledge" referenced above.

By the end of the movie it is revealed that The Book of Eli is the last remaining King James Bible. Denzel (Eli) has been protected by God for the last 30 years as he's traveled through an America devastated by war, poverty and depravity because God spoke to him telling him to take the Book to "the West". There is a tremendous amount of violence and it is clear that cannibalism as a means of survival is commonplace. You can identify those who've eaten too much human meat by how much their hands shake.

Long, inane, unbelievable story short, Denzel has to give up THE BOOK towards the end to the one other person in the movie, i.e. THE bad guy, that realizes the importance of the Bible. Yet Denzel keeps travelling West, as he has been for the last 30 years. Everyone's wondering WTF . . . did he give the bad guy the REAL book (by this time everyone assumes its the Bible but it hasn't been confirmed) or does he have it hidden on his body somewhere?

Denzel (Eli) finally makes it to San Francisco where, apparently, the last civilized, intelligent people live. He tells them he has the last remaining King James Bible. Ta Daaaa!! They are astounded and grateful. At the same time the bad guy is opening up what he thinks is the Bible he stole from Denzel. It is then revealed . . . . that the bad guy DOES have the bible BUT . . . . It's all in BRAILLE!!!! Mooootheeeerfuuuucker!!!! He doesn't really say that but you know that's what he's thinking. The girlfriend he's been extremely horrid to throughout the movie just happens to be BLIND (pieces are falling into place) but she gives him a big FUCK YOU and says she doesn't remember braille. Touche!!

At the same time it is revealed that Denzel (Eli) is, yep, you got it, BLIND. He's been reading his braille Bible every day for the last 30 years so he has it memorized and proceeds to recite it to the San Francisco guy so they can print it on the ancient printing press they have put in working condition. Then Eli dies. His purpose has been fulfilled.

Hallelujah, it's over! We can go to PF Changs. I need a fucking drink after watching Denzel decapitate all those cannibalistic losers. My favorite part of the movie and the only thing that kept me interested was that even though these people were bartering with fucking KFC wet naps and travel size shampoos for clean drinking water they ALL had the coolest g*damn sunglasses!! The sunglasses were never lost nor broken throughout the entire movie. It was amazing.

To be clear, I was not opposed to the "message" I just didn't believe a word of it, the way it was presented. I thought the whole movie was slow and stupid. There was no nudity with all that violence. Hellllooooooo??!!

Save your money. Rent it and fall asleep half way through. When you have bad dreams don't blame me. I told ya so.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Why am I not Famous??!!

It's really a shame my blog is not famous because I have so much to say. So few to listen. I honestly don't see that much difference in what I have to say and the bulk of all the other jackasses out there. Not that I am that profound or that funny, but who is?! Few. Not many.

I am going to add to my repertoire . . . movie reviews. If I make it to see a movie in the theatre I am often alone, which I LOVE. I remember thinking my mom was a total weirdo when she would go to the movies by herself. I get it now! I love it!! As a result, when I see a movie, I am totally engaged and my opinion is, at a minimum, insightful. On the other hand, if I watch a movie at home and make it through (in one sitting) it must be a winner and thus also deserves my review. Otherwise, I will give my half ass movie review, which is just as useful as it might save you an evening of mindless movie watching.

I'm thinking I should review movies in 5 words.

To wrap this dialouge up, I'm going to review the movie I saw today. Sherlock Holmes. In five words.

Robert Downey is Fucking Hot! Ok, let me try again. Awesome Actors, Engaging, Downey Amazing. Another 5 words. Thoughtful. Entertaining. Love. Robert. Downey.

Yes, I liked the movie.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year - PM

My belly and my heart are full as is my sink of dirty dishes. Streamers, empty beer bottles, soda cans, juice boxes, cookie crumbs, chips, and good thoughts for the New Year are scattered every which way. Sam has quite a contusion above his left eye from an awesome slap shot by Henry. Shoulda worn a helmet. I'm in bed with my laptop.

Believe it or not, I was not stressed one single bit all darn day!! I was perhaps irritated a bit this morning as I was chopping and chopping and chopping and certain little people were bothering the fuck out of me asking to be fed, blah blah blah but, all in all, it was a wonderful, stress free day!

I think I can honestly say it was the least stressful party I've ever thrown which just goes to show it's all in your attitude. I know what you're thinking and it has nothing to do with alcohol or medication. I am simply a whiz at entertaining!! WA LAA is my middle name!! The sitters were a godsend. They were proactive, take charge, amazing girls. When they would ask me a question I would say "Hellloooo, I'm in charge of the food and you're in charge of the kids, remember??" and off they would go. There were three of them. One was generally in charge of boys, one for the girls and the third was a floater. I really, really hated to see them go.

I know, I know, what you really want to know is HOW DID THE HAM TURN OUT??!! In a word. FUCKINGFANTASTIC!! Here's how it went down. . .

Garlic & Herb Rub: 1 cup fresh sage from 1 large bunch, packed lightly, 1/2 cup fresh parsley, 8 medium cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp kosher salt or 1 1/2 tsp table salt, 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper, 1/4 cup olive oil, mixed in food processor until forms a smooth paste. That is the recipe for a 6-8 lb ham so I doubled it. It was plenty.

7:15 am: Rubbed and ready to go in the oven!

Based on calculations I read online you should bake a fresh ham for 22 min/pound which, for a 17lb ham, comes out to 6 hours. I didn't think it would take that long, but it did. Luckily, I put it in at 7:15 am so it worked out about right. TA DAAAA!

1:15 pm

It actually looked MUCH more impressive in person. A gorgeous ham, if I do say so myself.

5:15 pm : notice the bottom of the pan is completely cold pig fat. YUM.

So, the "ham" really seemed like "pork" when it was all said and done. It wasn't pink like a traditional ham. It looked like "the other white meat". So, the question came up, "Is it a Ham or is it a Pork Roast?" All of the recipes I found were for "roasting a fresh ham." When I googled ham vs pork I found . . .

"Ham, technically is the thigh and rump of any animal that is slaughtered for meat, but the term is usually restricted to a cut of pork, the haunch of a pig or boar. Although it can be cooked and served fresh, most ham is cured in some fashion."

So, I think what I cooked was a 'fresh, uncured ham' although it could definitely just be called 'pork'. If someone were expecting 'ham' they quite possibly might have been disappointed. If they were simply open to fabulousness then they were happy. A few seemed genuinely confused.

The only thing lacking in this day was that I didn't get to share it in person with my few loyal readers!! I love you all!!!

Happy New Year - AM

I went to bed at 10pm on New Year's Eve and woke up this morning at 6am so I could prepare THE HAM. And, yes, of course we are having black-eyed peas! Hoppin' John Stew. Ham stock base, Cajun seasoning, beans and rice. This is my favorite way to have black eyed peas except for the Texas Caviar mentioned by my Aunt Jennifer. I was going to make that too and forgot! Oh well.

This is the 17lb, skin on, fresh ham prior to cutting my beautiful, meditative diamond pattern.

This is after an hour of cutting with a serrated knife through the skin and fat, being careful not to cut into the meat. Does it look like it would be hard? Well, I hope so because it was a big fucking pain in the ass. I almost gave up half way through, chucked my $30 in the trash and called it a lesson learned. But, I didn't. I think I can, however, say with 100% certainty that I will never make a 17lb fresh ham again. If it's really good I might make a smaller one . . .

I put the ham in a brine of salt, brown sugar, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns around 2pm yesterday and retrieved it at 6am this morning. It is now sitting for an hour at room temperature before I apply the Garlic and Herb Rub and then pop that motherfucker in the oven.

To be continued . . . .