About Dana

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I'm a dichotomy of blue jeans, pretty jewelry, frugalista, and Southern girl living the simple rural life. I want to live my life holistically, thoughtfully, economically, and most of all gratefully, and encourage other women to do the same.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Haven't Been to the Grocery Store in Two Weeks

When I get busy with schooling, work projects, and just plain runnin' around, I can't find one minute to go to the grocery store. Sound crazy? If you're a homeschooling or professional work-at-home-office mom like me, I bet you understand 100%.

That's why when I get a slow week, I stock the freezer with grocery store and Sam's Wholesale Club items to beat the "what is there to eat around here" blues. Plus, you know I have one of my freezers insanely stocked with venison, one of the healthiest meats around.

So up this week was:

Cubed venison steak
brown rice & gravy
Lima beans
biscuits ya'll

Deviled chicken wings
red potatoes with butter and chives
celery & ranch dressing

Corned beef brisket

My family was not even aware I had not visited the store. Thumbs up for smart provisioning.

I'll share the deviled chicken wings recipe in the next post. I so wanted to share a photo of them with you, but my husband eats too darned fast.

Happy day!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Getting Kids to Eat Healthy

There's been a lot of discussion out in marketplace the last couple of years about ways to get kids to eat healthy foods. Since I'm really into taking care of myself through eating right, taking vitamins and natural supplements, using homeopathic remedies, eating organic and growing some of my own produce, and lifting weights, it's an important topic for me, too.

But it seems all the talk centers around how to "trick" kids into eating healthy - you know, something crazy like putting white bean puree in their homemade cookies. I have two things to say about this: (1) Gross!, and (2) Tell me why it's acceptable to let your kids THINK you're giving them lots of cookies to eat (even if you're slipping them ye olde vegetables)? Aren't you in actuality sending them the message that junk is OK? Remember, they DON'T KNOW your good intentions, or they never would touch that cookie in the first place. Not even if you said "pretty please."

I admit I have grated a few carrots and added to my crockpot spaghetti sauce to sneak an extra veggie serving in on my oblivious son. But I also plop down a bowl of spinach salad with his supper and tell him he has to eat it all because "green vegetables are good for your body."

I think it is healthier to teach your child that a cookie is OK sometimes - even the ones with lots of sugar (don't they all have it?). At the same time, I think it's wise to teach them to balance that with a healthy vegetable or two. What a better way to really learn how to eat balanced meals to create the best mix of fuel for your body.

Otherwise, don't you feel a little like you're cheating them in the nutrition education department? That maybe they will grow up wondering why cookies worked so well for them as children but are not working so well now?

Happy (and healthy) eating,

Monday, October 31, 2011

Caring for an Aging Pet

I wrote many months ago (my, how time flies!) about how we love our old dog. But there's another side to pets that live a really long time. Since today is not only Halloween, but the last day of National Pet Wellness Month, I thought I'd let you take a peek into what it's like to care for an aging, large (90-pound) pet. It's something to consider when you're choosing that cute little puppy. Will you be able to handle a senior pet that may have mobility issues later on?

Experts* estimate about 25% of our country's pet population is comprised of aging pets, and pets' care requirements change as they go through the natural life cycle.

Molly is more than 16 years old, so she's definitely well into the senior category. There are services that we must spend money on now that we never had to before, just because of her advanced age. And I'm not even talking about veterinarian bills.

I have to pay a mobile groomer, who is strong, has a special table and special equipment to come bathe and trim her now. Because of arthritic back legs (very common in many breeds of large, older dogs and a result of her double hip surgery when she was a puppy), she is not able to stand for very long like she used to when I gave her an outside hose bath.

And she often falls when she tries to get up.
And falls again for no apparent reason when she is trying to go to her food bowl.

Then she just has to wait until someone comes along and picks her up.

Another thing to keep in mind is that large dogs who become stiff and partially immobile need someone to help them squat when they go to the bathroom. Not fun, but it has to be done (Thanks, my son).

As they get older, they may have to sleep somewhere else (rather than in your bedroom) overnight, as they often become incontinent (but of course this can happen with smaller pets, too). Molly has a special nighttime bed in the garage.

Expecting troubles during the aging process would never deter me from adopting a large breed dog, but it's something for every family to consider before making the decision.

Happy belated 16th birthday, Molly!

TCB and the whole gang

* American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)