Monday, June 30, 2008

Our Grocery Budget

Okay, ladies.

I'm going to do a post about my grocery bill.

I know. You all have an insatiable, burning desire to know how much we spend and what kinds of things we buy.


Well, since I let everything else hang on this blog, why not give you the rundown on my grocery budget too??

We do have a set budget that we like to spend on groceries, including toiletries, paper products and stuff.

Only I'm quite certain that our budget does not remotely resemble ANY of your budgets out there!

Let's get some things straight first: I am NOT a frugal hacker. Why, you ask? With my large family, (your arguement goes) I ought to be! Well, I find it takes too much of my meager mental and physical energy to be truly frugal. For one, we decided a loooong time ago to no longer support our daily newspaper here, because it just became fish wrap or window rags for us. Expensive window rags! So I don't get any sale ads or anything like that. I'm so much happier!

Secondly, I drive a large van. A GMC Safari van. And it takes lots of gas to run around town to this store and that store just to get the best deal. I ask you, is the money I save on groceries going into my gas tank, and where are the savings in that??

Thirdly (I think I just created a new ordinal word!!), I choose not to support some chain stores and local stores due to their practice of financially supporting causes I am not comfortable with. I do not like it when a store in which I spend lots of money turns around and supports organizations that do not line up with our personal/religous philosophies. I'm on a soapbox here, but this is something that I feel deeply about.

Also, I chose a long time ago to eliminate stress from my life. Stress was coming at me from places I would go that would make rude and "cute" comments about my very large family. Yes, I'm telling the truth. I'd go to local stores and get the whole nine yards. So, in the interest of supporting those businesses that liked my family, I opted to only go to two places. They know us, love us, and treat us like royalty when we come.

I really have tried to be frugal and save money. REALLY! Last shopping trip, I decided I was going to buy generic everything. Even wipes. I was so proud of myself for all the money I saved and was sure my husband would be too...

But I ended up having to take almost everything I had purchased back because of poor quality!

Where's the money saved in that?

I did get attached to Luv's diapers. They're at least $2 cheaper than the Pampers I have been using for about 10 years.

I tried Pampers baby wipes, for $2 less a package than my Huggies. Hated them! They were small and thin and well, I went back to Huggies.

Another thing that we do is we eat organic. We eat almost all natural. This way of eating is not cheap unless you grow your own food, and living in the city we have limited space, especially with The Dog Who Eats My Stuff! We do grow things like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and cilantro out front. The choice to eat organic and all natural has actually saved my family's health. For real. We no longer go to the doctor, EVER. It's really hard to maintain organic, natural eating habits on a $50 a week food budget though...

In the end, how much do we really spend on groceries a month?

Are you sitting down, and does someone in your house know CPR?? Good, because you may have to be rescucitated after I tell you!

I estimate we spend about $1000 a month on groceries.


And I do it with the full and complete blessing of my husband.

There you have it.

Don't hate me because I'm not frugal!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'm Hot!

I guess I haven't been a faithful blogger lately!

But don't leave me!

The past few days in our area, it's been in the 90's. We don't have central air in our home. We cool our home the old fashioned way: filtered box fans in our bedroom windows. This environment is not conducive, in my opinion, to spending two hours on the computer surfing my favorite blogs. Oh, I've been checking in with most of you, but it's so hot in our house that I don't want to be in here!

But it's just as hot outside!

I know. I'm complaining about the very weather I prayed for just last month! Call me flighty.......but did I mention it is H O T here?

Since we live by the lake in our town, we usually get a nice steady breeze, starting in the afternoon, so we open the front door and the back sliding glass doors and it cools of very nicely after a really hot, stuffy day.

We haven't been getting a breeze. Last night, it was so hot that we slept with our back sliding glass door open!


The slider is in our room. There are two very good watch dogs pretending they are sleeping right on that back step. Not to mention my husband keeps a companion right beside him, and said companion is made of metal and I trust it with my life.

Case closed.

I know I have no right to whine. I mean, after all, isn't it waaaaaay hotter in, like, Arkansas, where Melissa lives? How about Alabama, where Gayle of the Westie Crew lives?

Call me a baby.

One thing I can say for NW weather is that it isn't humid here at all. We live just an hour or so away from the Pacific coast, and spent all day Friday at Ecola State Park and Indian Beach for my birthday.

So I'm 35 now and HOT.

I spent the day with my mom yesterday, going to Costco up north and stuff like that, and I drove my husband's car so he could have the van.

His tranny slips.....

And his air conditioner doesn't work.

Did I mention I'm hot??

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Another meme!

Another meme!!

This one is from Ship Full O' Pirates, otherwise known as Mother Hen....forgive me, I can't remember her web address, but you will definitely want to go check her out! She's stinkin' hilarious and practical, fun and down to earth.

Here goes:

2 names I go by:
Honey and Mama. I don't think anyone remembers my real name!

2 things I'm wearing right now:
My house cleaning skirt (rather ratty and linty)
my wedding ring

2 favorite things that happened today:
I got an invitation to a dear friend's baby shower!
my husband came home from work.

2 things I want right now:
for my stomach to stop hurting
to be more motivated

2 favorite pets:
none. I'm *so* not a pet lover!

2 things I did last night:
read some of Treasure Island
took a my usual nightly plethora of pills

2 things I ate last night:
grilled fresh caught salmon
on a bed of organic baby spinach

2 people I last talked to:
My daughter Hannah
My daughter Samantha

2 things I will do tomorrow:
take a shower
get dressed

farthest trip I've taken in the past 5 years:
My husband and I and Sofia went to San Antonio TX in 2006 for the SAICFF.

2 favorite holidays:
Valentine's Day, so I can spoil my husband to the max

2 favorite beverages:
V8 juice
Groovy gorillas

There. Now you know even more things that you never wanted to know about me!!

Tag! You're it!!


Today I have things to do on my *to do* list.....let me say that this list is, so far, just in my head...

But I've been convicted lately of being idle and lazy.

Not through anyone else, just through my own musings. Just through my own thoughts of "I know what needs to be done around here, I know what I should be doing....."

But I'm not doing, and have not done, a constructive thing today!

Oh, I made myself something to eat!! I actually moved off the couch!!


I make myself sick, really.

Let me share with you some of the things that need to be done around here, and also some of the things I really have been wanting to do but have been to lazy to do them:

  • Things need to be planted in the front yard! Tomatoes for my *famous* salsa. Cucumbers. Peppers. More strawberries.
  • I have some rearranging I want to do in the house. Moving this from here to there, putting that in there instead of there.....
  • I want to get my 14 foot wall in my living room decorated! I've got plans that are half done, and even a picture of the before, but I'm just too stinkin' lazy!
  • I need to bake so we have treats in the hot weather that *will* come sometime this summer, hopefully!
  • I need to take a shower and get pretty for Dave.
  • I need to go buy my little Sofia a swimsuit, a hat, and some other good stuff that the girls don't need but I like to shop at my favorite thrift stores!
  • I need to actually *plan* dinner before 8 pm tonight!
  • I've got to call my friend and arrange a playdate. She's without a car right now, so we are *so sad* that we will have to go over to their house!!
  • Sometime today I have to move off the couch and take a walk around the block. I'm woefully out of shape!
See what I mean?? I kill myself! I harp on my kids not to be lazy ALL THE TIME, but look at me! I'm being a very, very poor example for myself and my kids.

I seriously suffer and struggle with extreme laziness and depression, which go hand-in-hand for me. There is no rhyme or reason to it, and they both strike me at anytime, unawares.

I really hate myself right now. Harsh, but true. I'm going through an emotional/mental/
spiritual/physical crises right now......

And the only way to zap it is to FORCE myself to get off the couch, pull myself up by my apron strings, and just GET BUSY!!!!!!!

You gals may not like me, if you ever met me in real life, cause you'd be shocked and sickened by how lazy I am!

But this is the first step for me, letting *someone else* know and then, taking action....

O God, please forgive me for neglecting my duties! I cry out to you, Lord, for Your mercy and Your help to get me out of this morass that I am in! I give myself to You, because I do not want to be the same! I want to become what You want me to be!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Of Laptops and Migraines

I'm back!

I've been largely offline lately, due to a laptop that crashed and had to be sent in to an Apple store. I say "sent in" because the nearest Apple store is over an hour from here. We've had to take the laptop in a couple of times this month, and it's kind of hard doing all that driving, in the midst of my husband's pressing and important projects.

They finally told us that we could send it in, and even sent us a secure box and postage!

I don't know how many of you have Macbooks, but we do and we really like ours. We've had it for almost a year and never had problems with it until now.

I loved the people at the Apple store. If you like computers, just go to one! It's fun! And these people really know their stuff! They call the people who trouble shoot and work on Apple computers "geniuses", and they really are.

So now my laptop is up and running again, and now comes the task of reloading all of my favorites, without getting a migraine!

Incidentally, I've had 5 migraines in the past 2 1/2 months! That's a lot for me. I know that being on the computer for too long can trigger one, as will eggs and lots of fast food, which I hardly ever eat, for just that reason (waaah!). I woke up this morning at 5:30 with a shimmery halo in one of my eyes......I'm doing better now, it's tomorrow that's going to be a kicker. I always get the after pain the day after my migraine.

Another weird thing I get is that I used to go numb on the left side of my body at the onset of a migraine. The first time I had a migraine I was heading out on a date with Dave and suddenly, my body started going numb! We had just dropped Russell off (he was 6 months old) and we got so freaked out we headed straight to the Emergency room. I thought I was having a stroke at the tender age of 22! They told me I was having a panic attack/migraine headache and gave me some meds and sent me home.

Since then I usually get about one migraine a year.

This morning I was able to fall back to sleep after my wonderful husband loaded me up with all the drugs I take in the event of a migraine. When I awoke at 6:15, I noticed my mouth, the left side of my face, and my ring and pinkie fingers on my right hand were numb.

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm complaining. I'm not. I know lots of you out there get migraines, like Cindy. I've actually found a few things and tricks that lessen the duration of the headache. So I wanted to let you know what I do as soon as I get that visual warning:

  • I take 500 mgs of Tylenol immediately. Early in my migraine history, I used to have to take 1000 mgs. Now, 500 mgs works.
  • I take 225 mgs of magnesium and a calcium capsule.
  • I have one of my family make me a double bag of chamomile tea.
  • I go into my room and darken it and lay down.
  • I have some other calming meds that I have been taking for more than 5 years, to help my brain remain calm. I take 500 mgs of GABA at the onset of a migraine.
I'm pretty sure it's due to hormonal changes (after all, I will celebrate a half-milestone birthday in just 3 days) and this whatever-it-is autoimmune disease that I have.

So, since I am familiar with the horrible effects of migraines, I am better able and more apt to pray for my friends who I know get them, like Cindy.

Cindy, if you're reading this, know I pray for you often, okay??

Do any of you out there suffer from terrible headaches? I found it interesting that Ruth Bell Graham's mother did, and she was able, by the grace of God, to be a stellar mom and wife.

Oh Lord, grant unto me the ability to rise above my frailties and be the mom and wife You have called me to be!

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Fun Tag

I've been bad lately about blogging. And I can't turn the italics off! Yikes!

It isn't like I've not had anything to say! Those who know me in real life know better. Sometimes I just have too much to say, and also, I'm just plain lazy, and it's too hard to get off the couch and roll my biscuit buns to the computer to blog.

But I've got plenty of material.

Here's a tag from Emily. Well, she didn't personally tag me, but I decided to do it because it looked fun and easy and it's a new post from me! Here goes:

A: attached or single? very completely attached to my husband, and he to me, and loving it!

B: Best friend? my husband. Sadly, I don't have any girlfriends that I consider best, but I do have a couple that I love lots....but my husband is it.

C: Cake or pie? Neither. I'm gluten/wheat intolerant, and I don't crave treats usually. If I'm going to have a treat, it'll be Namaste brownies with peanut butter frosting.

D: Day of choice? Dave's day off. Sorry, it rotates!

E: Essential item? paper and pens/pencils.

F: Favorite color? chocolate brown

G: Gummy bears or worms? yuck!

H: Home town? I was born in Renton.

I: Favorite indulgence? a 16 oz blended Kona Mocha Big Train with caramel and whipped cream from Espresso Express

J: January or July? January, because the feature film my husband did the music for is going to the SAICFF, as is the original score. I never really like July.

K: Kids? 6 on earth, 3 in Heaven.

L: Life isn't complete without...? Being together with my husband and kids. All the time. Every day.

M: Marriage date? Fall of 1993

N: Number of brothers and sisters? No sisters. A brother who is two years older, a brother who is 16 mths younger, both of whom I barely know.

O: Oranges or apples? Pink Lady apples. And oranges. Both!

P: Phobias? Escalators. Foil on my teeth or in my mouth.

Q: Quotes? When you can't, He can.

R: Reason to smile? My life. My husband. My kids. Smothered fries!

S: Season? Autumn.

T: Tag 5 people: Renata, Marsha, Duckygirl.

U: Unknown fact? My ability to conceive/bear children was thought to be non-existent.

V: Veggie? steamed broccoli, sauteed cabbage, a loaded salad.

W: Worst habit: allowing bad moods to rule me. Sarcasm.

X: Xray or ultrasound? Strange question. No answer.

Y: Your favorite food: Big, loaded salads with everything and good homemade dressing.

Z: Zodiac? Irrelevant.

That's it for now. Since my italics is stuck, I need to figure out how to turn it off.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Packing Tape and Little Things

Why is it that, every SINGLE time I buy a new roll of packing tape, it gets LOST?????

It's true! I've bought at least 4 ROLLS of the stuff, and each and EVERY ONE has gotten lost!

The stuff is NOT cheap, you know??

I mean, I always, always tell myself "I'll put it here, in a safe place, and I'll be sure and find it when I need it."

It's NEVER where I put it. NEVER!!

I have a suspicion that all of my lost rolls of expensive packing tape are in that big warehouse in Roswell, NM, where all of our unmatched socks went after we put them in the dryer. It's a big conspiracy theory.

But people, I'm here to tell you, I think the subversion has come to an end! We actually FOUND the newest roll of tape!! Yep. I'm feelin' pretty good now!
In other news, more along the lines of serious reflections..........

A couple of weeks ago I went to the local paperback book store, where you can buy new and used books and trade your paperbacks in for credit. I saw a whole mess of books from one of my old favorite husband/wife author teams, the Thoenes (pronounced Tay-nee), so I thought I'd grab them up and read them.

I'd already read these books, and everything else by them, several years ago. But I remember them being so good that I decided to read them all again.

I bought them, to the tune of $50, and dived right in when I got home.

Well, I guess I have really changed, because I just didn't like these books at all! In the first one, the main young woman character gives away her purity, then it is referenced that she spends lonely nights burning for him!! Ah, I guess I missed that when first I read these books! The other books in this series are just like that.

To my mind, this is just one more sign of my becoming. I really have grown, and I am so sensitive now to anything that might dishonor or blaspheme God. I do not enjoy it or condone it when an author flirts with the edge like that.

I say all that to say that I had lost the receipt for my book purchase, and at this particular store, I knew I was up a creek! I wanted to bring them back and get my money back, but I didn't think this would be possible.

Still, I decided to try, so I went in just a few days later, on the off chance that they would give me a refund. Well, they know me well in there, and she did give me a credit slip for the amount of my purchase, less tax.

I was so disappointed, because I was pretty disillusioned by all of the authors that I used to like and didn't want to get any more books right now that I knew I wouldn't like..........but it was the best I could hope for, without a receipt.

I promptly lost the credit slip too!

Well, they said that if I found my receipt, they would give me a refund.

Remember, I lost said receipt.

I prayed quite fervently that the Lord would enable me to find it, as this was a major purchase and I was so remorseful for viewing, and spending my husband's money, on that kind of trash, and I wanted to remedy the situation.

I didn't find it.

But guess what? Today, Hannah was swiffing under my bed, and lo and behold, what was that tiny slip of paper she unearthed from the far reaches of Underneath the Bed?

My receipt!

God cares about the little things.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cottage Cheese Butts and Stuff

This is the THIRD TIME I have tried to type this post. The size of my font was gigantic, and I typed it over smaller twice, but it didn't work. UGH! Here goes another try.


Today my son was outside doing Man Things. He was wielding the weed wacker with grace and aplomb, complete with the Space Man Face Protector Helmet. He did a splendid job, and now my yard looks all nice and tidy.

I've been a bit low key lately. Wait a minute. Let me rephrase that. I've been downright lazy lately! Not feeling well physically is a death knell for me, since I struggle with idleness and laziness. So I've been parenting from the couch for a few days. Ahem. Bad idea. The kids suffer, Mama suffers, and the house suffers. Waaah.

Those strawberry plants Hannah planted not too long ago are yielding a bit of fruit. Trust me, if you get your butt off of the couch (like I didn't) and plant some strawberry plants, you will never eat another fake plastic store bought strawberry ever again. They are small bursts of ruby sweetness, and The Dog thinks so too.....Grrr.

My husband finished the score he was writing for his first feature film. For those of you who don't know, a score is the music for a movie. He is now done, and the film is in final post production. It should be out in early mid July. He also finished orchestrating a CD for a chap in Pennsylvania. So, in addition to working 40 hrs a week at his job, he was doing two HUGE side jobs too. Since he's getting his music jobs done, the 100 lb burden on his shoulders is reduced by about 75 lbs. He now feels about.....oh, you do the math!!

I decided to get my cottage cheese butt off the couch earlier and go sit out in the sun. So I was basically a chair potato! I stuck my pasty white legs out in the sun, and my bones soaked up the warmth. Then The Dog thought my lap looked like a good place to sun Herself. My lap is no place for a 70 lb Black Lab puppy to sit. She's sweet though, when she's not raiding the strawberries. She likes dandelions and carrots too.

My husband is taking me out on a date Sunday. Wow. We're doing an early dinner and a matinee! The last time we were at the movies, Aslan was giving his life to satisfy the Deep Magic. We're going to see the new Indiana Jones, I think. Hmmm.

My diet stinks lately. Fritos. Homemade bean dip. Mashed potatoes. Gravy. These are things my body is no longer used to. And I feel the pounds sloshing on, even as I sit here! My stomach is not happy, people! I need to get back on the wagon. Immediately. There's nothing wrong with those foods, it's just that I can't eat them because they hurt me! Waaah.

We're having a BBQ tonight. My husband is the best griller in the universe. Remember, he's perfect. So we're having burgers, brats, beans, and potato salad. Ahem. Some of us are having those things. Waaah.

Did I mention that I have fallen off my regimented diet wagon? I'm just about having to move my stomach out of the way so I can type. Not attractive. I'm feeling really hormonal these days. I feel as fat as I ever was at 220 lbs. Oh, I mentioned that already, didn't I? Well Waaah.

My Sofia was trying to wave to you all today, but the pictures were turning out blurry. So I couldn't post them. And I have not the foggiest notion how to post a video on my blog. Or I would have posted a video of my cutie eating a neckaneen and waving to you all, so you could wave back at her. But, since I haven't a clue as to how to post video, you'll have to imagine her waving to you and wave back. Waaah.

Okay, I guess this was a combo whine fest and newsy post......

That's all. What's going on with you?

Monday, June 9, 2008


Can I ask you a question??

What is wrong with our society when people can't snap out of their busyness, their me-ness, to wave to a cute two year old baby??

Let me explain.

Saturday my mom and I and my kids all went to a big city to do some things. My mom had some things to take back, and my kids love to go to the big city, to the malls, so we went along for the ride.

We went to a mall there, and Sofia was bopping along in her stroller, waving and saying Hi to everyone she saw. She was absolutely darling, adorable, soooo cute!! I was so happy for her, because some of my other kids were painfully shy at her age.

Can I tell you that not one, NOT ONE person waved to her??

Can I tell you that people actually altered their course to GET AROUND her?????????

My stomach hurts just remembering!

Some even FROWNED AT HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

People, let me tell you that I am totally disgusted. And sad.

I feel sorry for those morons who couldn't even take the time out of their precious bubble of me-ness to wave to a cute baby girl, thereby brightening up their day AND hers!

I'm disgusted at what our society has become! I mean, I fully know how people are these days, but it hit home with me in a very glaring way.

I felt sad for Sofia, because perhaps, in her mind, she wondered why nobody was waving back at her. I even feel insulted that they dissed my baby girl like that!!!!!!

It just makes me sick!

I pray to God that I am never too caught up in myself to miss those moments that could transform my day. I hope to Him that I am aware of everyone, even the least of these. I don't want to miss a thing! I want to bless someone, I want to brighten someone's day, I want to be accessible!

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Weather

Let's see.....

It's June here....

It's 57 degrees outside.....

It's raining....

Can I get some summer here??

Hannah planted some strawberries out front a week or so ago.....

Will they survive?

We want to plant some tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, cilantro, and some flowers...

Will we be able to?

When is this horrible weather going to end?

I need me some sun!

I don't know about you out there, but I do get sick of endless rain and cold. I love, love, LOVE sunny, warm weather! I lived in CA for the first part of my life, and that's what I love. I do miss it......but where I live is beautiful too, it's only the weather I hate!

The weather directly affects whatever is physically wrong with me. In this constant cold, damp, rainy weather, not only am I depressed, I'm also totally wiped out! It's so fun trying to be a good wife/mom when you're body's screaming at you to quit!!

Can I have a pity party for just a second here???

I've been praying for warm weather. I mean, it's JUNE, for the love of potatoes!

Do you think God cares what kind of weather I like??

I think God wants to hear whatever is on my mind and in my heart, and He is the maker of the weather, so yeah, I do think He cares! I long to see blue skies, whipped cream clouds, and green tree branches swaying in a gentle breeze. I want to feel the warmth of a golden sun on my face and feel its restorative heat seep into my bones....

And so, I'll keep praying for good weather!

How's the weather in your neck of the woods??

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What's Happening Here

Wow, I guess it's been about 6 days since my last post!! And that's not like me at all!!

It's not because I haven't had anything to say....quiet the contrary...I've been just sifting through the thoughts in my head, wondering what to post first!

Some Funny Things:

Yesterday, our Sofia, who is two, was chasing our Russell, and she caught him and proceeded to give him a good whuppin' on his bum, and while she was doing it, she was shouting "OWIE, OWIE, OWIE!" That gave us all a good laugh! My son later said to me that he didn't realize how much fun she was to play with!!

The kids do something called "Fire One" with Sofia. She stands up on the arm of our sectional and yells "Fi One!" and the person holding her will gently push her down onto the couch, and she'll fall with her legs over her head! It's the funniest, cutest thing to see! We got it on video.

The girls are eating "Princess Sandwiches and Tea" for lunch right now, sitting at the coffee table in the living room, and Sara just piped up with, "If you drink too much Bald Headed Beanstock Tea you will get a headache!" Then she proceeded to place a crumpled up shirt on her head. She said that was her headache! Remember, she's my unique one.....we laughed so hard Hannah almost spit out her tea!

New Books:

I'm a really fast reader, and I love a good book. I just got done reading The Prophet by Frank Peretti....may I say, it was one of the most awesome books I've ever read!! I laughed, I cried, and the Lord spoke to my heart through this work of fiction. Frank Peretti is one good author!

I also recently finished The Shack, reading it on the recommendation of Dave's aunt Jackie, who loaned it to me. I know there's lots of things floating around out there, and I want to give my two cents worth about it to you. To put it plainly, I didn't like it at all. I thought the author seriously amiss by minimizing God's glory by portraying the great I AM as a fat, jolly black woman. God should never, ever be portrayed this way, according to Romans 1:21-23. Frankly, it was just so hard for me to swallow and enjoy that the God Who created the world, Who formed each one of us, Who, by His very breath can make mountains smoke and hills melt like wax, at Whose rebuke the waters flee (Psalm 104), that this powerful God could be reduced to a fat, Aunt Jemima character! The author portrayed Jesus as very cavalier, very nonchalant, and I also had a problem with that too.....I just all around didn't like the book at all.


I'm trying a crock pot Falafel recipe. I can't wait to eat it! I got it from a link on Gayle's blog. I'm excited, because it sounds good, looks good, and meets my dietary requirements perfectly.

After much tasting and mulling, I think I have finally come up with a recipe that is going to be very similar to my favorite soup at one of my favorite local eateries! The soup is called Mushroom Brie Bisque, and it is lush and comforting, and I'm pumped about trying to make my own!

I think I'm going to have a banana dipped in peanut butter and then dipped in chocolate chips today, the next time I'm hungry. Maybe! I'm trying to really watch my sugar intake, since it gives me nasty anxiety attacks.

Well, I guess life is pretty peaceful and lovely here.....tell me, have you read any good books lately, or tried any new recipes, or heard anything funny lately?? Let me know in your comment!