Well, Grant & Mia are gone on a mission trip.  Tess sent herself to bed at 9:00, and Sophia and Luke are bedding down in Grant’s room for a slumber party.  Rod is watching the basketball finals, and I’ve been looking at blogs & adding things to my Nook reading list.  I’ve emailed my mom, made a new flower pin, and cleaned up the kitchen.  I’ve been enjoying an ice cold glass of refreshing horchata (a mexican rice drink), and checking facebook to see news from my kids & my second niece who got engaged today.  Facebook is great for keeping in touch with my teenage nieces.

I’m planning on staying home at least one whole day this week.  It will probably be Tuesday.  With my oldest two gone, I have to take Luke everywhere.  My 43 year old back cannot get him in and out of the van several times a day.  I sound so old, but it’s most likely arthritis from an old injury.  That, and tomorrow I’m starting day 11 of the Jillian 30 day shred.  I almost hate to make that public, but I only have one reader…  😉 and she won’t judge me if I don’t make it to day 30.   So far, it has been manageable.  I’ve had a coulple of days that were more mental than physical, but I’ve kept up.  My knees aren’t always happy with me, and I’m not eating like I should to get the good results, but I’m committed to doing it.  I’m also slowly making changes in our family diet.

In the past month, I’ve read two books that have really impacted me.  The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, and the Veganist by Kathy Freston.  For the most part, I could take or leave meat.  I do like a good steak occasionally.  I’m burned out on chicken, and really don’t like hamburger very much.  I saw an interview with Kathy Freston recently, and she seemed like a really sincere, normal person.  I’ve read What to Eat by Michael Pollan, and agreed with most of the guidelines he had in that book.  I liked both books very much, but the Veganist was a little “bleeding heart” for me.  The OD had some of that, but really opened my eyes to the true “cost” of  food and the way our food system has to work.  It isn’t realistic to think that everyone could have a garden, chickens & raise their own beef, but when you see what modern meat production does to animals, the amount of antibiotics it takes to keep 10,000 animals confined in a small feedlot healthy to slaughter, etc., it really makes you think.  My two oldest kids are freaked out that we’re going vegan, but I don’t think it will hurt anyone to go meat free for a couple of meals a week.  I am trying to eliminate HFCS from our pantry, and have been trying some new recipes.  I’ll post those on my cooking blog: cookingwithbertie.com.  That blog chronicles the epic journey with our Italian stove, and I post some recipes on that site.

Gift List for 6/12/11:  Mia’s excitement for the Arlington trip.  Tess putting herself to bed at 9pm.  Sophia and Luke having a slumber party.  Luke sucking fruit punch from the cooler jug in the kitchen. Tall iced glass of homemade horchata.  A quiet evening at home.  Okra and beans coming up in the garden.  Encouragement from friends.  Christa getting engaged to Joe.  Molly’s wedding in a couple of weeks.