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Showing posts from May, 2013

Hair Model for a Day

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I tried out a new hair stylist in May. While Patty was cutting my hair she asked if I ever had highlights. When I told her that I've never dyed my hair Patty exclaimed, "You have virgin hair?!!" LOL. Well, I guess so... Patty was very excited because she was going to be testing a new line of dyes and needed a hair model. After some convincing, I agreed to do it. 
Here's the before picture (aka: the world's most unflattering picture of me that could double as a mug shot):

Horrible lighting, early Monday morning, a little bit nervous....
And here's after!

I just love my new color! The under-color (is that a word?) is a deep violet which adds nice depth.

The highlights are both blond and bright red.

Everyone says that once you start dying your hair you won't go back. We'll see... In the meantime, I sure am loving my new hair!

On Our Menu: May 28 - June 2

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Christian's parents will be visiting this week so I have a lot of fun meals planned. I love cooking for people who are so appreciative of a good meal. Christian eats out of necessity (his words, not mine) so he could care less what I make.... as long as it's not broccoli pizza

We live close to an Amish community and on Saturday they are having an auction. We've gone the past few years and it's always a lot of fun. The event starts with an Amish pancake breakfast (they make the best scrambled eggs and have syrup called Dutch Honey that I call heaven in a bottle) and then the auction begins. We usually buy antiques but they also auction off quilts, flowers, and furniture. I can't wait!

Here's what I'm cooking this week:


Today's Gear

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The capsule endoscopy is in progress...


This is the gear I have to wear for 8 hours as the camera travels through me. The belt has electrodes in it and the "purse" is a battery pack and photo receiver. There's 3 diff. lights that I have to check to make sure things are still working. That's it. Piece of cake!

The nurse had to tape the belt on me because it wouldn't go small enough. I'm sure not eating for a few days had something to do with that. Talk about quick weight-loss! I think I lost 5 pounds. 

I finally got to eat a little something for lunch: saltines and applesauce. Nothing too crazy because I don't want to shock my stomach. Yesterday I was so hungry that when I was feeding the dogs my mouth was watering. And then I looked at a bowl of onions and wanted to bite into one like an apple! 

On My Menu: Liquid Diet

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This is what I will be eating/drinking for the next 2 days:



That's it. No solid foods - only clear liquids. This isn't a crazy diet or cleanse. Well, it's kind of a cleanse but not really the good kind. At noon on Wednesday I have to start drinking the big jug of medicine which will make my insides rumble until there's nothing left. The ginger ale is for the nausea that is likely to follow. On Thursday morning at 8am I am swallowing a pill that is a camera which will take pictures as it travels my GI tract.

Why am I going through all this? Because I've had undiagnosed pain in my lower right abdomen for over a year. Because I had a colonoscopy that showed microscopic colitis near my appendix. Because I have inflammation in my body that is coming from somewhere which may mean that I have an autoimmune disease. And because this magic little camera pill is the only way to get into my small intestine to take a peek. 

I've gone for 1 1/2 days without food before but nev…

Spring Wildflower Hike with a Purpose

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Last Saturday I led a group of people on a wildflower hike at Tellock's Hill Wood State Natural Area. The day started with rain so I was panicking that no one would show up. A few people canceled but twelve people braved the cool, windy weather to enjoy this special place.


A retired DNR gentleman co-led the hike with me and shared his love and knowledge of wildflowers and trees.


The woods is filled with giant Ash, Beech and Hemlock trees that leave you craning your neck in wonder.


Glance toward the ground and you'll see Dutchman's Breeches


Trout Lily


Squirrel's Corn, Hepatica, Spring Beauties, Bloodroot, Trillium, and the list goes on! We made our way through the woods and came out on the southern boundary of the woods. This road marks the dividing line between the Natural Area and a proposed industrial sand mine. 


Since August of 2012 we have been fighting to stop the sand mine from going in. The mining company wants to completely remove the southern part of the hill that T…

2013 Garden Plan

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This is what I have planned for the garden this year... we'll see what actually happens!



The seeds are started and the garden is tilled and raked. I always wait and transplant the seedlings Memorial weekend. Last year I planted in the morning and that same afternoon we got a hail storm that ripped the little plants to shreds. So, I had to start over completely. Totally ruined my happy spring mood!

Forbidden Food

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Christian is pretty tolerant of all the crazy foods I make but there is one thing that he forbids me to do: put broccoli on pizza. But, you see, there's a broccoli pizza that I absolutely love. So, last night while Christian was out of town, I made a broccoli pizza just for myself.... and it was heavenly!


Is there a food that you love that your significant other doesn't? Christian really likes meatloaf but I can't stand it. So I will usually make him meatloaf for his birthday as a special treat. 

Buster - 3 years old

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The same week that we got Winston, Buster turned 3 years old. We joked that we got him a brother for his birthday.

Isn't he handsome? He still likes to stick his tongue out when he's concentrating.

And his favorite spot to lay is under the table.

...until the neighbor drives by. Then he and Winston race to look out the window.

And speaking of Winston - he's pretty happy here and we're happy to have him!

Yarn Along: The Chance Mug Cozy

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I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's yarn along.




Last night I finished knitting this mug cozy and tomorrow night it will be auctioned off at the Fox Valley Sierra Group's auction. (I always try to donate something to the cause.) I was going to donate this Seedling hat but after two tries (and dropping down 2 needle sizes) the hat still came out way too big and needs to be re-worked... again. 

This cabled mug cozy pattern actually has a bottom to it but I didn’t want to add a bottom and I also didn’t like the tied closure. So, instead, I chained three loops and added three buttons to hold the cozy around the mug. Works great!




I'm currently listening to the audiobook The Chance by Karen Kingsbury and I just love it! It's one of those books where I don't want to get out of the car because I'm so engrossed in the story. Karen Kingsbury books are my all-time favorite audiobooks. Have you listened to the Bailey Flanigan series? LOVE!

On Our Menu: May 6 - 12

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Last week I was going to make Slow-Cooker French Onion Soup but after visiting 3 different grocery stores, I still couldn't find beef bones. Finally I asked a lady working in the meat department and she told me that all of the meat they get in is already boneless; they just chop it up and package it. Who knew! I would still like to give the recipe a try but I guess I'll have to go to an actual butcher shop to get bones.

This wasn't on my menu for last week but I ended up making Overnight Baked French Toast on Friday morning. We usually have pancakes on Saturday but Christian was going to be working all weekend but had Friday off so I whipped this up as a special treat. The recipe isn't exactly healthy but it WAS delicious. If I make it again I will use half the amount of topping because that was a lot of added sugar and when you douse the bread with maple syrup, it's really not necessary. 

Here's what I'm cooking this week:



FO: Iguassu Toddler Sweater

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I actually finished knitting this toddler sweater over the winter but just got around to photographing it. The color palette and lines remind me of Iguassu Falls in Brazil. This knit will be going in the hope chest for "some day". 



Pattern: Hug Me Pullover by Coats & Clark
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers and Plymouth Yarn Gina