In Memorium: Gertrud Burtscher

Today the world lost a wonderful woman. Gertrud Burtscher was my Oma (that’s German for grandmother). She had battled Alzheimer’s disease for a very long time and the last few years were difficult. We were blessed to be able to visit with her last week to spend some time with her and to say our goodbyes.

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I will forever remember her amazing cooking, her beautiful garden, her love for her family, and her stunning blue eyes. Rest in peace, my Oma.

 

 

 

Puppy Update!

I’ve had a ton of people ask me what’s going on with the puppies, so I thought I’d get pictures from all of their new owners and share! They’re not exactly little puppies anymore – they’re 5 months old now and everyone is doing really well! They’re all super smart, crate trained, and finding new ways to be adorable! Tritip might be the smallest (at about 35 pounds) and Ike might be the biggest (pushing 45 pounds)!

First off, Tritip. Yup, you’ve probably seen a thousand pictures of this little bugger by now!

 

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Next up, Ike! He’s with my friend Megan, her hubby Matt, and their adorable Boston terrier, Roxy!

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Then we have little Ryder. He with home with my friend Angel, her husband Dan, and their three sweet kids! This little boy is so loved by his kids! He was our blue-eyed chocolate lab, whose eyes have now changed color but are as stunning as ever!

 

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Next up, Blitz! He went home with my sister in law, brother in law, and niece. He’s fitting right it with big dog-sisters Ruby and Molly! He even came over to spend the night and reunite with Tritip… it was a blast!

 

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Now, onto our sweet girl, Zeva. She went home with our friends Ashley and John… and is doing very well with her big sister Mia! Something in her eyes totally reminds me of Jenny!

 

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Next, Toby. He went home with my friend Sharon, her husband, and their sweet little boys.

 

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Last, but not least, we have Harrie. You may recall that at one point Harrie was actually called Rebel. He went home with my friend Sarah from work who has fallen completely and utterly in love with him!

 

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Mental Health

My heart weighs heavy with thoughts of the terrible mass killing in Las Vegas this week. I’m still working on my 49 Random Acts of Kindness in honor of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shootings.

As always, the media and social media are quick to blame gun laws, asking for stricter rules and changes to the Constitution. It may not be a popular opinion, but I honestly think the issue is not about the number of guns the man owned. Did he need 42 firearms? I don’t think it matters. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols used a rented truck and fertilizer-based bombs to kill 168. More and more we hear about people driving cars into crowds. Heck, September 11th was accomplished with box cutters. My point is that if someone wants to kill, they will find a way.

Yes, I know that access to guns may allow a person to kill more people, but the real issue, in my opinion, is mental health. We don’t do nearly enough in this country to help identify mental health issues and then to take care of them. I’m not talking about lock them away in some institution, but really help. There is still such a stigma around mental health issues that I think people are afraid to seek help. And I think that we are terrible at identifying them until it’s too late. We always hear “they were so nice” or “we never saw it coming”.

I don’t have an easy answer. I’m afraid that by focusing on taking away guns, we won’t focus on the real issue – what it is inside a person that allows them to think “I am going to kill people today”. I just know that all killers have one thing in common – something that is not a weapon. They have some sort of mental issue. And until we take care of that, I’m afraid we’re going to continue to see killings like those in Las Vegas.

 

Thoughts on Whole30

Just like that, my first Whole30 experience is over. I am so amazed at what this process has taught me. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned:

  • I actually like healthy food! Who knew Brussels sprouts could be yummy?
  • Until now, I was eating WAY too much sugar.
  • I’ve learned to pay better attention to labels. Is there any reason my blueberry Eggo waffles should have black carrot juice in them?
  • I don’t need Diet Coke nearly as much as I thought I did.
  • Real, restful sleep is amazing. So is not having the 2pm slump.
  • I’m a car snacker, especially on the way home from work. I don’t need to be.

I highly recommend this process to anyone looking to “reset” not only how they eat, but their relationship with food. I had two eye opening experiences – I came down with a cold at the end and when I took my first shot of DayQuil (I’ve always liked the liquid because it coats your throat and just feels like it’s working), all I could taste was sugar. Same thing when I had half a glass of Sprite with lunch – sugar.

Don’t get me wrong… I had a bowl of ice cream and it was wonderful. But I am going to be more mindful about what I eat and when I eat it. I plan on making decisions on when I choose to eat carbs and sugar, not assuming that every meal should include them.

Was it easy? Absolutely not. Was it worth it? For sure!!!

Whole 30 Taco Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

I promised to share any delicious recipes I found, and I sure am finding some yummy ones! Something that has been really neat about this process is discovering how easy it is to make some of our favorite things. Mayonnaise, for example.

Last night, in honor of taco Tuesday, we had taco salad for dinner. I found the recipe for the taco seasoning at Our Paleo Life and the recipe for the cilantro lime dressing at Stupid Easy Paleo. In about 1/2 an hour, we had the delicious creation below!!!

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Bad Days – Keepin’ It Real

So, if you made it to this post through Facebook, you did so via a really cute picture of my puppy, Tritip.

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There’s a reason for that… the content ahead can and will be used in a court of law for my insanity trial, coming soon to a courthouse near you. No, seriously, there are graphic pictures to follow and it’s dinner time when I’m posting this, so I wanted you to be able to opt out if you so choose. So, if you’re that grossed out person, close the browser now.

I mean it.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Here’s the deal. I’ve had a cranky last couple of days. Just various, insignificant things that have been bothering me. In the grand scheme of things, they’re small. I know kids are starving in Africa, people are underwater in Houston, and even in my home state of California, people are in real danger of their homes burning.

The last few days Jenny has been working through her anger issues while Mike and I have been at work on anything she can get her teeth on. Seriously anything. Cardboard boxes, my flip flops, my cowboy boots, a ball point pen, a dish brush, Yahtzee, Cards Against Humanity, and even one of the sofa cushions.

Today, however, was just the icing on the cake… the coup de grâce. We left Jenny and Brady outside in the kennel (ha! take that!) and Tippy in the bathroom. He had a bit of an upset tummy last night, so I wasn’t expecting to come home to nothing. As I peeked into the bathroom, I was met with a bright-eyed, wiggly puppy. So far so good.

Then I saw he had made use of his potty pads and, for the most part, had made it onto said potty pads. I thoroughly praised him and took him outside so that I could come back in and clean up.

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That’s when I noticed it. The art.

Yes, my bright-eyed wiggly puppy decided that just shitting everywhere wasn’t enough. He needed to finger paint. And why not? That’s what everyone does when they have a nice little place to nap, a thousand toys, and some water… they choose to smear their own feces all over the counters, cabinets, door, walls, and floor!!!

After I got done cleaning, I sat down to reflect… and that’s when I began to laugh. There are most definitely worse things that could happen… now I need to go downstairs and see why it just got quiet…

Whole 30

I decided to try something new. Today, I kicked off the Whole 30 program. My goal is not to use it as a weight loss tool (although, if a few pounds here or there go, I won’t complain), but rather to take a look at what and how I eat. The concept is simple – stick to meats, seafood (nope!), and vegetables. Don’t eat things like sugar or consume alcohol. The premise is that you take all of this out for 30 days and focus on how your body feels. Allegedly, I’m going to have more energy, feel less of that 2pm sugar craving, and feel less bloated.

The hardest part for me is going to be the no pasta thing – definitely not something I’m going to continue long-term (they pull grains to help people see if they have any sort of intolerance).

Another tough part for me is giving up Diet Coke… a staple in my life and something I suspect I will probably feel better without in the long term. Again, by no means am I saying I’ll never drink another one, but I’m trying to feel what impact it has on my day to day.

There are all sorts of really cool recipes out there – today I had scrambled eggs for breakfast with my black coffee (creamer is a no no), a chicken bacon salad for lunch, and taco salad for dinner. Below are some pics of how yummy everything looked!

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Chicken Bacon Salad with Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar
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Taco Salad

My first thought on the program is how hard it is to grocery shop. Instead of grabbing a box and some hamburger (Hamburger Helper anyone?) I spent 15 minutes on the salsa aisle looking for some sort of salsa that didn’t have sugar in the ingredients. My trip ended up being an hour and half of wandering the store wondering what the hell I’ve been eating for the last 36 years. My refrigerator is stuffed (think fresh stuff!) and my pantry is bare (no more processed foods!).

My only hangup today was a craving for something sweet after dinner. Dessert is normally my downfall (ice cream!), so instead, I had a glass of unsweetened iced tea. It hit the cold spot and the somewhat sweet spot and I got through it!

The even better news? Mike is on board, too. So for the next 30 days we’re committed to working on making healthier choices and paying more attention to what we put into our bodies. I can’t wait to see what the month brings! I’ll keep you posted and share recipes along the way!