A journal of sorts.

I am an avid photographer with a love for digital processing. The Bearded One and I have become "Townies" once again and are in the process of transforming our suburban nest into a peaceful refuge.
This blog is where I like to stash things. An assortment of random thoughts, a recipe or two, a few of my favorite photos, and the processing thereof.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Trudge along Thursday...


A quick shot of a rainbow over the bay early this afternoon

Cottage Living

Puffed up and down the driveway a couple of times with the "Bearded One" this morning. There was no half-way starbucks as in LaGrande but it was a good walk. I noticed that I like to quietly grumble to myself when I take my walks. It's part of my schtick, it's what I do. At this point I am not out for a lovely leisurely stroll, I am out there because I need the fresh air and exercise. Going for a walk with the Bearded One however, is like going for a stroll  with Mr. Rogers... He is full of joyous exclamations and proclamations of wonder and magnitude along the way. Enough all ready. I know it's good for me, yada yada, yada. Someday I will find that happy little place where the "real me" hidden deep inside will embrace my "lifestyle" aka diet and I will look forward to my walks and workout sessions. I am just not there yet. Right now I have to deliberately make myself put one foot in front of the other. As for my attitude, I will try to keep my grumbling to myself. Sort of...

Before and After

Okay so this isn't really a before and after... I just thought it made a good story. Congrats to the Happy Couple.






Favorite Low carb recipes

Happy New Year to me. Low carbing it again so needed to ramp up my recipes. This Cranberry flax seed muffin one came highly recommended and it was suggested that an apple also be added. Because we bake in a toaster oven I made half a batch and just used a small cake pan rather than the giant muffin tin that I would normally use. The muffin tin wouldn't fit. I knew that at one time but temporarily forgot and filled it. I went to place it in the toaster oven and reality hit... I transferred it to the cake pan and proceeded to bake it.

IMG 0008 3

My non-muffin cranberry flax muffins

I thought they turned out really well. A great flavor and quite moist. this is one that I will do again. She uses a lot of cinnamon in this recipe which I thought worked really well but you might want to cut it back a little.

flaxseed cinnamon muffins

Cinnamon Cranberry Flax Muffins

Photo © Chelsie Kenyon
Chelsie Kenyon, About's Guide to Mexican Food1, brings us this special low-carb muffin, which is high in both nutrition and flavor, with lots of fiber too! Chelsie says, "These makes a great breakfast, or even a dessert." She also assures me that the three tablespoons of cinnamon is not a typo and adds, "Did you know cinnamon 2is great for diabetics and low-carbers because it stabilizes blood sugar?" On the other hand, this will be too much cinnamon for some people, so use your judgement.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 1 cup whole fresh cranberries3
  • 1 1/4 cup flax seed meal (can easily grind your own)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free syrup such as Da Vinci's or Torinis or 1/2 C sugar equivalent from from your choice of artificial sweetener (if powdered, dissolve in 1/2 cup water)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional for topping)


Preheat oven to 350 F.
Liberally butter muffin tins. Makes anywhere from 12 to 24 muffins. Do not use paper muffin liners - they will stick.

1. Pour boiling water over cranberries. Let sit for 5 minutes and pour off water.

2. Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients (minus the cranberries) separately, then mix them together.

3. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes to thicken.

4. Fold in cranberries.

5. Fill each muffin cup about half way, and sprinkle with nuts.

6. Bake about 15 minutes (a little longer if you're only making 12) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Keep up to a week in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.

For 12 muffins: Assuming a zero-carb sweetener, each muffin has 2 grams effective carbohydrate plus 6 grams fiber and 6 grams protein.

Pause for thought...

Until next time

Found this after all my moaning and groaning. Well worth the five minutes it will take to read. I've posted the link where I found it...


The Art of Motivating Yourself by Kelly Swanson

We live in a world where many people look out to find something to motivate them – when motivation comes from within.

I hate working out. I have been exercising on and off since I was in my twenties. Step aerobics in a zebra-print leotard. Fast walking around the inside perimeter of a shopping mall. The dusty bike in the basement that cried with me through Gray’s Anatomy. The stairmaster that made me question my faith. The jazzercise class that stopped on time, which is more than I can say for my butt which was still moving three days later. And the lovely trainer who, after six sessions with me, decided he would rather stock shelves at the Big Lots.

So don’t tell me I haven’t given it a chance. I’ve given it plenty of chances, and can say with one hundred percent confidence that I was not born for exercise. Show me a clearance table, and I will break into a sprint that would put Rocky to shame. I could be crawling on the floor with some tropical disease that has taken my hair and my vision – but wave a Snickers in front of my face – and I will break out into dance. There is no way I will ever hike unless there is a mall at the top. Or maybe if I’m in a plane that crashes in the mountains – and even then it will only be because I am hungry. But show me a gym, or even mention the word “gym” in a sentence – shoot, introduce me to someone named Jim – and my blood turns cold and I break into a sweat. Ironic, that I do more sweating thinking about the gym than I actually do inside the gym.

But still I persist. Why? Open my underwear drawer and ask the fifteen layers of Spandex. Get a front row seat in my bedroom when I engage in battle with my pantyhose. Take a peek in my mirror as I figure out that I will look a whole size smaller if I just pick my stomach up and pull it out over the top of my jeans. Good-bye muffin top – we’re now into the whole biscuit. Anyway, I guess I make myself get up and go to the gym over and over because I know if I don’t, it could get a whole lot worse. And being a motivational speaker, I am determined to put a good spin on this whole exercise thing.  And I have finally found the one true secret to exercise that keeps me going to the gym every day – find a way to make it fun.

Sorry if you were hoping the answer involved a remote control and your couch. But I have finally realized that I’m never going to like working out – nobody is going to do it for me – and if I’m going to keep at this, I’d better find a way to make it bearable, or even (gasp!) fun.

What’s my secret? Music. Lots of it. And none of this elevator work out music where someone has created four hundred songs using three notes on an electric keyboard. I’m talking Aretha, Michael Jackson, Willie Nelson, Wicked, Mama Mia, and some of that foot-stopping homegrown gospel music.  I have finally found something I can do to make my workout fun. And I recommend that you do it too. Will you choose the same songs that I do? Doubt it. Maybe for you it’s looking at super models in a magazine. Maybe it’s getting behind the cute guy with the rock solid rear end. Maybe you want to bring a friend to join you so you can point out the thighs that are bigger than yours. No matter what you choose, my point is still the same – choose something. Make it fun.

So I hate exercise. And maybe you hate your job. Or maybe you hate your mother-in-law. Or maybe you hate cold calling. Well, for starters, complaining doesn’t do any good, except for making everybody else around you miserable. And continuing to hate it will just make you doubly miserable. And nobody will come along and make it fun for you – so quit blaming everybody else. As Nike so eloquently says: Just do it. Motivate yourself.

Just like the fairy tales on which we were spoon fed, many of us wait for the charming prince to come save us so we can live happily ever after. Or we wait for the fairy godmother, or for our husband to take out the trash, or our children to show just one ounce of appreciation for what we do. We wait for the people we work for to recognize the value we bring to the workplace. We wait for the world to discover our talent. And some of us are waiting for God to swoop in and turn our water into wine. (Hey, a girl can dream.)

But at some point you’re going to realize that it is up to you to make your life fun. Nobody else can or will do it for you. And it’s not their job. Happiness, peace, fulfillment, joy, even faith – is not a feeling, it’s a choice – and if you choose it often enough, the feeling will come. So today, I hope that you will choose to make it a great day – and tomorrow – and the day after – until one day you wake up, and it just is.

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