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At Home With Ailsa - February 2005

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Friday, February 11th, 2005. Happy Chinese New Year!! Man, is it that time of year, again, when we try to think of which Animal will represent the coming year? I looked it up -- it's the Rooster, which I'm hoping means Good Health and Prosperity (hope there's no Animal that just represents a crappy year -- that wouldn't be good, would it? ha,ha,ha! "Ooooh, watch out for the Weasel Year..." Although, come to think of it, I think my First Marriage was in the Weasel Years -- or maybe I married a weasel -- these things are hard to keep straight! yuff, yuff!). If you want to find out that actual information (as opposed to the slightly made up info you might find here), check out this link-- Chinese Astrology.

Can't believe it's almost Valentine's Day. Dwight wanted to 'get in early' and grab up some flowers before all the men bought them on Sunday or Monday, in that frenzied, "OhMyGod, is it Valentine's Day, already?? Don't you still have Chocolates left over from Christmas??" Dwight was worried he would also wait until Monday to find some Flowers, then end up with some real straggly ones, which ain't good! Valentine's Day Shopping -- it's not too late!

Speaking of Dwight, he just got up (why, it's 8:30, already...) so I have to go get some breakfast for right back!

Sorry about that -- now it's Saturday, Feb. 12th -- right after I finally got Dwight out the door (Thank God he Owns his own Business! ha,ha!), my crazy computer 'crashed'. Or at least it froze, and when I turned it Off and back On, there were no Icons on my Desktop at all. Very distressing. So I had to spend the whole morning trying to fix my stooopid computer. Which reminds me of a line I heard, yesterday, when Aidan, my 5 year old, was watching Sesame Street. Oscar the Grouch says, "I love my computer -- because it's always broken!" And you know how Oscar loves trash! ha,ha,ha! That seemed an appropriate little joke for my lovely day fighting with my computer... so I ended up finally getting back in, and immediately ran two scans for Viruses and whatever other nasties are in there. My two favorite Free Scans are and .

So lots to catch up on from last week. Since Dwight was diagnosed with Diabetes a few weeks ago, I've been busy researching it and trying to come up with some tasty new recipes so he won't feel deprived or upset that he can't have all the things he liked before. Last night, I made up a new recipe for Cranberry Raspberry Muffins, which were absolutely deeeelicious. Now, unfortunately, they were sooo yummy that Dwight and I accidentally ate more than a dozen of them (I made 3 dozen little Muffins...). So much for our careful eating plan. In our defence, there were really small and very, very tasty... and at one point while we were all watching Joan of Arcadia (great multi-level show, if you haven't seen it yet -- they deal with some pretty tricky stuff, and it's really good for Family Viewing -- in other words, we all enjoy it!), I went upstairs to get some more Tea, and who was scarfing down some more muffins?? That's right, Dwightie! Ah, well. He'll be more careful, today, since he's at the Boat Show, and I'm pretty sure they only serve healthy food! ha,ha,ha!

The reason I was trying to figure out what to make with Cranberries and Raspberries (and Cherries, Red Grapes, Blueberries and Black Currants...) was that during my research on Diabetes, I came across a thing about Anthocyanins, which are found in Red, Condensed Fruit, and that aspect of the fruit might help in managing Blood Sugar Levels. Apparently, it's good for Arthritis and acts generally as an anti-inflammatory. It might also help ward off or be used in helping the healing process of certain types of cancer, so this must be good. I bought a ton of Frozen Berries, a tin of Cranberries that you might buy to have with a Turkey Dinner, but I want to see if I can use that to make a Cranberry Loaf or Muffins... and later today I'm going to se if I can make a Baked Apple in Phyllo Pastry, but with less sugar and fat. I'll let you know if it's delicious, then I'll put the recipe on the Site. It's fun to poke about in the kitchen to make food that works for you and tastes great, too.

In between working on the Site and Cooking, I've been thinking about how I will reconfigure our next Master Bedroom so I can get the His & Hers Bathrooms (that I am now determined to add to the next House...), and I've been thinking about the different Styles that have become very popular over the last 10 years, or so. It's that crazy design where the Master Bathroom is completely open to the Bedroom -- yuck! Who really wants to see their Significant Other brushing their teeth or doing any other icky thing in the Bathroom? Plus, that's about the only place I get to be all alone -- with the door closed, legitimately... I could never give that up.

I much prefer a really gorgeous Full Bathroom that is completely enclosed, given the vast amounts of time I spend in there. I'm in there at least an hour or two before Dwight gets up in the morning, and after he goes to bed at night, so I need to have the lights on when he's sleeping, and how would that be possible if there were no Door?? My guess is that the Open Concept Bathroom only works when a Couple functions on exactly the same schedule, and perhaps under 40, with children over the age where you still have to get up in the middle of the night to check on them... so what does that leave us with? The Open Concept certainly looks great, when you're first looking through a New Home, but actually living with it can be more than a little tricky. You can ask a Builder to change the Archway into the Bathroom into a regular Doorway, but you do need to make a special request for that if the house is drawn with the Open Concept Bathroom, first.

Quick Tip: Put in a Dimmer Switch in your Bathroom, and if you have small children who are up in the night (and thereby, so are you...), in the Nursery, too. A dimmer switch in the Master Bath is particularly nice if you have a fancy big bath, too, since it can quickly create a nice ambience.

And now back to TV Shows! Did you happen to catch The Bachelorette with Jen Schefft? (The one who broke up with Andrew Firestone...)Man, we love that Show -- it's hilarious! Poor Ol' Wendell -- he didn't make it, just because of the drinkin' ... so here's a quick note to anyone who has an Important Night with many, many cameras following their every move -- maybe cut back on the Gin for that one night... who wouldda thought?? ha,ha! So he's out. Kind of a shame, since we really liked him before the 'drunken debacle evening' -- he was charming and funny, and some sort of Enterpreneur, and we like that in a person...

Freddie and Kendra won on The Amazing Race, which was good since they were nice and worked well together, but my favorite bit was when, after an entire day of screaming and screaching at each other, Hayden and Aaron got engaged. Now, really, that's good TV. Only under the Bright Lights of a TV Camera would you seriously consider a Marriage Proposal to someone you fight with continually... or else when you've just had enough of Dating, I suppose! ha,ha,ha! And yesterday I heard an Ad for a new Dr. Phil Special (Tuesday Night at 9:00 pm on CBS) where he sits down with the crazy Jon and Victoria, to see if Jon actually perceives himself as a nut... should be great! Good to see what your life might look like if you marry someone like that...

What did you think about The Apprentice, last week? Were they just insane to think that Middle America would go for the Cucumber Ad?? Really, not one of the 'Smarty-pants' group thought about how Big Companies Advertise? But I did love the bit with the extra-nasty (see how I've cleaned up the language for middle America?? ha,ha!) Actress, who seemed to forget that she was, in fact, not the Boss... I would have fired her on the spot, but I did enjoy 'The Republican's' (I can't remember his name, but he always wearing a Bow-Tie, so I have to believe he's a Republican...) take on the whole thing about how to deal with an angry woman, since he'd had so much practice having been married for 9 years! Now that's funny! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, and the woman who was actually 'Fired' was sooo abrasive -- what was that all about? Is it possible that some folks don't know to be 'non-abrasive', or even, dare I say it -- nice?? And then I saw her on some other Show and she was dissing Donald Trump -- yikes. That not good, as even Neanderthal Ned knows! It ain't Rocket Science to remember not to diss The Donald!

Okay, I better get going. I have to go plant my own Valentine's Gift, since Dwight got me some lovely Potted Primulas, and three matching pots. Sadly enough, though, he said I just need to go out back to the gravel pile to get me some gravel for them pots... (okay, you got me -- he doesn't really talk like a Hillbilly, but I happen to enjoy pretending that he does in many, many stories I tell about Dwight! It's my own little way of keeping myself amused!), but I still really do have to go get the gravel so I can plant my new Primulas... and then I need to make a Veggie Platter for a party Cara's going to, tonight...

One More Quick Tip: If you, too, have to make a Veggie Platter, and you want something neat to put the Vegetable Dip into, just cut the top off a Green Pepper, clean out the Seeds, and pour the Salad Dressing in it like it's a little Bowl. I use two -- one for Ranch Dressing and one for Cucumber dip. It looks great, and everyone seems to love it.

Hope you get Lucky in Love, given that it's Valentine's Day, 'n all!!

Thanks for dropping in! See ya later, Baby! Ailsa

Valentine's Day Shopping -- it's not too late!

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Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005. (Groundhog's Day, but, no, I won't be repeating it over and over again, ad nauseum... yuff, yuff!) Hey there, Good Lookin'! What a beautiful smile you have -- you can barely even notice the missing tooth, so don't worry about that so much! Man, it's been a while since I've been in here. I had that stooopid virus in my computer ( -- it's still in there, but somehow I've managed to get around it...), and God Knows what else, but there were enough problems to shut me out of my Website so I couldn't work on it. Very, very annoyink! Aaaaand, Dwight finally went in to the Doctor to find out what was wrong with him (yes, I was the one who made the appointment and forced him to go -- mostly because I was getting a little tired of saying to him, "Dwight, there's something seriously wrong with you..." ha,ha,ha! And yes, you're right, that last thing was primarily for my own personal amusement!).

So it turns out that Dwight has Diabetes, and his numbers were through the roof. The healthy 'Sugar Level Numbers' fall between 5 and 7, and Dwight came in at 27, so that ain't good. The great thing is that now they have some amazing new drugs that will really lower the sugar levels, so that's remarkable. And they have a new system to check your blood at home that hardly hurts at all -- I know that for sure because I thought I ought to test myself, too (I tested 5.4, so I was very relieved with that!) Come to think of it, when you are getting tested for Diabetes, that's the one time in your life when you don't want to be a 'Ten', and with any luck, you also won't want to put your hair in a million braids, either! Ya'ha,ha!

Now here's the weird thing about Dwight's diagnosis -- he has been losing a lot of weight (about 35 pounds) over the past two years. Normally, you hear all about the onset of Adult Type II Diabetes when people put on a fair bit of weight (and frankly, that's why I had to develop that Apple Crumble Recipe for myself to lose some weight because I was so worried that I might get Diabetes, since I had been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes when I was pregnant with Aidan -- now 5 -- and I never wanted to do another Blood Test in my life, so the weight loss seemed like a good idea.).

Anyway, you're not thinking about Diabetes when you are losing weight -- generally, you're just thinking, "WooHoo! I'm losing weight!!", then you go have another donut, to celebrate your fantastic weight loss, right?? ha,ha! Ah, well. At least we know what's wrong with him, and we can legitimately say to him, "Why don't you go take a chill pill", which is a lot more fun to say for real than you might think... not only an annoying throw-back to the Eighties, but always good for a chuckle -- for me, anyway! When I have some spare minutes (!), I'll make a Page on my Site for all the new info we've learned over the last little while that I think might be very useful to all my extra-healthy Readers!

From all that, you can tell that Health has moved up to the Front Seat, lately, but not to the total exclusion of Building... we've been out looking for a new Piece of Land over the past couple of months. There are some beautiful Lots out there, but we are looking for a Building Lot with a great Mountain View, hopefully some Trees, and a really good Well with at least 5 gallons of water per minute -- simple little things like that! We did find some lovely Lots, but they're too expensive for the area, and by the time you built the house on the Land, there would be no room left for a Profit, so those Lots are out. You have to find a balance between the Cost of the Land, the Cost of the Home, and the Expected Selling Price at the end of the day to make the whole venture worthwhile. And by 'worthwhile', I mean that when you are building a really High-end Home, the Profit Margins should be at least $100,000. to $200,000., or it's too much work to make the move.

Of course, it's critical to remember that a few years are involved in this sort of Build-Sell deal -- we usually allot 3 to 5 years for the whole thing, since it's fun to live in a gorgeous house that you just built, then you want to relax a bit while you prepare to do the whole thing again. I'm still working on the New House Design, and that crazy Dwight keeps saying he wants to make the house smaller, which I think is insane, since I have big plans to make it bigger... (now there's a Big Surprise! ha,ha,ha!) Lately, Dwight has been going into what I now refer to as 'My Bathroom' (it's the Master Bath, so technically, he gets to go in there every now and then, but never when I need it...). So this is probably not all that 'healthy', but each time I go into the Bedroom and see 'My Door' closed, and that Dwight is in there, I'm immediately infuriated. I know, that's probably not such a good sign!

Now, there are lots of ways to deal with a problem like that, but I was standing at the Island in the Kitchen, thinking about how annoying Dwight was, when it occured to me that the easiest way to solve this problem was to draw in His and Hers Bathrooms in the next house. That's the beauty of Building yourself, and knowing that you have the option to move at fairly regular intervals. You can easily plan for 'The Future', and make any corrections that you think might make your life better. I told Dwight, and he thinks it's a good idea, too. The funny thing for us is that Dwight is far more likely to go up and have a Leisurely Bath than I am (I'm too busy with Children and Laundry!), but the expectantcy is to have a fancy Bath in the Woman's Bathroom, so maybe I'll make a concession in the next house, and we can 'switch Bathrooms' for just a little while!

Have you been watching a lot of TV, these days? These cold, snowy days?? Our favorite Shows are Desperate Housewives and The O.C. Well, actually, we have a fairly long list of 'All Our Favorite Shows', but that's because it's dark sooo early, and no-one wants to go out in the cold! And I love, love, love the Ellen Degeneres Show - it's about the only time I get to Dance and have a good laugh! But we're totally hooked back into The Bachelorette -- man, that's a funny show! That Patrice guy was a nutcase (Dwight and Cara kept calling him 'FaBreeze'...), and we keep pointing out all the flaws that men might have to make sure Cara recognizes the 'Big Flaws' right off the bat! All very entertaining!

And we love The Amazing Race, and were sooo happy when nutjob 'Jonathan' and his lovely, charming wife, Victoria, who needs just a wee bit of Therapy to get up and out of that relationship, and maybe a Voice Coach to cut out the High-Pitched Screaming so she can have a much better marriage in the future... the Finale of The Amazing Race is next week, and we're gonna miss all the fighting! Thankfully Survivor starts soon! Thank Goodness for these 'Countdown' Shows, since they really keep us going through the Winter. Each week someone is Booted off, 'Not Selected in The Bestest Rose Ceremony, Evah', or Fired, and with each passing week we get that much closer to the Spring! So we wait for Thursday Night and Sunday Night to roll around, and we're always pleasantly surprised at how fast the week went, then our next 'Favorite Show' is on far as I know it, I think that's what they mean by 'The Circle of Life'...Ya'ha,ha!

The Apprentice is on tomorrow night, and I haven't quite decided which Team I like the most, yet, since both Teams have their own fair share of crazies and meanies, so we'll see what unfolds... and I hope we have fewer people 'beaking off' in the Boardroom -- now who really thinks it's a great idea to swear like a banchee in front of The Donald? And I couldn't quite follow the logic of happily accepting someone 'back into the fold' after they seem to have given up all on their own. Very odd.

Can you believe it's Superbowl Sunday coming around again, already?? Really, where do the years go? And luckily, I haven't aged a bit (like cheese...) -- not that I acknowledge, anyway! ha,ha,ha!

< SPORTSBETTING.COM><SPORTSBETTING.COM>WooHoo! Superbowl Sunday!! Get the Beer in the Fridge, so you're all ready! And don't forget the Nachos, which are a critical part of the 'Game Watching' Process! ha,ha!

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Hey, you can help spread the word about my Site -- here's a new 'Tell A Friend' that my friend James made for me. He's been working away to teach me some new things for my website that I desperately need to learn to make the improvements I really want. Oh, and don't feel restricted by the whole 'Tell a Friend' thing. You don't even have to really like someone to tell them about! What do I care? I'm just interested in loads and loads of people coming in for a visit -- maybe even buying something through the Site! And who knows??? Maybe they'll quit borrowing money from you by learning how to Manage their own money after reading my Articles! ha,ha! So here it is, and it's easy schmeasy to use!<

> Thank You!! Soon we'll be enormous! (And I don't mean just because of all the Caramel Apples, neither! ha,ha,ha!) Uh, oh... I see there's no apostrophe in the Friends Name Box -- must tell James! Rest assured ( I don't want you to lose sleep over this!), I do know it needs and 's... we'll fix it for you! See ya'! Ailsa

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