Thursday, July 10, 2008



Isn’t this QP amazing? THANKS to my dear friend Valinda who so generously created it using my Peppermints and Polka Dots kit, which you can purchase in FULL by clicking HERE. Valinda always has wonderful giveaways on her blog too. Won’t you stop by and check her out? Just click HERE.

the CHERRIES are ripe!

did I mention the CHERRIES are RIPE?

like, did we buy a 20lb box three days ago and they're almost gone?

Hmmpf! AmyW and I are thinking on the same track – Good Summer Reads! Part of our day now consists of taking a few hours out of the hottest time of the day, sitting down on the beach and when I’m not in the water, burying my nose in a good book. WHAT have I read? WHAT am I currently reading?


The Omnivore's Dilemma
a natural history of four meals
by Michael Pollan

This book was the ‘MEAL’. It was good food for my brain, being educational and fascinating all at the same time. Once I cracked the cover, I could not put it down. My time is so valuable, that it has to be a VERY good book for me to read it cover to cover, if its non-fiction. This book fulfilled my curiosity and interest in every way.

I heard the author, Michael Pollan being interviewed on NPR radio. You can listen to the audio article by clicking HERE. Michael’s book opened my eyes and mind to examine what I’m putting in my stomach, and how it is produced. His book has some good answers some of the very questions I’ve always had regarding whether its more ethical to be a vegetarian or not. He follows food from the fields (and feedlot) to your table. He explores foraging, hunting and preparing your own food. He examines whether its reasonable and even wise to eat food grown local etc.

He’s opened my eyes to the fact that corn is in almost all of the prepared foods (and drinks too) we consume. We rely on corn so much that the whole system has created a monopoly with corn production – because, we also need it for fuel now too. So farmers are producing HUGE amounts of corn, and NOTHING else. Along with this, they need fertilizers and pesticides. So what Michael does is compares this with the other type of farmer. The one who works a smaller farm, and is very diverse in both the animals sustained, along with fruits and vegetables, and how its all a symbiotic relationship – a circle of plant and animal life. The point is, if we do not become self sustaining, then we rely on ONE thing, and if that ONE THING goes wrong, we will all be in trouble. You know the old saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” – he’s saying that literally about the way we grow and produce our food.

Do you know that McDonalds is allowed to spray Chicken McNuggets with the substance tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, which is an antioxidant made from petroleum? Its sprayed right on the nugget or on the box it comes in, supposedly to ‘help preserve freshness’ Michael goes on to tell us that the Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives indicates TBHQ is a form of BUTANE – ya, LIGHTER FLUID. The FDA lets processers use it (sparingly) in our food. In the case of a McD’s Nugget, thats no more than 0.02 percent in each nugget. Good thing – for if you ingested a mere single gram of TBHQ you could experience ‘ vomiting, nausea, delirium, ringing in the ears, the sense you are suffocating, or even collapse!’ If THATS not scary enough for you, ingesting five grams can KILL.

I think what most impressed me, is that the author followed EVERY avenue of the food, personally. He walks us through the system and explains it all in language even I could follow along easily. I would say this is a MUST READ. If not for anything more than being more conscious of where our food really comes from and how we can make wise choices in our own lives in how and what we eat.

Sidenote: There are a few swearwords in the book. Very few, (like one or two instances in the entire 450 page book) and I don’t believe they were used to glorify cursing itself. Because I’ve made the choice to have a ‘Family Friendly’ Blog I think it best to tell you ahead of time.

So this book was my MEAL, but the following book was definitely DESSERT!

Daring Chloe

by Laura Jensen Walker

Arriving in the mail a mere week or so ago, Laura Jensen Walker’s DARING CHLOE is a must-read for lovers of a good Chic-Lit. Daring Chloe begins with us feeling the sting of being left at the alter – well, just BEFORE the alter, but ya know! Talk about having all your eggs in a basket, I think (being a former runner) it would be like spending months upon months preparing to run a marathon, only to injure yourself before the big day, or have the race cancelled – only this is x100, as its life-changing.

Poor Chloe, methinks. But, though she’s ‘stinging’, she’a a spunky gal, surrounded by a loving (ok, sometimes she can feel they’re a tad smothering) family, and her friends, who all happen to be in a book-reading group together. Everyone bands together to try to help Chloe move on (even her co-workers unknowingly ‘help’ her move forward when they have a gossip session in the work washroom not knowing she’s in a cubicle... *angst for HER*)

There’s also the best guy friend of her ex-fiance, who she wants to hate, but he’s so darn NICE...

The story just gets better and better as the book-club girlfriends decide to each choose their favorite book and LIVE the storyline in some way. Ultimately, this fun group of young women wind up in *sigh* PARIS, France. (JanMary, you would LOVE this book, having just spent some time in Paris with your husband!) (and Becks, its read now, so I’ll find a way to get it to you – a good read when you’re resting up after baby’s arrival!)

PURE DESSERT, Daring Chloe is a ‘vacation in your mind’ book. I see there’s to be another coming in the series – I know for one I’ll be lining up for that one too! To visit Laura Jensen Walker's website to get your own copy, just click HERE.


I’ve JUST started these two books – I like to have one that feeds my wisdom and one that feeds my imagination.

He Speaks to Me
by Priscilla Shirer

He Speaks to Me – Preparing to Hear from God by Priscilla Shirer (daughter of Dr. Tony Evans) and published by Moody Publishers.

A Thousand Voices
by Lisa Wingate

A Thousand Voices by Lisa Wingate, published by Penguin

where I'm headed!

With no further adooo – I’m off to read! Have a wonderful day!


  1. I definitely need to read that book - Paris :) ....happy memories....!

  2. AWESOME list of books Barb!!! I agree every bit about the foods we eat and where they come from. Years ago when I homeschooled, I was part of a co-op through our church where we would order in bulk wonderful organic and natural foods.

    Both of my daughters took summer work from a couple at church who owned and operated an "organic" farm. The girls learned SO much about produce in general with a focus on tomatoes, which they learned to inspect, sort and pack for market. Such INCREDIBLE memories of those days.

    To this day, both of my girls and myself are pretty guarded in what we eat. I, personally, do NOT eat anything from a fast food chain, with the exception of perhaps once or twice a year at Taco Bell!!! And then I only order two crunchy tacos! LOL!

    I also avoid restaurants ... just because! I am not anal about it, however, I have gained a lot of wisdom in regard to the way our food is grown and/or processed. I also keep away from processed foods for the most part and partake occasionally so as not to offend anyone!

    There is one interesting note that was passed on to me just recently. Even those who farm organically with NO pesticides can receive a dusting from a neighboring farm who does use them on a VERY windy day. EEEEKS! Well, that is where my faith comes in and I just know that I will be around until my appointed time! :)

    One other thing this book reminds me of is how depleted our soils are of the necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need to operate at maximum efficiency. The land is to be left to rest every seven years. How many farmers today are doing that? Our soil has been overworked and is being stripped of all that was put there to help sustain us.

    Okay, I am rambling on so, but you have hit a VERY vital part of my life and that is finding GOOD and NUTRITIOUS food!!!

    My daughter cooked for us last night and she was so cute as she referred to herself as a "foodie". That means I like GOOD food Mom. Where some people are content to eat hot dogs and beans, I like to prepare GOOD food and food that tastes good!

    I shall NEVER regret allowing my daughters to take over the kitchen when I went on a special program to lose weight after giving birth to my twins. Both April and Joan can prepare a feast fit for a king or a family!!! ROFL!

    Thank you SO much for sharing your reads. I really miss reading more and you and I are alike in that if I find a book that grabs my attention, that book does not get put down very easily!!! I gravitate towards books based on "true" stories/events. The last three books I read were a trilogy based on true events and written by the victim of those events. I finished them in two days. I think all I did for those two days was read, eat when I had to and sleep!!!

    I think I tend to scrap/design the same way I read. If it pulls me in, I don't like to stop until I am finished!!!

    You have such THOUGHT-PROVOKING blog entries!!!

    Linda :)

  3. Good Morning Barb:)
    Just stopped in to say Hi and thank you so much for all you share.:)I don't read as much as I use to...but I showed Christy your blog and she read about your books.She is a reader too:) I may do more reading after I get my eyes examined.:)Seeing the words on the page is an important part of the reading process.hehe
    Your lake looks soooo inviting!!

    I hope you have a fantastic day!


  4. Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 11 Jul [LA 03:35am, NY 05:35am, UK 10:35am, OZ 08:35pm]).

  5. wow that Meals one is one I should read...well there goes McDonald nuggets ....thanks so much for sharing ...I know you love your books and you are always reading something that is awesome and eye opening the qp page that Valinda put together with your new kit ..well have a great weekend and could you swim a length for me and hugs all around

  6. GREAT list of books and i LOVE the cherry pictures!!! Thanks so much for all you share! it sure is an eye opener about the food, too! Hope you have a BEAUTIFUL weekend! :D


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