Things my big sister taught me.

Things my big sister taught me.

Well, I have to say that I can’t imagine my life without my big sister.  I have learned so many valuable lessons over the years from her.  Now that I am 40 she still continues to teach me new things.  Three new things I recently learned:

1.  People love getting mail!  She mails everything.  Since she moved to Arkansas, she has mailed me books, banners and most recently Halloween costumes. The fact is that she would have mailed these things to me if she still lived in Fenton (35 minutes away).  I don’t know what it is.  There is just something she loves about it.  She likes writing and stationery and has always had an appreciation for proper etiquette.  She particularly loves sending unexpected treats.  Just yesterday my girls received homemade Halloween cards with sticker sheets inside.  You would have thought they won the lottery.  They ran in from school and these beautiful pieces of mail, addressed personally to each of them sat right by their afternoon snack.  They tore into them and were thrilled to have a hand written message from their Aunt Kim.  So lesson learned. . . receiving mail truly can make a person’s day!

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2.  It’s good to feed your dog a raw food diet.  This one I admit I was a bit skeptical about.  However, she is a smart girl who does her research, so I listened.  She has been telling me for years how horrible it is to feed your dog store bought dog food.  She buys whole chickens and feeds them to her dog RAW 😦 .  Anyway, the other night I was making chicken tortilla soup.  To make it easier on myself I bought a rotisserie chicken.  As my dog stood diligently at my side, I decided to give this chicken diet a try.  I threw him a chicken leg.  Now, she told me that they eat the bones and all . . . and he did!  He loved it!  In fact he loved it so much I saved the other one for the next day.  My husband was really concerned when he saw our little dog going to town on this chicken leg.  “Is he really supposed to eat the bones?”

“Yep,” I replied, “Kim said the whole thing.”

I was pretty proud of myself, and when I called my sister a few days later I told her how I was getting on the raw food bandwagon.  She yelled through the phone, “What?  You gave him cooked chicken bones?”

“Yes, you said I could give him the bones.”

“I said RAW chicken bones!  You can’t feed a dog cooked chicken bones!!!  They splinter and could tear his internal organs.”

“Oh.  He seems okay to me though.”

A couple hours later I received a text from my sister that said, “I’m worried about Bogey.  You sure he’s okay?”

What’s the lesson here?  While a raw food diet may be good for your dog, the real lesson learned here is SMALL words matter too.  RAW really was the key!

3.  How to lock down your itunes account so your kids can’t buy things without your permission.  A few weeks ago I posted on facebook that I was a bit surprised when I got my itunes receipt via e-mail and there was a $1.99 charge for a game called “Pou.”  When I asked my kids about it, they explained that it was a game where you have to take care of a piece of poop.  Yes, apparently nothing is free these days.  Anyway my sister attended a PTO meeting the other night and called me on the way home.  During the meeting she had learned that there is a way to lock your child’s iphone/ipod so that they are unable to make purchases.  She quickly walked me through the steps.  The irony in this is that yesterday my sister received her i-tunes receipt and it had over $60 worth of charges that her daughter had made.  Lesson learned. . . don’t laugh at me for paying $2 for shit when you just spent $60 on your own pile.

It’s good to have a sister to teach you these things!

Love you, Sis!

Oh and on a side note.  I sent this entry to my sister to edit for me before I posted.  Usually she calls me up, and walks me through the edits explaining why the change is needed.  This time she called me, and as I went to my computer to make changes she said “Forget it!  I’ve explained the comma rules to you a million times and you still don’t get it.  I’ll make the changes myself and send you the finished copy.”  Lesson learned….Not paying attention can pay off!  BTW – I threw some extra commas in this last paragraph for good measure. 

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Gluten-Free Vegan Quinoa Chili?

So I volunteered to make a main dish for my daughter’s teachers’ monthly luncheon/treat. One of the teachers requires gluten-free food, and no one had signed up for that spot. I’ve never cooked gluten-free before, but how hard could it be?

Searching for recipes on Pinterest, I found one for “The Best Ever Quinoa Chili (vegan and gluten-free).” Now I happen to know that another one or two of the teachers are vegetarians, so thought this might kill two birds with one stone. Of course, the gluten-free gal is a full on carnivore, but, hey, one dish can only meet so many needs. And I’ve been meaning to try quinoa.

I was caught by surprise while shopping for ingredients. Had to be choosy on brands of diced tomatoes, for instance. Some had garlic powder, I think, and therefore, gluten. And my grocery did not carry a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce, so I left it out. Bet I could have found it at the health food store, but no time. A few ingredients were pricey: over $5 for the box of quinoa, though it was enough for a double batch. And over $4 for ground chili chipotle, but I’ll use that for other dishes. And, of course, I had to buy organic beans to make sure they were vegetarian.

As I described this experiment to my sister (the gourmand) over the phone, she started laughing. “What’s so funny about quinoa chili?” I demanded.

“I just hope it tastes good,” she worried. “You don’t want to ruin your reputation.”

Ha! I happen to know from experience that hungry people at work enjoy food that arrives, unbidden and free, regardless of how experimental or vegan it might be.

And. . . it was good! Well, I liked it anyway. I used yellow, orange, and red peppers, and, combined with the quinoa, they gave it a great texture that I enjoyed more than ground beef.  And beef production is bad for the planet, anyway. So there. Try it if you dare.

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Thanks to Sarah at Making Thyme for Health for the recipe: http://makingthymeforhealth.com/2013/09/30/best-ever-quinoa-chili-vegan-and-gluten-free/