Tag Archives: holidays

Yes, I’m “Detoxing” with Apple Cider Vinegar

No, I’m not fasting. No, I’m not planning to drink vinegar cocktails every day for the rest of my life.

Yes, I feel better.

For the serious science on vinegar in general, and for the current crunchy take, there are your links.

Basically, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is lauded in the fight against allergies, dull hair, skin problems, fatigue, diabetes, toxic buildup and, my favorite, cancer! It’s also limited as a miracle cure by a lack of hard scientific evidence.  Of course, that’s true of many natural/home remedy type agents. We just don’t know, really. Risks seem minimal, though low potassium, bone trouble and bladder cancer have all been mentioned, but not in the context of short-term, moderate use.

My reason for doing this is not that I believe it will make me live forever or even be in perfect health today. The thing is, it’s not going to hurt me, and it’s getting me to drink more water. It’s also a proactive ritual that’s part of my determination to get back on the health wagon, so to speak. The holiday season made me a bit squishy, in every sense of the word, and adhering to some sort of “detox” routine is part of my counter attack.

As always, good health is about a mindset, and not following a bunch of formulated Do-Don’t lists. My goal is physical and mental calm – not to cheat the Reaper.

Along with the ACV regimen, I’ve slashed the sweets and booze intake, upped the whole, fresh foods and started exercising again. Wherever credit may be due, I’m feeling more energetic, enjoying better digestion, less anxious and just feel… cleaner overall. I realize the ACV might be the least important factor, but, as a healthy ritual, it’s helping me stay on track.

If you hate vinegar, you’d probably hate the concoction I’ve been imbibing daily for the last week:

  1. Every day, shortly after getting up, I put the kettle on and grab my jar of raw honey.
  2. I put about 1/3 tablespoon of honey into a large drinking glass, along with small dashes of cayenne pepper and cinnamon.
  3. I add the boiling water to fill the glass – about a pint or so.
  4. I drop in one tablespoon of lemon juice and one to two tablespoons of ACV, stir and sip.

It’s all based on the Bragg’s ACV drink recipe and a few others I checked out.

This is something I’ve wanted to try for a while, and what better time than the kickoff of 2015? What are you doing to take on the year?

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Christmas Archives

julafton carl larsson

Julafton, by Carl Larsson, 1904

Happy Christmas Eve to you!

Cooking, baking, visiting, listening, erranding and (hopefully) relaxing are the priority today, so I thought I’d give you a touch of Christmas past.

It’s interesting to see how this week has changed for me over the years. I imagine some of you have similar evolutions when it comes to the holidays:

To My Ancestors: A Little Modern Grinching (2010)

Holiday Nomming (2011)

Happiest of Holidays to You! (2012)

Merry Christmas! (2013)

Stay safe, warm and happy!

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Merry Christmas!

colorful celtic merry christmas banner

As is the custom among my people, allow me to wish you a Merry Christmas!

If you do not celebrate Christmas in one of its current incarnations, I hope your own holidays, if you observe them, have been/will be wonderful, and that your December 25 is one of peace, happiness and fulfillment.

Here’s some of the music I like to hear during this season. Enjoy!



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Christmas in August

father daughter gift bag presentsMy husband’s father’s family has started a tradition of Christmas in August. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I have a few complaints about the holiday season. However, this new practice has actually captured what I like best about the holidays, and left out the snow and other distasteful things.

The tradition started last year as an excuse for all getting together. Over the past decade, each year would see us gathering for a bridal or baby shower or  wedding, but Iris was sort of the end of that – at least for the foreseeable future. Now we need to find other reasons, and Christmas in August was our aunt’s wonderful idea.

It’s great. Our branch drives the three hours to Ft. Wayne, IN (in great conditions because it’s August!) and is welcomed to a house full of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. There’s eating and laughing and swimming in the new pool. No one has to dress up, and the food is Mexican take out, so all anyone has to do is assemble their own tacos. Our generous hosts have time to relax and everyone has a fabulous time.

We do exchange gifts, but in the white elephant sense. This year, we came home with Eggies and a Macy’s box full of nylons. I gave away a “stained glass” golf themed picture frame, for which I paid $1.47 at Goodwill.

Of course, I enjoy a lot of the cozy festiveness that comes with the winter solstice holidays. But the important thing is being with those you love, and Christmas in August allows us to focus on that. I’m already looking forward to next year.

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New Eats and Old Friends

Bartertown restaraunt logoYesterday I met up with some old friends for an afternoon of lunching and sipping.

First of all, it’s always nice to reconnect with the folks who knew you when you were 20 and stupid during the holiday season. Lately I’ve been feeling a little too grown up, and although incubation circumstances keep me from getting crazy, just being around the people who knew me back when can reinvigorate some of that youthful sensibility.

Also lovely was the fact that it was sunny, snowless and over 40 degrees.

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“Don We Now” the Holiday Game Face

humand head on figurine

I certainly do my share of holiday grinching. I make it no secret that this time of year drives me a little bit crazy, what with the get together scheduling, making sure to see those home for a few days, traveling to visit relatives and spending a ton of money.

Don’t get me wrong – I love holidays and celebrations and time with friends and family. It just feels like we have to squeeze these very important things in because the rest of the world wants us to ultimately remain working drones and mindless consumers.

Ideally, we’d all get a week off in which to visit, cook, eat, exchange modest but meaningful gifts and celebrate the various religious, cultural and seasonal aspects that we hold dear. But we don’t. Those of us who live in the winter clime must bundle up and accept the mayhem.

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The Pumpkin Challenge, and a Challenged Pumpkin

carved pumpkin

A face only the carver could love…

In case you haven’t noticed, I really like Halloween. It is one of my two favorite holidays (three if you include summer). I think the vibe and theatrics are fabulous, and I especially appreciate the emphasis on parties and creativity rather than rampant commercialism and chaos (at least, that’s how it goes in my world).

Over this weekend, we attended a pumpkin carving party. I usually don’t have too much trouble coming up with a design, but this year, the orange squash wasn’t speaking to me.

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