I know I said I didn’t want anything for Hanukkah/Christmas this year, but then I flipped through the REI catalog. I bought one of these for my mountain man a year or two ago, and he takes it when he goes hiking, backpacking, motorcycling or mountain biking alone. He even shot a video of himself mountain biking one time. It’s hilarious, because he had to set it up, turn it on, then walk his bike to the top of the hill he wanted to record himself riding down, then ride down it. Then he decided to go back up and ride down once more. So we get to watch his cute patoot hoof it back up the hill. Anyhow he takes it with him everywhere. But it didn’t work for my SLR. Now they have one that does. Please, Santa. I love it.
Also, I forgot to post one of my weight-loss strategies with my Slim-down post. I try, the best I can, to not drink my calories. And then I said right in that post that I had a beer one night that week! I normally drink water, almost exclusively. I drink it out of a big mason jar. I refill it at least once a day.
I also drink tea in the morning, and I use some stevia and a splash of soymilk. And when I do want something like juice, I make limeade or lemonade with fresh fruit juice, water and stevia.
The rad thing about stevia is that it doesn’t trigger the sweet-seeking response that artificial sweeteners does. It’s not artificial. It doesn’t taste exactly like sugar, but it’s just a calorie-free plant extract that has no impact on your blood sugar. I prefer liquid to powdered stevia, and although those tiny bottle are really expensive ($11-15 for a 2oz bottle) they last forever. Like over a year.
This is the brand that I like the best, although there are many out there. NuNaturals offers a regular, alcohol free or vanilla variety.
So that’s another little weight loss tip.
I asked his advice on making bubbles for the Pie, and he sent a long email with a lot of explanation of bubble components, science, products and techniques. Here is Tom Noddy’s recommended “bubble juice” recipe:
1 part dish soap (blue Dawn is best)
16 parts water
8 parts commercial bubble liquid or a MUCH smaller amount of glycerin or corn syrup (start with a teaspoon and mix thoroughly before adding more … don’t over do it).
Stir it well but try not to make a lot of suds while mixing, if you do, scoop the suds off of the surface. Suds are the enemy of bubble making.
Tom also told me that mixing in small batches – a week’s worth or less - is important, because the mixture won’t keep the same way commercial bubble solution will. If it’s particularly cold, the bubble juice will last less than a week.
I’m certainly not giving bubbles to the Pie yet, but I want to start blowing them at her so she can bat at them. Once she’s ready to play with her own bubbles, Tom recommends the Bubble Tumbler to keep her bubbles in – it prevents spills and comes in lots of options – from plain old primary colors to Dora the Explorer.
Ah, and house hunting. We’ve gotten a pre-approval from the bank, so now we’re tentatively dipping our toes into the house search. Should we use a realtor, or Redfin? Should we move quickly or take our time? Are we ready for this? Ack!
We’ve been poking around on Redfin but we’re not sure where were going with this. We’re looking in the just north-of-Seattle area, including Edmonds, which I am loving. It’s a cute little down on the water, and there are some decent little houses there. It’s not too far from the mountain man’s work, although it’s kind of far from the mountains…
I need someone to tell me what to do.
Maybe I want a realtor after all.
I don’t know if I’m grown up enough to buy a house. Procreate, yes. Purchase property… eek.