Sunday, January 26

New Table & Whiskey Joe's

Last weekend, my hubby and I had a really fun weekend.  No, I mean really fun!  And we have something beautiful to show for it.

We try to have a fun day on Saturdays.  In the middle of winter, we both tend to get cabin fever.  Short, cold days keep us indoors for much of the week, and we both have office jobs, so by the time Saturday comes around, it's time to get out.  Last Saturday was one of those fun days.

We started off the day by going to check out a local donut shop.  The shop has been here long before we moved here, but we'd just never gone.  But this was a day of adventure, and we found a new favorite donut shop...that I guess we won't be visiting again for a while, thanks to our upcoming diet changes.  But it was a great way to start the day!

Our next stop was over to a collection of primitive and antique shops all in one place, because I was looking for some local raw honey that I knew was sold there.  While looking for the honey, we happened to notice a smallish table displaying other items for sale, and the table seemed to call to us.  Once we started looking it over, we knew it was exactly what we've been looking for for so long.  It was a little smaller than 3' x 4', and completely made of restored barn wood by a local woodworking shop called Whiskey Joe's.  It had a beautiful honey colored finish to it, and it was just the right size for our small dining area (we just have an eat-in kitchen, no dining room).  We had another table there that just hasn't fit well since we purchased our current house--it was round, and despite the fact that two of the sides folded down to make a rectangle-ish shape, we could just never make it fit well and be functional in the dining space.  We also had a short console in front of the window, which just ate up more space in the dining area.  The whole space didn't work.  But searched as we did, we never could find something to replace it--until now!
The price was a little higher than we wanted, but wasn't unreasonable for something that would last longer that we will.  We hovered around it for quite a while before moving on, checking out other tables and accessories also by Whiskey Joe's scattered around the building.  We did find the honey and purchased a bottle (which is delicious, by the way), but left without the table.  We went to other stores around town, but couldn't get the table out of our heads.

The next morning, we still wanted the table!  It's usually a good idea for me to take some time to think about large purchases, and more times than not, when I do that, I decide against the purchase.  Not this time, though!  We both knew this was the table, and if we didn't buy it now, it might not be there later.  So we went back out there that afternoon and purchased our new dining room table, and we couldn't be happier!  It it just perfect for us and the space it's in.  Plus, with the other table and the console gone, it looks so clean and simple now, and will be perfect when we put our home up for sale in the future. 
We're not sure of the age of the wood
Original nails still in the wood

The surface has many nicks and scratches from a hundred (or more) years of use
If you live in Northwest Ohio or down around the Columbus, Ohio area, check out Whiskey Joe's.  They have some really beautiful pieces, pictures of which can be seen on their Facebook page.  I'd love to get one of their multi-candle holders and hand-carved bowls, too, and wouldn't be opposed to getting a larger dining table from them in the future.  I love the look of the refinished barnwood, and it is so sturdy and solid that I know it will last for another hundred years!

We've had the table for a week now, and have enjoyed nearly every dinner on its worn and polished surface.   In fact, we had a delicious dinner on Friday night:
A loaf of crusty bread, the honey that led us to the table, a salad of kale, red and green lettuce, carrrots and tomatoes, and a Pinterest recipe that I altered a bit for chicken and pesto bake (the link will take you to the original recipe).  It was delicious, and as you can see, our table works perfectly!!

Monday, January 20

Time for a Change

A new year, a new you, right?  If only it was that easy!

I have decided it's time to make some changes, though--partly because I know that I need to, and partly because I'm still having gastrointestinal problems, and after a year of testing, doctor visits, and a lot of medical bills, the doctors have come to the conclusion that nothing's wrong with me.

I, however, have come to some different conclusions, and know there IS something wrong.
From Pinterest
So far, we've ruled out all gastrointestinal diseases, lactose intolerance, glucose intolerance, and gluten intolerance, but I'm still having problems, so what gives?

I have a suspicion that it's a combination of food and medication, and so I've started taking steps to change what I can and counteract what I can't.  That includes making dietary and food changes.  I've been wanting to go this route for a while now, getting away from processed and going to all-natural/raw/organic foods (we're not jumping on the paleo bandwagon, but I'd like to move us a little in that direction). 
From Pinterest

We purchased a quarter of a cow from someone I know last fall, and the difference in the meat is surprising in a delicious way--I don't think that we can ever go back to store-bought beef again.  I tend to agree that all of the chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, etc. that are put in and on our food today have a bad effect on our bodies, and I think that these things could be a contributing factor to my problems.
From Pinterest
I'm also on medications that I think have affected the good bacteria in my body.  I can't help but wonder if this is also contributing to my problems.  Because of this, I've started taking probiotics to help re-build the good bacteria in my body. 

Basically, I know that my insides are inflamed and irritated.  That's the only thing that all of the medical testing revealed.  I am going to start eliminating foods again and see what makes me feel better when I don't eat it.  I'm also going to take probiotics to help replenish my gut flora, since I don't think that eliminating my medications is an option at this point, but I'm looking into it further.  So, what I'm proposing to change is listed below:

Change our eating habits--switching from foods that have been found to be inflammatory (I'm using the book 21-Day Tummy as a reference for the first three weeks)
Change our grocery shopping habits--buy raw, local, natural, organic foods whenever possible
Try to work in some daily exercise--15-20 minutes five days a week to start
Shop local for meats and dairy--I have a few local places on my radar, and I'd like to start buying raw milk cheeses and other unprocessed dairy

If you're interested in recipes, tips and ideas for healthy living, visit my Pinterest page!  The button is located at the top of the blog.  There are also regular recipes, crafting ideas, and all sorts of fun stuff!

Change is hard for me, so this will be a challenge.  I'm hoping to start this soon, probably this next weekend.  I admit that I look forward to change in the same way that I look forward to going to the dentist--with apprehension, to put it mildly.  I'll change what I can with the time and energy I have, and I know that my husband will support me, which will be a great help.  I'll keep track of my progress as I go along, and if my problems and results help just one other person, then it will have all been worth it!

Tuesday, January 7

Baby, It's COLD Outside!! in northwest Ohio, it's below zero. 

As a high temperature. 

For two days straight now.

I can honestly say that I'm glad I don't have a homestead with animals right now!

Everyone in the majority of the US is either going through the cold snap, has received quite a bit of snow in the last few days, or both, so there's no reason to really talk about it that much.  I just thought I'd share the view from my little corner of the world, taken from the inside looking out, because I tried to go outside, and's just too cold to go out and take pictures!  I do love the color palette of winter, though...blues, grays, silvers, whites, these colors from Design Seeds:

Stay warm and safe, everyone!
This frost was on the inside of the door.

Up close...I love frost crystals!

Icicles along the back side of the whole house.

Can you see the swirls in the snow?

Looking out the front door, which is also frosted up.  Winter, for sure!

Front yard.

Front porch and drive.

Patio furniture...seems like it's always the best way to measure the snowfall!