Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Read the labels

I'm sure all of you are in the habit of reading labels. Here's an interesting thing about milk and milk substitutes. I remember many years ago when M started buying almond milk. "Oh, Mom -- you should try it -- it's the best." My response:" NO. I don't want to drink that stuff- it tastes terrible and doesn't have the same nutrients as regular milk. Not touching it!" And we had numerous discussions about it. 

At some point, I tried it, and I never looked back. I LOVE almond milk now, and while I sometimes have to use skim milk on my cereal when I wasn't diligent enough to get more almond milk the day before, there is ZERO taste to skim milk. It's like colored water! 

And there is nothing better than a half glass of chocolate milk on a hot day after a walk. Now that is laden with sugar!

So I had to laugh when someone tried my almond milk and said they didn't like it because it was too sweet! I had to laugh because it made me think of myself way back. The almond milk I buy is UNSWEETENED, so there is ZERO sugar!

Here are the labels from chocolate milk on the left and skim on the right. 

Let's just say that chocolate milk is better than no milk but is laden with sugar! I know there's a lot of sugar, and I'm OK with it. As I mentioned, I use it as a refreshing recovery drink after my walk on a hot afternoon. On my cycling trips, I've been known to purchase 1 liter of chocolate milk and down it right from the jug in one sitting! Oh yes -- there's nothing like the thought of a liter of chocolate milk to get you the last 10 KM to the convenience store!

But now compare the almond milk on the left to the skim milk on the right. 

There is much more sugar in skim milk than in unsweetened almond milk. Zero cholesterol, a lot less potassium, and well, you really should read the labels so you know that you are getting what you want or should be getting. 

The big selling feature for me with almond milk is the flavor. I'm not a fan of the taste of milk, and while I don't drink almond milk, it provides a nutty flavor to the cereal. I did NOT like it overnight - but after a few tries, I came to love it! I will miss it next month!

This reminds me of a story about oatmeal. I'm not a cook, and I'm not a foodie. I eat what is simple and easy. So for years, I ate the instant oatmeal in a pouch. Years ago, when making group breakfasts at a quilt retreat, I suggested bringing instant oatmeal, among other things. I was STRONGLY voted down by one person, who was a foodie! She didn't speak highly of the instant oatmeal. 

I started using the microwave version of the steel-cut oats somewhere along the line. OK -- now I get it. There is a HUGE difference in the texture and the taste of the instant oatmeal and the steel-cut oats. Even microwaveable steel-cut oats are 1000 times better (personal opinion) than the instant stuff, which tastes like cardboard. WOW -- I've come a long way, but I still am not a foodie! But I'm trying to be more open to trying new things!

Speaking of being a foodie -- there is NOTHING better than sitting down with a whole HUGE tomato directly from a garden, adding a bit of salt and pepper, and that's a meal. This is how we ate tomatoes on the farm, and I don't think there's any way to improve upon that. Simple! OK -- let's be honest, this would NOT do as a meal -- I would starve! 

A snack of tomatoes

I was back out with a test walk yesterday. The backpack is now 9 pounds. 

9-pounds in the backpack

I have thrown things in, and I will have to start packing properly -- taking stuff out of the packages, etc. It was very annoying yesterday as I could hear the packages bouncing around and making noise! The last thing I need to listen to for 6 hours! 

However, the good news is that the backpack is working AMAZING. It was more comfortable when it was fuller than when it wasn't. That was regarding my arms. And the weight? It felt like a feather when I put it on -- you have to love the strap system and its construction. Now, after one hour of walking, I started to feel it, and I will be tired at the end of 6 hours, but overall, it's very comfortable, and the weight is well within my means to carry. 

I still have to add a few other things -- the hat, the rain jacket, and a set of clothes, although I have to wear one set, so I will be carrying only one set of clothes at a time. OH -- I have to add in the electronics as well. But starting tomorrow, I'll show you, by category, what's in the bag. 

Speaking of electronics, my keyboard came yesterday. It's a folding Bluetooth keyboard -- can you believe it? And it weighs about 200 grams. 

It's rechargeable, and I plan to take the charging cords for the three items that need charging. I'll purchase ONE USB block for European power when I arrive. I'll just have to be diligent about keeping things charged, but I should be able to manage that. Only my phone will need to be charged daily. 

I made good progress yesterday on the magazine quilt that needs to be pieced, quilted, and bound before I leave! I know --- it's always like this. I'm slowly working my way through that list of things to do -- VERY slowly, but I just need a day, and I should be fine. However, I have quilts for customers to finish. 

Let's just say that this one was a massive quilt! It was 106" long, so there wasn't a lot of room at either end of the long arm. 

But I managed to get it done late last night, and now I have another HUGE one to load today, and I'll quilt it tomorrow. 

Customer quilt - DONE

I hope to have all the customer quilts done by Thursday -- there are two left to quilt, so I should be able to make that happen. Then I have homework to prep for the weekend and other stuff! 

I have to take my car in for service this morning. I had prepurchased a service package and didn't realize until 6 months ago that there was a time limit on the package, which is January 2023. I think it was for four years. Well, there isn't a lot of mileage on that car, but I'm not forfeiting the service. So I'll take it in now and then in January, and then the package is done! 

I think the car has to be there for several hours and should I come home? Should I wait? Should I go for a walk? I decided to stay, but I've got some computer work lined up, so I'll log onto their internet and be good to go for a couple of hours. They have a very comfortable area to work in and good internet. It's all about using your time wisely!

I have a whole pile of stuff sitting on the floor beside me that needs to be addressed. It's in the portable office backpack, and I should get a ton done! I also want to listen to the latest audiobook - one of Liane Moriarty's books -- Big Little Lies -- OK -- who dies???? WAIT -- don't tell me. I'm guessing!

I don't think I showed this quilt -- it's another Wanderer's Wife. Maryke finished it at the retreat last week. Seeing the number of finished quilts in this class is so exciting! I'm so proud of everyone because the quilt was a TON of work, and the results are stunning. I'll add this to the Wanderers Wife blog post, so they are all together. 

Wanderers Wife by Maryke

As usual, we had a blast at Monday's sewing. I got some work done, but I need a good day of sewing, with nothing else going on -- no long arm, no computer, no classes! Maybe Tuesday next week! 

That's it for today -- a lot is going on, and I'm working my way through the stuff. 

Just out of curiosity -- how is the decluttering coming along? I know I made leaps and bounds of improvements in the office, and now I'll be leaving it for a month. But I'm OK with that. Everything I've done has been an improvement, and that's all we can hope for. But I'm SHOCKED at the number of people who are happy to collect stuff and don't care how it gets cleaned up or who does the job. They are just happy to accumulate. WOW --- I could never do that! 

Have a super day!!!!



  1. I pulled open 1 drawer in our armoire. I evaluated everything. What went? 4 sports bras that are just too flimsy for my breasts (I kept thinking they would work nicely when I got a bit smaller) and 1 swimsuit that is now too big (yea for walking!!!!). I also put out a 6" tall stack for hubster to go through. 1 T-shirt and 5 tank tops all out the door. All of these items were picked up by folks on our neighborhood Facebook Buy-Nothing group.

    No matter how much decluttering I do, there is always something to go when I purposefully look around!

    1. OH MY GOD --- I love it --- decluttering is a never ending job!!! Good for you!!! And I'm praying for a bit cooler temps for you!! The weather is crazy - we so desparately need rain.