Where the Bruised Cucumber meets the Sippy Cup!

A Loud Mama with a loud family, living imperfect lives glorified through God and breaking free of the bondage of politically correct Religion. We do things differently around the Viking Homestead, and hope that, by sharing our lives, we can help others feel more comfortable with their differences as well.

23 May, 2011

Mama Viking Says Its Mindful Monday, Y'all!!

Ok, so, I have a horrible trend in my world of things being REALLY blowful on Mondays. I mean, usually, if something is gonna go wrong, it just seems to be on a Monday. Once there was an episode of Garfield and Friends where Garfield wished away Mondays...now, of course, chaos ensued after a bit and he wished things back to normal. However, it was only because Jon went to the market and got paid on Mondays and therefore, no lasagna could be had. I'm a bit more optimistic about a world with no Mondays, except that I would hate for my Tuesdays to be ruined. With that in mind, I've decided that if I accomplish nothing else on Mondays, I want to put something really positive out there, so that it can't be all bad. Whether its a small victory, or just sharing something good, Hopefully I can change at least one little part of Monday. Today, I'm very encouraged. I'd gotten off track, nutritionally speaking, lately and have been paying dearly for it. However, today marks the first full day that I have not cheated since Lent ended....I went on a bit of a bender, to make up for all the junk I was not eating, and am now suffering the consequences! I'm excited to make it through the first day....it always leads to another, and they get easier the more of them you put in a row. Its the same with any hurdle or goal....one foot in front of the other. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step and such. Sometimes, it really does take a leap of faith...you don't see how things are going to get better or how on earth you are going to accomplish your goal...well, you aren't. Not alone. I don't buy all this 'island unto yourself' stuff...because, at the very least, God will be walking you through all of it....putting you through tests to break you down so that you are able to be what and where He needs you to be. So, patience is a virtue, sometimes the hardest step is the first and now I'm on a mission to find Gluten free beer. See y'all tomorrow!! <3
P.S. Please, if you find anything I'm writing helpful, or would like to suggest topics, feel free to do so. Again, Share and suggest with your friends! Giveaway at 50 followers! :D

21 May, 2011

Mama Viking revamps the food pyramid!

So, this picture is NOT an example of good nutrition by ANY standards! Then again, neither is most of what the average American eats on a daily basis. What is unfortunate is that MOST Americans TRY to eat right by following the food pyramid. The problem with this food pyramid is that, if you follow it, I believe you are setting yourself up for a whole host of health problems, the least of which is obesity. NO ONE needs 9-11 servings of grains a day! Do you actually realize how MUCH food that is? Its ALOT! The food pyramid advocates eating far too many of the wrong foods. At the recommendation of several doctors and looking into it further, I've come up with a 'new' food pyramid that fits in with a)the recommendations of my doctors and b)my need to cut gluten out of my diet. So, I don't have a graphic....because I'm working on getting a nice one, but I DID promise a post, so a post you shall have!! At the most basic level, I turned the pyramid upside down! On the standard pyramid, it calls for 9-11 servings of grains a day. I have replaced that with leafy green and non starchy vegetables. The next tier is for protein! Organic, pastured meat, organ meats, seafood, non-homogenized milk and dairy products and beans. The next level is good fats including olive oil and avocados. The next level is fruit. The final part of the pyramid is grains. We do include them daily in our meal plan, but at 1-2 servings per day. I'll be back on Monday with a new post...and hopefully to find a few more followers. Once I get to 50 followers there will be a giveaway to celebrate...and it may be LUSH-tastic! ;)

20 May, 2011

Mama Viking LOVES to make Lists!!

I indeed DO love to make lists. I make lists for EVERYTHING! I have dry erase sheets all over my refrigerator for daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal and yearly chores. I have a binder full of lists(but that is another post entirely!) However, some of my favorite lists to make are meal plans. And, with the recent orders to go gluten free(as per my doctor), I have had to entirely revamp my game plan where meal planning is concerned. Now, I prefer to make a meal plan for several weeks so that I can do the brunt of my shopping in bulk and keep the majority of my weekly trips down to things like milk, eggs, and other perishables. So, without further delay, my meal plan...for the next 8 weeks!! :D
This is usually the easiest meal of the day in our house. It has to be something that I can get on the table quickly, everyone will be happy with AND is gluten free! It used to be either cold cereal or something like that, but, for various reasons I've moved myself and the kiddos off of things like that for several reasons. So, on the menu board for the next 8 weeks are the following offerings:
Crockpot Oatmeal and Eggs
Homemade Granola with Homemade Yogurt
Gluten Free or Grain Free Pancakes
Huevos Rancheros with Corn Tortillas
Sweet Potato Baked Oatmeal
Frittata or something similar
Grain Free Muffins
Homemade Gluten Free Pop Tarts
Gluten Free French Toast Frittata

I try to keep lunch simple, especially when the kiddos are out of school and go from content to starving in about 2 seconds flat!
Homemade Gluten Free Hot Pockets or Pizza Pockets
Grain Free Mini Pizzas
Sandwiches on Gluten Free or Grain Free Bread with Fruit or Veg
Grilled Cheese or Quesadillas
Baked Potato or Baked Sweet Potato(one of my FAVORITES!)

Fruit, Veggies, Homemade Yogurt, Cheese, Knockoff Larabars, and Hummus, Homemade Ranch and Yogurt Dip for the fruit and veggies.

Tea, Water, Milk, Water Kefir, Lemonade(and maybe some fermented, probiotic rich lemonade!), limeade and labor-aid!

Yes, I list this BEFORE the main meals...I like to see my sweet options before the savory! :D
Mock Peanut Butter Cups
Coconut Brownies and Coconut Ice Cream
Homemade Yogurt and Pudding Pops
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana "Ice Cream"
Grain Free Crisp/Cobbler

Finally! I know, I know, but this is just the way the list works out on paper...the dinners take up the most space so they go on the back side of the page after everything else is planned out! There is somewhat of a theme to my meal planning. Every Monday, its Breakfast for Dinner! Tuesday is Vegetarian Night. Wednesday is Grilled Cheese or Quesadillas with soup. Thursday is some sort of homemade 'skillet' dinner, usually a one pan, quick and easy sort of do since by that point in the week we are all ready for a break...and a minimum of dirty dishes! Friday is something 'take-outy'. Since I can't really 'safely' do take out, I have something fun on the menu so we still feel as if we are getting a treat. Saturdays are usually something quick and easy, since that is the only day I have to do ALL of my shopping for the week and Sundays are something yummy in the slow cooker....so it SEEMS like a big deal, but really its not much work at all!
Sat 21 May: Crockpot BBQ Beans and Weenies w/ Gluten Free toast or Cornbread
Sun 22 May: Beans and Rice with Sausage
Mon 23 May: Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcakes with Eggs and Bacon
Tue 24 May: Black Bean Enchiladas
Wed 25 May: Quesadillas/Grilled Cheese and Soup
Thu 26 May: Irish Skillet
Fri 27 May: Grain Free Pizzas
Sat 28 May: Pot Roast
Sun 29 May: Venison Stew
Mon 30 May: Gluten Free(and probably Grain Free)Pancakes with Eggs and Bacon
Tue 31 May: Mexican Black Bean Burgers
Wed 1 June: Quesadillas/Grilled Cheese and Soup
Thu 2 June: Tex-Mex Skillet
Fri 3 June: Yakisoba or Stir Fry
Sat 4 June: Fish Fingers(for the kids) and Poboys(for the adults!)
Sun 5 June: Slow Cooker Carnitas
Mon 6 June: Hash Brown Quiche
Tue 7 June: Bean And Cheese Burritos
Wed 8 June: Quesadillas/Grilled Cheese and Soup
Thu 9 June: Cajun Skillet
Fri 10 June: Grain Free Pizzas
Sat 11 June: Orange Chicken with Homemade GF Egg Rolls and Rice
Sun 12 June: Chili with GF Cornbread
Mon 13 June: French Toast Frittata
Tue 14 June: Veggie Burrito Bowls
Wed 15 June: Quesadilla/Grilled Cheese and Soup
Thu 16 June: Asian Skillet
Fri 17 June: Sloppy Joes
Sat 18 June: Spaghetti with Homemade Meat Sauce
Sun 19 June: Beans and Rice
Mon 20 June: Strawberry Shortcakes with Eggs and Bacon
Tue 21 June: Black Bean Enchiladas
Wed 22 June: Quesadillas/Grilled Cheese and Soup
Thu 23 June: Cowgirl Beans and Rice
Fri 24 June: Grain Free Pizzas
Sat 25 June: Nachos
Sun 26 June: Crockpot Lasagna
Mon 27 June: Pancakes with Eggs and Bacon
Tue 28 June: Bean and Cheese Burritos
Wed 29 June: Quesadillas/Grilled Cheese and Soup
Thu 30 June: Green Pepper Steak
Fri 1 July: Sweet and Sour Chicken with Egg Rolls
Sat 2 July: Spaghetti
Sun 3 July: Chicken and Dumplings
Mon 4 July: Hash Brown Quiche
Tue 5 July: Veggie Burrito Bowls
Wed 6 July: Quesadillas/Grilled Cheese and Soup
Thu 7 July: Fish Fingers with Mac&Cheese
Fri 8 July: Grain Free Pizzas
Sat 9 July: Nachos
Sun 10 July: Chicken Enchiladas
Mon 11 July: French Toast Frittata
Tue 12 July: Mexican Black Bean Burgers
Wed 13 July: Quesadillas/Grilled Cheese and Soup
Thu 14 July: Chicken Broccoli Casserole
Fri 15 July: Stir fry with Fried Rice and Egg Rolls.

PHEW!!! Yes, its a long one, but it saves me time and money in the long run! Minimal trips to the store=a better chance of me sticking to the budget! And, I know there are repetitions in the meal plan. I usually make a brainstorming list ahead of time while keeping the total amount of meals I need in mind. So, for example, if I have 3 vegetarian meals I'm really keen to cook and I need 6 vegetarian meals, I will just put each meal on the plan twice. Works out easier that way! All of the meals listed above are going to be homemade and gluten free...and some of it hopefully grain free! Putting this all out at once also gives me the next few Friday's to write about a few other topics I've been thinking on. However, tomorrow is shopping day!! Wish me luck!

19 May, 2011

Mama Viking Reflects on Lent...and other things!

Well, Spring has MORE than sprung and its time for updates!! The little bundles in the picture are too cute to not talk about straight away. Almost 7 weeks ago, a cat gave birth to a litter of kittens under Cranky Pirate's Jeep! It was a huge shock as there was a pregnant kitten wandering around, but this was a different one entirely. Little Valkyrie heard the kittens fussing, and I had to go get two of them and put them back with their mother. Apparently she was malnourished from the get go so, after feeding her and giving her a cozy spot, she seemed to be looking after her kittens fairly well...until she abandoned two of them under the jeep. We discovered this early one morning on the way out to school and, unfortunately, while I was inside getting a box to put them in, a neighbors dog got out and killed one of the kittens! :( The saddest part of this was that my sweet daughter saw the whole thing happen. However, we saved one, the sweet runt of the litter, who we named Odin. He was sweet and content and, unfortunately, was abandoned for a reason. Some other neighbors brought the other three kittens back...we're wondering how they got them in the first place, but are suspecting they were taken, since the mother cat kept coming to our house to find them. Just one short day after getting Odin's littermates back, He had to be put down, due to a congenital condition. So, we were left with the three! Little Valkyrie, who watched FAR too much Cartoon Network in her day, named the gray one(a boy)Grim, and the other two are Billy and Mandy...however we had to change it to Billie...thats right, 2 girls! Billie was, at first, so covered in ant bites that even the vet couldn't make a call on gender. We spent several weeks bottle feeding and tending to these kittens...and its wonderful. Sometimes, sitting up at the crack of dawn in the cool and quiet feeding a little utterly dependent creature with a bottle is some of the best and most reflective time you can have. Of course, NOW they are huge(comparatively)and are jumping over baby gates, off of bottles and litter box trained(Thank God!!). Its amazing how quickly life can change! These kittens are a handful, but have been some of what I needed to get my focus off of negative things and stressful things.
NOW on to more serious reflections and thoughts. I've been wanting to update on Lent, and the list of things I wanted to either do more of or give up for that time period. Some of it went really well, and some of it was an epic fail. However, I'm not one to give up, so even though it all wasn't a smashing success, I did try and, I am learning from the things I didn't do so well on. I'm incorporating ALL of the list into a set of weekly and monthly goals I have for myself. Just because Lent is over doesn't mean I should stop working on myself. The areas I had the biggest struggle with involved money and all things involving gossip. I've also found that, unfortunately, I seem to come across in a way which has managed to offend alot of people. I try not to mince words with anyone. I don't want to hurt peoples feelings and will actually bite my tongue for quite a while, but eventually, I just say what a)needs to be said and/or b)what everyone else is already thinking. Constructive criticism is a good thing, meant to build up a person, to help them navigate the forks in the road and get to the place where they need to be. Now, as for me, I'm such a stubborn, narrow-sighted, inward-looking person that I need BEYOND constructive criticism...more like a 2x4 to the head! :D However, I'm also a very 'Daria' type...all dry wit and sarcasm, so even things I say out of total concern or compassion get misconstrued. It gets to the point where I just want to pack it in and not be bothered with other people....something in my affect is off and just seems to get me into more trouble than its worth! :/ That being said, I'm still intent to work on myself, for the right reasons. I'm refocusing on my Lent list, with the addition of a few items, AND also starting on a WONDERFUL e-book by Stephanie at Keeper of the Home dot org called Healthy Homemaking One Step At A Time! I've VERY excited about this book and ready to get started. SO, for the next two weeks my main goals or areas of focus are going to be 1)cut the gluten entirely out of my diet(doctor's orders), work on reeling in the grocery budget and trying to avoid the grocery store as much as possible and 2)Work on the first step in 'Healthy Homemaking' which is to reduce waste! I'm so excited about ALL of this that I've also sorted out a plan to update more regularly...as in Monday through Friday! Especially with all of the exciting things coming up! So, in the spirit of things, I will be back tomorrow with a yummy, gluten free meal plan for the following week!!

28 February, 2011

Mama Viking gets ready for Lent

Well, I'm here and relieved that Ash Wednesday is just over a week away! I always like to give ALOT of thought and prayer to Lent. I want to give up things that will be a true sacrifice...that will 'hurt' and make me NOT want to do it! I pray first, seeking His guidance into what lessons I'm supposed to learn and what I can do to put myself on the path He has for me. I really don't focus much on new years resolutions, but start planning for Lent almost immediately after Jan 1st! I look forward to the focus and contemplation and prayer and quietness and revelry of the entire season. It is intended to be a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving and after MUCH prayer and contemplation I have decided upon several things to give up or embark on. Partly because I need to separate strong wants from true needs, and also because I need to come to a place where I am completely humbled so that I might be greatful for everything I have and to learn how to be a good steward of ALL that God has blessed me with! I have amassed ALMOST all the supplies needed to see me through this period and now am just waiting for it to begin. So, in no particular order, here is "THE LIST" :D :
1)I will be following 'The Maker's Diet' by Jordan Rubin for the duration of Lent. This covers several dietary 'sacrifices' I had already planned on making such as no soda, no junk food and no takeout.
2)I will be following WW1 food-saving guidelines: Wheatless Monday and Wednesday, 1 wheatless meal each day, Meatless Tuesday, Porkless Saturday(doesn't really matter because its not allowed on The Maker's Diet!) and 1 meatless meal each day.
3)I will not be purchasing anything new. Let me clarify because I can already hear the "wait, what?!". Obviously, some things have to be traditionally purchased from a store...I'm going to buy toilet paper and such and obviously New Underwear goes without saying! However, if I can borrow something that is my top option. After that, I feel like purchasing from a resale or thrift shop is the next best option.
4)I will engage in daily exercise. This is a routine I have fallen out of, and I'm paying DEARLY for it! I want to do the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon in 2 years time. Therefore, in order to accomplish my goals AND be a better steward of the body God has given me, Its time to get off my behind!!
5)I will limit my time online to 7 hours a week. This may seem like alot to some people, but its FAR less than the amount of time I currently spend online!
6)I will put my entire paycheck into savings.
7)I will work on giving up vanity.
8)I will try to give up engaging in gossip.
9)I will have 4 no money days a week! In an effort to curb unneccesary spending there will be 4 days a week in which no money can be spent. This includes something as simple as change for a soda machine.
10)I am working on my self-care/hygeine routine. Not giving in to vanity, but focusing on presenting an image that glorifies God, blue hair and all! :D
11)Getting back into the routine of Giving to charity and church.
12)I will engage in Daily Prayer. Real Prayer, not 'oh God, if this traffic doesn't clear up I'm gonna kill someone!'
13)I will make a point to spend special alone time with each kid every day.
14)I will be purging my house of unneccesary clutter! My goal is to take at least 100 items to goodwill or friends garage sales.
15)I will stop speaking negatively. I will watch my tongue and not let negative words or harsh tones come out of my mouth. Moods and attitudes are contagious, and I don't want to pass negativaty along!
16)I will be making as much as possible. In an attempt to increase our self-sufficiency AND start working on the whole 'urban homesteading' thing I'm trying to make(or learn to make)as much as possible including: butter, yogurt, bread, coffee creamer, water kefir and other beverages, shampoo and conditioner, soap, laundry detergent, dish detergent and candles.

WHEW!! What a list. I know. The point is to turn things around completely, bring my world to a screeching halt, burn off the fluff and come to what is really important! I hope you all will consider taking part in Lent in SOME form, whether its as simple as being more prayerful or just being nicer to your neighbors.

16 January, 2011

Well, I'm back..that counts for something, right?! :D

Well, its obviously been awhile! The holidays are always wonderful, but my favorite time of the year is the time between New Years day and Valentine's day. It seems like the world just breathes this huge sigh and slows down a bit. Its the time of year that the weather FINALLY seems to get cold around here, the days get a bit dreary...and I LOVE it! Its such a wonderful time of promise and opportunity. This is the time to start sowing what I hope to reap, not just for the year, but for a lifetime(both literally and figuratively!). Its a time of renewal and a time to reflect on needs, wants and priorities. This is also the time of year that I start to think of Lent, what it means to me and what I plan to do to honor this special time. I've also been pondering alot about where I'm supposed to do, the path i'm to follow. I've been learning new things, both in general and about myself. I'm debating on doing a series on this blog....but not sure which topic to tackle first as there are so many things I'm wanting to talk about. For the time being, I can talk about cloth diapers, but not a certain brand, so will probably put that on the back burner for now. I'm definitely keen to talk about radical homemaking, modern biblical femininity/gender roles, living on a TIGHT budget, real food eating(including kefir, kombucha, and local foods) and self sufficiency...being able to take care of oneself and grow ones own food is very important to me. And, of course, knitting! :D At this point I feel I've got to be the very model of confusion at this point...I don't really fit in with any group, but I'm always happy to talk, to answer questions, and to learn new things!