Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Pictures

They look perfect.

Mint for our ice tea (Ripi in the background)

Friends (the Serranos) gave us chiles negros - SPICY but good.

Carlos petting the doggies, after our walk.

New Pictures :D

Squash plants looking good.

Different view

Roma tomatoes sure love to cluster.

Cherry tomatoes, ready for the picking!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Healthiest Foods To Eat

Funny how the media organizes stories. I just read the 20 Saltiest Foods Exposed and less than a inch away was the link to The 10 Best Foods You Aren't Eating.

Small recap:
These grungy-looking roots are naturally sweeter than any other vegetable, which means they pack tons of flavor under-neath their rugged exterior (best sources of both folate and betaine). Lower blood levels of homocysteine, an inflammatory compound that can damage your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease.

Mostly used in Asian cuisine. Loaded with sulforaphane, a chemical that increases your body's production of enzymes that disarm cell-damaging free radicals and reduce your risk of cancer.

Has concentration of lycopene -- an antioxidant that fights prostate cancer -- than any other plant food, including tomatoes and watermelon. And guavas are high-fiber food: There's almost 9 grams (g) of fiber in every cup.

Swiss chard
Mediterranean leafy-greens. A half cup of cooked Swiss chard provides lutein and zeaxanthin (increase your internal eye protection). Plant chemicals (carotenoids) protect your retinas from the damage of aging.

Helps control your blood sugar, which influences your risk of heart disease. Spice's active ingredients, methylhydroxychalcone polymers, which increase your cells' ability to metabolize sugar by up to 20 times.

Purslane (never heard of it)
A broad-leaved weed, it's a popular vegetable and herb in many other countries, (China, Mexico, & Greece.)
Highest amount of heart-healthy omega-3 fats of any edible plant - has 10 to 20 times more melatonin -- an antioxidant that may inhibit cancer growth -- than any other fruit or vegetable.

Pomegranate juice
Decrease systolic (top number) blood pressure & significantly improved bloodflow to their hearts. What's more, 4 ounces provides 50 percent of your daily vitamin C needs.

Goji berries
These raisin-size fruits are chewy and taste like a cross between a cranberry and a cherry. Tibetian's use them for medicinal purposes for over 1,700 years.
Highest ORAC ratings -- a method of gauging antioxidant power.

Dried plums
"Prunes," contain high amounts of neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids, antioxidants that are particularly effective at combating the "superoxide anion radical."

Pumpkin seeds
Eating them is the easiest way to consume more magnesium.

See link for further information:

Saltiest Food Exposed

Read an article "20 saltiests foods exposed". You never know what you might find, it states the obvious but there are some surprises.

Saltiest Soup - Baja Fresh Chicken Tortilla Soup
2,760 mg sodium, 320 calories

Saltiest "Healthy" Food - Chili's Guiltless Grill Chicken Platter
2,780 mg sodium, 590 calories, 85 g carbs
*Stick with the Guiltless Salmon, the best choice on Chili's sometimes-healthy special menu.

Saltiest Chinese Entrée - P.F. Chang's Beef with Broccoli
3,752 mg sodium, 1,120 calories, 65 g fat
* Skip the fried rice (it can contain 2,700+ mg sodium ) & send out an SOS ("sauce on the side") to your server.

Saltiest Frozen Dinner - Swanson Hungry-Man XXL Roasted Carved Turkey
4,480 mg sodium, 1,360 calories, 70 g fat

Saltiest Sandwich - Quiznos Turkey Bacon Guacamole Large Sub with Cheese & Reduced-Fat Ranch Dressing
4,670 mg sodium, 1,120 calories, 49 g fat, 116 g carbs
*Stick to small, low-calorie subs at Quiznos--the Tuscan Turkey, or better yet, the Honey Bourbon Chicken.

Saltiest Pizza - Pizza Hut Meat Lover's Stuffed Crust Pizza (3 slices of the 14'' large)
5,070 mg sodium, 1,560 calories, 87 g fat, 114 g carbs
*Never order a pizza with more than a single meat topping.

Saltiest Comfort Food - Denny's Meat Loaf Dinner (with Mashed Potatoes and Corn)
5,080 mg sodium, 1,210 calories, 69 g fat, 97 g carbs
*Trade the salty loaf for the Steakhouse Strip Dinner, which has just 460 mg sodium and 390 calories (before sides).

Saltiest Salad - Romano's Macaroni Grill Chicken Florentine
5,460 mg sodium, 840 calories, 53 g fat
*Reasonable insalata is the Mozzarella alla Caprese.

Saltiest Mexican Entrée - Chili's Buffalo Chicken Fajitas (I wouldn't call this MEXICAN FOOD?)
5,690 mg sodium, 1,730 calories, 107 g fat, 143 g carbs
*Avoid fajitas at any restaurants, too overseasoned.

Saltiest Kids' Meal - Cosi Kid's Pepperoni Pizza
6,405 mg sodium, 1,901 calories, 93 g fat, 190 g carbs
* You could feed your child 50 turkey sandwiches at Cosi for the same sodium price tag. (But stick to just one.)

Saltiest Seafood Entrée - Romano's Macaroni Grill Grilled Teriyaki Salmon
6,590 mg sodium, 1,230 calories, 74 g fat, 79 g carbs
*Grilled halibut, topped with a fresh tomato-basil relish instead, has just 1/4 of the sodium.

Saltiest Appetizer - Papa John's Cheesesticks with Buffalo Sauce
6,700 mg sodium, 2,605 calories, 113 g fat, 296 g carbs
*Might as well get a Cheese pizza. Thin crust.

The Saltiest Dish in America - Romano's Macaroni Grill Chicken Portobello
7,300 mg sodium, 1,020 calories, 66 g fat
***Macaroni Grill earns its title as America's saltiest chain restaurant

*For the expanded list, visit:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Everyone okay?

At 11:42am (like most folks) I felt a 5.8 rolling quake centered SW of Chino Hills.

Check out: for the latest information.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Happy to report that all campers who went on Erick's annual backpacking trip - made it back in one piece.

Here are a couple of pictures, enjoy. Check out Chuck's blog - in the upcoming days for a detailed account.

Happy as a clam, before his big trip.

Dave, Erick, Jimmy, & Ryan

Chuck styling a sweet bandana!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Crossing my fingers!

Something is feasting on my garden. I had spotted a small caterpillar but thought nothing of it (at first) then I started to notice holes in my leaves (on my herbs or veggies). These pests don't discriminate! I found this picture online, don't think those are my hands and that I would actually touch it ;S
I was looking online for remedies, apparently there's people that hunt them down at night (when they're active) and pull them off by hand and squish them. Not for me, decided to seek out alternate organic soultions. Initially wanted to get a praying mantis - but they're hard to come by, ugly, and I would have to touch it. So I opted for an insecticide.
Lots of sources recommended: : Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) can be found at most garden centers in the pesticide section. It's primarily organic (wanted to be sure of that since I eat from my garden). Brand names are Thuricide and Dipel. This strain of Bt is a bacterial disease that only affects caterpillars. It has to be ingested by the pest caterpillar, within a 3 days after ingestion the product renders their digestive tract and kills them. We'll see if it works! Sprayed it last night after I put the dogs to bed and it STUNK, this morning Rip & Tini were all around my garden trying to figure out the funk!
For the pesky files:
I bought $6 Reusable Fly Trap. Thought about getting the bags, but they were almost $6 and they're one-time-use. Bought this instead, it comes with a powder that you mix with water then you hang in a sunny area. They should have warned me that the mixture was going to STINK (a cross between fish and spoiled milk). Very raunchy. I think Ripi might need a neck brace, she's been holding her head up trying to figure out where the scents coming from. Again, I'm praying it works!

*It did say, once the water was black, it's "FULL" (dead flies) - time to replace the "juices" and they recommend that you don't rinse. Maybe I'll have Chuck help me out with that :D You can only imagine the FUNK.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


As of late, I've been spending a lot of time tending to my veggie and herb garden.

As I am out there doing what I need to do - I keep getting attacked by these horrible flies. What ever happened to the annoying house fly that didn't bite? They're eating me alive when I'm out in the garden. It's become a big problem. I woke up last night to me itching those bites, now I have welts like you wouldn't believe. Tonight, I'll be purchasing a couple of fly traps to keep those thirsty blood suckers away from me and my dogs!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekly Recap

It's been a busy time for us. Last week we had two professional development evening events (Wed. and Thursday). Needless to say, we were both very exhausted and drained.

Friday we hang out with the dogs and Carlos started watching No County for Old Men. I fell asleep, too much dialogue to keep up with. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to start it at 10pm :S The end was kind of BLAH (that's all I'm saying so I don't ruin it for anyone).

Saturday we hung out with Ryan and Christina. (Ryan and Carlos have been friends since the 6th grade!) It was great hanging out with them, we tried to hit up some of their usual hot spots (they use to live in Pasadena years ago) but most of the restaurants that came to mind were CLOSED :S We ended up at Barney's in Old Town and finally got to see Ryan on his new bike. (I'll add pictures soon.) Later, we stopped by Trina's house, she threw a b-day party for her boyfriend Chris. He's turning 30 (FINALLY). After the festivities, we headed back to the parents house, hung out a little while, picked up the dogs, and headed home.

You all are going to think we're NUTS, but we ran another race - The Magic Shoe Run (5K) in Irvine. Carlos finished in 23.22 minutes (7:31 min. mile) and I finished in 38.52 (12:30 min. mile). I walked more than 1/2, my right legs acted up but I had a strong finish :D

Friday, July 11, 2008

Congrats Carlos!

Carlos is a runner, there's no denying it. He runs on streets, sidewalks, paved roads, dirt trails but decided to compete in a trail run. He's been itching to participate in Vasque Peters Canyon Summer Trail Run Series (3 races during the summer) put on by . He missed June's event, just did July's, and plans to do August.

It's a 5 mile run through Peters Canyon, the flat, the sandy, and the hilly. He anticipated a 55 minute run so I timed my own pace to make sure I was at the finish line when he came in. With all the excitement and adrenaline, he powered through and finished in 42 minutes (8.40 minute mile). Great time for someone that hasn't trained on rough terrain.

I'll post a sweet video and some pictures soon!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Faster than a Speeding Bullet

This 4th of July was filled with excitement, Carlos and I, along with our cousin's Jorge & Melissa participated in the City of Lake Forest & El Toro High School Education Boosters 14th Annual 4th of July 5K Run/Walk. I know that's a LONG name.

We had a great time, Carlos led the the charge with an impressive 8 minute mile (24.33 time) and I pulled up the rear with <12 minute mile (36.25 time). I'm feeling pretty good, I shaved off almost 3 minutes from my Iron Girl time, I didn't walk this time, and it was an uphill course.

So I may not be "FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET" but I'm getting there!

Monday, July 7, 2008


I'm hooked on the show Secret Lives of Women, they repeat the shows all the time on WE TV and I finally caught up -- there has been such interesting topics:

Mafia Wives
Girl Gangs - nearly 50% of all gang members in the US are Latino
Polygamist Sect - focused on FLDS polygamist group

and so much more! Check it out:

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Groomer Has It - Winner

One of my favorite shows concluded this past Saturday - Groomer Has it (on Animal Planet). The finalists: Artist and Jonathan, the winnings: $50,000 and a tricked out mobile grooming truck ($75,000 value).

Artist was the underdog from the start — a single father from the ghetto, with the least amount of professional grooming experience, but the biggest heart. The other contender, Jonathan, is a self-described celebrity dog groomer with the educational credentials and over 15 years of experience.

What Artist lacked in experience, he more than made up for in heart, compassion, and the willingness to take and learn from criticism. The judges mentioned that he was the contestant that received the most criticism in the whole show! From challenge to challenge, Artist grew in confidence and ability.

Artist had me, when they did the shelter challenge. Contestants visited an animal shelter and selected a dog to groom for the day. They were also responsible for finding the animal a home. The other three contestants, (including Jonathan), selected dogs that were relatively easy to groom. But Artist, chose a dog with an extremely matted coat that came from a puppy mill, despite knowing that his selection could send him home.

Artist Knox won and I couldn't be happier. He openly wept and was so appreciative and thankful for the opportunity. Snooty Jonathon said he was robbed. What a prick!


This past weekend, I decided to beef up my veggie/herb garden. So I bought a couple more plants and put some organic fertilizer on them.

It's been a struggle, the dogs (I suspect both) seem to love the fertilizer and my poor plants keep getting unearth. I started out with a 3 foot fence, our dogs are medium size so I figured it would be enough to deter them from jumping over. I haven't seen any signs of digging but I started to notice the fence becoming warped.

Monday morning as I'm getting ready for work, I look out at my newly re-re-planted plants and notice some have been dug up again, I decided to head over to Home Depot and put an end to it. Realizing that the Australian cattle dog* genes in our dogs may be more pronounced, I decided to beef up the fence to 5ft (I wasn't messing around). I get home and go to town installing the new and improved plant prison. I get ready and rush into work.

When Carlos gets home, he thinks it looks ugly (too exaggeratedly too big) and asks me "how are you going to get in?" Of course I knew it would be a big problem, you see the fence is now attached to sturdier 5ft. posts and I used zip ties to secure the fencing to posts. It's indestructible!

He kindly offers to put a door in for me so that I can get in and out of the area. We head to Home Depot, buy more materials, get home - start digging holes for the posts, cutting the wood, screwing it in, stapling the fencing to it -- we finally finish closer to 10pm.

I'm hoping this keeps them out - otherwise, I may not have a garden.
*The Australian Cattle Dog personality is often reserved with strangers and even FIERCELY protective when they perceive that their property and/or persons are being threatened. The ACD is intelligent, but can certainly often be described as hard-headed and stubborn. Once an ACD has befriended you, they are a friend for life (Ripi has too much memory loss, we have to work on that with her). Owners often refer to them as "velcro" or "shadow" dogs...because wherever you go, there they are!! (that's definitely Ripi) A bored Cattle Dog is a destructive Cattle Dog!! ACDs make excellent running or biking companions (that's why they leave me behind)

I guess we're going back to morning and evening walks!