Saturday, October 31, 2009

A State Park WIth A Terrible Disease

When you think of a state park what comes to mind? Majestic peaked pathways to the sun by way of mountains? Calming crystal lakes lapping longingly against the sun baked shore? Dancing tall grasses hissing in the wind beckoning for a romantic interlude? Fresh meadows of fragrant wild flowers waltzing to whimsical music? William Blake, a poet from the mid 1700s recounts his encounter with nature untouched:

I slept in the Earth
In the silent night,
I murmur'd my fears
And I felt delight.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

I'm almost positive that when you go to a state park that you're not expecting to see this. "A veritable pincushion of drill pads, storage tanks, roads, clear cuts, holding ponds and pollution."

I had blogged about relationships previously and how sometimes things can move so quickly that you don't have time to consider the impact of all that's happening. That's what has happened in the Allegheny National Forest.

I'm not sure why current management of the forest decided to go to bed with the natural gas and oil industry, but they found out quickly that is wasn't what they expected. In fact, the entire experience was rather painful and harmful. Upon realizing their horrible mistake, the Forest
Service demanded a complete stop to all drilling activities. Well, the Foresters found out that like a STD, somethings are hard to get rid of. How did the natural gas and oil drillers respond? Of course, they do what they always do, threatened us with the economy, dangled their gags of money in front of a few people...and you know what? It works. They got some of their bedroom buddies to sign a petition to allow them to continue their unsafe practices, so they can continue to spread the disease. Who they send this petition to, you ask? President Obama. Let's just hope that President Obama has protection.

A Very Scary Drive On Hallow's Eve

After the game last night, a friend asked if I'd like to go site seeing. "Around Wink?" Why not? I've lived here for nine years now and believe it or not, I've not seen everything there is to see. This friend took me on dark county roads that led out to the Wink Sink number two and on past it. What was truly freaky was that as we were riding, the road felt like a roller coaster. Uneven pavement, deep recesses, and cracks littered the road.

We stopped to examine the cracks. There's been talk that the road would soon have to be closed. I wondered why since the cracks weren't so bad. That's when the scary part happened. "We don't know how deep these fractures go. We don't know what's underneath us or what isn't." I bent down and slid my hand down into the crack present on the surface of the road. The surface is incredibly misleading, the broken pavement only showed a gap of a few inches, but as my hand slid through I felt nothing beneath the asphalt, only air. I pushed my arm down further up to my elbow and waved my hand around and still felt emptiness.

The picture above is of a surface crack. What I experienced last night was nothing like that at all, it was a penetrating fracture in the surface of the Earth. Driving home last night, knowing that in some places solidity was no longer there, was giving me the feeling that I was sitting on top of a ticking time bomb, but instead of it exploding and going out, I was just waiting for it to implode and cave in.

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths: Aruba Petroleum Spreads Horror

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths: Aruba Petroleum Spreads Horror

Aruba Petroleum Spreads Horror

This is no Happy Halloween, it's not a harmless trick, but instead it's a serious disastrous spill caused by none other than Aruba Petroleum. Click here for the video that exposes Aruba and their attempt of cover up.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Final Home Football Game End Of The Pre Game Meal

Since Justin started on Varsity this year, I wanted to commemorate the first year of varsity football in a special way. Every home game, I prepare a pregame meal and send an open invite to all the football players. Our first pregame meal had twelve of the fellas showing up. We've had as many as twenty two and as few as nine, but regardless of how many come, it's always been a lot of fun.

Tonight is not only the last home game of the season, but it's also parents'
night. Parents will be escorted by their football player from the field into the stands. It's a long honored tradition in Wink Football. This evening's game is being played against our biggest rival, Iraan Braves. I happen to work for the Iraan School District. But don't you worry, I know exactly where my loyalties lie...GO WILDCATS!!!

Whisky has been missing now for two weeks. Whisky was our new kitty and while we were away for a few days, Whisky went on his own vacation and hasn't returned. This year's jack'o'laterns are all themed around cats in honor of our missing beloved Whisky. We didn't have him long, but he definitely made a huge impression on this humble family.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS: More Barnett Shale Sludge Pit Pollution Pictures

Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS: More Barnett Shale Sludge Pit Pollution Pictures

Aruba, Jamaica...That's Where We Want To Go...UH NO FRACKING WAY!

You remember that great old Beach Boys' song? Aruba,, I wanna take ya... This Aruba does nothing to bring about good vibrations in fact is connotes the exact opposite. Read about the Aruba Petroleum Spill, it's truly horrifying!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Going Beyond The Comfort Zone

"To have more or become more, I will have to do new things."

That quote rings true because over the past 5 years, I've had to try new things and since I have, I've become more. I should reassess and say that within the past year, that has come to pass than ever before. Five years ago, my hubby and I separated. I've never been alone. After graduation and only two days at college I already had my first date. I've never been one to be alone or like spending time by myself. Sure, there were times over the course of my life that I ended up alone, but that was by pure accident, now I choose those times and have come to truly enjoy my oneness.

I've also met quite a few people in my quest to be alone that feel the exact opposite of how I feel. They'll say, "I don't want to be alone. I want to share my life with someone, have someone to talk to." Then they'll search my eyes and suggest, "Surely, you feel the same way?" Well, of course I do, but not in the traditional let's get married way. Then they'll say, "Well, no...not right now, I'm talking about in the future." Hmmm...looking at my future, I'm still thinking, no...

These people that I've met have come out of horrible, disastrous relationships. Marriages of 10, 20 & 25 years...ended because of betrayal, their mates finding the grass greener in somebody else's pasture.

Of course these people are hurting and are feeling the need for some comfort. One such person just ended a marriage, then jumped right into a relationship, which just ended and was then asking someone else out on a date. WOAH! SLOW DOWN there doggie. Things are just spiraling out of control. I mean, we're not even taking a little bit of time to let the dust settle. To investigate, search it out, see if it's the best possible avenue. It kinda reminds me of what the oil and gas companies are doing.

The oil and gas industry is moving so fast, people and communities aren't getting the proper time for courtship. Because like in any new relationship, the first few months are the best. All lovey dovey, very sweet and accommodating, and then slowly like a big bullying hulking of a monster, the true person is revealed. After that point, sometimes it's too late to turn back, you've already gotten committed.

Let's put some time into doing research, I mean the kind of research that requires an open mind. Let's try some alternative options, let's go beyond our comfort zone. Even Wall Street is stepping out of the usual comfort zone by seeing a rise in clean energy stocks.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Gathering Line Oil & Gas Drilling News

Gathering Line
- a special pipeline that transports gas from the field to the main pipeline.

The Gathering Line is a round-up of oil & gas drilling news brought to you by National Alliance for Drilling Reform (NA4DR), a broad alliance of grassroots activists from states across the nation that are affected with drilling development.

WWJD on Carter Avenue? TXsharon wants to know if Chesapeake Energy or anyone in Fort Worth government has stopped to consider the answer to that question. Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Some upstate NY landowners are wondering whether they can sell their property if it has a gas lease. Check out the Marcellus Effect for a short review and a link to interviews with realtors.

NEWS FROM PENNSYLVANIA: Laceyville, PA, Getting Nearly $100,000 in Gas Revenues: Is This Good News? Peacegirl at Gas Wells Are Not Our Friends combs the newspapers of Bradford and Susquehanna Counties in Pennsylvania and talks with local people from these areas to find out what is really happening. This week the focus is on Laceyville, Wyoming County, PA. Will the people of Laceyville survive the invasion of the gas industry?

How Many Natural Gas Explosions Does It Take?!! One Too Many! Read it at Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths.

For the first time in decades, New Mexico Senators sacrificed migrating big game with their vote to allow drilling during the winter in the Jicarilla Ranger District of the Carson National Forest. Drilling Santa Fe asks if we have forgotten the high price of deregulation and offers something for consideration.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In Memory of Don Ivan Punchatz

Art for Survival: The Illustrator and the Environment

I had not heard of this book before or the artists whose work is featured in it. I feel rather foolish for not knowing who these people are, but it's never too late to gain more knowledge, right?

I came to know of this book through an email I received from FWCanDo. Below is the email contents:

"Don Ivan Punchatz, died October 22, 2009, Don was an eminent and award winning American illustrator as well as adjunct professor of graphic design at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX."

The email continued to regal of Don Punchatz and his work. In the email was an illustration created by Mr. Punchatz. It is titled, America The Raped. I saw the entire image at once. My eyes welled up and burned a little. I wanted to immediately grab it and post it, but knew I couldn't. Instead, I shared it with my daughter, Annie. I only showed her the upper portion first, of the skeleton propped behind a menacing bulldozer with the city landscape of freeways and suspension bridges. Very dark, rather like a Tim Burton film, lots of greys and blacks and a sense of foreboding. The skeleton wears a red hard hat, similar to the red you may have remembered seeing in the movie, Schindler's List, while noxious smoke pours from the exhaust high above the big machine.

I scrolled down slowly and purposefully revealing the sky beneath the machine and in front of the sky trapped animals, some turned upside down, some looking as if to escape, tumbled in with dark grass and pretty colorful wildflowers. "Oh, momma..." "I know, baby." And then we hugged each other.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The 350 International Day Of Climate In Wink, Texas

October 24th is the International Day of Climate, according to the official website, there are somewhere in the thousands of events taking place around the globe in 181 different countries. I looked for some events that I could possibly participate in but came up short, meaning that there wasn't much going on in my area. I did manage to find an event about 2 and half hours away in Marfa and something about Tandy Hills.

Why 350? That's the parts per million that scientists estimate that the world needs to be at to avoid pollution catastrophe. There's a big push around the world to hold our leaders accountable and demand new emissions standards. World leaders will be meeting in December of this year to draft a new global treaty. Let's hope our collective voices are heard.

Looking Back On Gas In 2009

A natural gas explosion levels two city blocks. The cause, a leak in the main service line. One woman killed, buildings and businesses destroyed, monetary costs $276,000. Bozeman seeking reimbursement from NorthWestern Energy.

HWY 79 Carthage Texas Natural Gas Explosion

Feburary 11, 2009, explosion at natural gas processing plant sparks grass and trees causing a fire on the Texas HWY.

Natural Gas Explosion Forestville MD May 2009

May 7, 2009, someone smells gas at the Penn-Mar Shopping Center. Natural gas was discovered spewing from the ground which then erupted into a fire and an explosion.

June 8, 2009 Preacher's Home In Dallas Explodes

Undetermined as to how the blast managed to occur, last minute change in plans saved pastor's life.

Natural Gas Explosion Rhode Island May 10 2009

Driver ruptures gas line, leak fills room in an apartment building that houses the electrical equipment, fire breaks out.

ConAgra Foods Natural Gas Explosion June 9 2009

Blast kills three and injures scores of others in North Carolina.

Buda Home Natural Gas Explosion August 2009

Fortunate that home owner was outside doing yard work when home exploded.

Oregon Home Leveled Natural Gas Explosion

On the night of August 7, 2009, a blast could be felt blocks away, home completely destroyed.

Grand Rapids Natural Gas Build Up Blows

Debris flies and neighbor's windows are blown out when vacant home explodes from natural gas build up.

October 15 2009 3 Injured Natural Gas Explosion

Gas line explodes while man tries to light the furnace in a Milwaukee home.

Where will the next one be?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Big Ed Lopez Receives Compensation From Jerry Jones

A while back I blogged about my co-worker, Big Ed Lopez, going to the Dallas Cowboy's game. What was so fantastical about all of that was that he was the featured fan in the Cowboy's program. Wind of the event got back to us West Texans and Big Ed Lopez was featured in an article in the Odessa American, as well as ending up on the local news station. It was quite an entertaining story.

Well, one of my blogging buddies, asked on that post if Big Ed Lopez received compensation from Jerry Jones for using his likeness. At the time, Big Ed hadn't received compensation, but a nice neat little package arrived a few days ago from the Cowboy Plaza. Imagine Big Ed's surprise when he opened the package to find a tiny pink Dallas Cowboy's helmet autographed by none other than the auspicious Jerry Jones.

The new school secretary, Sherry Wallace Treadaway, who used to work for the Monahan's Independent School District was very surprised. She stated that Monahan's High School Band opened Texas Stadium, this was when she attended high school back in the 70s. She wrote a letter to the Cowboy's public relations people and asked if they would send the Monahan's High School Band a signed Cowboy's football so they could display it in their school trophy case to commemorate the event. She got a big fat no, they didn't do that sort of thing. At that time the head coach was Tom Landry...I'm wondering why now, Jerry's so generous?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not A Tough Decision

I've been thinking about something. There was a time when the thought of living near a state penitentiary scared the heck out of me. But now I'm thinking I'd rather live next to the Huntsville State Penitentiary than...

Live next to hydraulic fracturing...

oh, bother...I already live here. Damn.

What I Missed Seeing While Ziplining In New York, Texas

The kids and I had been planning our October getaway for a few months now. We were turned onto zipling by our friend Durango. He's never been, but I've got specific instructions from Mrs. Connie, "Tell Durango, he's still got two free tickets waiting on him. We'll put him through ground school and I'm sure he'll have a wonderful time." Okay,'ve been informed.

The ride up to the zipline adventure was truly amazing! Tons of trees, forest green foliage, clear blue skies...m'm, m'm...just beautiful. The entrance, lined with cascading trees, led up to a most amazing house set high upon a hill. From talking with Connie's husband, they moved the house there! That was his profession, a house mover. I might have to look into that soon.

Connie's son, Carson, instructed us in the fine art of zipping, across a line, that is. He was very patient and had a great sense of humor. Durango, I'm thinking you'd like meeting this family very much. Carson's best friend also works for the family business and the two worked very well together. In our party, a gentlemen of 81 was trying out his hand at ziplining. He became a pro and was the best at braking amongst our group of four. know what I didn't see up there while moving effortlessly through the trees? I didn't see oil wells. Nope, I looked all around. I saw leaves of orange, red and green, but no oil wells. I also didn't see piles oil field debris. Looked hard for it, but not there.

I also didn't see open pits of ooey, gooey, stinky sludge. Nope, just beautiful moss green ponds filled with fish that you could eat, lined with healthy trees, surrounded by lush grasses.

You know what else I didn't see? Faulty, leaking, corroded oil and natural gas equipment. Not at all. I saw a lovely home surrounded by gorgeous trees, hilly skyline and an abundance of fragrant flowers. And you know what? I didn't miss seeing that stuff one iota.

Unanswered Questions About The HCG Diet

Can you use Crystal Light while on the HCG Diet? NO! Absolutely no diet drinks. You are eliminating harmful carbs during the diet. Refined processed sugars are off limits. This also applies during the maintenance phase. You can eat anything you please, except sugar and starch, provided you observe one simple rule. This rule is that you must weigh every morning without fail. Sugar, rice, bread, potatoes, pastries...are by far the most dangerous and should be avoided during the diet and while in maintenance. You should increase your caloric intake to at least 800 calories per day during the maintenance phase. Continuing on the 500 calorie diet is not recommended and could lead to weight gain. Please read all the information given to you by your doctor and if you didn't get reading material then read Dr. Simeon's report on the diet.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What Have We Done?

I went on a mini vacation and came back to this...98 comments on the proposed beginning of drilling the Shale beneath New York. Here's my favorite part of the original article:

"If done carefully — and in carefully selected places — drilling should cause minimal environmental harm."

Ha! That made me laugh. Because you and I both know, that ain't likely to know...the careful part. Remember this? And how about this? Oh, recollect this one? Well, you get my drift...and if you haven't then you should really read this.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Barnett Shale Report

I read the Emissions from Natural Gas Production in the Barnett Shale Area and Opportunities for Cost-Effective Improvements report by: Al Armendariz, Ph.D., Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering, Southern Methodist University. It was a whopping 45 pages long, but it was well worth the time I took to read.

Of course, a lot of the terminology I didn't understand, but the report made some comparisons to help out lay people like myself. The gist of what I read confirms that the oil and gas industry are polluting the air, soil and water of DISH. Here's an example of what I'm referring to:

"In addition, predicted 2009 emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane were approximately 33,000 tons per day of CO2 equivalent. This is roughly equivalent to the expected greenhouse gas impact from two 750 MW coal-fired power plants. The three anthropogenic greenhouse gases of greatest concern, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, are emitted from oil and gas sources in the Barnett Shale area."

I thought the reason we are doing away with coal and going natural gas was because it was a cleaner fuel. Did I miss something? I'm confused. These emissions are just from the DISH area...this isn't including all emissions from all over the United States. So, from what I understand, it's as if DISH has TWO coal-fired power plants.

"HAP emissions, which include toxic compounds such as formaldehyde and benzene, are expected to increase. These activities are significant sources of the ozone and fine particulate precursors, as well as very large sources of greenhouse gases, mostly from methane venting during well completions. Greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to be greater than 4000 CO2 equivalent tons per year. "

The reason the emissions are expected to increase is because of the plan to increase drilling. Well, didn't see that one coming did ya?

There are three basic types of pollutants wreaking havoc with DISH; compressor engines, well completions, and gas venting. What I like about this report is that not only does it point out that the pollution is being created by the oil and gas industry, but that pollution reducing options are available for these companies. I'm not so sure that these companies would be interested in self regulation, it'll probably take federal or state law to intervene.

"Unless companies bring special equipment to the well site to capture the natural gas and liquids that are produced during well completions, these gases will be vented to the atmosphere or flared."

You'd also think that probably these pollution reducing methods would be costly, but oddly enough...they're not. In fact, from what I've read, the methods would increase profit for the gas and oil industry! Well, hell's bells, darlin'! What are they waiting for?

"Estimates were made of the costs where switching from IC engines to electric motors for compression. With an IC engine capital cost factor of $750/hp in 2009 dollars, the cost of a 500 hp compressor engine would be approximately $370,000. With an electric motor cost factor of $700/kW, the cost of 500 hp of electrically-powered compression would be approximately $260,000."

Look at that, over $100,000 in savings!

"While flaring emissions from tanks in the Barnett Shale would provide substantial environmental benefits, especially in terms of VOC and methane emissions, capturing these hydrocarbons and directing them into the natural gas and condensate distribution systems would provide both an environmental benefit and a very large potential revenue stream to oil and gas producers."

Not only would the flaring benefit our environment, BUT it would also provide increased profit!

"Emissions of ozone and fine particle smog forming compounds (NOx and VOC) will be approximately 191 tons per day on an annual average basis in 2009...greater than the combined emissions from the major airports and on-road motor vehicles in the D-FW metropolitan area."

That's a lot of pollution! Very harmful stuff being released into the air, water and soil. The report offers suggestions for controlling and reducing emissions significantly and these methods are cost effective. You know, a few weeks ago I solved the health care crisis by creating a health bank that everyone pays into, instead of paying exorbitant insurance rates. Now, I think I've solved the employment crisis. The oil and gas industry can hire lots of people to use the "green completions" to capture methane and VOC compounds during well completions, phase in electric motors as an alternative to internal-combustion engines, install condensate tanks with vapor recovery units, and replace high-bleed pneumatic valves and fittings.

I'm thinking that big oil and gas should be leaders in the industry and set a good example by implementing these emission reducing methods, hiring and training of new employees, and cleaning up the environment.

60 Sites In Utah Have Been Spared!

I read an article a few days ago about drilling being stopped dead in it's tracks on 60 sites over in Utah. I was amazed, and I guess it's because I'm so naive, I suppose I gotta stop doing that or being that. Seems like that in the last few weeks of the Bush/Cheney Saga, the administration forced through 77 leases for drilling without following proper protocol. Hmmm...I wonder why?

Only and only because of concerned conservation groups was this challenged. Thankfully, a federal judge fell in line and put an immediate halt to the madness. Seems, once again, that the Bush administration failed to consider the threats to air and water quality and to wildlife. Some of these areas are adjacent to or near Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dinosaur National Monument.

As I continued reading the article, of course, American Petroleum Institute President, Jack N. Gerard, had this to comment:

“This troubling trend means less revenue to federal, state and local governments at a time when our nation is running a record deficit,” Mr. Gerard said. “It also means fewer jobs at a time our nation is headed toward 10 percent unemployment, and it means less domestic energy available when our economy recovers and demand rebounds.”

He also was quick to blame the Obama administration for stopping him dead in his tracks. And isn't just like an oil man to throw money around in his comments? Well, I live in the smack dab heart of unregulated drilling out here in West Texas and you know what Mr. Gerard? Our economy hasn't improved one iota. Nope, in fact...there are more drillers and riggers that are still not working. More and more families without the basic necessities, unable to give their kids five bucks to go on a school field trip. Indeed, the increased drilling in my area hasn't done anything for unemployment.

I will tell ya that those new wind turbines they've been erecting on the cap rock between Kermit and Odessa have actually created new jobs. Several of our high school graduates have just finished the training over in Sweet Water and are working in a pristine clean healthy environment. Nope, they don't have to wear H2S gas masks, go through HAZMAT Training, or worry about making sure their meters are functioning properly.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Little Cookie Goes A Long Way

This morning, Annie and I were reading my email and came across a wonderful article about Penns Woods. These beautiful forests of Pennsylvania have some pretty staunch supporters, they were able to forestall further development by the gas drilling industry.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is required to raise 60 million from drilling in state parks this year, but are no longer required to lease land to the drilling industry. This is a huge victory for those of us who want to see wildlife and natural habitats protected.

It seems that Representative Dave Levdansky (D-Allegheny) was the major contributor for leading the fight against the drilling companies, thus ensuring protection of Pennsylvania's forests.

Annie understood right away that tons of precious little animals, oxygen producing trees and plants, beautiful clean water had been saved and secured for the near future. She also understood the terminology of needing 60 million dollars. She and her friend Katie B. decided to help and baked chocolate chip cookies. The two girls decorated a little red wagon and went door to door selling home made cookies for 2 dollars a bag.

The girls raised a total of 28 dollars, but more than that they raised awareness...people asked questions.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Oh Me Oh My...HCG Update

When I tried and successfully completed the HCG Diet back in June, I just assumed that most people would do the diet through a physician. Boy, was I wrong. I don't advocate just ordering the product on line and using it. I received a TON of information from my doctor with links to other websites containing lots of information about the diet. There are so many RULES, that one must take about a week reading EVERYTHING, before even attempting the diet. Honestly, READ EVERYTHING!

That's why I suggested the Sugar Busters Diet book before doing the HCG Diet. I'm not trying to convince anyone not to do the HCG Diet, but it is extremely restrictive AND if done improperly there's a high chance of gaining weight. The most important thing to remember on the HCG Diet is to avoid hidden sugars. The Sugar Busters Diet book does a really good job of informing you on how to spot and avoid those hidden sugars.

Right now I'm working with a young mother, age 20, who gained quite a bit of weight during her pregnancy. Her starting weight is 204, and she was quite shocked when stepping on the scale claiming prior to that that she only weighed 180 pounds. That's okay I told her, because with some determination and self awareness she'll be down to 180 in no time at all, but not over night.

We talked a bit about her eating habits. She's got a big obstacle and that would be her significant other. He's skinny as a rail, eats all things fried and greasy and encourages her to do the same. His issue is something quite different, his deals with insecurity, but that's for a different post. She expressed a bit of concern of being able to eat healthy and admitted to me that she'd fallen off the wagon. I gave her encouragement and expressed that she'd been doing great and to not let this be an obstacle, but a starting point. It's also important to remember, that when you mess up a little bit, accept it and move on. Don't go to thinking, "Well, I've already had an order of fries, so I should just do it up real good and have a milk shake, a bag of potato chips, 16 Oreo cookies..." STOP

I started my darlin' mommy on 20 minutes of cardio, then she does a few exercises with the dumb bells. Alternating supinating curls, flys, curls and an over the head weighted press...4 sets of 12. She does this work out 3 times a week. We also talked about eliminating certain foods and soft drinks. Just doing a little at a time. This is the end of week three for my little mommy and she has lost 7 pounds. Isn't that amazing?! Yes, yes it is.

As promised another recipe from the HCG Cook Book:

Chicken Curry
100 grams cubed chicken

1/4 cup chicken broth or water
1/4 tsp curry powder or to taste
pinch of turmeric
dash of garlic powder, and onion powder
1 tbs minced onion
salt and pepper to taste
stevia to taste
cayenne to taste
Dissolve spices in chicken broth in a small saucepan. Add chopped onion, garlic and chicken. Add stevia to taste for a more sweet curry. Saute chicken in liquid until fully cooked and liquid is reduced to half. Additional water may be added to achieve desired consistency. Makes 1 protein.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tag You're It...Pass It On

I read a very interesting article in the Denver Post. I'm wondering why it is that in Colorado, more than just average citizens are taking notice of the fracking process used by oil companies? After reading the article, I then read the comments and this one stuck out:
ILoveChipotle wrote:Oil companies do not frac the aquifers - they do not touch the ground water. The area that is touched by a frac is 8000 feet below the aquifer (that's about a mile & a half away).

Ms. Greenes ignorance & hatred for the industry is astounding.
You are the only one mentioning aquifers.

Are you saying that Coalbed Methane is never found near underground sources of drinking water?

I'm really confused. I'm gonna have to ask some of the smart people I know about the aquifers being touched by fracking. I was thinking that over in Midland, the groundwater has been contaminated, but I could be mistaken. Then I kept reading the comments and came across this one:

I oftentimes disagree with what a columnist writes. Very rarely am I shocked at their ignorance. The two or three articles written by Ms. Greene on fracking are shockingly ignorant. Certain rules, including the chemical disclosure rule that Susan believes to be at issue, were not, and are not, disputed by energy companies. The rules that industry is trying to overturn are those that have have made it nearly impossible to get new permits from the state (yes the state - state regulators - not "you and me").

Fracking is regulated by the state, very heavily so in fact. Anyone who understands even basic geology knows that it would be impossible for fluids from fracking to travel from 8000 feet below the surface to anywhere near water supplies. The important issue when it comes to fracking is the integrity of the cement and metal casing of the pipe. The state requires myriad tests to ensure that integrity, which is why federal regulations would be overly burdensome.

Now, I'm almost certain that there was some leak in some kind of equipment over in Louisiana of fracking fluids. I'm also remembering that some cows, about 16 or so, drank some of that leakage and died. Yeah, I'm pretty sure about that one.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Greatest Treasures

Durango posted the cutest blog about Annie BoFannie today, and as I read it, I smiled and chuckled, he has such a way with words. When Annie had read about the Tandy Hills she was immediately taken with the idea of creating her own little prairie. She pleaded with me not to cut the tall grass in our empty lot next to our home, and I complied with her wishes. I cut trails to the fire pit we use for weenie roasts and out to the water well and back to the pet cemetery. We watched the grasses grow tall and fell in love with the golden plume it produced. Little yellow and purple and orange flowers popped up, butterflies abounded; it was truly quite a sight to behold.

Nearing Winter, it was time to do the prairie proper, so Saturday and Sunday the kids and I spent the day cutting grass, picking up trash and weed eating. Annie watched me sullenly from the trampoline in our back yard as I cut the tall grasses. I could tell she was already missing her prairie, but she understood that soon we would till the ground in order to get it ready for the Spring.

It's a strange mix for me, watching one of my kids start driving and dating girls, while the other is still exploring her world and forging her identity. Justin no longer plays with army men in the backyard, but instead plays with big boys on the Grid Iron. He's preparing for his first solo road trip next summer up the West Coast, mapping his route and making some tough decisions about who he'll be taking along for the ride.

Annie is just starting to hang out with friends at the playground, pick out her own clothes and make her own lunches. Tonight as she was packing her lunch, she asked me if she could pack some extra food. Of course I said she could, but then asked why. Seems there's a new girl at school, who didn't have lunch money and the ladies in the cafeteria provided her with a peanut butter sandwich. Annie didn't think the girl liked peanut butter seeing she only ate half the sandwich.

I'll have to tell ya, that my eyes teared up a bit as I observed Annie carefully select foods she thought the little girl would like. Cheese sticks, yogurt, fruit juice, Sun chips, bread and turkey slices were placed in the lunch pail. And what I've always hoped would grow in my children has come to fruition, that when they see a need or something that should be done, that they would take the time to fulfill that need.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Helping Out In A Small Way

I don't take up or support a cause unless I know quite a bit about it, read or done the research, watched it and observed it, made sure it's 100% legit, not propaganda. This is extremely important to me and my family, because well, we live in the heart of it. It's discouraging seeing all these new tanks and wells and pump jacks going up all around me with what seems little effort. All I'm asking for is some accountability, isn't that fair?

I've found a group of people, concerned businesses, families, and representatives who are willing to do just that; enforce accountability. I guess you're wondering accountability for what? Well, while a lot of us are just getting by, scraping it out day by day...there's money being made hand over fist right in our own back yards...and we're not profiting. Sure, we can sell our safety and protection for lots o' cash, but how is that actual profit?

The kids and I took a trip over to Monahans, just the other day to ride the sand dunes on plastic discs. My son had his arm resting comfortably on the door, window down, sunshine pouring in. Everything just fine, and then he winced in a bit of pain and pulled his arm in. I asked what was wrong. He replied that it felt like he just got burned. I pulled the vehicle over, took a look at his arm and sure enough big white spots covered his arm. Looked like chemical or acid burns. How did this happen? I looked around, saw lots of new tanks and rigs up, then wondered... Do I really know what these companies are doing? No, I don't.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

HCG Diet Update, Side Effects & Maintenance

I've maintained my weight now for three months. I'm completely addicted to working out. I'm also very conscientious of what I eat. I can't say that it's all due to the HCG Diet, but I believe it was the catalyst for my stupendous journey into the world of good health.

I want to discuss the maintenance phase of the HCG Diet. It's for a period of 6 weeks and the purpose is to allow your body to stabilize at your new weight. You'll increase your caloric intake from 500 to 800 calories per day and you can eat anything you please except sugar and starch.

One thing I did learn from the maintenance phase is that a two pound weight gain is very bad. The diet plan also encourages daily weighing. All other sources have always stated to only weigh once a week, but this plan commands a daily, early morning weigh in after emptying bladder and without wearing any clothes.

Here are some of the most common errors while on the HCG Diet:
1. Not loading enough fat during load days.
2. Mixing vegetables at the meal.
3. No gum, mints, etc...
4. No diet drinks including Crystal Light, diet soda or other diet drinks.
5. No American's too fat!
6. Weight of protein is to be based on raw meat.
7. Don't eat the same protein for lunch and dinner.
8. Not drinking enough water--drink at least 2 quarts daily.(or allowable liquids)
9. Try to weigh the same time each morning (before eating and drinking), after emptying bladder and fully naked. (tee hee)
10. Avoid eating in restaurants because to a large degree the meats have been "juiced" or manipulated to be more flavorful, tender or juicy with a multitude of processes, which could slow down your weight loss.