Friday, March 25, 2011

Dear makers of protein bars, meal replacement bars, nutrition bars, etc.

Dear manufacturers of protein bars, etc.:

Enough with the mint chocolate double fudge crap.  Quit trying to fool us into thinking they are candy bars.  They're not.

What I want in a protein bar is: a high percentage of protein, high fiber, low refined sugar, reasonable fat content, some potassium to make up for all the sodium crammed in there and zero high fructose corn syrup.

This can be made palatable. I will buy carrot, cranberry, almond, blueberry, etc.  But the grocery stores do not typically stock many of these great basic flavors because they are too busy stocking up on those mint chocolate double fudge marshmallow cupcake flavors you insist on making.  Knock it off. Don't make me come up there.

Peanut butter is okay. I'd prefer something with less fat, but fine, if you must have a variety of flavors, then go with peanut butter.  Just remember you are not a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and furthermore, the American consumer doesn't need more candy choices.

Be what you are.

dj runnels
Life's an Expedition on Etsy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

$80 poncho turned into a rug

I made handwoven ponchos a few years ago, when they were all the rage, and still had some left. This tan one in particular was a nice, thick wool. I had been asking $80 for it as a poncho. But I decided to sew up the neck opening and turn it into a bathroom rug. Not exactly economical, but woo-hoo, is it ever soft. That's because I felted the daylights out of it. DH is putting a bit of non-slip tape under it to keep it secure. It looks better in real life.

Everything can be turned into something else.

dj runnels
Life's an Expedition

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Old and pretty: contradiction in terms?


Why are aging women expected to live up to an almost impossible ideal of beauty?

If a man looks above average, doesn't gain too many pounds and manages to keep most of his hair, people will think he's increasingly distinguished-looking after age 40, in a Paul Newmanish kind of way. Wrinkles won't change that image, nor will reading glasses. In fact, if he wears glasses and puts on a sport coat, he will look distinguished AND intellectual.

Okay, now think of the average woman over 40. Add minimal extra weight and a pair of glasses. That should put her on equal par with an aging man. But unless she looks like Cher Bono, most people will consider her a frump. Put a sport coat on her and everyone will think she's a sexless frump. The glasses do not make her look intellectual. They put her in the grandma category. Add wrinkles and people will sort of curl up their lips when they see her. And if, God forbid, she has the poor taste to turn 60, she should start digging her grave.

I am not saying that men age better than women.
I am complaining that our culture views older men as better-looking than older women. We have been taught to view aging differently in men than in women.

This makes me more uneasy with each birthday I reach. My husband looks increasingly like Al Pacino to the rest of the world. But I am increasingly invisible. No one looks at me any more. I'm pretty sure I disappeared at age 30. If this continues, I'll be able to get into movie theaters for free. But how will I be able to stop the other theater-goers from sitting on me? Get off me! Go sit on somebody who's had botox!

I want this to change. C'mon. I'm getting older. My husband is getting older. We are ALL getting older. And I am not wrong or unimportant or sexless. I shouldn't be invisible. I refuse to be apologetic. I also won't divulge my age until you people get it right. Nyah!

dj runnels

Life's an Expedition

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I renamed all the streets in my neighborhood and here is why.

Today is the birthday of my nephew, Ethan, and since he was a bike guy extraordinaire, I decided to take my first bike ride of the season to commemorate him.  

This was an ambitious endeavor, since it followed a night of insomnia and two hours of intensive yard work.  We passed up any notion of traversing Heart Attack Hill--our nickname for a particularly steep street near our house.  But we did glide past Pulmonary Plateau, pedaled meaningfully through Osteo Avenue and came to a pathetic halt around Coronary Corridor.  

As I told my husband, "My goal is to be so freaking sore tomorrow that I won't be able to tell which aches are from which activity."  I am confident that I will get my wish.

Happy Birthday, Ethan. I miss you.

dj runnels

Monday, March 7, 2011

A houseful of faux painting

The background of this blog appealed to me strongly because of the wall paint. Much of my house is painted in faux finishes.

My office and its adjoining bathroom are a sort of French custard color over which I used a gold paint mixed with glaze, applied with newspaper.  I smeared the newspaper pages across the wall and let some of the newsprint ink seep into the paint/glaze.  When I removed the paper, I inspected each section to make sure I didn't have a Carson's yellow dot sale embedded in my wall.  A few times, the newsprint was legible and I had to do it over.  Twice, I saw my hand print from where I had pressed the newspaper into place, so I had to remove that, too.  The Chinese characters shown above are part of a commercially available wallpaper border.  I could not believe my good luck in finding that border, as it matched the wall so well.

My dining room (above) has an irregular wall surface to begin with, so painting it was no special feat. I merely used several colors of beige using a special sponge roller.

My yarn studio (above) is painted in layers of green, over which I applied beige and glaze, covered it with sheer plastic drop cloths, then removed.  It's a brighter, more varied color than you see in this photo.

My kitchen is painted a flat blue-gray-green, but I am using leaf rubber stamps around the back splash.  This isn't finished yet. This section shows mostly oak leaves and I need to overlap some other leaf shapes and tone down the blatant colors.

My living room has the same irregular surface that my dining room has.  It was painted a dayglo orange when we bought the house.  And when I say dayglo orange, I am not exaggerating.  It was the brightest orange wall color I have ever seen.  McDonald's pales by comparison.  I did not think I would be able to cover it completely, so I decided to work with it rather than against it. I layered four shades of pumpkin, rust, gold, etc. over it and you can still see tiny bits of orange peeking through, especially where the wall meets the ceiling.  The photograph doesn't do justice to the results.  It is the warmest, coziest, most autumnal room you could imagine.  Like a baked pumpkin pie.  And I use a lot of foliage in my decorating, so it feels especially cozy in there in September, October and November.

Okay, thanks for letting me share.

dj runnels

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