Friday, December 23, 2016

Blogging Fun with Food Not Bought Blog and Heirloom Gardener

I am so excited to say I am blogging for Heirloom Gardener.  I started a blog called Food Not Bought.  Food Not Bought, is a blog that will cross over from the Ivan back and forth across the garden.  It will cover topics of the kitchen and how to build a pantry full of food not bought.  It will highlight this journey as well as focus on growing a productive suburban garden that really does add Food Not Bought to your table.

I hope you will join me on this Journey.  The first blogs are up and posted here.
While, I have blogged over the years, I never really know if people liked my style, or appreciated my writing. It was a big deal to have someone one else, a magazine I respect, read and choose my work to post on their website. Now Heirloom Gardener has decided to take it a step farther and include some of my posts in the spring print edition.

Let me tell you a little story about a girl who was told she had no style and could not write.  I was always exceedingly bright but could not, for the life of me, excel in English.  I was diagnosed with Learning Disabilities by the 5th grade and spent many years being frustrated by limitations in reading and writing. When I grew up, we had no computers or spellcheck, we had type writers and finally graduated up to the first Macintosh computer by the time I was in University. The school programs for learning disabilities were extremely limited and did not encourage academic pursuits beyond getting by.

When I was in my final grade of high school I worked hard to get the minimum of a 65 in Honors English you needed to get into University.   I had an English teacher that had stated he did not like having students with LD in his class, and did not feel they should take honors English or preparing for University level educations.  This resulted in a personality conflict and a difficult situation for me.

As I failed assignment after assignment in English my fear of not getting into University increased.  I was lucky to have parents that fought for me.  They met with the principles and the result was that my work was to be double graded by others in the English department.  Quickly my grade returned into the range of a B.  This was not too shabby, but not at the top of the class.   English was admittedly not my strong suite.

It came to the final.  There was some sort of rule that only a person's teacher could grade their final.  Not sure what that was about but some how this teacher managed to make this happen.  He gave me a Zero on my Final.   I wrote 18 pages on that final.  The only way to get a Zero would have been to not show up.

So he managed to get my English grade down to a 64.  My parents flew into action again and there was a massive appeal and meetings.  Eventually my grade was raised to a 65 and the school administrators sent me on my way University bound.   While this was a victory, there was always that eco in my head of his voice.  Telling me I had no style and could not succeed.
Well now I would like to say thank you to Heirloom Gardeners and to the readers of my many blogs.  Thank you for getting my style and for enjoying my writing.  See you all again in blog land.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

All Fridge and Nothing But the Fridge

Today I am going to ramble on about a fridge.   Well about a couple of fridges.

We have had several fridges over our married life and through raising the boys.  We had a lovely freezer at the bottom, European Style but it only lasted 6 years.  We had a nice traditional style that lasted 7 years.  Our most recent fridge was a small side by side that we absolutely hated.  We stuffed that thing so full and couldn't find anything.

Every timed my husband or I opened the fridge we would curse under our breath. We were like old Yiddisha yentas spitting and saying"I hate this fridge".  We had only had it for about one year.  Seriously, we were a year in and all the drawers were broken.  The plastic cracked and the drawers just didn't fit in anymore, they hung at weird angles and scraped open and close.  The fridges thin and deep shelves fostered a frenzy of crap all stuffed in leaving absolutely no viability at all.

I had been looking on facebook marketplace just sort of weighing it's capacity. You see, I do on-line marketing, so I sort of study these things. I was searching for fridges for obvious reasons. Not really certain I was about to spend any money on it.  Yet I searched anyway.

Then one day it showed up. It was a Danby Commercial All Fridge.  It was all fridge and nothing but the fridge.  It was all fridge, all day long.  It was 33 wide and 67 high. It weighted in at about 187 pounds.  It had 17.7 cubic feet of fridge space.  I just watched it and thought how this would solve our problem and be so great.   We were not really ready to give up the old fridge as we did need a freezer upstairs and had actually finally hooked up the ice maker.   So we would have to add this to our already crowded kitchen.

For someone that used their kitchen as much as I did, I had a very small kitchen.  I made the best of the space I had so the thought of adding a second fridge was a big deal.  Yet we dove in.  We talked it over and then made arrangements to see it.   We marveled at it's size and through of never having to say we hated our fridge again.  We decided to go for it.

They delivered it the next day and we got some friends to help us get it into the house.  I scrubbed the hell out of it.  It was supposedly cleaned but all I have to say is...vomit.  There is something about other peoples dirt or 'schmutch' that makes me want to toss my cookies.  After it was cleaned we just stared at it in awe.

My older son, Jordan, who is a vegan, claimed the old fridge as the land of no meat or milk.  The old fridge would become the land of parve, vegan tofu, tempe and almond products.  I was thrilled that I could help him satisfy his food preferences and not have to deal with disgust or temptation.

We started packing things in the fridge. My younger son, Joel, helped me with this task, really getting into organizing everything on the door.   We manged to move over just about everything from the old fridge, albeit for the vegan delights.  The fridge still looked roomy, beautiful frankly, just lovely. You could find anything you needed and lacked for no space.

There was plenty of space to fill, so I went grocery shopping.  I got lots of good food and still there was space. Next I went to the farmers market and got food for processing and making a fermentation. The recipe included beets, turnips, daikon radishes and a head of cabbage.  It would make enough to fill two half gallon jars when done.  I also got a rather large head of Endive for making a lovely soup.  I even picked up 6 dozen eggs as they were on sale.

The all fridge took all that food in and still looks fantastic. It was room and clean and functional. The door held all the sauces and inside there is space for everything. I felt so spoiled, absolutely spoiled.
So in review, I must say that an all fridge is a beautiful thing and that it is something that anyone who is a serious cook, caner and fermented should consider.  If you use your kitchen as I do, I highly recommend the all fridge for your sanity and for your happiness.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

I got a big butt and I do not care...

Amy Jones may seem like your ordinary Mother of two in America today, and in many ways, she is.  Along with at least 40% of the population of people just like, her she has a problem that needed solving.  Research shows that a huge percentage of women have more booty than underwear.  Amy dedicated to solving this problem one pair at a time with Amy’s Underwear.

Amy’s Story was very similar to many of our own. She was born and raised in St. Louis. Her father owned a flooring business and instilled the values of hard work in her life at a young age. She was a gymnast in her youth and enjoyed a relatively active lifestyle. She enjoyed math and science in school, maintained a high GPA, and was a leader in the drama club.  She taught in her church, after graduation. Amy subsequently had two boys, now ages 8 and 10, and continued with a predictable path of American Life.

The big one difference in Amy's Story, and to benefit of women with big buts everywhere, was that she was surrounded by the concept that a problem deserved a solution and that entrepreneurial ventures were possible.  Amy described her husband as being a serial entrepreneur. Together they had started several businesses and lived the world of possibilities. Amy had the skills and the drive to make a difference.

The problem Amy decided to solve was the ever-present issue of ill-fitting underwear.  The more Amy considered the situation the more she realized she was not alone. She discovered that the current sizing charts for underwear were way out of date and out of shape. She also discovered that not a single manufacturer was making underwear for women with more booty.  Amy became energized with the concept of helping all women feel more comfortable and covered in their underwear.

Amy started with her personal research by going out and spending $500 on different types of underwear and trying everything on.  It turned out that none of them fit right, she has too much butt for the fabric provided.  They all ended up with the inevitable riding up feeling.  No underwear covered the situation well.  She could not wear underwear that was cute, or athletic or even comfortable.  Underwear that fit the booty invariably gaped at the waist, while those that fit the waist rode up and became a thong.

She started researching what the fashion world was doing about this problem. She found that a major jeans manufacture had done a survey of over 60,000 women from all around the world, and found that the issue was a difference between the low and high hip.  This was where the muscles of the buttocks hit.  The standard difference was 2.5 inches but the real difference, found by the survey, was a difference of 6 inches.

Amy never dreamed of being a fashion designer. She learned to sew when she was 8 years old to make her own costumes for Halloween. Never did she dream she would end up using her skills to try and save women from constant discomfort.  She began sewing prototypes, experimenting with different fabrics, elastics, and styles. She realized that her dream of having correctly fitted underwear was possible.

Amy worked on creating the prefect sizing chart.  This was a grueling process and involved hiring a patent attorney and expanding the categories to women’s sizing to include the tops as well as the bottoms.  Amy wanted to create a realistic sizing chart that manufactures could use to help all women feel comfortable.  The sizing chart was submitted for patent and the processed became a reality.

The next step was how to bring this great fitting underwear to the public.  She knew she could not complete with the major brands that were all doing it wrong anyway.  Amy decided to use crowdfunding to launch Amy’s Underwear.  She made a home-grown video filmed right in her living room, while the kids were at school.  She made her logo herself and bootstrapped the entire process.  She decided on a pricing model that would make it possible to create a great quality product and still leave her garments in the same ball park as others specialty underwear.  She launched her Indiegogo on her 34th birthday of November the 6th 2016.

Amy’s target market was every woman.  Her market was active women that love to dance and do physical activity, the woman that enjoy weight lifting and being trim and the women with a pear or an hour glass shape.  Most importantly the market was women that has spent years, if not decades, feeling uncomfortable in her own clothing.  Amy created Amy's Undies, with it's tag-line 'I love big Butts' to help everyone woman with this incredibly sensitive issue.

If you have resonated with this story you might be asking yourself, how can can I help, and how can I get my hands on some of those Amy’s Undies?  If you have felt that horrible feeling of your underwear riding up or fitting ill, you are the woman Amy’s Undies is meant to help.   Check out the Indiegogo site and become one of the first women to get your own Amy’s Undies.  You can also help by sharing this campagin with family and friends and even getting a pair for a friend that has this same issue.  You can also follow Amy's Journey through social media on facebook.

Amy’s Underwear has an initial target of $15,000 to bring this dream into reality. The initial release will be underwear in 15 sizes and in bikini, boy-shorts, and cheeky styles. Check out the styles here.  If you are wondering which sizes you are check out this sizing video.   She has created stretch goals that include 9 more plus sizes, and a rainbow of color options.  Supporting this dream can be done easily enough and can result in the first good fitting underwear you have ever had.

So if you Love Big Butts, or have this same issue, support Amy's Undies and lets make change to fit all women where it counts.

Story told by Buzz Well Media.