Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We Have A Winner!

WHAT A MONTH! What an inspiring group of people to travel with down this road to healthier habits. I wish every one of you could win the gift card.

However, one name has been drawn and it is: JOOLZMAC!!

Joolz, congratulations to you! Please email me at robynnsravings at gmail dot com to tell me how to contact you. I will be sending this directly to you through Amazon.


(I’m sure they would have thrown this party in your honor!)

I can’t wait to interview Joolzmac and find out about her month, her challenges, her successes, and her tips.

Don’t forget, tomorrow we start our 30 Day Throw Down! exercise focus. That will look different for each one of us. Mine might be aerobic crying fits while I MAKE myself do what I need to but we’re in this together. I won’t fail you!

Be sure to enter the drawings for October by signing up to follow, if you don’t already, and sending me a comment saying you’re joining or you’re continuing. Yay for ALL of us!

Copyright 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009



If you’ve been part of the 30 Day Throw Down! and you signed up to follow, you are entered in the drawing for the $100 Amazon Gift Card. The drawing is TOMORROW! The winner will be announced by 6:00p.m., PST. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, the 30 Day Throw Down! is about creating new habits that optimize health and, depending on how you’re fitting it into your life and working it, weight loss, too.

The program is designed to work in one-month increments for a year. Our first month focused on “throwing down” fast food and highly processed foods while reaching for REAL and WHOLE food. We have tried to make organic and locally grown choices, when possible. We will continue to leave the food behind that robs us of health and bring our new habits into our next 30 Day period. If you weren’t perfect through the first month (and who WAS? – we are all about changes and progress, NOT perfection!) you’re one of us and I encourage you to CONTINUE!

You have friends and fellow strugglers who want to jump into healthier ways of living rather than being the proverbial frog who is slowly boiled alive. Remember him? He starts off in a pan of cold water and slowly, tiny bit by tiny bit, the water is heated almost imperceptibly until it’s boiling and too late for the frog who never jumped out. We’re jumpin’ out – together!

If you weren’t ready or able to join us the first month, start with us on October 1st. I encourage you to begin with the basic first month of leaving fast-food and highly processed foods behind (you can access the archives at the 30 Day Throw Down! blog for good information and support). Since this will always run in one-month increments you can work with us from the beginning knowing we’re continuing to focus on that area, too. And although each month will feature posts about what we’re currently working on, food posts will be a consistent part because we eat every day, several times a day. We make choices about our health whenever we reach for food.

October will add the element of movement and exercise. Fall is in the air in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern. What better time to get outdoors and enjoy the weather? You can do both 30 Day periods together if you’re just joining us, but the philosophy of this program is to take one area of focus at a time and slowly add to it, in 30 Day (or one month) increments. This optimizes your chances of success. When we start with drastic changes everywhere, we rarely stay with it for long. Ask yourself how many weight loss programs you’ve started and stopped even though you KNEW at the beginning, this was IT? History and research show it rarely works. The 30 Day Throw Down! is a completely different approach. We slowly build in great habits while we work together, encouraging one another. And there is no weekly fee or pre-packaged food to buy because this isn’t a fad diet or a fast fix. This is a grass-roots way to add healthy changes to your life. It’s about getting back to basics. Check it out at 30 Day Throw Down!

In addition to community support, we will also have a drawing or two each month. October will feature dinner at Chipotle as well as book giveaways starting with Real Food and Real Food for Mother And Baby, both by Nina Planck, who has graciously and generously donated books to the cause. Chipotle has also donated meals to support our efforts here. If you don’t know, Chipotle offers a healthy menu of food from sustainable sources and animals raised in natural and humane environments. They are committed to doing business in a way that optimizes our food choices and actually nourishes us instead of simply filling our stomachs. They have restaurants in many locations (including one opening in London) but if they aren’t in your area and you happen to win, pop the certificate into a card and send it as a gift to someone you love (or who you’re hoping will love YOU!) :)

Congratulations to everyone who made the decision this month to optimize your health now and in the future. A gift certificate is great but health is better and lasts longer. We all win by taking care of the body God gave us. I thank you for jumping in with me for this first 30 Days! Let’s keep going and encouraging each other.

Now let’s eat. For REAL!

Copyright 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Having posted my Observational Twitter yesterday, and not happily anticipating a haircut that was WAY overdue because of a less-than-favorable outcome last time, my daughter called and asked me if I wanted to go for drop-in hair cuts last night. I had been at a funeral earlier in the day and spent the afternoon with my mother and stepfather at the hospital. (He has been ill for years and took a turn for the worse.) I was in need of a dose of joy. Did I need a drop-in hair cut? Do I dare after what I just wrote?

All I have to say is, "Chim, my little hair dresser? I love you. What a great job you did. I actually felt GORGEOUS when I left. (Of course, Cinderella woke up this morning but the Ball was fun while it lasted!) And I had a date night with my daughter who IS actually still gorgeous this morning. And we talked and lingered and life was rich, even after a haircut. Maybe, even because of it.

Dinner with your daughter on a coupon? Affordable

Drop-in styling salon? Inexpensive

Sitting at dinner with someone you adore and both of you basking in the glow of a hair cut gone right? Priceless.

Copyright 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Observational Twitter 22

Famous Quote:

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." ~from The Mourning Bride (1697) by William Congreve

Obscure Quote:

"Scorned is child's play compared to the fury of a woman with a bad haircut." ~Robynn

Copyright 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crabby Tales From The Crypt(ic)

I’m sick of sick people.

I see them when I look in the mirror. They are in my bed. They are whining, clingy, needy, lazy, pathetic, dejected, and smelly. And that’s just me.

Grizzly is far worse…….no, really. He missed all of last week except Monday (I mean, I did too unless you count cooking and waiting on people and cleaning.) He tried to go to work Friday but didn’t make it and came home. He was a positive invalid all weekend. He tried to go to work on Monday but came home again in dire straits. The stomach portion of this virus attacked him within an hour of reporting for work. He is better this afternoon and evening. And I think he plans on going to work tomorrow. Please, Lord, let him be WELL.

Surely it must be. I cannot live in this frat house a moment longer. I can barely write or educate my child. I can’t keep anything cleaned up or put away. Forget laundry. I’m wearing my underwear inside out. Shoot, I'm wearing his underwear inside out. I'm the lone cook and bottle washer. Bo is gone for all intents and purposes except on weekends, The Wild Man is only now making his full recovery, and I am possibly, this evening, finally feeling as though I might be able to stop the barking seal imitation. Though a lot of good it’s done me. No one has even thrown me a fish. That might be too much like cooking!

Do I sound testy to you?

I am desperate for cleanliness. I am insane with the sound of opening and closing drawers, refrigerator doors, pantries, cupboards, laptops, and vitamin bottles. EVERY DRAWER IN MY HOUSE SQUEAKS ON ITS RUNNERS and has for YEARS. (Oh my good glory. The junk drawer just opened and closed for the 780th time since I’ve been writing.) And no one gets anything out and puts it away. NO ONE.

(I’m running away to wherever this chick is. Scoot over, Betty, and pass the “Lucosade,” if that’s what we’re calling it. And by the way, how’d you get THIS gig? I need lessons.)


Perhaps I should mention that I’m also worried I might be a vampire.

No, I have no taste for blood. But I also have no reflection. I couldn’t have. I don’t see Grizzly hovering by my side of the bed asking about my health, offering water, feeling my head, imploring me to eat well, to rest. I’m positive that must be due to my invisibility. Nothing else would make the least sense. A lone flower would change my life. One cup of soup that I didn’t prepare myself might send me into paroxysms of rapture Scarlett O’Hara couldn’t have adequately dramatized.

Oh, yes. I know I’m having a pity party. It’s the only socializing I’m up to. But don’t worry. I’ll do all the work and clean up after myself. It’s what I do!

Copyright 2009

Drop in to 30 Day Throw Down! and get your answers about raw milk, soy milk, and REAL FOOD.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Feverish Mind

Sickness gave me time to gaze out the window.


Summer’s Tantrum

Summer has been a petulant child
refusing to loose its grip on the heat
of scorching sun.
It bullies the breeze and keeps billowy clouds hiding
in mountain shadows.

Summer will not let Autumn play.

But today, watching green leaves bounce in the wake
of a stealthy gust
I witness the Relentless lift its head
draw breath
and heave a sullen sigh.

Promised glimmers of hue and glow are heralded
on the stage of memory.
A timid cloud scurries across the sky and
escorts me toward my seat
to watch the scene unfold.

Autumn will have her way.

~Robynn (Copyright 2009)


Painting by John Everett Millais


New Post at 30 Day Throw Down! Please drop in and join us. I'm actually still a humor writer over there. But then, I presume a great deal.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Father's Heart

As I bark and cough at the monitor I’m gazing into, I find myself deplorably lacking in humor. I also apologize for not visiting around. I know you will understand when I tell you we are laid up and laid out. I hope I can at least offer a breath of inspiration. Be glad I'm not there to breathe anything else on you.

The father in this video is beyond my realm of personal experience or comprehension. He is the polar opposite of what I witnessed. The same is true for some of you, I know. I’ve read the posts and felt the pain you have endured. Others of you will recognize this dad in a heartbeat because you have (or had) one with the same heart, or you ARE a dad who loves at this level. I can’t tell you what happiness and hope that gives me. I smile with each story of love, humor, and sacrifice. So, you’ll forgive me if I steer you to this meaningful piece while I go toast it with a nod to my cough medicine.

Dick Hoyt is a shining example of what it means to have the heart of Christ. The media never fail to portray Christians in an unfavorable light and frankly, we sometimes do a pretty good job shooting ourselves – or others - in the foot. But the real thing? A person with a true heart for God and people? Now that is a lovely thing to look upon.

An excerpt from an article about this father/son team has this to say, “When asked if he has questioned God why his son has had to undergo such difficulties, Dick is philosophical. ‘We don’t know why,’ he says. ‘We didn’t dwell on why. I believe God has used Rick to help others. He’s been a pioneer. Any time someone wants to try something new, they go to Rick because he’s got the patience and personality to handle everything. He understands their frustrations and hopes.” To read the full article go here:

Copyright 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Swine Flu. Remember This Guy?


We’re pretty sure he’s visiting us.

What I thought was food poisoning for The Wild Man last week may have actually been the swine flu. Apparently, it is not unusual for kids to develop stomach issues along with this virus. I took him to the doctor yesterday after a week of this and he has upper respiratory involvement as well which wasn’t even detectable amid all the other symptoms. After hours searching through websites and the CDC and NIH about swine flu I discovered this:

Kids often have stomach involvement with diarrhea. A small percentage of adults may experience this as well.

You can have the swine flu and not have a fever, though TWM had a heck of a fever. That was an extremely baffling component of the outbreak in Mexico. They had people testing positive for H1N1 who were sick but had no fevers.

It can manifest itself differently in different individuals. At Bo’s college they had five kids test positive the first day. One left in an ambulance and others were mildly ill.

Monday, it took me about three hours to develop a horrid cough. Grizzly came home from work with the exact same symptoms. We literally got sick within one hour of each other. He spiked a high fever and looked like he was going to die. Had he gotten any more cantankerous, I might have accommodated him. We sound like a TB ward around here with all the coughing and hacking but I am less sick than he is. I just feel like a Mac truck hit me and want to lay down every minute and sleep. But we eat VERY well, take our vitamins, and are showing some signs of improvement today.

You can’t avoid this thing entirely. But you can eat well and take care of yourself so if it comes to visit, it doesn’t feel welcome to stick around. I can’t help you with your relatives.

Please visit me at 30 Day Throw Down! to join a whole lot of us who are eating for REAL. :)

Copyright 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Observational Twitter 21

Famous Quote:

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.~Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare

Obscure Quotes:

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them by people who claim they would do it but it isn’t their job.

There are no control freaks……only people who have to take over when everybody else drops the ball. ~Robynn’s Ravings

(And don’t be thinkin’ I’m talkin’ about myself. I don’t like control freaks and I’m makin’ it my business to do something about ‘em. Nobody else will!)

Please drop by and visit my other blog 30 Day Throw Down! :)

Copyright 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

GoD and DoG

Once in awhile you find something that weaves its way into your heart and you know it will never leave.

A friend sent it to me by email and I've watched it ten times. I'll watch it ten more. And I'll never look at Minky and JoJo, my two beloved dogs, the same way. She put to words and music what I knew as a dog lover. But I would never be able to say it like she does.

Click to watch it. There's something wrong with the embedding code or I'd post it here. Run time is less than two minutes.

The creator of this beauty is Wendy Francisco at

Please visit 30 Day Throw Down and join us as we eat. For REAL.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Can’t Hear You

I was an excellent parent before I had children.

My theories were sound and my rhetoric plentiful. I knew exactly what you should do with your children and why. Your missteps were easily identifiable and with simple grit, determination, and sage advice from me, all could be rectified in short order.

Mothers who allowed their children to run the grocery store aisles confounded and irritated me. More baffling still was the mother who refused to answer her demanding, persistent, or wailing offspring.

One of these moments is burned into my brain. I was standing in a Von’s supermarket trying to make a decision about a product when a persistent three-year-old began to harangue his harried mother.

“Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy”……..for Five. Whole. Minutes., all the while alternately yanking on his mother's shirt, shorts, hair, face, and possibly eyeballs.

She never changed expression. She continued to gaze vacantly at the store shelves. I wanted to look into her hanging eyeballs and inquire, “Why don’t you just answer him!! Say ‘Yes!’ or say ‘Mommy has left the building!’ but say something!” This is because I presumed she heard him.

Then I became a mother.

Slowly dawn broke, or fractured, in my psyche and I knew that if I answered every single “Mommy!” I would cease to have one nano-second for a quiet thought within my head. I would never make decisions or know what I thought because there would be no time for thoughts. Cue the birth of selective hearing.

It is based in pitch and tone, and has little to do with volume. We mothers make symphony conductors look like wimps. We can detect the slightest variation in our precious progeny’s modulation and multi-layered rhythms. We know what sounds signal impending disaster or genuine need. Our ears are unaffected by run-of-the-mill keening. It’s not that we ignore it willingly. We simply do not hear it. We can’t, if we are to remain sane. And sanity is a nurturing benefit in a mother.

Maybe we are being cruel to be kind. In the right measure.

Now, you might say, manage your child so they don’t DO all this whining and haranguing. And your theory would be correct. And you would be right to say so. The problem is, we can’t hear you. (You just have to watch this. It's only about 45 seconds but sums it up perfectly.)

Be sure to visit 30 Day Throw Down! for healthy eating and to join us on our journey. Monthly contests. :)

Copyright 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lovers’ Leap

Grizzly and I had a chance to get away a few weeks ago. We don’t do this very often. Our kids were seven and eleven the first time we went out of town without them. We didn’t repeat it until last year. I don’t know if that makes us pathetic paramours, conscientious homeschooling parents (who can never see or do anything without commenting “Wouldn’t the kids love this?”), or simply lazy, but I’m pretty sure it’s all three.

However, last year we took the leap, left the kids here – kids who couldn’t have been happier to wave good-bye to us – and went to Cambria, on the central coast of California. Lovely. Refreshing. Full of reminders of why, after 23 years, we have consistently refrained from killing each other when it truly seemed the only logical answer more than once. We vowed to repeat these getaways more often, even if only for a night out. We didn’t. Life happened. The economy happened.

Then Bo stepped in. Bo, my college girl. For our birthdays, she bought us two nights in the little Cambria cabin we love. And then she told us to go away. And she made reservations for us so we couldn't weenie out.

Grizzly insisted he support my blog by buying a decent camera. He also thinks my blog needs an airplane, flying lessons, an extended trip to Hawaii, and three years on sabbatical. We traded off shooting photos, hence my shot of our feet. This is proof he had his chance to live peacefully ever after – I’m positioned in front of him – but he demurred. By the way, this is the best picture I have ever appeared in. From now on, when asked to be part of a group photo, I will stand out of the frame and simply insert my foot. I have thin feet and ankles. That’s where all thinness ends.


Now look at Grizzly’s work. He has an eye for beauty and I may be biased, but the man has talent. I’m wondering what he could do with a camera AND an airplane. In Hawaii. He comes alive with nature as his subject. One of his first jobs as a teen was delivering flowers and he likes to photograph them.






No trip is complete until you get to know the locals. These are friends we made.



Some treasure we found.


The photographer. I found this treasure years ago. It has grown immensely in value. But it is privately owned and will never be traded on the open market.


Copyright 2009

Be sure to visit 30 Day Throw Down! for healthy eating and to join us on our journey. Monthly contests. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Observational Twitter 20

Famous Quote:

Tomorrow is the only day in the year that appeals to a lazy man. ~Jimmy Lyons

Obscure Quote:

Tomorrow is NOT the only day in the year that appeals to a lazy man. I think I'm pretty excited about the day after tomorrow, cheered substantially over next week, and positively euphoric regarding the twelfth of never. ~Robynn

Copyright 2009

Click HERE to join us in the healthy eating challenge at 30 Day Throw Down! and your chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

New post at 30 Day Throw Down!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Grizzly's Asian Twin

This isn't in english but it doesn't need to be. Vigilant fathers everywhere speak the same language. It takes less than a minute but is even funnier the next time you watch it because you know EVERYTHING. I'm STILL laughing. :)

New post up at 30 Day Throw Down! Recipes, photos, and derangement await you. Don't forget to sign up to follow (and comment, letting me know) if you take part in the 30 Day Throw Down! challenge. It's your ticket to a chance at a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Okay, It’s Official. I’m Insane.

New post up at 30 Day Throw Down! It has recipes and pictures, finally. Thank you, Grizzly. You are a photog extraordinaire. :) And I wonder who will make me turn 200? Whoever you are, you will make my day, my month. I will even rename the month in your honor.

I have decided I can do it all and look fetching at the same time.

I will now voluntarily operate TWO blogs. The official launch of the "30 Day Throw Down!" blog has taken place. (I actually typed lunacy just now instead of launch – I’m frightened.) Now you can find out all about everything we're doing in one nice, neat little package right HERE. And I can get back to writing about my other life.

The one where I make mountains out of mole hills, or laundry, or Q-tips I've discovered that Minky, my border collie, has been chewing the heads off of and hiding from me. She fishes them out of the garbage can in the bathroom. That has a huge "Ewwwww!" factor. I wish I had never known this. I wish you didn't either. But now you do and there's nothing I can do about it.

It's this type of richness you come for. I know that. And now I can get back to it. But while I do, I'll be eating real food. Good food. Excellent food. And I'll be reporting about it, and about you, and squeezing in more info and a recipe or two, and shooting photos, and contacting sponsors, and homeschooling my 14-year-old son, and trying to wash some underwear now and then and cook a meal. If you need me, I'll be on the closet floor resting. In the fetal position.

I'd hire help but the $22.00 I've earned from Ad Sense in the nine months I've been blogging is all I could offer. And it seems the truly competent people are looking for at least $23.00. So, it's me. And it's you. And I'm reclaiming Robynn's Ravings.

(P.S. If you love me, and you've proven over and over again that you do, despite very good evidence why you shouldn't, will you please sign up to follow over at the 30 Day Throw Down? It would be much appreciated! :0) ) The official new blog address is

Copyright 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

30 Day Throw Down! Begins Today!

If we are what we eat, and we’re eating real food, then we should become more real as time goes by. Real healthy, real energized, real connoisseurs of all things delicious and nurturing. (Please forgive my lack of suffixes in the preceding sentence – I’m running low and am forced to economize.) Yes, we will be partakers and makers of the delicious and nurturing. I want to be nurturing. I’m a mother. We nurture.

And if I eat fast food then I’ll be fast. And who wants their mother to be known as fast? Even if she’s a biker chick.

And so we will drive right by the fast, the easy (yeah, better leave that one alone too), and the nutritionally bereft choices that have substituted for real food. And we will feel victorious because we will be.

And guess what?

The more I find out about this company…….

Chipotle Logo

…….the more I love them. They use fair trade beans for the beans that fill their burritos. They use meats from animals raised happily and humanely. They build restaurants with our neighborhoods and the earth in mind. Even their napkins are from recycled paper. They are a superb dining-out choice.

And now, MORE happy news to share.

Nina Plank, author of Real Food and a woman I have long admired, has generously offered to donate copies of her highly informative and compelling book for our monthly giveaways as we continue. She writes in a down-to-earth style that makes you feel like you’re hanging out with a good friend. I’ve given this book as a gift more than once because it’s an eye-opening page turner written in an engaging style. Barnes & Noble has this to say on their website:

“Hailed as the “patron saint of farmers’ markets” by the Guardian and called one of the “great food activists” by Vanity Fair’s David Kamp, Nina Planck is single-handedly changing the way we view “real food.” A vital and original contribution to the hot debate about what to eat and why, Real Food is a thoroughly researched rebuttal to dietary fads and a clarion call for the return to old-fashioned foods.

Nina Planck grew up in Virginia selling vegetables at farmers’ markets and later created the first farmers’ markets in London, England. In New York City, she ran the legendary Greenmarkets. Nina also wrote The Farmers’ Market Cookbook and hosted a British television series on local food. Her latest company, Real Food, runs markets for traditional foods in American cities.”


Can you believe she said, “Heck yeah!” and decided to bring her books to the party? Well, I’m not sure that’s exactly what she said but she’s so REAL herself, I’m sure it was along those lines. So not only will we feel better, look better, and BE better, we’re also headed for rockin’ good times around here. I’ll keep you posted as more sponsors sign on.

Okay. Go forth and conquer, and prosper, and digest, and ruminate on all your good choices. We’re in this together. Let’s eat – for REAL!

Copyright 2009