Healthy Eating History Leisure Reading Recipes

Do the Math

I absolutely love math.  That is either a crazy affirmation statement that makes me hope someday I will supernaturally be good at it or it’s the biggest lie I’ve ever told.  I don’t love math, but I love the idea of math.  I’ve seen movies about math.  A Beautiful Mind, Enigma, The Theory of Everything, Hidden Figures.  Movies with giant chalkboards and formulas that go on for days.  And here is a true story:  One year for Christmas my parents bought me a big chalkboard I had been begging for. (It was my dream when I grew up to be a very strict school teacher.)  The first thing I wrote on it:  E=MC2.  I still remember that to this day. It was a lofty start, but that is about the best I managed on my own.  

Do you remember fifth grade story problems?  There was always a train in Chicago and something going on in Los Angeles.  I would get so caught up in the story, I had no time for the math.

I became a business major in college to avoid math.  Unfortunately nobody explained to me that business is all math:  Algebra, calculus, economics, finance, accounting.  What!?!  Then I got jobs calculating discounts and creating budgets.  What!?!  Yep, math became really important in my life. While my mind doesn’t wrap itself around huge theories, I can eyeball a 70% off sale calculation pretty quickly.  And the answer to that story problem is that whatever I want on sale is almost free.  I’m sticking with that answer, too.

Now, here is the math I’ve been playing with and what in the world it has to do with a blog post: Incremental versus disruptive change.  Incremental changes take place slowly with gradual development.  

Chaos Theory and the Butterfly Effect, discovered by an MIT professor, Edward Lorenz, explains that something small like the flap of a butterfly’s wings could cause something big like a tornado.  There has never been any proof, of course, of an actual butterfly causing an actual tornado, but it is now accepted in many scientific disciplines that small changes can have substantial consequences.  Think about this:  Patients who opt for slow, positive changes in their behavior have more successful outcomes versus those who receive radical surgery.

Remember my theory that you don’t have to be 100% to be on track and even small changes are incremental and not disruptive?  I am doing a resolution or goal-setting temperature check here.  Most people set resolutions for the New Year and then pfft, forget about it.  “I missed a couple of days and now it’s Super Bowl and next week it’s the Oscars and I’m pooped and just want to zone out.”  Well, I’m here to encourage you to keep at it and give it one more shot.

Maybe this week just try to do 5% more than you did last week.  That’s not much really.  You don’t need to commit to cleaning out the entire kitchen, but maybe you can reorganize one drawer.  I did my kitchen towel drawer in about 10 minutes and I love how easily I can now get to the towel I want.  (It also makes me realize I keep kitchen towels too long – some of them are on the ratty side.)  Maybe you want to redecorate and that is way too overwhelming.  Grab a friend and a cup o’ joe and redo one shelving unit.  Friends love to help on small projects like that.  My sister helped me re-do my dining room shelves one morning when she was here at Christmas.  Quick as a finger snap, it was done and now every time I look at it, I think of her.

My dish towels stay organized all the time with this arrangement

I know exercise and diet are big targets for the New Year and I also know they don’t last long.  Those are two areas I don’t really want to concentrate on but I am committing to a Dry February (no alcohol after Super Bowl Sunday, that is).

Perhaps you’re like me and didn’t set any goals, but you’d like to see areas of your life improve a little. I have been challenging myself to some 5% improvements this year too.  I am inserting some non-fiction books into my weekly reading and putting into practice some of the things I am reading about.

If you’ve slipped a bit off target, is it possible you’ve set the bar too high and the change is too big? Maybe opt for a smaller, more achievable goals, and like the flap of a butterfly, you’ll reap big benefits by the year end.

What I’m Reading

I like the Ian Rutledge series written by the mother and son team writing under the name Charles Todd.  This week I started a False Mirror and so far it’s as good as its predecessors. On audio I am listening to the third of the William Kent Krueger Cork O’Conner series, Purgatory Ridge, and it’s my favorite so far.

What I’m Eating

Since I’m not really much of a baker, I gravitate to those five-ingredient recipes.  Kelly Nan writes one of the most beautiful blogs and posted this Cherry Cobbler recipe.  Cobbler is an easy dish, and for those of us who are not quite so precise in the kitchen, it is a nice way to contribute a yummy dessert to the table.  Her recipe looks great, but since I’m on the dang Low Fodmap, I was inspired to make a crisp with frozen mixed berries and an oatmeal topping.  This was so easy, one bowl and from pantry to clean up, only 15 minutes in the kitchen!  It’s pretty enough for Valentine’s Day and fit nicely in my toaster oven. It smells wonderful and John barely waited for it to cool before he ate the first helping.

Gluten Free Low Fodmap Berry Crisp

Mixed Berry Crisp


  • 1 16-oz bag frozen mixed berries
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup sugar


  • 1 cup oats
  • ½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, not packed
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup, half stick melted butter

Heat oven 375 degrees.  Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl and place in an ungreased pie dish.  Mix remaining ingredients and sprinkle over fruit.  Bake 40 minutes or until fruit is tender and topping is golden brown.

What I’m Doing

We went with friends Cindy and Kevin and saw Fiddler on the Roof played at ASU Gammage and then a mad rush home to watch the hub’s San Francisco 49ers play in the Super Bowl. The good news is that Fiddler was so good, it’s almost like I’d never seen it before – 100 times. Really, really good. The bad news is that the Chiefs won, but hub was happy his team made it anyway.

With Cindy at Fiddler

We have some big plans for our guest bath. Hub thinks it would be a good project for him to replace the “marblelite” tub surround with tile. We are trying to find a tile solution that brings together our granite counters and our floor. Not easy. Luckily, we have Roxy to help us.

4 Comment

  1. I am going to try your mixed Berry Cobbler. I got some great cleaning tips from your last blog, thank you.

    1. Hi, Chris, I went out of town for work last week and when I got home, the berry crisp I made was all gone, so I’m thinking John liked it 🙂

  2. I’m very touched you think of me when you look at your shelves. I hope it’s not along the lines of, “Why on earth did I let her help redo my shelves?”

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