20140613-093024-34224680.jpgYou know You know what I love about vacations? You get to read a book with morning coffee. You can get your fingernails painted crazy colors with sparkles on top. And you use pool towels as tablecloths. But back to the book. Primal Blueprint Publishing recently sent me a copy of Paleo Girl to review. This vacation actually provided me the time to read it. And I loved it! If you’ve ever read The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson, this book is like it’s younger sister. Mark created Grok. He’s the caveman in his book. Grokette is Leslie Klenke’s cave girl in Paleo Girl. While so many Paleo books I read are just cookbooks, Paleo Girl is a lifestyle book. It talks about exercise, puberty, sleep, playing and also provides a few recipes. It’s written very conversationally; your teenage daughter would even relate. Definitely a good book if you are contemplating starting a Paleo lifestyle but you’re not quite sure how to do that. This is a good and fun manual. It’s also a quick reference guide for things like workouts. Can’t remember the Paleo fitness essentials? Turn to page 58 for a refresher course that’s full of helpful pictures. But what caught my attention was the skin products. I’ve never tried Paleo skin products but I’m going to now. Want to join me? Let’s do it! I’m going to try the Coconut Milk All-Over Wash (page 240). Leslie says to combine 1/2 cup coconut milk, 2/3 cup Castile soap, 1 tsp preferred oil like vitamin E, olive, almond, coconut (I’m going to use olive, just because I already have it) and you can add 5 drops of an essential oil for fragrance. I’m skipping that. She says to shake your bottle of body wash before each use. The second thing I’m going to try is to use coconut oil as a moisturizer. That’s it. Just coconut oil. I’ll use this at night since I have to have a moisturizer with sunscreen in it for daytime. Soooo let’s all get our stuff this week and start using it on Sunday the 22nd. I’ll remind you on Facebook so be sure you are following me at  And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Paleo Girl by Leslie Klenke.  Go to this website for some pretty cool deals!!



I hear one thing a lot from people who are wary of the Paleo diet.   “What about my pasta??”  I get it!  I too used to carbo load a huge plate of spaghetti before every race I’ve ever done… and this goes back to 1976 when I started swimming.  Why anyone would need to carbo load for a 25 butterfly I have NO idea!  But back to my point about the fact we all love pasta.  And typical wheat pasta is a big no no in the paleo world.   So let me introduce you to this:


Say hello to my friend Butternut Squash Lasagna.  I had to take pictures from the book Primal Cravings because everytime I’ve made this, we eat it before I can snap a shot of it.  IT’S THAT GOOD!  I’ve also made it with sweet potatoes instead of the squash.  Both are fabulous.  I do add a bit more cheese, but that’s just me.  This recipe alone is reason enough to buy Primal Cravings.  I have a direct link to it here:

 I hope you enjoy this recipe… and so many other healthy options in the book! 



















Good Friday morning!!  “What’s for breakfast?”  Those are the first words out of my kids’ mouths every morning.  I cringe upon hearing them.  “Hell if I know!”  is what I want to reply.  But if I did, the rest of the Girl Scout cookies would suddenly become the breakfast of choice.  But now my problem is solved thanks to these AMAZING Paleo waffles created by the good people who wrote “Eat Like A Dinasaur.”  It’s a kid friendly Paleo cookbook.  These waffles are the first things I’ve tried from their website but they are so good, I’m going to buy their cookbook. 


I wish I would have taken a pretty picture of the waffles all plated with raspberries, a dollop of whipped cream and some  macademia nuts sprinkled all over them… but we ate them too fast.  So instead, you can look at my empty batter bowl and plain Jane waffles.  Seriously, Wendy, get some better pictures rolling!  Oh ya, and here’s the recipe:

 I recommend doubling it.  It makes enough for one good breakfast for 4.  I make extra and them put them in the freezer and toast them as needed in the days ahead.  Splash a little 100% grade B maple syrup and you are in hog heaven!




WENDY’S WORKOUTS 5-5 to 5-10

20130513-164951.jpgMonday: Ran/hiked Galena which is my favorite playground anywhere. Miles of trails… Beauty everywhere. Plus I got to be with Darrin today. A rare treat for us to workout together. It poured rain for about 10 minutes. So refreshing!

Tuesday: Rode my wind trainer for 1 hour 40 minutes. Then I ran for 30 minutes.

Wednesday: Swam for about an hour and did 3100 yards. Swam 2000, pulled 1000 and warmed down 100.

Thursday:  Rode 2 hours with my little friend Lynn up at Galena.  I told her I needed to go a bit longer than we normally do, so of course she found more hills to climb!

Friday: Swam 2900 yards. About the same deal as Wednesday



WENDY’S WORKOUTS 4-29 to 5-3


Monday: Ran 2 hours and 50 minutes which turned out to be about 15 miles. Yes this was a big whoops! If you follow me on Facebook you can move ahead to Tuesday because you know the story. Monday morning I dropped my car off to get an oil change. It takes an hour. Perfect, efficient me thinks, I’ll run while its getting done. Well after running about 50 minutes I get a call. My mechanic says I need new brakes and my car won’t be ready for several hours. Well shit! What do I do? At that exact moment Eye of the Tiger comes on my iPod and I think, “hell I’ll just run home!” It’s the thrill of the fight, right?? So I take off running. 2 hours and 50 minutes later I’m finally home. Note to self: never plan on running during an oil change again!

Tuesday: So now that you know what happened Monday, you know I have to pick up my car. So I head out on my bike thinking it will take my 20 minutes to get there. Well some bad approximating and a gnarly headwind the entire ride… And I finally arrive 45 minutes later. I can’t win with this car deal! I also swam 45 minutes… 2000 yards.

Wednesday: My plan was to ride my wind trainer for 1 1/2 hours. But after 60 minutes I called it quits. I had nothing in the tank. Think I’m still recovering from Monday!

Thursday: Had a huge work day. No workout.

Friday: Ran 50 minutes on a treadmill then swam an hour. Swam 1500 then pulled a 1500.

Can hardly wait to see what mishap next week brings!!



Yep, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted.  But things are pretty much the same around the ranch. Except… A heifer FINALLY gets it and actually pushed out her own calf without Darrin or one of his brothers pulling it. Check this video out from Steve (Darrin’s brother). It’s far away but the calf pops out within 10 seconds and then continue watching as the heifer eventually gets up and licks the calf off. This is nature at its best.  (for some crazy reason you have to click on the link above to see the movie.  I’m tired from being at the county 4-H show all day and can’t figure out how to make it easier on all of you… some I’m making it easy on my and going to bed!)



While Florida Gulf Coast may be shocking the basketball world… these heifers continue to rock our world.  Darrin is about half way through calving… he has a total of 130 heifers that need to give birth.  I showed you last post how he pulls a calf out in the corral.  Those are the times he gets lucky.  Normally, he has to get the heifer into a squeeze chute… like this time.










He locks her in so he can help pull the calf out.  Here you can see the chains are attached to the calf’s legs. 










  Darrin literally will lay on his back so he can pull with all of his might to get the stuck calf out of the mother.  At night, his arms ache after so much strain.





















Finally, he knows the calf is coming out.










Here’s you can see the white head emerging with the front legs.










Darrin doesn’t want to stop the forward momentum so now he’s completely laying on his back pulling as hard as he can.










And now the calf is slowing slipping out.




















The calf is now completely out…and now the real work begins.










Darrin rubs off the afterbirth from the calf….











And puts it on the mom’s face so she knows what her baby smells like.  The hope is she will take the calf.  Often times, when Darrin has to pull a calf, the mom doesn’t want anything to do with the baby.  So he’s hoping to get the calf’s smell on the mom in the hopes she will know this is her calf.










He then drags the calf into a large pen so the mom and baby can be alone and figure out they go together.










This mom took her calf.  But when they don’t, the work is doubled… tripled maybe.  I’ll explain why in my next post.
















What is Lent? 40 Days of Whoops!


Lent is always an interesting time around my house. We throw around ideas of what to give up. We sacrifice some small pleasure in honor of God. Determining what is small enough… or should I say what’s not too big… is what makes this funny around the Damonte household. I suggested to Domi he give up his Xbox. After one second of thought he said, “No way!! That would kill me to go 40 days without my Xbox!!” See, there’s an example of something clearly too big. I mean I want my kids to suffer during lent… but not die!

After an entire dinner conversation didn’t provide any decisions we continued the next day at breakfast. Finally, both kids decided on gum. This is funny to me because I always gave up gum when I was a kid. Now, let me tell you how this is going to play out. About 7 days into lent one of their friends will unknowingly offer them a piece of gum. They will accept. And just as the gum is getting good and soft and perfect for bubbles, they will suddenly remember and scream out loud, “But I gave gum up for lent!!!!” Eva will run to the nearest trash can and start talking God’s ear off about how this absentminded mistake couldn’t possibly be her fault. Domi will shrug his shoulders and say “Well? I already messed up! I might as well finish out the stick and try again tomorrow.”

Lent is supposed to slow us down and bring our focus back to God. So whether we stick with our sacrifice yet crave it daily… Or mess up and ask for forgiveness… What does it matter? Aren’t we still talking to God more on a daily basis? In my household, that’s the answer to “What is lent?”


IT Band Issues

Do you know what this is?










It’s a roller. Or as its referred to in my house, a fucking roller. If you’ve never used one you might think I’m being crass. If you’ve used one, you totally understand. I even put Donner in the picture to try and make me like it more. It didn’t work.

If you’re a runner you know about your I-T band. The iliotibial band runs along the outside of your legs from your hips to your knees. They basically hold our upper body and lower body together. I think of them as guitar strings. Each time I run my body is plucking away at them. Now if my legs would just make music as I jogged along. That would be cool!

I-T bands tend to get inflamed. That’s where the fucking roller comes in. You have to roll them out like a baker does a ball of dough. AND IT SUCKS! It hurts more than walking over hot coals. Trust me I know!


You begin by laying on your right side with your right elbow supporting your upper body and your right leg on the roller. Your left leg can either be bent forward to give you some support or if you’re a masochist you can lay your left leg on top of your right. And then you begin to roll up and down. Eventually you’ll find a hot spot. You are supposed to stop on that spot and hold for 90 seconds. I’ve never gotten past 23. It feels like your leg is going to snap in two.

But what really sucks about the fucking roller? It really works. I recently went to my chiropractor complaining of right hip and left hip flexor pain. She checked my I-T band.  The right one was super tight.  She said go home and roll it and it will take care of both of your complaints. Sure enough, after rolling it just one night much of the pain is gone. Damn! I hate it when the prescription to get better is the fucking roller!





Pictures say a thousand words.  So I’m going to let this blog post be told through pictures taken with my iPhone.  Of course, you know me, I’ll have to add my two cents here and there!

You’ve all seen how Darrin feeds the cows in the feedlot.   We call that date night on the ranch.  Well not all of them are in the feedlot .  The lucky ones get trucked to warm, green pastures in California while hundreds graze the pastures here at home.  And once they’ve mowed down all the natural feed, Darrin and crew have to hand feed them.  Today, we were his “crew.”




These are the heifers. Females that haven’t had a calf.  However, they are pregant and will start “calving out” in March.  There are about 140 heifers in this pasture.



Each animal  eats 20 pounds of hay a day just to maintain its weight.  These bales weigh about 110 pounds each.




Now we are heading over to the other pasture to feed the cows.  We have about 90 cows to feed.


The cows are pregnant too.  They will start calving out in February.  And apparently, some have already started.


For all you ranchers out there, I figured you’d want to know abut the equipment.  This is a 1980′s model Ford tractor 7700.  The hay wagon is well, just a hay wagon.