Not Being Myself

I am probably shooting myself in the foot, suggesting blogs for people to read, other than my own, but I have recently found this blog, and it’s hilarious, and I love it! I had to share!

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/08/for-our-entertainment/

She also has terrific recipes! I can’t wait to try this one
(except I have to add garlic with the onions–everything is made better with garlic, isn’t it?) 
http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/09/bacon-onion-cheddar-biscuits/

So, happy reading! And don’t forget to come back here!

Hugs to all,

Oma & the 2 Crazy Dogs

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Rush Crazy Quilt: Part 4

It’s done! It’s done! Finally! I was starting to get project fatigue on that one, so I had to finish it off, already!

Here is a pix yesterday, doing the annoying bits of machine quilting the back to the front.

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And, here is a picture of the final quilt. The lump under it is Josie-cat.

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Now, all that is left is to wash it, and wrap it up for our very, very late Christmas in February!

New Year’s Resolutions

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I am, by nature, a procrastinator. Evidence to the fact: I’m posting this on January 22, using a blog-post as a means to procrastinate about cleaning my sewing room. I’m not even going to make a resolution about that, because as I get older, under the name of “caution” or “maturity”, I find ways to procrastinate more. It can be done. That being said, here are my New Year’s Resolutions.

1. To make realistic New Years’ Resolutions.

2. To get and keep my sewing room organized, so I can efficiently run a small business out of it.

3, To not buy material more than three projects ahead of what I am currently on, and to shrink my “stash” of materials by 50%.

4. To eat 3 healthy foods a day, and purchase 3 new healthy foods every time I grocery shop.

5. To get back into exercising once I am done with this current round of antibiotics. SLOWLY. SO I DON’T KILL MYSELF. I tend to be “feast or famine” in this area, maybe because of my years as a Marine. What’s the saying, “Pain is just weakness leaving the body?” Until you tear a rotator cuff, or an achilles tendon, or break the bone that covers your knee. Then, pain is just pain…I haven’t been able to exercise since October, due to respiratory infections. I am sooooo out of shape. Perhaps I might add in here to drop and keep off 5-10 lbs this year. That seems reasonable.

6. To actually get my small business up on Etsy, with a “ready-to-sell” inventory. (This will be a challenge.)

7. To try harder not to interrupt people when they are speaking. This is a huge character flaw for me. I get impatient, and I assume I know what my loved ones are usually thinking, so I try to beat them to the chase. It’s rude of me.

8. To put in a successful garden and have a minimum of 25% of our year’s food come from this garden.

9. Learn something new every week, and teach something new to someone else at least once a month.

10. Blog at least once a week. (Another challenge.) 

11. To try to think more linearly. My thoughts seem to go in several directions at once, as you may have noticed by this list of resolutions. I would like to teach myself to concentrate on one area of “stuff” at a time.

So, what are some of your resolutions? How have they fared this far into the new year? Tell us all about it–We’d love to hear from you!

 

Improving Health Through Food

I’ve been thinking a lot about food lately.

There are several reasons for this. We planned out the garden earlier this month. I’ve been on steroids (prescribed by a doctor) that seem to make me ravenously hungry. I have been ill and had to carefully consider the consequences of everything I eat. 

I started wondering, “How can I use food to bolster my health?” From a health standpoint I am currently dealing with a rash of repetitive respiratory infections since October, and a flare-up of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In a crisis–“zombie apocalypse” scenario (joking!), I would be toast. (Yum, toast…) I wanted to know what foods made my symptoms worse–(gluten is out of the question, sending me into intestinal hell, along with red beef and just about any processed food, while dairy products other than Greek yogurt turn the phlegm faucet from steady drip to fire hose capacity). I also wanted to know what foods might make me feel better.

I started doing some research. I wanted to have good information. There is so much garbage on the internet. For everything I found that might be helpful, I also tried to find a valid, published scientific paper backing a testimony up. For instance, did you know researchers at Seoul University fed kiwi extract to asthmatic mice (how the heck do mice get asthma? Smoking?) for 3 weeks and saw a 47% decline in asthmatic symptoms?

My research lead me to a couple of lists, I thought I might share with you. These lists do not comprise an endorsement for any food, but they are all healthy foods, and I can’t see them causing any harm to anyone, unless you have an allergy. However, I am not a medical professional, just a reasonably educated consumer of knowledge. These lists might give you some “food for thought.”

The first list is of supplements, herbs and food that generally improve health and for various reasons, help with respiratory problems.

Immunostimulators, (Foods and/or supplements that wake up your immune system) Used during peak problems, Garlic, Echinacea

Immunomodulators, long-term tonics: Syberian ginseng, Shitake mushroom, Holy basil, Panax gingseng root

Liver Support: Bitters (with meals) decreases phlegm. Apparently, a healthy liver means other things are healthy, too.

Astringent Herbs: (Think cleansing) Rosemary and Yarrow, GoldenSeal for mucus membrane support

Additional Vitamins:Vitamin C, B complex, Quercetin (which is also found in apples), EPA/DHA, Vitamin D (sunshine is a good source), Omega-3 (which also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory).

My doctor added a B-12 supplement and an iron supplement to this list, because my blood tests showed I needed these things.

Next, I formed a list of foods that decrease inflammation in the body–it is estimated that 70% of illness can be somehow attributed to inflammation in the body.

Salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, Spinach, broccoli, Almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, Edamame, Greek probiotic yogurt, Tomatoes, tomato sauce, Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, Onions, Olive Oil, Blueberries, Strawberries and Tart cherry juice.

I want to mention some research on tart cherry juice. You can read the whole story at: http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/about/news_events/news/2010/2010-07-07-tart-cherry-juice-r.cfm  

A study of athletes who competed in Oregon’s Hood to Coast Relay showed runners who consumed Montmorency cherry juice for a week prior to the race and on race day reported significantly less pain than runners who received a placebo. Hood to Coast is a 197-mile race from Mount Hood to Seaside, Ore., that involves 1,000 eight- to 12-person relay teams. “The bottom line is those runners who used tart cherry juice had less inflammation and faster muscle strength recovery,” said Kerry Kuehl, M.D., associate professor of medicine (health promotion and sports medicine)

The final list is a list of “superfoods”–foods that are extremely healthy, and may help ward off disease and illness in the future.

Fruits: Acai juice and berries, apples, avocados, bananas, blueberries, dried plums/prunes, grapes, kiwi, oranges, strawberries.

Dairy: Greek, probiotic yogurt, eggs, fat-free milk

Nuts, Seeds & Roots: Almonds, brazil nuts, edamame, flaxseed, garlic, ginger, sunflower seeds, turmeric, walnuts

Vegetables: Asparagus, beans, black beans, bok choy, broccoli and broccoli sprouts, collard greens, mustard greens, onions, shitake mushrooms, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes

Fish & Meat: Mackerel, oysters, salmon, sardines, scallops, tuna, turkey

Canned Goods: Olives, canned pumpkin, salmon, sardines, tuna, tomato sauces

Miscellaneous: Brown rice, dark chocolate, olive oil, tea (green, black & herbal)

None of these lists are exhaustive. I am sure there are other foods that belong on these lists that I haven’t mentioned.

There is a lot of overlap in the lists. I think it’s fair to say a food that helps fight inflammation might also be a superfood.

Nor am I saying, “Only eat these foods!” Eat a balanced diet, but think about adding these foods into your diet. I know I am going to try. Fortunately, I already have a lot of these foods on hand. My goal every day is to eat 3 things from the 3 lists. So far, most days, I have done better than that. I also plan to pick up 3 items I don’t have on-hand from the lists, every time I go grocery shopping. I’ll keep you posted!

Techniculties ?@#$!

Could someone please explain to me, why, every time I try to post a pix, WordPress changes the orientation of the photo? A 100-foot tall Christmas tree laying on it’s side isn’t as impressive as it is standing up. No matter whether I flipped it the right way with Windows picture manager, or edited it and flipped it from the Media library here in Word Press, it still publishes with the wrong orientation. This is not a new problem–if you look at previous posts, I’ve ignored the problem before.

SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!!!!

I have tons of pixs I want to upload, but I just trash the post when it doesn’t work right. I won’t post a gallery of screwiness…

Garden Dreams…

Being on bed rest has caused me to get really antsy. The weather has been great, and I have been dying to get out in the yard. But, doctor’s orders…

So, when the doc told me to stay in bed, I decided it didn’t have to be a totally unproductive time. I decided I was going to try to accomplish one productive thing each day. Of course, three of those days, I cheated because we had to take the significant others’ son back to Houston, and drive on to Corpus Christi to get the rest of our belongings out of storage there. I really should have stayed in bed, and paid the price the next two days, by not accomplishing anything, other than about 20 hours of sleep each day. 

So, one of my productive bed rest days, I finished Jerry’s Rus hat. Two days, I spent working on the Jane Seymore replica sleeves for a chemise I made back in March, 2013 (more on this, later). One day, I learned very basic knitting. 

And one particularly sunny day, I spent garden-dreaming. It took all day, but I planned our entire garden for this summer. Jerry has worked a “square foot garden” before, but I never have. Jerry gave me Mel Bartholomew’s “Square Foot Gardening” book, and I combined the ideas in that book with what I know and managed to Google about companion gardening.

I have several goals for the garden:

1.  To grow enough tomatoes and spices to can up enough spaghetti sauce and salsa for 2 families, (me, and my son’s family in Arkansas) to last a year. Oh, don’t forget the jalapenos and serranos! This is my first year growing them, along with red and yellow bell peppers.

2.  To grow enough carrots to do the same thing. Princess Chaos LOVES carrots.

3. To grow enough cucumbers to make bread and butter pickles for both families, for a year. I have been dreaming about bread and butter pickles.

4. To grow enough salad veggies (including 18 plants of spinach in the spring and fall) to have a fresh salad every day, throughout the season.

5. To grow enough strawberries to make a year’s worth of jam and put up plenty in the freezer.

6. To try growing blueberry bushes and 2 cherry trees, for the first time.

7. And, finally, to grow plants together that keep us from having to worry about pesticides, and try to keep everything as organic as possible.

It will take four 4×4 garden plots with trellises. We have wood we brought back from what used to be bookshelves in Corpus Christi that we are going to use to build them. We will start building them as soon as I am off bed-rest. We’re going to order a truckful of dirt on February 1, and start ammending it with our compost and some vermiculite and a little sand. I cant wait!

So, is anyone else “garden-dreaming” like me? What do you grow? How do you use it? Are you as self-sufficient as you would like to be, in that area? What is your favorite thing to grow? Do you have any gardening horror stories? Tell us all about it!