30 June 2010
I thought you’d like to know what’s happening to our beans ...
Rod and I will be exploring tonight and once we figure out how Peter is getting in, we’ll block his access.
From: Rodney B. Smith
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:19 PM
To: Misti Delaney
there is a wee bunny getting into the garden through the back fence... I caught him sampling the bean shoots today....... he got away.....
28 June 2010
Road Trip Food Plan
Ideas: vegetables (lettuce, greens, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, celery, avocados, salad greens, sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash, onions, cabbage, cauliflower) fruit (Apples, oranges, bananas, pears, berries, grapes), dried fruits and vegetables, nuts, boiled eggs, chicken, fish, sausage, burgers, canned fish, brownies, cheese, Lara Bars, kombucha, nut pancakes, egg and zucchini muffins,
Thursday, day 1
Bacon and eggs; smoothie with berries and greens
Salad with cold meat, frozen berries with coconut milk
Cold pancakes with jam
Friday, day 2
Boiled eggs, fruit
Veggies, cheese, and chips with dip
Salad with cold meat, fruit
Saturday, day 3
Muffins, cheese, nuts, veggies
Roasted vegetables, roast chicken
Sunday, day 4
Salad with cold chicken, fruit
Roasted vegetables, sausage
Monday, day 5
Fruit and nuts
Salad with leftover roast veggies and meats, frozen berries with coconut milk
Cold pancakes with jam,
Tuesday, day 6
Muffins, cheese, nuts, veggies
Veggies, cheese, and chips with dip
Bacon and eggs; smoothie with berries and greens
27 June 2010
We were supposed to go to the zoo, but I got lost in the garden and it was late by the time I got cleaned up, and frankly, I didn't feel all that energetic!
The deli was, again, wonderful!
John had the pizza, since we could vouch for that.
Jack and Rod shared the marinated mushroom "pasta", and I had the spring rolls. I ended up chowing down on the pasta, too -- it was amazing! And entirely grain free! (The pasta was made from zucchini, but Rod had to ask three times before he could believe that it was actually safe -- it tasted that good! And that little like zucchini!)
The spring rolls were nice, the flavours delightful, but it wasn't as filling as some of the other options. Then again, they're suppsoed to be light.
Northville was having a festival that day. Jack spotted the festival b efore our food was served and he kept staring out the front door at it. He was determined to go look around, so he and Rod toured while John and I enjoyed a cup of herb tea.
Turns out, this is why Jack was so determined to get out there -- he found my birthday presents there! I had thought that the brix meter was from both of them, but Jack thougt differently. It might make me happy, but the appropriate gift, in his mind, is jewelry.
Aren't they lovely?
The necklace is a real gilt leaf with a porcelein rose.
The "birthday girl crown" was intended to be a necklace for a much smaller woman. I like it as a hair adornment! (It looked nicer in my hair before my hair got wind-whipped in the car on the expressway, but *it* is still lovely!)
I am the most fortunate woman I know!
Everything from the yard -- berries, lettuce, grass, flowers-- tests between 2.5 and 3. That in spite of the fact that some is growing in sand and some is growing in super enriched soil.
When I pointed straight at the sun, I got a lovely light show and no clear reading, though a change in colours at one point or another...the reading, perhaps?
26 June 2010
And look at my beautiful birthday gift from Rod and Jack!
Next, I will be experimenting in the garden -- in differently prepared beds, before and after foliar feeding, before and after cow poop soup feedings, and the like.
25 June 2010
24 June 2010
Of course, this being Michigan, I was sitting next to someone who felt the earthquake, but I didn't and most people I talked to didn't.
And the "tornado" wasn't even a particularly big storm by the time it got to our house just after bedtime. It rocked us to sleep.
Oh, I have an interesting new challenge...this summer Rod and I will be headed to a family reunion in NY. On the way through, we will stop to see my old college buddy and his lovely wife. I have decided that I'd like to make them a card they can appreciate. The challenge part comes in that she is blind and he is mostly so. But, you know, that's the advantage of making ones own cards...personalizing them. ;) Ah, well, if I come up with anything worth sharing, I'll show you.
22 June 2010
On Saturday, Adnan, Mark, and Matthew came over for lunch and we had a quiet good time. Adnan brought some amazing chicken to barbeque -- I missed the names of the dishes, but both were Pakistani and delicious! I have to get him to write them down for me. ;)
On Sunday, we spent a quiet Father's day. Jack and I took off to give Rod a couple of hours of alone time, since that's the gift every parent needs most. Then we came back, bearing gifts and we spent the rest of the day hanging out, mostly in the garden. Later, Jack and I discovered Senet, King Tut's favorite game. Jack, of course, LOVES it. We'll get him a game board one of these days -- the paper one we have won't stand up to constant play.
18 June 2010
Jack has been extremely philosophical about his celiac diagnosis. He has requested one more gluten blowout meal just before his appointment to discuss celiac with his doctor, but he has been choosing not to eat toxic foods meanwhile.
Then again, he has had 10 months of watching first Rod, then me, adapting and commenting on how much better we feel. He has watched us gripe not about deprivation, but about how nasty we feel when we get "poisoned".
17 June 2010
Valerie, can you recommend a good book for young folks about why eating wheat is a really bad idea for celiacs? Jack feels fine, so he isn't going to really believe this. He *sees* how sick Rod and get...and he doesn't feel sick.
16 June 2010
Not only that, but the food tastes amazing: bright, fresh, and delicious -- and filling, too! Interesting foods that we can't already make better at home -- and there are no hidden ingredients because everything is made from scratch and every ingredient is on the menu. Wheat is used only in grass form, and that's pretty easy to substitute or avoid. Corn is used only in fresh vegetable form, and again, is easy to avoid.
Needless to say, a place this amazing doesn't have McDonlald's prices, but at about $8 per entree it's not bad -- just be careful about sides. They all use fresh, high quality ingredients and are priced accordingly, so they can add up quickly.
The Red Pepper Deli is located at 116 West Main Street, Northville, MI. 48167248-773-7671
15 June 2010
We started by going to Jack's karate class, where I got to take pictures of the dojo gardens, and in the process recorded my own "perfect garden". I'll use those photos later.
O'Mara's, where I had Salmon Nicoise ... so good I HAD to have the recipe!
Rod and I had our 8th wedding anniversary, and to celebrate we went to see the new Karate Kid movie with.
I can't quite say I enjoyed it. There were things I did enjoy about it -- it was refreshing to see a movie in which the token character was a white kid . I enjoyed seeing a film made in China -- it's not a place I know a lot about, and I still don't but I felt I had gotten a bit of a taste. Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan played very enjoyable characters and I think they did a superb job! I really enjoyed the emphasis Chan's character placed on respect and the fact that Smith's character clearly learned a great deal about respect over te course of the movie. That's a subject I think gets short shrift in our modern culture. But I found the film's unflinching focus on violence and bullying brutal and I was traumatized emotionally by the end of the film, as was Jack. We recovered, and I'm not unhappy that we went to see it, but I won't ever be seeing it again unless a less brutal version is released at some point. (Not likely.) I think, in retrospect, it would have been a good idea to wait until Jack was older to see this one...
(And one heck of a morning musician!)
I only ever see one bird there, but there are two eggs in the nest so Rob may be a single mother...or I haven't managed to see both parents at one time.
As I mentioned, the nest is literally outside our main door. We're trying to always remember to open the garage door from inside before we go out, so s/he gets fair warning. But we don't always remember. I am comforted by the fact that the nest appeared with the door in use, so it must have been ok to have noisy neighbors...
Ahh, life is wonderful!
For a week or more, I have been falling into bed at the first possible moment after dinner, only to roll out again "15 minutes" later to the sound of bird song. (That 15 minutes is 7, 8, or 9 hours, but doesn't feel like it.)
I'm not sure what else I've been doing, because I spend the days sleepy and disoriented. I don't feel sick, so for the moment, I'm blaming the weather. Then again, it could also be that I have had low level allergen poisoning (probably corn, because that's very hard to control for any time I leave the house.
In the good news department, things are actually going pretty well here!
Jack has been at karate for seven weeks now and it making great strides. He's decided to study for many years, and so far I get the impression that he very probably will. He takes regular classes every week, and then has bonus practice sessions at the dojo that we make it to every other week.
He is adding piano lessons to his curriculum in the next few weeks, too. It was down to piano or voice, and the choir meets on the same evening as his karate class. In Jack's mind, there was no contest.
I had to laugh wen he pulled out his next math book and demanded to know why that hadn't been added to the stack on the current studies table. Unlike his Mamma, Jack would rather study arithmetic than just about anything else. We explained that when everything from the current unit is done, we can start on some new books...though I do think it may be time to consider quitting some books in the middle and just adding some new courses while making those old books available "in the wild".
He does read constantly, and he would probably pick up the books we didn't finish, and his enthusiasm is better for the books we have started using more recently. That would make it all go faster...as would finding a way to stay home more. But we have found that we can cover a little between finishing dinner and clearing the table, which is all te time we have most weekday evenings.
Oh, I can't remember whether I mentioned it -- the earth has shifted a bit on the homeschooling front. Rod had been the primary teacher. That was the plan anyway.
11 June 2010
I just read about a new program in Washtenaw County. It's called Imagination Library, and its purpose is to get books into the hands of little kids who might otherwise not have access to them. Each month, from birth until they turn five years old, children enrolled in the program receive a hard-cover, age-appropriate book mailed to their home.
08 June 2010
Linda harvested our first major crop of greens last night. We ate our fill for dinner, Linda took enough for two or three households, and we have plenty left for another salad or two...plus some for freezing!
Amazing! (And delicious, too!)
05 June 2010
On the bright side, I discovered that my home made laudry detergent makes a fantastic floor cleaner!
The down side was that I discovered it by spilling some of it on the recently washed kitchen floor as I was moving a new batch into the basement laundry room. I finished moving the new tub down and then came back and cleaned up the spill -- and discovered that it wasn't my imagination that the kitchen floor wasn't quite as bright white as it seemed when we moved in. There was a huge white "stain" in the middle of the kitchen floor where the spill had been. The floor that had looked clean suddenly looked filthy!
Three buckets of water later, I finally got the floor to a state of uniform clean, rather than having streaks of very, very clean and streaks of muddy brown.
I can't see why we'd use anything else ... another win for simplicity!
(The picture is the 'dinosaur grass' we harvested last weekend, drying for use through the cold months. It's great for controlling periodontal disease and preventing osteoporosis.)
I love Italian food. I especially love pasta with a really great Bolognes ... and for years I have struggled to figure out why my very best attempts failed to have the amazing depth of flavour that one experiences at the best Italian restaurants.
And it was "fine." There was noting inedible about my sauce...but it wasn't quite right.
I used the best of ingredients, herbs fresh from the garden, home canned tomato sauce... everything I could think of. Nothing made that difference. I read book after book and tried recipe after recipe. Almost...but not quite right.
I watched all morning as I cleaned the kitchen and our little friend industriously carried in twigs and grass and wove them into a cozy place to raise baby robins. (I haven't had a very clear look at it, so I can't say for certain, but I think it's a "he".)
Interestingly, a cardinal wanted to nest by the same door earlier this spring, but the amount of activity was a deterent.
01 June 2010
But in the same sense that the dilapidated Victorian mansion inherited from a long lost spinster great aunt would be, diabetes is a gift, albeit a ducedly inconvenient and expensive gift in our current world.
How could a deadly disease be a gift you ask?
Well, look at it this way: like Great Aunt Mae's mansion, you inherited diabetes from your ancestors.
Like the mansion diabetes was once extremely valuable. The mansion was an expensive and possibly impressive home in its day. Today it would cost a fortune to repair and maintain -- or even to board up -- and it isn't an easy sale unless the property it's on is valuable in its own right. Diabetes, or rather insulin resistance, was once a genetic survival mechanism that allowed your ancestors to put away energy reserves in good times, rather than using all of their resources for energy, so that when hard times (in the form of winters or droughts) came, as they inevitably do, your ancestors were able to survive and probably even reproduce. Today, of course, diabetes can shorten your life, and it certainly complicates it.
This little clip (3 minutes) explains how insulin resistance causes weight gain and can, in today's relatively luxurious conditions, eventually lead to diabetes.
Go ahead, have a look. I'll wait.
OK, make sense?
Now, remember those "greedy" fat cells that don't let fat back out of cells easily? That would be the genetic equivalent of the ants. (Remember the ants and grasshopper?) Your fat cells aren't just greedy, they're laying up food for the winter.
The problem is, we seldom have the kind of "winter" they're waiting for, and so we continue to build up insulin resistance over many years and eventually we develop diabetes. (I would disagree that "we aren't born wit greedy fat cells -- I tink some of us are born, at least, with fat cells tat are inclined that way.)
So why do I spend so much time drawing this analogy for you? Well, the medical establishment and the press have spent so much energy demonizing fat and diabetes that most people's first reaction to the diagnoses is guilt that they've done something wrong.
I don't think that's a productive reaction. Diabetes is a is a very tough disease to control when your NOT standing on one foot kicking yourself in the butt over it. It's nearly impossible if you think you deserve it.
There is *NO* "deserve" about diabetes. You don't deserve it, and you haven't done anything wrong if you develop it. Diabetes is a degenerative disease that is largely genetic. You can postpone it by eating right and getting lots of exercise, but if it's in the cards, you can only prevent it by dying before it manifests. True. The medical establishment has demonized diabetes largely because they have demonized fat, and early diabetes (insulin resistance) results in weight gain. But thin people who eat well get diabetes sometimes, too.
Yes, you can probably speed up its appearance by eating too much simple carbohydrate, by not getting adequate exercise, or by surviving too much stress, so if you can avoid those things it's a good idea -- but they'd be healthier choices whether you are vulnerable to diabetes or not.
Please, please, please don't play the blame game about diabetes. You may be on your way to diabetes, but it is in no way your fault. A perfect diet and an Olympian workout schedule would promise you nothing more than a neglected life. Eat as well as you can given your circumstance and get as much exercise as you can fit in without becoming exhausted or neglecting your life. Keep stress low, and keep an eye on your blood sugar -- if certain foods give you trouble, replace them with something else and if your blood sugar starts to read over 130 regularly, see your doctor to get treated. It's not a club anyone wants to join, but it's not the end of the world.
Oh, and diabetes can be a gift in an other way, too. It's an excellent excuse to learn to eat well and to take the time to take care of yourself. That's good for everybody!