Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
And so I've been doing some more reading up, as well as contemplating what would fit with our family goal of growing most of our own foods. That in itself will require a change of eating, because typically we can't afford right now to eat as much produce as we'd like. BUT (isn't there always a but?)...that has to change. As we DO grow more of our own food, our appetites will have to accomodate a lot more green things as well as some veggies that do well in our area but that I never grew up eating.
I'll go out on a limb and say that I never see myself totally eliminating animal products from our diets, or at least mine, by choice. That said, I DO see our transitioning to raw milk and milk products, unmedicated meats, and a completely different ratio of raw and veg foods than we eat right now. Eggs, too.
I simply don't know if I can do this, but I am trying very hard since the months-long run of having been ill and now feeling stronger, finally...am trying to listen to what I need to do better "self care"....I'm not hard on myself and don't ignore myself. But I need a more specific type of healing, I think, and I believe that means unburdening my body from complications and giving it what it needs to heal and be less toxic.
I'm seriously contemplating a modified raw food regimen (with some frozen berries thrown in), the exception being the occasional inclusion of meat/bone broth and fish. I am thinking of trying this for 30 days and charting the process, if for no other reason than to help me transition to a different ratio in my eating, changing over to mainly fruit and veg. It would also do a lot to help me eliminate the temptation of processed flour and other processed foods, as well as find other ways to get the taste I enjoy by un-learning some of my grab-and-go standbys and exploring some equally tasty but more nutritionally dense alternatives.
Maybe I just want to know I can do it and maybe I feel the need for a cleanse. Anyway, I'm thinking about it.
Strangely, and gladly, I am at a different mindset going into this than I have been at other points in my life. At other points, I felt the urge to nurture myself because of feeling depressed, and other emotions linked to situations present at those times. I did experience welcome breakthroughs when I did that back then. But this time is markedly different because I am very content and happy in general and the strongest emotion I have driving this desire is to be able to enjoy my world physically as much (and as long) as possible, to improve some conditions that I'd like to see gone healthwise, and to really invest in having as many years possible to enjoy my husband who is the dearest friend I have.
It's been important for me in the past to work through challenges when making life changes, especially to be motivated for the positive rather than through feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and such. Negativity or fear can't drive me. My weight has always been a challenge, but I can say that though I have a lot to lose, I've been both thin and very overweight, and I accept my body and am comfortable in my own skin wherever on the spectrum I am.
I made a conscious decision years ago to never diet again, therefore I won't. But old dogs can learn new tricks, and giving my body what's best is no prescribed diet...but it's a dietary change. I've lost 30 lbs in the past two years, most of it during the past year, ten of it while sick. I'd like to see more shed. If it happens, I'll applaud better choices and ride the momentum.
For now, I have to get used to eating foods I need, enjoying a broader range. (I already love veggies and fruits anyway). Lots and lots of different greens. A completely different ratio of raw and cooked, fruit/veg to starches and meats.
I'm contemplating whether 95% raw is something I should try for 30 days. That's enough time to see where I'd like to go from there. I'd include fats from fish, avocados, flax seed.
Thoughts? Experience you'd like to share?
I'll report back here about what I decide. I'll continue thinking about it while I fix myself a blueberry smoothie...yum :)
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
And pumpkin pies. Check! Doubtful on the pie crust, as I am one of those unfortunates who have not yet mastered the art of the pie crust. And those Pillsbury All-Ready ones? Well, dangit, I had to go and read the ingredients and sure enough, O Lard, there's lard in it. I have nothing against the piggies, but we just don't eat 'em, so I had to scramble to find some sort of easy crust to substitute. I found an easy recipe online with a simple list of ingredients that can be basically stirred and pressed into the pan using a bare hand and some waxed paper. It's not so pretty as the rolled out sort, but I need to work on my crust skills. So this sufficed for now and hey, the taste isn't bad. The actual pie is the same recipe we grew up with...my Grandma used the recipe on the Libby's label no matter what, and if you jazz it up with a few more shakes of spice than called for, it's tradition.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
1. I'm now in the care of an ear/nose/throat specialist. I'm feeling relief and can hear now out of one of my ears and both are so much better. We're working on the right ear to get the stubborn infection nixed. I really love this doc. He sees the yuck and gets this tube thingy and suctions it all out. Ohhhhh, so very great (total relief, ah :))
2. The losers who stole and wrecked our vehicle recently now have been making their way through our personal effects, namely the checkbooks and outgoing mail (checks sealed for mailing for monthly bills) that were among the stolen contents of the truck. It looks like we may be dealing with three counties in question, so I am doing due diligence trying to coordinate hubby/bank/case detective/copies of all the paperwork in question so that it can all be linked to the one same crime...and if fingerprints, checks, etc ever produce a break in the case, they can be busted for ALL of it. And oh, how I hope they are.
3. Been making the most of the library. The past few weeks it was espionage-ish type novels, then made my way through various sets of authors and their collections, then had a dry run of some authors I've never tried, with varied success. I'm now in the middle of one of Barbara Kingsolver's older ones, and just replenished the stack with some books of letters/logs/diaries (historical), some history local and of cuba, and various random selections from my ongoing author search in the fiction section, trying to locate others I've never read but might enjoy. I'm keeping the stack to about 15, and rotating out as I go so it stays fresh. I devour books.
4. Pulling things together for an early thanksgiving celebration with friends this weekend. Every minute between now and then is accounted for and I have no idea when i'll get the items in time (the things to cook and take...I was given a list of things to make that we don't usually have at home) because the work schedule (shared rides) have really screwy hours, PLUS Jack is having to handle driving time to banks to keep following up on the #2 above. But that said, my husband is very relaxed and seems to be immune to The Disaster Which Is My Kitchen presently, knowing that I will someday knock out the nuclear waste that is my stack of dishes in the sink. That, too, rotates, but quickly gets behind. I'm feeling SO much better physically! And perhaps too relaxed?? Well, I'm getting plenty of sleep, and am feeling so much better by the day!
5. And that's its own point. I'm so much better by the day, and I feel more like myself...HOORAY!!! Thank you to all who prayed for my health! There are still tests being run, but the feeling like I was hit by a bus is definately OVER. WHEW!!
6. Pup's good! Kaleb is thriving on his regimen, and is so well-knitted into the fiber of our family I can't imagine it without him. If you want a dog to not only be a faithful companion but to be totally in adoration and keep tabs on you 24/7, that's an Aussie. He's bonded well with Jack, too...they have their special "man talk" they do. but Kaleb is like an old mother hen about me and if one of us goes outside and the other stays in, he'll opt to stay close to me and worry about me while still going frequently to the window and worrying about Jack...it's really sweet. So we play and spoil the daylights out of him, and he seems to be thriving...yay :) His coat is looking like a whole new dog. We have to be careful not to be in the direct line of fire of his exuberance on these cooler days when he rockets around the yard outside when we take him out. He doesnt understand that he's the equivalent of a 65 lb freight train :)
7. Still researching the technologies I mentioned in a recent post, adn following up on the comments you guys left there. We LOVE those and love chipping away at those things!
8. Land search news on the horizon. Mum's the word till there's anything to report. But it still is being labored on.
9. I've never owned a gun. I've shot rifles and a shotgun before, but never a handgun. I've always been somewhat intimidated by handguns. But for whatever reason, we've made a couple trips to shops where I can see and feel handguns, to satisfy my curiosity and try to get over my irrational fear of them. I'm doing this for myself because I'd rather be educated than intimidated and ignorant of something. To know if I like it or not, and if not, to be sure of my reasons why. Doing some reading and going to these shops has at least gotten me less shy around them. I'm curious about them and am contemplating a gun safety class. And if I reach a comfort level, I'd like to go to a firing range and get more comfortable operating them. And possibly contemplate a class on concealed weapon licensing? Dunno, we'll see. Any thoughts?
10. I've gotten outside more and have been walking more. As my health has been better, I've craved walks in this beautiful weather that's mild but with good strong sun coming down...perfect! Been enjoying walking Kaleb, and I haven't gained back any of the weight I lost while sick (yay!). Now to get on a regular sleeping schedule.
all for now....
going to finish out the demanding week, and get in my great stretches of rest, especially since Jack's encouraging them. In spite of the stack of dishes.
I love my husband :)
P.S. Sometimes Kaleb snores like a little old man. And as he naps at my feet, sometimes he makes dog noises that freak me out because they sound like someone whispering. He also makes jealous dog noises, or pouting noises when Jack and I snuggle up asleep at night. But he gets over it. You should hear his sigh of resignation when we're all cuddled. As in "hey you two, get a room." And then he settles back into his deluxe pillow-stack condo beside my side of the bed. Yeah, he's got it so rough... It's a dog's life... :)
Monday, November 9, 2009
Before I go further, I'd like to say that I personally lean to the less-is-more concept of simplifying life. In fact, I'm not a technology bandwagon person. I'm also not a spend-more-to-be-green person.
My hubby loves technology and finding ways to innovate. I am a crusty codger about technology, and am more drawn to kerosene lamps and open fires, and very low-tech tools. That said, it would be a big adjustment for me to learn to live with average daytime temps of high 90s F for most of the year, and nights in the 80s F and up. But we keep looking for options and ideas.
Here are some things we've been reading up on, but have come to no particular conclusion about yet...but they continue to interest us in a closer look:
1. The Coolerado Air Conditioner. Here's a pic from their site --
Features of this type of A/C? It needs no refrigerant, and Jack believes that means it would cut out the A/C service costs completely. It supposedly is priced competitively with standard A/Cs, and it uses only ten percent of the normal energy of conventional A/Cs, which means it can be easily connected to solar panels without a huge drain of energy. It also thrives in heat and gets more efficient the hotter the weather. And so on and so on...here is a youtube video where they go into a bit more detail. Needless to say, this is on our curiosity list to follow up on and keep researching. It would mean A/C would be possible even off-grid, for the price of an airconditioner.
This video is about the larger A/C unit that would cool a larger building exceeding 1500 sq ft.
2. Getting Drinking Water from the Air: EcoloBlue 29 Atmospheric Water Generator --- this is something I ran across when googling off-grid living and was wondering about water options. The three downsides I see from the outset for this product are the cost and the fact it has a plug (needs electricity), and needs filters every 3 years or so. The up side being it produces clean drinking water from the air (yeah, that is very cool!) , needs 480 watts while running, cuts off when done....ergo, it could be fueled by solar panels as well. It's completely portable, meaning it's not fixed to plumbing or anything...it functions like a water cooler/heater drinking station. It can be used simply as an R/O system with existing water systems, if desired. But it needs no water source other than the air, since it uses the air humidity. It claims to produce 7 or more gallons of water a day, and switches off when full until the next time it's needed. Cost is in the ballpark of $1200. That's a big downside. For folks like us with filthy and very VERY hard to stomach well water due to the high sulfur content (we have to BUY all our cooking and drinking water weekly, ugh) We do have a Berkey filtration set-up, but it does NOT remove the sulfur smell...which is not something you'll find in their literature. So we're definately interested in these claims, especially since we live in a high-humidity area, though the literature states that it will run in any area.
Here's a video about it
Here's the pic from their site:
Reading comments from users seemed to show they were satisfied and also noted that periodic flushing of the unit to keep it clean was the only real maintenance that came up. We'll be checking this out more, but at this point, the price for our situation is too spendy.
3. The Rocket Stove. I first saw this at one of my favorite blog sites, La Ferme de Sourrou...here is one of the posts where you can see it in use. This has REALLY impressed me, since its biggest selling points (to me, at least) are its ease of construction from really inexpensive materials, its ability to realllyyyy get hot fast, and the fact (this is HUGE) it needs VERY VERY little fuel...a few corncobs, or small pencil-sized sticks, leaves, things you'd find easily without chopping a lot of trees or paying for fuel. Here are a couple of links I found you might enjoy. This handmade technology is SIMPLE but EFFECTIVE. It really will get our attention as we hammer out alternative ways to cook, especially if we relocate, without being dependent on paying for fuel or chopping wood. I'm not sure if I could adapt it for outdoor canning, but it's certainly worth finding out.
Here is one of my faves...I love the ease of construction. This one's made of adobe bricks.
This one below is constructed of basic metal containers and Parts one and two show the ease of construction from about any metal container (note: the author notes later to use black metal for one of the components)
This one is my favorite of all. This shows several being used in Africa. Each one is made of 6 bricks and is the rocket stove concept, using very very little kindling or wood, mostly just a few twigs.
This one shows the above 6-brick stove's construction. They apparently are later mudded over to customize the exterior shape for the owner.
That's it for now...what's caught your interest lately? I'd love to know what's worked best for you...any category...as a best solution for your homestead :)
Saturday, November 7, 2009
We got a call late evening last night that the police had found our stolen truck lodged in the mud on the side of the road on a two lane heavily partied area near a popular beach. These are photos taken in the dark, but they give some idea of what we found when we got there.
Probably, because the area is well-traveled, the location may have prevented them from stripping down the vehicle all the way...tires, etc. As it was, EVERYthing from the interior that could be removed by hand hastily was. Registration papers, everything from all compartments, our many tools and supplies we kept in the back for our work, and even stupid stuff...all gone. The gift they left us was the aroma of pot smoking and spilled beer, damage to the inside and outside we're not entirely sure yet the full extent is till we get it to a mechanic, and an abandoned cooler left in the truck bed.
One of the dents. The side door doesn't close well as a result. And soon I will discuss my FEELINGS about people who do this to other people's property just for the fun of it.
These smudges are where the deputy dusted for fingerprints...and got some good ones. I hope some are in the state computer and that they get prosecuted.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tonight was not the night to leave a full set of keys, a wallet, and a lot of personal and work items locked in our only vehicle at work. At least for us, it wasn't the best of nights...but for some lowlife professional break-and-enter car thief, it was probably high cotton.
Our only vehicle is gone. Practically right in front of my eyes. Right at work.
Prayers are appreciated! We're making all the necessary calls to try to mitigate any compromises of identity, financial data/accounts, etc. What. A. Headache.
We would love the vehicle to be recovered in good and driveable condition. We're really happy no one was hurt (me!) and that we seem to have a pretty good basic insurance coverage (helps).
I need to send a big thank you to everyone who has offered health recommendations and encouragement in the last post, too...I've read them carefully and implemented many of them. I have an appointment with a specialist early next week, if I have a replacement driver's license and rental vehicle to drive by then.
Shall be back to post periodically, but wow, hmmm...what can I say? Just very grateful no one tried to take something more precious than some transportation...such as one of our lives.
Makes me hug my hubby tighter! And my sweet daughter, who was great about taxiing us home (wow, shoe on the other foot...memories of how many times we taxiid her ...thanks, Rachey!)
Hug the ones you love. Cars (or trucks) can be replaced....(we hope!!!)
Love you guys :)
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Long story short is that I don't much like my personality just now, and normal life ups and downs just seem more intense, though they probably aren't. I feel irritable even in regular conversations with those I love. That's not "me."
I don't get really low often, but my spirits are really not in a good place. I'll be back here when I have something positive to contribute. I can't seem to shake my irritability, and it's got me wanting to just take a bus and disappear from everyone, period, till I find my good humor again.
My "sky's still the same color".....it's just my own perspective of it that needs a readjustment.
Hope to be back soon when I can find my smile :)