Tag Archives: health

The Absent Blogger – 8/10/2017

One day seems like the next.  A pleasant August of temperatures not typical of the month, most days reaching only about 80ºf, nights that warrant at least a sheet for cover.  Each day is a series of doctor’s appointments to try to diagnose hubby’s symptoms and the accompanying stress of not knowing, harvesting from the garden that daughter and grands helped me get totally weeded last weekend, canning the harvest, and refereeing the constant squabbles of the grands who have another 18 days before school begins and are tired of each other’s company and the play options available to them.  Most days ending in thunderstorms, though not filling the creeks, it is keeping the garden watered and the dust down.  The seeds planted in empty beds after our weeding session are sprouting to provide us with turnips, radishes, spinach, carrots, and peas for the fall.  The sweet potato vines are thick, kale, chard, and corn thriving, a few small pumpkins appearing amidst the corn. Several of the pullets are laying tiny eggs now, the hens have all but quit laying.  The Monarchs found the parsley and are chowing down, but the butterflies are welcome. The hay was finally moved off of our fields.  The shelves of salsas, pickles, and sauces are filling.  As the tomatoes begin ripening more quickly, pasta sauce and more salsa will be made.  The Asian pears are ripening and pear sauce or pear apple sauce will be made.

Such is a day in the life of the absent blogger.










Cleaning House, not a resolution

I have arthritis and as I age, I find more and more areas it is affecting.  I know that it is going to happen regardless of what I do, that repetitive actions (spinning, knitting, gardening) help it along, but I’m not going to stop doing those things.  I also know that injuries can contribute, but I can’t go back and undo the 39 year old shoulder separation, nor the 17 year old wrist break, the torture my knees took when I though running was the only exercise.  So I decided instead to clean house.  Not just the log home in which we live, already cleaned that this week, but my internal house.

I am not one to go flying off to try this cleanse, that herbal “cure,” or some magic elixir. Generally, I eat well, local when possible, homegrown is best.  This is why I garden and raise chickens.  I know what goes into my soil, I know what my chickens eat and how they are housed.  I buy local pasture raised beef and pork when I eat that, but we are bad about eating lunch out, and I am bad about buying bread and pasta from the Farmers Market that is not whole grain, though I don’t eat a lot of either of them.

I have been particularly bad the past couple of weeks with lots of white potatoes, a few dark chocolate candy bars that were in my stocking, cream cheese and hot pepper jelly (it has been delicious Whit) on crackers that are not whole grain, the white flour buns at fast food, hot cocoa with Chambord and whipped cream at night.  I haven’t gained any weight but I have gained enough inflammation to have joints that hurt, a couple that are swelling and it is time to clean up my house.

A bit of Dr. Google and I see that refined grains, sugar, alcohol, dairy, processed meat, grain fed meat are all major contributors.  I knew that, I didn’t really have to look it up, but sometimes doing so is the kick in the right direction.  I can eat a salad or soup instead of a sandwich, I can give up the cream cheese and hot pepper jelly (I enjoyed it for a week), I can stop with the hot cocoa and reduce the amount of white potatoes and pasta that I eat, but breakfast becomes a problem.  The half a bagel or English muffin have to go.  As I am genetically predisposed to high cholesterol and can’t/won’t take statins because of the way they make me feel and the current research, eating eggs each morning is out, even if my girls are free range and eat a healthy varied diet.  I’m not a fan of smoothies that don’t have yogurt and reducing dairy plus no local fruit in season, make that not a good option.  My other breakfast choice is long cook oatmeal.  With walnuts and flax seed, that is a good option, but it is boring every day.  When berries are in season, that is a boost to the anti-inflammatory foods and an improvement on the oatmeal, but not in the middle of winter unless I want berries that have traveled father than I ever will and cost a premium. We never went berry picking this past summer as I wasn’t making jam this year, so there isn’t a stockpile in the freezer.

I do know that some foods must go or certainly be seriously moderated.  Some foods that I love need to become a part of my daily diet and hopefully, this winter won’t be too uncomfortable as the cold and damp become the norm for the next few months.  I see curry, ginger, cinnamon in my future.  Plenty of dark greens and veggies, fewer starches, less cheese (especially the softer ones), a break from the sugar monster, more dishes with my homegrown canned and frozen tomatoes.  A cleaner house.

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Olio – Sprwinter edition 4/9/16

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.

This is what we awoke to this morning.


The end of the first full week of April.  In the decade we have lived on our farm, we have never seen more than flurries this late.  Tonight it is going down to 19ºf, so the likelihood of having any apples, pears, or peaches this year from our orchard looks bleak. I haven’t been out to the garden and coop this morning to see the damage there.  The chickens will be fine, but disgruntled that there is snow on the ground, but it is going up to 42ºf later today and up into the 60’s and 70’s over the next couple of days.  I may have to replant some of the garden.  It will leave this sprwinter mess and become spring eventually.

The cold, windy weather has allowed for more fiber play though.  The fingerless mitts that I have been designing are coming along.  One is complete.


I love the double cable up the back.  The cuff on the second one is done and the hand is about to commence.  If I can get a better photo, that I am not trying to take single handedly in the dark loft, I will post them.

This was the week to receive my monthly installment of fiber from the Tailfeather’s Club from Unplanned Peacock and it was the most gorgeous silk top.  I have spun about 70 yards on my drop spindle and it is a delight to work with and made the softest, squishiest, glowing yarn.


It was a 100 g installment, but was very generous, as still have more than 100 g after spinning this.  A beautiful soft cowl might be calling.  This is definitely a color I will wear.

Damage assessment in the garden will be done once I can see the ground again.  I think the peas, garlic, onions, and radishes will be ok.  The cabbages and chard, if they survived last night might be covered tonight.  I covered them with spoiled hay when I planted them, but we have been living in a wind tunnel for the past couple of weeks and the hay has scattered down the length of the bed and into the chicken run.  I’ll dig out an old sheet tonight.

From noon today until tomorrow afternoon, we will be flying solo with the grandkids.  K and R are going out of town to a concert that he bought tickets to for K’s birthday last November and they are going out to a nice dinner to celebrate their last August anniversary and spending the night in a hotel.  Right now, the grands are preparing to test for their next belts in Taekwondo.  N’s test is at 10 a.m. and A’s is at 11.  We are going to bundle up and go to the Farmers’ Market in spite of the weather.  Fresh greens and a bit of meat are in order.

I finally went to the doctor for my annual (but it has been a few years) physical and to get referrals for some of the other tests that one should have to endure once you reach a certain age.  Our family has a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol and a history of Type 2 diabetes.  I have managed to keep myself fairly thin, though not where I want to be and have since having access to local pasture raised meat, local butter and milk, and my own hen’s eggs, have let my veggie heavy diet slip to a more omnivore diet.  My cholesterol came back high.  Not OMG high, but enough to make me step back and get back on board with less meat, fewer eggs, skip the milk in my coffee diet.  I tried statins once and after a few months of feeling awful, I stopped them and don’t want to go that route again.  My fasting blood sugar wasn’t as good as it should be, but of no cause for concern yet.  I will strive to kick up my exercise routine, cut back on some foods and get retested in a few months.