Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Autumn Tradition of Apple Hill

This year Apple Hill seemed to be slipping away due to weather and timing. But my darling husband found a way to get us up there to visit our favorite farms, even if it was only for a couple of hours.
We went to Kids Inc first and had ourselves one of their Walkin' apple pies. I was surprised by how many people there remarked about our dish, this is what they are known for. But many had their first introduction to the pie through our order. It's a large personal sized pie topped with their cider sauce and ice cream on top. Not
PCOS friendly, but it's once a year.
We then made our way, a rather back way into the most popular farm High Hill Ranch. This farm is huge, it has the most crafty things, a fishing pond, restaurant, farmers market stand, apple cider and apple donuts. The donuts are amazing, and the cider is good although hubby likes mine more.
Our last and final stop was to Abe's Apples for their delicious and rather gourmet caramel apples. They have an apple pie caramel apple! I love it! They use huge delicious juicy apples and cover them with lots of caramel and other delicious ingredients. I also like their caramel, chocolate covered with nuts. The cinnamon candy apples were being taken off the menu the day we were there, they like to mix up their offerings.

This fall has been emotional and unsteady so it was wonderful of my hubby to work do hard to keep this tradition going. This is one offering I would love to bring my family to, but as of now we head out there for Thanksgiving no one comes here. Spring is not the time for apples, although they do have something with the blooms in spring. Our time to come is in the fall.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Drinking tea, it's more than a warm drink to me

It's Autumn, finally. I wake up to a chill in the air even though it warms up quite well by the afternoon. The leaves are all turning, putting on their brightest hues. Everyone is in the mood, school is in session, coffee shops gave brought out our seasonal favorites. I'm sitting here planning out my work for tomorrow and sipping tea. It is a Roobios tea, one of the apple cider flavors with all the benefits of green tea and no caffeine.
This has been added back to my nightly routine. I had stopped the nightly advent because I had no one to share with, but I've decided that I still need it. This is my rest, the time for me to remember, for me to relax.
When I sit here and sip it's like I'm with my mom, listening to her wisdom. I'm surrounded by love. Tea time is for reminiscing and thinking of what my mom would advise me to do.
It's also a time for remembering chai in India, my first train ride, Auntie Buntain and all the friends I made on the other side of the world. Another time when I was a minority, this time because of my skin and nationality. It reminds me how well off we are even though we are not wealthy according to American standards.
Tea time is grounding. It's pleasure, and decadence, and solace. It's more than drinking a hot liquid. It's like the warm blanket and fire feeling on a rainy night. Tea tastes great, but it's also a frame of mind. I hope you all find time in your day for tea, or your equivalent of it. Take the time to be grounded, to remember, and be thankful.
I wish you all peace and blessings.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Power up for PCOS 5k

I know it's been a long time since I've posted.

This event will be hosted on September 29th. The time details are still being worked out.

For those who would like to sponsor me:

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sugar scrub

I have begun to love these different sugar scrubs found on Pinterest. You can blame my sister, she sent me a batch. My feet dry out, crack and bleed. These scrubs have helped resolve this issue. So now I've been making these to give away as gifts.

I have been thanked, whether only from being polite or really from a deep love I'm not sure. It won't stop my gift giving though. I like these to much not to add a jar to a birthday gift.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Compassion International

My hubby and I finally agreed together on something regarding a child. We've chosen to become a sponsor for Enoch. He is 4, and lives in Togo.

Such a great day.  The service was touching, and everyone had the opportunity to sponsor children.  He was one of the two that were on our seats.  I may only get two letters a year which will be fun, but still only two and I like to write although really what to say to a 4yr old who lives on the other side of the world in very different circumstances from myself? 

I hope that this picture is kind of staged, I hope he really does smile.

This last moth has had some significant stress that can not get into detail about, but prayer would be appreciated of course.  All of that is off topic of course, but I'm still mulling it over in my mind.

It will be nice to have something else to think of other than PCOS.

Visit from family

We had a lovely visit with my aunt and uncle this past weekend. My aunt had my hubby laughing. She's awesome, not the syrup sweet type but the brutally funny honest. They had decided to forgo another drive to see San Francisco in order to walk more. I seemed to have taken up the challenge and took them on a tour of the city. So, we walked all around old town sac and through the downtown mall. We couldn't let Old Town be the only site they see with us, so we took a drive along the Delta for dinner. Coming back the sun was setting, it was beautiful. The ray's weren't completely golden but it was a lovely drive.

We also took a walk by our house, along the river. The doggies came with us on that walk and entertained us quite well.

Sunday we went to church and worshiped with all of Bayside with Lincoln Brewster at the lead.

The only downside was we overindulged in eating out. I seem to have been the first to start paying for this. But tonight I did Zumba, and I'll be eating salads and homemade this week.
Walk around our neighborhood river, the Bridge over the Sacramento River, Bayside Sunday Service, Worship, and Enoch
Took a side trip to see where I work, and see that the area really is perfect for pictures.  We even saw cute ducks
Sacramento Bridge, Delta view, More view of the Delta, School Marm.
Sacramento River farther down the Delta, Ducks again, Night sky in front of our house, the River from close to our house, and sun bathing turtles

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cleaning, a non-toxic way

Cleaning in a non-Toxic sort of way
Today I am having fun with my Clean House Green House products.

I found recipes for home made soaps on Pinterest.
Here is one that I'm quite excited to try:
The complete photo guide to making your own homemade laundry detergent

So when I went to the store loaded up with my list of things to buy for all sorts of home made cleaners I found the Full Circle Home Products.  I will be using more of those recipes than the others that I found, although I will of course use those others too. But now I need to add to my list of things to get: Tea Tree Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, Liquid Castle Soap, and eventually beeswax & and parafin to make a furniture wax.

I already have the Costco size Baking Soda, it's not pictured.

So I was telling my friend at lunch about this trip, and I was excited.  My other co-workers, older gentlemen were less than enthused.  They would rather go to the dollar store and buy cheap things there.  Non-toxic, Environmentally friendly, these are distasteful words in their mouths.  How many of us begin adventures excited only to have nay-Sayers and people who are unwilling to change get all bent out of shape over what you have chosen to do.  They really were starting to get all worked up over my choice of cleaning products.  let's be clear, neither of them will ever have invites to my house. I do not go to their houses, I was not telling them how to live or clean, I was only sharing with my friend what I was doing.  Really, all worked up over soap?  I think that's not the real issue though, change is. 

Change is scary, it's different, and some times it takes work and effort.  I think change is good though.  I may not be able to do everything all at once to keep my life perfectly healthy with PCOS. I fight with sugar and sleep more often than I care to admit, but I'm still fighting.  The point is not giving up.

I think Spring is the perfect time to clean more than just your home.  We've already had the New Years Resolutions fade a bit, now it's time to spring clean up your life.  Change the things that need to be, and clean up the things that might have gotten forgotten.  Do not let negative people steal your joy, enthusiasm, or your determination.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Books, Denial and Grief

I've been reading Wicked....

It's not your child's fairy tale.  It's the Grimm's version, and it's not light reading either.  Let me explain, if you had a difficult time seeing the symbolism in the movie Pleasantville then this movie is not for you. If you had trouble seeing the symbolism in the Old Man in the Sea, this book is probably not for you.  The play evidently is lighthearted, and fun I've never seen it so I can't say for any certainty how it is portrayed, but the book is not like the play.  It's the dark version of Sleeping Beauty, the one that has Sleeping Beauty raped while asleep, and not the lighter Grimm's version which was even altered more in the Disney version.
This book is good though, even with all the more mature themes going on, but I would suggest you reading it before suggesting it your young teens. 

This book and the readers thoughts on it have made me think about our expectations in general.  Lately my expectations have been challenged significantly.  Not in the way that I thought I would marry a prince and live happily ever after. But in that I still thought youth meant you still had a fair amount of health, clearly not the case.  I've know this, in my head, for ever.  I've seen children born sick, but now to many things have hit home for me to hang onto any form of happy delusion any longer.  Silent sicknesses have struck out family, babies have been born sick, and friends have died young. Others have been given horrible news, and we are now just praying for a miracle of healing.

This story is not like reading about pretty sparkly vampires, it's the dirty side of Oz. Gritty grimy and less dreamlike, and sing songy. 
Today, I think that's what I need.  Something out of this world, but still enough like it for me to relate to.

InCyst has begun to write blogs about the grief process in relation to PCOS.  This seems to have hit me at the right time, as i am headed back through the grief cycle once more. Although today it's about the denial stage.

So here's my little thought of the day.  Look up, find your faith, and see the beauty.  Life is not a fairy tale, but God is good, and life is short.  Enjoy the moment.
Looking up

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tower of Power - as seen on Pinterest

My re-pin: Tower of Power

It looked to good not to try. We had the ingredients on hand, and little else so this was dinner. I had two servings, and my hubby had oatmeal on the side. It would make a great breakfast, but we did need some more for dinner. This was my first time poaching eggs, I need more practice.

Low Carb vegetable Replacement for Eggs Benedict
Today is a dreary and rainy day, and this meal is a reminder of sunshine. This winter is not quite rainy and drissly like normal, but I have been tankful for not having puddles of mud for my puppies to roll around in.  This week at work we are learning the important skill of forgiveness.  It is a skill, it does not come naturally and you only get better with practice.  One of my co-workers and I have devised a plan to help in this process moving along faster for another co-worker.  It would take the form of kind and gentle reminders, but thankfully our plan was not needed today.

If you are angry, take a step back and ask yourself why.  Why are you so hurt, why is it so important, who is being hurt by your anger, is it leading to unforgiveness?

Then remind yourself that you are the only one that is hurt by not forgiving someone, and that the mercy we give out to others is the mercy that will be dealt to us. I personally want as much mercy as possible.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Spear Throwing and dodging

A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards, to be clear this is not a book review.  This is more of a thought, or a memory coming back to help me get through this latest of battles.  Maybe battles is to strong, maybe is not the day to debate that.

I'm tired today. I've been tired.  We have been getting documents together, okay for get we, it's been me.  Lots and lots of documents. I've been sick, so I am now catching up at work, and then just recently my computer got a virus.  I've been spending a week getting that thing removed.  We all have rough times, I get it.  But today I skipped lunch which was a big mistake. As it happened my co-worker left some for me to eat, and I did.  The problem is that this is greasy fast food stuff that makes my stomach sick. I'm trying to be healthy here people, and skipping lunch was the wrong move because it left me hungry and willing to eat stuff I normally would never touch.  How does all of this relate to a book I read a long time ago from Master's? I'm glad you asked, I do get side tracked at times. Today another co-worker and I had a conversation regarding our expectations when we were first hired and what has happened since.  I had expected less stress, they did not expect to feel so old etc.  The conversation got me to thinking about leadership, and what my role is in that relationship.  There was no direct talk against our boss, but my heart was there.  I've been mulling on it since.  This is not how I want to be, I want to be able to dodge the spear and arrows tossed by a crazy king and keep my sanity and respect for the throne.  I've tried to squash blame hunts, and not cast blame onto others. I'm not sure if it will work well in the latest fiasco, but he was really unprepared for witch hunts and finding where the fault lies for every client gripe.  Let's be honest, there are some people who are just not going to be happy, they complain.  Those people cause chaos in our office.  I'm getting off track here. 

Some of us find ourselves in the precarious position of being lead by someone who tosses spears, or goes on witch hunts but they are still our leader and in such a position they still need to be treated with respect and not tossed off the throne as is were.  How do you handle these situations?  I'm still working on the skill of dodging and letting these things fall to the floor, but it does cause me stress. 

Did you know I'm supposed to reduce my stress?  I am.  Although this last year, and now this last week have been rather a challenge to that goal.  I think I may need to give this book another read. It covers the story of David and Kind Saul..the one who threw spears at David; and who was not over thrown by David even though others would have helped him in a rebellion.  It puts things into perspective and maybe that is what I need today.

I'm praying for my cousin whose baby will need heart surgery.  Keep her in your prayers too.  These are the things that I see as real troubles, not the petty issues that are eating at me.  But here you have it, my small issues are gnawing at me today.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tiny French bean and sausage Slow Cooker Recipes

This recipe is a favorite slow cooker recipe of mine, but it does require a Tbsp of thyme. If you are not used to using that much thyme make sure you have enough. I ran out much faster than I thought I would after I started making this recipe. I look for a few things when cooking now. One little are the ingredients processed, the fresher and more whole the better. Is this a hearty meal? Will is fill up my husband? This is very important. How expensive is it to put together. Beans in the dried form are not expensive, and they are filling, so it just has to taste good.

This is one of those meals that does not look all that amazing, but it tastes good. I've also started craving it every so often, it could be the hot sausage....  It's comfort food people, it's comfort food. That is all.
Here is the recipe: recipe tiny french beans with smoked sausage
For those of you doing Weight Watchers the points value is 10 per serving.

I wish you all well. I've joined the ranks of those on Pintrest, be patient with me I'm just learning how this thing works.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Increasing Barley in my diet

Previous post regarding this recipe French Onion Soup with Beef and Barley
I've learned that it's 9 WW points.  This is why I like Cooking Light's recipes more than Weight Watchers, there is still flavor and stuff in Cooking Light.  It's good to know though, so I can be respectful of the amount that I should be eating, and just take my time enjoying it.

Today I upset myself by reading a LiveStrong article.  You know the kind of article that says eat right & exercise and that is it, if you are not loosing weight you aren't working hard enough.  Not like there are other hormonal factors to consider, or the fact that health eating can be different for different people.  Almonds in high amounts are pro-inflammatory for me, and yet when I did Medifast they encouraged the consumption of almonds as a light snack since it had less fat. There are other higher fat nuts that are better for me, not so inflammatory and yet if you have PCOS and don't have nutrition information given to you by some one who knows you can be doing things that are considered 'healthy' that might sabotage you.  Right now I can feel that I have not had enough greens lately, and since I don't have fresh right now I will need to make a big bunch or broccoli to eat with dinner tonight.  These are things I never would have thought of last year.  Making these changes for my health may seem minor to some of you, but t makes a big difference in my day. 

I read the InCyst article about picking a trainer today, it was empowering.  There are things to know about yourself, that not all exercise and diet gurus are going to know.  Work with people who can adjust for your unique self. 

Did I tell you? My dad finally read up on PCOS. I know, it's a been a while and he's in the medical field but it was not something he dealt with on a daily basis so it was not priority number one.  My husband still does not want to know or read anything about it. Let me just say, "oh, the joy".  But here is the good part, he finally asked what I could eat, and how I was doing with it all. 

I keep it simple, it helps me.  The less processed the more okay I am with it, and if it's a choice between two evils I choose the lesser.  If I must snack and there are gooey chewy bars and almonds, I'll eat some almonds.  Then there are the days I loose all will power...I have begun not to lose hope when those days happen. I just get right back on track and continue on.  This is a journey towards health, I'm doing better little by little.

I've also learned that I will never be a coupon queen.  Dried beans are my ways of saving, bulk health foods, farmers markets.  I used to try even with non-edible items but I've learned that most of the items that have coupons are things that I really should be leaving alone.  There are times when I get to use a coupon or two, but nothing like the savings you'll see on the shows. These are things that I now plan around since I know I have to have a stock pile for the winter.  I know that dried beans and rice will keep if they are in air-tight sealed containers.  Costco became the big hero again for their huge bags of dried beans and rice.  I will find more brown rice, but right now I have to mix it in the jasmine stuff anyways since my hubby cringes at the thought of brown rice. 

All this to say, I like this recipe that includes Barley, and I will keep trying new things. There is another slow cooker one with black beans that looks good, burritos filling. yummy.

I cried today...Etta James has passed away...

Etta James is one of those powerhouse voices that just resonates with her audience.  Her version of "At last" became the version that everyone knows and loves.  That song was my introduction to her musical talent, but I found so many other songs that move me. "A Sunday Kind of Love, "  "I Just Wanna Make Love to You" these are others that I have found just as haunting and beautiful.

Other bloggers and Newspapers will have their write ups and her history.  I don't need to get into all that for you, but you should know that she changed blues.  She will leave her legacy behind and we are all better for it.

 I'm sorry it took my a bit to post this.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A story about popcorn

I have not liked popcorn since I had braces way back in junior high. The kernel's getting stuck in my teeth and trying to get them out was awful. Now it seems all the toxins and chemicals added to the microwave stuff is not worthy of ingesting.

So this Christmas we bought an air popper, my husband loves popcorn! The first batch he was so-so about, but after that he's not popped one bag in the microwave. Our newest addiction has me craving popcorn too, cinnamon sugar. I know, it has sugar. But it's less than in cookies and muffins or brownies so it still helps us snack lightly and deliciously.

Here is proof that if you are open to change you can develop new loves, even if previously you had not liked a particular item.  I've learned this with mushrooms, onions, cauliflower and now with popcorn.  I'm going to continue being open to embracing new vegetables and bringing health and balance back into my life. I hope you remain open to change as well.

a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law, I love it!
final version
Cinnamon sugar mixture.

Friday, January 13, 2012

On the quest for Bok Choy recipes

These three cook books have one recipe for Bok Choy. I've done better talking with my co-worker about how she prepares it.

So, I decided to just stir fry the Bok Choy, and use a basic vegetable stir fry sauce.
Basics of Stir Fry: Techniques cooking class stir frying

Stir Fry Sauce:

3 Cups Chicken or Beef stock (I'm sure any stock that you have would work)
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
3 Tbsp Light Sodium Soy Sauce
1/4 Tsp pepper
1 Tsp Sugar

Add to stir fry when vegetables are close to being done, and let cook until  bubbling and thick. Continue stirring constantly until sauce is thickened up a bit.

This was my second Stir Fry this week - there are carrots in there somewhere

This was the first Stir Fry this week
 This week I needed to use up a whole lot of veggies, and this is how I did it.  Yep, and these were finished by the next day's lunch.

So this week we increased our vegetable intake increased, and we have been enjoying every minute of it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Health Care - insurance rates going up

I've been mulling this post over for about a year now.

I've been trying to find the right words to express what I'd like to say regarding the health care system, because it is broken. I also don't feel Obama Care is a fix to the problem, neither is a completely socialized health care approach.
Giving things away to people who don't work for it make the ones who do work less motivated.
There is a story...Henny Penny, do you all remember it?  She did all the work everyone else was to busy to plant and water and weed or even cook, but when the final product was finished everyone was hungry and they all wanted to share.  She did not offer them any since they had not helped.  I think this is a good story to remind ourselves that hard work produces results, and those who do the hard work should be the ones benefiting from those hours of labor. Not the free loaders.

But there is a high cost to think of, and we all have to have insurance.  Reading the Guest Post on InCyst today brought up my thoughts in Health Care again. Read here: Guest Blog in 2012 Resolve To Not...

Yesterday they brought around the changes to my insurance coverage, and you  know...they didn't ask me before making changes, they never do.  I have friends with Autistic children that need more help with Health care than I do, and I hear about their battles with insurance not covering things all the time.  Insurance companies do not care about your health, that is the bottom line. They are concerned about making money, as all companies are.  Maybe a pay as you go would help Dr's and patients alike, they could reduce their fees for a direct pay system, and we could get the help we need rather than the help that insurance allows.

Health Map 2011 Insurance Chief Jones Urges Blue.

Womens Health Pay As You Go Managing Your Healthcare - Is a cash only or direct pay medical practice for you

So here it is, be healthy, find the things that bring you health, whether they are covered by insurance or not. Weight loss plans, work out routines, gyms, vitamins, supplements, diet, acupuncture etc these things can help your health and do not require pills and medicine opt to take care of you first and not have to fix damage caused by not taking care of yourself.  For the rest of it, those health issues that require health professionals keep at it, get the help you need.
Benefits of yoga - Help heal yourself yoga - ages and stages
Benefits of Tai Chi - health newsletters: Harvard Womens Health Watch 2009 May The health benefits of tai chi

By the way, if you  are not currently Leverage fans, this fight against the insurance company is the catalyst to the clever team of thieves who might be just be the good guys. 

Season 1, Episode 1: The Nigerian Job

Original Air Date—7 December 2008
When Nathan Ford, a former insurance company investigator, is approached by a man asking him to help retrieve some stolen property, he is dubious. When he finds out that the job requires him to supervise and maintain control of three known thieves that he himself caught in the course of his insurance investigations, he's more than dubious. However, the job offers him the opportunity to get some of his own back from the insurance company that allowed his son to die, so he takes it despite his misgivings. When his doubts prove to be well-founded, he persuades his reluctant colleagues to unite once more to reach a more "equitable" settlement.
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