Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Another day on the farm without rain, just clouds. After an inch an a quarter on Sunday we are waiting for the sun to break through and remind us that spring is going to arrive soon.

It is sort of a lazy day. I did some indexing of birth records and when I finished it, I closed it then reopened it to find that number one was not the same, what that is all about is confusing. I decided to totally close it and am waiting to see how it opens, I have finished this record so am anxious to see if the order is right.

How many of you purchase the packages of baby kale and spinach? I find that if I don't use or within a couple of days I have to unload the whole bag and separate the spoilt lol leaves from the good ones. It takes much more time to make a salad this way. We eat quite a bit of curly kale. I like it steamed the best with a raspberry vinegar drizzled on top. Sometimes I will use it as a base for a warm cold salad, adding apples, tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, and sometime a little grated Parmesan sprinkled on top, with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The nutrition in kale is unbelievable. Kale is loaded with vitamin A and C, along with other vitamins and minerals. This evening I made a spinach and baby kale salad for Ardmore for summer, dressing it with sliced green onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and apples. We had some left over chicken I had made for him so he added that too. I love a good salad.

James, Ashley and Lance Bjorn have spent the last two days together in LA before she comes to spend some time with us. It will be the first time she has been here without James so I hope we all adjust to each other. She will have to pretend she is at home! She will have the bedroom downstairs, which should give her some privacy. It will be quite an adjustment but she will have lots more room.

Name three of favorite your summer plans.

Thought for the day.
"A man should look for what is, not for what he thinks it should be." Albert Einstein

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Heart Disease and How to Escaping the Widow Maker

I am examining where I am today compared to six months ago when I had a coronary angiogram procedure. One morning in August, while combing my hair, I suddenly became very short of breath with a tightness in my chest, soon after I had a pain in my back and started sweating. I immediately thought it was an angina attack and reached for a couple of aspirin and headed to lay down. The spell passed but I called the clinic and made an appointment to see my family doctor the next day.

About six months prior, I started taking my blood pressure on both arms and noticed a 10 to 20 point difference on the systolic blood pressure. After requesting that my blood pressure be taken on both arms the next time I went to the doctor and it was different, I was told this was not uncommon. I thought, there must be a reason though and did some research. According a  Harvard Health Blog  it could be a sign of circulatory problems that may lead to stroke, peripheral artery disease, or other cardiovascular problems. I started to watch for signs of heart trouble. I did have shortness of breath and had for quite a long time, definitely a sign. According to the American Heart Association I had the classic signs.

Because I have acid reflex and a hiatal hernia; my doctor thought that was my problem. After I told him the signs I was experiencing, he decided to do an EKG and did a special blood test that determines if a person could have heart disease. Both tested positive so the next Monday I was giving a stress test, with a THR and TKR running on a treadmill would not be the best so I was given a chemical stress test. . On Wednesday, I received a resting scan. I had been told that I looked like I had had a heart attack by the nurse who conducted the first stress test so I wanted the results as soon as possible.

I called on Thursday and was told it was ischemia, which indicated I had a blockage. I was scheduled to see a cardiac doctor on the following Monday at 9 am. That was quick! I received an echocardiogram and was scheduled for a Wednesday angiogram. One of the things I was told was that I did not have a heart attack and there was no damage to my heart. I do have a Left Bundle Branch Block.

During the angiogram, I had a 90% blockage in the left descending artery and the branch off the left descending artery was 99.1% closed. While the procedure was being done, they both occluded, at which time I had much pain. My doctor was able to open them both, he installed a stent in one and did angioplasty on the other one. When he came back to check on me afterward, he told me I was a miracle and had to be very careful. I have wondered what he meant by careful as he didn’t expand on that.

Now at six months out, I am extremely happy to say things look very good. The first thing I did was to go on the Esselstyne and Ornish vegan diets. I say both, as I do eat whites. Both of these diets are suppose to reduce and prevent heart disease. When I first went to the doctor a Lipid test  was taken to determine in cholesterol count. Although it looked like I wasn’t too bad, my total count was 199, my HDL 45, my LDL 134, and my Triglycerides was 139. After being on the diet for a two and half months, my cholesterol was at 111, HDL was 40, LDL was 42, and Triglycerides was 85. My doctor was concerned that it was too low but this is not uncommon when you are on this diet. I will see what my new cardiologist says this coming Thursday in Grand Forks; my former cardiologist retired the end of 2013.


Periodically I will post how I am doing with the heart disease, on the diet, and what the Lipid test results continue to be are. I will also post vegan and vegetarian recipes I have put together and from other web sites.
Right now, I am going out to take a walk and check what effect the 18" of snow has on our farm.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Reading for pleasure and learning

When I was six or seven my mother purchased a set of Childcraft books for me. These books offered me a picture of people places, and things, as that was what they were about. My set sits on the shelf in our basement, minus volume one, which I had lent to someone to show their husband when she wanted to buy a set for her children. At the time I was selling, World Book and Childcraft. My favorites memories of reading during my childhood are of the Christmas stories, the A A Milne poem, Christopher Robin is saying his prayers, The Raggedy Man and oh so many more.

As an adult my tastes cover every genre from historical fiction to novels, improvement books to recipe books. Today, it is seldom that I hold a book though, it is my iPad that carries me away with a story or something new.

Favorite books include classics like Gone with the Wind, fiction from authors like Joanne Fluke who includes recipes in her stories, Christen Hannah who often brings family problems and situations into her books that bring sadness and tears, and happiness and joy, and then there is Stephanie Plume, Jeffrey Archer, and the list goes on!

What is your favorite book and what are you reading right now? Do you have a favorite genre? A book is a magical place to carry you into a place you have never been or to experience something you have never experienced.

In closing, think of the best thing that happened to you today, meditate about it, and put it in your memory bank. Have a great day!
Charleen

Friday, September 27, 2013

Freezing Tomatoes

Spent a little time preparing tomatoes for the freezer this morning. Who doesn't like garden tomatoes on a salad in the winter, in chili or spaghetti? Freezing is so convenient, quick and easy.
Each day this summer I spent time in the garden pruning, weeding and watering. My Uncle Bryce gave me a wonderful suggestion two years ago when I was visiting him in Grand Rapids. I had a real problem with blossom end rot until he gave me his secret. We all like secret tricks, right? Well this works! When you mow your grass next spring, save your clippings and when they are dry, use them as a mulch under and all around the tomato plants. It preserves the water, whether you water or it rains, keeps the weeds down and prevents blossom end rot beautifully. The tomatoes this year were the largest we have ever had, meaty and delicious, also abundant.

I do not like to can! When we had the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibit, Key Ingredients at the museum in Roseau, we used my canning supplies in a canning exhibit. Well they are still there; I am not sure if they are a loan or a donation. I would rather freeze anyway!
Every day this week, I have prepared tomatoes, placed them in ziplock bags, then in a bigger freezer bag and froze them.

Often I bring in tomatoes that are not quite ripe, wash and dry them then place them on newspapers and cover them with more newspapers. They ripen in about two to three days and each day there are a few to freeze.









So get out a serrated knife and a paring knife, your cutting mat, a four-cup Pyrex measuring cup, a scoop, and the plastic Ziploc bags, sandwich size and gallon size freezer bags..

Step 1: remove the stems and any area you don't want in your tomatoes.



Step 2: Slice the tomatoes, then dice them.









Step 3: Cut up the tomatoes until you fill the measuring cup. Fill your plastic bags with two (2) cups of tomatoes.






Step 4: Place in a Ziploc freezer bag and they are ready to freeze. If you would like to add salt and other seasoning you may, I prefer to do that when I cook. When ready to use, just remove from freezer, let thaw or place in a bowl and thaw in microwave. Excellent to use in place of canned tomatoes. Wonderful in soup, spaghetti, hot dishes, salsa, or pizza sauce.

Here's hoping you have an abundant harvest and remember to thank our Heavenly Father for that harvest! Have a great day!

Think of the best thing that happened to you today, meditate about it, and put it in your memory bank. Have a great day!

Charleen

Location :Roseau, MN


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summertime activities

Company gone, quiet has come, busy doing summer activities.

Today, I spent most of the time sitting on the riding lawn mower. Our yard is about six to seven acres so it tends to be an all day job. I mowed the front yard yesterday which helped for today.

With the lack of family here, during my breaks I tend to check things online. Facebook is one of those areas where I like to check out family and friends. This past week, someone in the Lee family purchased a children's pool for grandchildren. Ashley's sister and Helen put some very cut photos of Lance Bjorn and Kilee in the pool.




I don't know if Bjorn understands what he is doing when he is hosing Keile but it looks like a boy thing to do! They, both, loved the way the water squirted out the holes along the edge and were pretty occupied with the slide and everything going on.

Bjorn loves his little cousin as these photos will show. It seems they are inseperable when Bjorn goes to grandma and grandpa Lee's in Taiwan.



They really now how to entertain each other as the following photos show!




They apparently enjoy imitating each other and the simplest things
make them happy!

I was called as a Family History Consultant a while ago and am in the process of figuring out how to expand the Conner family tree on Family Search. I feel very fortunate to have found the Allen County Library census records online. This evening I was in the Rawlins County Kansas 1910 census and found my grandfather on my mother's side. She was a Conner. I am back to the 1700s after about three days of searching for about 4 hours a day. I need to figure out how to merge the families though. There is lots to learn and I have the tools right here at my finger tips. Amazing!

I went to Winnipeg a couple of months ago for a day in the city. Spent time at a movie and then headed for Bulk Barn to pick up nuts, spices, and lots of other goodies. One of the items I purchased this time was a powdered chicken soup stock. Yesterday I made a 2-quart pot of chicken soup. I was going to put rice in it but changed my mind and used potatoes instead. Such an easy recipe to make and the stock was so yummy!

Chicken Soup
Place the following six ingredients into a stock pot or large kettle.
3 stalks of celery chopped fine
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp dehydrated garlic from Bulk Barn
1 chicken breast and bones from the last chicken. I often will freeze the bones 
and any left over chicken from a meal. 
add two heaping tablespoons of Bulk Barn chicken soup stock and 2 tsp fennel seeds
Bring to this to a boil, turn way down to a simmer and let simmer for about 40 minutes, 50 minutes if you use raw chicken. 
Remove the chicken and bones, take all the meat off of the bones and cut the chicken into 1/2 inches pieces and dump back into the pot.

While it was cooking you had cut 5 regular carrots into small chunks then dump them into the chicken soup. Peel and cut two large potatoes into small chunks and throw these into the pot. Let this all cook until the potatoes are done. 
Serve in your favorite bowl to you hubby and you are bound to make points. We had only about 3 cups left for today after he was done sampling it throughout the day. 
You can add dumpling if you like or rice or noodles. Make it your own and enjoy!
Yum!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Another Minnesota Rainy Day

With only a little over half of our crop in due to three inches of rain two weeks ago, we are set back again, it is raining. These fuzzy photos offer a glimpse of our yard through the rainy patio doors.



Something tells me we sill have a very hard time getting the rest of the seeding completed. When James, Ashley, and Bjorn arrived we were able to get about a quarter of our fields seeded. Brian arrived last Thursday, James and family left on Friday. Brian and Ardmore were able to get another quarter of what we planned to seed, the wheat, completed, but no soybeans! Such is spring time in Minnesota, sometimes dry, often wet. Ardmore said this was the year that would separate the men from the boys. I think, that would depend on how much rain each area received.

Having them all home was wonderful and we had a marvelous time with our family home. Bjorn is now old enough to be able to converse with, even though he doesn't talk yet. His energy was boundless and even though he was cutting his molars, two came in while they were here, he was not crabby. They flew into Grand Forks this time.

Bjorn definitely loves strawberries!

Ashley and Bjorn before the car ride to the farm.
I purchased a cute pop gun at a Lewis and Clark museum once and he took to that like a regular deer hunter. His dexterity is isn't so smooth yet so if he removed the tube he was only able to get it back on one out of 5 times, but his shooting skills were great!


 


We happen to love this little man! He was the Entertainer!




James and Ashley were able to enjoy a peaceful time here 
while grandpa and grandma watched Bjorn once in a while.




And a little six-wheeler fun!



Bjorn wanted to drive, of course. The key was a fascination!



We had to take that as he would have lost it or started the six-wheeler!