Monday, October 31, 2016

What I Ordered

The other day I mentioned that I placed an order of some items that might make me healthier. One was recommended by my doctor. She wants me to take 1,000 mg of either fish oil or krill oil per day. I opted for krill oil because it's not quite fishy, unlike the fish oil, which I cannot tolerate. The second item is pure whey protein with no soy. It's very hard to find anything "protein" and not have soy somehow included. I hate soy. It has been very, very bad to me. The third item....well, I'm up in the air on that one.
Here are the items:

Cutting through the hype regarding the LUCUMA powder. Some websites sell it as a sugar substitute but it is really not sweet enough. The company website lists it as an alternative sweetener, but includes this info:

"Lucuma has a unique taste and tends to enhance or compliment other flavors when mixed. You could consider it more of a unique flavoring rather than a sweetener."

I added some to my turned it a muddy tan. I still needed to add Splenda, which I was hoping to use less of. I do like it in my non-fat plain yogurt, which I sweeten and flavor myself.

If you are interested in learning more about this mild, slightly fruity powder, you can learn more here: Navitas Naturals/Lucuma Powder

If you decide to buy some, I found the best price here: Swanson Vitamins/Lucuma Powder.

I have been working on getting more sugar out of my life. It's a struggle. Some things I love do have some sugar. I'm limiting them. I'm making sure my carbs are complex, as my doctor recommended. I do need to loose some weight, though I don't know how much because I don't have a scale. (note to self---buy one). After my surgery I could hardly eat for a month. I was skinny. I looked sunken and frail. Then I got my appetite back but my hair started falling out. I had no energy and I was sad all the time. The stronger thyroid meds kicked me back to normal, except I was still eating, and eating. In a way I was hoping my face would plump up. It didn't. Only my stomach got fat. Oh well. Back to loosing weight. I'm also forcing myself to work out with my weights (one pound each). I have to keep kicking myself. My hubby works long hours, 12 hour days alone are boring.

We are in a "perpetual late fall" here for awhile. Hubby is off tomorrow. Yay! We are doing things together all day.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Kosova Coffee

We finally bought whole bean coffee so my hubby could try out our new grinder. He had to tighten the blades because it wasn't set fine enough. Manual grinders take a lot of effort, but the results are good. It seems like he got it ground to as fine as flour. I've tried to take some pictures. Let's see how it goes. The "gritty" coffee was ground with an electric machine set to "Turkish". The "fine" coffee was ground by hand with the Turkish grinder we recently bought.

Here is the gritty coffee, still quite fine, but not fine enough

Here is the fine

Finger print in the "gritty"

Finger print in the "fine"

Cooking the "gritty"

Cooking the "fine"

 Beautiful head of foam on the "gritty". This is how the coffee should look

Here is the "fine". It's a darker coffee. I didn't have the same beans as before. It's missing that nice foam so I'm not sure if it's the type of beans or if I needed to cook it longer.

What's left in the cup. There should be a deeper layer of "sludge" at the bottom. I needed to use more coffee. In any case, this is the "gritty" one, and the reason why it's not good for this type of coffee. Even though you don't drink the "sludge" you still get a few grounds in your mouth, and if it's not fine enough it is.....well....gritty

Here is the "fine". It has the smoothness needed for a good cup of Turkish coffee, or as my hubby calls it, Kosova coffee.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ramblin' on Wednesday

It's Wednesday...ramble on!

OMG my shoulders are still weak. 5+ months since my surgery and I've been thinking my favorite frying pan must weigh 5 pounds. I weighed it...on a postage scale....2 pounds. Yesterday I also picked up my 2 pound weights and did a few arm exercises. Big mistake. Next time use the one pound weights, and do it every day, dummy.

Cooking and washing dishes are my biggest challenges, every day, oh, and bending over and peering sideways into cabinets or the frig. I feel my neck and shoulders straining to do mundane tasks. Yesterday I also cooked three dishes and washed all those dishes and washed all the dishes from dinner and dried all the dishes and put them away and wiped down the stove and counters. Should be a daily thing, right? Usually I end up leaving some of it undone, but last night I was determined to finish, amid hubby's concerns that I was hurting myself. I went to bed achy.

The manual coffee grinder arrived yesterday. Now all we need are beans to grind. Hubby said it looks like it will be good enough.

Here is our grinder

The parts

After we buy coffee beans I will post a picture of the ground coffee.

It's cloudy and raining today. Tomorrow is supposed to be partly sunny and chilly, then warming into the 60's and then 50's.

I have an order coming Saturday (at least that's what the tracking says). I'm eager to show you what I ordered and how I hope it will help me eat better and keep my blood sugar under control. More on that later.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ten on Tuesday

Well, I'm not sure if anyone is still doing Ten on Tuesday, but here we go. I'm not going to consciously aim for ten...will see what happens.

1. We decided to sleep in on Thursday, which is hubby's day off this week. Last Sunday we got up early and drove to the Wisconsin Dells. It was fun, but hubby is tired.

2. We want to visit Madison one of these days. We want to visit an Albanian restaurant in the area named Sofra. Drive time about an hour and a half.

3. Another destination still on the list is Sheboygan, drive time about the same.

5. I see frost on the roof and grass but still my flowers on the window sill are ok. My Sedum 'Coral Reef" is doing well and turning a nice bronze color.

Summer color, a cutting I brought inside, in case I loose the outside one.

Fall color. These are all sedums, and should all be good through winter outside

Still hanging in there

Frosty morning but still not real cold

Still some color across highway 60 along the Rubicon river

6. March 4th will be our 1 year anniversary living here. Our lease will then go from a yearly lease to monthly....Wisconsin law.

7. Maybe we will stay, maybe we will move.

8. Hubby's wish list....great job with better pay, a charming downtown with shopping, places to walk.

9. My wish list....darker location so I can see the stars at night, a view of the sunset and places to walk where I don't need to cross such a busy highway, because I usually don't have the car, so I can't drive to a place to walk.

10. My hubby falls in love with every place we visit. So far....Port Washington, Oconcmowoc and Portage. I'm sure we will be adding Madison ( way am I moving to a city, but an outlaying area, maybe) and Sheboygan to the list after we visit.

I managed 10 after all!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Eye Candy Friday

Here is a picture from my past, Castle Rock, a mountain in the Big Marias, north of Blythe, California. I lived in Midland from 1955 to 1963. I took this picture when I went to the 2005 Midland Reunion.

Beautiful Macey 1998 - 2015. My daughter found her in a Walgreen's parking lot when she was doing an inventory on the south side of Chicago. She was the smartest cat we ever knew.
Macey lived with me from 2002 to 2010 while my daughter lived in Australia.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Maybe even memories need closure. Our trip back was a good thing for both of us. Now instead of longing for something that cannot be, we can take it for what it is and move on.

If you have been reading my blog, and my past blogs, you may remember me talking about the family cottage in Wisconsin, and how my first husband inherited this cherished place after his parents died. Everyone thought we would keep it, and they were shocked when my husband decided to sell it in 1991.

It was a terrible heartbreak for me. It was a pain I couldn't grow beyond. It was my "Forever Memory".

Today my younger daughter and I stood on the bank of the Menominee, in the Public Access area, because since we didn't own anything anymore, anyplace else would have been trespassing.

Looking north, toward Neenah Creek

Looking south toward the Big Bend. The pier would have been just past the branches in the water.

It seems the trees are mostly oak, with not so many of the brilliant maples we have where we live now. In place of the humble cottage of my family was a large, fancy residence looking as if it belonged in a gated community in Madison. Trees were planted around it, as if to "shelter" it from the natural surroundings, or maybe hide it from those who use the public access. We stepped carefully down to the water's edge and peered around the trees the best we could. Where there should have been a clearing and a pier was nothing but a tangle of old trees and branches. From the road it appears there is a small clearing, but that is adjacent to the neighbor's property.

That's it. It was done. My memories were laid to rest. I didn't cry. I didn't feel sad. I don't think my daughter did, either. We agreed that our part of Wisconsin, further east, has more beautiful trees and all the adventures now. Later, as we walked through the Wisconsin Dells, we reminisced about the good times we had there, and we both realized we loved it more because of the people we were with way back then.

R.I.P., memories. I can finally move on now.



I showed the pictures to my older daughter. She spent a lot more time there than my younger daughter. She is feeling sad, and told me that if she won the lottery she would buy a place there. She and I have not spoken about the cottage in many years. It just goes to show how one decision between my girl's father and his sister affected us all. I hope my older daughter can find the same closure my younger daughter and I did.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ten on Tuesday

Ten Things I'm Loving

1. Monday night breezy warm weather

2. Coffee with my hubby in Pewaukee Monday afternoon

3. Awesome Moon in the clouds picture I took (see below)

4. My plant stand since I added lights.

5. LED candles, lots of them

6. Going to the Dells with my daughter (I will report on that later)

7. Taking a side trip to the old cottage with my daughter (ditto on the report)

8. The fall colors

9. The fresh air

10. Wisconsin

My best picture of the moon in the clouds Monday night:

Friday, October 14, 2016

Eye Candy Friday

The lady who does the "Ten on Tuesday" also has "Eye Candy Friday". Here is my post for today.

Eye Candy Friday ~ Some beauty to start off your weekend.

And a bit of ancient teaching relevant today:


Laisal khabaru kal mu'ayanati


Second hand information is not like
first hand observation.


Any information received by others can not
be the same as seeing it ourselves. We must
verify second hand news rather than believing
it immediately. Thus we can avoid
spreading false information and rumors.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tuesday Came and Went

My friend, who always does Ten on Tuesday, did not do a Ten on Tuesday. I thought about it but honestly couldn't think of ten things to list. And then I checked with the lady who does the reminders, and she said she is switching to a once a month format, called "Ten on the Tenth". I checked her blog and the 10th went by with no post.

So today will be a Wednesday Ramble, or "Ramblin' on Wednesday". I made that up.

Yesterday I took a walk in the park. We had a cloudy start to a beautiful day, sunny and 70 degrees. Today we have some thunder rumbling, and there is a frost warning out for tonight. I have occasionally seen and heard a pair of Sandhill Cranes, but not every day.

Right now I am loving the sound of some rain with a few crashes of thunder. It's nearly 8:30 am and it's dark. My succulents are not going to like this darkness. When I lived in Indiana I had a south window with a high shelf which I never covered, so my plants had light all day. I hung curtains below the shelf for privacy. It worked great. In California I had wide window sills and the outdoors. About half my plants fit in the window here, when it's open, but not when the window is closed. I am going to need to rig up some lights. No easy task with my stiff neck. I might need to move the plants and turn over the shelves.

>Break for run to the store and looking for a misplaced cable<

It's now almost 4 pm. I haven't found the USB cable for updating our Garmin, but my camera cable works just fine. However my hubby will try to find the cable by looking everywhere I did if I have not found it by the time he comes home. He's like that. I learned a long time ago never to mention something that needs to be done late at night, because with my hubby there is no waiting until tomorrow. I just remind myself what an infuriating procrastinator my first hubby was and I'm ok with it.

It was pouring rain when I went to the store. Actually, it started when I was half way there. It rained rivers. The shopping cart was making rooster tails in the parking lot.

Enough rambles for today. Back to cleaning and looking for that cable!

*Update* I found it yay!

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Big Picture Regarding Food

I think everyone needs to find balance in their life regarding what they can and cannot eat. If a food causes an allergic reaction or inflammation, then of course they must avoid it. My list includes plant proteins, peanuts and tree nuts, and MSG. I also must limit sugar, because I am diabetic. My doctor said limiting sugar and simple (refined) carbs will also help lower my cholesterol.

I thought I could make life easier for myself by substituting coconut flour for regular flour. My first attempt was a complete failure. The recipe didn't fail, my expectations of it did. My second attempt involved only a small substitution. I made regular cornbread with just a heaping spoon of coconut flour added. I thought the texture of the cornmeal would hide the texture of the coconut. It didn't, but it was tolerable, unlike the biscuits I made on my first attempt.

In the past I tried to make a cauliflower pizza crust. Personally, what I have learned, is don't believe the hype that "it will taste the same" and "you can't tell the difference."

Yes you can.

It's simple....if you love regular baking powder biscuits, coconut flour and egg biscuits will not be the same. They will not taste the same. They will have a different texture, and they will taste like coconut and eggs, but be as dry as popcorn farts. I don't buy the author's claim that her kids love them and her non-Paleo diet hubby loves them too and everyone thinks they are a wonderful substitution for regular biscuits. First thought in my head...what kind of crap have you been feeding them?

I have heard that chocolate will mask the coconut and egg flavors. It seems to me that the best recipes would be something that you expect to taste of coconut, with the addition of coconut flakes to mask the graininess of the flour.

The truth of the matter is, cauliflower will taste like cauliflower and coconut will taste like coconut and eggs will taste like eggs. How you combine or create with these foods is a personal thing and requires quite a bit of experimenting with different recipes, but don't expect them to taste exactly the same as the food you are replacing.

The best healthy replacement I ever ate was spaghetti squash. Haven't tried it in years. My mom grew it once and we had a boatload of it. I grew it once, alongside a pumpkin vine. We had one pumpkin, which we carved into a jack-o-lantern. When we scooped out the seeds we found the inside of the pumpkin was a spaghetti squash cross!

A couple notes...coconut flour is very high in fiber. Go easy on yourself at first.

Don't forget to enjoy life. Eating healthy is good, but if you hate what you are eating, where is the joy in life. Moderation, everything in moderation.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Walking the Pike Lake Trails

My daughter and I did take a walk and a nice one it was. It's been a long time since my daughter experienced autumn leaves, so we took a long walk on several trails that loop around in the Pike Lake area. The colors are still developing in our area, so there will be further updates.

The first thing I do when I get away from the annoying electrical wires is look up. Yes, Joni Mitchell, I love clouds.

Red sumac leaves

The fruit of Jack in the Pulpit

Just thought it was nice...log and moss

Frog in the hole!

Was hoping for more drama in this shot, maybe if the sun was lower

White Egret in the distance

Enjoying the leaf colors

My daughter taking pictures

More clouds

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Ten on Tuesday

Last Tuesday I posted 5 things I looked forward to doing this Fall. Here is how the list is going, plus 5 things I need to do.

1. Watching the leaves turn colors.
They are beginning to turn. Yesterday my daughter and I went shopping together. She was delighted to see the fall colors, because the last time she had seen them was in 2010, the year her father died. She had just returned to the US after living in Australia for 8 years. By September 2011 she had moved to California.
2. Taking walks with hubby on his days off.
Hubby has a day off Friday. We are hoping for no rain. It's been raining on and off and cloudy quite often. Everyone is waiting for and hoping for "Indian Summer". If the sun comes out today, my daughter and I plan to take a walk.
3. Taking lots of pretty fall pictures.
Still working on this one.
4. Coffee on the balcony in Grafton
Did it! It was nice, kind of windy that day, and mostly cloudy.
5. Cooking in the oven more since the weather will be cooler.
Going OK, only hindered by my husband's picky eating. Albanians eat everything cut into bite sized pieces all cooked together in one pan. No such thing as a hunk of meat with a spud and a spoon of, the meat must be bite sized and the spuds bite sized and all mixed together. I once made a meat loaf. My hubby said it should be flatter and smaller, like many small ones, not one big chunk. Although he will eat a roast chicken.

Five Things I Need to Do:

1. Bring in my plants...not all that hard, but some need repotting. I found some cute pots when my daughter and I shopped the resale stores. Yup....that's a little turtle clinging to the side of the pot that looks like a rock. I collect turtle miniatures AND rocks, so that pot just rocks!

2. Figure out the shoe/boot situation. Winter is coming. Snowy, wet shoes and/or boots will be coming in with no proper place to put them in this tiny apartment. We found a boot tray for $5 but now where to put it? I fear that cute little table under the window will need to move. It doesn't just sit over the boot tray, it sits inside, with its legs inside the tray. Not good. And, with the shoe rack over the boot tray, no boots can fit in it.

Nope, door won't open enough

Nope again, still in the way

Looks like the only option. See how I put my hubby's shoes? They dry real nice over the radiator that way., where to put my cute little table? The one bad thing about this tiny to arrange furniture.

3. Obviously, number 3 will be arranging furniture.

4. Order a manual coffee grinder. No, electric coffee grinders set to "Turkish" DO NOT grind coffee fine enough for Turkish coffee. Case in point. Coffee on the left, ground on a commercial machine set to "Turkish". Coffee on the right, ground in my daughter's burr grinder set on "Turkish". Nope and nope. Unless the coffee is as fine as flour, as fine as dust, just powder, no grains at all whatsoever, then it is NOT fine enough for Turkish coffee. To avoid paying $1,000 for a commercial grade REAL Turkish coffee electric grinder, we are going to buy a manual one. Why so fine? So you don't drink grit when you drink it, because it's not filtered.

5. Shop for new clothes. I have jeans and tops, but I need something to lounge in. My hubby says he's sad seeing me in the same comfy outfit every day. He wants to buy me something nice. I dig in my heels because I don't want to spend money. But I said "OK". Now, am I really going to find something? I have a top that is size 1X simply because it's long enough to cover my butt, but it's a little baggy. I want something a little loose and soft, but not too baggy and not tight, not too warm but not too lightweight either because of cooler weather. If I had some nice longer tops or tunics I could easily pair them with leggings. Oh, and no dark colors. And not $89. Holy cow online clothes are expensive.

I think the woman's clothing has nice styles but they are too big on me. Maybe I need to shop the resale shops for short dresses and just wear leggings under them.