Thursday, February 23, 2012

Take Our Life Expectancy Quiz - the revolution -

I was watching The Revolution TV show today and they featured this Take Our Life Expectancy Quiz - the revolution -

'via Blog this'. I had taken a similar one a few months ago, but since my health outcome has improved drastically, and because I was so encouraged by positive things the nurses said about my state of health, I thought I would do an update to see if there was an upbeat change in the outcome of a new quiz. When I got my initial results, they only gave me a few months longer than my current age, although the test results do say, there's a 75% chance you could live longer. I was stunned, but quickly realized I had probably misunderstood something. Sure enough, when I looked at my answers, I had put in my height incorrectly. I looked like I was 5 inches tall. I'm surprised the test didn't deconstruct can this 5" person be living so long? Pardon me, but would you like a blind date with Tiny Tim? I kind of think even Tiny Tim was taller than 5". Anyway, once I made the corrections, I got a surprising 90 years result. Of course, it said if I would become a conditioning exerciser that I could increase that...not as much as I thought it would though. Considering that I'm recovering from 5 multiple surgeries in one right now, I'm not thinking that's going to happen any time soon. Right now, just walking across the floor is my conditioning exercise. Anyway, it's a thought provoking way to spend a few minutes. And watch out for those height requirements!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Who Wants S’more? - Girl Scouts Alumni Association

I wasn't really looking for articles about S'mores. I was actually looking for the best cookout recipe I've ever had in the history of my life. It's called "Chili Bake". When I was a Cadette Scout, we went on a day hike down into a red rock canyon close to our town. (Not to be confused with Red Rock Canyon, the State Park.) It was a beautiful fall Saturday, we had to carry the Dutch oven and all our equipment and food down into the canyon, gather firewood, build a fire, cook the food, clean up, then hike back up out of the canyon. It was one of the best days I ever had as a Girl Scout, even though it was hard work. Plus, several of the others that were Scouts on that hike have agreed with me in later years that not only was Chili Bake one of the best things they ever cooked out, but each of us had tried to duplicate it at home and it never tasted the same. I keep thinking I will find the recipe somewhere, someday. Tonight I stumbled across this Girl Scout Alumni site, I found this story that talks about the origin of S'mores, which I found rather interesting. I had never thought about S'mores having a starting date.  By, the way, the 100th birthday of Girl Scouts will be in 1912. It makes me want to plan an event. I can't imagine, what kind of event. I'm not even a Scout leader anymore.
Who Wants S’more? - Girl Scouts Alumnae Association:

'via Blog this'

Friday, December 16, 2011

Standing Around The Kitchen Table

As I reflected on writing about standing around our old kitchen table when I was growing up, I remembered I had a copy of a picture of my sisters and me standing by it. In case you're wondering what we're eating, we had been roasting marshmallows on a fork. It was something Mother let us do every now and then for a special treat, but lest you think about doing it, word of warning: there's a trick to doing it so you don't burn your mouth. Probably now a days that would be a child welfare referral. Sometimes we ate them plain, sometimes we got to make s'mores. We ate a LOT of s'mores growing up. After all, we were Girl Scouts. As you can see, Mother also liked to dress us alike. I was probably 8 1/2 years old in this picture, just shortly before I started making the pie crust for Rotary. (from left to right: myself, my youngest sister, Karla, and our middle, Patricia.

I need to explain that I have gone back to the drawing board on my fat calculations for pie crust. All of a sudden, it came to me that when I calculated the pie crust fat grams, basically, I failed to calculate. I am NOT the family mathematician. Seriously, I took a vow to live without math when I was a girl and every once a while I have to ignore that and actually use math. I'm also spoiled when it comes to math because my husband can do math as fast as a calculator. I should have fed him the numbers, that would have also solved the problem. I'm just glad I caught this before I caused someone distress and disappointment that they had found a low fat pie crust that  wasn't.  Usually, I can handle basic arithmetic, but sometimes I have a brain lapse. This was one of those moments. Luckily it came to me (after the fact) that when I read 7 grams for pie crust, it was for 1/16 of a pie and I had forgotten to finish the next step. Honestly, I don't even understand how I gave birth to a child that made a 34 in math on the ACT. Now, lets ponder a moment on who even eats 1/16 of a pie? Possibly, Twiggy in the 1960's? Although, seriously, she had probably given up pie for Lent...or the runway. Anyway, did you know when you multiply 7 grams fat X 16 slices that comes to 112 fat grams? That is just sad. I'm not even sure 1/16th of a pie would even hold together in a slice. Of course, when it comes to fat grams, the food scientists don't care about things like that. So, I'm definitely going back to the drawing board to work on coming up with a low fat crust option. Back to my laboratory, uh, make that kitchen. Well, not tonight, but you the near future. First, we have to have our first family Christmas dinner tomorrow. I need to bake some Christmas cookies and make a salad. Fat grams in pie crust are not on the list at this point. Plus, I have to help with a funeral dinner today. Just another frolicsome day out here in the middle of nowhere.

Project Mom

I just found out today that Project Mom is going to be doing an Oklahoma event. Go here for info: Project Mom:..  It looks like it will be a pretty good event.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pie of Life's Seasonings

I used to joke I was the childhood victim of pie crust abuse. My sisters and I spent childhood time standing around the table, watching Mother bake. Our mother had learned about pies from watching her sister Thelma. By the time I was nine, Mother decided my crust was good enough to make quantity batches for the Rotarian's at the church. Her committee cooked every 4 weeks. I made so much pie crust for Rotary I thought I always made all the crust, but my sister Patricia thinks she made all of it. So, I'm thinking we both possibly have some inaccurate memories.

Neither college nor work as a child welfare supervisor required pie crust skills. Pie lessons have given memories, life skills, and served me well in life. They taught me deadlines, quality control, comforting others, taking joy in a job well done, and lessons of family. We learned camaraderie in the kitchen with each other and started out learning how to handle pie crust by playing with scraps of dough, while making cinnamon sugar pinwheels. We learned handling it too long would make it tough. Pie crust has been one of the many things that gave my life shape and form.

Although fruit and cream pies were my favorites as a child, now I yet again tweak life to go low fat with my quiche. When I was young I sought sweeter things in life. With age, I've realized life has more seasonings than just sugar to make it rich beyond belief. Today, Mother and I continue the tradition of cooking together in a Senior Adult food ministry at church. Pie is still popular. Like life, pie can be versatile, but pie can be a constant that shows our family and friends we love and nourish them.  

Just Getting Adjusted To The Non-Fat Lifestyle

I never would have thought I'd be saying this, but I have finally gotten used to eating non-fat. Sometimes, I relapse and just do low fat and usually get by without the severe stomach pains, I think because my body has gone through a detoxing and can handle a little fat. The doctors have finally made their diagnosis and agree that I need 2 surgeries. I am still waiting for the surgeries to be scheduled, when I get to talk to a human being at that number.  I figure at this point, it will be after Christmas. At least, I sure hope it will be after.  I've lost more weight. I've now lost about 17 pounds. I'm not saying I didn't need or want to lose weight...I just would have preferred a less painful way.  I celebrated by buying a new pair of jeans in my new size, although, it's also rewarding to wear my old ones that are very, very baggy.

During this process, I was reminded of something that Oprah used to say. Of course, she was talking to a victim of domestic violence, but the essence still applies. She said that first God whispers to us, then he tries a little harder to get our attention. When we totally don't pay attention, we hit a brick wall. I realized, I've hit my brick wall. I believe I may have been misdiagnosed years ago and had been eating foods that were dangerous for me. I disregarded the inklings I had about my diet because I ate what I wanted to eat. I hit the brick wall of digestive problems, gave up foods with fat, and lo and behold...some of my health problems are solved. Or at least, not torturing me with pain. As Martha says, "it's a good thing". I have also found that I am kind of repulsed by sauteing things in butter, pictures of bacon on TV, and all kinds of other things I used to think were good. This is pretty amazing. Forced into a life changing moment by pain and torture and finding satisfaction. Who'd a thunk it?

Back here at the ranch, here's Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm signing off. So, remember when life gives you lemons, find a non fat way to use them. It's healthier in the long run. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Still working on the drawing board

Still going to the doctor and having tests. I've been trying to be faithful to eating non-fat since I got home from Branson. So far, I've lost about 12 pounds and I do generally feel better, but I still have episodes of stomach aches that put me in the bed for sometimes several hours at a time and finally falling to sleep is the only relief. I will be glad when all the tests are done and we can chart a course for the best direction to take. I've had about 3 trips to the grocery store where I read every label I could find trying to find some decent choices for nonfat foods. I've done some experimenting with new nonfat cooking tips, but am not ready to post any recipes yet. I'm still working on an enchilada alternative, I've been less than thrilled with nonfat cheese options. However, nonfat cottage cheese has become my favorite fall back food option when I can't figure out anything else. And to think I used to think it tasted awful! What helped change my mind was the almost 2 week period of time that I lived on chicken broth, green tea, and juice. After that, a lot of food choices I used to dislike started tasted a lot better than I remembered. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Catching Up

Finally caught my breath and sat down long enough to do an update here. I had the opportunity to go to Branson  in early Oct., which I thought was just going to be a little 4 day hiatus from my life. While I was there, I got seriously ill. I had it narrowed down to a couple of things and started going to the doctor on my return. It turns out, I may have both problems that I suspected. I don't really want to go into all of it here, lets just say, I'm having a lot of digestive problems and finding something to eat is quite the challenge. Sometimes I eat the wrong things and then I'm in misery for hours. Needless to say, writing hasn't exactly been my thing lately. I have a surgery consultation lined up for early November. I have reconciled myself to the necessity for surgery and at this point, I just want to feel better. Meanwhile, I am trying to get back into my routines. So, hopefully, that will include doing more blogging.

I've decided to add a link to my blog, The Red Dirt Cowgirl Drives Again, where I blogged about my trip to Branson. Evidently I was having a good day the day I wrote that, because you'd hardly know from reading it that I got sick when I was at Branson. Although, I think the fact I wrote it shortly after I returned and I didn't know how long my misery was going to continue was probably a factor as well. We did have a lot of fun on the trip and managed to get a lot done, between my sick spells.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sometimes it's all just a matter of different words

When I came up with this title, I had been thinking about a food experience I had with my grandsons during this past weekend. Since we were exhausting ourselves over the fair and parade, I was wanting an easy light supper before we went back to the fair on Saturday evening. When the boys asked for something to eat, I suggested Mexican Casserole, thinking the boys liked Mexican food because I specifically remembered eating at a couple of different Mexican restaurants with their parents and them. Both boys said, "No, I don't like Mexican food." I had to quickly choose something else and ended up with one of those perennial kid favorites, the can of Chicken and Noodle soup.  Although maybe not the healthiest of choices, they did eat 2 or 3 bowls each and I ended up having to open a 2nd can.  When I had talked to my mother after the parade, I told her I had a batch of leftover Mexican casserole I could bring for lunch the next day at her house.

I was wondering how I was going to get the boys to eat something they had already turned down once before. I decided to fall back on my sister Patricia's strategies I saw her use more than 20 years ago when her children were little. We were at my mother's and she was serving beef tongue. Yes, I know, that's a weird dish and maybe you don't like it either, but our family grew up on it and we consider it a long time family favorite. Patricia called her kids to the table and sat them down with the sliced tongue, along with the vegetables we were having. They asked what we were having, she said "meat". They began eating and after a bit asked again, "what kind of meat"? She looked at me and said, "it's beef, doesn't it taste good"? They agreed that it did and finished their meal without asking again.

We went to my mother's on Sunday after church. I whispered to my mother and my husband that we had to call our main dish "meat casserole" because the boys had told me they didn't like Mexican food. There were a couple of other things the boys said they didn't like either that we were having that day, but we told them they needed to at least try a bite. Each boy ended up loving the Mexican casserole, oops, Meat casserole, and ate 2 or 3 servings each. Plus, they ate some of the other stuff they said they didn't like.

So, the next time you are serving something you think the children may turn up their noses over, just be creative and try to think of another way to describe it and maybe this will work for you too.

Let's Go To The Fair

The quintessential Fort Cobb Fair institution, the Flying Jenny!
Fort Cobb Fair Concession Stand

My grandsons came for a visit last weekend. It was one of those monumental weekends that we did a lot and the boys probably went home worn out and ready for an early bedtime on Sunday night. I know for a fact they fell asleep in the car on the way to meeting their mom. It was the weekend of our local fair and the boys absolutely LOVE the fair, with good reason. Us locals happen to believe it's the best little fair in the world. It's one of those old fashioned home town fairs that a lot of places have done away with them, but the fair is alive and well in Fort Cobb, OK.  It's always held the weekend following Labor Day. So, ya'll come join us next September.

The basketball toss

The fair is actually 3 nights, but since the boys live an hour away, they have to miss the Thursday night of the fair because it would just be too hard on them and us to get them back for school on Friday morning. We still have booths manned by volunteers from the school, local businesses, the bank, and other people throughout the community. Plus, we own our own rides, which are quite reasonable to ride. Most of the rides are 2 tickets, a ticket is 50 cents. It's a good buy in this crazy economic environment we live in now.

Flying Jenny resting
Unfortunately, I failed to get pictures of the food and craft exhibits. Partly because I had a couple of other projects going on that interfered with my entering anything at the fair this time around and partly because the boys were so exited about the rides and games I forgot to walk over to the barn where they were exhibited.

Usually, I would just take pictures of my grand-kids at the fair. But, this year I took a wider variety of pictures because of a Facebook request for a group I'm a member of. And then I thought, what they hey, I need to use those pictures here too.

The Scat

I hope my pictures have given you some idea of what a small town fair is like.

Full Moon Over The Bingo Stand
Either my computer connection is tired and needs to rest from all this picture uploading  or blogger doesn't want us to enter more pictures than this at one time. Anyway, I can no longer get the picture upload function to cooperate. I think a lot of people would agree that this is a pretty good fair for a town of about 700 people. When my own children were little, I always dreaded having to drive by the fairgrounds after the fair was over for the year. They would be reminded of how much fun they had, it seemed like for months afterward they would always ask, "when is the fair coming back". Of course, being little and without a concept of time, they had a hard time understanding how long it would be.  The next step for me will be to try to attend the Oklahoma State Fair, which has started. At this point of my life, I just enjoy walking around the Crafts entries displays, which are pretty incredible, and getting something to eat that you can't eat anywhere else. I don't go to the midway, I don't go see any animals, I don't go to anything but the crafts. That can take a long time. Plus, sometimes I will go to the Made In Oklahoma building...if I have time. I think everyone should go to a fair. It's one of the old time cultures that we are keeping alive for the future.