Happy Canada Day – Extended Stay Update

I was reading through the blog and realized that I never updated on the status of Angelica and whether she had to stay for 3 days or 14. Being as today is July 1st, and we were getting checked for an infection on June 26th and that makes 5 days… We did in fact test positive for a gram negative bacilli bacteria. There are apparently a whole family of bacteria with this class, and I don’t know enough to adequately explain where it came from, but I do know that after two days of receiving the antibiotic specific to the bacteria, Angelica is feeling much much much better.

It also means that we get the extended stay of 10 – 14 days. (which would put us going home next Wednesday to Sunday sometime).

Now that Angelica is feeling better…

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we are making kale chips

And…
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Playing Settlers

But all this comes with a price… My mom (Mrs Culley Sr.) has not been able to see the baby or visit Angelica for over a week because she had/has a cold, and if you know Merrilyn, she loves her grand kids and would never go that long without seeing her grand daughter in hospital, and would never never never wait that long to see her new-born grand son.

But you might be saying… the baby is home now, why can’t Merr go see the baby at home and how could that effect Angelica??? Well, Angelica’s immune system is so low right now that we have to keep the members of our immediate family illness free, or else we have to stop visiting. And right now, Patti cannot go without being able to at least visit on a regular basis. So people with coughs and colds need to keep away from our whole family. (My mom has been amazing at understanding all this and I would like to thank her as this is really really hard for her.)

Well keep praying that she doesn’t get further infections, that we have the least amount of complications and that our family gets reunited very very soon.

Alex Hope Elementary

One of the things that Angelica has said is how amazing it is to see all the people that are praying for her and that care about her. There have been a lot of people and groups that have been amazing, but I want to highlight one special community. We have received an amazing amount of support from Angelica’s School.

Alex Hope Elementary

We have three kids that have been going to Alex Hope this last year but we just moved there before the beginning of this year. So we’ve only given them a year to get to know us. Then at the end of the year, we break the news that one of their ‘new’ grade 7 grads has been diagnosed with leukemia.

This community has been amazing… really amazing. Each of the classes has been very supportive. The parents in Jeremy’s class have organized fund-raisers. The principle handed me a significant number of gift cards for groceries. Others that we barely know have walked up and handed us small gifts. And we are stunned. (We’re sorry if we give you a deer-in-the-headlights look if you’ve come up to talk to us, we are just so overwhelmed.)

And, we’ve found out some of the costs of this process on our family and our budget, and the help is truly amazing.

We are very blessed to be a part of this amazing community. Thank You Alex Hope!

It’s On……

I’ve joined Weight Watchers Online……..again.

I did this once before and lost a bunch of weight and well, things have gotten outta hand again and I gotta do something.

So, here we are starting this all once again. I wish I weren’t, but the truth is…..I am.

I’ve got to lose some weight and if I just dick around, I’ll be the same weight (or more) in 3 months or 6 months from now. And so, here it goes……..

I’ve pounded down a 2 point green smoothie that consists of 2 cups of spinach, 1/2 a cup of frozen mango, 1 pear, a cup of water and some ice.

We’ve got brunch with my family to celebrate my brother’s 30th birthday and I counted that out at between 10-12 points depending on whether I have toast or not……I have a total of 30 points per day.

I know that you all are just loving all this “points” chatter, aren’t you? Don’t worry. I promise that I’ll talk about something else beside weight loss and food and points.

I’ll take a current photo today so that I can see where I’m at and then later….where I’ve come from.

Oh, the joys….this is so much fun..NOT! But, it will be worth it! Right?

As Close to Nothing as Possible

I’ve been watching the 30 Days of Nothing over at Owlhaven, and thinking of giving it a try.

So, as of tomorrow, we will be starting our own 30 days of Nothing. I’m not exactly certain how it all plays out for us…I’ll be talking to Jon tonight and then hopefully I’ll have a plan all set in place for tomorrow, but as of right now the plan is to do some form of the 30 Days of Nothing. One that works for us.

This should be interesting. I’m not a big shopper, but I do buy more than I should from time to time. So stick around and see how well, or poorly I do this month.

In other news, I slept for 11 hours last night. At 8pm,I laid down to read with Jeremy and then cuddled with him and fell asleep. Then we woke up this morning at 7:00am….Wow! Now, the baby was up at 2:30am and again at 4:30am, but still I got a 6 hour uninterrupted stretch, and I feel SO AMAZING! I’ve managed to get quite a bit done today. It’s one of those things that if I went to bed every night at that time, I’d be able to get up earlier and get things done. I think that the 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep is the trick. Even though Siah goes down around 7:30-8pm every night, if we go to bed around midnight, and then he’s up at 2or 3ish….well, that’s only 2 or 3 hours that we are getting before the first interruption….and that’s just not enough in my books. I know that I could let him cry it out, but I’m not there yet….not saying that we won’t get there, but not just yet.

Well, tomorrow is the official GRAND OPENING – I’m laughing at that because it sounds so official. – The OFFICIAL GRAND OPENING of the store.

For the first week, we will be having a buy 2 and get a 3rd of equal or less value for free.

Check it out…..there should be something that you’d like for yourself or even for a gift.

Blech!

I’m not feeling so great. I have the WORST sore throat, and IT SUCKS!

It’s the start of the weekend, and I’m tired. I think that Siah’s been feelig the same as me, and he’s been up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up…..at nights. It’s been a party.

Last night, just to try to get some sleep for myself….I just kept him in bed with me, and well – if it were possible to get even less sleep…yah it happened.

If he’s feeling at all like I am – well, that’s just nasty.

Okay, enough moaning.

I gave a few samples of the deodorant to a few people, and the response that I’ve had so far has been really good.

I just need to find some good containers to put the finished product into, and I think that I’m gonna sell it. It is truly THAT GOOD!

Jon even “tested it out” with out me knowing. He went 2 days between applications, and said that even at the end of the second day that he was only starting to smell and from only one pit.

Thanks for the info, Honey! Way to test it out for me.

But, now you all know that you should be able to go for two days in between applications -good info, eh?

I’m gonna go and make a HUGE pot of tea and sip and sip and sip and sip and sip until the tylenol that I took kicks in.

Long Time….eh?

I went on vacation….now I’m back…

It was AWESOME.

I have a bazilion pictures that I’m going through. trying to unpack. Take Geli to French Camp, do laundry, deal with a one year old – man are they a lot of work – buy school supplies, exercise, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I actually have something really cool that I want to share, but I gotta go to bed ’cause 5am comes around really early.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get some time tomorrow.

Talk to you soon.

While you are waiting for me….what have YOU been up to?

Thinking Out Loud Here….

I have an idea.

I’m sure it’s not a new idea, but still, I’m not currently a part of anything like this, and it’s something that I hold near and dear to my heart, and something that I’m invested/ing in…and well….I just enjoy it a ton.

I am still in the planning stages, but I think that this could be something that could be a lot of fun, and could help some, and it could possible grow and become something that could be helpful to me in the future.

See, here is my idea….

I am LOVING learning about eating healthy and cooking good food and living healthy and living simply and I run into people that ask for my recipes, and well….I wondered if anyone would be interested if I started to write up a newspaper or flyer or bulletin or somthing like that. It would have tips and ideas, recipes, and things to think about…all geared towards living healthy, living simply and all of what that entails…

I’m by no means an expert but I do have a fair amount of recipes that we currently eat that are healthy and DELICIOUS. I like to try and come up with “normal” food that takes your food choices or allergies or intolerances into consideration. I like to get a hold of recipes that someone I know has actually tried, and that they taste like actual food, and not YUCKY. Now, I know that taste is relative, but I’d like to think that I make delicious food….I’d really hope that was the case…regardless, the recipes would all be ones that we currently use and eat, either regularly or for special occasions…and then there could be product reviews, and tips on how to eat healthy for as cheap as possible….’cause I’m all about saving money….all this and more….

So, What do you think? Would you be interested in recieving something like this?

It’s the kind of thing that I might start a bit smaller and then grow over time….I might start out doing these newsletters for free for the first few, and then charging a subscription or something like that…

It’s not all worked out, but I wonder how much interest there would be in something like this?

If this is something that you’d be interested in – could you comment and let me know or if you know someone who is currently trying to eat healthy or healthier or has allergies or intolerances or something like that, then could you send them this way, and if we can figure out if there is some interest in something like this, then I could get working on putting something together sooner rather than later.

This is something that I’m TOTALLY excited about, and would love to share, but I don’t want me to be the only one that I’m doing this for….so….let me know if you or anyone you know would be interested.

A bit more still…..

Well, the title is completely unimaginative…is that even a word….but I thought and thought and thought and really couldn’t come up with anything terribly witty and I gave up because it was a waste of time to stall and I have very limited time at this point….you know with the baby and kids and all…

So, I made a mistake on Monday night and read my recipe wrong…or rather I didn’t read it, and thought that I needed a TON of starter, and doubled my starter and ended up with 2 swimming pools of starter and now I either throw it out – which seems like such a waste to me – or use it. I’ve opted to use it, but again with the limited time thing…that makes things interesting.

Now, the deal with the sourdough starter…it is really simple to make, but when you don’t know what you are doing, it can be a bit stressful, and I haven’t really found any place that shows you pictures of what your starter should look like along the way or when it’s ready to use. AND….I found nothing that talked about making a sourdough starter with Kamut or Spelt flour….which is what I wanted to use because those are our grain of choice around here.

Basically you mix water and flour and let it sit around, and it collects bacteria from the air, and ferments and becomes all bubbly and then rises. You have to “feed” it every 12 hours so that it stays alive…..that can get annoying. Then you have to store it somewhere. I keep mine in the oven with the pilot light on because it likes to be a bit warm. I read somewhere that it’s a bit like having a pet because you have to take care of it, and really, it’s true. I’m a bit sick of “taking care of it”, but I like the fact that I can make stuff that’s healthy for my family and that costs us considerably less than storebought stuff.

So far, I’ve made bread, twice; Pizza Shells, 3 times, and crackers, 3 or 4 times. There is definately a learning curve, and each time I make something – it gets better and better, so we are definately on an upward trend and that’s a good thing.

The first time I made the bread – I have no pictures – I made the fast bread. It required the most amount of starter and the least amount of time to rise. It made two little loaves that tasted pretty good. They had that nice sourdough taste, but they were SOOOOO dense. Read that to say thick and heavy…like a brick. They still tasted pretty good, and we are pretty used to thick heavy bread so it was okay.

Here are some of the loaves from the second time around (This was the medium time frame bread that took 7 hours to rise as opposed to 2 hoursfor the quick bread and 12 hours for the longest rising bread)….I know that it doesn’t look like it, but I promise you that these were ginormous compared to the first loaves.

Dense Bread

The recipe that I have says to slash the tops with a rasor blade, and I reluctantly did – I was worried about them falling, and..well…. they never did rise any more, so I might not try it the next time and I’ll just see if they rise any more than this current batch. I would like it to rise some more…..to be a little lighter and bigger.

See, here is a shot of those “slashes of death”….

The Stupid Slashes

So, here are the loaves, cut into slices. We cut the loaves up and then wrapped them and put them in the freezer. They have no preservatives, and so unless we plan to plow through all 6 loaves in the next few days, then I have to freeze some of them.

Bread Grain

Of course, I had a helper in all of this, and I must throw in a gratuitous shot of my baby, right???

My Little Helper

Look at those little lips… Isn’t he so darling? I could just eat HIM up, forget about the bread.

So, last night after all the little monsters darlings had been sent to bed, I decided that I would whip up some Pizza Shells because from start to finish it takes about 45 minutes, and I had that much time before I was headed off to bed, and for crying out loud, I gotta use up some of the “throw away” starter that I got sitting in a giant popcorn bowl in my oven.

Here is the stack of pizza shells after the first “pre-bake”.

Stack of Pizza Shells

There are only 7 in this stack although I made 8, Jon and I ate one last night, and boy was it yummy. These shells puffed up a bit bigger than the last batch I made. I rolled the last ones VERY thin, and it was more like making pizza on big round crackers.

Here you can see the size of them…they are a bit bigger than my hand, so the perfect size for a personal pizza.

Size of a Hand

And this is how thick, or thin – should I say, the suckers are.

Thin Crust

If you are interested in making your own bread from just flour and water, I am more than happy to just give you some of my starter, but I’d suggest that you google it, and read up on the effort required and what all is involved because it’s way different than just throwin some ingredients into a bowl and making bread and then putting it all away and enjoying. It’s easy, but a lot more effort. Oh, and I have a spelt flour starter…if that works for you…at least this one is.

Also, I want to THANK YOU for your comments, although I feel absolutely terrible, because as much as I LOVE to hear from the people reading, I totally didn’t mean that you who do read are not important or that I don’t appreciate you. I was commenting to myself – in a very poor way, but I did have the luxury of knowing what I was thinking inside my head – about how brutal and sporadic my posting has been. I’m trying to have grace with myself because I know that I am in a different phase of life than I was a year ago and 6 months before that and the years before that, but I “like” to write things out, and to keep a record, and to be able to “craft” a post so that it’s funny or makes you think or something, and yet recently – it’s basically just been throwing words on paper, and not in a good way, and not very often, and that bothers me, and I know that I’ve lost some readers over the past year, and I blame that on my crappy and sporadic posting.

THANK YOU, seriously THANKS for your comments, but if I made you feel bad, then I APOLOGIZE, sincerely. I really do. Are we good? I hope so. Hugs, Kisses, loves all around.

Alright now, I’ve typed those last two paragrapghs with one hand because the baby was screaming himself silly – which for any of you who know him, that means he fussed two times – and so I nursed him to put him out of his misery and now he is almost sleeping and I gotta go and get some stuff done. Gotta make the most of my hands free time.