Here I go...

Walking and Talking Across Spain - long distance walking chelates the chemicals that trigger my Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What's up?

Hello World!

I'm on my way back to snowy Portland tomorrow! Looking forward to seeing the family and friends. Then, on to Puerto Vallarta. My son is taking me on a trip for a week. I have a bit of anxiety about the flight, as always, but I'm excited and ready for the Mexican sun.  (I'm also ready with my mask, my nose spray, and my eye mask.)

Life in the California desert has been nice. Better than what they're having in Portland. But we HAVE had a LOT of rain here this year and it's been colder than usual. I guess the entire Pacific cost is getting that cold wet weather.

Anyway... I really don't have any news other than to say I'm alive and well.

Hope you're all having a great winter.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Our Olives Are Finished!

We're very excited. The olives are ready.
They've been out in the sun for about a week.
It's raining today, so a good day to bring them in
and get them jarred.

On the Screen

Nice and sun dried

We are keeping some on the counter for eating this next month.

The rest will be tossed with a teaspoon of olive oil, put into a jar, and stored in the fridge.

We have done a bit more research and decided that is what will work for us.

Free Olives!
What could be better!?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Nutritarian Corn Bread

Well, I had a hankering for bread so I made some nutritarian corn bread tonight to go with my beans.

I used a recipe from Dr. Fuhrman's book.
It ended up not tasting like your grandma's cornbread.
It was more like cake - sweet and spicy.

Good with beans!
And great if you're craving bread.

But if you want something more savory, I'd either skip the spice or change the spices.
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup oat flour (just make it by putting oats in the blender)
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 dates, pitted
1 cup nut milk
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup baked, peeled sweet potato (I'm not peeling mine)
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup frozen corn kernels

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Combine cornmeal, oat flour, and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir well and set aside.

In a high powered blender, combine dates, milk, coconut, potato, flax and spices. If you don't have a high powered blender, soak the dates overnight first to soften them.
Combine with dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.

The mixture from the blender is very thick.

Stir in frozen corn kernels.

Pour into non-stick square baking dish, cast iron skillet, or bake as muffins.

I used my cast iron skillet

Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

Changes I made:

I only had 1/2 cup sweet potato so I put that plus a half cup of avocado.

NOTE: This recipe comes from Dr. Fuhrman's book.

One person on the website said they added cumin, chili powder, and dried jalapenos.

It got very good reviews.

I will make this again sometime.

Good luck!

Monday, December 19, 2016

NUTRITARIAN is my New Way of Life

Life is moving on in the California desert. Mom is healing from her heart issues. The family are all doing well in Oregon. And I'm losing weight and getting back in shape on Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live lifestyle. The people eating this way are called Nutritarians.

I'm loving Eat to Live more and more each day as I feel the benefits.

If anyone is interested in losing weight or getting off of their cholesterol meds, heart meds, diabetes meds, please join our new support group on Facebook. It's a place to learn, to ask questions, to share recipes (both vegan and meat-eaters), and to be accountable by posting what you eat each day.

Here is a link:


By the way, if you are vegetarian or vegan, you'll have a bit of a challenge on the Camino, but it's certainly not impossible. There are many great choices for fresh fruits and vegetables all along the route. So don't stress.

Personally, I'm loving this Nutritarian way of eating. I'm stuffed, never starving. I feel GREAT and I'm excited as the pounds melt away. I'm losing about 1 pound per day right now and it's pretty much stress free.

The benefits of the Nutritarian way of eating include:

No more feeling hungry between meals
Eating delicious, satisfying foods that have anti-cancer properties
Reversing heart disease, diabetes, and most autoimmune diseases
Detoxifying your body and overcoming food cravings
Feeling great and enjoying increased energy
The Nutritarian way of eating uses no gimmicks or fads. There’s no yo-yo dieting. You’ll achieve your ideal weight while maintaining excellent muscle and bone mass for the rest of your life. This will pay incredible dividends in your life, and in the lives of those you love.

Cost:  For the most part, the cost of eating this way balances out. I buy my fruits and vegetables from a farmer's market, so they're quite affordable. If I were in Portland, I'd be growing them in our garden and they'd be free!  I don't buy much meat, so the money I save there goes toward the fruits/vegetables. 

And in the longer run, if you're paying for prescription meds each month, within 2 months, you can count on stopping all or most of those. That can be hundreds of dollars per month for some people! 

Getting set up can cost a little more if you plunge into it like I did. Or you can add staples as you go. 

There is little or no cooking, if you don't like to cook. Or there are marvelous recipes, if that's your deal.  I do a bit of both. 

Today, for example, I will have a HUGE breakfast salad. I'm talking what most people would make for 4 people. I'll put a peeled orange, a cored apple, and a teaspoon of cinnamon in the Vitamix, and pour that over. I have a salad bar in my fridge in snapware so my salad will have greens, bell and red peppers, carrots, celery, onions, purple cabbage and cherry tomatoes. It will take 5 minutes to put it together.  Other days I might have a smoothie or some oatmeal filled with fruits and nuts. 

For lunch, I'm having leftover meatloaf from last night (made with some meat, but also beans and mushrooms).

For dinner, I put a pot of Portuguese beans in the crockpot yesterday and I'll graze on those.

If you're into reading, Dr. Fuhrman has many great books out. If you like reading the science, I'd suggest EAT TO LIVE.  I wouldn't buy the cookbook. You can find hundreds of great Nutritarian recipes online. Check out Pinterest for a start.

If you'd rather read ABOUT the science (easier reading) and trust he's done his homework, I like THE END OF DIETING.

If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, you might like

And if you have an immune system disease (over or underactive):

All of Dr. Fuhrman's books are available on Amazon.

And if you would like to see over THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY success stories with photos, spend the $12 it costs to join his website for 3 months ($3.50 per month) and go directly to the success story section. If that doesn't convince you, nothing will.  You know, sometimes you see 3 or 4 success stories with those crank diet ads. Well, this is over THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY real people telling you their story.

Lastly, take a look at the video on Netflix called Forks Over Knives, and one online called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Here is a link:

These men use juicing fasts to lose weight, something I could never do. You can get the EXACT same results on this program, which is easier, and Dr. Fuhrman makes an appearance in this award-winning film about two men's journeys back to health. Be sure and watch past the midpoint, when they begin following Phil Staples, a morbidly obese truck driver. The change will blow your mind!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Olives are nearly done!

A few days ago, we put two changes of clean water into the jar of olives to begin taking salt and the rest of the tannin out of them.  This plumped them up considerably.  See the first blog here:  DIY Greek Olives and the second part here:  Olives Part Two - I fell off the wagon  (Scroll Down)

I put about a half dozen in a brine of vinegar and water for a couple of days, and MAN, they were GOOD! So I figured they were ready.

Today, Joe laid them out on a screen in the sun. We will leave them out until they shrivel up and dry a bit.

Then, we will keep a jar of them, put in a brine of vinegar and water, in the refrigerator, and pack the rest in freezer bags and store in the freezer. The olives will last 3-6 months in the freezer in brine, but we just don't eat THAT many olives. This harvest should last us a year.

Here are photos of the olives, just laid out on a screen in the sun.

This was an easy project that cost very little in time or money. The olives were free for the taking. All that was needed to prepare them was a gallon jar and about 3 cups of salt. We used sea salt, but you can use any pure salt.

We took mostly olives off the tree, but if you look online, some people prefer the windfall olives. Next year, I may try those as well..

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Frugal Thanksgiving

I love when I can be frugal and make out like a bandit!

We started our Thanksgiving by shopping for food.
As always, I had a list, and on that list was a turkey.
They were awfully big and awfully expensive,
but you have to have turkey for Thanksgiving!

I had put a big old turkey in the cart
when Joe came by and said,
"Did you see those turkeys for $8?"

I said, " EIGHT DOLLARS?!"

Following him back to the frozen section
he showed me a bunch of turkeys that had a tag on them
saying if you bought over $25 worth of food,
you'd get this 14 pound turkey for $8.


We bought the turkey,
and on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day,
it made a wonderful meal!

On Friday, 
we ate leftovers. . .
turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes,
stuffing, and green beans!

On Saturday morning,
I picked all the meat off the carcass 
and put the skeleton in the crock pot
with an onion.
I covered it with water, and let it stew all day.

That night
I took about 2 cups of the broth off the top
and made gravy from it,
and we had hot turkey sandwiches.

I've cleaned all the bones out of the broth,
put the broth into the freezer so I can skim off the fat.
I've cut up all the leftover meat,
and will pop in some celery, an onion,
and a bit of rice
and we'll have a nice hot turkey soup!
Perfect on this cold, blustery day!

That $8 turkey has fed us for 4 nights.
Not bad...

Let's Make a Deal!

I've been wanting a small table
to set inside under a living room window,
so when it is too hot or too cold in my "outdoor room"
I can sew indoors.
Yesterday, I found one at a nearby yard sale.
The lady wanted $10.
It's an old metal school typewriter stand,
perfect size,
and I can paint it white and it'll be perfect.
But I didn't want to spend $10.

I bartered!

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a set of acrylic paints from Amazon.
When they arrived, one of the paints had leaked.
I chatted with Amazon, telling them I would like a replacement
for the leaked paint bottle.
Instead, they sent me an entire new set of paints.
So I had an 18-bottle set of brand new acrylic paints.

I offered the paints
to the lady in exchange and she took it!
I'm so happy!

Here is my table.
I know it looks ugly now,
but free is beautiful to me.
It's absolutely functional, just the right size,
and like me, it will clean up good!

Today I'm starting a new watercolor painting
from my Anna Mason course.
It's going to be a robin, 
for Christmas.

Here is the drawing.
Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Well, I Fell Off the Wagon. . .

Well, I fell off the wagon on my 30 miniatures in 30 days chore.

My mother took a bad spell and was in the hospital 
and then Thanksgiving rolled around 
and well, it just never happened. 
But I promise to get back to it soon.

I did receive my little EFCOLOR Stove, 
which allows me to bake the clay without using electricity. 
It's a tiny stove that is powered by tea-lights 
and I can't wait to give it a try.

I have been working on some watercolor paintings.
I finished the portrait of my son's dog, Data, 
the week before I came to the desert.
I love this portrait.
It really captures this sweet doggie's nature.

I finished a portrait of a white horse yesterday.
I discovered that painting white is really as difficult as painting black.
There are so many colors in a white horse!

The olives we began salting a couple of weeks ago 
will be finished soon.

Tonight I dug one out of the jar and rinsed it,
then tasted it.
Still quite strong, 
but GOOD!
These are going to be awesome,
and it was so easy!

Here is a photo of the jar so you can see how much liquid
has come out of the olives.

They are really shriveling up!

But not quite shriveled enough.

It's time to make another batch of yogurt this week.

But first, I have to prepare for a watercolor class
that I've been asked to teach this week
at the 55+ park where I'm staying.
We'll just be doing simple little "blob" animals
like these I found on the internet:

I think a person could use this method to make
some really cute Christmas cards!

I guess that should catch you up on what I've been up to.

Oh.. about the Camino...
We have had to cancel the Spring walk.
We realized after this year's walk that in order to continue
in the same manner as we have been structuring the trips,
we need some sort of liability insurance.
We do NOT want to become a company.
We want to stay "pilgrims helping pilgrims"
But we also want to protect ourselves and our assets,
so we have put off the Spring trip 
while we explore options that will offer protection we need
but still allow us to help others walk the Camino Santiago.

If you have any good ideas,
give us a shout!
We hate to toss in the towel,
but we can't afford to lose our drawers
because someone gets hurt.

Ok.. that's all folks!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

30 Miniatures in 30 Days - PEACHES!

Today I worked on peaches, and I'll tell  you, it was a frustrating experience, but with a positive outcome.

First, I made a couple of dozen peaches from what I thought was the right color, but after baking they looked like this:

So I did a second batch, and they turned out dark as well.

I got online and did a little research and someone suggested baking the clay covered in baking soda.  I tried a sample and the difference was amazing!

So I sat down, did another batch of peaches, 
and voila!

I did it!

Monday, November 14, 2016

30 Miniatures in 30 Days - CARROTS!

Today I finished the veggie basket for my new doll.
I made teensy carrots!

Next, I'm working on bottled peaches!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Miracle of the Apples

The day I left Santa Celia on the Aragones Route, I was very hungry. I had not found the tiny tienda in the bar in town, and had eaten nothing for breakfast. There was a definite chill in the early morning air and I pulled the sleeves of my jacket down over my hands to keep them warm.

As I walked, my stomach growled and I began to daydream about food.

" Oh man, I sure would love to have something to eat... some FRUIT would be awesome!"

I thought about figs, and grapes, and apples, and nectarines and my mouth began to water. But there was no town in sight and I knew it was going to be a long day. I should have planned more wisely...

I walked on, and on, one step in front of the other, a kilometer, then two... dreaming about food...

Then, I rounded a corner, and there on the dew-drenched grass, in the middle of nowhere, sat two perfect apples.

I laughed out loud!
It was Camino magic working again!

I picked one up and bit into it.
It was ice-cold, crunchy, and sweeter than any apple I have ever eaten before!
What a treat!

I ate that apple right down to the seeds, then devoured the other.
Smiling and full, I continued to walk as I thought, "Thank you Santiago! Thank you Camino!"