Monday, October 20, 2014

Gratitude Monday -- Leftover Pizza Edition

By that I mean pizza topped with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

I'd been craving pizza and had the turkey so I figured, why not?
I threw together a gluten free flour mix made from ground rolled oats, sorghum, coconut, brown rice, tapioca and potato starches as well as ground hazelnuts and almonds.
Next I consulted a wide variety of recipes for use as a jumping off point for my own as I require some idea as to how much yeast, salt, oil, and sugar ought to be used.

I decided along with turkey it needed mushrooms and onion. Further, it needed avocado which I decided to add after it was out of the oven.

Dips are a fine adjunct to pizza. My favourite is chipotle. I had some coconut sour cream that needed using up so I consulted several recipes for chipotle sauce and threw together my own with chipotle flakes and chipotle tabasco in it.
It was a fine addition and I am grateful it, and the pizza, worked out.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fabulous Friday-- Sleeping In

We normally get up at 5:30 a.m. weekdays as husband starts work at 7 a.m.  I am an early riser by nature though it is more compelling in summer as I tend to get up with the sun.

I prefer early mornings. I get more done and usually just plain have a better day.
Bed is a comfortable and comforting place. It's not always easy to bounce out and get on with the day so a chance to laze a bit is always welcome.

Today was such a day. Husband has the day off and will work tomorrow instead.
Consequently, we slept in until almost 8 a.m.

You know what?
It was fabulous.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Gratitude Monday -- Of Cake and Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family.
I am grateful for all of you.
Yes, even you.
Accept it.

We had the turkey yesterday. It was a small one, about eight pounds. That makes a nice size for Mike and me. I like that it's just the two of us. Holidays deserve their special memories as much as regular daily life does. It's good to have them alone.

I commonly bake pie for holidays, but didn't feel like it this year. I bake pie when the spirit moves me, not the calendar.
Instead we had cake. I'd baked my first ever coffee cake on Friday and in playing around with the recipe I added rum.
I discovered years ago all baking, mine anyway, is improved with a good glug of rum. I saw no reason this cake ought to be an exception.
I found a recipe for gluten free sour cream coffee cake. The sour cream I use is made out of coconut milk and is easy to throw together. Instead of the cupful called for I used about one-third and made up the rest with regular coconut milk.
It's still very rich,
The cup of butter, softened, called for became about two-thirds of a cup of coconut lard to which I added enough hot water to get things all warm and melty.
We have plenty of eggs courtesy my FIL so I used three rather than the two the recipe listed.
The gluten free flour mix I'd made really soaks up the moisture. That's my good reason for glugging in the rum. The real reason is noted above.

It turned out well and for that I am grateful.
Almost too well. It's hard to stop eating it. We smother it in thick coconut milk which makes it even tastier. If I sound like I am bragging it is because I am. I celebrate when things work out and am not shy about saying so.
I am grateful for that, too.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Photo-Finish Friday -- Natural Habitat

Cedar Grove Trail, B.C.

Portrait of the normally shy Husband caught in an unguarded moment in his natural habitat.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Gratitude Monday -- This Tree

I love all trees, don't get me wrong.
But every so often one stands out from its brothers and sisters.
It gives off a special vibe. It can be a warm invitation, a feeling of fellowship, or security, or kindness.
It truth it can impart a feeling of almost anything and it's that feeling which draws me to it.
Yes, I hug trees. I do it with their permission and yes, they hug back.

We found this spruce in the forest during a walk around Fish Lake yesterday.
It has a magnificent and kindly feel to it.  I stepped away a few times, but it drew me back. I spent a few minutes with it and I am grateful for it, and to it.
I hope to again some day.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

If You Must Be Sick, Be Healthy or How To Scare Your Surgeon

That is, be as healthy as you can muster given your condition.
I'm not going to presume to offer a list of advice. I know nothing except what I have in my own experience, but it was my experience that making myself healthy as possible before my cancer surgery made a huge difference.

One of the first things I did was decide to try smoothies. A Facebook friend's posts made me aware of them and I'd been curious. Having cancer gave me great cause to give them a try.
I was diagnosed on Friday, June 13, and whirred my first smoothie on Sunday, June 15. I decided that carrot, celery, cucumber, garlic and tomato would form the smoothie's base. I based this on assorted Internet sites about cancer fighting foods as well as some personal anecdotes I found online.
I had a smoothie almost every day from June 15 to July 22. I missed one or two days while camping.
I added in sauerkraut, watermelon, other melons, strawberries, blueberries, lettuce, kale, and probably a few other fruits and veggies. Not all at once, but on various days I'd throw in some of these depending on my mood. The base stayed the same.
I felt really good.
I had plenty of energy.
We eat healthy in general here, but this really kicked things up a few levels.

As for exercise, I'd added squats in March. By the time I went into the hospital I was up to 16 each morning. I also do Tibetan Rites and had started bike riding in June. The first thing I noticed when I went for my first ride of the season was how much stronger my legs were from the squats. I used the higher gears I don't normally get to for a few weeks.

On Thursday, the day after my surgery, I was walking alone, often, and for a long way. I went outside a few times. If stretched out the distance from my room to outside and back it would be about two blocks.
I had really good balance, too, despite lack of food and plenty of painkillers.
I credit the squats.
Also, I was accidentally given solid food on Thursday. My surgeon told me that morning he was going to start me on a soft diet, cream soups, porridge, and the like.
Imagine my surprise when I pulled the lid off the noon offering to find roast beef, mashed potatoes, and french style green beans.
I hadn't had solid food since Tuesday. I ate every bite and told my roommate, "It's really good. I must be hungrier than I thought."
This added to my strength and my recovery.

The normal range for a hospital stay after colorectal cancer surgery is 4-10 days. I'd told my friend a few weeks earlier that I thought four days was a bit much and that I intended to be out in three.

On Friday morning the resident who'd assisted in the operation said something about releasing me that day or the next.
I went home Saturday.

When we met with my surgeon earlier this month he said he's been using my stay as an example when he answers patients' questions about the length of  hospital stays after this kind of surgery,
"The usual length is 4-10 days, but I had one patient who was ready to be released after two-and-a half days. She scared me."

How you live your life is your business. How you react to the diagnosis of a serious ailment is entirely your call.
But for me the squats and smoothies are what made my hospital stay as brief as it was, and if I were to offer any advice it is this: If you must be sick, be as healthy as you can be.