Thursday, December 24, 2015

'Tis The Season

And so it's the Christmas season again.  I meant to post before now but time has just gotten away from me.  As with most people this time of year I guess.  Actually, I started this post several days ago but it has just sat in drafts since then and tonight, as in most nights I try to write, I just stare blankly at the screen, not sure of what to describe.  Not sure of what people really want to hear or respond to these days.
 I don't have a lot of new things to post about.  There have been a number of discoveries this year and I am working as best I can to correct or recover but not much progress has been achieved so far.  Some days I feel pretty good for a few hours and then it all crumbles into a blurry heap of fatigue and/ or pain.  I do truly expect things to improve healthwise but I think it may take a while yet.  I'll try to explain later on maybe.

This Christmas is a bit odd; it's unusually warm here, even for the South.  May be the same where you are.  We've been running around all day in tank tops and having the air going.  Feels weird baking Christmas cookies but I won't let that deter me!
Anyway, I just wanted to let the few of you still reading know that I'm still kicking! and to wish you all a very merry Christmas, happy Solstice, Joyous Kwanzaa or whatever other winter holiday you may or may not celebrate.  At any rate, I wish you all peace, love and happiness.  I'll be back before long to give a more lucid update but until then...may we all celebrate the season with those we love.  Peace.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Good Times, Bad Times

 Well, sorry that I have been so lax on posting lately, but to be honest, I have lost all interest in it.  Now, it is not that I do not enjoy hearing from you lovelies, I certainly do, but things have just gone downhill and I've withdrawn from a lot of things.  Computers and social media and the internet can be wonderful, miraculous tools sometimes.  And sometimes they can be the worst thing ever created.  I've been trying to read more actual books lately and just do other things.  I SO enjoyed the week in Florida with no online activities that it really impressed upon me that maybe life would be better with a little less of that stuff.  So!! but it never hurts to try!

Another thing is that while we were in Florida, you know I pigged out on all sorts of seafood.....and apparently that is another thing that I am allergic to or just contains so much histamine that my body cannot process it correctly.  So.  It took me over a week to get over the side effects of that and I still am not feeling much of any relief in just the general symptoms I had to begin with.

And on top of all that we had an incident with the rooster.  He had gotten very large and very aggressive apparently.  I'll admit I did not notice much because I have felt so bad lately, but he jumped on Little Red and somehow injured her back (or something) to the point she can't really walk anymore.  The confusing thing is she was able to walk around pretty well right after it happened but by the next morning she was just unable to get around at all.  She can sit up about what you see here and is very alert and with a pretty good appetite, so I don't want to.....well, throw the towel in for her.  It's been about 2 weeks though and not any improvement.  I've given her aspirin and even a little muscle relaxer and that seems to help her being able to sit up more.  But nothing even remotely like walking.  I want to give her a little more time though and see if she can't recover.
And Susie has been sick again with some kind of internal thing that gets her about every 6 months, so I've had 2 chickens needing full-time doctoring or looking after.
*The rooster was taken to a farm in the next county to be sold. 
The fall garden is doing well though.  Thankfully.  The weather has been really nice lately.  I've read about 3 books that I enjoyed.  And that's about it.  I've been researching job possibilities because that has become pretty important.  I've got to get back to some kind of paid work.  An old carpenter buddy that I worked with for years passed away suddenly a few weeks ago; just after we got back from the beach.  I was pretty sad to hear about it and did make the 3 county trip to the funeral.  Was nice to see some of the other guys though.
So, there you have it.  Not a lot that I've really wanted to talk about lately.  And may not for some time.  I'll see ya'll around though.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Alive An' Kickin'

 Yes, we are all still here and with the living!  We just got back from a week long vacation down in St. Andrew's State Park, in the sunny state of Florida, where we had a fabulous time!  As you can see, I finally got to try paddle boarding, which I had wanted to do for some time now, and it was great!  I enjoyed the hell out of that.

 It is a little harder to stay upright that some might think; I was just mildly surprised.  But it's not terribly hard.  It is a great workout on your legs and stomach though. I did fall off one time, in shallow water, and my big butt went straight to the bottom and hit pretty hard!  That didn't do a whole lot of good for my hips and tailbone but it didn't seem to bother me too much later.

 The waters are beautiful and so clear at St. Andrew's so I could see all sorts of sealife below me.  Fortunately, no sharks but I did have 2 dolphins swim right under me!!  and several large schools of fish and a stingray.  The dolphins were feeding on the fish so we all went back and forth and round in circles.  It was great!

 Since we were camping in the park we had time to do all sorts of other things, like hiking.  Their trails are very short but it was interesting and we saw lots of stuff.  I was trying to photograph a squirrel here and just almost got an unintended shot of said squirrel being snatched up by a hawk.  Me and the squirrel were both very surprised!
 Tons of dragonflies but I was not able to get a good shot of any really.

 The beaches here are some of the prettiest I've seen anywhere in the U.S. and I've been to both seas and all around the Gulf.  I also did a fair amount of snorkeling and swimming and had a little group of my own fishes that followed me around anytime I did.  They apparently liked for me to stir up the sand for them because there was something there they liked to eat I guess.  At any rate, they stayed with me every step of the way.

There are tons of various wildlife at SA, as you can see in the following photos.  Most of the creatures are fairly used to humans too, so you can get some good pics.

Did I mention we had a great time? lol!

Our mattresses stayed blown up, we had a nice, shady, quiet camping spot, the amenities here are great; nice showers etc.  The weather was outstanding.  Warm in the day and just cool enough at night to sleep good.  I cooked a nice breakfast each morning but we had dinner out each night so I got lots of great seafood!

And to top it all off, we saw this bald eagle on our last day there!  Almost everyone else on the beach was too busy checking their phones or taking selfies to notice it,

One thing I really enjoyed about being there was internet, no electronics of any kind.  I'll tell you I did not miss it one bit.

I'll be back soon with another post I think with what little has been going on around here..  Honestly, I have not had a lot of interest in posting this past month, for various reasons I guess, but I think I have a couple of updates for ya'll.  Just lots of busy work getting out of clay and cleaning up, checking out new work leads etc. and the regular yard, garden and chicken work.

Thursday, September 03, 2015


I know ya'll are probably getting tired of my hummer photos but I just haven't been able to get anything decent of much else.  This has been a very wet summer so seems like it's been cloudy forever.  I went out yesterday after the sun came out some and really tried to get some new pics but it just didn't work out.  I only got a few and then it clouded back up again and I just gave up.
Things are going fine though.  Just been real busy trying to get ready for this last show and that doesn't leave me with much to tell ya'll about. 

And of course, it seemed like I had more that I wanted to write about but now that I finally have time to sit down at the 'puter I can't think of what I wanted to say.  I've been doing better as far as the fatigue goes; not quite as tired through the day, but seems like around 8:30 at night I just poop out and my mind goes on auto-pilot.  I will really be glad to get this show over with and a few other little orders done so I can just get away from clay for  6 months or so and see if that won't help things.  I suspect I will feel much better.  I also suspect that the wet summer we have had is contributing to things because there are tons of mushrooms all around the house and you can just smell the dank, mustiness everywhere.  When I go outside it's like I can't breath good. 

It's been so wet all my cantaloupe rotted and several of the watermelons busted.  The girls get to enjoy the melons, such as they are.  Most of them did not turn out to be very ripe so I don't know how much the chickens really like them but they eat them anyway.  I hope we get 2 or 3 ripe melons at least.  Some of them are pretty big so you'd think they would do something.
 I did prune back some of the herbs and clear out a couple of things there that have rotted due to the wet.  Half of my big sage bush died and I think my beautiful lemon thyme is gone.  Also, that new variegated mint croaked and I thought they usually liked a little damp.  This has just been an awful year for the garden.  Maybe the fall will be better and we can actually harvest a few things.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Small Swift Birds

An absolute favorite song of mine.  Lot of truth in it.  Don't neglect what you have in your hand.

I've been told that it's just the way life goes

Once the wildest river is now a trickle to the sea
The peak we risk our lives to scale becomes dirt beneath our feet
The wisdom of a life time always disappears untapped
Paradise once given will always be taken back
And the love you hang your life upon will start to slowly crack

I have seen people suffocate the dream
Forgetting to turn that one last time while she 
 watches through the door
Focusing on the garbage that she use to ignore
Thinking she looks so beautiful but not yelling it out loud
He should have thought to kiss her before he headed out
Just forgetting how fucking lucky you are to have found her in such a crowd

But we've seen a cloud of starlings rising on a crisp autumn day
We were handed the weight of a child sleeping and bore her away
We've tasted the tears that fall when saying goodbye forever
And we've seen the silver from a waxing moon wash upon the shore

I have heard about the lives of small swift birds
They dazzle with their colour and their deftness through the air
Just a simple glimpse will keep you simply standing there
Legendary journeys made on fragile hollow wings
The night skies rich with whistling each and every spring
And then there's the day we look for them and can't find them anywhere

I've been told that it's just the way life goes

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Looking For A Job..or....Spare Me From The Mold

this is not me but it looked very similar
So, Thursday I went to the doc and sat for 2 hours while they jabbed me with needles all over both arms.  Some of the results were very surprising, some of them not so much.  First off, grass is about my worst allergy.  Several types of grass too; rye, bahia, june, timothy and bermuda.  Second worst was molds of various kinds, including penicillin, which I had been told long ago but was not sure of.  Then came, dust mites, chicken feathers!, and cat hair.  Foods that I reacted badly to was malt, yeast, soy, tomato (crap!) and peanuts.
My allergy doctor is pretty sure that at least some of my joint pain/ exhaustion is due to these allergies.  I've also had problems with my throat swelling so much it was hard to eat and various other similar things.  I did also get the results of the X-rays that were done back in May and they said my hands and lower spine looked fine but my feet had a lot of evidence of "cartilage-loss" arthritis.  So, no wonder they hurt like hell sometimes.  Basically then, my whole body is in a huge state of inflammation and it's bad enough that it's gone into my bones in some areas.  My ENT feels it's pretty bad and is treating it fairly aggressively.  So, this means 2 types of allergy meds and customized drops under my tongue 3 times a day.  After 4 weeks I'll go to shots (not under my tongue tho!) and will eventually probably have to learn to give myself the shots. remove myself from the offending particles as much as possible.

Now, with grass, I don't even know how this is possible other than I don't cut grass anymore. I have to wear a mask in and around the chicken coop and don't let the girls sit in my lap much anymore.  Apparently, chicken dander is a lot like cat dander and I also reacted somewhat to cat but nothing to dog!  Chigger was relieved.
My diet will obviously switch around a little too.  I won't be adhering as strictly to the no-starch thing but some of the new restrictions do overlap, like no yeast or malt, because those things are in many baked goods and so on.  But I can eat sushi again!!!  just with no soy sauce.

The bad thing is the mold and for reasons most people would not think.  Pottery clay is FULL of mold.  The type I reacted the worst to is also in garden soil and compost piles.  So, this puts a big crimp in things.  Basically, I need to find a new source of income and get away from clay.  And no, it's very difficult to wear a good enough respirator while throwing and doing clay work.  Plus, it's just an process of elimination.  I need to remove myself from it to see what happens so I can verify that is the culprit.  I also need to support myself financially while I do this.  A number of people have kinda poo-pooed by decision to leave clay but I said, after a while and you are hurting SO bad and to the point of having to inject yourself with drugs on a regular's just not worth it anymore.  There is LOTS of other art I can do and if I may say so myself, I'm pretty darn good at some of that other art.

I will not go back into construction field work either.; my feet and back cannot take that stuff anymore but I might do something related.  I'd love to do more restoration work and I've talked about that before.  There is also sales of construction materials, job photography, quality control etc.  I'm really open to a variety of work possibilities.  Just got to get out there and see what's available.  I also have to stay in clay long enough to do the show next month that I was accepted into but I'm going to see if I can back out of the one in November I am also scheduled for.

So, I finally feel that maybe I am getting somewhere.  I do have some real issues with real arthritis but hopefully, some of this is brought on by these allergies and can be corrected.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Change Would Do You Good

 Don't worry girls....this change doesn't involve ya'll!  I have just reached my limit on these health problems.  Something's got to give.  I'm sick of feeling bad, I'm sick of myself even.  Sick of laying around here feeling like crap.  Sick of sitting in front of this computer all evening, night after night not having a life.
First step is I go tomorrow to have some extensive allergy testing done.  Fortunately, I have a friend who is a very good ENT that is going to help me out and do this and maybe it won't break the bank.  Or at least, my feeble little checking account.  Allen built this guy's house years ago and I worked on it some, so it does pay sometimes to have been an ol' construction worker.  If the tests come out like I think they might, there may be some big career changes for me.  I don't know what yet but ceramics may be out of the picture.  At least for a full-time job.

 I don't know exactly what I'm going to do but I know I'm tired of wasting my life.  I know I can't help that I've had these problems and it's not just something I can will away...but I've got to do something to get better.  Of course, I've been trying all kinds of stuff all along, and I'll keep on with those things until I find out what's helping and what's not.  But it's no playing around anymore.  I'm tired of this crap.  I see so many other people doing great things with their life and I just can't fart around here making a few mugs and such and call it a day.  And yeah, most of those people don't have bad health issues but everyone has some kind of struggle, physical or not.  I can't let mine run my life anymore.

 I have to insert a funny story here about Muffin, the little Silkie hen in the photos.  I've tried for quite some time to get a few good photos of her because she's so darn cute, but it's rather difficult due to her coloring and the fact that she will NOT be still for even a second it seems.  So, I was trying to get a few photos the other day while it was not raining and she just would not cooperate.  Well, I got kinda tired of chasing her all around and started taking some photos of some of the other girls, who are much easier to work with.  After a few minutes I started hearing this little chirping sound behind me and I turned around to see Muffin staring indignantly at me....

Why you stop taking pictures of me????
 She stood there just still as could be while she scolded me.  I guess for not paying her enough attention!  So, I did finally manage to get a few photos of her.  Not great, but at least she was still.

 I also finally got the results of all those X-rays the rhuemy did back in May.  Said my hands and hips are fine (except for the SI joint) but my feet show a fair amount of "changes" due to arthritis.  The top of my spine is also showing spurs and growths.  They call it "cartilage-loss arthritis".  So, you know what that means....gotta get all the hiking in I can now while my feet will let me.  They are very painful now at times but I can go long stretches when they don't hurt so much and I've got to take advantage of that.  I'm still serious about hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up again too.  Just gotta find someone that will go with me.  Or not.  I don't care at this point.  Of course, I also gotta start doing some hiking around here in Alabama!  We have some wonderful state and federal parks and I just have not taken anywhere near enough advantage of those.  So many places I want to go still.  And so many photos I want to take of those places.  I'm entering the Outdoor Alabama photo contest this year too.  I'm not terribly optimistic on that one but you never know.! 

 So, in other news, the garden has just gone to hell in a hand basket basically.  I have had zero energy to expend on it and even less after I quit eating starches.  We do have a few watermelons yet to pick and I get a few tomatoes every other day.  We have been getting tons of rain lately, so most of the maters have split, unfortunately.  The chickens sure enjoy them though.  I still expect to get some grapes also and we'll dig the potatoes.

How has your garden gone this year?  I haven't heard anyone say theirs has done really good.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hummingbird Heartbeat

I always keep one hummingbird feeder out during the warm months even though the most of 'em I've ever seen around here was maybe two.  But for some reason, this year has been a boom for us.  We were getting six, seven or I fished out another rarely used feeder and filled it up.

This one I hung from the end of the rafter tails right in front of the kitchen windows so we enjoy a show every day now. 

These are not great but they are somewhat passable anyway.  I'm still learning this fancy camera too.  Maybe I can get it all figured out one day.

So, I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Second Wind

 Actually, I think it's more like my forth or fifth wind....but anyway.  I'm still here and I think I'm beginning to see just a glimmer of improvement.  And hey, I got new chicken pictures!!  Ya'll always like photos of the girls.
 The pics are not great because I waited too close to dusk and the lighting wasn't great but they came out well enough for the blog.  Towards sundown, all the girls move down to the lawn in front of the hen house to do their last bit of foraging before heading inside for the night.

This is Ms. Ella and her sister Ms. Etta is usually not far behind.  I can't actually tell them apart most of the time but it doesn't really matter.  Ella will let you pet her though and Etta won't.

Here's a more up to date one of Rudy Roo and his two girls.  They are a sweet bunch but not real friendly as they were raised by Etta and not us.  That's okay though;  I don't need to get any more overly attached to even more of the chickens.

Ya'll may remember Muffin, one of the little Silkies we got here while back.  They are just the cutest little things ever.  Penny, her buddy, has gone broody (they are horrible about that) but Muffin has learned to come up to the house and hang with the big girls during the day.  We let her sleep next to Penny in the boxes at night but I'm proud of her for finally getting the courage to join the other girls during the day.  And boy, she gets right in there with them too, when treats are thrown out.  She gets her fair share.  She's also got stepped on a few times but she doesn't let them deter her.

This is Big Bertha Butt.  Well, just Bertha really.  She's the oldest gal we have.  I suspect she's about 8 years old but she seems healthy as can be.  She doesn't really lay anymore (maybe one egg every few months) but that's okay.  She's sweet and unassuming.  Plus, she came from a rough place where they kept her in a little bitty pen (dirt hole) with 4 other chickens and I just want her to live as long as she can out in the green grass and trees to make up for her rough start.  I don't know how much she remembers of her start but maybe she has forgotten about it by now.

Don't worry, Gertie was just sunbathing....she's okay.  She loves to sunbathe.  Poor ol' thing, she's kinda fat and when she lays down like that she just looks like a big puddle.

So, as I said, things are getting a little better.  Believe it or not, my mood is better!  and I am getting some more noticeable pain relief.  In fact, I'm sitting here typing this and it's not bad at all.  My right hip is a little sore but that's way better than what I usually experience.  I'll tell ya'll all about it a little later but basically I made just a couple of little tweaks to my treatment and I think that has been the key.  I'm still on the strict no-starch and no-diary and that's going better too.  I'm getting better at making stuff and am learning how much food I need to keep at hand (lots) so that I don't get hungry or run out of energy.  You really have to substitute LOTS of veggies and fruit in place of starches.
I joined an online group for folks with AS and that are also on the no-starch diet (NSD) and that has been a great help.  I asked them about the fatigue I was experiencing and they brought it to my attention that since we are not eating grains in any form anymore, your body is probably not getting near the B-complex vitamins that it was, since that's where most of those vitamins come from.  So....I immediately got a good B-complex with no starch and have been taking 2-3 a day to get caught up and it seems to be working.  My energy has been better and I've even been able to get back to exercising for the most part.  Not anything really strenuous and monstrous but pretty good anyway.  I still crash a little in the mid-afternoon but not horrible like I was.  I expect it to continue to improve.

And I'm back at the pottery!  I don't think I showed ya'll these new casserole dishes I was working on.  They came out real well I thought.  I was pleased with the designs.  One of the larger ones sold rather quickly after I got it in the store so that was encouraging.  I also received word that I was accepted into a big art show for next month in downtown Birmingham.  This one is an actual ART show and they even said my work scored in the top percentage by the judges so it would be eligible for cash awards.  I suspect they tell most everyone that but it was still nice!

So, I've been trying to crank out a lot of work lately.  I'm not going as fast as I'd like but I'm not doing too horrible.  Got to pick it up a notch or two though.  I want to have tons of new inventory for this show because I think it will be a good one.  It is held downtown in the swanky business district of Birmingham (yes, they have one) and is at the time of year people start thinking about Christmas shopping.  Plus, 2 of my stores have been squealing for new and more stuff so I just don't have time to keep feeling bad!!  And...if this show is a good and profitable one, we can go to the beach!!!  And I really, really NEED a beach trip this year.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Hang On

So, just to let ya'll know I'm still here and things are okay.  It's all good.  Everyone just needs to vent occasionally and I had mine.  I appreciate all the kind comments and the fact so many of you still hang here.

I'm actually feeling just a tad bit better but I'll tell ya'll about that later and if it keeps up.  I may have made a great discovery and break-through but I can't say for sure right now.

 Health issues can be SO frustrating, as I know many of you can understand.  Especially when you basically just have to figure it all out yourself. 

I think everyone eventually has a day or situations like this.  If you don't you're lying.  But I will pick myself up again and get back on with it.  It's the only thing to do.

Because I really think I'm on the verge of figuring this one out and when I do it's had it!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

I Want A New Drug

I think I have crossed a new line.....yep.  I now reside in the country of NoGivaShitastan.  I have tried everything imaginable, I have worked as hard as I can to stay optimistic and yet every day I am exhausted to the point of tears and it just gets worse.  I hurt every minute of every day.  And yes, I can tell I'm hurting even in my sleep.  It wakes me up all night like a little insistent monster wanting to be fed.

I lost all desire to finish this house long ago.  It's now just a constant reminder of what I struggle so hard to do.  I refuse to say I can't finish it....but it's a far away dream.  I want to sell this whole place and move away to some nice, quiet little neighborhood in a nice, quiet little house with enough room in the backyard for 5 or 6 of my girls and Chigger.  Where I can grow a few things in a little garden and never be surrounded by imbecilic rednecks whose only hobby and desire in life is to see how many rounds they can fire off from their overly large guns that try to make up for their severe lack of manly equipment.

Maybe find a job that lets me travel a little, or at least get out of the house, and afford to go to the beach once or twice a year.  I don't want much.  Just some peace and quiet and half a day without mind-numbing pain.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Eat At Home

We had a gloriously cool morning today (66F at 7:00 a.m.) and it warmed up very slowly, so up until lunch was quite nice.  I felt well enough in fact, to do about 45 minutes of cardio exercise and then another 30 minutes or so of weights.  I can tell that I am feeling better since embarking on the no-starch but it's slow and the pain is very slow to move.  But hey, my mood and such is better and I realized today I had not needed to take a Claritin in about 2 weeks.!  Now, I am still getting rather tired and I crashed heavily this afternoon but I was pleased with what I got done today anyway.  Not as much as I'd like for sure, but I think it's improving.
It was still cool enough around 11:00 a.m. that I decided a nice brunch out on the deck would be good.  I love to eat outside if at all possible.  I made the new almond/ flax pancakes with fresh strawberries and some bacon.  They were very yummy and since a couple of you had asked for the recipe I thought I'd share that.
Now, this recipe comes from George Stella's The Complete Low-Carb Cookbook.
He developed the recipes in this book (and others) in order to lose a lot of weight but they work great for the AS low/ no-starch diet and some of the other diets for IBS, Fibro etc. because he basically uses no grains or other starches.  I think there are one or two recipes I would have to modify but for the most part the whole book is great and the recipes are truly good.  I highly recommend any of his books if you are interested in the low-carb, low-starch eating.

So, here is the recipe.  He calls them Silver Dollar Pancakes.
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1 TBS maple extract
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup milled flax seed
1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitue
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

Spray griddle with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  (I use coconut oil)
Stir together ingredients with a wooden spoon until a well-blended batter is formed.
Pour approximately 16 silver-dollar sized pancakes onto hot griddle and cook on one side about 3-4 minutes.  Flip and cook another 1-2 minutes.

Okay, now I'll tell you what I changed.  I don't care for much maple flavoring so I left that out and used a little vanilla extract and a touch of cinnamon.  I also used just a tablespoon or so of coconut flour because the batter seemed just a little wet to me, although I'm sure it would have been fine.  I also made my cakes about 3-4 inches across.  I don't like teeny little pancakes.

It took just a little while to get the hang of cooking these because they do brown a little different than regular pancakes.  It seems that they are way too wet still to flip but they are not; they hold together amazingly well.  If you can get the spatula under them, you can flip them.  Also, you will not need much syrup at all with these.  They are very tasty.  I do use just a tad and also a little fruit juice from whatever fruit I top them with; which is really good.  You could eat them sans fruit but they are really good with strawberries, peaches, blueberries etc.  I bet bananas too, if you can eat them.

So, try 'em out and enjoy!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Things Can Only Get Better

 I'm hoping that I'm kinda rounding the corner on the starch withdrawal "flu" now and a couple of days after my last post I actually started to feel better.  No let up in the pain mind you, but my mood felt better and just kinda overall a little more energy or motivation to do stuff.  I will say that now though, when I do take nsaids I can actually feel them work some, whereas before there was no noticeable pain relief.  It doesn't last particularly long but it's something.

So, in other not really great news, the garden has about half crapped out this year and I can't say that I really care.  We should have lots of corn; it's doing really good.

 The green beans, which I can eat, turned out to be a BIG disappointment.  I don't know what these are but they are not Kentucky Wonder.  We've only gotten a few big handfuls to start with and when we finally scraped together enough for me to cook....well....they sucked.  They are almost instantly too big and knotty.  I mean, like you don't see the until they are these huge, lumpy things.  And the taste is bleh.  And they are very stringy.  I will order directly from a heirloom seed supplier next year.  So, no canned beans, no dilly beans, no fresh, sauteed green beans.

Now, the black-eyed peas are also doing great... And, my cukes died suddenly along with the zukes.  I think squash bugs got them both.  So no pickles.  However, the okra is doing great (when do es it not?) and I will pickle that at least..  My one little yellow squash plant is chugging along though and we have been getting a few off it.  I'm even starting to get a few tomatoes but after some more research decided that I should probably lay off those too, at least for a short while.  Along with the eggplant, which I can't grow anyway so, what the hell.  These plants are nightshades and many people have adverse, arthritic reactions to those, so I thought I'd give that a whirl too.  What the hell.

We should get several watermelons though, which I should be able to eat! and that's a first.  I've never done well with melons so I'm looking forward to seeing how they come out.  And maybe even a few cantaloupes.  The grapes are starting to ripen and they are really yummy and I still get about a handful of tasty raspberries every day, but I don't think they are going to last much longer.  They sure are good though.  It's still to be seen if we are going to get any figs this year though. So far it's not looking good.

After buying a cookbook on no-starch recipes I decided to try using almond flour as opposed to the coconut flour and that is a VAST improvement.  Much, much better.  In fact, these almond flour/ flaxseed pancakes are so good, I'd eat them even if I didn't have to avoid starch.  They are so tasty you really don't need syrup much, as the chef says in the book, but I do use just a little and they are super good with any fruit.  I've made several of the recipes in the new book and they have all come out well.

So, some things are improving and some things are still requiring a lot of adjustment to and some things still just remain to be seen.  I guess that's life in general.  haha!