Day 73-Falling Acorns

One of the oak trees in my front yard
One of the oak trees in my front yard

Last night, or should I say early this morning, I got up to let the dogs out and the wind was blowing hard, the air was moist and I could have sworn it was about to rain. As I lay back down and tried to fall asleep, I was startled by the sounds of several acorns first smacking the roof and then rolling off. Had I not heard them rolling, I would have mistaken it for hail, but we never even got a drop of rain. Maybe tomorrow!

Well, I’m tired, I’m going to go make sure dinner is done before it’s time to watch Survivor! Any other Survivor fans out there? Night all, see you manana, on the patio! 😴

Why You Should Get Your Daily Flax Fix

Why You Should Get Your Daily Flax Fix

There has been much talk lately about the benefits of incorporating flax into one’s diet, however, many people are still not jumping on the flax bandwagon. Why are people so reluctant to try this amazing seed is anyone’s guess, when it provides so many nutritional and disease fighting benefits. Let’s investigate a few of those and attempt to identify and allay those fears shall we?
It Will Affect They Way My Food Tastes

Not at all! You can simply add to smoothies, muffins or top off your salads, and never know it is in there. Flax may add a level of texture not normally found in your favorite foods, but you shouldn’t notice any difference in the taste. Your smoothie may be slightly chewy, however, that’s no different than when you add coconut- which is a delicious addition as well by the way! If anything, you might notice a little nutty flavor which in most cases adds a new layer of flavor you might find delightful.

I’ll Never Get Out Of The Bathroom

This is simply not true. Most people find that because flax provides a low carb source of dietary fiber, they simply “go” on a regular basis- something that women should find as a positive benefit, since we are notorious for having problems with constipation. Two tablespoons provide around 6 gms of fiber, which is about 15-25% of the amount one should incorporate daily. Flax seeds also contain mucilage, a gel forming fiber, which helps keep food from emptying to fast into the small intestine, a benefit since it can increase the nutrient absorption. Besides, it helps to detox the colon which could lower the risk of colon cancer and help fight Crohn’s disease by reducing inflammation in the lining of the stomach. As long as one doesn’t overdo it- a tablespoon or two a day is all it takes, it should not cause stomach pain or loose bowels.

It Is Too Hard To Incorporate Into My Diet

Again, this is an unfounded rumor because flax is sold in many different forms and does not have to be ground to enjoy, but it is easier to use that way. One can add it whole when topping a salad for instance, just sprinkle a few seeds on like you would when adding any other nut or seed like walnuts or sunflower seeds. Or, it can be purchased already ground and used by the tablespoon to add to a smoothie, baked goods, and soups. If one simply gets into the habit of adding some flax to your food, you will enjoy so many benefits like lower cholesterol, weight loss, and healthier skin and hair! Dr Axe at draxe.com says that the ALA fats in flax can help reduce dryness and flakiness of skin by providing the needed fats and b-vitamins. Also the fact that flax provides a gluten free option for those wanting to get off the inflammatory grains like wheat, means that it could help those suffering from Celiac disease. Adding a tablespoon or two to your daily smoothie, you are replacing one meal a day with a delicious home made smoothie, right, can add antioxidants, or lignans, which can aid in balancing out hormones and provide anti-aging benefits. It’s a habit easy to learn and not hard to keep, once you start reaping the benefits.

Storage Is A Pain

Nothing could be further from the truth! One simply transfers it from the bag it is purchased in to a gallon storage bag and tosses it into the freezer to keep it fresh. That way, when you reach in to get your frozen fruit to add to the smoothie, take out your bag-o-flax and dip out a tablespoon or two of it’s golden goodness and toss it in with the other ingredients. Easy peasy! It is a low cost way to protect yourself from inflammation and disease and could even reduce the symptoms of menopause! Just by keeping it in an air proof container or ziplock bag keeps it from going rancid and affecting the efficacy of the oils found in the flax. By the way, flax can be purchased in the form of oil as well, making it even easier to add to a soup or smoothie. Whole seeds can be stored in a cool dry place for months. Either way, there is no reason not to get some in your daily diet and start enjoying the many benefits it provides.

Fact is, flax provides so many vitamins and minerals as found in an article at nutrition-and-you.com, you would be hard pressed to find a better oil or seed to add to your daily routine. The benefits far outweigh the negative ideas some folks seem to have associated with them. My hope is, after reading this post, you’ll give flax a chance and start enjoying better health!

Kim Smyth is a freelance writer from Texas, living in the DFW metroplex. She enjoys blogging about lots of topics and her Paleo lifestyle at Kimmy’s Patio. She has been writing and blogging on these subjects and more for her freelance writing business and also works part-time as a caregiver and enjoys spending time with family, playing with her two Shorkies, reading, music and occasionally lounging by the pool.

Day 72-Witches and Medicine

img_0540In the “spirit” of the season, I thought I’d share some information I read today while researching a story for The Weekly Knob  a publication on Medium.

Did you know that modern medicine may have witches to thank for giving them the cures to many of today’s ailments? Instead of the fabled sorcery they were accused of, most of these women were actually concocting various tinctures, potions and other folk remedies.

One of the most popular examples of witchcraft’s influence on today’s medicine comes from the so called “flying ointments” made from psychotropic plant compounds, which were known to cause hallucinations and delirium. At lower doses, one of these compounds called hycosine was used as an anesthetic.

The “witches” found that by applying the salves they made from some of these plants like hemlock, mandrake and henbane through sweat ducts such as armpits or even the gentitalia, it  kept them from being poisonous and gave them the effects without the danger. This may explain the link with witches “flying” on broomsticks-that was the delivery method used to apply the ointment to their nether regions, they greased the broomstick and slid it between their legs. Since they then experienced an altered state of mind, or hallucinated, it may have given them the illusion of flying.

Today, hycosine is a common motion sickness treatment which goes by a different name, scopolamine.

Most of the people accused of being witches back in medieval Europe were really mid-wives or medical practitioners who got a bad rap since women were prohibited from formal training. They were very close to nature and knowledgable about the plants and what they could do, so they used them frequently in their potions and lotions.

One of the deadly nightshades, belladonna, later was developed into atropine, a muscle relaxer and the antidote for nerve gas poisoning. The tropane alkaloids found in these and other herbs like henbane and mandrake became the chemical backbone in all of our modern drug design and one such drug, haloperidol is one of the more noted anti-psychotic medications.

Some of the ingredients used by these so-called witches are probably found in most of our homes under different names today. Willow bark was used to treat inflammation, it later morphed into salicin which is more commonly known as aspirin. Garlic, a natural cure all back then, now has been developed into medicine to inhibit blood clotting.

The purple Foxglove has been linked to the cure for heart disease and after further investigation by William Withering, a Scottish doctor from the 16th century, tracked down the gypsy woman who had prescribed one of her potions to a patient with dropsy, realized that the potion contained foxglove, he tested various forms on a few hundred heart patients and discovered it was effective and used the compounds to develop the modern heart drugs digitoxin and digoxin.

Purple foxglove
Purple foxglove

So, while witches don’t really fly on broomsticks, their home remedies should be counted more than just hocus pocus! Interesting story and imagery though, don’t you agree?  By the way, you all will be the first to know if my story (not yet finished) gets published in The Weekly Knob.

 

Day 71-Open Topics Week-A Little History

Happy Columbus Day to everyone here in the good ole USA and for my Canadian friends and fellow bloggers, Happy Thanksgiving! Until I talked to Teresa, aka Ladybuggz from Photos and Word From A Wandering Mind blog, I had no idea that Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. It is also older than our Thanksgiving, dating back to 1578 when explorer Martin Frobisher landed safely after losing a ship on his third voyage there. He was giving thanks for the fact that he arrived safely and held a big celebration. Now you know the story.

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As far as the USA goes, we celebrate Thanksgiving in much the same way, stuffing our faces with turkey and all the trimmings while watching football but on a different day of the week. Ours is set on the fourth Thursday of November and can be traced back to 1621 when early settlers celebrated at Plymouth Plantation for having a successful growing season. All 50 survivors of the Mayflower were in attendance as well as 90 Native Americans and the meal was prepared by the four adult Pilgrims women who survived their first winter in the New World (according to wikipedia).

There are many different accounts of this as well as the Canadian version, depending on the source the information comes from. The bottom line is, Thanksgiving is just that. Giving thanks for all our blessings. So that is my very short history lesson for the day and now we can all start considering what we will do in a couple of weeks to prepare for our own feasts and what we all have to be thankful for.

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Do you cook it yourself or eat out somewhere? Let me know in the comments and also, share what else we can discuss this week which I have deemed Open Topics week. It could be crafts you are making or food you want to share some recipes for, whatever! If I don’t get any input, you will see something random from me-thats for sure. I become quite overwhelmed at this time of year with all the events coming up, birthdays, holidays, home repairs going on, a baby on the way, Halloween decorating to do (maybe) phew! Surely I can find something to talk about but I want some ideas from you guys.

One more thing, please remember the PKD Walk is coming up soon-Oct 22- so consider contributing to my fundraising team by visiting walkforpkd.or/northtexas to donate in my name or finding out more info on a walk in your area by visiting the PKD Foundation. Thank You!

I decided to go walk to get the old legs in shape for the upcoming walk, the route I chose seems perfect for this, it has a few upand downhill gradients, sort of simulating being on a treadmill. It took me exactly 30 minutes, perfectly fine amount of time to get the excercise in and still have time for other things. I plan on continuing in this fashion until I build my leg muscles back up to a point where I can then be able to climb back on my bicycle and carve out a new path. Y’all wish me luck and I’ll see you tomorrow on the patio!😀

 

 

Day 70-Free Days-

Some Sundays I have every intention of going to church and still don’t make it. Today was one such Sunday. I know that God understands that these things happen and He knows I love him. That being said, I pray that all those I care about and I have a good week in spite of it.

Later on in the day my hubby and I made preparations for dinner for ourselves and my Dad and brother. They came and we enjoyed the Cowboys victory while dining on Grilled bbq chicken, or pork chops, salad and roasted butternut squash, recipe courtesy of Healthy Seasonal Recipes, which you can find on Pinterest. After dinner, my dad, brother and I retired to the game room and played a few rounds of pool.

My Brother taking his shot
My Brother taking his shot

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Dad is the pro who taught my brother and I the skills needed to play the game. Here he is lining up his shot. The man is almost 83 and still shoots like a pro! I enjoy this time spent with family and only wish the boys could have been here too. Chris is on call with his job and Sean was with friends today. Josh is back at home safe in Ohio after a week traveling with his new job.

This morning my brother-in-law and his wife came over because he was helping the hubby install the new attic stairs. I wasn’t expecting Connie and had much to show her and we enjoyed our visit. She helped my fix the bow on my homemade wreath (as it was kind of floppy already) and later I went and saw her at her house as well.

Hubby handled the Sunday grocery shopping, for that I was grateful not to have to deal with, I finished up the laundry which freed me to help prepare dinner later. The dogs always enjoy company and the roasted butternut squash was a hit with them as well, lol. All in all it was a good day and to top it off, I saw another milestone today, 500 likes! Yea!! Thank you to each and every one who has liked my posts. I appreciate all of you reading and following along.

I hope everyone else had a good day and has a great week! See you all back here tomorrow when I tackle a new topic, yet to be determined on the patio. 😉

Day 69-Free Days-Home and Garden

After a leisurely morning where we actually got to sleep in for a change, the hubby and I got up and prepared for a long day working around the house and yard.

After a mandatory trip to our home away from home, Home Depot, we got back and he proceeded to ready the hallway for paint and flooring. He also plans to replace the stairs to the attic, since our present one was quite rickety. He got the floor scraped and the walls prepped for paint, then painted. Although the color I picked for the hall didn’t change the look much, at least it’s fresh and clean now.

The hall after fresh paint
The hall after fresh paint

While he was busy with all that, I decided to tackle some much needed yard work. First I weeded out the bed with the little bush plants that line the outer wall of the garage. I had really let that go but after the rain we had yesterday, they came out pretty easily.

Then in was time to give the roses a much needed hair cut. What a job that was, and of course I’m bearing a few scratches and thorn pricks, plus I have no idea what I’m doing, I just went with my gut. The roses appeared to be suffering some kind of sickness, having brown sickly looking leaves clustered among the good ones. Snip snip, and the diseased bits are all gone. Hopefully they come back just as beautiful next year as they were this one. I think it is a big improvement.

Freshly trimmed rose bushes.
Freshly trimmed rose bushes.

I’m still not sure exactly what the plants in the front are, they were pretty when they bloomed out. I just cleared the dead parts away and they can finish out the season where they are. Now for a hot bath or shower and a rest for my already sore back. I hope you all had a productive happy day!

 

 

Day 68-My Life In Photos Week-Wrapup

Tonight’s post is coming to you live from the patio where it is a comfortable 64 degrees-if you have jeans and boots on that is! And to think I left the house in shorts this morning! We will be back to 80’s next week!

It has been a busy, emotional week for me, my life always has plenty of drama, excitement and sometimes sad and whistful moments. While perusing pics to wrap up this week of my life in photos, I have some of friends, some of family, some that might cause more drama if seen by the right people, and yet, they are meaningful to me and, in some cases, all I have to remember them by. I do hope you enjoy.

The first one I’m sharing is from before I starting eating the Paleo way, with my bro at HIS 50th birthday celebration.

My brother Kevin and I in 2014
My brother Kevin and I in 2014

The next two are of two of my granddaughters I no longer get to see, however, miss like the devil. I hate that my boys ended up in the situations that they did, but as they say, it is what it is. Maybe, someday, they will be re-united and back in our lives.

Brilee, my youngest son's daughter, in a stolen photo from a friend.
Brilee, my youngest son’s daughter, in a stolen photo from a friend.

By shear luck, my son’s current girlfriend has a friend that attended a bbq that also included his daughter and her mother. The friend, knowing the situation, snapped this pic for my son to have and to cherish.

Delaney, my middle son Joshua's daughter. Stolen by me off of Facebook.
Delaney, my middle son Joshua’s daughter. Stolen by me off of Facebook.

Looking at these girls is very emotional still to this day, even though it’s been over 5 years since I’ve seen either child. As you can imagine, it’s a long story in both cases, they are my blood though, and that makes them mine as far as I’m concerned.

The next pic is my sweet parents, long before my mom got sick. It was the one we used at her memorial service.

My Mom Betty and my Dad Gus
My Mom Betty and my Dad Gus

I am not sure if a friend or my brother took this pic, but I love it. They were so happy and truly each other’s best friend.

The next few pics are from some of my long time friends, one I grew up with, one I worked with and developed a long friendship with, one who started out as my next door neighbor and remains a true “bestie”. I have many aquaintences, but very few real friends. These three have stood the test of time.

Julie, my work turned long time friend
Julie, my work turned long time friend
Michelle, the girl next door and part planner extroidinair
Michelle, the girl next door and part planner extroidinair
Kaye, my childhood friend since 2nd grade
Kaye, my childhood friend since 2nd grade

I still see them all at least a few times a year although Michelle lives the closest and therefore spends the most time hanging out with me. They are all special to me in many ways, we are always there for each other.

I have many other people in my life I consider friends, even though we don’t see each other as often. Then, there is family that is so close, you consider them friends as well. The next pic is my sister and brother in law, we hang out all the time together and get together often for family dinners and take vacations together when at all possible.

My Brother-in-law and good friend Bubba
My Brother-in-law and good friend Bubba
My Sister-in-law Connie my crafty friend
My Sister-in-law Connie my crafty friend

These are some of the important people and some of my favorite photos of the last two years. I’ve been inspired to share them and some of their stories, if you want to know more, just ask!

Now I’m off to play pool with my very best friend of all, my wonderful hubby. He has stuck with me through thick and thin for 31 years. We still enjoy each other’s company the most, I hope that never changes!

My hubby Dave, my soulmate and very best friend of all
My hubby Dave, my soulmate and very best friend of all

Of course, you’ve seen my three sons, but if you need a reminder, here they are again. I’ll see you tomorrow, stay safe all you folks in harms way, let’s hope the storm doesn’t pack too big a punch. 🙏

Chris, my baby with his sweetie, Rebecca
Chris, my baby with his sweetie, Rebecca

This was taken two years ago and I’m happy to report, they are back together again after a short break.

Joshua, my middle boy, two years ago and clean faced
Joshua, my middle boy, two years ago and clean faced

Yall recently saw Joshua looking MUCH different. (Sigh)

Sean, my oldest at the bottom right.
Sean, my oldest at the bottom right.

I love this pic of all of us, even though it was a sad day, we found joy spending time with each other. It was two years ago, they have all done some changing in that time, through it all, they are my boys and I love them all.

 

 

 

 

Day 67-My Life in Photos Week-My Transition

The photos I’m showing in this week’s posts are only from the last couple of years because I’m working off my iPad and have limited time. So, since that’s the time frame I’m using, and since I’ve been living the Paleo lifestyle for exactly that long, I thought I’d share my transition through some, at times, extremely candid photos.

Oddly enough, for whatever reason, the first photo is from five years ago, right before my surprise 50th birthday party, lovingly planned by my sweet hubby and my wonderful friend and party planner extroidinair, Michelle. Why it is here on my iPad is a mystery, since all other pics only go back to the spring of 2014. Maybe when I loaded all my old pics to the computer, I saved it for a profile pic or something. Anyway, this is me 5 years ago.

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The next one is a favorite that my friend Julie took while she, my hubby and I were on a quick fishing trip. It’s totally candid and off guard and early in my weight loss journey-the calendar shows summer of 2014, and since I have a terrible memory, I’m going off of that.image

I love it because neither of us had time to fake a smile, these are genuine.

The next one is from just after Christmas the same year, beefing for the camera with my then fuzzy hubby, his brother and girlfriend.

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Maybe it’s because I’m short, maybe I have body image issues, idk, but I feel like I look fat. I was on my way to losing weight, getting healthier and trying to look decent for my upcoming cruise in the spring of 2015.

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These are from said cruise and somehow all the pics just show me from the neck up, lol. Still, you can see I’ve lost some by my face. I had lost 20lbs at that point.

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This one is from earlier this year, while on a girls trip with my old bunch form Sertoma. I obviously was working on the tan, or lack thereof! The last one is from this past summer and while not flattering, shows me at my goal weight, but with a serious need to tone up. I can’t wait until cooler weather so I can hopefully get back to walking and biking. I should have done more swimming this summer, I have a pool, I guess if I’m honest, when I had the time to get in it, I spent more time floating than working out!

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Someday, maybe I’ll be comfortable in my own skin, not sure when that will be since I’m 55 and still uncomfortable looking at these pics, however, I am proud of my weight loss and how much more healthy I have become while living the Paleo lifestyle. My hope is that my seeing what I have accomplished, other people might see how easy it is, and try it themselves.

Any questions can be asked and comments are welcome (but be nice😉). I realize I’m sharing lots of myself this week, inside and out, but what is the topic of this blog? A place we can talk about anything right? Just being honest and open with you guys. Join me tomorrow when (with permission of course) I share some pics of me and my friends.

Goodnight and see you tomorrow-you know where!

Day 66-My Life in Photos Week-Two New Pics

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I got to see my boy today!! If only for a brief few minutes as he was coming through Texas on a job. If we are lucky, he will get to come over for a visit later. If not, I snapped this quick, albeit goofy, photo so I could prove he was here and I got to see him. We were standing in the parking lot of the Manheim Auto auction in Euless, Tx. in the hot wind- I didn’t care, I haven’t seen him in two years. Yes, he’s full of piercings and tattoos, but he’s my boy and I love and miss him.

A quick update on my Dad, after a bumpy night, he is feeling ok, they told us to expect to see some blood, however, they failed to tell us how much and for how long, so its understandable he was a bit concerned. He is resting and pushing fluids now, he will be better soon. Thanks to everyone for your prayers.

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Here is my take on the Autumn Coastal wreath I told you about a few days ago. I thought it turned out pretty, let’s see how it holds up in our heat and humidity! Remember, this is the one that was my inspiration-img_3526 Thanks to

Across the Blvd  for the pic, I used this as my pattern. I found it on Home Talk and you can see it on my Pinterest page.

That’s all for today, I have to make it short so I can go run some more errands. Hope to see you all tomorrow and wish me luck that I get to party visit tonite with my Josh on the patio! 😉

Day 65-My Life in Photos Week-Things That Matter

We photograph lots of things-people, places, special moments, pets, stuff we’re proud of, etc.  After the day I’ve had with my dad today, all I can think of is how we also photograph the things that matter in our lives, like relationships. The photos are what we have to look back on when we remember the good times and special occasions in our life.

My dad had a procedure done today that neither of us was prepared for, and while it may seem simple to some, it was traumatic and emotional for me, even though he handled it like a real trooper. The procedure was done to relieve him, but it will take time before he feels the difference, since he has been living with the problem for so long. He had to be catheterized to empty his bladder of the ten times normal amount of urine he’d been walking around with for who knows how long. I stayed in the room to provide emotional support or to give him my hand to squeeze if necessary. So who broke down and cried? Me! Until that moment, I didn’t realize how scared and nervous I was for him, how concerned I was about his health and even how much I love him until I was in that position. He was not concerned about me being a witness to the procedure, I have been in the medical field for 22 years, even though not really a nurse, he was comfortable because I am his daughter and knowledgeable about these things.

Luckily, it went quickly and over 1250  liters of urine was removed, the normal amount after emptying the bladder is 100! He has to wear it for the next three weeks, and I was freaking out about that a little inside, but he did fine with it the rest of the day. There is much more to the story, more tests to be done, and that’s on top of all the other doctors and things he has scheduled in the future. He took it all in stride, meanwhile, I’m an emotional wreck. I don’t know why I’m having this reaction, but it has really driven home the point that we need to value the time we have with our loved ones. Even though he is fine and will be even better soon, the whole situation has left me drained and unable to think straight. I’m sure when it all sinks in (and maybe after a glass of wine), I’ll feel better too!

Hopefully, he won’t mind me sharing this photo with you-three things are rare about this pic. 1. My dad is in the pool. 2. My dad is drinking a beer (he normally drinks wine) 3. I rarely show pics of myself that are less than flattering. The important thing here is its a rare pic of us having fun together so without further ado, here’s the shot.

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Spend quality time with the ones you love, it really is one of the things that matter in this life!