What to expect when diagnosed with heart problems.

When you find out you need to see a heart specialist, you might have mixed feelings about this. In the feels you might not know what to expect, this can add stress. If you have the not so calm route of ending up in hospital due to your heart not being right, this can be a bit more scary. Take a breath (even a small one if that is all you can do) grab your beverage to enjoy as you read. Relaxing is very important when you’re learning to live with heart health.

Human heart with arteries

If you did not start at a hospital with your heart, sometimes you have symptoms, sometimes they find it because of other things. The Doctor, General Practitioner or Cardiologist might order blood work. Sometimes they want to have you fast for 8 to 10 hours prior to getting the blood work done. Fasting means nothing but water, no candies, food or gum for the time before the blood work. It is best to ask if it will be fasting, not all blood work needed for heart diagnosing is fasting.

If you have an arrhythmia (abnormal heart beat) they may want you to do an ECG or wear a holter. An ECG/EKG can be done in the office or at the hospital. A holter is a device you are sent home with for the time they think it will take to detect the problem. Special instructions will come with wearing the holter. Like no showers, baths or getting them wet when you are hooked up. They start with 24 hours and sometimes the doctors need you to do them for more time.

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)

A stress test is another test that is ordered when doing a diagnostics. A stress test is a supervised test that asks you to wear activewear and a loose fitting top or one that buttons up in the front. This is because they will need to put a wire harness on you that is hooked to the monitor. This will show them what your heart is doing when you’re active. You might be wondering what else happens when you’re doing a stress test. You will be on a treadmill that starts slow and then slowly raises speed and inclines. It can be a little scary or weird, the techs let you know what things are going to change. Most have two bars to hold on to. There are side bars and a front bar. Do your best, talk to the technician and share how you’re doing. If you have any fears or physical changes please let your technician/doctor know. You will also be wearing a blood pressure cuff to see how your blood pressure is as you’re being

Photo of the stress test

There are other ways to test and look at your heart. There are many forms of imaging, they can do ultrasounds, CT scans, MRI, Arthrography. Some of this group of tests can involve contrast dyes that need to be injected. If you need a test with dyes there will be lots of instructions, please read over the instructions for your test. If dyes are used, drink lots of water before and after to help flush the dyes out of your body. They need to put the dye in through an IV( Intervascular treatment). They may also do a Oxygen (O2 sensor) reading with a little monitor that goes on the end of your finger.

If you have learned about your heart problem due to ending up in hospital. You might be confused or healing. So your cardiologist might be doing healing and restorative management. You may be having to take medications, or doing a follow up after surgery. You may have had parts replaced, parts fixed or improved with stints, new valves or a pacemaker. If you are in a place of recovery or discovery you need to take in the special instructions. You have a new chance at living a healthier life with a happier heart. It will be a lot of change and hard work. Sometimes you might need to rest more, be off work, change your eating and exercise habits. You might need to check your blood pressure at home more then once a day. You may be referred to a heart health group. Keep notes on how you feel, time of meds and blood pressure readings.

When you see your doctor they might use a stethoscope or other equipment to explore what is going on. They might listen to the arteries in your neck and hear how the heart sounds. They are trained to know about arteries that go in to your heart through your arms legs and neck. Please bring many questions. Talk about medications and other life changes that might be needed. 

If you have had surgery you might need to wait a bit to be in a tub, shower or other water. Always let your doctor know any herbs, vitamins or alternative over the counter medicine or supplements. There are many things including grapefruits that have dangerous side effects when you have a heart or other medical condition.

Try to reduce your stress, rest when you need to, even doing small things that you think are ok and easy might be more tiring and more of a struggle then you thought. Be kind to yourself. Asking for help is safe and ok. Your health is worth it. Your body will let you know. You might struggle getting out of bed or the short walk to the bathroom. Laundry can be hell. Putting wet stuff from the washer to the dryer can be too much strain. You might have a time of not driving. 

Take time to relax and learn to breath.

You may have dealt with heart health with yourself or others. If you have not ever experienced hearth complications here are some warning signs.

  • Fatigue or weakness.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Fainting or near-fainting spells.
  • Rapid heartbeat or pounding in the chest.
  • Shortness of breath and anxiety.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • In extreme cases, collapse and sudden cardiac arrest.

When you are having heart symptoms they don’t have to be dramatic and noticeable. They could be subtle like feeling off or like you ate bad food with may be a heavy arm. Many people brush it off and go to bed with some digestive aids. Please call a medical adviser or 911 or Emergency number in your area if you have the following

  • Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
  • Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.

Please read this heart attack link. gives you a check list for males and females, symptoms can really differ. Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting. Women are more likely to have these other symptoms. Learn more about women and heart disease. My female family member was not even 60 when they had a heart attack, they felt off with symptoms that did not fit what they thought a heart attack looked like.

I hope you and your family stay healthy. If this means learning to live life with new hearth challenges. I hope you have a supportive community outreach program. Feel free to share your exspeances

Help pet’s with disabilities

Do you have a special needs pet?  I’m not an expert but I have helped many and seen others deal with pets who need aids. Your snail might need a crutch and that is okay.

This little fellow can get around again! Duck with wheelchair

Over my life I have owned many different varieties of pets. Currently I have a dog that is a Jack Russell likely Spaniel cross. His special needs are due to muscle deterioration on his back legs, this makes his legs drag. This brings risk of injuries. Remember not all pets look like they have a problem please ask if it is ok to come close to any kind of pet. 

Our dog has taken to getting up so early, I’m often getting up at 5:00 am to get him out for a walk after he has his food and medications. The vet wants us to feed him more, so he has transformed into a Hobbit. (Second Breakfast!). Due to his other health problems he can only eat small amounts at one meal without having a digestive upset. Owning a pet with special needs often means sacrificing things that others may not need to worry about. Like sleep! Who needs a full 8 hours? Sometimes your pet needs more time put away to aid them, plan for the unexpected.

Ways you can support a pet that can’t use all their legs. Be gentle with limbs and joints, use smooth motions when moving them. Our dog knows how each one of us moves him and will aid us in his movement by lifting a paw as we support his chest and ribs.

Support to stable him to get the boots on.

If they are like our guy and can walk with the front paws you can use an old scarf or a folded towel under their body to help lift the back end. 

We bought rubber coated booties from the pet store so his paws don’t get scraped and bleed. Because of the weakness when standing I always try to keep a hand under him when taking off the booties. I would recommend having 2 sets in case they get wet. You don’t want to keep them in wet gear, they can develop infections on their feet. The brand that worked Best for getting on and off with an unstable pet was rcpets, we did try others but they were harder to put on when his feet were bad.

The top ones are the new pair, the lower ones were a learning curve.

To help our boots last we put them on upside down to have the bigger rubber part covering what drags. We tried the other way and they did not last as long or protect the top of the foot. We have thought about baby socks for the house do to noise of the clicky nails on the floor wears on my mind.

You can use baby gates or other barricades at danger points like stairs.

If they have become weird and scroungy, put garbage and anything food like behind closed doors or with objects on top of the lids. If they chew your bluetooth be mindful of glue fiascos. You can read about that ordeal in my blog post. “Strange reasons you’re not on time”

We use a rubber mat in the tub to help with traction and a handheld shower head. I used to put towels on the bottom of the tub for him to shake. Now I just dry him with the towel and blow dry the rest.

Not sure where to get this heavy rubber. a family member gave it to me that worked in construction.

Buy a good bed for them to lay in or make one from old pillows. Sometimes joints get stiff and sore. If he wants on the couch we lift him on and off. You can buy or make pet ramps. We also lift him in and out of the vehicle. I read about a bearded dragon that needs ramps due to limbs that did not work well. The internet is full of good solutions. So read up on the aids out there for your pet.

If your pet has bowel or bladder problems you can try to pad/paper train them on the floor if you are unable to train them or their condition does not allow them to move  to a designated area. There is washable underwear. You can also buy washable hospital pads or use old towels with plastic under them so you can toss it in the You can buy the pads online on Amazon or medical supplies place, Walmart and other such places often have the smaller ones.

You can get wheelchair aides for your pet.  I thought about making one out of PvC piping. The commensal made of metal can range in price $200.00 and up.

DIY pvc dog wheelchair I think you could modify this for other pets.

DIY Metal dog wheel walker This one could work for a larger dog too.

If they have neck or back problems you might want to raise their food and water dishes.

Our neighbor had a deaf puppy. It needed more than that family could do with three kids. When you have a pet with specials needs, you become their air human. They can live mostly normally lives.

  • If you have a blind or deaf pet, they have to be watched in and out of the home.
  • Don’t move things in the home.
  • Don’t startle them
  • If they are deaf learning hand signals 
  • Take extra care not to let strangers approach your pet without guidance
  • Have ID for pets with special needs. So someone can reach their vet or family if they get lost. Not the special needs. So a dog medical alert kind of deal! 

Learning to live with a deaf Dog

Many years ago I had a special needs chicken, Hopeful was her name. She grew too fast for her body to hold her weight. I had to make her little leg splints. She lived in the house and I had a small outside enclosure for the grass, she was at risk of predators because of her limited abilities to move on her own. She was a good cuddler. 

This little one splayed leg. Not what mine had but the leg aids what what I liked.
How to Fix Splayed Leg or Spraddle Leg

All animals with special needs need love, understanding and routine.  Being angry at them makes it harder on all of you. They need more supervision. I have had times when I’m so mad at our dog. I want to tell him to pack his things and move out. I told my family to treat him like you would an aging well loved family member. 

My ideas are ideas/guidelines to talk with your vet about, work out a plan that works for your pets’ condition. If you have had a pet with special needs I would love to read your creative ways of supporting your pet.

Music For Moods

Wednesday and the rain is coming down. The pandemic is really taking a toll. Might be time to put on some tunes. 

I think this is who the credit goes to Vectomart -Fotolia

Music can affect the way our brains work and perceive the world around us. 

It can have a powerful influence on our brains and hormones.

I’m very eclectic, that just means I value a wide variety of different music styles. As I scrambled to find a blog topic and dealing with life stresses, I found myself drawn to some old school tunes, country, Meatloaf and some Beatles, then searched on youtube rainy day songs..About 3 songs in and singing with my earbuds in I started to feel better.

Singing music you enjoy raises our dopamine in our brain, this is the chemical that tells the brain you are feeling happy, it also helps to reduce physical pain.  University studies showed a 9% increase in dopamine when people listen to music they enjoyed. Music ‘releases mood-enhancing chemical in the brain

I was reading a small study done with males and females where they tested the hormones of both. The music they did not like changed many of their hormone levels in a negative way, where as the music they enjoyed it affected them in a positive way. Influence of music on steroid hormones and the relationship between receptor polymorphisms and musical ability: a pilot study

They encourage pregnant women in labor to put on music to help them through the process, it can help them reduce pain and stress. When unborn babies are exposed to music throughout the pregnancy they too can have long lasting benefits.  

Putting on sad music when you are already down can put your mind in a worse state. Music is used forever to promote different emotions. Like when you want a scary movie and you know when the bad parts are coming the music instill a chill in your spine. 

Many parts of the world use music to heal the heart and soul. Africa has used music for longer than dated in European travelers documentation. I remember in elementary school having an African children’s choir come and perform at our school. The energy of the music filled me with happiness. The one in the link is similar to the choir that sang at our school 

People use music to meditate and find balance.

How do you relate to music, what music makes your heart happy. Is there time you put on certain types of music to help bring out your feelings? 

Happy 1 year of being a blogger and seemingly good ideas.

Let’s celebrate together! I have published 53 posts and have 54 followers, most of whom I don’t know. I have added one post every Thursday morning. I’m so enjoying my journey of sharing and hopefully helping people learn new things and enjoy some cool topics. I am grateful for all that have read my blog and have followed it.

It will be awesome to see what the next year brings. Thank you to the friends that inspired me and cheered me on. I might give credit to my more than awesome proofreader and partner, I am blessed with encouragement when I have writer’s blah.

Some weeks I did not know what to post, I got my ideas together and then put them typed them out even when I did not feel so good. Please share with me topics that you might enjoy reading in the future. It would be nice to read what topics of mine you have already that inspired you.

Photo taken by me on Sept 3, 2021

Ok now that this thank you is done, on with the seemingly good ideas. As people that know me well I have a whole storyline of such ideas.

From reading my past blog topics you may know I’m a gardener. Now is the last of the season where all the seeds I have collected need to be separated from the stalks and other plant matter.

I have tiny catnip seeds that are hugged into their dried flower stalks very tightly. Up till now I close my hand loosely around the flower head and spin the stick working out the seed with the spinning motion hitting my hand.. It is a slow process. I was like I have a salad spinner that would do that on a larger scale on one stalk at a time.  I stuffed all the stalks in, put the lid on and pulled the tab that spins this thing like mad.

The catnip stems in the salad spinner

Good thinking, till I see small black seeds shooting all over the floor.. Sigh.. The spinner has an opening on the side that is not meant to be there. SO I guess it worked but I will likely have small black seeds (smaller than a ballpoint pen head) all over. I’m sure I will still find them up till the time we do a final clean to move..

This is some of the seeds I had swept up, If you look at the green, you will see the gap

Thankful for brooms and dustpans

The tiny seeds and dried flowers

Have you had any seamily good ideas that kinda worked? Maybe you have some good tips on getting seed out of the pods. Looking forward to your life or gardening tip

Take care till you read again.

How check your tires and dealing with problems.

In the midst of my busy week I went to check in my vehicle and my tire was flat. Sigh..

If you have not fixed a tire then I have some guidance. Just a heads up, it is dirty work.

So knowing where your spare tire is can be a good thing to know before you need to use it. The fastest way to know is to check the internet. So put in the year and make and model of your vehicle and spare tire. That will likely bring up videos. It’s best to do this before you are out there without the knowledge, or worse find out you might not have a spare. I recommend practicing taking out the spare tire before you have a flat, make sure it is in good shape and has enough air pressure. You can check it with a tire gauge

My spare is mounted under my vehicle, it is a pain and it is such a challenge to get it out. 

The spare tire and the jack under the frame. So dirty, =(

Checking your tires often is a good idea, looking for cracks, bulges, bad wear areas, foreign objects and low pressure. If you have stones in the treads you can get them out with a flat head screwdriver, be careful to not gouge your tires. Scoop under it and work it out of the treads. If you have anything sharp in the tire or the sidewall is heavily cracked you might want to put on your spare and take it to a shop to inspect it. You don’t ever want to drive on a flat. You risk wrecking the rim or other parts of your vehicle or potentially being in an accident. If you have any non risk based concerns, it might be an idea to drive to your local tire shop and just ask if they could take a quick look at the possible problem. You can call the shop ahead of time to make sure they have your tire in stock. You will need the numbers and letters on the side of the tire. Here is what the numbers on the wheel mean

It is also advisable to rotate or change out your tires for the seasons every 6 months. Rotating your tires prolongs the mileage and it slows the wear on one spot..

If you are away from home find the closest safest place to pull over. Safely pulling over with a flat or blow out. Hopefully it is well lit, if you have safety equipment including a light and bright vest get that ready before you start changing the tire. You want to reduce the chance of being hit. If it doesn’t feel safe for any reason please call roadside assistance of someone trusted.

Left to right tire iron, rod to lower my spare tire and the jack

Put your equipment out and on the side that needs changing. Loosen the lug nuts but don’t fully remove them, they can be hard to get off if you have had your tires off in awhile. Then put your jack under the frame near the wheel and slowly jack it up. Once it is off the ground enough to get the tire off, take off your lug nuts and place them out of the way. Sliding the wheel off is not normally hard but the wheel is heavy and a bit awkward. Grab the spare and put it on. This part was hard for me to line the holes on the wheel with the lug nut posts. My neighbor stepped in to help. Thank you… even though I felt bad that I struggled to do it.

Put on the lug nuts just enough to get each one on. Then start to tighten tighten them. When you get them on and snugged up lower the jack and then tighten them up. Each vehicle has specs on how much they should be tightened to be safe. That is called the torque. There is a special tool available called a torque wrench that will tighten to the proper tightness.  In the meantime, tighten as much as you can with your body weight. If you are really light you might need a hand or a roadside service. It is well worth the money If you have health concerns you might not wish to take on this task. You can call a tow truck driver.

Hope your week is safe, hope to read  if you had a chance to check your tires. Have you ever had to change a tire? 

Strange reasons you’re not on time

If you’re like some of us humans you have been late one time or another. This week I was later than I wanted to be for starting work. 

Let me start with the weekend. My meathead senior dog stooped to an all time crap deal. I was upstairs so he was left downstairs in the same house. Who thinks the pet will do bad things when your so close. He decided to grab my ear tooth (bluetooth headset) in his mouth. When we came down my partner heard the noise and clapped his hands and the dog dropped the bluetooth. He broke the rubber part of that keeps it on your ear. 

My broken left earbud. Thanks dog =(

Because I use it for work daily and I have tried many different styles of bluetooth with no luck I was like I need to fix this. A new one will take weeks to get here! I tried fixing it the night it happened. It worked a few hours then came apart. Because I fixed it with contact cement. One step I forgot was to put some on both sides of the break.

So on Tuesday this week before work. I was like oh this will only take a few minutes. So I grabbed my glue and a bright light. Applied contact cement on both sides. When I went to pick the jar up and put the lid on I noticed some had spilled. No problem, just grab a tissue and wipe off. At this point I was getting in a sticky situation.

See the left over glue on the outside, lucky that was not my skin remains.

So I toss the tissue and think ok now to just put the lid on, my hands were getting tacky and sticking to the jar, more spilled. I was feeling like I needed another adult. So I call one over, explaining the problem. Then he said hand me the glue. I was getting frustrated and said I can’t hand it to you, I’m stuck to the jar! I’m not sure if he wants to laugh or not. All I want is a way out of the sticky mess. I ask my partner to look up how to get this glue off. 

By this time my fingers are sticking together and my hand is still stuck to the jar. No I don’t have a photo of this part due to my hands being stuck to the jar.. Rolling my eyes.

More had dripped.  Thinking this is a never ending problem. I get my hands unstuck, wipe the rim of the jar, the lid is put on for me then I use the recommended means for removing the glue from my skin.

I feel living with me does not have many dull days. Tips to get glue off your skin.

After gluing one hand to the bottle best to invite someone else for try two!

Hope you were not in a sticky mess this week. It might be a relief to read others stories for being late.. Have a great week. Just wanted to give you an update the contact cement did not hold the bluetooth together so the next type in line was Lepage super glue. It seems to be holding.

Late Summer Gardens

If you grow food, you might know different years come with success and failure. This year in my part of the world we had a heat dome, smoke and more bugs then I could deal with. This is one of my late fruits of all the work.

Sugar Baby watermelon. Photo taken Sept 1 2021 by me.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Heat Dome weather front  “Summertime means hot weather — sometimes dangerously hot — and extreme heat waves have become more frequent in recent decades”. Sometimes, the scorching heat is ensnared in what is called a heat dome. This happens when strong, high-pressure atmospheric conditions combine with influences from La Niña, creating vast areas of sweltering heat that gets trapped under the high-pressure “dome.”  Definition used from National Ocean Service

Many of my plants had struggled.

In late March my seedling got sick in the house garden. I do try to grow all year. So I plant small cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and other crops to get a good start before summer. I was so sad when everything got sick despite peroxide spray treatments and good air flow.

From my grape vine. Photo taken Aug 31, 2021 by me.

Some of the plants that did well were my grapes, which were picked On Aug 31 2021. I’m not sure about the weight of them yet. We have had so many potatoes, currants, pac choi and onions. One of the onions was as big as my hand. I had a couple of my watermelons survive and now I have late watermelons. Our night temperatures are at 11°C or 51.8°F and daytime highs at 22 to 25° C or 71.6 to 77° F. Last year we had 3 watermelons around Oct 10 2020. So maybe we will have some this year too. I planted the seedlings in the community garden on July 1 2021, I started them in clear cups months before then. 

I hope to make up for beans being eaten by something other than us, greens that burnt or bolted due to the heat dome and powdery mildew. My plant’s health was weakened by the strange conditions.

Red onion taken Aug 5, 2021 by me.

A few weeks back we planted fall crops of beans, beets, peas, carrots, onions, pac choi and greens. We will see if much comes up. Some have come up and we will see what does well. I feel the need to tell you carrots were planted 3 times over the season and only one came up. Because they take about 70 days to grow we will not be planting more this year.

Happy planting please tell me what challenges and success you had growing food. 

Maintaining and cleaning your blade fan.

Have you ever taken apart a fan or heater to clean it? I have been doing maintenance on many of my appliances over the years. When you start a project please unplug whenever you’re working on.

My fan

Things you might need

  • Rags
  • Screw driver (I love the multi bits)
  • Little bushes
  • Compressed air
  • Toothpicks
  • 3 in one oil
  • New paper or old towel to put dirty projects on.
  • Soap and water
  • Somewhere to put your little parts

Benefits to cleaning and maintaining your fans, extending it’s life will save you money, better cleaner air flow, less likely to have the motor get clogged and smell weird. Having pets I clean my fans about 2 times a year, fir in the near the motor is not good for air flow.

I have a little fan/heater that we have had for over 10 years, I took it apart to clean it. Boy do they get caked up, lucky it did not start on fire! I used nylon brushes and toothpicks to clear on the metal heating plate. This project took me a bit over a half an hour, I would think the next time it will be a bit less due to not having to slowly put the pieces back in the order I took them out in. It was a bit more involved than working on a blade fan. I might do a post just on the heater for now it is the light version.

When you first start taking things apart, take lots of photos or take notes so when you try to get it together it is easier to put it back together. Never force things apart or together. Even when things are a bit stuck, be gentle but firm. When I take things apart to clean them I often will put small parts in a container or ziplock bag.

Heater fan look at the grunge that came out of it, worked and smelled better after a cleaning.

I used compressed air, Q Tips, old clothes, and little nylon bristle brushes to clean the parts.

When I take a fan apart I clean the blades and guards with warm soap water and dry them with a towel. Before putting a fan back together I use 3 in one oil on the shaft that goes into the motor.

Taking apart a simple blade standing fan is fairly easy. Take the front guard off, often there are clips to pull up and sometimes small screws. Next you take off the blade nut, This is located in front of the blade. Some turn clockwise, others turn counterclockwise. You are then able to get the blade off by pulling it forward. They can be a bit tricky, just be patient, it will come. Once the blade is off there is a nut near the back grill that is the one closest to the motor. All the removed parts can be washed with soapy water and the back near the motor can be wiped with a soapy damp cloth. After that blow out between the holes with the compressed air. It will take you 10 or 15 mins to clean the fan without heavy grime.

One of the steps I take is if the motor shaft is not spinning I will take some WD 40 and spray it as near to the base of the shaft as I can before reassembling then plug it in and use my finger strength to get it spinning again. If you get no motion after a few spins with your fingers it might mean a seized motor. Also if it smells burnt this would be a good time to take it to the recycler and buy a new one.

Once the parts are dried off with a towel you can put them back together the back grill sometimes has a handle. They also have some plastic pegs to line up. When everything is lined up then you can screw the first nut back on and line up the blade to go back on and start reversing the steps taken to take it apart. Clean your table top fan. He goes though a few steps I did not cover, If you feel confident you can try it how he did it.

Tu dua, clean back together fan.

The multi blade window fans are a bit more complex, I might give them a shot one day, till then you will need to find a great blogger or Youtuber that has the know how to walk you through those steps!

If you are inspired to give this a try or have done your own projects it would be great to read how it went for you. Have a great week and stay cool!

Canning though a busy schedule

This year has been very busy in my life, so where do you fit in canning? Normally I have an organized process for canning. If you where looking for this on Thursday something went wrong in the auto post. It is here now for you to read!

Some of my tools for canning.

Sort out my jars, match them with the right sized snap lids and rings, wash everything but the snap lids. This year I almost thought canning should be put on hold because we are trying to pack up to move. My logic was empty or full the jars will be moved. I do need to eat this fall and winter. Then a market had salsa ingredients on sale and a friend shared garden food. Soon I will be canning spicy pickles and making grape jelly.

Grapes shared with me They are vegan so as a thank you for sharing I will make some vegan jelly

Well no time for my fancy methods of matching jars the right size for the right substance. It was more like buying cheap ingredients and scrambling to find 6 or more jars, just grabbing what I can get my hands on or moving boxes out of the way to get into the place where I keep some of the canning jars. Then find a few unused snap lids and dig in a few places and boxes for rings. I had recently bought an induction burner from Ikea, which I used for this as it puts less heat out into my kitchen than using the burner on the stove, it’s been way too hot for that.

My spicy salsa. on a later time I will post the recipe

Canning has a few simple principles. You need a few basics. Preserving agents like salt, sugar or something with higher acid content. Clean and sterile supplies including jar snap lids and rings. Then you add heat (water bath or pressure) to kill bacteria and to create a bond between the seal lid and jar.

The tomatoes I bought.

If you’re in a pickle just use mismatched jars like I did. The one thing to note: If you use a pint jar (470ml or 16 oz) then stick with the same size in a water bath to make sure they are covered by the water. Set aside 1 to 3 hours depending on what you are canning. In another blog I will go into more. For now here is a canning basics link This is a 1 hour canning video. It has great tips.

If you have preserved food or would like to try something, I would love to read what you would like to try or what you love to make. Something I love about canning is you can modify recipes and avoid things you might not like or that fit your diets.

Vegan conversion kit

This week I feel compelled to put on my Swedish Chef hat, First, you take the human, then you take the chicken…  Scratch the chicken, tosses the chicken over my shoulder.. Those that became vegan as a statement against the harm in using animals for food or to Support the PETA (People for The Ethical Treatment Of Animals) movement might be offended by my tossing the chicken.. No chickens were harmed in the making of this blog. The Swedish Chef is a Muppet and so was the chicken.

Swedish Chef

Sometimes people are tossed into changing their diet rapidly due to health problems. Some doctors and scientists feel that a well-balanced plant-based diet can have positive effects on things like diabetes, heart blockages, high blood pressure, edema, allergies/sensitivities..

So where do you start, mmm tree bark and weeds. Switching to a plant-based diet does not need to be gross.

From animal milk to plant-based beverages, what you choose will be impacted pending on other allergies or sensitivities. If you are able to have nuts, there is almond, coconut and other nut milk. I would say cashew but they are not a real nut, they come from a fruit. They are lumped into the same category as nuts. There are also grain beverages, oat milk, rice, barley buckwheat, soy

If you want to try to make plant based beverages yourself, invest in a good high-speed blender.

If cheese makes you weak there is vegan cheese too. If you are blessed to have some local artisan, you might find some vegan small batch choices. Many are made with nuts so if you have problems with nuts you might need to ask more questions. This website gives 175 vegan cheese choices for Canada and many in other parts on the world.

Vegan oils and fats, there is vegan margarine, I use olive oil in most of my recipes and for cooking.

For people that love marshmallows, Dandies makes large and small ones. I was also able to find some from May to I think Sept at Trader Joe’s in the USA. Here is Trader Joe’s vegan products There is this marshmallow fluff that is so good on things like the vegan brownies if you are not being watched by the spoonful!

Moving away from eggs, see the chicken came first in this blog! If your recipe calls for eggs you can use a flax meal mix and water, chia seeds with water, apple sauce, silken tofu, banana and commercial egg replacer ( people that have other food problems need to be mindful of the commercial stuff, it is a blend of different ingredients). Egg replacers recipes.

If you need a replacement for your jerkies. I have read there are some yummy jackfruit and carrot jerkies. Vegan jerky recipes.

Now if you are someone that enjoys chocolate you can still enjoy that flavor. Carob chips are yummy and you can use cocoa powder in recipes. I used to make vegan brownies for parties, many enjoyed them especially my vegan gluten-free people

Hot cocoa Use the dairy-free beverage of your choice, cocoa powder and sugar or sweetener best suits your diet If you use your non-dairy substitute you will have a vegan, gluten-free, paleo beverage that is safe for diabetics.

When I see a recipe it is an inspiration for what I do. I’m often thinking how I can modify it for people with different diets. Warning the recipe had meat in the writing, I converted it. Asian Ground Turkey Bowls

I cut carrots, red onion, green beans from my friends garden, chickpeas, red chili flakes In my recipe, I added 1 tablespoon/ 15ml of sunomono mix I keep in the fridge. I make it in my empty rice wine vinegar bottle so then when I want it I just make the noodles and cut veggies and then I have a nice salad. You can omit the fish sauce or use vegan fish sauce. To thicken it I used potato starch in place of cornstarch, I took out the sesame seed and replaced it with sesame oil. I heated all the fluid in the pan with the potato starch, then tossed in the other ingredients and served it on rice.

Making the sunomono dressing is easy rice vinegar, sugar, and fresh lemon juice, soy sauce ( on that is gluten free if you are celiac.)

If you are changing your diet, please monitor your health. Vegans can have some problems with getting enough of certain nutrients and can have problems with lowered iron. It is a good plan to let your practitioner/ doctor know you are making the changes. Having regular blood work may be part of a way to keep on top of it. These changes may affect your blood sugar and blood pressure, you may end up lowering your cholesterol. Some of the cool changes you might see if you choose your conversion!.

Please share your experiences and post your favorite vegan foods, take care and remember we are like cucumbers over 80% water, in our area it is warm again grab some extra water for yourself!