So many things went through my scrambled brain this week. I was thinking, do I start the blog with “this blog is brought to you by the letter ‘S’ and the number 13..!” or “Star date April 14, 2022.. Captain’s log..”
If you have been reading or even enjoying my blog for sometime you will know sometimes I keep it real, show you the human side of this blogger.
I almost was going to post a short note blog to tell you I will be back in a week or two.. I must tell you being in disorganized chaos with packing an overstuffed townhome as one packing, sorting and repairs. I’m tired, overwhelmed and feeling like there is no light, maybe no tunnel.
Some of this week’s repairs like re caulking a bathtub and changing different ceiling fixtures will be topics for upcoming blogs.
This week we changed out old lights and fans to more modern led lighting. I helped a family member paint a room at their house and tried to defrag my living area. I had it down to small boxes of hair things and jewelry, house hold things like door stops and reno junk, kitchen appliances that are older than me, lost toys of younger times, Lego… how do I still have a Ziplock of Lego? Personal hygiene stuff, office thrift store bin… Ziplock of board game pieces that escaped…
To say my mountain of donations is growing is an understatement. Finding a good place to donate is not always easy. I like to share in a way that people that need something can do it without financial hardship. I found a cool place that asks for a small fee to come in and people can pick out what they need and love. Clothes 2u really helps people!
In the busyness of my life I was missing plants. They have already gone closer to my ‘hope to be soon new area’. So I sprouted a garlic clove my neighbor gave me so I had something growing near me.. My friends and family are sure I’m a crazy garden person. Perhaps they just think I’m crazy.. I don’t recommend you ask them. I’m sure you will get an ear full.
Have a great week, if you would like to cheer me up share a moving or reno story..
If you want to plant bulbs the recommendations are September to mid October when the ground is 16C ( 60 F). You can plant them into November if the ground is not too frozen.
I have read you can layer bulbs. You put bulbs that grow at different times at different depths so you can have bulbs all season. From my experience it is better to plant bulbs in groups, helping them to hold each other up.
Starting bulbs indoors, I start mine in lava rocks and glass. I also like the net cups for growing, it lets the roots grow without the plant sitting in the water.
When they get roots I start to give them fertilized water.
When they are done flowering you can dry them out for a week then layer them with hay, newspaper, moss, sawdust or anything that keeps them safe and drier.
Garlic bulbs can be planted in the fall and the spring. You will have a different end product. A spring garlic clove will give you lovely greens, they are a bit milder and can be sautéed in a stir fry. Gallic scape recipe. Because it takes 9 months for a new bulb to form from a clove you need to plant them in the fall garlic for cooking cloves or to be able to have enough for the next season.
When you plant them in the spring you will need time in the fridge for 4 to 8 weeks. Many plants need this cold to be able to grow. It tricks them into thinking they went through winter.
When you plant garlic in the fall you want to do it 30 days before the first frost. Because they have no roots. You can cheat your garlic roots, put them in a container with marbles, lava rocks, rocks then put water in over whatever you choose. Then put the base of the clove in the rocks and within a week or 2 you will have beautiful roots! Normally it takes days to germinate roots.
If you plant them before your first frost then they get that dark quiet time to rest till spring. You want to put them 2 inches past the bulb. If you get very cold winters you will want to put some straw on the top to keep them from freezing. Some garlics are less cold tolerant.
Garlic is a great thing to plant between other plants. If you have deer and elk, planting garlic around anything you hope to not be eaten will help deter the animals from eating your good plants. As I have seen, butthead squirrels will likely dig them up for you! They are helpers!
You can also crush the cloves, soak them in water and make a natural pesticide that can be sprayed on once or twice a week if you get rain. Garlic pesticide spray
What bulb or flowers catch your attention? Hope you have a great week.
Being trusted with someone’s beloved pet and home is an honor.
Be the keeper that gets invited back!
If this is your first time watching their space or pet there are things you will need to ask.
If I’m watching a pet I ask the human to please type or write me out a schedule that includes times of the pet’s daily routine. How much to feed the pet, do they have any medical conditions or medications. The contact information for their vet. Emergency humans to contact too if I need help. If the animals are allowed treats. Words the person uses. Where the food is kept. Where equipment needed is. When my dog was still alive I would type out his schedule including things like please avoid other dogs and people. If you have challenges with what the needs of an animal are then let the owner know to see if there is a workaround. if you for some reason can’t do the takes tell the owners so the owners can ask someone else.
Sometimes I ask them things in person.
I like to go over early to spend time with the pet while the human is there. Try to put on equipment like a harness. If they have special equipment, learn how to use them and when. Like fish or reptile tanks.
If you are minding their house things to know.
When is garbage day including instructions like where to leave the cans.
Where does the recycling/ food scraps go? What goes in the bins?
How to use the appliances (house watching, I found out by curiosity they had an ice maker) so I then made some lovely blueberry frozen yogurt. The dog I was watching got a taste because all the ingredients were safe for this dog’s diet. Made up for the late dinner the first night. Human moments!
If the home you are minding has any allergies.
What you are allowed to eat.
Find out if you are to collect the mail, where they want it.
Rules if they are in a community or strata.
If you are hoping to have guests. Ask if the owners mind. Being respectful in people’s spaces helps to have you invited back.
Always clean up after yourself and the pets.
If you are caring for their yard or garden. Know the water rules.
Find out their emergency safety plans, where safety equipment is kept. Like the fire extinguisher and Emergency grab kits!
Unless asked, don’t move or tidy things. Some people really feel lost when they come home after being away, and things have changed. If you know them well or have an open means of communication(such as texting) then you might be able to do things for them
Know the address and phone number of the house you are watching.
People’s homes and pets are safe to them. Unless you ask, do not take photos of their space or pets.
If you take a photo of anything personal without asking. Keep it private. In the fast electronic age it can be very easy to just post without thinking, remember this is a borrowed time in someone else’s space.
Don’t post about the pets on the Internet without asking..
Final touches, strip the bed the day they are coming home, wash it for them. If you know them well enough to make a meal or leave a treat. Check with them if that works for them.
Enjoy the space and maybe if they feel good about you keeping their space, you might be invited back.
May you have a great week! If you have had a good house or pet sitter please share what you enjoyed about their skills. If you have enjoyed watching a house or a pet, what were the highlights!
When you are switching to plant based milks because of digestive problems, allergies to animal dairy, or personal choice not to have animal products, you can make your own plant based milk.
If you have allergies you can work within them with whatever grains and seeds you can safely enjoy. I have not added sweeteners or things like cinnamon or vanilla. That is the cool thing about homemade food. You can enjoy it your way!
This year I started to make my own cashew milk. Others in my family have non-dairy milk too. One of them makes oat milk.
To make any of the beverages you will need:
A good blender.
A colander or something to strain with
A clean jar or container
A mesh like cheese cloth, a cotton straining bag or a metal mesh strainer.
Takes about a min to three in the blender. It tends to be a bit gritty so put it through the cheese cloth. Use it in two days. In about three days the consistency can get a bit jello like. If you put it through the cheesecloth it is less. You can use the fiber left behind in the cheesecloth in baking. Muffins tends to be our go to baked goods Nutritional information on oat milk
In my trials of making cashew milk I used raw cashews from Costco. For a 1kg bag it was $16.99. When we bought the milk premade it was $6.99 plus a 10 cent deposit on the container and a 2 cent environmental fee. For 6 containers in would cost $42.66. Making at home saves you $25.67 you could factor in time energy used, I’m thankful I’m saving and it is fresh.
On with how I made it! I followed a recipe from a blog. 1 cup of cashews to 4 cups of water. I soaked the cashews overnight. Video on how to make cashew milk. Thank you Jerry James Stone!
In the morning I dumped them in the strainer, rinse then toss them in my Ninja tall blender with 2 cups of filtered water. Blend it for about 2 to 3 mins then pour in the other 2 cups of filtered water. The first time I tried it it was too gritty for us so I pulled out the small Ninja mixer and blended it in smaller batches that made it very creamy (amazing in hot cocoa or hot chocolate)
I always put my glass jar in the dishwasher and pull it out of there to make sure it is very clean. Years of canning and food preservation has had me in the practice of cleaning everything sterilized. If you don’t have a dishwasher, wash your container with good warm water and soap. Rinse it well and pour boiling water in and on the lid.
Our milk lasts about a week. By day 3 it becomes a bit thicker so you might want to add more filtered water. We shake it every time.
Cashew Milk Nutrition Facts based on 1 cup of cashews to 4 cups of water my batch makes about 5 cups of liquid.
I’m looking forward to making a white sauce with it. I have used it in creamy broccoli soup. It was so yummy.
I finally after much reading about packing a large bean bag chair. No amount of reading on the topic could have had me not learning some different ways to wrangle this beanbag into submission.
The sites I read said to take the filling out of the inside of the chair and put a vacuum bag in a duffle bag.
With how much stuffing there was, that was not an option.
So I put the vacuum bag in a laundry basket. Unzipped the 2 zippers and got a container (a 2L soda bottle with the top cut of) to scoop it out. I thought after a bit of that, this isn’t going fast enough for my liking. Instead of waiting for help I decided how hard could this be? (please note any of my family might tell you to get out while you can, when I have a plan of “ll do it myself”)
In my wise thinking I thought I will clothespin the bag to the laundry basket. Seems like a plan..
So I wrestled the huge bean bag in my grip and aimed the opening of the beanbag to the opening of the vacuum bag and started to pour it in. Things seemed smooth until clothespins started to shoot off and some fell in the stuffing while others flung off in the room. Then the bag was overflowing and I could not see well enough until I noticed the filling was on the floor. (Thinking I should have waited for help) Determined “I can do it!”, I grabbed an empty box and placed it at the top of the laundry basket to steady the bag. That worked ok, or so I thought! More spilled down the inside of the box!. All and all not a total disaster. Just as help arrived I was done. So we put the vacuum bag on the floor and got the vacuum started to get the air out. It was working but it was too big and bulky to pack.
I grabbed boxes to see what would fix it. A medium Uhaul box might work.. We opened the bag again and the two of us fitted the corners of the bag with the inside of the box. Slowly pushing all the stuffing around to fit. Sealed the bag and used the vacuum as we molded the vacuum bag and filling..
It fit! Tape it up and then put the chair bag in a small Uhaul box. Now it is ready for moving day.
I cleaned the mess. Time to think up a new plan of destruction! Please share your moving adventures and the odd things you have packed.
As I clean up the rest of my plants and garden in preparation to move, my plants are telling me they are ready for a new year of getting big and strong. Their shoots are perking up though the cold ground. My rhubarb, mint, chives, lovage and raspberry canes have visible growth.
We will be in the season of spring in Canada about March 20. Even with the title of Spring we can get some temperatures that are too cold for many plants.
We have things like cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) falling, that white flaky stuff is not snow, it can be the bane of many peoples seasonal allergies. The later into spring we get the white fluff covers all the roads in our area, you have to keep the windows closed or it blows in.
Plants that you might see on the West Coast in late winter still depend on the zone. The zones around me are 7 to 8b. What the plant hardiness zones mean is how cold an expected cold season will be. Annual minimum temperature extreme. So we could start planting cold tolerant plants like primrose plants, some variants of echinacea, marigolds, carrots, onions or beets.
Garden tips for each month in zone 8. We are still dipping below freezing some nights so the few plants I still have are close to the house undercover some are still covered at dusk.
It is so weird being in transition at the beginning of growing season Normally at this time of year I would have seeds starting to get ready to plant late spring early summer. I would have my greens (kale, lettuce, paisley spinach and mustard greens) covered in the community garden.
I took my seeds over to my family in zone 9a so they will start our seeds for the coming year.
If you are trying to grow plants from outside your zone you will need to simulate the requirement they would normally grow like my pineapple, it likes a warmer environment they need 6 hours of sunlight a day. In my climate it is too cold for them most of the year, sometimes on nice hot summer days I can treat it to some natural sun. So I grow them in the house under grow lights. They like humidity. I don’t have a humidifier running in the winter, we are in a temperate rainforest we would get mold.
Sadly I lost my other plant that I was so excited about, that was my curry tree, it got root rot and I’m still trying to revive it but I think it is a goner. I might buy another when I move or try them from seeds.
I would like to read about your spring or what March weather conditions are like for you. If you grow plants, what do you grow and when do you plant your seeds or plants? Happy planting!
If you have allergies, sensitivities or dietary preferences be mindful to read about the cheese of choice.
When I was enjoying some swiss cheese, it got my brain asking questions. I have also enjoyed cheese parties. In North America we can buy swiss cheese. We will not be able to get some of the unpasteurized cheeses of the world, this includes proper swiss cheese.
Cheese was accidentally discovered about 8000 years ago when milk was stored in containers made from animal stomachs and separated from its curds.
Edam was used as cannonballs (and killed two soldiers) in a battle between Montevideo and Buenos Aires in 1841.
Cheese is used in sports. 9 pounds of double Gloucester cheese is 13 cm (5 inches) thick. Its country of origin is England also where they have one of the cheese rolling events. The events take place in the spring on Copper Hill. This crazy event was thought to have started in the 15th century to maintain grazing rights on the commons.
There is also a theory that it was a part of a representation of the new year in the pagan communities.
So the cheese for the cheese rolling it tossed down the hill making speeds of 70 km (43 miles) to 100 km ( 62 miles) an hour then the contestants attempt to chase the cheese down the hill to catch it. The objective is to catch the cheese(never been done) or make it to the bottom of the hill first. I’m not sure the risk of ending up in hospital is worth even the best cheese to me. I read even the spectators are at risk of injuries with this wild out of control wheel of cheesy death.
Italy has broken many of the largest cheese world records. The Pecorino cheese was prepared using 4,500 liters of sheep’s milk and it took 9 months of storing. it weighs 598.5 kg (1,319.4 lb) and was achieved by Comune di Loculi (Italy), in Loculi, Italy, on 19 July 2020. The metric dimensions are: Ø1.60m (5ft 3in), H.0.28m (0ft 11in).
Cheese on the brain, studies have shown it triggers the same part of the brain as opioid drugs. Like all good things, cheese should be eaten in moderation. One serving of cheese is about the amount of 2 D 6 dice that equals one oz according to the Canadian health guide suggests 50 grams (1 ½ oz) of cheese equals one dairy serving
Hope you enjoyed my cheesy blog topic! Have a fun and safe week. Tell me about cheeses you have tried.
When you are plagued by symptoms and not able to get definitive answers. It is so hard to know what to do when you are not sure what can be done. You can talk over with your family doctor, bring a list of symptoms and possible triggers.
Knowing the difference between sensitivity and allergies can be very hard. When to seek emergency help. If you are struggling to breathe, tuning blue, low pulse, having problems swallowing, loss of consciousness, sudden severe swelling of the face or throat, this response is known as anaphylaxis.
I would advise calling an ambulance once allergies get to that point you have a short time to get medical aid. If the person has an allergy injection (EpiPen, epinephrine), this is the time to use it. If they they are able to self administer it then let them do so, otherwise you may need to do it for them. Then this person will need emergency follow up. They have about 10 to 20 mins before the pen injection effects are wearing down. If the persons symptoms don’t get a some better within 5 minutes or get worse, give a second injection as you wait for emergence response teams, make a note on the times the injections where given and symptoms.
Sometimes when you go to an allergist, you can have the skin test done. That does not always show the full picture. It can be very discouraging when you have the skin scratch test done and you still feel gross when eating the wrong thing or if you are exposed to environmental, medications or chemical irritants.
There is so much that can’t be seen in a scratch test, like how your body responds to things that are not going to have anaphylactic reactions. Like when you are exposed to something that makes your gut sore or worse, have you held hostage in the bathroom feeling something died in your digestive tract or like you were going to have an alien bust though your gut lining doing a song and dance number. Asking for the cheque will not save you from this gross fate. (Yes this is a Spaceballs, the movie reference) It really is how it feels sometimes.
If you have a skin reaction like eczema this also will not show up on the scratch test. Any delayed side effect likely will not be found on your first trip to the allergist.
As many people have allergies and sensitives it is good to talk about this with friends, relatives and colleagues. I often ask if people have any food challenges, sensitives or allergies. Being someone that shares food and space with others. I have friends that have such bad problems with chemical scents that they can be out of commission, off work or school even trips to the hospital if they come an area that aggravates them.
Certain ways that a human can respond to something not agreeing with you can be so debilitating. Loss of senses, over stimulation, gut problems including being farty, bloated, burning, bad bowel habits ( like diarrhea or constipation) can be a crappy deal!
Other things people with other health conditions can go though is inflammation of the joints, swelling in the extremities (arm, legs, feet, hand face)
Congestion, in the nose, chest head.
Migraine or headaches can be result of sensitivities
Vision changes can be a thing, temporary loss or blurry vision starts from the central nervous system gets out of alignment or inflamed. You can experience many eye symptoms with allergies.
Asthma is shortness of breath, wheezing, couching caused by the air ways tightening, many things can trigger asthma attacks. Exercise, allergens, chemical sensitives like perfumes or detergents.
Chronic conditions can be a side effect of long term exposure to something you are sensitive to.
Emotional side effects are very real when your body is under constant attack, anxiety, depression, fear (this is very real when you are eating things and they make you feel sick) You can feel unheard by medical staff. You can feel crazy and lazy.
If you are struggling to get answers, you might need to see an attentive practitioner, that specializes in chemical and environmental and food sensitivities. Naturopathic doctors have gone to medical school to get a medical doctorate degree. They have a different approach, they focus on the underlying reasons you are having a condition. In my experience, a General practitioner does not always have extended training in hormones, or had different conditions such as sensitivities or bowel upset. A general practitioner might say after doing some lab test and sending you to a specialist, here is medication to stop the cramps or the bowel spasms that cause the diarrhea. A good naturopathic doctor will do many more tests. Some of the tests might include bloodwork to see if the things you are having problems with create an inflammatory response in your body. They might look at saliva and urine to check hormones
When making decisions about the care best for you, you must think about cost coverages. Some areas of the world include natural practitioners as part of mainstream medical care. Other areas you might need to pay out of pocket. If you have a medical insurance plan ask for a detailed list of all medical coverages. Some of your natural medications and treatment may not be covered the same as pharmaceuticals.
Having sensitives really sucks, sometimes it is more of a pain to explain/defend yourself in cases where you look ok with in 15 mins of a scratch test but feel awful. I had had this at my dentist. They said due to covid, you must use this mouthwash, I said I have chemical sensitives, the hygienists was like it it just Listerine. I was too tired to keep arguing with them so I did the swish, and over 24 hours of feeling rundown, sick to my gut, sore throat within 10 mins of doing the rinse. If you have sensitives try your best to advocate for yourself, if you can’t might be time to rebook or find something that feels safer.
When you get a reminder that sight can be lost in a blink of an eye. This weeks topic might need a larger beverage!
I have not thought about this too much due to mostly using safety glasses when doing jobs that could hold hazards. Knowing about your eye before anything is a problem is a great way to start. Here is the anatomy of the eye.
My family member who always wears safety gear was working on a vehicle and looking up a piece of metal got in their eye under the safety glasses.
They did not realize the same day something got in their eye, it felt like a scratch on their eyelid. After doing an eye rinse and an inspection of the eye they figured out that there was a dark fleck. It was then they realized they needed treatment, there was no crazy pain, sometimes you think it will work its way out. Eyes need extra care, see someone. It took three visits so far to help get the rust and metal out, there will be more follow ups. Everything is going well.
When to go to the emergency for an eye problem as opposed to seeing a family doctor. If you have anything sticking on your eye, burns of any kind, bleeding, redness or swelling after an injury, foreign object, chemical splashes or if you suddenly have loss of sight. Especially if you have had head trauma including falls, motor vehicle accidents or blunt head trauma. If you have had jolting head trauma try not to move your head too much, cover your eye with a clean patch and get a ride to the hospital.
If you have something happen at work, see your first aid attendant. They will often be able to advise you if you need more in-depth medical aid. If they don’t guide you to seek medical attention, follow up and if you feel it warrants medical attention see a doctor. If you have had anything other than minor band aid first aid at work I would always recommend a follow up with your family doctor. Your first aid person might flush your eye or use swabs to gently get foreign objects out. If you have something sticking out of your eye they might need to put something around the eye to make it safe for transport.
Your work might have safety eye protocols and rules. Some places you must have safety approved eye coverings. They have one that fully fits over prescription eyewear too. Some jobs don’t allow for workers to wear contact lenses due to the dangers the job holds.
If you are at home, always wash your hands before doing anything to your eyes.
If you have any major pain or even burning, get someone to drive you. Sometimes eye treatments can seem like “oh I can drive” but you are better to have a ride. The treatments can leave you not seeing so well for a time.
Getting anything foreign in your eye, or anything that could injure your eye or your sight. Do not touch or rub the eye. Unless you have special first aid training do not try to treat an eye injury. You could enhance permanent damage.
You can do a 10 minute eye wash at an eye station provided you have not punctured the eye or the eyelid.
Some hospitals have eye care clinics. If your hospital does not have one, call your family doctor and they will look, they might send you to an opthamologist. This is what happened to me once when we had major construction going on in our building envelope and the stuff in the air created a scratch on my eye.
If you end up going to an emergency your wait time could vary, they are not known for comfortable seating so might want to bring a cushion. If you are able to see well enough, maybe bring something to read. You will be seen by a doctor then will take a look at your eye with their eyes or with special equipment.
You might have medications put in to numb the eye before they do any treatments. After any eye treatment you can feel more tired, you never know how much your sight keeps you alert. Follow the aftercare and rest when you need.
If you have not been recommended to an eye specialist I recommend you make your own appointment or ask about it directly.
When to wear eye protection
Working with any tool that can fling debris in the eye
Working with any chemical / substance natural or otherwise that could splash. (When I make my homemade salsa I use eye protection.)
Working over your head with tools or substances like dust, construction or cutting wires. You’re better to wear something than to not wear anything.
Being in the pool on a daily basis you might want good anti fog goggles; prolonged chemicals from the pool can harm your eyes.
Welding is very key to have ones that protect in many ways.
Extreme weather work or play/sports. Wind, blizzards, sand can affect your eyes,
Medical workers sometimes need face and eye protection.
Stay safe out there, get regular eye check ups or if you noted changes in your eyes or vision. Even on vacation you should be mindful of eye injuries. I’m on vacation, this is just here to help you smile.
Have you enjoyed cake at a special occasion? Have you ever wondered what’s the history of cake?
Cake as been part of history from very early times. The word cake has been in use since 1390’s it was more to do with the shape of cooked dough lumps.
Germans culture is believed to have made the first birthday cakes in the medieval times
Cake in many cultures is a decadent dessert to be shared. Because the ingredients in cake were some of the finest and quite expensive they were not made often.
Cake has traditional aspects too. Many places feeding people cake at a birthday or wedding is believed to be a loving act. Cutting the wedding cake together symbolizes the first act the couple shares in doing together.
Brazil: The birthday boy or girl is given the first piece of cake, but they do not keep it for themselves. They give it to the most important person in their lives. For kids, that’s usually the mom or dad. I found this on The word for cake world wide.
My grandma and other grandmas used to bake cakes with coin money in it. I read that it was lucky for whoever found the money, not sure if that is why she did it, I would have to ask someone in my family. My family shared that grandma would make angel food cake with icing, that was a very special treat. Gluten free angel food cake
My grandpa’s sisters made a cake with lots of butter and fruit like plums or blueberries baked on top. They are of German descent so it was called Kuchen. They were very set on how it was done, I had the blessing of making it with the 3 of them.
Blowing out candles, I have heard everything from if you blow them all out you will have luck to how many people you will have a relationship interest in.
During or after the war people were dealing with rations so people became creative with what they had and Wacky cakes were made. Boiled Raisin Cake was an other one we ate in my family.
At that time they did not have a lot of icing or frosting because egg milk and butter were very hard to come by so they would use powdered sugar on top a little went a long way. This one was used after world war one!
If you eat cake do you have any special memories around that? Does your family have any special traditions around cake? What type of cake do you really enjoy. For me it is carrot cake followed by a rich dense German chocolate cake with a raspberry topping. Being gluten and corn free for years I have learned to make many lovely gluten free cakes.