Friday, May 6, 2016

'Tis a Miracle!

For the last several years I was so allergic to egg that getting even a drop of raw egg on my hand felt like I had a burn.  Even washing a pan or plate in an entire sink of water would cause my hands to swell up.  TH would wash anything that egg touched, and mostly made his own eggs.   Putting plastic baggies on my hands allowed me to make him eggs.  Then about 2 months ago TH was in a hurry and needed something quick to eat that he could carry with him.  Fried egg sandwich coming up!  In my hurry I forgot to put the baggies on my hands and made his eggs.  After TH left I realized that I had forgotten my baggies and the egg didn't burn!!  For the next while I made TH eggs without putting baggies on, and never had a twinge of problem with egg burning.  Next up was peeling TH a dozen eggs for a trip out of town, and again no issue!  I got brave and ate a gluten free donut that had eggs as an ingredient, and I was fine!  And so began a spree of eating gluten free english muffins.  Wheee!

After a while I finally got a bit braver and actually ate an egg.  And meh.  I found that I have lost my taste for eggs.  This week I made a homemade egg sausage breakfast muffin.  Sqee!  It was fan-freaking-tastic!  But this opens up an entire world of food, and makes eating breakfast out do-able now.  Every single popular gluten free bread has eggs as a ingredient, making eating out so much easier, and more enjoyable to boot.

With eggs now in my wheelhouse, it was on to chicken.  First chicken I ate?  WINGS!  Oh my golly gosh did I miss buffalo wings.  There is a restaurant near us that has gluten free buffalo wings.  When the order came, I sat and looked at them for quite a while, slightly fearful of trying one.  But then decided to man up and go for it.  Damn were they delicious!  I've eaten wings and roasted chicken a few times now and zero issues!

I've tried cream cheese and some sour cream, with no ill effects.  But as with the eggs, I've lost my taste for them, to the point when grocery shopping today I bought a new container of soy milk and vegan cheese.  However, its nice to know that when I'm out and about I wont have to worry about eating mashed potatoes or butter in things making me ill.  It just might take a while to get used to the flavor of dairy again.  The last time I had anything dairy was 5 years ago. 

I feel so free now both in the grocery store and in restaurants!   From being constrained to a few choices, the entire gambit of gluten free shelves are available to me.   I now have choices in gluten free cookies, crackers, breads and donuts.  I've eaten at restaurants recently and been plagued by severe indecision.  I've gone from having at most two choices to several choices, and it can be overwhelming at times.

Why do I think this miracle occurred?  I was the model patient and never ever cheated with gluten or any of the other foods that were on my no eat list allowing my stomach and gut time to heal.  My life with food is amazing now, no more tears in the grocery store or grief in restaurants.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

And Now, Something Completely Different!

With all the hate swirling about with LGBT hate bills, the nasty rhetoric from the political campaigns, its time for something light hearted.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What Does Music Mean to Me?

I always have a tune pinging around in my head, and quite often my head will bob to my inner tune as I wander through my days.  I catch "ear worm" very easily and have found the only way to cure it is to burn it out by listening to the offending song nonstop until my brain is finally done with it.  Which led me to a week of nonstop listening to this song.

And can now "safely" listen to it without having it ear worm me.

I seem to work differently with music than many folks.  Sex and music for me just doesn't work, it distracts me from the wonderful connection.

When I used acupuncture to help the pain and mobility issues I was having the New Age Music would make me so tense I couldn't get the full benefit from the treatment.  Mr. Nam told me to bring in my earbuds and ipod and listen to something that would relax me.  I fell to sleep and woke up feeling great!  He of course wanted to hear this miracle music and was shocked that this is what relaxed me to slumber.  I had made a two song playlist, with these two songs.

My first memory of music is of classical music, Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn.  And still enjoy classical to this day....along with Polka.  Yes, polka, go ahead and laugh but I adore a fast and happy polka song.

Hmm.....I honestly can not remember my first album, but do remember my first 45.  My Uncle used to sit me on his knee and sing me this song, jiggling his knee up and down to his singing.  When I was around 6, I was out and about with Grandma Rose and I saw a 45 with "Songs from Winnie the Pooh" and HAD to have it.  This was around my birthday and I carried my birthday card money EVERYWHERE.  Grandma Rose tried to talk me out of buying this, but I put my foot down and forced the issue.   I have no idea what is even on the other side, or if indeed I ever played the other side...hmmmm

I tend to binge music shop and buy several at one sitting.  These were the last two pieces of music I bought...



Everyone who comments on my blog has been tagged so this thread stops with me.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Toyama, Japan

While November is not really the time of year to be hiking around in mountains, we still wanted to visit the Japanese Alps.  Which are the collective mountain ranges of Hida, Kiso and Akaishi.  If only we were down hill skiers!  Maybe there will be some cross country skiing available, as we both enjoy doing that.

A convenient map of Japan.  Toyama is located by the wee 16 on the map, just under a huge hook of land that juts into the sea.  You can see Osaka where we will fly into, Kyoto where we will be based out of for touring about to visit, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, etc.  This map nicely embiggens.

Map of the Alps. 

While deciding which area to base ourselves in, we came across this video.  If this town is even close to what is described in the video, it will be Amazing!  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Dang, that month flew by!  And here in no particular order is what we have been up to.

After intensive thought, and many, many hours on the internet it became clear to us that finding a short term rental in Alaska was impossible.  We could have cobbled together a slew of Airbnb rentals, but the vast majority of them within our price range were all dry cabins.  I have zero interest in spending the summer using out houses and bathing in the kitchen sink.  Extended stay hotels would ring in around $3,000 a month!!!  So, that was out, out, out.

Our solution?  Buy a travel trailer.  I was hoping for a 5th wheel as they are roomier, but are also heavier, which meant a new pick up truck, so no.  We trooped into and out of countless travel trailers, "light" 5th wheel trailers until we were near collapse, and one thing became clear to us.  Travel trailers that had been used and were 4 years old still reeked of formaldehyde and similar chemicals.  Finally, we found a motor home company that sells 'green' trailers!  They don't use dangerous chemicals, and their manufacturing process is clean as well.   We bought one, and had them remove the bunk beds to install a washer/dryer.  We lost some storage space doing so, but now won't have to worry about moldy washers or what washing detergent was used before us.  If this is an enjoyable way to live, we will tow it down and live in it after coming back from our trip.

TH caught the flu, which led to secondary infections, bronchitis, sinus infection and ear infections!  And dash it all, my soaring health lead me to catch it too!   My new immune system became completely overwhelmed and spiked a 103 fever which lead to dehydration and an elevated heart rate.  After a trip to the hospital things for re-hydration and some meds for a sinus infection.

We have decided to cut our trip to Japan down to 6-8 weeks, we are still working deciding which would be best.  Three months we felt might be to overwhelming and the fact that its in the winter months, so many gardens will be closed or will have lost most of their beauty.  New Zealand is still on the table, and would leave around February for around 6 weeks. 

We have so much planning to do for every corner of our lives.  I'm quite tired of planning!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Busy Bees

I knew it had been awhile since my last post, but didn't realize it was that long until I logged in today!  My days are so much fuller now that TH is retired and living with me.  Years of basically living alone, first the years of him working the night shift where I only saw him 3 hours a day at the most, and then the years here alone in Arizona, where I could arrange my time as I wished are long gone.  Now, I'm having trouble finding time to knit more than a row or two at a time, or to read much, or play computer games.  My days are filled with cooking, and doing up the dishes, and being with TH.  We haven't spent this much time together with him healthy since our honeymoon 8 years after we were married.

The planning for the trip has stalled due to me needing to do some intensive thinking about scheduling for the other 2 months.  How long do we need in Tokyo?  Do we want to trek into the mountains to see the snow monkeys soaking in the hot springs (onsen)?  There aren't any trains to Okinawa, so will have to fly there, and then take the few buses that traverse that island.  Unless TH gets mega brave and decides to DRIVE!!!!

 So. Many. Variables. And. Decisions!

We will be doing our travel on trains, buses and a very few taxis, so we need to keep the luggage to a minimum.  What is causing me to trip however is the wet/damp chilly temps, especially if we explore the snowy areas of Japan.  Winter gear is bulky, even the newer stuff.  Factor in the long johns, flannel jammies and sweaters and the suitcases are full to bursting.  Since the Tsunami of 2011 the price of electricity has climbed to the point of many homes and business turning the heat to a low level.  People are now buying hot water bottles to heat their futons again, which is where the flannel jammies come into play.  

Last weekend TH and I traveled to Benson, Arizona and Deming New Mexico to visit two long time friends.  Southern Arizona and New Mexico are rife with amazing geography.  The extreme southern part of both states are fairly economically depressed, with many  business and houses standing empty.

In Deming we saw a machine in Pepper's Grocery that makes tortillas.  TH said they were the best ever, silky and nothing at all like the national brands found in the grocery stores.  The town is also  the proud owners to an amazing museum considering the tiny size of the town, just under 15,000.  In 1977 the town banded together to buy the old Armory building, and have been working to improve it ever since. 

Here are a few of the pictures we took, is it just me, or can you see Clint Eastwood on a horse riding hell for leather across the scrubby landscape?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Shit just got real

Today I paid for our first months rental in Japan. 

"There is no turning back now!", said with both exhilaration and trepidation as Biki worriedly chewed his bottom lip. 

And so the first steps into our grand adventure have been taken.

Would you like to see where we will be?

This is outside of Kyoto, only a 15 minute $3.08 bus ride away.  This should be good for TH to ease him into a triple month experience of living completely immersed into a different culture.  Before we had our son and daughter in law to help us with the language barrier, now we are on our own.