Monday, September 7, 2015

Today's Update - 7 Sep 2015

Ok I can hear you now ... she's said that before.  And it would be the truth but I'm fairly certain that I've got a handle on all of my up and coming so that I can start posting more regularly.  Initially it is going to be once or twice a week and then I'll build from there as I get ahead on the stories.  I'm almost not sure where I left off on posting some of them.

As far as an update goes, well things are getting as back to normal as they are going to be for now.  Mom and Dad have moved back home on their own and are doing fairly well as they too try and get back into their "normal" groove.  My dad has been released by his cardiologist though everyone now agrees that it is simply going to take considerably longer for him to heal than originally anticipated.  His age, concurrent health issues, as well as the unexpected ones that cropped up are inhibiting his normal progress but not halting it.  In fact, recently his glucose numbers have been better than mine.  Which leads me to my own stuff.

The metformin et al is not having quite the impact on my glucose numbers as we'd all hoped.  I've had numerous tests to make sure that something else isn't complicating matters ... thyroid, PCOS, and other blah, blah, blah ... but mostly it appears to be just plain ol' diabetes.  Sigh.  Whether I want to or not I may have to go on insulin.  If so that is going to really require hubby and I to change some of our prepping and future plans.  A couple of days ago I turned 49 and lately my getty up has gone on ahead with out the rest of me.  Could be one of the meds causing it and that's the next round of experimentation that I'm facing.  My glucose still hovers in the 140s/150s despite change of diet and extra exercise though I have been seeing some significant drops off and on including a low of 118 after I took a nap yesterday.  Usually my numbers are higher after inactivity so I wish I knew what had precipitated the drop.  I'd like to repeat it on a regular basis.  On the upside, I haven't seen numbers over 180 in quite some time, not even after a rich meal and dessert.  'Course I don't do that every day ... heck I don't do it every week.  And I only did it the once on the cruise hubby took me on for my birthday.

Carbs ... evil carbs.  Never really thought about how many carbs were hiding in my pantry, lying in wait to get me.  LOL  Boy has it been interesting to change my way of thinking about those oh so convenient preps that I've been counting on.  I'm going to need to can a lot more meat and that is not going to be cheap.  Boy are those sales going to be more and more important.  Price of gas may be coming down but I haven't seen it happening to burger yet.  Pork is taking the place of beef at the grocery store ... ground pork, pork steak, pork loin, pork roast, pork stew chunks, pork cut into stir fry strips.  Need to find good recipes for pork stew and chicken stew and see about converting them for canning.  Raw pack canned chicken is ugly but it is really, really tender so I'll probably doing a lot of that as well.

Not to hold everyone up below are the stories that I plan on updating by tonight and tomorrow.  Some of them may even have more than one chapter.

Updated Stories:

Emi on the Caloosahatchee
Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!
A Girl Called Jack
Up on Hartford Ridge
Larkspur In Eden
There is No Such Thing as a Thornless Garden

If I get more stories than this added to then I'll try and give another update. 

Only one vid today and it is on making a cooking pot cozy or for freezer bag cooking.  I've made several over the years and found them very useful for rehydrating meals on the road or on the trail as well as for keeping hot food warm for say lunch when you don't have access to a microwave.

Thanks again for the grace.  I really needed this month off.  Never had a summer like the one that we've just experienced.  Sure, I've faced bad things ... worse things for that matter ... but for some reason this summer was just way over the top.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Today's Update - 3 Aug 2015

Just a little wet around here.  Could you hear the sarcasm dripping off every word?  If you couldn't it sure wasn't for lack of trying on my part.

We've had over twenty days straight of rain and about a week of occasionally heavy rain followed by a long weekend of obnoxiously persistent rain resulting in what all of that rain normally leads to ... flooding.  And we aren't clear yet although we are getting a little mercy for a few days before it is supposed to start up again.  I'll take it though, anything so that we have a chance to dry up a little before starting the cycle all over.

In the arena of good news, my father was released by his wound doctor late last week and I helped them drive back to their home on Saturday.  It took their SUV and my van to transport everything and then the sixteen year old daughter and I carted everything in and helped to at least get the mess generally organized before having to get back on the road and get home in torrential rain.  I miss my mom already.  It was fun having her around all the time to remember stories from my childhood and having her impart some of the wisdom she picked up from her own growing up years.  It was fun having someone to go to the market with and try new things with.  My daughters are great but they are getting to the age where they have their own lives full of things going on.  Wish my parents lived closer but life is what it is and I'm now more determined than ever to take advantage of my time with her when I can get it.  I would have stayed longer but I need to get back.  Sunday morning I was up at 4 AM to get nineteen year old daughter to the airport so she could fly out on a mission trip and she'll be gone a week.

A bit of good news is that twenty-two year old son is now home and in only one week back has helped me tremendously by getting to some of the yard projects that hubby and I simply hadn't had the time to tackle this summer as we had intended.  Son has gone maniac-with-a-machete on the mess around the pond, cleaned out several of my raised beds that I had allowed to go fallow for the season due to nematode infestation, he laid and stapled down the black plastic to cook those nasty little nematodes, cleaned out a horrible mess in a flower bed by the front door so that we can get to the window and replace a rotten sill (waiting on the rain to dry up first), and has gotten some of the worst offending palms trimmed a bit to prevent the fronds from littering the drive and yard.  Tomorrow he'll start working with hubby and hopefully before he has to go away for grad school (next summer) he'll have helped whittle down the long list of special projects hubby has for the business.

Tomorrow a guy that owes us some money will be coming to paint two bedrooms to barter away the debt.  He's a professional painter by trade and we'll provide the supplies and he'll provide the expertise.  Those two rooms (the daughters' bedrooms) haven't been painted in who knows how long because they are like they were when we bought this place five years ago.  They aren't bad, the guy who owned this house was a professional painter himself, but they aren't exactly what you would call restful either.  One is a deep fuschia with some checker board designs on one wall - have no idea how many layers of Kilz that's going to take to keep from bleeding through - and the other is one of those rag-on paint jobs that is white on the base coat and celery-colored on the glaze color.  One of the rooms also has some ceiling discoloration that needs addressing.  I was prepared to paint the rooms myself but boy am I glad I don't have to.  The guy has a paint sprayer that will be neater and use less paint to get better coverage.

As a result of all the coming and going with my parents and then the rain creating extra work I have had to put canning on temporary hold for about a week.  You wouldn't believe what all I've gotten canned recently though.  Take a look ... just don't look too hard or you'll see what a mess my storage area is in right now.  That isn't all of it but is about 60% of what canning I have.  I know it doesn't look like as much as I make it out to be but there's a lot of work represented in those jars.  And I can get about 5 quart jars deep per row.  The quarts are full of green beans, pears, chili, vegetable beef soup, garbanzo bean soup, chicken soup, meatballs, etc etc etc.  Then the pints and half-pints have a multitude of other yummy things from meats (pulled pork, chicken in various forms, meatballs) to veggies (carrots, peas, pickled beets) to fruits (jams, jellies, preserves, pickles, sauces).  And bonus for me being a good girl ... they are all low to no sugar and/or low carb.

I still have my canning mess sitting in the kitchen but that will be taken care of by the end of the week as well as soon as I can get some shelves reorganized in my storage area.

Which leads me to my personal update and a very big thank you.  First thank you for all of the support and suggestions so many of you have chimed in with regard to my recent diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.  I'm not as angry as I was but I certainly go through the ups and downs the way anyone does facing something so unexpected and permanent life-changing.  I admit I cheated, had to suck up the unpleasant consequences, and while still not completely comfortable in my skin about it all, I've decided that "cheating" on the new diet is going to have to be pushed out there a ways until I can find exactly what spikes the glucose for me.  Ugh.  Some days it seems everything does and some days make me question the manic dedication it all seems to take.  I'm chugging along however because it is the right thing to do for me, my husband, and the rest of my family who count on me.  I can understand however how people develop the I-don't-care attitude in the face of so much self-denial.  Double ugh.  It gets old fast having to remind yourself what you can't have ... at least for a good while and some things maybe never again.

In amongst all of this upheaval I've actually managed to get some writing accomplished.  Not as much as I want but more than I have been able to get to lately.  Some of it I'll post tonight and some will get posted over the next couple of days as I can get it transferred from paper to computer.

Emi on the Caloosahatchee
Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!
A Girl Called Jack

I have the section for Hartford Ridge written but not edited for posting.  I'm going to try and finish that tonight or tomorrow.  Depends on what messes I have to clean up.  I also have pieces written for Thornless and Larkspur.  I've also almost finished editing the end of Geek.  In the mood I'm in if I had all day to write I might actually catch up to where I want to be but that's not going to happen any time soon so I'll have to sneak things in as I can.  If I can get Geek and Larkspur out of the way in August I'll feel like I've accomplished something significant and it will make way for me to do a few other things I want to do.

A couple of interesting vids.  The first one is how to make Watermelon Jelly.  It is the season for it and I want to get to this next week.  The one after that is on Watermelon Jam.  The third vid is on making your own chocolate mint extract and then making chocolate mint jelly.  Yum.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Today's Update - 25 Jul 2015

Hello.  My name is Kathy.  And I am a diabetic.

No, this isn't some joke but I admit I really wish it were.  Life throws the worst curveballs exactly when you don't need them.  Last month my husband and I were applying for some additional life insurance and it required a medical exam including an EKG and blood work.  Then came the letter a couple of weeks later.  "I'm sorry but you are uninsurable.  Your diabetes is not under control."  Excuse me?!  I don't have diabetes and I'll prove it ... or at least so I thought.

I immediately scheduled a doctor's appointment and explained that something had to be wonky, someone made a mistake, that I had no symptoms of diabetes, none.  So ok, it appears to run in my family but my dad's was triggered by exposure to Agent Orange, my maternal grandfather's was triggered by being a farmer and eating a diet high in fats and sugars his entire life, my paternal grandfather supposedly developed his as a reaction to some TB complication back in the 1940s and he died in the 1950s so nobody to this day can really confirm for sure that he had diabetes.  And there are definitely no women in my family with diabetes.  Well, they did send me each time I was pregnant for blood but the results always came back negative.  And sure, occasionally my cholesterol registers a little high but ... but ... but ...

The doctor was really kind I suppose, but also matter of fact.  It's genetic.  For some people you can do everything to almost everything right and your number still comes up.  Looks like that's me.  My A1c was 10.2 and my fasting glucose was 288.  Talk about being shocked.  I hadn't had any soda at all for almost two months except for one cheat and on the advice of a dentist I hadn't had any fruit juice for over two weeks either.  I shudder to think what those numbers would have looked like if I had still be doing either one.

I was in denial for a bit.  It took me a week to accept reality without throwing a mental hissy fit.  I'm still very uncomfortable with the diagnosis.  This changes things, it changes things a lot.  In a lot of areas.  And has raised questions that could cause even more things to change ... cost of insurance, life expectancy, complications as I age, burdens on my family, a lot of things.  I'm trying to minimize the accommodations that my family will have to make but my husband says to stop worrying it to death, that we'll deal with it like we've dealt with everything else that has come my way.  That isn't exactly taking away my concerns but at least I know he isn't blaming me or anything like that.  Both of his parents had Type 2 and he always thought it would be him but his numbers are almost perfect. Go figure.

I'm still fighting the idea that food is the enemy; because in reality it isn't food that is the enemy.  In reality there is no "enemy" to fight.  In reality there is nothing I can do to change the fact that I have diabetes.  I can manage it but it isn't something that is simply going to go away.  That is a bitter pill to swallow, especially as I have spent the last year really getting myself in shape and healthier so I could head into my 50s with a clean bill of health.  Yeah right. 

And yes, I'm still a little angry about it.  My ability to be thoughtless and carefree is gone, over with, never coming back.  I have to look at everything differently.  I'm not saying that it sucks to be me, but it is going to be a while before I can just casually shrug my shoulders at things ... especially diet and exercise.

It is how I was eating food that apparently is the problem for me personally.  Not that I was eating poorly; I kept my carbs under 200 grams per day which is what a normal, healthy adult female should be able to consume.  Well not if you are a diabetic.  As a Type 2 diabetic I shouldn't be having any more than 125 grams of carbs at most and that's if my numbers were "under control."  Well they aren't right now though they are better and I have to have as few grams of carbs as possible which is extremely challenging.  No bread, no pasta, no rice, no carrots, no corn, no potatoes, no peas, no winter squash varieties, very limited dried beans, and very limited fruits.  All of which were staples in our menu previously, especially the rice and beans. 

There are things I can have and I'm trying to make the most of it.  I can have hard cheeses in reasonable amounts.  I can eat lean cuts of meat in reasonable amounts.  I can eat greens, I can have minute amounts of dressing to choke all of those greens down with but none of the other stuff that I used to make it palatable ... carrots, croutons, bacon bits, etc.  The only thing I'm drinking is water.  I can't drink any tea (herbal or otherwise) until I can find out if they set me off or react with my meds.  Oh that reminds me, no honey either, at least for now.

As I said, this changes a lot of things in my pantry plans as well as my health plans for possible future scenarios.  The one truly bright spot that I've found is that a brisk thirty to forty minute walk after every meal will drop my blood glucose quite a bit ... but I don't always have the time or ability to walk after every meal and snack.  I walk between 10 and 20 thousand steps a day on a normal day according to my pedometer.  Adding more exercise in is a challenge, but it is one that I am going to have to come to terms with and conquer.

Yes I am now on meds.  I'm not completely comfortable with the new routine and I'm aware that some people don't care for metformin (glucose), lisinpril (kidneys), and the statins (cholesterol).  I'm aware that people have reason to have some concern.  But for me this is what there is for now.  I do not ever want to get to the point that I need to be on insulin so it is either fight now or suffer later.  My goal is to be off medication eventually but that is going to take time.  For now medication is the tool I have so medication is what I'm going to use to start with ... but it isn't the only tool.  Diet and finding more time to exercise is at the top of the "gotta do" list.

So that, in part, in addition to working to meet the needs of my parents, husband, and children is why I have been unable to post more story time.  It is possible that my father will be released to return to their home this upcoming week.  He still has a challenging time ahead of him and my mother right along with him. 

Below is what I have.  I'm sorry that there isn't more but I'm wrapping my head around a lot right now.  Sometimes life changes are challenging even at the best of times and right now isn't the best time to have to deal with something like this.  But it certainly isn't your fault, dear friends, so as always please forgive me.  I will try and have more between now and Monday.

Emi on the Caloosahatchee
Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!
A Girl Called Jack

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Today's Update - 7 Jul 2015

I feel like I've fallen down a well and I'm just now climbing close to the top ... or at least close enough that I realize I still have a bit to go yet but at least it is lighter than the inside of a black cat.

For those that don't know my father was hospitalized ... again, though I've lost count which one that was ... for severe chest pains while in the hyperbaric chamber.  Turns out that it was from two things ... dehydration and some type of blood pressure problem that I can't remember the name of where it fluctuates based on whether you are lying down, sitting down, or standing up.  The blood pressure issue will have to wait until he is healed enough to determine whether it is permanent or a temporary aberration due to his heart surgery/valve replacement.  The dehydration means changing his habits ... again.  He is so cranky about constantly being told what to do but he forgets whether he is drinking enough ... he'll say yes I just finished a glass of water only we know he finished the glass of water with his morning pills and it is getting close to lunch.  He feels like he is being treated like a child.  While I sympathize it doesn't change the fact that he still needs help remembering and monitoring so many basic things.  He tries to not be foul all the time but his patience for this whole situation is wearing thin.

But the good news is ... his open wound is now healed enough that he no longer requires the wound vac.  I would show you the before and after pictures but they are fairly disgusting and I'm not sure Dad would be comfortable with it.  Suffice it to say ... ewwwwww.  He still has what is considered an "open" wound but not the kind that goes down to muscle tissue.  Its depth is measured in millimeters now as opposed to inches.  He still goes to the wound center every day and on most of those days I drive though Mom has become much more independent about transporting him places.  Mostly it is just she wants me there for moral support and I suppose she just gets plain lonely.  At this point Dad is more ready to go home than Mom is.  Unless something comes up I figure they will return home no later than the end of July.  Dad keeps saying "one more week" but I'm not sure how realistic that is or whether his wound doctor will have released him in "one more week."  Mom doesn't want to leave until he is released because she worries what that will do to their insurance and their ability to get him additional treatment if/when it is needed.  On that at least I agree with her.

On other fronts I have stayed very busy as well.  My parents in the house has made keeping house a huge challenge.  Mom and Dad both are pack rats and tend to procrastinate about cleaning up their stuff.  I can't live like that; it is the wrong kind of chaos for me.  At the very least a dirty dish/glass needs to make its way to the sink or dishwasher rather than just lying lazily where ever it was last used.  My mother's sewing stuff and other half-finished projects keep migrating all over the house as well.  About the only thing that I now have better control over is my frig and freezer and the canning supplies.  My kitchen counters are still cluttered but at least the produce has been processed and is ready for canning this week.

I'm not going to show what a disgusting mess the rest of my storage area is ... shudder ... but at least I can show that I have been doing some canning.

This isn't even close to all of it.  There are quarts of soup on another shelf, pints of mushrooms, pints of apple bbq sauce, jelly jars of various jams and preserves, etc etc etc.  I was going to do some more canning today but got a call first thing this morning that they had to take my daughter who is away at summer camp to a walk in clinic.  Turns out to be not strep as suspected but a sinus infection that the doctor up there decided didn't warrant sending her home but did warrant a z-pak.  Her brother is flying her home on Friday so at this point all I can do is accept it and try not to be helicopter mom and worry it to death.  It isn't like this same brother - who is working the boys' side of the camp for the summer - wasn't quarantined last week because he caught pink eye from one of the campers in the preceding session.  Seems like it if isn't one thing it is another.  Every year I have to relearn just why I come out of the summer months traumatized ... between the business and the kids it is a wonder hubby and I aren't bald as a cue ball.

My normal stress relievers aren't as available as usual.  The kids have been gone a lot more so my helpers are otherwise occupied.  I haven't had as much time to write as I would like.  I've said it before but it bears repeating.  It isn't because I don't want to write but because when I have the time to my brain won't cooperate.  The stories are like trying to hold onto slippery electric eels.  The tighter you try and grab them and make them do what you want them to, the more they fight and bite to get away.  However, I think I do have enough to post an update so here it is:

Will post late, late tonight or sometime tomorrow.
A Bunch of Wild Thyme
Dark Days
Emi on the Caloosahatchee
Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!
A Girl Called Jack

Tonight's vids are examples of the soups that people can.  I am definitely going to give the recipe for French onion soup a try though I'll can it in pints instead of quarts.  I'm also going to can some garbanzo bean soup, my chili mix that had kidney beans and group beef in it, and my grandmother's recipe for vegetable soup that has beef in it.  Finding beef soup bones has been a project in and of itself.  I'm also going to can some chicken soup base and a few other odds and ends but that's for later.  For now, here are the vids.


Making and canning French Onion Soup

Split Pea Soup

Chicken a la King Soup

Monday, June 22, 2015

Today's Update - 22 Jun 2015

Oh my gosh!  My house is a mess!!  And yes the exclamation points are absolutely fitting.  I can't remember my house ever being this big of a mess.  I'm going nuts.  I love my parents.  I love my parents.  I love my parents.  But honestly trying to keep up with the mess they've gotten used to making is making me twitch.

Now some of the mess is ok and to be expected; you can't add two grown people to a household without expecting some extra mess.  But add in that my parents simply aren't able to do for themselves the way they used to plus the fact that they've gotten out of the habit of cleaning up after themselves as they make the mess plus all of the extra produce and canning equipment sitting around on my kitchen counter tops and dining room table and ... it really is an oh my gosh worthy situation.

I'll live of course but I swear having a house this messy is making me itch.  Literally.  And nothing is getting done out in the yard.  Nothing.  The yard is turning into a jungle.  And in Florida that is not the exaggeration that some people think it is.  On the plus size one of my papayas has started to fruit.

I've probably mentioned that I've been canning.  Below are some pictures of just a little bit of what I've been doing.
What isn't showing is the seven quarts of green beans thus far processed.  We have about another ten or eleven to go and Mom wants to get some more beans when Sav-a-lot gets a new batch in.  Sav-a-lot is where I got the pineapples for 99 cents each.  We have about fifteen now to work with.  Tonight I cored two of the ripest.  I love my pineapple corer.  It makes the job sooooo much easier.  Below is what I got off of just two of the pineapples ... and I have two pineapple tops to plant once I get the right growing medium for them.  One gallon of flesh/pulp, skins to go in the compost, and two pineapples top for planting not bad for less than ten minutes of work.  Tomorrow I'll core a couple of more and get at least a few pints canned up using unsweetened pineapple juice.
I was a little give out or I planned on making Dutch Apple Pie Jam and Maple Apple Preserves.  I also need to make some Strawberry Pineapple Conserve but that is going to have to wait until tomorrow as well.  Tonight I have some business filing and data entry to take care of and I also want to try and get some more writing and editing done.  I may be up until something A.M. but I'm having one of those "too much caffeine" kinda days.
Thus far I have the following posted:
Up On Hartford Ridge
A Bunch of Wild Thyme
Dark Days
Emi on the Caloosahatchee
Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!
A Girl Called Jack
Tonight's vids continue the theme of preserving food.  I'll be doing that a lot this summer ... or that is the plan.  I really need to get ahead of the game and since I'm rotating out a lot of my pantry I need to rotate back in some good stuff.
I actually prefer my method of canning pineapple.  You can find the method in the latest Ball Blue Book cookbook.  All it contains is fresh pineapple and unsweetened pineapple juice.  You can it in pints.  The other thing I do different is I cut the top off so that I can grow it and then use a pineapple corer that gives me nice neat rings.  You can cut the rings if you want to make chunks or tidbits, that's up to you.  My corer came from wallyworld for less that five bucks.  Easy peezy lemon squeezy.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Today's Update - 19 Jun 2015

The Storms of Life

Me oh my oh.  Feel like I am living in Crazy Town.  My life is normally on the hectic side and I'm used to it and don't fritz out too much over it but gotta say I have made it to a whole 'nother level of crazy chaos these days.

Don't get me wrong, it is worth it.  My father's wound has shrunk so much even the doctors who brag on that hyperbaric oxygen treatment are falling all over themselves to get pictures of it.  In less that two weeks the wound went from a depth of over 5 to a less than 1.  The width went from an 8 to a little less than 2.  The length is still the same but generally speaking the length of the wound is usually the last to start shrinking.  Wounds like my dad has heal from the bottom up, then at the width as the swelling goes down and then lastly at the length.  The staph infection was really bad and in that same roughly two weeks he's gone from a white blood cell count of over 22,000 to a little under 8,000 ... in other words back into normal range.  They took the pic line out yesterday and he is now on oral antibiotics for two weeks.  He still had the wound vac but the wound is getting so shallow that it is mostly providing protection rather than getting much drainage off of the wound.  And yes, I know all of this medical stuff can seem gross but it is quite an education, one that I am finding extremely valuable.

I get told over and over that one of the biggest benefits is that we are managing to keep my dad's diabetes in check.  I give him a yogurt (probiotic) and a good meal for breakfast so that when he goes into the HBOT chamber his sugar is about 190 and when he comes out it is down to about 120 or lower.  His sugar has been averaging about 150 which has been unheard of for dad since he was diagnosed a few years ago.  Controlling his diabetes allows his body to regenerate faster.

All of this has been very hard on him.  He is very tired as his body is being pushed to constantly be at work ... healing, speeding up his metabolism, building new blood flow, rebuilding muscle, returning his coordination and cognition, utilizing the strong antibiotics effectively, etc.  They tell us he won't actually completely be able to regain his full strength for some months to come ... up to a year.  Between the double by-pass, valve replacement, necrotic gallbladder, and subsequent staph infection poor dad is lucky to be alive.  Thank the Good Lord Above for modern medicine.  Makes me more determined than ever to keep up with my own issues and be aware of the medical concerns that I may have inherited. 

One of the things that I've been doing is getting back to canning our own foods.  Thus far I've canned three different no- and low-sugar jams.  Mom and I also canned seven pints of pickled squash (I used yellow crookneck squash and Vidalia onions).  Today I hope to get started on canning my own no-sugar-added pineapple when I got such a good deal on pineapples (99 cents each from Save-a-lot).  Tomorrow or Sunday I want to see if I can find some green beans that I can snap and can.  I'd love to get about a bushel of them done but until I can find the beans I can't say how much I can afford to buy.  I'm going to try and can up some watermelon jam using both yellow and red watermelons.  I need to get some cantaloupe jam done as well.  Then I've got about 8 different juices waiting to be turned into jellies.  That doesn't include all of the convenience foods that I want to can like soups, chili, sloppy joes, spaghetti and pizza sauce, etc.

Believe it or not I've actually managed to get some writing and editing accomplished.  The updated stories are:
Up On Hartford Ridge
A Bunch of Wild Thyme
Dark Days
Emi on the Caloosahatchee
Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!
A Girl Called Jack

Thanks to "headlesshorseman" from PAW Fiction for the suggestion about the editing trouble I'm having with "Geek".  There's a hidden macro in there somewhere and the only way for me to find it is to show all of the commands and dig through it.  I found one but there is at least one more causing me grief.  Almost though, and I am ready to put that story to bed.

For today's vids I decided to include some good ones on making low sugar jams (an fruit roll ups) from scratch.  Hope you find them useful.

This one uses Pamona Pectin

Monday, June 15, 2015

Quick Update - `15 Jun 2015

The new addition to Up On Hartford Ridge is now up.  Sorry for the delay but yesterday my dad took a fall and when mom tried to catch him she went down too.  Nothing broken but plenty of bruises and I've spent last night and today dealing with the aftermath.  Thanks for the understanding and again I apologize for the delay.