Monday, September 29, 2008

Health, food and braces...oh my!

I'll start with food since that came first.

Well around here I love beans and rice. Dan just tolerates it and Susan won't touch it. When I make it she will usually eat some thing else in that fridge. Pffft...teens, I know, right.

So having made a ham last week I flipped through some cookbooks and found this recipe in my Fix It and Forget It Lightly....

Pinto Beans and Ham

1lb dried beans
5 1/2 cups water
1/4 lb cooked ham
1 clove of garlic
1 TB chili powder
1tsp salt
1tsp black pepper
1/4tsp oregano
1/4tsp cumin

Soak your beans over night and add them to the slow cooker and add every thing else and cook until done. It's a slow cooker so I'm sure you know what to do with everything.

This was delicious. I made rice for it and I had mine with Franks Red Hot on it and some salsa. Dan had his with cheese on top. He loved it as well. I would make it spicier next time but mmmmm mmmmm good! I will make this again for sure. In fact I'm thinking I may make it tomorrow. Here is a picture of it after I had added my hot sauce and salsa.

Moving on to my health update.

I've been seeing a lot of new doctors lately. First I went to my internist, who is also my family doctor. I wanted to talk about my back pain and see what I could do about it and she said there was nothing to be done about the bulging disks I had which I assumed was the cause of my back pain and maybe the nerve pain but the MRI report said no nerve is being touched. So she referred me to a pain clinic and that was that.

So now while waiting for the pain clinic to call with an appointment I had an appointment with an allergist to check for food allergies. I was poked with 120 different things because he wanted to check for environmental allergies as well and do you know what I turned out to be allergic to?

Can you guess?

I'll wait......

NOTHING!!! I was allergic to nothing! Can you believe it. He told me to go ahead and add back the soy, dairy, and onion and see if I can tolerate it and that they were probably just irritating my stomach. He was very quick to say it does not mean I can eat gluten and why this test was different from the celiac testing and it did not mean I did not have celiac disease. All of this I already know but was glad to hear a doctor who knew about celiac diease and knew information about. I don't know about other celiacs but I go into a new doctor just figuring they know nothing about it and thinking I'll have to explain it. I always look for that look too. You all know that look, when you mention celiac disease and they try to look like they know all about it but you can tell they've never heard of it and then they probably are running to their office to look it up LOL!

So anyways as I got home from the allergist looking forward to telling Dan that I am allergic to nothing and the pain clinic called with my appointment. Truthfully I had forgotten about it and they had an appoint for two days later so I snapped it up.

So Friday I went to my appointment and I had no clue how they worked as I have never been to a pain clinic before. First I got taken to a conference room and talked to 2 psychologists. They said they were there to determine how they may be able to help me and after going over every thing with them and things about my life they determined I was psychologically healthy and there was nothing they could do to help me except teach me relaxation techniques which I told them I would do. On my way home I decided to cancel that appointment because to be honest with you, I would never do it. You are supposed to listen to a cd and do these mental exercises they teach you and I am too lazy. I would never do it so I need to cancel that appointment today. Hey, I can be honest about myself, besides, I'd rather do some sewing or scrap booking and I find that very relaxing.

So then I saw the PA He asked a lot of questions ans pressed on some very painful spots on my body and I would not let him press to much on my coller bone area and neck because those are always very painful spots and he determined that my internist was correct, I have fibromylagia. He said all the nerve pain and back pain and burning and numbness nd the pain everywhere else was all from the fibro. He was pleased I already had all the tests they do to rule every thing else out. So he increased my neurontin med and scheduled me for lidocaine infusions. He also wants to have me get a tens unit which I have not scheduled yet. The last two days I have had a lot of pain all over my body and a lot of trouble walking due to the nerve pain. So the neurontin increase may not be enough.

Whenever I increase the neurontin med I always get either insomnia or very tired and this time it was very tired. We were doing a yard sale this weekend and the increase in my med caught up with me Sunday and I fell asleep while sitting out for the sale. I woke up to find 50 cents sitting on my book! LOL I can not believe I did not hear them!

This past week Susan got her braces off! She looks older now, I kind of miss them although she would never like me saying that LOL. She is finding her retainers painful so is wearing them for a bit, then taking them out for a bit and doing that until she gets used to them. Here are a few pictures.

And here's a close up.

And this is just her being goofy while I was trying to get a close up picture.

And just for a cute picture at the end of my post.

This is Miss Kitty. Isn't she getting big! It's amazing how fast these guys grow. It's almost time to get her spayed.

Well, time to go feed my goats. They have been sick since we got back from fair and finally they are getting better.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Fair continued & being soy free

Okay, to continue on with the fair and I think I may be able to finish up with it here and move on to some thing else.

So Monday was busy as I said but Tuesday and Wednesday were not. Tuesday I went and fed and a group of us walked around all of the animal barns and at this point the hay in the barnes did not seem to be an issue with me and my celiac disease so I was okay but by Thursday I was sick. That day it could have only been either the hay or soap I was using to wash my hands. By Friday I nailed it down to the hay. Our leader was shaking hay into the pens and I was instantly sick so I stayed out of the barn after that. We also found out that right after the sale it was discovered that some of the turkeys had turkey pox and they locked up the barn and were deciding on what to do. Boy I am glad we did not get any of the turkeys. I was really wanting a pen of them but they all went above our price range. Anyways the big news is Tuesday they judged the banners and my banner for our club won champion! I am very excited about that and already have ideas for 2 more.

Wednesday we went to the crash up derby and Susan and her boyfriend rode rides all evening and that was pretty much our Wednesday. By Wednesday my goat Mimi had a pretty bad cold. Snotty nose, sneezing, all of that but she was otherwise okay, eating and happy to see us.

Thursday, the big day. It's sale day. Time to sell Waffles and we were keeping our fingers crossed that he would sell good. One thing that irritated us was they did not announce that he was the reserve grand champion but Susan had a ribbon on her that her buyer received. He went for 350.00 and we were thrilled. A friend of Dan's bought him and Susan was great, she smiled nicely, laughed when one of the bidders joked with her and after taking him to the barn she came and found her bidder and thanked him for buying and gave him the reserve grand champion ribbon. Here are some pictures of her selling.

First is him getting on the stand. He did a great job and doesn't he look fantastic?

This is during the sale.

So after the sale the kids hang thank you cards up for their buyers. During the auction Dan bid on a goat for us. He goes to the butcher in 3 weeks so he will have an extra 5-10 pounds on him and we should get 45-50 pounds of meat from him I think. He's cute though. When I was pointing him out to my friend who was taking him to her farm he licked me and I told her "Oh he licked me, I can't do it now" LOL. Good thing he is at her house or I could never do it. We've had goat meat in roast form and did not like it but I'm told ground form is very good and very lean. I'll let you know how it is for sure. It feels good that we are fortunate enough to be able to afford to help support the 4-H program and helping these kids who are doing it to keep on with it.

So on Thursday night during feeding I ask my friend to teach me how to milk because I will have 2 to milk in about a year and a half and I need to learn. Unknown to me and my friend Dan was taking pictures. They are great pictures and will be great for a scrap book page.

If you look closely you can see milk coming out from the side I am working on. During that milking episode we attracted a crowd. Milking a goat always attracts a crowd by the way, but this particular crowd had a guy who knew EVERYTHING about how to milk a goat (picture my eye roll here). You know those types of people right. It was fun though and the next day, Friday morning, I tried again and was successful! My friend gave me a nice and very patient goat and I completely milked that goat. Yeah, it may have taken me awhile but I did it and that is what is important, haha. Unfortunately I could not be there for the Friday night feedings and this is why.

Yep, Friday night football game. It was the homecoming game. They've won every game so far with 2 more to go. Here is a close up of Susan marching.

And a picture of Susan and her boyfriend going to the dance.

Saturday I could not feed due to this.

Susan had the opportunity to play with Western Michigan University's band so we bought tickets and went to watch. It was band days and over 700 high school kids were there and this shot is just the middle of the group. It took 3 pictures to get them all in. The show was great. The bands in college do way more during a game than a high school band. Here is a shot of them in the stands.

And just a shot of the field logo.

It was fun to watch and she had a good time. Sitting on their bleachers just killed my back though and the nerves running down my legs. By half time I was in so much pain so we left after their show. Unfortunately they did stuff in the post game show and I'm sorry I missed it but we got the show on video so that was good.

Sunday morning we had to get up super early and be at the fair grounds by 7 am and finally brought our girls home. They both have pretty good colds but Mimi's is worse and Mimi cried for Waffles for a little bit but was better when I put the dogs in their kennel. Their kennel is right next to the goat pen so they kind of look at the dogs as part of their herd I think. Today I'm a little more concerned because there was still grain left and they did not eat their hay. I'm hoping they will be better in a few days.

So that ends our fair experience. It was fun but I'm glad it is over for this year.

So I just wanted to say a word about soy. I'm soy free and sheesh, soy is in everything. It's insane! I was looking at vegetable oil the other day and it is nothing but soy so why is it not just called soy oil? I also went to using a Misto with Canola oil in it because all of the sprays have soy in them too. But I digress. I had a friend from a quilting group I'm on request I share more of the recipes I am making. She is allergic to soy and other things so I'm guessing she would like ideas on dinners and I am happy to accommodate so I will post more recipes. Today I am making pintos and ham. A recipe I got from Fix it and Forget it Lightly and so far it smells good so I will take a picture (hopefully I will remember) and post the recipe and my comments on it.

Right now I am in search of gluten free, soy free, dairy free & egg free Thanksgiving recipes. I need to start some new traditions and this is the first year in a long time that we will be at home and I will be cooking. We usually go to Dan's parents but there is a family reunion in October and Dan decided to go to that and with gas the cost it is and having to find some one to care for our heard of animals we decided not to go down twice. I think it was an excellent decision. First Dan will get to see people he has not seen in years. Second I do not have to worry about cross contamination and not being able to eat during a holiday and third, I really enjoy making Thanksgiving dinner here. So if you have a recipe that fits my needs feel free to point me into the direction of it. It would be greatly appreciated.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fair week

Okay, fair week is finally over and I will blog about it in several posts because there is a lot to talk about.

Saturday the 15 (I hope that date is right)

The day to drop the goats of and for me to clerk for a fair judge. We were up early and had to be at the fair grounds by 7:30 am and lucky us, it was pouring and not stopping so the goats were not happy because they think they are very dainty and can't get wet. We got them settled in and I clerked and Susan did her still project judging and did very well. I poured rain all day and never stopped. They said we got 10 inches of rain that day.

Sunday the 16

We just went to the fair, fed our goats and Susan did her goat project evaluation and it poured all day again. It actually had never stopped from the night before. It just kept coming and coming. We've never seen rain like this here ever. We got a total of 17 inches. A lot of the animal barns flooded including our goat barn. One minute it was dry and the next we knew water was coming in and rising and it was rising fast. We watched knowing there was nothing we could do and it got to be about 6 inches deep. Every one was throwing hay into the pens to make sure the goats had a nice thick bed higher than the water. They closed the fair and our leader said to go ahead and feed and go home if we wanted. She said they were able to pump the water out pretty quickly and some people piled sand in front of the door of one end of the barn. It worked out fine.

I won't get into the people who dropped their goats off and never came back except for show day and sale day and the ones who never bothered to bring their own feed on top of never showing up. But there are a lot of people who are not happy about it at all. They never show up to meetings either and never know what is going on.

Monday the 17 SHOW DAY!!

Show day was great. It started at 8:30 am and ended at 4:30 pm. The judge was fantastic. Not only did she judge fairly but she also explained why she placed them where she did to each child individually. I really liked that.
Susan did awesome! Her market goat placed reserve grand champion which was VERY exciting. She also placed 6th in showmanship, Champion in dam and daughter and I just can not remember her other placements but she placed several reserve champions, 1 champion, 2 or 3 2nd places and 2 or 3 third places and maybe a few fourth places. My memory may not be good but she has 2 plaques and 3 trophies and a ton of ribbons and thank goodness for the camera or I would never remember anything. So here are some pictures from Monday's show.

So these are some pictures from the goat show on Monday and I will blog more about the fair and share more pictures from other days later. For now I am beat. Stay tuned for information on how our club banner we made did, teehee.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fall is coming

School has started (YAY!) and it is getting darned cold in the mornings. My poor goats were shivering this morning due to us having to shave them for fair over Memorial Day weekend so I closed their window for them. It's been a little bit since I posted. I was feeling pretty decent for a few weeks so I took the time to shampoo carpets and clean the house up and catch up on some stuff that needed done. I used the elliptical a few days ago and my right knee started hurting, then over the next few days it got real bad and then my hip and now I am not able to do much again so back to the doctor I will go next week. It's also time to do some thing about my back pain. An MRI said I have 2 bulging disks so I need to do some thing about that.

So, in prep for the fair that stats Sunday the 14th we needed to get pictures of the kids with their goats to hang over their goat pens and we had a hard time wrangling the 3 of ours to get a picture with all of them together. So in the end we ended up having to pull a branch down on a tree they love the leaves of and this is the best of what we got.

And here is one of Susan with her market goat Waffles. I really like this picture of her.

We still have a few things to get done for fair but otherwise we are ready to go on Saturday morning. We will drop the goats and I will clerk all day for a judge and Susan will get judged on all of her still projects which include a pineapple upside down cake, photography, ink on glass, candles, baskets and she will turn in the banner we made for the goat club. It will be a busy week but it is always a ton of fun.

Next I wanted to share a picture of the fall basket I finished a couple of weeks ago. I love how it turned out. The basket was a very simple one with cute additions like the leaves and round reed vines.

I've also been working on some quilts lately which could be contributing to my increased pain in all of my joints and back but I decided that I was tired of not doing the things I like and it helps me to figure out what problems I am still having. I sew for a little bit at a time and then rest my back and joints as needed. It's not helping with the pain much but again at least I am doing some thing I enjoy. So I have finished the top of a spring wall hanging that was a ufo from a year ago and yesterday I pulled out a Halloween quilt that I started about 5 years ago at least! Susan even got to where she quit asking about it LOL. So I cut the first border and will finish that today and hopefully the other 2 borders. Then I will layer the wall hanging and Halloween quilt and get those finished. Then I will be moving onto a wall hanging I started 3 years ago for my mom for Christmas. I love that I am getting this stuff done. And just to prove I am working on it, here is a picture of what I was doing yesterday.

So that is about it for now. I will have lots of pictures to share next week and then some of the band and their routine after next Fridays game. I'm still using the crock pot at least once a week and really like my new one. I made a chicken recipe last week that was delicious! Since it's been so cold lately I think I will make the corn chowder recipe again. Yum! I've also been testing eggs and determined they are definatly making me sick but I suspect it may be a fat thing since my gallbladder is gone and next I will try just egg whites and see if I react to that. Then I will test soy next. Some times this gets old.