Tag Archives: preparedness

Gluten & Dairy Free Thoughts on Preparedness

A question was asked about preparedness  and I have wanted to address some issues from a gluten and dairy free perspective.

This is not a post discussing if you  should or shouldn’t prep.  This is not a post on whether a Christian should or shouldn’t prep.  If you want my take on these, I highly recommend you read this post by my friend Enola Gay:  Preparedness Appologetics.  She and her family are further along in their preparedness than my family, but one can only start when their eyes have been opened.  And you can only do what you can.

No one will ever be completely prepared for every and any eventuality.  I do believe that I can prepare to be ready for some of the more likely scenarios.  But I did say that this post is not really about all those issues.

All of the places you go to get recommendations on how much and of what to have on hand rarely deal with food restrictions.  Much of what is “recommended” to have on hand is not something I  can even eat!  The beginning of our preparing was before I discovered my problem with gluten.  And only recently has my ‘problem’ with dairy become even more of a problem.  I seem to be ‘troubled’ most Monday afternoons and have finally narrowed it down to… the hidden, dairy-laden food at church!  So storing a bunch of dairy would not help me survive some kind of disaster.

Trying to buy up all the packages of gluten free crackers or buying them by the case (or cases) takes up far too much valuable space.  I don’t know about you, but I have a limited amount of space for storage and need to maximize the space I do have…  getting the most bang for my buck, as the saying goes.

I’m not saying do not buy any prepackaged items.  What I am saying is don’t make them the bulk of your food storage.

My goal it to store the basic ‘from scratch’ foods we need to eat a healthy, well balanced diet.  For baking I store a variety of rices, whole buckwheat, whole sorghum, whole millet, certified GF steel cut & rolled oats, quinoa in whole and flaked versions and pearl & granular tapioca.  These I will use whole and ground up for baking.

I also store a variety of seeds and nuts.  These I repackage into small vacuum sealed bags, then in a 5-gallon bucket.  Chia seeds are my favorite preparedness food stuff.  The nutritional content is wonderful and they can be used in a variety of ways!

For cooking I have stored a variety of beans, dehydrated lots of fruits & vegetables, have purchased some canned items in cases and have powdered coconut milk in 5 pound bags, powdered stevia in 1 pound bags, bulk spices in large containers, evaporated cane juice and sucanat in 5-gallon buckets.

So where will I get my calcium?  Chia seeds!  Magnesium?  Hemp seeds (no it’s not THAT hemp).  I don’t like the taste of flax and the chia and hemp have a better nutritional profile and are better keepers.

What should you store?  What grains do you tolerate well?  What grains are you already baking with… you do bake some of your own gluten free cakes, breads, and such don’t you?  Some???  That is one reason I joined the Ratio Rally.  I made me get up off my… baking behind and start baking my own gluten free breads, cakes, muffins, scones, pies, biscuits, crepes, popovers and brownies!  I have learned so much, especially how freeing it is to bake my ratio.  I don’t need any recipes… I can make them fit the ingredients I have on hand!  Now THAT is truly being prepared.

Store what you use and use what you store.

That is one reason I am so very fond of my ‘new’ (but from a very old & favorite cookbook) Rice Flour Muffin Recipe & Rice Flour Muffin Variations!  It is very simple, uses ingredients that I always have on hand and is versatile!  Flavor variations will make ‘survival food’ so much more pleasurable!

What kinds of things do you think are important in being prepared for TEOTWAWKI or even just a current job loss?

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae  (aka~Mrs. R)

Other posts that may be of interest:

A Common Sense Look at Soaking Grains

Breakfast Mix

Black Berkey Water Filter Failure

A Few Thoughts on Expiration Dates

How to Clean a Trout or other fish

Art thanks to art.com

photos thanks to shorpy.com

This post also linked here: The Better Mom, What joy is Mine, Raising Arrows, Finding Heaven, Homestead Revival, Far Above Rubies, Time Warp Wife, Growing Home, A Pause on the Path, Thankful Homemaker, Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, We Are THAT Family, Deep Roots at Home, A Mother’s Heritage, Women Living Well, Intentional Me, Raising Mighty Arrows, Our Simple Country Life, At the Picket Fence, Best Post of the Week, Serenity Now, Homemaker by Choice, Comfy in the Kitchen, Finding Beauty,

Radiation Found In Tuna

Giant Bluefin Tuna

Here is an article about the radiation found in tuna caught off the California coast.

Another reason I am glad I have been preparedness minded.  I bought lots of canned tuna right after the Fukishima disaster in March 2011.  Must be time to ration our usage…

974 lbs World Record tuna

I wonder if tuna will start dying of radiation poisoning…

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

Greetings & Update

Hello All!  I am so sorry I have been so quite here lately.  Life has been in a bit of an uproar in our home and blogging was set aside for a short time.  The photo challenge is also off for now.  I just can’t keep up with all that right now.

The Patriarch injured himself at work.  Nothing serious, but it is taking longer to heal that I would like to see!  He has a bursa on his knee.  He is a field service technician fixing forklifts, which is a hard, physically demanding job.  On the 16th he spent an hour & a half kneeling while working on a lift truck.  The next day he had a large lump just below the knee cap, about the size of a large apricot.  The following day he mentioned that he had hurt his knee and was required to fill out L&I forms by his boss.  He didn’t think it needed medical attention, but did leave work early every day the rest of that week.  He rested it over the weekend but it hadn’t changed.

Then early the following week he had to kneel on it again.  That night he called me into the bathroom to see his foot.  I was shocked!  It was a deep maroon color along the entire inside of his foot and partly along the outside.  His foot and ankle were also swollen.  He came home early to rest his leg most of that week also.  Because it hadn’t gotten any better he said  he would have a doctor look at it.

Then on Tuesday, the 28th of February he went to the clinic for his work.  He waited an hour to be seen.  The doctor took one look at his swollen foot, ankle and calf and sent him to have an ultrasound to eliminate the possibility of any blood clots!  YIKES!!  All that was done at the regional medical center.  Because of the possibility of blood clots, he was ushered in to be scanned immediately upon arrival.

That sure had me a bit worried I’ll tell you! 

Thankfully he scanned all clear of any clots.  Phew!  If there had been a clot, he would have been immediately admitted into the hospital and would have been there for at least 3 days.

It seemed like late September’s medical emergencies all over again… was I prepared for all that again… this time with MY husband??

In case you are new to my blog, this past September my mom & step-Daddy came to visit.  He suffered a series of strokes and went home for treatment.  His cancer was causing thickened blood, which resulted in his strokes.  He died in early December from the cancer.  I miss him very much.

Anyway, The Patriarch was sent home to rest his leg for the remainder of the week.  It has been nice having him home, but that always throws my schedule w-a-y off!

And today, today is Arrow’s 13th birthday.  Where has all the time gone?!

We originally planned to go to the zoo.  But Arrow said he would prefer to go next week and stay at home with his Dad.  It gladdened my heart to hear him say that.  :-)

Arrow & I are also taking a break from formal piano lessons for a bit.  We will continue to work ahead in our books, but on our own.

I have been amazed at how much more I have gotten done at home, not leaving… even for that one appointment!  I am REALLY liking this!  I am also cutting back on my computer time.  Not for blogging, but for my yahoo groups, facebook, etc.   No, this is not a lenten thing it is a ‘get my priorities straight’ thing.

I have started a major de-cluttering… and started in the ‘office’.  Our school books were in piles and boxes in the office and scattered in various locations throughout the rest of the house.

And dust…?  Oh am I supposed to do that??!

I know have completed a thorough dusting of the three tall bookshelves in the office, organized most of the books on those shelves, went through and got rid of loads of paper & condensed some storage files.  I also dusted, arranged and organized the books on the two small bookshelves in the master bedroom.  I still have some organizing to do with the books so they are easier to use, but I now know where they all are!!

Labels.  I hate it when I have “reorganized” but can’t find anything.  So I have labeled drawers & plastic bins with my nifty label maker.  It is a P-touch and everything is neatly labeled.  Including my spices!

Arrow hung up some new bird feeders a few weeks ago.  We have three feeders hanging just outside of the living room window and one that is one Arrow’s bedroom window.  So far we have had nuthatches, Juncos, chickadees, and finches.

I had forgotten how much I enjoy bird watching!  Our visit to my mom’s reminded me and renewed Arrow’s interest in birds.  I sit on the couch in the living room and watch the birds at the feeders early in the morning.  We just picked up almost 25 books from the library on bird watching, bird house building, gardening to attract birds and bird identification books specific to back yards in the Seattle area.

After hanging out feeders, it was only 3 or 4 days before we had birds visiting them!  We have one feeder that is for thistle seeds which finches really like.  There is one suet feeder that the nuthatches and chickadees like.  The third feeder has a seed mix for a variety of birds.  Once that mix is gone I will no longer use it.  There is too much ‘junk seed’ in there.  We will switch to providing shelled sunflower or safflower seeds.

With all the time The Patriarch has been off work, we are looking at next to no paycheck for the next pay period.This is yet another reason I am SO GLAD we have been preparedness minded!  I have enough ‘supplies’ stocked up that all I really need to purchase for the next few weeks are perishables.  All those preparedness supplies will be my next organizing focus!

Then we come to tomorrow.  Tomorrow are the Washington state Republican caucuses.  There will be NO primary voting this year, it was eliminated due to budgetary cuts.  So we are supposed to go to a caucus… but I don’t like any of the candidates!  Sigh.

Sorry for the jumbled post!  It does sort of fit with my life right now though…

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

Black Berkey Water Filter Failures

Discovered this and immediately thought of all my many prepper friends who would NEED to know!!  There is a potential problem with two batches of the black Berkey filters.

Here is a link to the New Millennium Concepts letter explaining how to tell if YOUR black Berkey filter is one in the effected group AND how to check to see if yours works or not.
Me??  I didn’t need this information.

Why?  We bought an Aqua Rain!  Made in the USA too!   Do you want to know the second reason I bought an Aqua Rain?  The first being made in USA as stated above.  The second reason… the filters.  You can read about their superior filtering at their website.

The third reason… those nifty handles on the upper reservoir!  Those things are not on the Berkey.  Prepper friends told us that you frequently lift the upper reservoir to check the water level.  I figured it would be easier with handles.

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

B-I-G Preparedness/Homesteading Giveaway!!

I have not talked about preparedness for a while.  I am still working on our supplies and a comprehensive inventory is becoming a necessity!  There are still some areas where I could use some help.  That is where THIS post comes in.  I stumbled across this giveaway and immediately thought… wow!  These are some of the very things I need to add to our preparedness supplies!  How timely.

Isn’t that just like the Lord?  Providing when you hadn’t been looking!

The ForgottenWayFarms.com folks and HomesteadDryingRacks.com are teaming up for a great giveaway for preparedness &/or homesteading minded folks and there are 6 different prizes worth $304!

Six Prizes – Six chances to win

1st Grandpa Jakes Campfire Cooker ($139.00 value)

2nd One handcrafted Peddler drying rack (49.00)

3rd Homesteading for Beginners vol. I- II-III ($45.00)

4th Plunger Washer ($29.00)

5th  Erin’s Super Green Drink Mix 1 lb. ($25.00)

6th Erin’s Sick Tea ½ lb. ($17.00)

I am drooling over the Grandpa Jake’s Outdoor Cooker.  I also need the Plunger Washer for my preparedness supplies.  The Green Mix and Tea would also be wonderful as would the DVDs!  Who couldn’t use a really nice drying rack with REAL space for drying things??!!

Hop on over to their blog to check out how YOU can enter a chance to win one of these great items!  Don’t delay… this giveaway ends at midnight on Feb 5th!

A Common Sense Look at Soaking Grains

Long, worth the read and re-printed with permission.  ;-)

Phytic Acid Friend or Foe?

The Soaking of Grains Investigated

By Sue Becker

 Since 1992 I have been teaching others the health benefits of freshly milled whole grains.  I have heard literally hundreds of testimonies of improved health, from minor issues to life threatening ones.  What a confirmation these testimonies have been to the truths that have been taught.

Over the years, though, conflicting messages have arisen from time to time.  When questioned concerning these teachings, I would research each one as to their validity.  Most of the time I found some truth mixed with error.  I chose to answer these questions on a personal level as they arose.  I did not wish to get in a public arena of debate, choosing instead to just let truth prevail, and it always has.  I have watched books, diets and teachers come and go.

However, there is a teaching I feel I must address formally. It is causing quite a stir among those of us who have embraced the lifestyle of milling our own grains.  I have searched, studied and agonized over the subject for the past 4 or 5 years.  My desire was not to prove any one wrong, but I had to know that what I was teaching was correct.  If I was teaching error I had to change.  It is my desire to present to you my findings and let you make an educated decision as to what is correct.

The subject is phytic acid and the sprouting or soaking of grains.  Phytic acid is considered by some as an anti- nutrient component found in the bran portion of all grains and beans.  It is being taught that “untreated” phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption.  It is being said that a diet high in unfermented whole grains supposedly can lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss.  It is also suggested that long term consumption of these untreated phytates may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and other serious adverse affects.

Statements are also being made that imply that grains have always been eaten in their sprouted form and that “our ancestors and virtually all pre-industrialized people only ate grains that were soaked or fermented”.  Nourishing Tradition by  Sally Fallon pg.452

My first thought is, that I see no reference of sprouting grains in the scripture.  Many people refer to Ezekiel 4:9 as the first mention of sprouted bread.  Careful examination of the verse however, gives no indication that the grains are sprouted.  God’s instruction to Ezekiel is to take “wheat, spelt, barley, millet, lentils and beans” and to put them into “one vessel”.  A word study done on “one vessel” showed that it means exactly that – one container.  I do not see any indication of sprouting.  One must remember that each of these grains or beans was used separately for food, for example barley loaves or spelt bread.  The instruction to Ezekiel appears clear to me.  God did not want Ezekiel to make a variety of breads out of the individual grains, but one bread out of the grains combined.  Individually, grains and beans lack certain necessary amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.  However, when grains and bean are combined, they perfectly complement each other, forming a complete protein.  In a long term fast, much body mass is lost due to a lack of nourishment, particularly protein.   When grains or beans are sprouted some protein is lost.  I believe this bread was not sprouted, and the incredible supply of complete protein and other nutrients perfectly nourished Ezekiel for over 400 days!

It is taught by some that grains were harvested differently in Biblical days than now.  This is Jordon Rubin’s best argument as to why there is no evidence of the sprouting of grains in the Bible. The teachings of Dr. Edward Howell are quoted and embraced as truth by both Sally Fallon and Jordon Rubin.   “Dr. Howell noticed that the old harvesting techniques helped preserve and enhance the nutrition value of the grain.  After cutting the mature grains in the field, farmers would gather the stalks and loosely bind them upright in sheaves and let them stand overnight in the field before threshing them (or removing the grain from the grass stalks) the next day.  This allowed the grains to germinate or sprout”The Maker’s Diet by Jordon Rubin pg.139 (emphasis mine).  The premise is that this “germination” or sprouting of the seed in the field broke down the “harmful” phytic acid naturally so that no further soaking of the grain was necessary.

Dr. Howell’s statement is so simplistically wrong I truly thought I was missing something!  No seed can begin to germinate or sprout and then be stored.  The sprouting process can not be put on hold.  It is like being pregnant – you are or you aren’t.  If you are, you can not put it on hold and save the baby until you are ready for it.  That baby will continue to grow until it is full term.  It is the same with seeds.  Once the sprout is formed, a full grown plant is going to develop.  If seeds were allowed to sprout, they could not be stored, resulting in no seeds for next year’s crop and no food for the winter. 

Germination of the seed does indeed stimulate phytase activity.  Phytase is an enzyme that breaks down phytic acid and that allows the release of stored mineral which the new plant needs for growth.  Normally these nutrients are stored securely inside the seed until it germinates.  The fermentation process of yeast triggers this same activity and causes phytase to transform non-usable minerals into digestible ones.  These minerals include phosphorous, zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper.  Without proper fermentation, these minerals remain inaccessible to your body.  Allowing bread to rise for several hours before baking insures maximum nutritional value and the release of these stored nutrients.

I checked with the owner of one of our grain elevators on grain harvesting procedures.  The owner had just returned from Ethiopia.  It was harvest season there.  He assured me that the primitive methods used for harvesting grain in Ethiopia today were the same primitive methods for harvesting grain used for thousands of years.  The cut wheat was tied up in bundles, because it is easier to pick up a bundle than an individual stalk.    The seeds must be fully dry at harvest time or they will not store!  It is not desirable for the grain to get damp; therefore, it is harvested as quickly as possible.  The only difference in modern methods of harvesting is that machinery is used to perform the tasks.  The last thing any farmer wants is for the grain to get damp!

 “Like snow in summer and rain in harvest so honor is not fitting for a fool.” Proverbs 26:1  Amp. version

 “Is it not wheat harvest today?  I will call to the Lord and He will send thunder and rain; then you shall know and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the Lord in asking for a king for yourselves.” I Samuel 12:17 Amp. version

Moist grain at harvest is a curse from God, not a benefit!

The History of Bread Making and Natural Leavens

Since I first began this journey of making my own bread, from freshly milled grains, the history of bread making has fascinated me.  I have read many books and articles on the subject.  I have never read anything to document the statement about our ancestors and “virtually all pre-industrialized people” soaking their grains.  In preparation for writing this article I have spent even more time searching out and reading articles on the internet on the history of bread making.  Again I found nothing on soaking or fermenting grains historically.

I think perhaps there is some confusion with the yeast “starters” that required an over night soak.

Prior to the availability of commercial yeast, bakers, as well as, homemakers had to “make” their own starter.  I found two recipes for starters in a cookbook that was printed in 1901.  The cookbook belonged to my husband’s great grandmother and was a “Careful Collection of Tried and Approved Recipes” compiled by The Ladies Aid Society.  I figure that would date these recipes in the 1800s.

Organisms needed to leaven bread dough could be “caught” from the air.  Equal parts flour and milk were mixed together to form a smooth batter.  The raw milk, unlike today’s pasteurized milk, would supply the lactic acid bacteria.  The mixture was allowed to set uncovered for several days to catch various organisms from the air.  Once the growth of the yeast and bacteria made a nice bubbly mixture the “starter” was ready and could be used for making bread.  The day before making bread, this starter was mixed with equal parts flour and water or milk and allowed to soak or “sponge” for 24 hours or overnight.  The next morning a portion of the starter was saved and stored in a “yeast pot” (mentioned in the book of Exodus) for future use.  Flour, sweeteners, oil and salt were then added to the rest of the sponge to make the bread dough.  The dough was kneaded then shaped into loaves and allowed to rise for several hours.  The entire amount of flour used was not soaked or allowed to ferment, only what was necessary to make their yeast.  These starters are a mixture of yeast and lactic acid bacteria.  The yeast does the leavening and the lactic acid bacteria gives the bread a sour flavor, hence the name sour dough bread.  These “starters” are often referred to as natural leaven since the yeast is considered wild and caught from the air.  To say that natural leaven is not yeast is incorrect.

The strains of commercial yeast used today were isolated, as microorganisms were discovered, and grown for commercial use because of their hardiness and viability.  It was more practical for bakers to have yeast readily available.  I enjoy the flavor of sour dough and first learned to make bread using a sour dough starter.  But I enjoy the convenience of bakers yeast and see no difference in the method of bread making through out history and the way I make bread today, except that I do not have to grow my yeast.  I incorporate the yeast into my dough, just as has always been done, except that my yeast is in a dry form and not from a starter.  I do, of course, lose the sour flavor contributed by the lactic acid bacteria.

Through out history many civilizations have indeed had numerous fermented foods as part of their diet.  The fact that many ancient cultures ate a fermented bread of some sort, however, does not mean that all bread has to be fermented.   Just because one culture eats a fermented cabbage food, known as sauerkraut, does not mean that all cabbage has to be fermented.  Yogurt is a fermented dairy food; does that mean all milk has to be fermented?  Certainly not!

One must remember that the fermentation of foods was chiefly a preservation method.   Fermenting grains also offered a variety of texture, flavor, and aroma.   Years ago, sweeteners and flavoring were not as readily available to the common people; therefore, grains or flour and water were often allowed to ferment overnight to give the bland “bread” some flavor.  The dough was then fried or baked.  Fermenting grains does indeed break down some of the protein, which is not necessarily advantageous.  In fact, a nutritional study done on Ogi, a fermented African corn bread, showed that there were considerable losses in protein and calcium during the fermenting of Ogi.  Researchers found that “the biological quality of Ogi was so poor it did not support the growth of rats”! (History of Fermented Soy Foods, Special Report by William Shurtleff)

Common breakfast cereals, such as oats were often soaked overnight.  Before the process of rolling oats came along to shorten the cooking time, oat groats could take several hours to cook to obtain a nice creamy texture.  Soaking the groats overnight shortened the early morning cooking time.   Our ancestors were logical people.  To imply that they soaked or fermented grains because of some innate sense that it was more nutritious is sheer speculation.

Phytic Acid – Friend or Foe?

Phytic acid’s “chelating” ability is considered by some to be a detriment to one’s health.  On the other hand, many researches embrace this ability to bind with minerals as its most powerful asset.  In her book, Diet for the Atomic Age, Sara Shannon, lists 11 nutrients in particular that protect against heavy metal toxicity and radiation damage.  Phytates bind with radioactive and toxic substances and carry them out of the body.  Aware of phytic acid’s mineral binding properties, Shannon states that an adequate diet will more than compensate.  One must also remember that whole grains themselves are an abundant source of iron, calcium, and zinc.  After extensive research, Shannon found that the more toxic our environment becomes, grains are our best source of protection, particularly due to the phytate content.  She believes that “for optimal health, at least half of every meal should be grains”. Why would one want to denature something that is so beneficial?   In fact, a supplement company is actually isolating this “powerful antioxidant” because of its anti-tumor, anti-carcinogenic, and blood sugar regulating properties!

Studies show that phytic acid, particularly from wheat bran, actually stimulates the productions of phytase in the small intestine.  The fact that phytase can be produced in the small intestine eliminates the necessity of fermenting all grains before consuming them, as in the case of unleavened breads, quick breads (that do not use yeast as a leavening), and parched or boiled grains.  Phytase activity in the small intestine actually increased, not decreased, the absorption of minerals, especially, calcium.  (Journal of Nutrition 2000:130: 2020-2025).  Over the years we have seen numerous people healed of life long anemia issues after they began grinding their own grains to make their bread.  How could this be if phytic acid in the bran kept iron from being absorbed?

Other studies have also shown that this increase of phytase activity, stimulated by phytic acid, offered significant reduction in the formation of cancer cells in the colon.  This anti-carcinogenic protection was also attributed to phytic acid’s mineral chelating properties.   If phytic acid strengthen and protects the colon, how could it cause colitis and irritable bowel syndrome?   Again we have heard numerous testimonies of healing of both colitis and IBS from eating “real bread”.

Phytic acid can be digested by humans and actually releases inositol during the process.  Inositol is a key B vitamin necessary for the metabolism of fat and cholesterol.  Whole grains are a valuable source of inositol, as well as choline and lecithin, which are also important in the break down of cholesterol.  This may explain why so many people have reported a significant reduction in cholesterol levels once they began making their own bread from freshly milled grains.  Inositol is also an essential nutrient in reducing depression.  Again I ask – why would we want to denature this valuable nutrient?

One should really wonder why whole grains and phytic acid were “picked on” at all.  Why not oxalic acid?  It is a mineral chelator found in spinach, chard, cranberries, almonds, rhubarb and other vegetables.  Should we quit eating these healthy foods as well?  Sally Fallon encourages the use of flaxseed for its rich source of fatty acids, stating that it is low in phytic acid.  Yet sources that herald phytic acid as a nutrient, give wheat bran and flaxseed as the richest sources.   Does soaking the grain over night actually denature the phytic acid?  Not from what I have read.  Only about 10% of the phytic acid is broken down in an overnight soak and that is not enough to make a significant difference.

Is There a Place for the Sprouting of Grains?

Absolutely!!  In fact I got very excited as I began to study this.  Of the many essential nutrients needed by your body to promote health and life, there are only four nutrients deficient in wheat, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and the amino acid lysine.  When grains and beans are sprouted, there is some loss in protein, but vitamin A content increases by 300% and vitamin C by 500%.  In fact sprouted grains were used on long ocean voyages to prevent scurvy.  Limes, and lemons would eventually rot, but the storable grains would last the duration of the voyage and could be sprouted at any time. Sprouted grains can also be more easily tolerated by those who can not digest gluten.

As our food supply gets more and more contaminated and manipulated – our fruits and vegetables are radiated and picked long before ripening, animals are fed antibiotics and hormones that then show up in our meat and dairy products, genetic modification is being done to much of our food supply – we can become very discouraged and left with very few safe food options.

Grains, however, do not have to be radiated to be made storable, they are not fed antibiotics or hormones, and organic grains are not genetically modified.  From all of this, I see the hand of a wonderful Creator that made a perfectly storable food, which can be ground into flour to make delicious breads of all sorts and to obtain two of the missing nutrients one can then sprout the grains.   Grains, as I see it are our most reliable food!

The Attack on Bread – God’s Perfect Provision

For a long time I have been very concerned as I have watched bread be attacked from every direction.  The “low carb” diet propagated the myth that bread will make you fat.  Gluten is treated like some evil substance, found in bread, when in fact it is just the protein portion of the grain, with specific health benefits.  This is not to negate the fact that some people have serious physical issues with gluten.  But the problem is not with gluten.  If so, why is corn such a common allergen?   It has no gluten.  What about milk?   These are all wonderful foods that God has given us that are now thought of as unhealthy when in fact we are the ones who are unhealthy.  We lack the ability to digest these foods properly.   Now presently grain is bad because of some mold on the wheat and phytic acid in the bran.  What next?

I believe that the day has come where God is going to use sickness and disease as a powerful evangelistic tool.  As God’s people we must prepare.  As we turn to His ways of eating, always letting His word be the final authority, we will see our health return.  As those around us become sicker they will look to us for answers.  As we share truth for physical health, we will be sharing truth for spiritual health.  But if deceptive teaching can prevail and convince the world that bread is bad, then why would any one want the Real Bread of Life.  Deceptive teaching is a powerful tool of the enemy. We must pray continually for wisdom. None of us is above being deceived.  In fact as I have struggled with the validity of this teaching, the Lord spoke this scripture to my heart:

“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? … Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to obtain your goal by human effort: Galatians 3:1 NIV version

I do not wish to be either foolish or bewitched.  James 1:5 tells us that if we lack wisdom we are to ask God who will give it.

Throughout the Bible, bread is considered a symbol of healing or the presence of God.  Jesus compared Himself to bread because bread, made from freshly milled whole grains is life giving and life sustaining. As the days become more and more evil, Jesus will be attacked in any and every way.  If the life giving bread to which Jesus compares Himself, can be brought into question, then the very name of Jesus and His saving power can be more easily discredited as well.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this article should be construed as medical advice.  Consult you health care provider for your individual nutritional and medical needs.  The opinions are strictly those of the author and are not necessarily those of any professional group or other individual.

This article is re-printed here with permission.

I am so thankful for Sue Becker’s research and careful analysis of this “grain soaking necessity”.  Though gluten and my body do not happily co-exist together, I believe many who read my blog are able to consume gluten and I would like to free them from an unnecessary burden – soaking grains.

There is another reason I believe this article is important.

Preparedness.

In a TEOTWAWKI situation, you might find it expedient to soak your grains overnight to save cooking time, water, and fuel.  These three (among others) will be precious commodities when the grid goes downMany other times you will NEED to prepare a meal quickly, and may not have had the time to start soaking something for the next day’s meals.  Or the dog, or mice or other vermin might have gotten into your grains soaking on the counter – or tent floor – or vehicle dash – or….

Then there will be the times of necessity when you are out gathering fuel, water or whatever it is you need and have to take some kind of food with you.  You will NOT be soaking your grains on the go!

Please, don’t saddle healthy homemakers and preppers with a false sense of guilt if they don’t (unnecessarily) soak their grains!

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

Turkey Pot Pie With Herb Biscuit Topping

Can you believe it is time for yet another ratio rally??!!??

Baking by ratio is simply keeping your ingredients to a specified ratio thus ensuring consistent results when following the recipe.  How many times have your tried a recipe that sounds & looks terrific only to find your own end-result to be much less than desirable??  I have – – – far too many times than I would like to admit.  Especially once I started baking gluten free… it is a whole new baking world!  Ratios are your answer to consistent success!  And who has money to throw botched recipes away?  Some botchings are just NOT redeemable…  :-(

This month’s  ratio rally features biscuits and is hosted by Gretchen at www.kumquatblog.com/2012/01/gluten-free-ratio-rally-sweet.html.  I discovered something new about Gretchen this month… her dear husband serves in the US Military!  Gretchen, please extend our gratitude to your husband for his service to our country!!!  And as a retired-military wife I know full well YOUR OWN sacrifice for our country. Thank you so much for your service as well!

This brief interlude was made possible by the sacrifice of the  men and women of the finest military in the world – The United States Armed Forces.  God bless you and protect you!

Now on to the recipes…

Biscuits… I have always loved those baked beauties.  When we lived in Florida I used to get cinnamon raisin biscuits at Hardee’s.  Then there are the cheese biscuits at Red Lobster, the standard biscuits served everywhere in the south, biscuit topping for cobblers, and my favorite… sausage biscuits!   Yes, you could ruin it with an egg… but I like mine straight.  :-)  I never had a problem making really good biscuits… until I had to eat gluten free.  Sigh.  I miss tall, flaky, tender biscuits… split open and topped with butter and jam…

Rhulman’s ratio is another 3-2-1, just like a pie crust.  In fact biscuits are really a pie crust with leavening agents.  They are mixed together the same way and need the same handling.

I have baked numerous batches of biscuits this past month with varying degrees of success.  My first batch turned out well but spread too much and looked like… well cookies with cracked tops.  Hm.  Another batch tasted rice-y and were doughy/gummy after baking… flour ratio bomb to be sure!  A previous batch looked great but crumbled apart when I tried slicing them to  make Sausage Biscuits out of them.  Sigh.  Is this really THAT hard…?  Prior to this rally I did fine with biscuits, even the gluten free ones… well as long as I made them drop style.  One day I hope to find the secret to cut out biscuits that will rise up tall!  I know they will never be as tall as a gluten biscuit… but can I have a little height… please?

OK, back to the drawing board!

Biscuits lessons learned…  I have discovered that:

* too high a percentage of starchy flours will result in a gummy biscuit.

* if you use rice flour (whole grain) AND sweet rice flour (starch) as the major portion of the biscuit mix it will result in a rice flavored biscuit.  :-(

* if you use too much shortening your biscuits will spread too much. (just like cookies)

* not enough starchy flours will result in a v-e-r-y crumbly biscuit.

* if I wanted to use my “whole grain flour mix” I needed to add some more starchy flour to balance out the whole grain for a biscuit you can slice AND won’t fall apart while trying to eat it.

So I fell back to my standard drop style biscuit… with a little twist.  :-)

I started out by using a whole grain blend we all have really liked the flavor of.

Aunt Mae’s Whole Grain GF Flour Blend

thanks to the gluten free girl for the blending guidelines

132 grams millet flour

206 grams certified gf oat flour

462 grams brown rice flour

105 grams quinoa flour

60 grams garbanzo bean flour

35 grams brown teff flour

388 grams tapioca flour

214 grams sweet rice flour

Measure each flour out into a large airtight container.  Place lid on, make sure it is secure and shake to mix well.  For those of you who live near enough to a Costco business center, they have some very large (6 qt I think, they are the ones with the red lids), square plastic containers that are perfect for mixing a large quantity of a gluten free flour blend into… and storing it there if you like.

This is my second batch of this basic blend.  We have loved it in pancakes, waffles, biscuits, and I plan to use it in much more!

But after a month of rolled & cut biscuit results that were not what I was looking for… what should I make for the ratio rally???  Hm, I do have some turkey leftover from our New Year’s Eve dinner.  Hey!!  I know!!  I can make a Turkey Pot Pie with an Herb Biscuit Topping!!

And I did.

Everyone loved it.  Phew.  :-D

The basis for the pot pie recipe was this one from Silvana Nardone.

I like to think of this as… are you ready for this?

Gobbler Cobbler.  :-)

Turkey Pot Pie with Herb Biscuit Topping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Have 1 – 2 quart baking dish ready.

FOR FILLING:

2 – 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted in large skillet over medium to medium low heat.  Make sure you get the pan hot BEFORE you add the oil, let the oil melt and heat BEFORE you add the vegetables.  (Why a hot pan? See Here!)

1 medium onion, diced small (for dicing help go here)

2 stalks celery, sliced

1/2 of 1 large carrot, washed and shredded (or diced)

4 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 teaspoon summer savory

1 – 2 cups leftover, cooked green beans

2  cups cubed, cooked turkey

2 cups leftover turkey gravy

FOR HERB BISCUIT TOPPING:

Place stand mixer bowl onto scale.  Weigh all ingredients right into bowl!

4 ounces butter, earth balance, or shortening

8 ounces Aunt Mae’s Whole Grain GF Flour Blend

3 1/2 ounces tapioca flour

1/2 ounce non-GMO corn starch

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces (by weight) milk, coconut milk beverage, or other non-dairy milk.

DIRECTIONS:

Saute onion, celery, carrot and mushrooms in coconut oil.

While vegetables are cooking prepare the herb biscuit topping.

Weigh out the fat into your stand mixer bowl.  Zero out the scale and weight out the flours.  Add in baking powder and salt.  Using the stand mixer paddle, ‘cut in’ the shortening until it resembles small peas.  They do not need to be uniform in size.

Next, pour in part of the liquid and start mixing.  You want the dough to form a ball around the paddle.  You may need more or less liquid depending on you humidity and flour mixture.  I seem to have consistently needed a little less than the full 8 ounces.

Take about 1/3 of the dough and place into a separate bowl.  Add 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning or to taste to the 1/3 portion and mix in well.  Set aside.

When onion is translucent sprinkle with summer savory and stir to incorporate throughout dish.  Add green beans, turkey gravy and diced turkey.  Stir to combine.  Heat completely.  If dry, add some water to make a thick bubbling gravy.  Transfer to baking dish.

Drop the herb biscuit dough by medium scoops or tablespoons onto the top of the hot turkey & vegetable filling.  Put into hot oven and bake at 425 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.

With the remaining biscuit dough, scoop out onto a freezer safe plate.  I use a large scoop.  Place plate of dough balls into freezer and freeze until hard.  Place frozen biscuit dough balls into a plastic bag or airtight container.  Bake frozen biscuits in a 450 degree pre-heated oven for 25 – 30 minutes.  You can bake as few or as many as you need.

Serve immediately.  Serves 4.

The moment I knew we were featuring biscuits on the Ratio Rally I KNEW I needed to find a version of this song to post here for y’all to enjoy!!  If you want to SEE this performed by the Sons of the Pioneers you will have to get the Roy Rodgers DVD “King of the Cowboys”.  

Here is a listing of all the other participants in this month’s rally and the links to their biscuit creations!

Amanda | Gluten Free Maui – Classic Biscuits and Gravy - http://www.glutenfreemaui.com/?p=1225

Amie Valpone | The Healthy Apple – Gluten-Free Wasabi Parsley Biscuits - http://wp.me/p1k0fh-3iJ

Caleigh | Gluten Free[k] – American Style Biscuits - http://gluten-freek.blogspot.com/2012/01/not-biscuits-but-biscuits.html

Caneel | Mama Me Gluten Free – Whole Grain Pecan Drop Biscuits - http://mamameglutenfree.blogspot.com/2012/01/whole-grain-pecan-drop-biscuits.html

Charissa | Zest Bakery – Egg Nog Biscuits with Freshly Grated Nutmeg - http://www.zestbakery.com/drink/cold/eggnog/eggnog-biscuits-with-grated-nutmeg/

Erin Swing | The Sensitive Epicure – Scallion Biscuits with Sausage Gravy – http://thesensitiveepicure.blogspot.com/2012/01/scallion-biscuits-with-sausage-gravy.html

gretchen | kumquat – sweet buttermilk biscuits – www.kumquatblog.com/2012/01/gluten-free-ratio-rally-sweet.html

Heather | Discovering the Extraordinary – Almond Coconut Tea Biscuits – http://www.discoveringtheextraordinary.blogspot.com/2012/01/almond-coconut-tea-biscuits.html

Jean  | Gluten-Free Doctor Recipes – Jammers – http://www.gfdoctorrecipes.com/recipes/jammers-were-jammin.html

Jonathan | The Canary Files – Vegan Sesame Shiso Biscuits – http://thecanaryfiles.blogspot.com/2012/01/ratio-rally-vegan-sesame-shiso-biscuits.html

Karen | Cooking Gluten Free! – Biscuit Template with Dairy Free Substitutions – http://cookingglutenfree.com/2012/01/biscuit-template-with-dairy-free-substitutions/

Lisa | Gluten Free Canteen – Fluffy Biscuits, Gluten Free – http://glutenfreecanteen.com/2012/01/01/fluffy-biscuits-gluten-free/

Mary Fran | FrannyCakes – Gluten-Free Espresso Orange Biscuits – http://frannycakes.com/recipes/gf-ratio-rally-biscuits/

Mrs. R | Honey From Flinty Rocks – Turkey Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping – Gobbler Cobbler  lol – http://honeyfromflintyrocks.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/turkey-pot-pie-with-herb-biscuit-topping

Rachel/ The Crispy Cook – Hummus in a Biscuit - http://wheat-free-meat-free.blogspot.com/2012/01/hummus-in-a-biscuit.html

Silvana Nardone | Silvana’s Kitchen – Gluten-Free Sausage-n-Cheddar Bialy Biscuits – http://silvanaskitchen.com/2012/01/gluten-free-sausage-n-cheddar-bialy-biscuits

TR | No Ones Likes Crumbley Cookies – Lemon Basil Biscuits – http://tcrumbley.blogspot.com/2012/01/gluten-free-biscuits.html

Ya know what?  I love poetry.  Oh, I think I may have told you that before… one time or another.  :-)  And w-a-y back in this blog I told you about my favorite cookbook, my 1963 hardback copy of ‘Joy of Cooking’.  Did you know there is poetry in there?  Yup.  My version has poetry!  That is not why it is my favorite cookbook, but it is the icing in top!!

The poem in the cookbook is about biscuits.  No really it is!  Honest!  This poem was my also first introduction to the Reformed faith.  I loved this poem so much I went searching for the whole book.  What an absolute treasure!!  Oh, you want the poem and title of the book?  Are you sure?  OK.

Bandanna Ballads by (Maria) Howard Weeden

Beaten Biscuit
Of course I’ll gladly give de rule
I meks beat biscuit by,
Dough I ain’t sure say you will mek
Dat break de same as I.


‘Case cookin’s like religion is–
Some’s ‘lected, an’some ain’t
An’ rules don’t no more mek a cook
Den sermons mek a Saint.


Well, ’bout de ‘grediances required
I needn’t mention dem,
Of couse you knows of flour and things,
How much to put, an’ when;


But soon as you is got dat dough
Mixed up all smoove an’ neat,
Den’s whenyour genius gwine to show,
To get dem biscuit beat!


Two hundred licks is what I gives
For home-folks never fewer,
An’ if I’m ‘spectin’ company in,
I gives five hundred sure!

Blessings,    ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

My Other Ratio Rally Posts:

More Strokes & Other News

Hello everyone!  Phew…  In my previous post I told you about my folks visiting and my step-Dad having a stroke while in my backyard.  Well the medical upheaval continued.

Step-Dad was released from the hospital on Saturday, September 24th.  He rested that day and we all went out to dinner (his request) and they attended church with us on Sunday.  He was able to talk with Mr. CR who had lymphoma and was an encouragement to him.  Yes, my step-Dad was diagnosed with cancer about 4 weeks before their annual trip to see us.  His doctor said it wouldn’t be a problem to take the visit.

Monday and Tuesday he and I spent many hours talking about my soap business.  He has been helping me ‘launch’ my business as well as help me stream line the production process where I can, think through establishing a website and all the behind the scenes things that have to happen before the website is ready for the public.  Don’t ask me about domain names… what hard work THAT was!  ;-)

Also on Tuesday we were supposed to visit some local gift shops in order to find a few that would be willing carry my soaps.  We had stopped at 3 and were on our way to the 4th one when my mom said step-Dad’s tongue sounded “thick” and asked how he was feeling.  We then got to the gift shop and I had gotten out of the car and he had opened his door.  He was sitting in the back with Arrow.  He had started to swing his feet out of the car when he slurred a word.  He had not lost any strength on his right side.  We shut the car door and by the providence of God we were across the street from the firehouse, so we drove there.  Also by God’s providence they were “home”!  My step-Dad walked into the firehouse, and was slurring his words a little and sat in their chair.  The firemen drove the ambulance around and brought the gurney in.  By that time (less than 10 minutes) he had lost strength in his right side and had to be helped onto the gurney.  Off he went to the hospital… again.  We followed… not “followed” but drove along at a safe speed behind the ambulance and actually arrived only a few minutes after them.

Step-Dad was taken to the emergency room.  They were very busy.  He was offered the same drug taken previously (t-PA), but because of his very high blood pressure his risk factor for significant bleeding, possibly leading to death, was significantly higher.  They declined the t-PA this time around.  The doctor ordered Heparin, but then changed his mind and after 20 minutes that was stopped.  He had a CAT scan somewhere in there…

Then we waited… and waited… and waited… and waited some more.

The emergency room nurses were unfriendly, stood around the counter talking and acted like we were an interruption to them if we came out to ask for anything.  Step-Dad was unable to find a comfortable position in the very uncomfortable emergency room bed.  There was also no way to get out of the emergency room to other parts of the hospital without having to go through security doors… and then no way back in… we didn’t have a badge to open those doors.  So we couldn’t leave to get food or water.

After 4 1/2 hours he was sent up to the 5th floor ICU because the doctor was up there.  He hadn’t even been “officially” admitted.  Even the nurse said she had never heard of this before.  She had no orders and couldn’t do anything for him.  We were told that the doctor would see him in about half an hour so we went down to have dinner… at 9:30 PM.  Poor Arrow!  It had now been over 9 hours since he had eaten lunch.  He was a real trooper, but v-e-r-y hungry!  We got back up to Step-Dad’s room 45 minutes later and the doctor came in a little after that.  He explained the treatments options and what tests he was ordering.  Step-Dad was given a blood thinner.

The doctor asked how they wanted to have his care handled if his heart stopped.  Mom told the Dr. that they have a living will and wanted no artificial life support.  Step-Dad agreed with her.  The Doc verified that step-Dad was “Do Not Resuscitate” and they both agreed.  I stopped them to ask if step-Dad’s heart were to stop they really didn’t want the hospital to attempt to restart it at all???  They had not understood what the doctor was asking, for all they wanted was not to be kept alive artificially long term.  And your care options are much more limited with a DNR code… so please be careful!  There is no “life saving” treatments with a DNR… for you have asked for no life saving measures.

Thursday step-Dad had another CAT scan and a Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE).  The latter is a more in depth scope of the heart from inside the body instead of through the chest wall.  It showed that his heart is fine.  The cancer raises the white cell count in the blood, making the blood thicker.  The thicker blood is what ’caused’ step-Dad’s  strokes.

The CAT scan showed lesions in 4 new areas that were not there on his CAT scan a month ago.  These new areas are the left axillary armpit, left lower neck, right kidney and the liver.  The first biopsy found cancer in the lymph nodes on the right side, in his back, just above the waist.  That is where his pain has consistently been.  The doctors here said these new lesions were suspicious for cancer and they suspect lymphoma.

The folks changed their flight to fly home on Saturday evening.They have already scheduled an appointment with an oncologist for the end of the week.  They were given copies of all Step-Dad’s scans, records, and treatments to give to his doctors in Minnesota.

May the Lord’s will be done and He be given glory through all this.

Fourteen things I am thankful for:

#1 – medical technology that allows doctors to “see” inside our bodies

#2 – the gift of my step-Dad.  He is like a dad to me and he says I am like the daughter he never had.  :-)

#3 – that Arrow & I were able to be there at the hospital with my folks for support and encouragement

#4 – Step-Dad’s positive attitude and generally cheerful disposition, even through all the hospitalizations, ambulance rides, numerous needle pokes, scans, etc

#5 – Step-Dad’s planner – he had his MN doctor’s phone numbers, list of all his medications he was taking, travel info & phone numbers so travel plans could be changed, and his file on my soap business

#6 – the hospital’s free parking & free Valet parking service

#7 – the general cheerful decorating of the hospital building & grounds

#8 – Mrs. GB, who came to visit with her dear children – such a sweet blessing

#9 – AMcD, who works at the hospital Step-Dad was in & stopped by to see him… twice!  Last time to pray with him the day before he was released the second time

#10 – BMcK, who called to talk with Step-Dad & pray with him

#11 – my church family & extended brothers and sisters in Christ who have prayed diligently for Step-Dad since his cancer diagnosis

#12 – the Lord’s gracious arrangement of small details: changing my menu to accommodate being at the hospital, being “right there” at the firehouse, parking spaces right inside the parking garage,

#13 – I didn’t eat out of frustration, or stress during the entire visit

#14 – I was prepared for an emergency: I knew when to call 911, my cell was charged, when I couldn’t eat anything at the hospital cafeteria (very little gf & df) I could easily pack my own food, Arrow could easily grab some games & drawing materials to keep him occupied at the hospital, my gas tank is kept full, I have maps & atlases in the car (GPS might not work!), I had easily prepared food on hand for those late night meals

Blessings, ~Mrs. R

Watermelon Lemonade & A Stroke

Just thought I would pop in quickly to say “Hi” and let you know I probably won’t have much time to post for a few more days.  My mom and step-Dad’s annual visit started on Thursday morning.  They will be with us for a week.

Arrow and I went to pick them up from the airport at 9 AM.   After they picked up their rental car and checked into their hotel they came to our home and we fixed lunch.  It has been such beautiful weather that we decided to eat outside on the patio.

I made a wonderful Watermelon Lemonade!  Just cube up a seedless watermelon and fill your Vitamix blender to the top with the watermelon cubes.  Remove the seeds if you can only find the seeded variety.  Add 2 – 4 splashes of organic lemon juice (or the juice of two lemons) and agave nectar to taste.  I used about 1/8th of a cup of nectar.  Start blender, turn variable to high & speed to 10.  Mix for just 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Blend a little longer if needed.  Adjust sweetness if necessary.  Pour over ice.  Made 4 – 16 ounce glasses.  Enjoy!!  Everyone really liked this.  Not overly sweet and very refreshing.

I was unaware of how nutritious watermelon is!  It is packed with antioxidants.  Also a good source of vitamins C and A.  It is rich in vitamins B6, B1 and magnesium.  It is 90% water.  I did not know that watermelon is considered more nutritious than other fruits!  It is also a better source of lycopene than tomatoes!!  Watermelon is also full of electrolytes, potassium and sodium.  I had NO idea that one of my favorite summer melons was so good for me.  What a double bonus!!

Mom & Arrow went inside to clear up the dishes after lunch and my step-Dad and I stayed outside to talk about my soap business.  He has been helping me get my soap business launched, running, profitable and have me think through various ‘soap process’ decisions.  As we sat there talking he suddenly started slurring his words.  He would chuckle and say “isn’t this interesting” or “isn’t the strange”.  He was completely unconcerned about the slurring and he continued to talk about my soap business.

As the slurring continued he then realized that he was unable to use his right arm, hand or leg.  It was then I started asking him lots of questions about any pain, dizziness, indigestion, if this had happened before, and many more I don’t remember.  Between my questions about his condition he still talked about my soap business.

After some minutes I asked him if he would like to try going inside to lay down on the couch, to which he said yes.  I called Arrow and together we got him up (barely) and then attempted to maneuver him into the house.  With only one usable leg and we had to get him across the patio, UP one step, across the room and it was then I realized we then had to turn him around to get him onto the couch!  Once we had started I didn’t think it would be safe to return him to the wood-slat patio bench.  We would have had to ‘drop’ him onto the bench and they are not the sturdiest things on the planet!

With the help of the Lord (angels perhaps?) we did get him to the couch safely.  That was when I decided that a  call to 9-1-1 would be prudent.  They arrived within a few minutes and whisked he & mom off to the nearest hospital.  Arrow and I left a few minutes later.

What in the world was I thinking when I decided that it would be “wise” to bring him indoors and lay him down on the couch!!??!!??  I mean really, the man had no use of his right side in the least, and Arrow and I were going to help him into the house?  What if he fell and hit is head on the cement, patio door frame, shelves, cabinet, piano etc??!!!  What if we dropped him?  He could have had mush worse injuries from my bad decision.

Of course hindsight is perfect.

When we arrived at the hospital they had already done scans and found a blood clot near his brain.  They were preparing him to get the t-PA blood clot busting medicine then have him transferred to a Tacoma hospital that specialized in strokes, known as a “drip & ship”.  That was administered and I stood talking to him while it went to work busting up the clot.  After 15 – 25 minutes his speech was UN-slurred as suddenly as it had started!  His right arm and leg were also no longer immobile!  What a miracle and blessing from the Lord!!

The second ambulance crew arrived to take him to the other hospital.  Then there was the new hospital staff and surroundings to settle into.  We had a special visit from Mrs. GB a sweet, precious friend from church with her 4 sweet children.  I also had a call from a sweet friend from New Mexico!  We got him all settled into the second hospital and then we all went home and had dinner.

Friday evening he had an MRI to determine the extent of the damage the stroke left on his brain.  From all indications there is not one speck of any permanent damage to any area of his brain.  I know as we have talked and I have witnessed his “shift change cognitive assessments” (I don’t think that is the correct name but it’s what I can think of right now) there is NO lack of mobility or strength, NO memory impairment, NO cognitive impairment.  None.  Zip.  Nada.  Every single tech, CNA, or other medical personnel (that I have been there to witness) has said, “Wow you look great!”.  And truly he does.  If I had not witnessed the stroke I would NEVER have been able to tell that he had one in the first place.  So now his and mom’s job will be to do what they can to prevent any further clots from forming in the future.

It was very interesting to talk with him about the actual event.  The nurse on Friday evening had asked him if he had been aware that he was slurring his words during the stroke.  He said that he was.  I asked him is he had been aware that he was having a stroke and he said he did not realize that at all.  He remained unconcerned as this “interesting” phenomena was occurring and I kept thinking he was having a stroke.  His calm, unconcerned, this will pass attitude, kept me from taking action in calling 911 a few minutes earlier, though that call was placed about 15 – 20 minutes after the stroke onset.

It has been a very “eventful” and “interesting” start to our annual visit with my mom and step-dad to say the least!  :-)

God has graciously granted us a miracle beyond all hopes and expectations.  I am still in shock and awe at the mercies of the Lord granted to my step-Dad.

SIGNS OF A STROKE (from the booklet at the hospital)

* sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.

*sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

* sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

*sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

*sudden, severe headache with no known cause

If signs are present CALL 9-1-1!!

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R

top photo from art.com (link in sidebar)

Weight Loss Update – Week 7 & Soap Sale

Here are the previous posts on my very slow girth reduction progress: week 1, week 2, & week 5 but don’t go looking for weeks 3, 4 or 6.

I have still been far too sporadic with my T-Tapping.  But I have Tapped.  Since I started my sporadic Tapping I have lost more inches than pounds.  I had to purchased another tape measure, and I finally measured myself today.  Since July 26th I have reduced a total of 7 inches!   :-)  A little boost to help me with my consistency!

I knew I had reduced in ‘some’ areas.  One bit of proof… we went walking the other day at the park and I wore my new split skirt (purchased in late June).  It has an elastic waist… and kept slipping d-o-w-n…  Oops!  I had to tuck it into my bra in order to walk without indecent exposure.

My Labor Day Sale on Mae’s Handcrafted Natural Soap!  This link will take you to the page will all the details.  Don’t delay, the sale ends tonight!

Blessings, ~Mrs. R

Art is from art.COM.