To Raw or Not to Raw

Raw In 30 Days...

For a long time now...We have been making gradual changes in our diet.  Twenty years ago my husband was a strict meat and potatoes man!! ( And Beer and Cigarettes)  Today? He is on day 3 of a "Raw for 30 days" Diet..where for 30 days all he eats is veggies, nuts and seeds..and drinks herbal teas and nut milks...THAT'S IT!!! Over the past 13 years..we have weeded out Alcohol, Cigarettes and have changed our dietary choices one food at a time...We eat More vegetables..less red meat..more chicken..have added live foods..such as sprouts..and so on..still , my husband is a type 2 diabetic..and is on meds for cholesterol,diabetes and high blood pressure. ( we are happy to say that he no longer needs his gout medication)  However..recently his blood sugar was not satisfactory..even with the medication..and we watched a documentary about reversing diabetes with this diet...NOW...we are NOT becoming raw food vegans..not even vegans or vegetarians..but for now..he is on this detox and cleanse his system.  And it is working..His blood sugars are already dropping after 3 days..and he has more energy..and is sleeping better at night.  Eventually we would like to have our life style so that 70% of our food is grown or raised right here by us.  We have already decided that once we do take meat back ( My son and I are eating vegetarian right now in support of Dad) we will NOT be taking back pork..and Probably not beef either..Our meats will consist of..chicken, turkey and Goat...and eventually we will hopefully be having our milk cheese and yogurt home made from our own goats as well.  But for today..we have chickens.  Anyway here is what we had for supper tonight!

Raw Vegan Chili!
Howie looks tired because he just came home from work!!


4 Tomatoes ( medium sized)
2 Avocados
1/2 cup  sun dried tomatoes ( soaked in warm water for 1 hour)
2 tsp sea salt
1 T Fresh ginger ( I used 1 tsp Powdered)
1 T chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground Cayenne

2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 large red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped leeks
1/4 olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
Finely chop your bulk veggies and marinate in the olive oil and sea salt.
Then spread it all out in the dehydrator tray and set at 145 for 1 hour.

While that is dehydrating take you sauce ingredients and cut them up and put in the food processor.

Process with the S blade to desired consistency.

Mix the 2 and serve!

This was a little spicy for my taste and I had it over homemade multi grain bread..later on when we take back some grains..It would be nice to try it over red beans and rice!


Maybe We Should Buy a Real Pet?

A few days after the Bugs and Paintbrushes discussions the girls came running inside, very excited, because Ducky had caught a tiny lizard and they were going to keep it as a pet. I willingly admired the cute little skink before instructing the girls to immediately release it in the garden.

A little while later I discovered that Ducky was organising her sisters in the construction of a skink house, still holding the mini reptile in her hand. After a stern word to her about obeying her mother's instructions straight away, and ensuring that the lizard was placed back in the safety of the garden bed, I went in to prepare dinner.

When I called everyone to come eat dinner I reminded the girls to wash their hands.

"Yes, we'd better," said Ducky, "Because we have slug slime all over our fingers."

"Why?" I had to know.

"Because we were collecting slugs to put in the skink house," she answered very matter-of-factly.

"And Mum!! We have 8 pet slugs," Kitcat informed me cheerfully.

"And we gave them some water and some clover," was Teddy's contribution to the story.

"And mum, d'ya know what mum? The slugs are really cute, mum. And d'ya know what? They don't want to eat their grass and clover, mum. Mum! What would they like to eat?" Mousie chirped in my other ear.

"I know what they like to eat," I said grumpily, thinking of all the holes in various plants in my garden.

Then I had an idea, "I have some special snail pellets you could feed them."

This didn't work as I had hoped because Ducky remembered me putting those same pellets in Possum's box garden to eradicate the snails.

So, at the time of typing this post, we still have pet slugs living in the little red wagon in our pergola, periodically being buried with dandelion and clover cuttings or alternately being nearly drowned with overgenerous amounts of water.

Anyway, this obsession with bugs leads me to believe we may need to buy our children a real pet of some sort fairly soon. I know the girls, especially Possum, would love a cat. And they would ALL love to have a dog. I'm just not so sure that I'm ready for another "baby" in this family.

Video Clip of myself from the past...

I've been converting my home videos to the computer and I ran across this video today. It's me opening gifts on my birthday in 2006. I haven't seen this video since it was made and I was SHOCKED to see myself. I am morbidly HUGE with that big spare tire and I almost don't have a neck with my double chin. Although at this time, I was just starting to come out of my "cave", I was also haunted by the years and years of SELF LOATHING. I honestly couldn't imagine anyone ever wanting to be my friend or hang around me. (Thus, I pretty much had no social life for 20+ years!) I didn't ever want to go out in public. The only way I did was by pretending that I wasn't fat... which made it difficult when I passed my reflection... even shocking. I never want to be this big again!!!

You may not notice in this video too, the small case of Trichotillomania I had. For YEARS I had no bottom eye lashes and was constantly massacring my eyebrows. I didn't mean to do this to myself... it's hard to explain, but I think inside, it was a physical manifestation of the disgust I had for myself. To actually get into "cutting" or other self-injurious behaviors would have been too obvious to me, and I would never do something like that. It has taken a few years but I have overcome this and I have all my lashes and brows! That is one personal battle I have conquered but it wasn't easy. It is hard and frankly embarrassing to bring all this to light, but I feel that by doing so, I am able to face these old issues head on and let go of the past me and move forward. And if anyone reading this relates to these kind of issues, I hope they would know that they can conquer this too!!
This picture of me and my son was taken just yesterday. I was very surprised because I think my face looks thinner... less of a double chin. I really do think it might be the angle again, but either way, I like this picture of me! I look happy. I look like someone that I would want to be friends with! Thankfully, I think I am more of a friend to that girl now, too!

On Iron: Gingered Chickpeas and Kale

Well, this has been a pretty unproductive ICLW for me.  I apologize to everyone who was stuck commenting on my single frittata post ... I've been absolutely swamped at work and at home, and I've been lucky to get the laundry done and lunches packed, never mind writing, photographing, and commenting.  I'm still hoping to get to "Project IF" later this week.  (The ICLW folk will appreciate the irony of a post about iron, below.)

But I finally had my long-awaited appointment with a new (regular) endocrinologist on Monday, and while there's no news yet, per se, at least I feel like he listened to me, which is more than I can say for the last two I've seen.  He took a thorough history, and talked with me like I was a person, not a file.  And he drew blood right there in his office, without sending me to three other places first, promising that he'd call me soon; in fact, he asked how late he could call, and whether it was OK to call past 9.  I left feeling hopeful, at least.

He said that while it was unlikely that my thyroid was the problem, given my previous test results, he would still check to see if I was one of those rare people who need T3 in addition to T4, and that if that wasn't it, that there were a few other things to consider.  Among them, he mentioned anemia, which I didn't think could be linked to IF, but which he thought might be contributing to the symptoms I've been experiencing.  I found myself defending what I realized is now a nearly-vegetarian diet: while I still do eat meat, I've been eating a lot less of it, and hardly any red meat at all.  "But I eat lots of vegetables containing high amounts of iron," I protested.  "You'd have to eat a truckload," he responded.

Now, with all due respect, I know plenty of vegans and vegetarians who seem to get all the iron they need from greens, lentils, and other legumes; no need for a burger.  I've been eating great big bowls of spinach salad for lunch recently, and I know I've mentioned my love affair with kale previously here.  Kale is, simply put, a superfood, packed with nutrients and compounds like beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron, manganese, calcium and potassium.  (On the down side, it so happens that kale contain goitrogen, a naturally-occurring substance which can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland, but let's leave that aside for a moment, since it's not like I'm subsisting solely on the stuff.)  It so happens that I cooked some this week, in a dish that even my three year old son gobbles down with gusto.  The original is here (I love Dana's blog for its fresh vegetarian ideas and beautiful photography), but I don't bother with the cilantro or basmati rice or yogurt sauce; we just use a dollop of plain Greek yogurt if we're feeling like we need contrast.  I do like to serve it with roasted cauliflower, but then again, I eat that all the time, too.

Here's hoping the plant-eaters I know aren't wrong.

The chickpeas:
1 large shallot, peeled and diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. tumeric
2 14-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 14-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 small bunch kale, tough stems removed and cut into bite size pieces

Heat a medium pot over medium heat.  Add just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot and add the shallot, garlic, and ginger.  Season generously with salt.  Stir until softened but not brown, about 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle on the spices and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the chickpeas and toss to coat with the spices, then add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.  Mix together well and bring to a simmer.  Add the kale and give it a good stir.  If the pot seems to dry at this point, add a little water – about a tablespoon at a time – to keep things moist.  You don’t want it soupy but you want enough liquid to cook the kale.  Adjust the heat to keep it at a simmer and cover the pot.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is very soft, adding water as necessary.

Lunch and Dinner

We met up with Neil's cousins Julie and Chelsea for lunch at Costa Vida. Cafe Rio knockoff, but still sooo good.

Julie is an AMAZING person who founded a non-profit, Rescue A Million, to save children and the environment!

Chelsea is an awesome singer at her parents' cowboy dinner theatre and is about to leave on a Mormon mission to Florianopolis, Brazil! We'll practically be neighbors (don't think I'm not already plotting how to swing up there to see her!).

 I love how Nile is "waving" from inside the stroller, haha.

For dinner we met up with a couple of Neil's childhood friends and their families at San Tan Flat.

We had tried to do dinner there on a weekend night right after we got to AZ, but it was completely packed with a mix of leather-clad bikers and Midwestern snowbirds. There was a 2-hr. wait for a table that night, so we bounced.

This time we went on a weekday so we got right in. We were early (!!!) for once in our lives, so we took some pictures of the place till everyone arrived.

Big Girl!

Five weeks old today!
Nile really has a strong neck and likes to practice holding up her head. I set her in this little chair and she loved it, and sat listening to Aunt Becky practicing guitar.
She looks like such a big girl! I want her to stay a newborn forever!!

Pizza Mart and Birthday Party

Neil has been talking about Pizza Mart ever since we got here -- a place he remembers from his childhood as having the original $5 pizza (Little Caesars and others being copycats). So we finally hit it up for dinner this past weekend. I must say I can't really recommend it -- we definitely got what we paid for, but Neil was happy so that's all that matters, right?

Afterward we went to Dallan's Spider-Man-themed birthday party. He turned three!

The gift-opening was a hard event to control and all the cousins hovered and eventually started to take over. Some crying ensued.

Nile enjoyed watching from the sidelines with Dad.

And with grandma.

 And aunts and uncle.
 Everybody wants to hold her! (Yes, she had a wardrobe change, you know how that goes.)

I'm Going To Miss These ...

... when we go back to Argentina.

Oh, and Oreo shakes from Jack in the Box!


This is beautiful Mallacoota, where we spent the last day of our Easter weekend. The lagoon and the beach are in the background.This photo is of the inlet with the pristine forests of the Croajinolong National Park on the opposite bank.This is where the inlet almost meets the ocean, and in the background is Gabo Island with its unique pink granite lighthouse on the south-eastern tip. (Right end of island in photo.)Despite the chill in the air, several in our family were keen to get in the water. Kitcat, Teddy, Ducky, Dragon and HB were the ones who braved a swim at Bekta Beach. The water looked beautiful, but it was cold!! I noticed most of the other swimmers were wearing wetsuits.Mousie would have loved to go swimming but her non-waterproof cast prevented it. She contented herself with using my camera to photograph everything and anything. (That's probably another whole post in itself!) I was feeling the beginnings of a head cold so I just sat on the warm sand, out of the wind, and soaked up some rays. As you can see in this photo, Possum does not approve of this foolhardy, cool-weather-swimming business.While Possum, Mousie and I were sitting on our towels watching the others swim, a woman walked up to us and asked if anyone would like a piece of cake. She was holding a box with a big, nearly whole, lamington sponge cake filled with jam and cream. Of course the children wanted a piece! While she was handing out slices she explained that her friend, standing nearby, had just landed her dream job so they were celebrating with cake, but she'd bought too much cake and needed to share it with someone. I always knew my children could smell sweet treats from a mile away. Almost instantly the rest of them magically materialized, dripping and drooling. The woman laughed and said we may as well have the rest of the cake, cut it into the appropriate number of pieces and bid us goodbye.

Here's a closer shot of the Gabo Island lighthouse. I wish we could have gone over, but even though it's only a kilometre off shore it is not easily accessible. There is no regular ferry service - visits are by arrangement only and/or if you've booked accommodation in the caretaker's cottage.Ducky and Dragon gave up on the cold water before the others. Ducky starting building sandcastles and Dragon just hung around telling me about his hunger pains. Here's a fun shot of Dragon in a sunburst, showing off his 'surf hair'. (He's since had a haircut!)Eventually HB, Teddy and Kitcat came out of the water. HB went to help someone who had very foolishly driven his 2WD down onto the wet sand-covered boat ramp to retrieve his surf ski and got himself thoroughly bogged. (He did get out, eventually, with a lot of help.) The girls went fossicking through the rock pools. Teddy found a colony of bright blue starfish. Yes, she wanted to keep them as pets.When everyone was sand/sun/surfed out we headed back into the wilderness of the Croajingolong National Park to explore some more. We found some very nice little beaches tucked away off the beaten track and traveled over unusual, sandy roads surrounded by forests of tall, straight eucalyptus trees. We also found some more campsites but, again, they were not nearly as nice as Cann River.

Back at our tent we set about making some more damper. Possum and Dragon remembered cooking it on a stick when they were at a school camp some years back, so we decided to try doing it that way. HB and I didn't think it would be very safe for the four younger children to be that close to the fire so they made johnny cakes instead. Here they are flattening out the balls of dough. Poor Mousie! Not only was she unable to go for a swim, but her cast prevented her from taking part in the Johnny Cake preparation as well. She received the first one from the pan as some slight compensation.HB, Possum and Dragon cooked their damper on a stick. HB didn't mind getting his completely charred.The little girls were happy to make Johhny Cakes, but they were a bit disappointed that they couldn't cook their food on a stick over the fire. Teddy and Ducky made do with poking a stick through their cake once it was already cooked and eating it that way.Only our Possum could eat a lump of semi-charred, stick-roasted damper so daintily.Ducky was starting to feel cold so she rugged up with her special duckie to keep warm.Finally, after dinner, the girls got to cook something over the fire. This was our last night of camping so we used up the rest of the marshmallows. Kitcat had us all laughing at her marshmallow-toasting technique. She would stab the marshmallow with her stick, put it in the flames and wait until it caught fire. Then she would pull it out and call on the rest of us to 'blow it out'. Surprisingly, she did still eat the blackened, sugary goo that remained on her stick.Next morning we set about packing up and soon nothing was left of our campsite except some ocky straps hanging from the drying rack .... .... and a Teddy on a stepladder.Kitcat ensured that we left the campsite neat and tidy by sweeping up with her makeshift broom of gum leaves.And yet there's so much more I haven't mentioned! Like the multitude of millipedes in the amenities, and they way the sensor activated lights turn off after 3 minutes. Now that's an experience ... showering in the dark with arthropods crunching under your feet.

I just have to record these last few memories....

First, there was the possum that bit Dragon's finger. We were visited each night by brush-tailed possums. One evening HB had dropped some pistachio shells near the tent and a possum came to see if they were good to eat. Intrigued by how close it was coming to us, and assuming it was friendly, Dragon held out his hand. The possum thought he was offering food and bit him deeply on his right index finger. He must have tasted pretty bad, though, because it only took one bite and ran away. (Actually, the running-away might have been because Dragon yelled so loudly and jumped up so suddenly.)

And then on the last night Teddy wanted to sleep in the little tent with Possum even though she knew she would have to go to bed earlier than her big sister, and therefore be in the tent all by herself. After I had tucked her in to her sleeping bag we went to sit around the fire. After a few minutes HB commented that there seemed to be a disco going on in the tent. Teddy, still awake, was waving her torch around wildly, sending beams in all directions. A little while later I found her fast asleep with the torch still shining.

Even though we had a very nice camping trip I have to admit that I went to sleep each night shivering and dreaming about my comfy, warm bed at home. I've had my fill of camping for a while, but I'm certain that HB and the four youngest members of the family don't share my opinion. I am also quite sure that we will be having more camping adventures .... if HB ever gets any more time off work!

First lesson on Baby Huey

Here's my first lesson on Huey (April 14), which was also only my third ride ever on him. You can see we're still feeling each other out. The fussiness turned out to be mouth discomfort; his teeth have since been floated and he's much quieter with his head.

He's a very sensitive-type thoroughbred. I had a super ride on him today. He's starting to understand the idea of a very subtle half halt. Yesterday Camilla took a jumping lesson on him, and today I had to pay close attention--there are jumps set up in the arena, and a couple times I felt him try to lock onto one and take me over. Abort, abort!

Week 11 and still going

I am down 4 pounds this last week for a total of 46 pounds now.
My man is down 3 pounds now for a total of 51 pounds!!

I'm so happy for my guy! He has gone from size 50 pants, to 42! He went to salvation army the other day just to pick up a few clothes that don't drown him. Then he went through our closet and filled a large storage bin full of clothes that are too big for him now. His belt has been cinched up so much that it's like 1/4 to 1/3 of it is extra.

I can't say I've changed my wardrobe at all yet! Probably because most of my pants are the stretchy kind. But my main skirt is falling off me more now, as I found out when I wore it the other day. I am anxious to be able to fit in to smaller clothes!

I hope to reach that 50 pound mark here soon! I KNOW this plan works and I KNOW I will reach my goal weight. I've never felt this sure about any other diet or change I've done. This is SO easy compared to all the other attempts I've made. I used to just resign myself to the fact that I'd always be big... which would be so discouraging some days when I felt down, friendless, ugly, tired, and with all the physical pain that comes with it. I used to think that I'd never be able to do any physical activities with my kids or a billion other things. NOW, I know it is possible and it WILL happen. I hope whoever is reading this who can relate to these feelings can believe that change can happen for you too! If I can do this, then anyone can!!

Semi-sustainable and loving it

Remembering some lessons of my Elders.
I have always wanted to farm...and at 46 years old with bad back and knees..and only a half acre..that does not look like its going to happen. But all my life I have found myself looking backwards..Yes..I look to the future also..But Even as a child I felt things were being lost before I had the chance to learn them...When I was very Aunt Josie gave me a little book on how to make doll clothes..gosh I wish I still had that book!!  By 10 or 11 years old my father had bought me a little child sized sewing machine and for the following Chirstmas..I made my nephew Aaron a hobby horse ( for those of you who are too young to rememeber ) It is a fabric Horses head mounted on a broom stick for little kids to gallup around the house on. ( we used brooms when nothing else was handy)  The head was bright orange and the mane was some striped fabric...but he thought it was cool..being just over a year old...I think the colour appealed more than anything else!!  My Niece Adrienne I made a little rag doll of denim...I am not even sure where I got these ideas..but somewhere in my childs mind I KNEW that giving a handmade gift MEANT more than buying one.

One day near the end of school...the sun was shining and the sky was uncle Joe came walking into our house..( We were lucky enough to have lots of family living near) and talked to my mom while we got ready for school.  Suddenly mum said.."No school today kids" ( to me and my brother Bob) " You are going to spend the day with you Uncle" And away we went...
I don't rememeber alot...but I do remember driving in the country..eating water cress..and rose hips..and hunting fiddleheads,leeks and spring dandylions.
 What a great day that was!!

I remember aunt Doll fishing for trout ( and catching them) in a stream I thought was to small for tadpoles let alone fish..and I learned not to wear a white shirt while fishing in a brook because the brightness would startled them away. 

Aunt Audrey Taught me how to clean and cooked smelts..and that when making anything from cast offs..( such as rag rugs) that beauty in the end product was just as important as serviceability. And that to everyone else Dandylions are weeds..but to her..they were a recipe of white wine waiting to be born...And I got the poison Ivy to prove it picking them for her!

Uncle Jim Taught me to watch the animals..( wild and tame) that they had as much to teach with their actions and reactions as any teacher.  And that when making a good cup of tea..BIG and HOT and SWEET were MUSTS!

I remember watching aunt Jane work a ball of butter in a wooden bowl with a paddle..rinsing and rerinsing it until the cold water ran clear...( Home made butter) And That you could buy anything in a store..but NOTHING compared to food you bred, fed, planted , butchered or canned yourself! And She also validated my  desires to create things like quilts and rag rugs..and that every fabric had a use...from rag jelly bags and wash cloths!

From my Uncle Bill I learned that Faith is the corner stone of your strength and with faith and love there is no fear...and that there is a song for every mood or occaision. That you could never miss your loved matter how far away they are..because you carry them in your heart.

From Aunt Gladdy I learned to always put a few bay leaves in my spaghetti sauce..that patience is not just a virtue but a prerequesit to peace..and if Patience fails..always have a set of ear plugs handy.  And that Life is a gift not to be taken lightly.

From Aunt Toots I learned to thread my first sewing needle and to sew by hand ( we made little stuffed hearts of red satin and lace trim..remember Jane?)  I learned that Lambs Quarter was not only edible..but when's lovely in a salad!

From Aunt Diane I learned that a sense of humour could keep you sane when all else failed...and nothing beat a toasted  tomatoe sandwich with a thick slice of beefsteak tomatoe and salt and pepper!  And OH GOD...If I ONLY had HER recipe for Hungarian GOULASH!

From Uncle Paul I learned that tomatoes tasted good in everything..and that when you swallow your nickle..he won't give you a keep them out of your mouth!

From My mother..I learned that family is sometimes all you have..and good or bad they are yours...I also learned that stealing a dime and stealing a million dollars is STILL STEALING.  And that sheets ALWAYS smelled better when fresh off the line...That you don't choose your children..they come into your teach them as much as you them as much as they will allow..and learn to let go.  Your children WIll grow up and move away..but your husband is there to never forget to spoil each other a little..even when you're broke..washing his back..or cooking his favorite meal..or letting him have the remote...are all unspoken words of love that never get forgotten..and can carry you through some nasty storms! 

From my Dad I learned...That people get funny around money..That a good book can tune out loud music, bad TV and teenagers arguing.  That being a hockey fan is a birthright to be proud of and nurtured..That everyday is a good day if you wake up on the top side of the soil. That sore knees are something to be grateful for because the pain means you are alive. That you can't rush art. That electric tools that can cut through wood, will cut through skin and bone twice as fast, so give them the respect they deserve.  That Birds are beautiful..even sparrows...That when starting tomatoes can start them in an egg carton..and using an empty eggshell to hold the soil helps start the plant off with minerals..that its ok to defend your tomatoe plants from squirrels with a slingshot..that tomatoes do NOT go good in everything ( I made soup with tomatoes in it once and he said..and I quote " You Passmores put tomatoes in EVERYTHING") And that our planet is the only one we treat it with respect.  He also taught me my first lesson in acceptance...he said if an astroid like the one that killed the dinosaurs is hurtling towards earth..and you are lucky enough to know its coming..put the kettle on and enjoy a cuppa tea..cuz theres nothing you can do about it..except enjoy the tea!

Suffice it to say..I learned a lot from my elders...And I wished I had paid closer attention..but today I do the best I can with what I have..much like them..I realised recently..that deep down..I never really expected to live past 45...and now that I have..I need to figure out what I truly want out of life...well I have pretty simple needs..The love of my husband and family...a garden to putter in..trips to Arizona now and chickens to give me eggs...a couple of turkeys..and next year some goats ...and we are hoping to tap a few trees. We only have a half acre..but if managed properly..we can have..milk, meat,cheese ,eggs , syrup and produce...and I am going to try my hand at making home made apple cidar vinegar this fall..not totally self sustaining..but pretty darn close to about half way there...and ALL environmentally friendly...I like to quilt..and I make a pretty nice braided rag rug...I can pickle..make jam and a my homemade lunch meats and pastries are nothing to be sneezed at..and in the next year I am hoping to learn how to raise and milk goats...Life is good..I like it simple...It's a choice..not a lack of options..and the closer I get to a back to basics life style..the better I feel!! Don't get me wrong..I love my gadgets..the computer..the phone..the HD TV...But I believe that there is a place for balance..That you shouldn't shuck off the past like it's disposable..that a good future..depends on Remembering the past..and keeping those lessons of the past close at that while we are working towards the future we are not neglecting today! Because today is all we have.

So Remember...
Live life to the fullest!
Love as many people who will let you!
Respect all living things!
And protect our planet as much as you's our mother..and she sustains us all!


What to do when a horse flips

Here are some safety tips we all hope we'll never need.

Yang - just in time.

Dad had his post-surgery follow-up bloodwork last week, and yesterday he and Mum went to the urologist for his results....100% cancer-free! No further treatments needed.

I could use this news, for sure.

One Month!

Baby Nile is one month old today! Can you believe it? Me neither.

It's been nothing but a party over here; sorry for the radio silence since Easter. Well, by party I mean one whirlwind month of partying all night, Nile-style. Kind of a whirlwind and a blur. I'm so glad neither Neil nor I have to work right now. In all seriousness, it really has been so fun hanging out and bonding with our new little daughter. She is so sweet and precious. And it's been lots of fun hanging out with her aunties, uncles, cousins, grandma and grandpa, friends and friends, etc. etc.!

Some of what we've been up to:

 Four generations: Neil, (Great)Grammy, Nile, Grandpa

 (Nearly) The whole fam. Granny Franny's birthday.

  Cousin Camryn's first birthday party.

 Auntie Becky and cousins Gavin and Dallan.

 Cousin Lillian.

 Grandma. Nile often has a skeptical look on her face, don't take it personally.



Baby Nile at one month.

And to bring things full circle, a couple old pics just for fun that I found on cousin Julie's Picasa album today.