Archives for: August 2005
While having a birthday lunch for my eldest son, he mentioned that the next time he goes to the fair he’ll ride the train from Anchorage to Palmer and miss the traffic congestion there. That brought back some train ride memories of mine. Our train system is a bit different than Amtrak. The train stops for people to get off or on almost anywhere along the route from Anchorage to Fairbanks (350 miles or so). During State Fair time, the train also makes a special stop at the fairgrounds.
Most places through which the train travels have no nearby road system or a train depot is just too difficult to get to or too far away. So, a person just stands beside the rails and flags down the on-coming train or tells the conductor at which milepost they want to get off the train. I did both several years ago when visiting the interior. It’s kind of fun being able to stop a train.
We’ve already had a freeze. My thermometer showed a reading of 25 degrees F a few days ago! Today’s high was in the mid-50’s. The caribou are beginning to gather on the flats and eat the marsh grasses before heading to their winter grounds. Some of their winter grounds were destroyed by a forest fire I wrote about earlier.
One day last week, the air covering most of the state was filled with smoke from the 112 forest fires burning at that time. Everybody smelled like they’d been at a campfire. Visibility was very limited. Then the winds picked up and it rained, so the air became clear and fresh again.
I’m becoming a fan of agave nectar. It is my sweetener of choice and has helped me increase my consumption of yerba mate and green teas. Until I decided to drink those specific teas, I never used a sweetener with my tea. Now, I just add a teaspoon of agave nectar and about 1/3 cup of rice milk to the 2/3 cup of tea. That alters the taste enough that those teas are actually ingestible. At some time I may start decreasing the amounts of nectar and rice milk, but not in the very near future. Here’s to my health!
We’ve had some wonderful and BTD compliant meals this week. Tonight’s dinner was meatloaf, rice cooked with onions and beef broth, fresh spinach salad with a garlic dressing, and applesauce for dessert.
Till next time…
My husband and I sold/merged our business on August 5. The negotiations went right until closing and then some. We entered into management contracts with the new entity and mine will be for 3 years and my husband's will last for 5 years, and then FREEDOM!!!
We were able to take a quick holiday this month which was at Mabel Lake in BC. It is rather remote and very beautiful. The boys were able to take a friend each, and what an eye opener for the friends. These friends were exposed to a minor dose of BTD eating, (I could definitely see the panic in their faces, what no white bread, pop, cereal or cow milk!!!!)
One of the boys had bad eczema and by the end of week it was almost cleared up, the other boy had bad panda eyes and we almost got them cleared up until he found the store and bought his bounty in icecream sandwiches. (He turned absolutely snarly after that and the panda circles returned).
I can almost hear the conversations at home, they made us eat weird food, wash dishes and clean up our rooms!!!!
I have problems with keloid scar tissue, whenever I get a cut, sprain, bruise or get waxed, I tend to develop scar tissue. Because of this, I tend to develop cysts really easily if I get an ingrown hair or have even a slight injury. I ended up with a abcess on my appendix scar so I went to the doctor this am. Well, he lanced and drained the baby in his office and the proceeded to find another cyst on my head which he wants to do next week. I have been searching the internet to see what I can do about this problem, but no answers yet.
The surgeon who did my appendix was amazed at the amount of scar tissue I developed even though I am 45. He told me normally, people over 40 don't get keloids as the tissues are usually weaker and the body doesn't build up the tissue as quickly. Oh well, just another thing where I don't fit in the normal patterns.
I have been experimenting with Vit A and Vit D this summer. My older son and I take fairly good doses of both. My husband doesn't take any and my little boy is taking fish oil. My older son and I have developed incredibly tans this summer with no burning and absolutely no sun screen, son 2 who is fair has a good tan with some redness even with 15 sunscreen, husband uses 15 sunscreen and still burns.
Do you think I am onto something????
I have been having a lot of fun introducing the Blood Type Diet to my bingo buddies. I am amazed the how many women in my age group have serious medical problems. There are three that I know who have pace makers with difibulators, several severe cases of diabetes, asthma, cancers, heart attacks and so much more. These are women in the non-smoking room at bingo. The majority of the bingo players sit in the smoking section and are even worse off physically, but really not very interested in their health. It is really sad.
But, on the bright side! I’ve been fairly compliant in following the BTD for about three years. I also believe that my daily noni juice has helped with some health issues; and I’ve been working with my naturopath for 18 months. I’ve put on the armor of health! My bingo buddies and many others have noticed. I’ve lost 35 pounds, my coloring is better, I don’t look so tired, but I do look younger. Now, when I mention what I’ve done to increase my health, they are listening (except for a few).
So, I’ve been handing out blood type compliant food lists to some willing friends! I also include instructions to go to www.dadamo.com, typebase4, and to check out the bloggers and forum for the complete picture and far more help than I can give. Several have commented on how much they like most of the foods listed. They seem to enjoy knowing many of their favorite foods are really good for them. It’s also fun to hear that such and such food has always given her a problem and now she knows why. There are a few that have made the decision to give this a real try because they are tired of being sick. Some want to follow the superbeneficials for diabetes and cancer. Some just think they’ll follow most of the basics, but they want to give it a try and see if it will make a difference in their lives, too! Thank you, Dr. D for helping me to help others!
For some, they are content following their doctor’s advice about nutrition. After all, he did go to medical school and has been practicing medicine for a long time. Certainly he knows what she needs for her health! And I listen as they go on to tell me about the next medical procedure necessary to make her really feel better!
Then, I look in the mirror and say, “Sharon, you’re not getting older, you’re getting better!”
The debate over genetically modified organisms just got a lot hotter in
California. Last month, Democratic State Senator Dean Florez introduced
an amendment that would effectively remove a community's control over
its food supply.
Florez's amendment reads, in part, "no ordinance or regulation of any
political subdivision may prohibit or in any way attempt to regulate
any matter relating to the registration, labeling, sale, storage,
transportation, distribution, notification of use, or use of field
It seems harmless enough, couched in legalese as it is. But this
controversial overhaul comes in response to three California counties
and two cities that banned the raising of genetically engineered crops
and livestock. Activist groups like Californians for GE-Free
Agriculture, Environmental Commons, and the Sierra Club are up in arms
over the proposed legislation, calling it an affront to local
It's easy to see why. Since California currently does not have any GMO
regulations at the state level, the proposed law will successfully
eliminate the only limitations that prevent biotech giants like
Monsanto and Syngenta from moving in with their patented GE seeds.
Moreover, the bill, known as SB 1056, takes pre-emptive measures to
preclude people from raising concerns about GMOs in the future, and in
doing so deprives the public of any chance debate on this hot-button
Becky Tarot, campaign coordinator for Californians for Genre
Agriculture, says, "If B 1056 or a bill with similar preemptive
language passes in California, it will effectively override the ability
of local communities, including farmers, to make decisions about
whether or not they want to grow genetically engineered crops."
In addition to an infringement on civil liberties, the fundamental
problem that environmental groups have with B 1056 is that farmers who
plant genetically engineered (GE) seeds can't guarantee that their
seeds will not contaminate Genre farms. According to Laurel Hop wood
of the Sierra Club, "What's unfortunate for farmers, especially organic
farmers, is that pollen can move from place to place, so the spread of
GO gene traits is inevitable." Hop wood adds, "What's different about
this form of pollution from any other form of pollution is that it's
alive. These new life forms multiply, spread, and cannot be recalled.
... Not only are organic farmers not allowed to call their crop
'organic' when it becomes contaminated, but also farmers can't sell
their crops overseas where GM are not accepted."
California is the nation's largest agricultural producer, raising
hundreds of crops for larges export and domestic use. The issue of
organic farms losing certification because of GE seed contamination,
then, is just the tip of the iceberg. The European Union and other
major importers of Californian goods like Japan have strict policies
that forbid the purchase or sale of GE crops. Environmentalists fear
the economic repercussions of GE seed contamination could be disastrous
for the both California agricultural community and the U.S. economy.
Beyond the Golden State
But if you think the debate over local control is just going on in
California, think again. Brit Bailey, the director of Environmental
Commons, explained that fourteen states have already passed provisions
limiting local control, and North Carolina is still considering a
similar measure. Bailey says, "When I contacted the Georgia and
Oklahoma legislatures, specifically the authors of the seed preemption
bills, and asked them why the bills were introduced, the authors
responded by saying the bills were in response to the three California
counties that had passed initiatives restricting genetically modified
In March of 2004, Mandolin County in Northern California passed a law
prohibiting GE seeds from being planted within the county lines, the
first of its kind. Eight months later, four more counties voted on
similar bans, but in the face of opposition heavily funded by the
bio tech industry and promoted by state and national farm groups, only
one ban passed. Many more counties in California and across the country
are in the process of bringing GO bans to the voters.
But proponents of these seed preemption bills, in California and
elsewhere, believe that seed laws belong uniformly at the state or
federal level and shouldn't be in the hands of a patchwork of local
restrictions. As Charles Marquis of the Center for Food Safety points
out, however, states that oppose local restrictions to GM tend to
have regulations in place at the state level. California does not.
On the other side of B 1056 are groups like the California Farm Bureau
Federation (C, a nonprofit that represents farm interests
throughout the state. While spokesman Dave Ran was unwilling to take
an official stance on B 1056, he says, "Our position has been that we
support technology that offers potential for family farmers to be
innovative and keep up with market trends."
Like other supporters of this pre-emptive legislation, CFBF feels that
farmers ought to have the flexibility to respond to local situations
and should not be prevented from raising GE-crops simply because their
property falls within a certain county line. "We oppose
county-by-county bans on biotech crops just as we would oppose
county-by-county bans on organic crops if those were to occur,"
In a recent op-ed piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, CFBF President
Bill Pauli lays out a clear case for GE foods. "[Californians] are
among the most progressive farmers in the United States, and we play a
vital role in providing safe and healthy food throughout the world.
That's why I can't understand all the misinformation associated with
biotechnology, an established practice of modern farming that makes our
food more plentiful, longer-lasting and, yes, healthier than ever."
Pauli devotes most of his article to assuring readers that no one
(neither people nor animals) has become sick from biotech foods since
their inception in the mid-nineties. On the federal level, biotech
crops are subject to inspection by the Environmental Protection Agency,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug
Administration. Research has suggested that GE foods have the curative
properties and the potential to improve nutrition worldwide. "A 2004
report from the National Academy of Sciences," asserts Pauli,
"concluded that foods from biotech crops are as safe as any other foods
in your supermarket." The question remains though, after reading
Pauli's article, why would he spend so much energy convincing the
public that GE foods are safe for consumption?
Is it because consumers fear the possibly toxic effects of herbicides,
which can be sprayed at will on the 70 percent of GE crops that are
herbicide-resistant? Or perhaps the answer lies in the recent failures
of federal regulatory agencies to ensure the safety of biotech crops.
Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of The Oakland Institute, exclaims,
"The EPA, USDA, and FDA were asleep at the wheel during the StarLink
The StarLink fiasco resulted in an enormous recall on corn products,
heightened concerns over biotech products, and was an economic black
eye for the U.S. when Japan and South Korea were forced to turn to
China for corn supplies. Since the FDA already determined that genetic
engineering is only an extension of agriculture, and that GE foods are
not significantly different from traditionally grown foods, their
methodology for determining safety seems suspect.
Mittal and Margulis of the Center for Food Safety also emphasize that
none of the federal regulatory agencies have conducted long-term tests
to determine the lasting effects of GE foods on consumers and the
environment. Margulis maintains that the studies Pauli mentions in his
op-ed are "ludicrous" and broad-ranged. "None of those studies were
conducted by independent organizations; none fed animals just GE foods
and saw what happened." And, he says, the biotech corporations would
prefer it that way.
The End of Local Control?
Concerns over GE food safety aside, the true transgression being
perpetrated by SB 1056 is that California legislators are turning a
blind eye to public safety and debate in favor of biotech corporations.
"By taking away the sovereign powers of communities," Mittal concludes,
"legislators are rendering the elected officials in these communities
basically impotent." To say nothing of the rights of farmers and
citizens that this pre-emptive legislation will strip away. Mittal
adds, "The interests of the family farmers are being sold off, while
bigger farmers receive subsidies and are therefore more likely to
support the bill."
Of course, the debate over local control doesn't center solely on GMOs.
Britt Bailey says, "Twenty states have laws restricting local
governments from passing tobacco-free ordinances, 40 states have laws
removing local control of pesticides, and I think there are 20 or so
states with preemptive gun laws."
The result is that when communities raise concerns on these topics at
the local level, industry swoops in at the state level to ensure these
concerns fall on deaf ears. Ironically, Sen. Florez currently supports
a measure to give his district the power to decide whether or not to
apply sewage sludge to agricultural land, the same kind of local
control prohibited by his seed bill.
While activist groups are calling for labels on products containing
GMOs or higher standards for regulatory testing, others have not thrown
in the towel yet on the local control debate. Mary Zepernick, a
coordinator at the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy, feels a
new take on this fight might be necessary. "We need to reframe these
issues as rights-based struggles rather than harms-based. Looking at
things that way -- abuse by abuse, corporation by corporation -- will
keep these issues mired in the regulatory regime." Instead, she says,
activists should show how the attack on GMO bans are part of a larger
attack on communities' ability to stand up to corporations.
Similarly, Britt Bailey and the Environmental Commons want to see a
constitutional challenge to the bans on local control. "If we want to
secure local authority of issues related to health, safety, and
welfare," Bailey argues, "we could build case law by placing the intent
of a local authority to govern within the local ordinances and
resolutions we develop and pass. This way, if state preemption occurs,
a local government has the intent and therefore standing to challenge.
We could also choose to amend the constitution."
Such a step might be the only way for farmers to keep locally grown
food viable and for the dialogue over GMOs to continue.
My van’s headlights turn on automatically when it is dark enough for them to be necessary. When I started the ignition shortly before 10 pm tonight my headlights came on. Well, that is certainly a sign of fall. I will miss the light late into the evenings. Soon it will be very dark at night. Then, once the snow comes and settles, it will lighten things up a bit.
Thursdays are my busiest day of the week and today was no exception. However, in the midst of it there were a couple pleasant surprises. I was asked to join the fine arts guild, which is quite an honor. Shortly thereafter while at the mall two women stopped me and wanted a closer look at the necklace I was wearing. Then, I received a phone call from out-of-state requesting some custom made jewelry. So, in the midst of rushing from one place to the next, getting boys to therapy and running errands, I was blessed by several unknown persons.
My shoulder has been bothering me for the past few weeks. I do think it started while cutting up fish for canning. Anyway, it is a flare-up from a torn shoulder injury several years ago. I’ve been working on computer things for a couple weeks and should be finished soon. While working at the computer I don’t seem to aggravate the shoulder too much. But, I’m also not getting any jewelry made. That’s probably okay as the season is winding down. The next big push will be for the day after Thanksgiving.
Silver salmon are in, but the guy my husband fishes with had surgery a couple weeks ago. Doesn’t look too promising for silvers this year. In all honesty, the way my shoulder is feeling, I really don’t want to have to deal with any more fish right now.
I’ve been making a wonderful bread, lately. It tastes great, slices well and doesn’t fall apart. It is dense, yet, not heavy. It is made of spelt, kamut, oats & flax. I entered the recipe a couple days ago so it should be available in the recipe index on this site.
I’ve had the opportunity to talk with several people about the blood type diet in recent weeks. There are a few that are going to try it. I see most of them often enough that I might be able to be of some assistance if needed. They each have the www.dadamo.com address and some background info about the site. It never fails to surprise me just how many people don’t have a clue to what there blood type is or if it really matters.
It is very late. I’m worn out and probably not making much sense. Till next time…
I had the good fortune of having a good friend from overseas as a houseguest for a few weeks; she was visiting Toronto and Canada for the first time. She is an ‘A’ and is on the blood type diet as well. I did my best to make sure her stay was (BTD) comfortable and stocked the fridge and freezer with food we could both eat. Made sure we had meat we could both enjoy …chicken, turkey and salmon. Took her to the market the afternoon she arrived to stock up on some ‘A’ staples, like lemons, grapefruits, goat cheese, soy milk, tofu and amaranth. I even went to the trouble of getting some Spelt biscotti with almonds done up so she could have a treat with her daily coffee. It was nice to experience what a mixed blood household would be like in the kitchen. (Word of advice to single men who have female friends as house guests for a few weeks …your kitchen will probably not look the same as it once did…the set up will be totally rearranged…are female A’s a little obsessive compulsive about kitchens?). Between our daily excursions around town, we shared many cups of green tea and glasses of red wine from all parts of the world (Canadian, Italian, French, Australian and Chilean).
One of our excursions one night was to “China Town”. Toronto, outside of San Francisco, has the 2nd largest “Chine Town” in North America and it was there for the first time that my good friend and I saw what Jackfruit looked like. Jackfruit, you may or may not know, actually contains a good lectin that inhibits the tumor producing T antigen. Anyone, who has a history of cancer or is undergoing treatment, should try to get their hands on some of this odd looking fruit either fresh or canned…it’s a cancer fighting super food for all types. If you have a china town or Chinese market in your neck of the woods, there is a good chance you can find the fruit.
At the same time my guest was here, a naturopath from Italy was also visiting Toronto. She had seen my face on the BTD web site and requested through a third BTD party that we meet for an espresso (there are some things Italian O’s on the diet will never give up) and lively chat regarding the BTD. Between my broken Italian and her broken English we talked about many things (mostly about cancer fighting foods …Jackfruit being one of them… for O’s…she has a cousin currently undergoing treatment). She addressed me several times as ‘dottore” (doctor in Italian) and I kept correcting her that I did not have the credentials…even though it was kind of nice hearing it.
Last night, my traveling friend and I went for Greek food. We started off with some fried (in olive oil) goat cheese which was oh so good .I was in serious need of some lamb this particular evening. I was getting sick of the ‘A’ white meat by now and desperately needed some red meat. All Greek meals come with the customary potatoes (all the B’s reading these last few lines should be salivating about now), which we both declined, and opted for salad as a replacement. At the end of the meal, I decided to be a bad boy; I ordered a piece of baklava, which is a filo (wheat based) pastry smothered in honey and walnuts (we all fall sometimes but two out of three ingredients aren’t bad). It’s one of my favorite deserts and it has been years since I have had one.
I dropped my friend off at the airport this afternoon and we said our good-byes. When I came back to my place I could still smell the faint aroma of amaranth cooking on the stove (she had it for breakfast every morning). ‘Now if I can only figure out where she put my onions’... I’m making a chili tonight.
Yesterday we drove to Anchorage to attend the memorial service for the four adult scouters electrocuted at the National Boy Scout Jamboree. The service was held in the largest public building in Anchorage. Police directed traffic both into and out of the parking lot. There were over a thousand people in attendance. More than half were adults and most of the adults were or have been involved in scouting for many years.
These four men were very active in their communities beyond boy scouting. It was impressive listening to leader after leader extol their virtues and civic accomplishments. Each man left quite a legacy. Alaska’s Senator Ted Stevens, our Lt. Governor Loren Leman (also a peninsula resident), and other government officials addressed the audience. The troupe of scouts had visited with Senator Stevens at the Capitol Building just the day before that accident. By the time the memorial was over everybody had a pretty good idea about the men, the lives each lead, and their hopes and aspirations.
One speaker mentioned an American Indian proverb about how a person is known by the tracks he leaves behind. The man about whom he was speaking was a devoted husband and father (tracks). He was active in his church, a Sunday school teacher and financial officer (tracks). He was active with United Way and the Boys & Girls Club (tracks). He helped with Habitat for Humanity (tracks). He’d been active in Boy Scouting since becoming a Cub Scout many years ago (tracks). He died doing that which he loved…helping young people develop into responsible and reliable young men (tracks).
The last speaker was one of the scouts that attended the jamboree. Today he was to go before the Eagle Scout Board of Review to see if all the requirements have been met, and to determine whether his life demonstrates all that the Boy Scouts require. After listening to his speech with the resounding and lengthy applause, I’m pretty sure that he is now our latest Eagle and ready to take flight. I believe that he will also create a noteworthy legacy throughout his life.
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. That is the Scout Law. The Scout Oath: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong; mentally awake; and morally straight.
These men exemplified the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. Their legacy will continue.
What kind of tracks will we leave behind?
We have been surprised by uncommonly nice weather for the past few days. Our usual rainy season seems to have taken a detour after several days of heavy and fairly constant rain. It’s been sunny and in the upper 60’s and low 70’s for a few days now. The weather forecast is for this nice weather to continue several more days.
The sun finally set in Barrow for the first time since May 10th on Tuesday, August 2. On November 18 it will set below the horizon and not rise again until January 23. I’ve been there when the sun stayed below the horizon. It wasn’t pitch black, but more like a before dawn light. I’ve also been there when the sun didn’t set. We were supposed to fly to Barrow this Friday, but I don’t think we’ll make it this time.
Today we’ll have 16 hours 15 minutes and 51 seconds between sunrise and sunset. That’s a loss of 5 minutes 15 seconds since yesterday. Sunrise was at 6:01 am. Sunset will be at 10:17 pm.
Tomorrow, August 10th, we will drive to Anchorage to attend the memorial service for the four Boy Scouters that died at the scout jamboree a couple weeks ago. Scott Powell was instrumental in helping all three of my sons to attain necessary skills and merit badges for their Eagle Scout ranks. He was a truly great person. It’s a real loss to scouting as all four of the men were very devoted in helping kids to grow and make wise choices while learning new skills. I was in Boy Scout leadership for over ten years. I know the quality of most people involved within the scouting community.
Tomorrow morning is full of things to do before we head north. If we get to Anchorage early enough, we’ll be able to visit the Natural Pantry before the service. It is the largest natural food store in south central Alaska. We’ll shop at our nearest Walmart, too. We should leave Anchorage by 9 pm or so. As we’ll still be driving after sunset, just maybe we’ll see stars for the first time since spring!
My husband baked king salmon for dinner. It was soooooo good. It was accompanied by a good variety of vegetables, too.
We went to the local farmers market recently and found some real gems. I think that the best one was the family that sells organic free-range lamb, turkey, and chickens. Unlike a butcher shop or grocery where you just buy it as you want it they pre-sell the entire animal(s) during the summer.
In the fall, they have the animal(s) that you purchased butchered, aged, and packaged however you prefer, and then when it’s all done, you just go and pick it up. The price per pound is much less than getting it from the grocery (no surprise there). This is a lot easier for me than buying a sheep via our original method. The family we could buy from only did the dispatching of the animal - the rest was up to us (read me). Doing carcass breakdown is always enough to put you off meat of any kind for at least a week.
Another find was a tasty local goat cheese. The family that makes it has it available in plain, garlic & herb, spicy (which was even too hot for my O husband), and an onion & dill one. The price was about the same as that in the groceries, but we got some anyway because it wasn’t over-priced and it was very good. It’s all gone now (guess who ate most of it on rye-caraway crackers...)
I also found a red lavender plant. It looks very similar to a rosemary bush with red colored lavendar blooms. The plant itself smells, to me, like a cross between lavender and rosemary. My husband also bought me a beautiful bouquet that had bright pink poppies of some sort in it. On the way home, I found an inchworm wandering around in the flowers. When we got home, I put him out on some other plants in our front yard.
In case you are wondering, the mole(s) is still around my parent’s place, but it’s moved way back away from their house and garden now. Mom stuffed the peppermint oil on the cotton down into the holes near the house and the mole retreated. She just kept stuffing oiled cotton in the holes further and further away from the house until she got far enough away that she felt their garden was safe again. The mole, so far, hasn’t crossed the peppermint oil “line”.
I have been reading a book called Mastering Leptin by Byron Richards. I didn’t find it on my own, it was being discussed over on the boards side of this site and it sounded very interesting (thanks Rachel & Glittergal if you’re reading this). I tried a week of applying the Five Rules they discuss in the book (I kept my food choices to my AB blood type lists.) and found that those rules somehow really helped to make it easier to stick to the blood type diet when there were times that in the past it would have been easy to relax the rules a bit! That was a nice surprise.
Here’s the “rub”: one of the rules is that you need to enforce a schedule so that you are eating at about the same times and sleeping at about the same times because you cannot snack. Period. That can be hard to do with the schedule that I must keep due to my job, my husband’s job, and our son’s job and our only having one vehicle between us...or should I have said one taxi? Something’s gotta give. Just not sure which job, yet. The food part wasn’t too hard to get around in and of itself; it’s the sleep part - which messes up the eating at regular intervals...the 100*+ F (38* + C) temperatures aren't helping either.
I hope you all have a nice weekend!
Well, as I've mentioned in previous blogs, I had been looking to buy my first home and am happy to say that I just closed on it Monday! With this in mind, with all that goes into owning and maintaining a home after living in the dorms for two years followed by apartments for the next seven years, I may decide to allow another avid member of the BTD community to take my place on this wall of fame. I hope to get involved in the forums a bit more but may not have as much time to write. That, and the privacy factor with no longer being in a controlled access apartment complex with all its anonymity There is nothing that sobers you up to real life and time management more than a mortgage!
Bear with me through this transition and I hope to make a decision about blogging in the next two weeks!
Would you believe that we are at the beginning of our fall weather? Here it is just the first week of August and there are fall signs all over the place!!! 1) The yearly rains have begun. We usually have lots of rainy days from now until frost and freeze-up. 2) The fireweed blossoms are already up the last third. Saying goes that once the flowers reach the top of the stalk it is only six weeks until termination dust (snow) on the peaks of the lower mountains. Our large volcanic mountains have snow on their peaks all year. 3) The silver salmon should be arriving soon. 4) Evening temperatures are into the 40’s and daytime temps in the mid-50’s to mid 60’s. 5) And LASTLY, most of the tourists have headed home leaving parking lots and store isles accessible to residents. Now we don’t have to go shopping near midnight or at 6 am to avoid all the crowds.
Our daylight has dropped from 19 hours 5 minutes 8 seconds to 16 hours 51 minutes 59 seconds, a loss of five minutes 2 seconds over yesterday. It actually gets a little dark in the late of the night. Within a few weeks we’ll be seeing stars again. We’ve lost a bit over 2 hours of daylight since June 22.
This week I froze and then vacuum sealed over 35 pounds of king salmon fillets and roasts. My husband caught one about 35 pounds and his friend caught one about 45 pounds. He only wanted half of that one so he gave the other half to my husband.
Soon the silvers will be running and the guys will be fishing for them. Then I’ll be busy smoking salmon strips and chunks again. Silver salmon weigh in at 9 to 12 pounds each on average. Sometimes you’ll get one about 15 pounds. I’m really glad they haven’t made a big tourist push for the silvers. Other than the silvers, the only fishing left for the residents is dipnetting. If you don’t own a boat or can’t afford to hire a guide, it’s about your only option. Tourism may be beneficial to our economy but it has sure ruined our former lifestyle. Now it is “combat” fishing or no fishing with rod and reel.
The 42 reds he caught averaged about 7 pounds each before being dressed out. That’s about 290 pounds of red salmon before processing!
I’m sure glad that salmon is on our beneficial list!!!
This summer has been extra hot and smoggy in Toronto, and difficult to bear following last summer’s very comfortable temperatures of 24C – 25C. This is probably why I have been living on a great many salads this summer, as a survival technique. Here is one more recipe that I discovered in the process of trying new things recently:
Grate new raw beets (I use the second largest size on my grater) into a bowl. The beets should be crisp and juicy.
Wash carefully a fresh lemon with soap and water, then using a zester, peel bits of the rind into the beet mixture.
Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and a touch of salt to taste.
If you have it, cut some fresh dill weed into the salad. Stir well.
Although this is not a traditional salad, nor a traditional use of beets, it is absolutely delicious, and worth a try.
Summer is the traditional time to stock up for the winter. So, when blueberries reached a low peak a week or so ago, I bought six packages and transferred them into plastic bags and put them in my refrigerator freezer. Unfortunately, raspberries never reach a low peak in prices and I don’t have a garden, so I can’t freeze them, but I do buy prune plums and pit them, then freeze them, and cranberries when they are harvested in early October. Then I have these lovely beneficial fruits to bake/cook with during the long winter months when I simply couldn’t afford to buy the frozen ones in the grocery store.
Recently a friend forwarded to me an article regarding problems created by genetically modified crops. Interestingly, the crop that was grown was rape, whose seeds are used for cooking oil and called canola oil. The article came from the English newspaper, The Guardian, and talks about the fact that two years after a three-year trial of growing GM rape they have discovered that there has been cross-fertilization between the rape plants and a distantly related plant, charlock. The mutated form of charlock was growing among many others in a field which had previously grown GM rape on an experimental basis, and when scientists treated it with a lethal herbicide, it showed no ill-effects. As well, when the scientists collected weed seeds from the same field and grew them in their laboratory, two other plants (both wild turnips) were also herbicide resistant.
Here is part of the article:
Farmers the world over are always troubled by what they call "volunteers" - crop plants which grow from seeds spilled from the previous harvest, of which oilseed rape is probably the greatest offender, Anyone familiar with the British countryside, or even the verges of motorways, will recognise thousands of oilseed rape plants growing uninvited amid crops of wheat or barley, and in great swaths by the roadside where the "small greasy ballbearings" of seeds have spilled from lorries.
Farmers in Canada soon found that these volunteers were resistant to at least one herbicide, and became impossible to kill with two or three applications of different weedkillers after a succession of various GM crops were grown.
The new plants were dubbed superweeds because they proved resistant to three herbicides while the crops they were growing among had been genetically engineered to be resistant to only one.
To stop their farm crops being overwhelmed with superweeds, farmers had to resort to using older, much stronger varieties of "dirty" herbicide long since outlawed as seriously damaging to biodiversity.
Where are GM crops grown?
Extensively in the wide open spaces of the US, Canada and Argentina. In Europe, Portugal, France and Germany have all dabbled with GM insect-resistant maize. Spain plants about 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) of it each year for animal feed.
What is a superweed?
Many GM crop varieties are given genes that allow them to resist a specific herbicide, which farmers can then apply to kill the weeds while allowing the GM crop to thrive.
Environmental campaigners have long feared that if pollen from the GM crop fertilised a related weed, it could transfer the resistance and create a superweed. This "gene transfer" is what appears to have happened at the field scale trial site. It raises the prospect of farmers who grow some GM crops being forced to use stronger herbicides on their fields to deal with the upstart weeds.
Have superweeds surfaced elsewhere?
Farmers in Canada and Argentina growing GM soya beans have large problems with herbicide-resistant weeds, though these have arisen through natural selection and not gene flow through hybridisation. Experiments in Germany have shown sugar beets genetically modified to resist one herbicide accidentally acquired the genes to resist another - so called "gene stacking", which has also been observed in oilseed rape grown in Canada.
We might be able to smugly shrug off this information as “it doesn’t affect me, after all canola oil is an avoid for all B’s and some O’s”. However, the GM invasion continues to grow and fester. This summer, to my great disappointment, I have discovered that the watermelons generally sold in the city of Toronto are all of the GM seedless variety, and that this watermelon gives me a very big tummy ache when I wake up if I eat it in the evening. The last time I did this (less than a week ago), I had to go back to bed and slept for three hours and was very draggy all the rest of the day. This is, frankly, a scary proposition. Watermelon is a beneficial food for me, I love it, and it now makes me sick. Where will it end? I don’t even want to follow this thought to a logical conclusion.