(By Month)

  • 90bc7d3183679a610d44b3d516b3b793.jpg

    Since receiving my online book order from Chapters, I have made two batches of fermented foods by following the Wild Fermentation book.  The first was a small batch of sauerkraut using good old green cabbage.  It went so well after only a week that we had to get more produce (green cabbage, red cabbage, rutabaga, & beets) for a second batch.  The second batch jars are still fermenting (one week in), but I might let it go for 2 weeks before tasting to see if an extra week makes a good / noticeable difference.  I also made sure to pickup some wide-mouth mason jars, which make caring for the veggies much easier than the regular jars.

    The Practical Paleo book is a fantastic intro book, I highly recommend it as an initial book to read for its easy to understand approach, light details, and excellent meal plans and recipes.  The Paleo Solution is a natural second book to read; good for those that like to know the deeper details, as well as additional topics like exercise and sleep.

    I picked up Well Fed 2 as a recipe filler, and was glad I did as it has a great selection of "condiments" and other spicy dishes.

  • 731d538e6b474c482b6b807709948d6e.JPG

    This is my second batch of ferments, and it is getting harder to wait until this weekend (like I wanted) when they'll be 2 weeks old.  In no particular order I have jars of green cabbage, red cabbage, rutabaga, & beets; as well as some mixed jars of green cabbage, red cabbage, & rutabaga.

    As you can see, I am using wide-mouth mason jars, inverted regular mason plastic caps as a barrier, and glasses filled with brown rice (finally found a use for what will no longer be eaten) as weights.  Not fancy, but definitely works well.

  • f6fbc1322755925c26b0cbeebcacedf5.JPG

    In truth, it does take a bit of a change in your habits when cooking on Cast Iron; scrub immediately with water, no soap, and keep the curing process going by applying more oil.

    Having made the switch however, I can say that I will never go back to non-stick or metal cookware; i enjoy cooking with lower heat settings while these puppies keep all the heat locked in and evenly spread out.

    You can follow the link I provided in my Return of Cooking on Cast Iron post to learn the main reasons behind the switch.

  • 1d163702ecb6f4c106a231f5bdfc4fc8.jpg

    The wait is finally over, and here are the first scoops of 2 week old ferments.

    In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have used a black plate, but I don't exactly plan my photo's.

    Having tasted them all, I can safely say two things.

    1. I definitely like the cabbage based ferments more.  Rutabaga is quite sharp tasting and the beets are a close second.
    2. The cabbage had a more familiar (sauerkraut) and distinctive taste from my initial one week batch.  Maybe something was done differently with this new, but one week cabbage still holds the gold.

    All-in-all, a very successful batch; filled with learning.

  • I've been using YNAB for a few months, and absolutely love it.  Where other financial software is focused on what you've spent, YNAB is all about taking control of your money and planning what you are going to spend, now and into the future.

    The other amazing thing about YNAB is that they license the software to the household; so, everyone in the house (parents, children, etc...) can each have a copy of the software running on their own computer.  They also have free online courses, a great selection of howto's, and a forum full of helpful information and people.

    So $15 USD for financial/budgeting software for the entire family on Steam is really amazing!

  • d908fccfbc71d1a31140b12dc15dc424.jpg

    I found a 4L Costco pickle jar I was saving (with no purpose in mind) and thought I would try using it to make a batch of sauerkraut.  I found working with this large jar to be much easier then working with multiple 1L wide-mouth mason jars; I could get my hand into it to press down the kraut instead of relying on "tappers".

    The other new idea I tried was half-filling a zip-lock bag with water a as weight.  Wasn't quite as heavy as it needed to be, but it definitely helped to keep the kraut submerged in the brine at all times.

    Definitely a successful experiment!

  • I found that being a bigger man in Winnipeg left me with only a few options when looking for a suit off-the-rack.  I really didn't like their tendency to arrange two piece suits with the jacket 2 sizes larger then the pants, and buying one piece at a time really made the price jump.

    Ultimately, I started researching local tailors in Winnipeg last December, and had shortlisted down to Giovanni Custom Tailor Shop within a couple weeks.  Some of the tailors I had called were quite expensive, and I found Giovanni to be quite reasonable; barely 1/3 more than the limited off-the-rack choices.  I also found the interview in his Winnipeg Free Press Article to be very good.

    Today, I visited Giovanni's shop, and really had a great vibe from him as a person and really valued his opinions as a tailor; quite professional and personable.  The hard part was picking out the material to use; simply too many awesome choices.  Below I have the initial two I was contemplating on the left, then the ultimate pick on the right; which my eye caught while the love of my life continued flipping through the samples as I was deciding.

    8d0cfaddabd559e98edaea1eebcf7af4.jpg  53c413ea9d19aadf8f85ea4493b763cd.jpg 

    Once Giovanni knows the fabric is in stock and has it ordered, we'll be able to start the process with taking my measurements.  Exciting!

  • When the recipeI was following mentioned that essential oils was optional, I mostly ignored that figuring "why wouldn't I want to add a scent?"  While the recipe mentioned Tea Tree oil as a good option for men, the first extract I grabbed from the cupboard was peppermint, and went with it.

    Lesson #1: Peppermint is not a good choice for a deodorant.  I never clued into past experiences where peppermint caused a nice heating effect when used as an aches-rub, and never expected that I might be inviting a heat rash which took only 2 days to bloom.

    Lesson #2: Sometimes essential oils just need to be eliminated. Trying Tea Tree oil as the recipe had originally suggested next definitely helped reduce the heat rash, but irritation persisted.  At this point I wasn't sure if the recipe proportions would need to be played with, or an ingredient eliminated.  Thankfully, i found my answer in Divine Ms D's blog where she shared the fact that she had to eliminate essential oils for the same issue I was facing.

    While I am finally finding the irritation to be finally subsiding, I may try the recipe she follows (if I'm not happy with the ultimate results) as the proportions are different from mine.

    Thank you Divine Ms D for sharing on your Paleo Sistah blog!

    Follow-up post

  • 99d79b8c35f266d4d1cbe244f3a99d80.jpg

    It really does put a smile on one's face to look upon a freezer of lovely grass-fed meats!

    It took a bit of research (made easier by eatwild.com and manitobagrassfedbeef.ca) to compare and figure out where we were going to order from; and in the end we decided to place our first order with McDonald Farm for the following reasons:

    1. Their price is very competitive
    2. They deliver free to Winnipeg once every month
    3. They have many different animal meats/organs to choose from, as well as eggs (seasonal)
    4. I enjoyed reading their FAQcovering many topics, like how they raised healthy animals, treated their sick animals, ensured delivery of grass-fed meats that was free of chemicals and antibiotics, etc...
    5. Accept Paypal as a credit card option

    We saved up a bit so that our first order could be large enough to start us off in a good position to not need meat for a while.  The  hope being that we can place smaller (more cost friendly) orders each month to keep our meat supply up.  In this first order we have:

    • a quarter of beef (ground, steaks, roasts, ribs, stew meat, soup bones, etc...),
    • beef organ meats (tried ordering liver, but short supply steered us towards tongue and kidneys),
    • a couple smoked hams, and
    • a few free-range chickens

    We promised ourselves that we would not dive into these meats until we had used up our existing supply of store bought beef and last seasons elk; so I can't make any comments yet on the quality or taste... but that is going to be coming very soon!

  • b4733d1a5ff82870583ef27c8d33ad88.jpg

    Today, we tried the beef smokies that came with our 1/4 beef order.  All I can say is wow!  They were absolutely delicious, seasoned perfectly, and zero grease-in-the-pan type of lean.  I wish I had alot more of them; definitely something to add more of on our next order.

    We have also tried the hamburger patties which were incredibly tender; I swear this must speak to the dry-aging process that they use.  Their taste was also very mild when compared to your average burger patties, which was a nice surprise.

    From our steaks, we have tried only some of the chuck and rib-eye.  I overcooked the rib-eye (the first I tried to cook) so it was not as tender as it should have been, but was an excellent and delicious cut.  The chuck was cooked perfectly and it was hard to imagine it as a lower "ranking" cut of steak; it definitely went well cubed on-top of my salad at lunch.

    Still alot more to try from our order, but the initial verdict is very positive.  Definitely grass-fed for life!

  • We had decided before Christmas that we wanted to install a water filter that would help reduce/eliminate the heavy chlorine that would often be in our water.  The thought process started with a simple shower-head chlorine filter; but it wasn't too hard to think of other water to filter... so the whole-house filter was the cheaper and biggest bang option.

    The entire project cost was under $215 (not counting my dads consumables like flux, solder, etc...):

    • Princess Auto - Filter housing, chlorine/sediment filter, mounting bracket, pipe cleaner, and shut-off valves ~$172
    • Canadian Tire - copper pipe, caps, elbows, and Tee ~$23
    • Home Depot - 1" to 1/2" reducers (between filter and pipe) and wood to mount the filter on ~$18
    The Before:
    53628db848c1218f946f9368482c8a84.jpg
    The After (1 of 2):
    4f1b35e95a050c384b7394de1b1222b1.jpg
    The After (2 of 2):
    837bb863cba7ef7938086b82282b9d38.jpg 

    I certainly won't miss the chlorine smell, and I'm really looking forward too chemical free water for showers/baths, cooking, boiling water for tea, etc...

    Special thanks to my dad for supplying the majority of the know-how, tools, training, and labour!

  • While we were wrestling with different music ideas for our wedding, we had quickly settled on playing light jazz throughout the reception/evening.  We had thought of harpists and other live musicians for our ceremony early on, but had dismissed the idea assuming it to be too expensive for our humble wedding.  Now five weeks before the wedding, we have returned to the harpist idea, and found that (for those we checked out) their prices are actually quite reasonable; circling both sides of $300 for playing a ceremony set.

    Here is the list of the Winnipeg harpists that we considered for our wedding ceremony (prelude through to signing and postlude):

    • Leslie McInnis
      Leslie was the first harpist we found online, and the first to call us back. We really enjoyed the layout of her web-site, listening to her many music samples, and pictures of her beautifully carved harp. However, contacting our harpists with only one month before the ceremony revealed its first feared (yet expected) scheduling conflict, so we had to cross Leslie off our "selection list" as quickly as we had started creating it.
    • Anita Durksen
      Anita contacted us next.  The layout of her website was also very well done, but the samples were a bit more limited compared to the other sites.  What Anita's samples taught us though is that the Paraguayan harp has a distinct sound when compared to "traditional" Concert harps.  This difference didn't sound right for us, but I have no doubt others would select it for their various events.  While Anita has a page devoted to her Repertoire, I would have appreciated an additional category devoted to grouping together wedding song choices.
    • Erica Schultz (who we booked)
      Like many of the good things in life, saving the best for last lead to Erica's introduction.  She also has an easy to navigate web-site, with the only constructive criticisms I have being that her vast Repertoire page would be much easier to read as a bulleted-list then as a paragraph, and I would have loved to see more pictures of her with her harp.  One read through her About page though was all one needed to know that they were dealing with a professional of exceptional experience playing the harp; reinforced by listening to her many samples.  You just knew that her fingers were gliding confidently and effortlessly across her harp strings.  The hardest part now will be picking what songs are played when.

    Hopefully these links and information are helpful to you if you're seeking a harpist in Winnipeg.

    I'll make sure I post updates after we have the opportunity to meet Erica in person, and after the wedding ceremony of course.

  • I went to get my suit measurements taken on January 30th after Giovanni confirmed that the fabric we ordered was delivered from Montreal. Two weeks later I receive a voice message that enough of the suit was assembled for the first (rough) fitting; wow, awesome progress!

    I should have moved quicker when Betty Anne suggested that the glare was pretty bad, but I didn't want to interrupt the master at work as he chalked out the few spots that he wanted to adjust before completing the suits assembly.  These aren't the best quality photo's I've posted, but still wanted to share the incredible progress being made.

    606880e25b9cb10e943a53a44e1f8d16.jpg f445e0df421b1a4fb3a09f227e1974a4.jpg
  • My Maxx Collectibles order arrived today, and I figure that means I've recommitted to an old hobby (on hold of course until after the wedding and honeymoon).

    I used to really enjoy assembling, painting, and playing with my Warhammer Fantasy Undead army; but it took the nudging of an old friend and work colleague to re-kindle and solidify these memories, which lead to picking up the Warhammer 40K Necron army shown below.

    I also added some Dollarama shopping for paints and glue, hit Canadian Tire for the primer and putty (green stuff), Walmart for a cheap plastic table I can mess up all I want during painting and assembly, and Fabricland for a self-healing cutting mat.

    What a great way to spend some birthday money!

    1bae4f1996096657273c408ca94917d6.JPG 5eed2fa16ff0759e9eb45a870a5fb975.JPG
  • Our first order from Bulk Apothecary arrived today!  The intention of this order was to set the stage for making our own household cleaning products, shampoo, soap (also to be favors for our wedding guests), body sprays, lotions, lip balms, etc... and containers to hold them in.

    This order consisted of:

    df25609234617a22e86c6883e69f6425.JPG
    324a00f623de8860f730be4d352c0fd3.JPG
    • Beeswax
    • Black Fine Mist Sprayers and Cobalt Blue Bullet Bottles
    • Borax
    • Castor Oil
    • Cocoa Butter
    • Glycerin
    • Golden Jojoba Oil
    • Kaolin Clay (white)
    • Lime Essential Oil
    • Lip Balm Jars (white, 0.25 oz)
    • Rose Soap Stamp
    • Shea Butter
    • Silicone Rectangle Soap Molds
    • Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
    • Sweet Almond Oil
    • Witch Hazel

    Unfortunately, we had some lessons to learn with this order:

    1. The Bulk Apothecary rep I called questimated that this order may have as many as seven packages.  This deterred me from using Mike's Parcel Pickup who charges $5 USD per package.  As the shipment only came in three boxes, Mike's fees would have been much better.  Oh well, I guess the rep guestimated high, which would be the preferred choice to guestimating low.
    2. UPS offering to broker packages from the US is stupid expensive... like add $50 to $70 dollars on top of your government taxes.  I wished I had known about this and declined their offer to broker the package for me; choosing to self-clear it myself.
  • After reviewing the recipe we want to follow for our wedding favour soaps, and running it through a soap calculator, I realized that the little 15ml bottles of essentials oils that we had around the house just were not going to cut it if our plan was going to involve making almost 20 lbs of soap!  I needed many ounces of Essential Oils, not milliliters.

    I can sense that Bulk Apothecary is going to be a favourite site of ours into the future.  We ran around Winnipeg hoping to find a good price on the Rosemary and Thyme that we wanted to add to our soap... and $15-$20 for a 0.5 oz was not what we wanted to pay.  Bulk Apothecary has the same size bottle for $3-$4, or 16 oz bottles (thirty times the oil) in the $40 range... hmmm, $15-$20 for a 0.5 oz or $40-$50 for 16 oz... an easy decision!

    This time, knowing that there should only be one box, we had the package delivered to Mike's Parcel Pickup.  While it cost $30 in gas, that was far cheaper than paying UPS $50-$70, and much quicker than waiting and running around to do the self-clearing.

    While we were placing an order anyway, we added some other oils that we are going to try in the next soap recipe batches for their aromatherapy qualities, soap exfoliants (seeds), soap colouring sample kit (oxides), oils we didn't have to complete our own "thieves oil" blend, caps we meant to get for our bottles from our last order, and some books on our new hobbies.

    9e5a37716911b59dd186fb300ad06f4a.JPG 912c0718d959ae4e52951392bec762b9.JPG
  • These pictures are of the ice at the transition between the sloped yard and the deck where I slipped and fell on my back while unloading the car into our chalet. They represent the before and after I asked for grit/salt to be laid down to prevent further incidents. I'm pretty sure the initial lady behind the counter was staff, but I ensured I made a second appearance and met who I believed to be one of the owners, and all I can say is that she came across very unapologetic and unconcerned. I guess the fact that I was standing in front of her instead of laying on an ambulance stretcher precluded courtesy and concern. Little did she know how much time I spent in the steam shower and jaccuzi to get enough comfort to be present. Our chalet is amazing, but apparently the people... not so much unfortunately. Don't they know their liabilities? Maybe that's my purpose here... education...

    There are definitely some chiro/massage appointments in my future to help healing and lessen my aches and pains. I'll be sure to keep my receipts I think.

    0ea82977061e20f7bc33519406b73fc0.JPG 2e93f9184105337fe0a49876a47b46aa.JPG
  • Knowing that we were going to receive our wedding pictures from the photographer (Anders with Valhalla Studio) on Sunday (yesterday), we had popped into Michaels the day before to look at some frame options to bring together the matte we had our guests sign as our "registry" with our favorite wedding photo.

    As luck would  have it, Michaels has a sale going on until this Thur on their custom framing.  Because of the "collection" we picked from, the sale kicked in at 70% off!  The advice given to us from Johanna (wonderful Michaels' employee) was to bring in the photo and matte together before deciding on a frame and completing the transaction.

    Anders took almost 900 digital pictures (3.9 GB) of our wedding which he supplied burned onto DVD media.  We had a tonne of fun working through them on Sunday, picking our favorites to print for ourselves, our wedding party, parents, and as an insert to our thank you's.

    Today, we took a USB with our digitals to the Costco Photo Centre for printing.  Sizes we printed ranged from 4x6 to 12x18, and the pricing was incredible!  The only lesson learned here was that the ordering kiosk slurps in all the photos (from all subfolders), so don't use folders/directories as your sorting mechanism for what sizes you need to print; as the folder names will not be displayed.  I had to run back home to write out a paper list of the image names, sizes and counts; which also made a great checklist as we printed over 80 photos.

    We returned to Michaels with our 12x18 print and matte, lined it up with our 5 previous frame selections, and the obvious choice simply jumped up above the rest.  Johanna's advice was bang on! We picked the top frame from the picture below.

    d18d57e086b6126630f872d6fbb50d97.JPG f10f247967f617b873f80c9864405585.JPG

    Now that all the initial printing is done we can complete our Thank You's as our next task.

  • a5df0e8ee17bc7ab4402016b2bd01942.JPG 63ff0edfe8b972bdca41afbc763e9e30.JPG
  • 22ae3412ce17e93ae30c45754bf6133b.JPG

    Yes, that's a 4L pickle jar sitting beside our new 20L fermenting crock pot! The instructions say to not fill it more than 80% so, (going by our previous experience of 1 cabbage making L) my next trip to the grocery store will include about 15 cabbage heads! The greater plan is that we will always have a months supply of sauerkraut on hand, which will mean we are finally going to have enough underway to let it sit for a full four weeks. Two weeks is the longest my sauerkraut has "aged" before moving it to the fridge, so it will be nice to finally experience the three week, four week, and maybe longer flavours!

    We ordered the crock from Harvest Essentials.  Originally we were going to order one from TSM (The Sausage Makers), but it wasn't available until June.  Looking around for the same pot lead us to Harvest Essentials who had a better price (but unfortunately the same June ETA).  Looking at all of their 20L crocks revealed the one we eventually ordered... on sale from $299.99 to $205.99 (after an additional $10 coupon).

    I was a little leery at first from ordering @ Harvest Essentials since they do not have user account handling setup on their site.  I like a site with an ordering account where I can see my history and track my orders.  Instead they use a yahoo storefront to order from, which after using it does the trick.  I asked questions about shipping and breakage which they answered very quickly, so I feel I received really good customer service.  I was also pleasantly surprised at how well packed and protected the crock was during shipping; top marks!

  • After my previous post on Lessons learned about natural deodorant, I was still struggling with minor irritation even after eliminating the essential oils and reducing the baking soda.  Wanting to solve my issue, I decided to perform another search, but decided to search for DIY antiperspirant instead of deodorant (I had traditionally used antiperspirants all my life).

    I quickly found a posting of 3 antiperspirant recipes by Bri at Natural News, and boy am I glad I did.  Glancing at the recipes, I decided that I liked the ingredient list of recipe #3, which I have copied below.  The recipe is actually from a HeyFranHey video/blog, and I really enjoyed the information she shared on why she chose each ingredient, as well as which ingredients to adjust to personalize if for the protection you need.  While Fran mentions 2 tablespoons of baking Soda in her video, Bri listed only 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) in her recipe, which is what I used.

    4 Tablespoons Cocoa Butter
    4 Tablespoons Shea Butter
    1/2 Cup Arrowroot Powder
    3 Teaspoons Baking Soda
    10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
    (I use our homemade Thieves Oil blend)

    After using this recipe for over a week, I am well past my normal reaction period of 2-3 days... and happy to report that my irritation is a thing of the past! Thank You Fran for pointing out in your video that Baking Soda is a common irritant for folks with sensitive skin, and Bri for suggesting to use less than Fran's original recipe!

  • Still need to prime and paint them, but getting these first models assembled was a bit of a milestone... I discovered that I may just need bifocals.  I had to whip out my old soldering gear that had a magnifying glass on a stand so that I could see the up-close detail well enough to shave/trim the model parts.  It wasn't ideal and took alot longer than normal... but I got'er done!  I guess I'll need to visit the pharmacy/costco for some cheap magnifiers and call them safety glasses ;)

    3156a4b661c0070e4a7d08f3c8ddf39e.JPG 8d8ba54d90c7218a50bab425527dfde2.JPG
    35d047eaf55c3c918e758361234f4fc7.JPG 039faf46fd362aab7b9d26f8edd0931d.JPG

    Once primed and painted, these five models will be used for my first 40K skirmish using the Kill Team rules (200 point battles). I figure it'll be a good to start small as I'm new to the 40K ruleset anyway. I also have more models to put together for some variation, but this is a great beginning.

  • We picked up a dozen cabbages yesterday and washed out our new 20L crock in preparation for large scale fermenting.  Since we had so many cabbages to go through, we decided to make use of our Kitchenaid with the shredding attachment.  It powered through the cabbage like a champ and threw a bonus our way by slightly bruising the cabbage; making it easier to work in the sea salt.  I wondered why the instructions mentioned to only fill the crock 80%, and figured out why as I was putting the weights in... you need the space to work them in.  So the real max capacity of the crock (with weights) is closer to 16L.

    1b9a1fdb0f7e4996164a1fb519958694.JPG 310c44926f9403e79be310c5ddce292a.JPG
    d793d291187f11ae18d9cdc5848882e5.JPG ff2f09329d7d29ab59184decc3d0f9a6.JPG

    The idea now is to not disturb the crock for at least two weeks.  The water in the crock channel has the unit nicely sealed, so I don't fear anything going amiss behind the lid.  The greater plan is to only take out a few litres at a time, letting some of the sauerkraut get to 4 weeks if we can stretch it out that long.  I'd like to try let the cabbage fully acidify if I can to see and taste it at it's peak.

  • After learning that I couldn't use an HQ model (Illuminor Szeras) in a Kill Team, I needed to make a few more models to choose from; good thing I had previously purchased some variety with the intentions to field larger point armies.

    So I've spent the last few days finishing the assembly of two more Canoptek Wraiths (3), two more Immortals (5), and a complete set of Deathmarks (5).

    939f7f1da9fd1968e09cf1e19f92a9be.JPG 24e3a079d2fa956877f50c59100d6756.JPG
    74687c722ddf8305aae02cba8ef31e8d.JPG 6919350b47a99f2c6601d038d7f0ed62.JPG
    28e417bb2610a4d34da911417ae8361a.JPG 719cca4887a0154677d67b37e3861dd9.JPG

    I figure this will round out my initial model build; changing my sights to priming and painting for now.  Hopefully I will have some painted pic's soon; then it'll finally be time to experience playing with Necrons and learning some strategies!

  • Decided to assemble another Necron Immortal unit with different weaponry. Delays in priming/painting continue.

    f6e8536d4be1ed66a525dd9195ce4e1e.JPG eb4201eb3562bc703b56b75823194863.JPG
  • In my previous article on DIY Antiperspirant, I linked to a video/blog on the heyfranhey site that had inspired the new antiperspirant recipe I've been enjoying.  However, her final words in the video talked about how her grandmother simply used a fresh lemon wedge.

    Deciding that this "too good to be true" statement was worth exploring, I had to give it a try.  And to my amazement, I found that it actually works!  Simple, effective, and as easy to make as slicing a lemon!

  • Received our latest grass-fed meat order yesterday from McDonald Farm, and was excited by a few things:

    1. Their nitrate free bacon is absolutely fantastic!  I wasn't expecting its non-red colour, which really reinforced the naturalness of it.  I also suspect (after tasting it) that it has been lightly smoked; truly pleasing flavour.
      • Frying eggs in these bacon drippings was awesome!  I've tried doing that before with typical store bought bacon, but found it tasted way too greasy. Not the case with bacon made from pigs raised to forage for their food.
      • I recall reading a recipe to make bacon-aisse (DIY mayo with bacon grease in it) and thinking how horribly greasy tasting that would be... but now I may have to rethink my position on that recipe, having the right bacon in hand!
    2. I had previously asked Wayne about the availability of beef tallow (for soap making) and was surprised to find some fat included in my order!  I'll have to search for the steps to render the fat down into tallow, but am eager to compare the soap results between beef and pork tallow.
    3. I always include beef liver each order, and have had the good fortune of receiving other organ meat samples.  Previously, I've received beef tongue and kidney, but today I found some packages of ox tail and heart!  Being a lover of various bird hearts over the years, I'm really looking forward to seeing what a massive beef heart tastes like!
    7c8953eca603f30cd77b5d5de7b61a6d.JPG b6ef9d61ca3ee83510456fca2f45e46e.JPG
    de1db8c465738abc40ebd4c58c9acf3d.JPG 1a4d09d8c56388095fe24d325bd566d3.JPG
  • Our Paleo path has naturally inspired and influenced many choices over the last few months. The most recent bringing some pretty simple replacements for dishwasher detergent and rinse.

    Following a recipe for household cleaners at the David Suzuki site, we really only needed two ingredients for the detergent, and vinegar for the rinse.  We had picked up some Borax previously, but didn't have any Washing Soda.  A quick online search revealed it was pretty easy to make at home; thanks to a post @ Nature's Nurture Blog.

    The detergent recipe was pretty simple; equal portions of Borax and Washing Soda that we mixed in a old plastic container.  And Washing Soda was nothing more than Baking Soda that had been baked @ 400F for 30 minutes in one of our Pyrex dishes.

    d267da379680bbbeca637304e6904711.JPG cec969c762c7944e1b2a28e1617e9af0.JPG

    That was easy!

  • After the nitrate-free bacon success, I was eager to pull out another cut of grass-fed pork... and pork chops just seemed like the next natural place to go.  I wasn't expecting one inch piggie-steaks, but boy did they look good... and taste good!  If only I had stopped to take a picture of them cooked before devouring them...

    acb2f9f8c7d8b4b57f82c6dfbda363b9.JPG 2738ade7d8b6a2f2042489aa3d177039.JPG
  • These sausages are delicious, but boy are they hot!  Spicy enough that i don't think I would ever eat more than one or two at any meal since the heat really builds up the more you eat them; at least for me anyway.

    I do enjoy variety when planning my meals, so having a great spicy option is a welcome addition.

    b73630967ac1332186151c91b8c7cb51.JPG d5e374eb2f73eb7b33d4954d4d0d1fcb.JPG
  • Trusting that our new fermenting crock was designed to keep its contents protected, the only task I gave myself over the past four weeks was to ensure that the water level in the trough stayed up to keep its air seal intact.

    I knew as soon as I opened the lid that I was in for a treat!  The aroma of the soured cabbage was wonderful; and was never achieved with the previous one to to week batches.  The crock certainly lived up to my expectations!  Previously, I had thought that the directions only wanted me to fill the crock 80 percent to allow the weights to be added in easily.  I know realize that the sauerkraut expands quite a bit during the fermenting process; so much so that the weights almost reached the bottom of the trough!

    Originally I was thinking of using the 4L pickle jars to store the sauerkraut in my fridge, but my assumption that my plastic wide-mouth lids would fit them turned out to be incorrect; and I recalled that using the metal lids is pretty much a no-no where fermenting is involved. So, I jammed fifteen 1L jars (with plastic lids) full of sauerkraut, and placed the remainder (with all the excess juice) in a 4L jar that I lined the lid with Siran Wrap.

    Final verdict... I will never again eat my sauerkraut earlier than four weeks.  The taste is night and day.  Sour, tangy, delicious, and I imagine just teeming with the beneficial flora I need!

    4f6175327a528e4544949e2ab3b821fa.JPG 85bf59324893298ddbfc33b147703794.JPG
    fd429f0e2f3e2265ff10589453e1f549.JPG ebdfb1208558812c68806354d7b20a13.JPG
    6235c64e28d8b24c2130fcf133430714.JPG de8aa2bf68f2be076e414ac1d715dd04.JPG
    8db883ab4705f6349f5cbed797e321c9.JPG ca6d377858639d02292fb21133e820d8.JPG
    1b498bc456c62fb45e11980e3f8ce687.JPG 9f1495d16c75a89493fb103db2c4b301.JPG
  • b2c616030520b13b337e759413f0a6c2.JPG For our first attempt cooking these ribs, we kept it simple by letting our slow cooker have its way with them. Going forward, we do plan to find some nice Paleo-friendly sauce options to go with them to bring back the missing finger-licking fun!
  • The big machinery the city contractors had placed on our street over the last week have animated this morning.  Construction has begun to replace some aging water delivery lines, and they have kept our water service going by connecting a temporary delivery line to our outside tap.

    I already miss my chlorine filter...

    4225bb45307741cf9d2f2bf89cc1d094.JPG 57cb5d9d1e8dbe14414cddbf167cffe6.JPG
  • 0f6c6d2c74d58a40c81fe553999bf9e6.JPG  I am just loving our bacon, and frying eggs in this bacon's drippings is awesome! I know I've said this before, but for everyone out there that is still buying their bacon from the grocery store... Wake up, and smell the bacon!
  • We have been enjoying the soap recipe we used for our wedding favours, so I think it will be a staple for a long time in our house.  This time though, we have decided to add some new "flavours" and colour coded them (as if the scent wouldn't have been enough).

    • Green - Peppermint and Rosemary
    • Yellow - Lemon and Lemon Grass (had to add some Lime as I ran out of Lemon Grass)
    • Pink - Lavender
    5d2fd2428707d6319d7ae5b338e2149d.JPG 19eed6c897b1cc9b3bb0d1e6c4040a82.JPG cae14650817571898fd6bfb10d786c6f.JPG
  • b7bf6d65d085a3915aedcb562c213c29.JPG She taught me that you can eat Filet Mignon and fried mushrooms for breakfast!
  • The planter in the front of our house had been a home for our cedars and weeds the last couple years.  We took some time to weed it our a couple weeks ago, but had to wait for the rain to stop so we could plant the perennials that a good friend our ours gave to us to get us started.

    • Sedum
    • Echanasea (Cone Flower)
    • Speedwell
    • Primrose
    • Ice Plants
    • Hosta
    • Hen's and Chicks
    f684fac76754bfa1fbebb203bcab2e4b.JPG 64a61af0ee65fa0dab9690e3702f2370.JPG
  • Of course we are using the soup bones that we got at part of our grass-fed meats, and the recipe we found was really quite simple (I'll have to ask the Mrs for the link she found).  The only ingredients were were missing was bay leaf and garlic, but everything turned out beautifully.  Here are some pictures of the before and after of our homemade soup/broth.

    I found it interesting how the marrow completely dissolved into the soup leaving the bones hollow.  On the advise of the recipe author, I am saving the bones in case some friends would like to give their dogs a treat.

    8da2bff28e9f2051d50b3883e45fdc15.JPG 9604d7e6f01cb91adc9e47050970acb4.JPG
    e58563e7a664253c92d8477585e75532.JPG d92e00a2daf410a855577473fd20c522.JPG
  • d617d62ca48921cba5f8534ea6773120.JPG Continued working through the building phase of another model for my Necron Army.  This time I have a Necron Overlord on top of his Command Barge.
  • 21ac7592a4b044d17790e60ee8724538.JPG

    While we were at Costco today, we picked up a jar of their garlic and added it into our soup while we warmed it up for supper tonight.

    Added some salt and pepper to my bowl, and loving how easy this soup was to make, and how good it tastes.

  • 808c98aaa18b6bd580173ca21f06043a.JPG

    We've been back on the updated city water line for a few weeks now, and noticing some decrease in our water pressure.  We knew that there would be some sediment in the lines post construction, and figured our filter was done for.  We never tasted or saw any sediment in our water, so the filter had done it's job perfectly thus far.

    The water didn't look too bad as I started emptying out the filter chamber, but eventually I could see there was quite a bit of sediment closer to the bottom that didn't make it out with the initial dumping.  I'm so glad this goop was on the "right" side of the filter.

    Thank You filter, and keep up the good work!

  • Tongue initially doesn't have the outward appeal that would guide one to pick it up and decided to try cook/eat it; but it is actually quite delicious.  I'll have to find the link the Mrs pulled her recipe from, but memory tells me the pot contained:

    • A cow tongue that had been soaked, drained, and scrubbed
    • Some chopped Carrot and Celery (maybe onion)
    • Enough water to cover it all
    • Rosemary and Sage

    You can see everything combined in the first couple pictures.  The third picture is after it had cooked in the slow cooker on low for about 10 hours.  The fourth picture is how the tongue meat looked cooked and cut on the plate.  And the fifth is of the peeled off "skin" bits that remained.

    91d5354252733dd4d081b7f1dbc92d61.JPG 4997fba553114a3f210ec5876c1b8c8a.JPG
    2beb2b3cc324662f6ca333ebd169c502.JPG 05b4760d6ad5fa394f5fc1c0289a13a4.JPG
    d429e98baf979b6383b15113149d4e59.JPG  
  • 3d11c69519cbee19039a09a7d50ae3a5.JPG

    These finecast models aren't my favorite to work with, but trimming/shaping this model ended up being easier to do (without mistakes) than it first appeared to be.  It's hard to tell by the photo, but the "shoulder pads" of the model contained quite a bit of extra resin that was left by the design of the mold that needed to be carved out.  I'm happy with the end result, but I didn't expect to spend as much time as I did on a model with so few pieces.

  • This model was a much more challenging finecast model to clean, but I must admit that I am very pleased with the end result of this model.  There is quite a bit of detail in its design, which makes equally as impressive.

    7b2ef67d3fd298e5ecb4ac6eea0ceb6d.JPG a4b1603320e494f99d1cf0d4ba125423.JPG
  • I've decided to enroll back in school and take a Holistic Nutritionist course with the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.  I've been dabbling for over a decade in the nutrition realm which progressed from eat for your blood type, to food combining, to Paleo / whole foods.  I've finally clued into the fact that I am pretty passionate about it, and plan for a career change soon after I've graduated.

    I'll take the course part-time through their Distance Education option, as they do not yet have a school in Winnipeg.  I fully intend to take both Advanced Certification options, which ultimately leads to the Diploma.

    Healthy Living is going to be much more than "just a hobby" in the near future!

  • An amazing offer from YNAB, for College students around the world!

  • Two weeks later, and I've decided to switch where I pursue my education; enrolling in the Wholistic Nutrition course through Living Energy.  I decided to take Radka's course for many reasons, but the top reasons are:

    • When I called to talk about the course, she took her time to talk to me.  Our conversation was very easy-flowing (like two friends), and I truly felt like she will continue to be a mentor long after the course.
    • Her own practice (beyond the school) involves the whole person... body, mind, and soul; and that is what I see in my future.
    • Her's is a "suggested" three year program with the first year focusing on Anatomy, Physiology, and Chemistry... the basics.  Many of the other courses I was looking at were trying to wedge these topics into their two year program, which made me wonder what they were "leaving out" to meet that timeline.
    • I also didn't like how some of the other courses out there seem to be slanted towards vegetarianism; a bias my experiences don't share.

    Most of my textbooks will be arriving from amazon the week of Sept. 8th, and the initial course modules should be in my possession one to two weeks after that.  Exciting!

  • This blog post came to me from YNAB through their twitter channel, and I simply had to share it!  A must read to make sure that your thinking is in line with your goals.

  • bbd20776138d47885952a977f5c9c463.JPG

    There was alot of noise outside our house yesterday as the backhoe jackhammers were busy tearing into the street that they are working hard to replace... and we are extremely grateful for the repairs coming our way!

  • Experience the power of a bookbook!

  • 0618e16e1ad30a02e608a5f00b20e396.JPG

    Received my first shipment of books for my Wholistic Nutrition course today!  I've taken some liberties with the "recommended" reading books, and even added my own... like the Power Up Your Brain book in this pile.  I'll really only need the Anatomy & Physiology book (along with my wife's full blown A&P university text for reference) for the first module(s) of the course, but I wanted to (a) be pro-active, and (b) some of the titles sounded way to interesting to hold off purchasing until I was into the future modules.

    I know my initial set of A, P, & C course modules is in the mail, and anticipate having it in my hands next week.

  • c48d4af3bb2a55477b4db05aa2689416.JPG

    Seven more course books have joined my education library today! The two that fall under the "I've taken some liberties with the recommended readings" category are Grain Brain and The Better Brain books; written by the same author that co-authored Power Up Your Brain.

    I was really surprised by the size of the two encyclopedias though; for some reason I thought they were going to be smaller, and I am glad they are not!  Excellent reference material for sure.

    I already started reading Grain Brain, and plan to read Ageless Body, Timeless Mind shortly afterward.  I guess that may depend on when I start my A, P, & C modules...

  • The first photo is a picture from just outside my door, and the second is a shot from down the street.  What isn't shown in the photos though is that they have already started digging out the old pavement at the other end of my block.  I was so excited to see that and look forward to the smooth new road that is in store.  I'm also very glad to see that the sidewalk was included in the replacement plans, and that there is only one short tire rut in my lawn so far.

    ae2802a7a12f58f0b9886ae2ca511be2.JPG 8e3e73117ab9147a93c90ee4094aaede.JPG

    Thank You Winnipeg!

  • 32d61cd9b2f2c63a5d41a22f131e166e.JPG

    With special thanks to some great friends who accepted this shipment from Amazon/UPS while my street is under construction, another seven course books have joined my education library today! The two that fall under the "I've taken some liberties with the recommended readings" category are The Grain Brain Cookbook and Death By Food Pyramid books.

    I've even put the Grain Brain book to the side so I could switch to reading Death By Food Pyramid, and am enjoying the read (and knowledge inside) immensely.

  • 63e0124d6117fb94c55578ba30433681.JPG

    Two more course books have arrived in the mail and joined my education library today! The one that falls under the "I've taken some liberties with the recommended readings" category is Food and Behavior; which I suspect will offer similar knowledge to Grain Brain.

    Zinc and Other Micro-Nutrients is the oldest book in my course collection so far, being published back in 1978.

  • f508f49c9abb8803b5e19b79423a08ee.JPG

    Last night, our kitchen hot water tap started misbehaving and wouldn't turn off completely without really wrenching it.  By morning, wrenching it didn't work, and we resorted to using the shut-off under the sink.  After about three used of the shut-off to control the water, it stopped functioning... leaving us to control the shut-off on the hot water tank.  Almost immediately, I noticed the hot-water valve on the tank would leak a bit in certain positions, and decided using the shut-offs I installed around our whole-house chlorine filter would be my best bet.

    The plumbing representative at Home Depot was excellent.  He put a copper pipe cutter in my hand (to remove the bad shut-off), a new shut-off that would basically crimp onto the copper pipe, and gave me a walk through on how to install it and what parts to not use (connecting it to the existing flex-hose).  We then grabbed some teflon tape and picked out our new taps... which were made by the same company as our old ones and almost identical in style (I guess we really liked it).

  • f838a5d84ca397b3e084ef646c5447e8.JPG Noticed that they completed removed the sidewalk and road (right down to the dirt) all the way down my street today.  I was really hoping we wouldn't have patches, and glad to see that will be the case.
  • 24725946bd23a9b8e76a7f56940fc9b6.JPG

    My final five course books have arrived in the mail and joined my education library today!

    Many of the twenty-five books I now have aren't needed until the second of third year, but as some were already out of print, it was better to get them while the getting was good!

  • 78c6eb0f7407d29df0f3def78784dfeb.JPG I missed taking a picture while the steam rollers were pounding the first layers of gravel the last couple days.  But seeing more fresh gravel laid down today makes me think they'll likely be back for more.
  • 24d810d48e930e0bfed0eb3d6908c771.JPG

    The construction site has been cleared in preparation for the incoming pavement... any day now...

    Looks like some of my neighbours will also require some sidewalk repair, but that's minor.

  • 6746f32d3b4614407f8761d2c08ab485.JPG They laid down curbs on our street today which is a really great sign that the final product is on it's way.
  • 638758b2476f3b6da1e5e59c3ed8e130.JPG Now that the sidewalks are on place, that only leaves laying down the pavement as the last major deliverable. The end is near!
  • 03d9c478130d1cc6d4c8904c4da82497.JPG

    A nice smooth road has been a long time in coming for my street... so glad to see it!

    ...and my finger apparently.

  • After only eight months of marriage (thanks to twelve months of eating Paleo), I have had to resort to switching my wedding band over to my right hand.  Apparently within the 100+ pounds I lost, there must have been a rather significant lost from my fingers as well, because the ring can now easily fall off my finger.

    c3a8fe1fdec04569ef517f756b4ff875.JPG   45567bfd676c9fab6339cf7001ccf0df.JPG

    I've visited a few local jewelers  over the past couple weeks, and none can size the ring without creating a seam in its design; something I'd prefer to avoid.  They are giving me options like springs and soldering in bars or blobs of gold... all of which would make it lopsided.  I'm no goldsmith, but it sure sounds simple (coming out of my mouth anyway) to ask that one lay a nice even layer of gold inside the ring to convert it to my new size.  I've gone from a size 12.5 down to a 10.25, and can envision a simple mathematical equation to figure out the delta in the radius of the before and after circles... which should indicate how thick the new gold layer needs to be.

    d07ed4df0a2b9db42c1252ed6cbbb6da.JPG   736ce59d5db33f09c055fca49420acbb.JPG

    Does anyone know of any goldsmiths that believe like me that adding a layer of gold onto my ring should be straight forward to do?  If so, please reach out and let me know.

  • 3c7f1625bbf7c5cabc4a4a9674907cdc.jpg

    Went to see the MTC (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre) production of The Heart of Robin Hood tonight with my wife and sister-in-law.  While I'm generally not a fan of musical-type plays, I did rather enjoy this production in its entirety.

    Only thing that didn't quite click with me was the reasoning behind choosing a hill-billy band to play with the theme of Robin Hood, but it was quite entertaining nonetheless.

  • Howie Mandel Tonight was Howie Mandel's comedy show at the Club Regent Event Centre. The show started with an annoying video that kept looping over-and-over for what must have been 15 minutes. It was part of the show and meant to get people annoyed and then relieved that the show was starting. The opening act was good, but Howie was fantastic. He had such energy on stage that you knew he loved his career. I could tell that many of his jokes were inspired by the moment (adlib), and my sister-in-law pointed out that all of his shows aren’t scripted...which made it all the more impressive of a show. Excellent job Howie! We were rolling in our seats and had a great time.
  • Inspired by Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth video series, I've been finding myself drawn more and more to investigating various forms of spiritualism.  I guess you could say that I'm on a journey to "find my bliss", as Joe would say (among other notable quotes).

    Over the last month or more, my wife has been attending some spiritual-based courses/workshops with Kristel at Divine Clarity, and tonight's open house was the perfect opportunity to see what synergies there may be for me.

    What I found myself connecting with were the (core) spiritual and Shamanic based workshops, as well as the class to make my own drum!  I'd been looking to buy a drum, and found that it was cheaper to make my own in Darcy's (Kristel's husband) class than it was to buy one... paying for the knowledge, experience, and walking away with a drum for less!

  • My wife and I discovered The Preferred Perch today.  While the majority of their store is centered around bird feeders, supplies, and outdoor ornaments... they do have a wonderful selection of crystals, stones, salt lamps, bath salts, candles, etc...

    We found an excellent Encyclopedia of crystals and stones that we purchased, as well as some of the best bath salts my wife has ever used!

  • 52e909390760e53eb6f18bb6db2fe119.JPG You find your old high school graduation suit in your closet, and it actually fits again?!?! Thank You Paleo!
  • The_Hobbit_-_The_Battle_of_the_Five_Armies.jpg

    As part of my wife's Birthday this year (she's born on Christmas Day) I decided to take her out for diner and a movie.

    We first stopped of at Tony Roma's and had a fantastic meal; they really worked hard to try put something Paleo together for us!

    The movie playing this evening was the The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in 3D.  I haven't been to many 3D movies, and can say that I did enjoy the extra dimension overall.  My wife had hoped to see more movie about Smaug, so was rather disappointed with how quickly into the movie he exited.  Dragon's aside, we did enjoy the story and were very entertained by the final chapter.

  • d68ec4805e046f8a14baa9de2e381227.JPG
    • I'm thankful that the shower head broke off in my hand this morning instead of tomorrow when the stores are closed
    • I'm thankful that Home Depot was open when I got off work and had a shower head I liked
    • I'm thankful that I can continue to shower happily with my easy to replace new shower head
  • I found what turned out to be a fantastic roast turkey recipe online; such a juicy bird having cooked it breast down instead of the traditional back down.  The turkey was also one of the ones we had ordered from McDonald Farm, and boy was it delicious!

    c5d830a372150c0cea43959f98661c25.JPG c535f934f1798a728c8ffa5430c157f7.JPG
  • 5ec42c6f59e935957d6082186186065e.jpg After almost two years of owning my Ford Fusion, and having a credit with my local dealer (Birchwood Ford), I finally bit the bullet and decided to go with an aftermarket system I was familiar with.  My thought originally was to wait and install the Ford Access product, but it wasn't looking like they were going to release it for my 2013 model.  My dealer's assurance to warranty the install helped to clinch the deal, which netted a sweet $0 purchase after applying the credit I had... making it a Merry Christmas to me! I'm going to enjoy my PRO 2-WAY 901!

     

  • I've owned my Xerox Phaser 6180N for a few years now, and obviously I am not a huge ink consumer since I have only ever had the factory cartridges that came with the unit until my black started running out over the past week.  In fact, I still have 80% toner in one of the colour cartridges, and 60% in the other two.  But I found it hard to convince myself to buy official Xerox replacement ink when the cost of it was so close to the original purchase price of the printer... ummm, no thanks.  I'd rather buy a new printer at those prices.

    So I started looking online for alternatives and eventually found TonerOnline.ca.  What I appreciated the most was their no hassle warranty and the excellent conversation I had over the phone... looking to get more comfortable with purchasing "generic".  Obviously they said everything right as I decided to place my order for an entire set of colours, not just the black I really needed.  They happened to have a little sale on, and I do like to capitalize on sales... especially at these prices!

  • DR-3100.jpg

    After finding that the impressive 1 mile range of my CompuStar Remote Start & Alarm meant nothing in the denseness of the tall city buildings (I'm guessing all that steel in the way); I gave myself a late Christmas present by having the Drone Mobile installed as a companion to my PRO 2-WAY 901.

    The install came with three months of the "basic" plan, which should be ample time to determine if it has any shortfalls that would push me to the premium plan.  It sure was a wake-up call to how the Canadian dollar fares against the $299 USD price tag... almost $370 CDN!  ouch! ><

    Here are some good troubleshooting tips which I unfortunately needed to use on my first day with my Drone/Compustar combo... The Dealer seemed to get it going again (a la “exit valet mode”) but it always end up failing to start again. My internet research told me that the compustar “brain” has lost what it means for the remote start to know it has succeeded, and “locks out” the function after three “failed” attempts:

  • 7089e90ca3d0b72becd32cc090c20fb8.JPG

    It's been eating too many green eggs and ham!

    First time I ever saw a chicken with a "grass stain" on the inside... cooked or not.

    I'm glad I decided to cut the entire chicken before eating any of it too.  And totaly not interested in finding out how sick I would have gotten.

  • 0ada04b6df778ecd276368656527d3ac.jpg 46478c8cd174eef9b86b309b882a2bad.jpg

    Here's a quick bulleted list of Lauren's post over at Empowered Substances:

    1. Slow down on the nuts and seeds
    2. Don’t eat lean protein
    3. Stop drowning your body in water
    4. Don’t cook in chemicals
    5. Eat Enough Carbs

    Thank You for sharing Lauren; an excellent read!

    Update! I've also found some additional posts that support and expand these ideas on Sébastien's informative PaleoLeap.com website:

     

     

  • She bought it second hand from one of her classmates at a workshop she was taking. A little google searching revealed the following claim... Health is daily MOVEMENT, which creates OXYGENATION and DETOXIFICATION. The Original Chi Machine gets your body moving, inside and out.

    Sounds like it's trying to displace what exercise would?  Hmmm... not sure what to think of this new toy.  I guess I'll have to try it and see.

  • 2c402c8a33241260732cc78c670ff736.jpg

    I woke up Monday morning to a dead battery in my car.  In hindsight, I realize it had slowly been dying over the past couple weeks... the "turning radio off to conserve battery" every time I shut off the car was saying it loud and clear.

    Luckily my local dealer validated that the battery was faulty and replaced it with a new one the other day... but my Drone didn't fully recover.  I wasn't getting all notifications any more, nor the GPS location updates.

    The dealer was stumped, so I opened a support ticket today with Drone, explained what happened, and they reset something from their end (I think it was the module in my car) which put everything back into working order.

    But I think my support rep has a concern about my install as he stated that...

    If this problem happens again, I would suggest visiting the dealer so they can confirm what port the DroneMobile device is plugged into.

    An important nugget to keep track of moving forward me thinks!

  • f92802abca116bc0592c58ee38558468.jpg e7d8e3e6fe5879da5341a2aabe7fb671.JPG

    Picked up the Nom Nom Paleo book at Superstore today after a good friend let me know it was currently on sale.  While I really appreciated recipes like Paleo Mayo and Pho, I was pleasantly surprised by all the kitchen/pantry tips and tricks like freezing ginger! An excellent addition to our ever growing library.

    Read about Michelleon her nomnompaleo.comwebsite; which also includes a wealth of other Paleo information and recipes.

  • c3da00bc71f3e2510e353e3d3f0fd36d.JPG

    Following Michelle's (Nom Nom Paleo) recipe for "hand whisked" Paleo Mayo has had some mixed successes, with the issue being that I'm just not dexterous enough to maintain the whisking.  In the past, I'd also tried and failed using our Vitamix to make other homemade mayo recipes.

    The solution?  Introduce the mayo to our Kitchenaid to do all the whisking!

    Getting a lovely thick Mayo also made a huge difference to the Paleo Ranchdressing recipe we had also tried.  We had found it too thin before, and the mayo thickness was obviously the key.

  • 8489a8f8f9e9eb13a181c544dceb89c5.JPG

    We've been making sauerkraut for quite some time now, but I can honestly say that we don't eat it as often as we could.  Usually due to bad timing/planning... where we eat through our jars before thinking of starting the next batch; and we like to let it ferment for up to eight weeks.  So, too many gaps have been creeping in, which usually leads to a bit of procrastination.

    Our solution was to start a new ferment that doesn't need weeks to mature, and our answer was water kefir.

    I contacted Jody, a local Winnipeger, through Kijiji and picked up my initial batch of water kefir grains!  She had just prepared the brew this morning, so it will need to ferment over the next couple days before I can try it out.

    What out "leaky gut", there's a new probiotic  sheriff in town!

  • Had a great time at Darcy's Drum Making Workshop at Divine Clarity today!  I opted to use an elk skin on my drum, and asked for an 18 inch frame (over the typical 12/14/16 options).  The drum turned out great, and the experience of making one was so incredibly fun that I think i'll be taking the workshop again to make another.  All I need to do now is weave some softer leather/fabric through the back strings so that it is easier on my hands while holding it.

    c3de2c6fa6323436872699dc1cc29734.JPG c9ece5cdfc84141de7f4b5712fc925bd.JPG
    ea4e4bdbcd0eba3de2681a7fcc8ca9f1.JPG 91d8390907f7ce1f4b6343f1ce19be3a.JPG
    eafc27345e8f4af1a63911f421c0cc0c.JPG 85c14f917b1961ecf51192b2a8e63991.JPG
    8c1ceefed0c3217a3362a087e2cd10e3.JPG a2ef3ba4248fa1675d60019ba538ea1f.JPG  
  • Over the last few days, we've been slowly drinking the starter kefir batch I'd acquired, as it continued to ferment on our counter.  The kefir seemed to get thicker and more sharp as the days went by... so we were certainly exposed to a wide range of flavours as it fermented.

    Having consumed the last of the water, I followed the guidance and recipe found on growyouthful.com to put together our first brew of water kefir.  For our first batch, I decided to use 100% maple syrup as our sugar.  That and the molasses explains the dark rich colour.

    4ed9901f63c61e1b0fd9320b0aa92449.JPG 09a32653cb690f108945f16983bc276a.JPG
  • The Mrs & I attended our first FSS (Foundation for Shaman Studies) workshop this weekend; sponsored by Divine Clarity. My attraction was to learning about (and doing) journeying, which I understood to be a form of meditation.  It also gave me the perfect opportunity to use the drum I had just made last weekend! (scroll down two posts)

    During the Basic experiential workshop, participants are introduced to core shamanism, the universal, near-universal, and common methods of the shaman to enter nonordinary reality for problem solving and healing. Particular emphasis is on the classic shamanic journey, one of the most remarkable visionary methods used by humankind to explore the hidden universe otherwise known mainly through myth and dream. Participants are initiated into shamanic journeying, aided by drumming and other techniques for experiencing the shamanic state of consciousness and for awakening dormant spiritual abilities, including connections with Nature.

    I truly found it to be a fantastic workshop. My most incredible (and convincing) experience was using journeying to find out more information about the issue I've been having with my knee than doctors (using x-rays) and chiropractors have been able to tell me so far. In less than 10 minutes of journeying, I found a test (simply rolling the skin) to perform on my knee that proved the issue was in the skin (likely a nerve). It's not joint (arthritis) or ligament pain; simply a sensitive spot on/under the skin that really lets me know it's there when I happen to bump or apply pressure in just the right spot.  If there was ever a reason to doubt journeying in any way, this experience just obliterated it!

  • be35cd5bc6a7cd3ce9cc4e985d3f6d56.JPG

    Two days in and I can already see that my first batch is more active (more bubbly) than the starter batch I was given. In fact, it almost looks like they've grown too.

    I know I used a different sugar, but I predict that adding molasses was the big difference; they just love the added minerals!

    Of course both these things also have changed the taste significantly. I think the molasses is a keeper, but maple syrup reminds me too much of pancakes. Going to leave this batch on the counter to continue fermenting and see how the flavour changes over time before I decide for sure though.

  • Five days of fermenting on the counter has lead to a rather vinegary batch. I must admit that I've left it out too long for my (and my wife's) taste.

    I strained out the kefir grains and started batch number two.  This time using cane sugar over maple syrup, and keeping the molasses.

    Sorry about forgetting to take a picture of this batch, but batch two really doesn't look any different when compared to the picture I took back on Mar 7; other than realizing I only used half the water the first time... so the jars are more full.

  • Four days in (having a nice sharp taste, just before vinegary) and I'm just noticing that the kefir grains have tripled!  The grains are definitely happy, healthy, and multiplying.  I think they agreed with me on switching maple syrup for cane sugar.

    I never would have imagined that I'd be starting batch with three making twelve jars... incredible!

    6baccbfbfcc4c6a97ed3e14f3919fbb4.JPG 601ed8c4fb018612ffe9e59a1ef8be2a.JPG
  • The Mrs & I attended our second FSS (Foundation for Shaman Studies) workshop this weekend; sponsored by Divine Clarity. We were so excited after our first workshop that we could hardly wait for the next one offered.

    Participants learn how to deal with the issue of dying and the destiny of souls from a shamanic perspective. The workshop is both for those who wish to learn for themselves, and for those who wish to help others who are in terminal situations or who have already passed on. Experiences to be undertaken include learning how to become experientially familiar with the after-death realms, tracking a person using shamanic journeying, completing unfinished business, helping a person to cross over, and classic psychopomp work.

    I wasn't initially as wowed by this workshop as I was the first. I think mainly because it seemed to be slanted towards things we would do for other people, and I was still hoping to focus on my own self improvement/exploration; a shift in my expectations. In the end I came to some well needed realizations about life, death, family, and friends; and I am grateful for the healthier perspectives.

    My wife on the other hand is really excited about having learned psychopomp!

  • 7c68e636c04f5bc55f2f6e977ac19fc8.JPG

    Three days into batch three (Mar 19th), my kefir was bubbling like crazy, and I could already tell the grains were still growing.  What I obviously needed to learn quickly was how to only make as many batches as we could drink; which would also mean figuring out how to keep/store the grains that I didn't need to use for fermenting.

    The first answer/lesson was, simply, use the fridge.  The basic premise being that you still need to feed the grains, so you start a new batch (make the grains food) but put the jar in the fridge to slow the grains down.  So I put my three day ferments in the fridge so they could continue to ferment more slowly.  As I got close to emptying each jar of liquid over the next few days, I poured the grains into the next jar, delaying the need to start any new batches.

    The second answer, equally simple, was to entertain the idea of making them available to others like Kijiji/Jody had done for me. If you live in/around Winnipeg and are looking for a happy water kefir culture, let's make a trade for a freshly made batch.

  • Back in late January when we were contemplating getting a 13.25 inch Lodge cast skillet, it was one that d. a. Niel's had previously ordered to bring in for stock... but it never arrived.  They did have a 12 inch that had arrived, and looking at it made us realize that really was the biggest we could hope to use on our stove top anyway.  Only issue was, they didn't have a lid for it.

    So I did a little digging and found that the 7 Quart Dutch Oven came with a 12 inch lid that would fit our pan.  It didn't take much calculating to realize that $80-$90 for a lid was a worse deal than $140 for a lid with a pot... that's like a buy the lid and get a pot for $60, or less.

    It took a while for our special order to arrive, but I'm looking forward to getting some good use out of our new 12 inch skillet, dutch oven, and lid!

    0db3e780d2dfe214e8ca16f8fa6a15d6.JPG f85d390979ea508d3006a703f6296d08.JPG
  • An article appeared in The Indian Practitioner in September 2010 (volume 63, number 9, pages 567-574) that details the results of three clinical studies performed with malaria patients and silver, including a 100% cure rate in an average of five days.

    I know I was skeptical in the beginning by these claims, but after reading/watching the balance of the information that I have linked to in my Structured Silver section... I definitely started opening up to the possibilities.

  • I was recently introduced to Structured Silver by my instructor, through the gentle suggestion of a shared URL to Dr. Pedersen's web-site.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the thoroughness of Dr. Pedersen's video explanations, so I'd rather you watched them instead of me engaging in the injustice of trying to paraphrase what I learned.

    This collection of short videos is an excellent introduction to Structured Silver, what it is used for (past and present), and discussions about its safety... and even introduces a big claim of effectiveness against MRSA.

  • Being a believer in probiotics, my first concern was that if Structured Silver is so effective against "bad" bacteria and yeast... what about the healthy flora that I am trying to maintain?

    This collection of short videos dives deeper into Structured Silver, how it works, why it can distinguish between pathogenic bacteria/yeast and not our healthy flora... and why our healthy cells are protected.

  • An online reference to some of the known applications of Structured Silver.

    Considering my wife's previous experience with infections/pancytopenia and a new suspicion about endometriosis... coupled with my own desire to ensure my healthy flora is well established (no bad competition), looking forward to receiving some congestion (mucous retention cysts) relief, and treating blood blisters (not specifically on the list)... we'll definitely be testing the effectiveness of Structured Silver in our home.

  • I think it is important to know what our bodies are really asking for when we have cravings.... both in general, and when we are making big changes like changing what we eat (like a starter 30 day Paleo challenge).

    When I think about it, what makes sense to me is that our bodies know what it needs (nutrient/vitamin/mineral) and can only "ask" us for it in terms of craving foods that it knows we've eaten that contain it.  They may not be the best sources, but it's what we've eaten.

    For example, we shouldn't feel guilty for craving chocolate if what that translates to is our body asking for magnesium.  Alternative sources of magnesium include (amongst others) fruits like bananas and avocados.

    Toss the guilt and frustration by searching online for "what your food cravings really mean", or check out some of the sites that I have referred to:

  • Sarah Ballantyne

    a3d9c0e064b54ba79e5a52ea23591889.JPG

    While I still believe that Practical Paleo and The Paleo Solution are essential core reading, over time one comes to realize that if you've been eating according to the "Food Guides"... you likely have an autoimmune condition that would benefit from following this protocol for a period of time before following the general Paleo protocol.

    My wife was the first to read through these books, and you can see her reasons and what she learned in one of our autoimmune posts.

    Sarah Ballantyne is the author of our new autoimmune books and has more information on her Paleo Mom website.

  • My name is Betty Anne Isfeld and I am a Certified ThetaHealer®. I have completed the Basic DNA, Advanced DNA and Rhythm to a Perfect Weight   seminars in the ThetaHealing® Technique. I discovered the ThetaHealing® Technique during my own spiritual journey of healing. I speak from personal experience that this technique can change your life. By using this technique I was able to resolve past painful experiences and deal with emotional illness; becoming comfortable in my own skin. I have chosen to use this technique because healing and release can happen at such a deep level; in a single session many issues can be shifted.

    To Learn more about the ThetaHealing technique, visit www.thetahealing.com

Go to top