A Tale Of Two Sandwiches

Another gray and dreary day. It is mild though, and almost all of the snow has melted away. So far it has been a wonderfully mild winter.

A few days ago I was careless and ate slightly more than 1200 mg of sodium for the day. I experienced some swelling in my feet and fingers. Yesterday and during the night my system finally released the excess fluid, and the swelling has subsided. I am very sensitive to sodium.

This morning I awoke at 6:00 a.m. For me this is sleeping in. Attila was still in dreamland. Sitting at the kitchen table I had the sudden urge to bake a loaf of bread. I have known since last September that I needed to start baking bread again, salt free bread that is. I have procrastinated, for months.

I found a salt free recipe online, for Oatmeal Bread, and began with that. I used the ingredient list, but since I use a Bosch mixer to knead my bread, and the recipe included only instructions for a bread machine, I had to improvise.

My Oatmeal Bread Low Sodium was a success. Attila will continue to eat store bought bread for the moment, until I get into the swing of things, then he will be switched over to salt free bread as well.

I love peanut butter sandwiches, preferably with jam, not honey.

Yesterday my peanut butter sandwich was a source of shame and guilt. How can two slices of bread with a few tablespoons of peanut butter and a tablespoon of jam cause so much distress? I am restricted to 1200 mg of sodium a day, and 25 gm of sugar per day; when I eat something high in sodium, or sugar, I have to carefully watch everything else I eat, all day long, including snacks and beverages. An indiscretion at breakfast or lunch can severely limit our choices for dinner; this affects Attila too.

Yesterday’s sandwich was made with commercial bread, regular Kraft peanut butter, and some “fruit only” jam with a significantly reduced sugar content. Yesterday’s sandwich packed 440 mg of sodium and 7 gm of sugar. Yesterday’s sandwich used up more than a third of my sodium quota, and almost a third of my sugar quota.

Today’s peanut butter sandwich makes me smile.

Today’s peanut butter sandwich was made with my homemade Oatmeal Bread, all natural Kraft peanut butter, and the same “fruit only” jam. Today’s peanut butter sandwich had 22 mg of sodium, and 9 grams of sugar. The low sodium intake for my lunch allows me to have 60 mg of ham for my dinner! Alas, the sugar intake increased, because my homemade bread is made with 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Still, I find it far easier to restrict sugar than to restrict sodium, so I reckon I am ahead of the game on peanut butter sandwiches. Eventually I will experiment with reducing the amount of brown sugar in the homemade bread; that will take time, and won’t be worth the tradeoff if the flavour suffers.

Little things can make a big difference.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3°C
Date: 2:08 PM EST Saturday 21 January 2017
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 3.0°C
Dew point: 2.6°C
Humidity: 97%
Wind: SW 10 km/h
Visibility: 1 km

Quote

“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but to do what lies clearly at hand.”
Thomas Carlyle
1795 – 1881

Note: Women marching on the White House in Washington today, supporters marching all over the world. Let our solidarity extend to one another when the banners are no longer waving.

Mosquitoes

Friday, April 15, 2016

Mosquitoes!

They came out of hiding yesterday evening at 6:00 p.m., and they loved me! We spent the day pulling brambles and draining wet areas at the Rideau Camp. At the end of a fruitful day of work, we were sitting around our campfire, when I noticed the first mosquito land on my hand. Then the rest of the gang followed, and I was surrounded. They paid no attention at all to Attila, just me. I was wearing dark clothing, a real no-no!

We pulled three wheelbarrow loads of brambles from the Rideau Camp yesterday. This is the time of year to do it, because the earth is soft enough to pull the roots out of the ground. The soil is heavy clay, and soon it will dry out enough that it will resemble rock.

We took a break mid afternoon to grill cheese sandwiches over the open campfire, then it was back to work. I remembered to bring the bread this time!

I tended the fire for much of the day, while pulling brambles, and Attila headed out into the bush to create a drainage system for some wet spots at the back of the property.

We have a lot of frogs in the wetland at the entrance to the property, and they were in fine voice all day. Occasionally they became quite loud and seemed excited. When Attila went out to the wetland to fetch a pail of water to put out the fire, he saw a muskrat in the wetland. How wonderful that we have a muskrat on our property!

So far we have seen a Blue Crane on the neighbouring property, a pair of Hawks soaring and hunting in the skies above us, and now a Muskrat hunting in our wetland.

We were also buzzed by a small pontoon airplane, flying quite low over the property. Summer, and summer activities are beginning. The plane was probably headed for the lake.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

This morning we found mouse droppings all around the kitchen sink. They had scoured the dirty dishes in the sink! We must remember to wash the dishes before we go to bed at night, even if there is only a plate and cup. The traps were set, but baited with seeds. We are switching to peanut butter in the traps.

Today the weather is warm enough to hang clothes outside to dry. What a welcome eventuality. Attila did a large load of his laundry early in the morning, and hung it out to dry for the day.

We were off bright and early this morning, headed for the Rideau Camp. I got the camp fire going, and Attila got right back to uprooting brambles. He removed three more wheelbarrow loads, which I burned slowly in campfire. We have a long way to go burning all the deadwood, piles up brush left by a bulldozer, and brambles. But since we are having fun, and there is no big rush to get it done, the job does not seem daunting.

While Attila was preparing our grilled cheese sandwiches for grilling, a new Cadillac SUV came driving up the driveway. The couple asked me if we were the people selling the property. They were quite disappointed that we were the people who just bought the property. It is kind of nice to know that someone else thinks that it is a nice property.

Just before we left for the day, Attila gathered another bag of garbage from along the creek. If we bring a bag of garbage home with us every time we are there, by the end of the summer we should have most of it cleared away.

The mosquitoes came out again this evening at the camp, but I was ready for them! I wore my permethrin coated shirt and pants and didn’t get one bite. Funny thing though, earlier in the day I felt something crawling on my neck and flicked it off, it was a moth. Later, as Attila and I were sitting at the campfire, he reached over and removed a small moth that was crawling on my neck. Apparently the moths love me.

We drove home into the sunset once more, arriving home hungry and tired… and very happy.

I had a note from my Mom this morning, she sounds fantastic! She is out and about a lot more now, gaining weight, and healing slowly. Now all we need is some nice hot summer weather to set her right!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

9°C (high of 16C predicted)
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Saturday 16 April 2016
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 103.3 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 8.5°C
Dewpoint: -2.7°C
Humidity: 45%
Wind: ENE 16 km/h

Quote

“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”
Jerry Chin

Obsessions

The heat wave has broken, and the cool sweet breezes are flowing through the forest. My windows are all open, heavenly.

I am not a person with an “addictive personality”. Heaven knows I have tried! I tried to partake of a daily alcoholic drink, reckoning it would help me relax, but I only kept it up for a few days before forgetting to do it. I tried to smoke cigarettes, bought a pack which lasted several years, and ended up throwing it out. I just can’t seem to manage hanging on to an addiction.

Nor can I sustain an obsession, with a few notable exceptions, like loving my kids no matter what. Heaven knows I try to develop long-term obsessions, but alas, it isn’t in me to do it. I do enjoy short-term, intense obsessions though. That is my lot in life, the short-term obsession.

Yesterday I initiated an obsession, which I am enjoying to the hilt, because I know it will soon fade away. We recently bumped into a sale on blueberries, and so bought several pints. Attila does not like raw blueberries. I love them. Yesterday I wanted to eat them for breakfast, but I also wanted to eat my daily breakfast oatmeal. I didn’t like the idea of hot oatmeal during a heat wave, nor the idea of fresh blueberries on hot cereal. I began my search for ideas on how to have my blueberries, and my oatmeal too.

What I came up with was a no-cook recipe for oatmeal squares, which I imagined I could eat with a bowel of fresh blueberries. That is not how it turned out though.

I used our special peanut butter, with no sugar, added oils, just peanuts. It is great peanut butter, made right here in Ontario, Paris, Ontario, at Nuts To You. It is not as oily as the commercial peanut butter, so my results did not yield squares, but a crumble mixture. So I washed my blueberries, put them in a bowel, topped them with peanut butter oatmeal crumble, poured myself a big glass of milk on the side, and sat down to a hearty breakfast.

I had this combo for breakfast yesterday. I had this combo for lunch yesterday. I had this combo for a bedtime snack yesterday. I had this combo for breakfast this morning. Right now I am not interested in eating anything else. The combo is my mini-obsession. When the blueberries are gone, the obsession goes with them. But for now, I am enjoying my self indulgence.

The telephone rang once this morning. One ring.

“Stop rattling my cage,” I think.

I realized, as I headed for the phone, that I don’t welcome it’s call. Why? There is seldom a familiar voice at the other end of it, and right now the only friendly voice that calls comes from the realtor’s office, setting up another tire-kicker’s adventure. This is particularly disappointing, because I want it to be the realtor calling with news that someone wants to buy the house.

I need to try and forget that the telephone exists!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Thursday 30 July 2015
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 24.4°C
Dewpoint: 15.8°C
Humidity: 58%
Wind: W 13 km/h
Humidex: 29

Quote

“Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.”
Lois McMaster Bujold