Thursday, September 29, 2011


Sunrise this morning...
...turned the clouds orange for a few minutes.
Miss Karma enjoying her tipped out box of toys in the sunshine.
Believe it or not, one of her favorite toys is still the bottom of that clear shower curtain liner that I cut into strips and tied together. Wiggle that plastic anywhere, anytime--beyond resisting to the Karma mind. ;)
Dagan and Leah were here on Wednesday night. Leah re-potted the fern and the philodendron (which has been doing very poorly). Turns out it wasn't me--tada! I thought I had over-watered it, but I guess it was a combination of the cold and being TOTALLY root bound. I was relieved. I have tried to err on the side of drought and been so careful. Good to know.
I don't plan on seeing Dagan and Leah for all of October. Leah's mother's house has to be completely emptied for the closing date that is coming up plus ValleyCon is at the end of October, too, and they're very involved with that event every year. So, they're going to be driving up to her mom's house every weekend until it is cleared out and everything is in storage. During the week they'll be busier, too, because everything they'd normally do on the weekends will have to be done after work during the week. Whew!
Me...I'm kind of useless anyways. Been in a fibro flare and my hours are wonky. I had somebody ask me what a fibro flare was like. Well, for me, the best way to describe it is that it's like how you feel when you have a bad case of the flu where you ache all over and feel so weak and generally miserable that you don't want to move. The only thing missing is the vomiting and the fever--LOL! You can feel like this for a day or two...weeks...months...I have heard tell of years. Awk! I have had months of this before, but since I have been in Fargo (2005) and can self-regulate more I have usually had only days or weeks and haven't crossed over into multiple months...knock on wood. This too shall pass.
Anyways, I have been trying out some fake dairy products. Why? Well, since I have been vegetarian for over a year now (no meat or fish), I thought maybe I should extend this to dairy. One: because dairy cows are not always treated well, either (even if I buy organic). Two: I have heard so much about how getting rid of dairy can help with things like chronic sinus and other health issues.
Okay, so I've tried the fake milk. I say "fake" because there are different kinds of substitute dairy products. Some have soy, some rice, some say non-soy...whatever. "Fake" is shorter (and funnier) than "substitute"--LOL! Plus, I suppose growing up in the upper Midwest where we generally love our "real" milk, cheese, cream, butter.....these are just fake. ;)
Anyways, I tried some fake milk. I have a much harder time drinking a glass of that with my meal. The vanilla flavored is better, but the chocolate is the best to me for just plain drinking. Not sure chocolate is healthier, though--hehe! I can use the plain or vanilla flavored on cereal just fine. Maybe I'm getting a little more used to it.
I tried some fake (soy blueberry) yogurt...and it wasn't that bad. I tried some fake ice cream and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be--especially the chocolate one, of course. There was a chocolate brownie one that was pretty darn good, actually! ;) They are harder--to scoop and seem to stay quite hard for a longer time in the bowl.
Made an actual pizza with some fake mozzarella cheese shreds. Was okay. The fake cheese was kind of dry and didn't have much flavor, but it was edible. I had another brand to try, too. So, one night I decided to use this other brand (Daiya) with some of the extra pizza sauce.
Note that it says "melts and stretches". I was curious because the other stuff wasn't very moist at all.
I made a piece of toast, spread some pizza sauce over it, sprinkled the chunky fake mozzarella shreds on top...
...and nuked it. Yup! It sort of melted.
Now, I don't know if you have ever used toast to make a kind of "fake" pizza before, but I have. Never made fake pizza with fake cheese before, though--ROFL! What that package should also have said in big letters is: STICKY!!!
That "cheese" stuck to your teeth, both sides of a fork...ROFLMAO!!! Was sooo funny! It didn't taste that bad, but it was a hoot to try to actually eat it! And I still have an actual chuck of this that can be sliced--oh my! ;)
Ahh! Trying my fake dairy has been quite interesting. Not sure if I can go totally without, but I might be able to cut way back. I still haven't tried a lot of the various products--like the fake butter, other cheeses, sour cream, cream cheese, etc--and then there are different brands of many items. So, I'm trying something new every month. :)
For all the look of rain clouds that have occasionally drifted past...
...we haven't actually had any rain, I don't think.
Of course, I have been sleeping during the days a lot so I'm not positive. Been kind of good for nothing the past couple of weeks. Hopefully things will turn around here pretty soon. My knee's better, though. :) Karma's well. Everything will wait for me to get to it around here. Life is good! I'm thankful for whoever invented television--LOL! Karma and I say bye for now from my comfy chair. Hope your weekend is spectacular! :):)
"A thankful person is thankful under all circumstances. A complaining soul complains even in paradise."


carol l mckenna said...

Rita ~ Your photos are delightful! Well done ~ thanks for your lovely comments on my blog ~ hugs and namaste, Carol ^_^

DJan said...

Years ago I tried fake dairy stuff and found it to be woefully lacking. So I just stick to not eating cheese around the house but enjoy it in a restaurant dish, drink soy milk because I love it, and have a bit of butter now and then when eating out. I just don't have it at home. Hubby likes yogurt but I don't eat it often, so we're already pretty dairy free. That fake pizza doesn't look very appetizing, I must say! Fun post, though, and I'm hoping you'll be feeling better soon... :-)

Parsley said...

EEEW. Sorry but the 'fake cheese' is gross looking. I understand your efforts but unless I had an allergy, I personally would stick with real cheese for the texture alone.

Love how Karma looks in the sunlight.

Intense Guy said...

I really like that shot of the "Pumpkin Sky"... and the one with Karma's baleful eyes. I think she was in full sabre tooth tiger mode there...

I've been dealing with fake sugar products - and to be honest - some of them are quite good - but.. but... but.. its just aint the same as the real stuff...

Dee Ready said...

Dear Rita, I've been a vegetarian--not a vegan-- for thirty years now. No meat, chicken, or fish. I've tried to go the vegan route but I like dairy too much. However, I do enjoy vanilla almond milk. It's quite tasty.

I'm sorry to hear that you are having all these physical symptoms and I'm hoping that the aching isn't always present so that you are constantly aware of it. I hope that you can find distractions. Maybe television or sunrises or Karma's play.

Thank you for reading those three posts about crocheting, sewing, and the convent. I did learn, as an adult, to crochet. Taught myself and made a number of lovely pieces of clothing.

As to individuality in the convent. The nuns who taught me were true individuals--but as in any large community, these women had to work for the good of the whole. And sometimes then, individuality takes a backseat.

I don't regret the convent, but I am glad that I left it all those long years ago.


Deanna said...

I'm sure you are going to miss Dagan & Leah over the next few weeks. Hopefully all will go well with them in everything they have to do.

These auto-immune diseases are so strange to explain so people will understand. And since you look fine, people think you should be able to just "push through"... sometimes that just isn't possible. Hopefully this will be a short flare.

Beautiful photos as always!


Furry Bottoms said...

Rita! You are NOT useless or "good for nothing" as you say. Your mind is so active and creative, you cannot be useless at all.

That pizza cheese you used? I had to laugh at that becasue I KNOW that when you try to melt some fake cheese it doesn't budge. It looks exactly the same as raw. Good to know there are some good fake stuff!

I like the Silk Soy milk... vanilla flavored in cereal and chocolate to drink straight. But I don't drink Soy now anyways. Too expensive for me. Are you generally feeling better since being off meat for a year?

Rita said...

Carol--Thanks and you're welcome! :)

Djan--I'm getting a little more used to the soy milk. The cheese isn't too appetizing, you're right about that--LOL! The problem is how much we love dairy--cheeses, milk, butter, cream cheese, ice cream, yogurt. I just don't think I could completely give up the real thing. I guess if I mix in some "fake" stuff and eat less of the "real" that might have to do. ;) You already eat very little dairy it sounds like. No wonder you're so healthy! :)

Parsley--Yes, that cheese was a bit on the gross side--LOL! I was thinking maybe it might help my health issues. Not sure I can do it, though. ;)
My favorite pics of Karma involve her and sunlight. :)

Iggy--LOL re:Karma in STT mode. ;)
Yup! Just not quite the same. But some of them are quite good. True with dairy, too. And same with the fake meat and chicken--LOL! ;)

Dee--I haven't tried the almond vanilla yet. I'll have to try it. :)
I am always in pain--24/7. It is just a matter of degrees. At any time you can touch me anywhere and I feel kind of raw. It really hurts for Karma to step on me, so I have to put a pillow on my lap for her to lay right on me. She knows this and she waits for me to get the pillow. :) When the pain ratchets up a notch or two or three it gets hard to think or concentrate...but TV has lots of rather mindless things to try to get lost in that don't take much brain effort--ROFL!
I'm glad you learned to crochet and that it wasn't quite as joyless at the convent as it sounded. ;)

Deanna--I will miss not seeing the kids, but I know they are busy and happy getting ready for the gaming convention and I know we'll get together again after everything settles down. :)
I know! You don't really look any different (except for the pain frown on your face and the tired eyes--LOL!) so people don't always get it. Mine could be worse. Fibro's not deadly or crippling...well, not physically crippling. But, you know all about the chronic fatigue and invisible illness. My heart goes out to you, sweetie!! I can empathize. We'll just hang in there, right? :)

Teresa Evangeline said...

Hi Rita, It was a beautiful sunrise, wasn't it? I hope you're feeling better and enjoying this great autumn day!

Beth said...

Your photos are wonderful as usual. I am smitten with Karma. Love those pictures.

I am sorry you are feeling tough. Feel better really soon!!


Toriz said...

That's good about the plant (that it wasn't your fault, I mean).

I have recently started getting "sunflower spread" which is a dairy free butter made from sunflower oil, and that's really nice. In fact, that's nice enough that Kelly - who insists he doesn't eat anything considered a vegetarian or vegan food item - loves it.

I'd never make it as a vegan, I like too many items with dairy in them, and substitutes for most of them are difficult to get hold of at the very least.

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Ain't nothin' like the 'real' thing baby but I use the zero fat stuff most of the time. Ya just can't get it very hot or it turns funky!

Feel better sweetie!

God bless ya and have a fantastic weekend!!! :o)

Serena Lewis said...

Beautiful sunrise pics!

I have to say that I'm not a fan of non-dairy cheeses and real cheese was the one thing I did miss when I was vegan for 11 months. When you say 'nuked', I assume you meant microwave? I wonder if it would have melted any better in the conventional oven?

I didn't like Soy milk initially but I got used to it for cereals, however, I don't like it for hot drinks like coffee or tea. During my vegan stage, I drank only green tea so no milk or cream. I have seriously been thinking of cutting out the dairy tho as I get depressed with all the excess flab I've developed...not sure if menopause is to blame or if it's due to me going back on dairy from a vegan diet.

Rita, I'm so sorry to hear you're dealing with fibro-flares. Your description of them sounds identical to what I experience from time to time. You have my sympathy...try and rest.

I'm sure you will miss Dagan and Leah for a WHOLE month.

The philodendron must be very happy now. I repotted one of my succulents a week or two back and I was astounded at the massive, thick root it had grown and curled around and around inside the pot. It's loving it's new, larger pot.

Have a lovely weekend, my friend,

Love and hugs,
Serena xo

Rita said...

Nikki--You're so sweet! I guess my mind is the one thing that still remains fairly functional when my body shuts down on me--LOL!
Yes, all the fake cheese I've tried so far looks about the same melted...even this melt and stretch stuff. You're the same with the soy milks (vanilla flavored with cereal and chocolate straight). I've been buying organic milk for some time and some of the soy milks are cheaper. I haven't noticed anything in particular from being off meat for over a year. Much easier for me to do than giving up dairy, apparently--LOL! ;)

Teresa--It was a pretty sunrise. Thanks, lady! :)

Beth--Karma is like a little bear--hehe! Thanks for the well wishes. :)

Tori--The one I bought (haven't tried yet) is called Earth Balance and is organic. Only so much to pick from. I bet I'd have more to choose from if I went back to Tochi's, that natural foods store in north Fargo. I'll have to try to make a trip back there this winter. Dairy is much harder for me to give up than meat, too. :)

Nezzy--Zero fat dairy that goes funky...hummm? Doesn't sound a lot better--ROFL! Now I've got that song going in my head (tune wedgy!). Bless ya back and you have a fantastic weekend, too! :)

Serena-- So far, I am not a fan of the fake cheese, either. Yes, "nuked" is cooked in the microwave--LOL! I rather doubt it would have done much better in the oven, but I might try it on a real homemade pizza and find out. Maybe if it would brown a little it wouldn't stick to your teeth. ;)
I've tried the soy and rice milks year ago and never seemed to get past using them on cereal. The chocolate is drinkable and the vanilla flavored...well, I think I might be able to get used to drinking that after while...maybe. I drink my coffee black, so that's not an issue for me. Some teas I like a titch of milk with, tho--soy just doesn't cut it! I'd guess it's probably a combination of both menopause and dairy.
Sadly, I figured you could totally relate to the fibro flares. Sucks, doesn't it. :(
Terribly, terribly root bound. I hope it recovers. This is the time of year I get less sun in the morning facing east, too. Poor thing. Time will tell.
You have a lovely weekend, too!! :):)

Queenie Jeannie said...

I think if you give it a light spray of Pam, it will help it to melt better! I do that with fat free products. You are lucky to have so many CHOICES in groceries!!! I do miss that over here. We have little to no fat free products and it's....showing, lol!

I hope both our knees get better soon! It's amazing how necessary they are, lol!

Rita said...

Jeannie--I have this pump oil sprayer that I use instead of Pam to avoid the chemicals. Maybe I'll try that. Especially on the drier fake cheese. I never would have thought of that. Thanks.
Yes--I hope both our knees get back to normal and STAY that way. ;)
Have a great day! :)

laurak/ForestWalkArt :) said...

LOVE your beautiful sunrise pic's...sunrises and the favorites!
and always...looks so happy...and content...

hmmmm, as far as the cheese...and dairy...i don't think i could handle the fake cheese...doesn't it taste like plastic? for me...if i couldn't handle the real thing...i'd just have to do without. maybe if you just cut way back...just had a little TASTE now & wouldn't bother you??!!
BUT if you love cheese...and happen to find a 'fake' one that actually tastes ok...and has a consistency you can deal with...YAY!! go for it!! :)

Rita said...

Laura--I love the moon shots, too, but can't seem to get them with my camera. :)

The fake cheese actually doesn't have much taste at all to me. The texture...not really plastic...but definitely not like real cheese--LOL! I quit eating meat (poultry/fish) because I watched a documentary about how the food industry raises and kills them. I didn't really do it specifically for any health reason, but I have been trying to gradually eliminate chemicals as much as possible--and it seems almost IMpossible.

The dairy--well, I know they don't treat the dairy cows much better in the food industry. Or the chickens who lay the eggs, either, for that matter. So I have tried to go organic with dairy, at least, the last year, too. And cage free with eggs.

So, I did it more for the animals and the environmental aspect that we could feed a lot more people if we didn't eat so much meat, etc.

Then I kept hearing that chronic sinus and other health issues could be related to consuming dairy...and I have chronic I thought I'd try out the fake dairy to see how bad it really was. Some aren't so bad, but the cheeses I've tried so far have left a lot to be desired. I'll keep searching for a decent fake one--LOL! Bt so far, I don't think I can give up my real cheese. Like you say, maybe I can cut way back? *sigh* I do love my cheese. ;)