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I have a friend who for years was constantly having pain and discomfort almost always after a meal. Over the years the Dr.’s were unable to identify what was wrong with her until recently. They finally diagnosed her with celiac disease. This disease prevents foods from being absorbed into the small intestines and actually damages the lining of the small intestine. It can be very painful, as it was for her. What caused this disease is an intolerance to gluten.

What is gluten? It is a protein found in wheat and other grains that gives doughs that elastic feel. It helps the dough to rise, keep its shape and makes it chewy. Folks who suffer, as my friend does, from celiac disease have to consume a special diet so that they can avoid this protein.

Here is a brief list of foods that are recommended for those suffering from this condition. The list includes beans, seeds and nuts, none of which are processed. It also includes fresh eggs, most dairy products and fresh vegetables. It is also important that any meats that they consume do not have breading, batter coated or marinated. There are gluten free “flour” alternatives to wheat, like quinoa, amaranth, corn, to name a few.

Last year you might remember I attended the Tony’s Fine Foods food show. At this event we went looking for gluten free crackers. We were doing this so that folks who came to visit the winery where I work would be able to clear their palette, enjoy the varying flavors of the wine, and not suffer from the gluten side effects.

I spoke to one of the vendors about how a single plant can make items with gluten and items without. I was told that they have to have separate facilities. This is because as wheat flour is processed gluten can float into the air and contaminate other products.

So, now you know that gluten comes from wheat. And, food manufacturers have now included the words “Gluten Free” on packaging. Now this is not a surprise on crackers, cake mixes, pastas, bread and such. I was surprised to find this labeling on bacon. Yes, I saw gluten free bacon! And, I was surprised to find it on coffee too! The two manufacturer’s do not have plants that process wheat. Here is a coffee label that indicates it is gluten free.

Gluten free coffee

Gluten free coffee

Searching the internet, I did find this one club that offers the “gluten free bacon.”

Gluten free bacon

Gluten free bacon

I understand the necessity of labeling an item as gluten free for those that suffer from celaic disease and marketing products as gluten free has now become the norm. I believe that people should educate themselves on what gluten is and what food alternatives there are.

Have a terrific Tuesday and thanks for stopping by!

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In the words of our Dutch relatives regarding MH17:

“Can you imagine a whole country mourning? Yes of course you can, we came in October 2001, just weeks after 9/11, to visit and saw a whole country in shock.

Today the first 40 victims arrived by plane and were transported the last 60 miles in a convoy of 40 hearses. This was shown live on television and a lot of people gathered on the route. Very impressive and emotional, one of the victims is a women of nearly 50 years who was a member of our fraternity/sorority (we were mixed, boys and girls). She was flying with her husband and son.

The whole day there were no commercial breaks on television (a first for the Netherlands I believe).

The Sad Final Journey Home – Mail Online News

One can only hope that the people who did this will see the mourning and understand the grief they caused.

No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for each other…That is what the parents wrote whose children died.

So, love to you both!”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
To our Dutch Family: Love to you all!

Nothing can take the pain away from the families of all the victims. Nothing can replace those lives lost. Nothing can eliminate the shock and horror that people around the world felt on hearing the news of what happened to those on flight MH17.

We can only hope that those who committed this atrocity will be brought to justice and made to pay for this crime against all of us!

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As you may know, I am going through chemo and cancer and have had similar troubles collecting from the State of Ca money that I paid in on each paycheck…Every dollar was hard earned. This is an excellent example of government bureaucracy at best! No wonder CA is having financial troubles!

I also find that there are other posts on this blogger’s site that were informative and I live the daily affirmations, when she can post! Please take a moment to visit and look too!

IAmLivingWithSLL

Today I will be doing two posts. One that is a rant and the other will be The Daily Affirmation. For now, I have a lot to get off my chest about the bureaucratic BS that was exposed to me today. The parties involved: The State of California Employment Development Department – the EDD – (more likely just the State government) and Bank of America!

Yesterday, Ron at the EDD told me that I would have access to my disability money today. He gave me the telephone number for Bank of America (hereafter BofA) so that I could call them and have them move my money from their bank directly to my bank. Let’s look at the politics of this briefly, if I can be brief…

See the State of CA turns my disability money over to BofA as they have a “contract” to handle the money. This means that…

View original post 787 more words

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When we visited Ark 2000, we made a stop at two of the enclosures that house the Lions. We were able to see one lioness and two sleeping males. They only have a few of these magnificent creatures and I was happy to get the shots that I did. It was difficult to get great shots due to the sun reflecting off the fencing (which you will really see when I feature the bears!), however, I was able to get these to share with you today!

Close up with a male

Close up with a male

There are two male lions at Ark 2000. These are Bambek and Simba. These lions are from Bolivia and arrived at Ark 2000 last May. These lions, before coming here to Ark 2000, had been living in metal boxes for most of their lives, and when they arrived at this location it was the first time that they ever had grass under their feet, could give themselves a good scratch against a tree, and enjoy the pleasure of rolling around in the dirt!

One of the lions wakes up

One of the lions wakes up

They love to sleep…This is how we found Bambek and Simba when we got there!

Two sleeping lions

Two sleeping lions

To view their release in to Ark 2000, click HERE!

Meet Sheba. She was born in 1993 at a breeding facility and sold to a man in Detroit, Michigan, where she and her brother lived in his house. He became difficult to handle and was euthanized. Sheba was finally surrendered to the Michigan Humane Society, who contacted the PAWS to see if they could take her…She is a beauty and very playful too!

A lioness playing with a pumpkin

A lioness playing with a pumpkin

She really got into the pumpkins when we were there and she touched our hearts just watching her!

Getting into pumpkin play time

Getting into pumpkin play time

Like the tiger you saw yesterday, something distracts her and catches her attention!

Distracted from play

Distracted from play

Animals like these are not meant to be house pets living in our homes. They are not meant to live in cages. It is a sad commentary on humans that we do this to magnificent creatures such as these featured. This is one of the reasons we need to support groups like PAWS, who have opened their hearts and have found a way to rescue these creatures. Please check out their webpage and donate if you can!

Thank you for stopping by today, and stay tuned for the Bears! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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I decided today to write a post on frozen cheese. Now I am talking about Jack, Cheddar…that type of hard cheese. The cheese does not arrive at the grocery store having been frozen. It is the store that freezes the cheese. I discovered this on Tillamook cheese when I complained to them about the texture of the cheese.

So how can you tell if cheese like this has been frozen? When you attempt to slice it, which normally your knife should slide right through, it crumbles, or the texture has become rough. Check out this photo of this Jack cheese. Notice on the brick of cheese the texture…

A loaf of Tillamook Jack Cheese

A loaf of Tillamook Jack Cheese

When you slice the cheese you will not get uniform slices.

No even slices

No even slices

I used a cheese knife when slicing this cheese, so it was not the knife that caused this to crumble.

The cheese crumbles

The cheese crumbles

My lasagna did not look pretty!

Not a pretty lasagna!

Not a pretty lasagna!

So what can you do when you buy a cheese that is like the one in these photos? Call your grocery store and complain! The cheese in these photos was bought at SaveMart in town. I have had this happen as well with Tillamook Cheddar that I bought at Costco!

Now go out, have a great Thursday, and thanks for stopping by!

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This has been a strange year indeed. The world around is not behaving as it has over our time living here. We have signs all around us that may indicate an early fall. Tell me what you think, and look around your neck of the woods and see if you see what I see! Then please do comment if you see signs too!

By this time I would be posting photos of huge plants in my vegetable garden, but this year my tomatoes: One is still 6″ tall, and the other two, are maybe a foot tall. My corn (do you remember the photos from last year?) are maybe a foot and a half tall and are flowering. The zucchini plants are maybe one foot in circumference, and the acorn squash are still 6 inches. The peppers are no bigger than they were at the end of May, and reach 6″ high. Yes this is in the lasagne garden! No garden photos as it is a bit embarrassing!

One of the first things I noticed is that the Chinese Maple is turning color. Here we are at the end of July and this tree does not change color until late September, early October.

The Chinese Maples are turning color

The Chinese Maples are turning color

My Virginia creepers are turning red. They do not turn red, in normal conditions, until October as well.

The Virginia creepers are turning red

The Virginia creepers are turning red

As we hit September, the Digger Pines start to shed, which means needles start to turn brown. When the rains and winds hit in late October early November, they fall and create a lot of work for us. Here is a shot of one of the many Digger Pines in our yard. They are ready to shed needles.

The Digger Pines are shedding two months early

The Digger Pines are shedding two months early

Our Poplar is turning gold and so are others in the neighborhood.

Poplars going gold!

Poplars going gold!

There is a plant in the garden at the winery, and the name of this plant is Spirea. It turns beautiful shades of red in the fall. The leaves are starting to turn as this photo shows.

Spirea are starting to change color

Spirea are starting to change color

The black walnut trees are dropping leaves and the fruit seems to be starting to dry out, which they need to do before the nuts fall. What do you think about the leaves on this tree?

The Black Walnut leaves are going gold

The Black Walnut leaves are going gold

One of the typical sights that we see here in late September are the tent moths forming their webs in the black walnut trees. They showed up this week. This is not the best photo, and the web looks like a face, but here is a tent moth web. There are already at least a dozen on the road on my way to work.

Tent moth webs are early

Tent moth webs are early

So, I have already mentioned that the Digger Pines are shedding, but did I mention that the Redwoods are too?

The Redwoods are shedding too!

The Redwoods are shedding too!

Here is one final shot for you. This one is in the American River Canyon. The leaves on these trees are turning a golden brown!

Trees in the canyon are changing color

Trees in the canyon are changing color

We also have flowers here that are called Naked Ladies. In some areas these are past their prime in blooming and starting to fade. These do not come up until the end of August! As I said in a previous post, we are anticipating harvest of the wine grapes to begin two weeks earlier than in a normal season. Are these signs that fall is coming early? You tell me!

Thank you for visiting today and have a fantastic Thursday!

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When I got home from work yesterday, the temperature outside was over 100 degrees, and our illustrious power company was having issues so we had no power and were melting! The power had been going in and out at the winery, and even though we are on a different grid the same was happening here. Yesterday was the fourth day of extreme heat and record temperatures, and we have four more days to go!

The power was out for about three hours, which for us being on a well, means no water. We are prepared for this and have an ample supply of water stored just for this type of situation. Usually the power going out is a winter event, but with record high temperatures, it can happen in the summer. Dinner was prepared on a camping stove. At least we are prepared!

We went to bed last night leaving the air conditioning on overnight. Around midnight our air conditioner went out. My husband found himself outside checking out they system. Overnight temperatures stayed steady in the 80’s. Waking up this morning we found the temperature in the house at 80.5 degrees and outside 81. Part of the reason we did not get a cool down is due to the monsoonal flow coming up from Arizona which has given us cloud cover this morning.

One of the other things we discovered this morning were ants. They move in when the weather gets hot. We found them in the living room in and around the dog’s water bowl. I would be more than happy to give them water outside as long as they stay outside! We cleaned this up and I sprayed around the doors where they were gaining entrance to the house.

Our dog has special needs, so my husband brought a window air conditioner we had in the basement to keep him comfortable. The thing weighs a ton! We moved furniture around in the living room and then we managed to get this set up in one of the living room windows near the dog.

After making coffee, feeding the dog and giving him his medication, cleaning up the ants, spraying around the doorways, setting up the air conditioner, watering the plants on the deck, I was finally able to give myself a moment to sit and write. I am heading off to the shower now as I would like to at least get that in before another possible power outage as I am seeing the lights flicker!

Take care today, stay cool if you are in the hot zone, have plenty of water available, and thank you for stopping by! See you tomorrow!

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You might remember the post I did questioning what happened to the dark meat on chicken. To refresh your memory, you can see the post by clicking here! I was questioning what happened to the dark meat on chicken. The photo below shows a thigh and a breast and you can see very little difference in the color of the meat. I had sent Foster Farms a note questioning why the change.

Can you tell the difference?

Can you tell the difference?

Here is the response from Teresa Lenz at Foster Farms, which I was given permission to post:

“Thank you for your interest in Foster Farms. We wanted to help address your question regarding white and dark chicken meat.

Different parts of the bird may have differences in color due to the locations and types of muscles. Actual differences in color vary naturally from bird to bird. While dark meat parts are generally deeper in color due to the muscles containing more myoglobin, the actual amount of this natural protein and resulting color varies by bird. Physical appearance alone does not dictate whether the piece of meat is from a white meat or dark meat muscle, and color of the cooked meat may also be influenced by cooking method, temperature and lighting.

At Foster Farms, our chickens are raised in large poultry barns (without cages) that allow the birds to move around freely and to exhibit natural behaviors. Foster Farms prioritizes the care and wellbeing of its birds and all Foster Farms fresh chickens are American Humane Certified. For more information about our commitment to the humane care of our birds, please visit our website at FosterFarms.com.”

Thank you Teresa and Foster Farms for responding.

I do appreciate the response but I have been cooking their chickens for more than 40 years and have only recently experienced what the photo above shows us. My cooking technique has not changed, nor has the temperature at which I cook it. As far as lighting goes, I did not mess with the photo I took, and you can clearly see that the dark meat is no longer dark.

I am thinking free range and maybe organic is the way to go now for dark meat on a chicken!

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I don’t know about you, but I love the dark meat on the chicken. It is moister than the breast, and more flavorful, don’t you think? We have the perfect arrangement here at the house as my husband loves the white meat and I love the dark meat. No fighting over a piece of chicken. That is until the other night…

I baked a whole chicken, stuffing the bird’s cavity with parsley. I lathered it with EVOO and then Spiked the bird, adding garlic powder. One can never get enough of the lovely flavor of garlic! When my husband reads this I will not hear the end of it! I put it in the oven to bake, the aromas filling the house with the promise of a lovely meal to come! Checking on this bird it looked lovely!

Such a lovely looking bird!

Such a lovely looking bird!

Could you smell the garlic and spices?

When I took the chicken out of the oven it sat for 10 minutes before I started my magic carving technique. So, now, my dear readers, I have a quiz for you! “What?” you exclaim! Come on…this one should be easy….

The test is to guess what part of the chicken you are looking at in the next two photos! Ready?

Photo #1

This one is....

This one is….

Photo #2

This one is....

This one is….

Now add in the song from that popular show while waiting for the final answer…

♪♫♫♪♫♪♫♫♪♫♪♫♫♪♫♪♫♫♪♫♪♫♫♪♫♪♫♫♪♫♪♫♫♪♫♪♫♫♪♫♪♫♫♪♫♪♫♫♪♫

But wait! Before I let you know whether or not you guessed correctly…some facts about what makes white meat white, and dark meat dark!

The difference is due to what is called “fast twitch” and “slow twitch” muscle fibers. Fast twitch muscle fibers are muscle fibers used for quick bursts of energy. One such activity using this energy would be fleeing from danger. The muscle gets its energy from glycogen, which is stored in the muscle. When it is cooked the proteins coagulate and the meat when cooked turns whitish.

Slow twitch muscle fibers are the muscle fiber used for extended periods of time for something such as walking. To have the energy needed, it must have a constant source of energy. It is myoglobin that stores oxygen in the muscle cells of say the legs and thighs, and the constant source of energy is the oxygen which is extracted from the the muscles for use in normal daily activities. When cooked the meat in these tissues are darker in color.

Enough! Did you guess correctly?

Photo #1 –

This is the breast!

This is the breast!

So photo #2 must be…
This is the thigh!

This is the thigh!

What? The color looks the same! So, for me the question is why? Does this mean that chickens are not getting the activity that they need? Are they packed in at the farm so tightly that they can not move about? Or, are our food companies messing with our food? Inquiring minds want to know!

The chicken in this post came from Foster Farms, who by the way changed their thigh packaging from 6 thighs of relatively equal pieces down to 4 uneven pieces. I have had similar results with the thigh color recently from Tyson Chicken. I sent the question to Foster Farms as to why the dark coloring has disappeared from their chicken. When I get the answer, I will let you know!

Here are the two pieces side by side. Did you guess correctly?

Did you guess right?

Did you guess right?

What I think I need to start doing is buying a chicken that is free range so that I can have dark meat and white meat. Have you noticed a change in your chicken too? I would love to hear from you!

So stay tuned for a follow up when I hear back from Foster Farms. Until then, have a great day, and thank you for visiting today!

Information on the difference in white meat and dark meat from Exploratorium.Edu

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I am always curious how people find my blog and I take a look at the search terms in my statistics to see how it is that they find me. A couple of days ago, while looking at the search terms I Googled one particular phrase that led someone to my page. I just happened to look at the “images” and found one of my photos leading me to a website that was using one of my photos as their own. You might remember this photo from a post I did in March of 2012.

Toby #1

Toby #1

I was astounded when I saw this, and immediately looked for contact information on their site and graciously asked them to remove my photo as they did not have my express written permission to use my photos as is indicated on my blog page. They ignored my request.

So, I next turned to the WordPress Support Forum and the folks that responded to me were most helpful. What I want to share is the information passed on to me by helpful members of the WordPress community.

I needed to find out who was hosting this website so that I could contact them directly. I was directed to this website that can help you figure out who hosts the offending site: Who is Hosting This?

I was also directed to information that would help me with this issue. Here are a couple of links to articles that were very helpful! These articles are chockful of very useful information!

From the site “ManoloFood.com” I was directed to a really good article entitled: Whine Journalism and How to Bring the Splashback

From WordPress, more great information: Content Theft and What to Do

I have been contacted by the hosting website of the offender and had to send them a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) notice, which I have done. This is a letter to the web host that you sign under penalty of perjury. It indicates the site illegally using your content and you add in the link to where your content was stolen from. It asks for the hosting website to immediately remove or disable access to “the infringing material.”

Currently, the offending site does not have any photos showing on the page where my photo was illegally used. I am hoping for a quick resolution of this violation.

A huge thank you goes out to Raincoaster, Happiness Engineer MacManx, and TimeThief!

Hopefully my fellow bloggers and followers, this will not happen to you. And if it does, I hope that the information passed on to me and included in this post will help you!

Have a great Thursday and thanks for visiting!

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