It’s been a busy few months since I’ve published anything here. Work has been keeping me crazy busy. I’ve been working on a couple of photography projects on Houston Graffiti and Street Art and Houston’s Food Trucks as well as working on getting my portfolio together. I’ve also go a new kitty girl named Kodachrome.
All of that took back seat last month when I had a health scare. I caught a cold shortly before I came home from Phoenix at the beginning of March. It would not go away and it morphed into bronchitis. The good news is that because I have a history of pneumonia, my doctor had me up-to-date on my flu and pneumonia shots which prevented me from getting sicker. The bad news is that one one of the x-rays they took showed something on one of my ribs and I had to have further testing to rule out cancer. The first CT scan was inclusive and I got the added bonus of finding out a 4 mm nodule on one of my lungs as well. Second CT and a bone scan later, I’m in the clear. It looks like the 4mm nodule is a leftover from one of my previous bouts on pneumonia and the issue with my rib is either a spot that healed after a car accident, a congenital defect, or there’s something growth in the cartilage between my ribs – in other words nothing to worry about.
So after a month of feeling like warmed over poop — life is not fun when you get sweaty just from walking to the bedroom to the kitchen — and trying not to totally freak out about what might be happening with my bones, I’ve decided a few changes are in order. First I am taking one or more small walks every day. I try to stay in the tunnel system in Downtown Houston so I am not adding more stress to my lungs with the high pollen counts. Second I’m upping my fruit and veggie intake to get more micronutrients in my system. There’s a lot of smoothie action going on. And finally I’m getting rid of stuff that doesn’t serve me or I haven’t used in a long time. The less stuff I have in the house, the less dust I have to deal with and that can only help my lungs.
The changes are not easy, but they are good for me. I’m going to be around more and talking about more changes that are going on.
in the meantime, I’m hoping the few changes that I have made already will help me when it comes to my visit to the pulmonologist in a couple weeks. I want my lungs to be as healthy and strong as they can be in that time frame.
I’ve seen this video before but I thought I would share it here. This humpback whale named Valentina got her fins and flukes caught in a nylon netting. The group who rescued her were on vacation and decided to cut the netting away after they were told it would be an hour before someone could help her.
For the next few days, Sustainable in Houston is going to give you some great ideas for gifts that can be purchased locally here in Houston. There will be gift ideas for foodies, pampering your friends and family, and treasures from artists who upcycle and recycle materials.
Kicking this gift giving idea list off is Blue Heron Farm & Friends Cajeta (cah-hay-tah). If you’ve never had cajeta before, it’s a caramel sauce made out of goat’s milk, sugar and a touch of baking soda.
Blue Heron Farm & Friends Cajetas in Original and Bourbon Flavors
Its spoonable and pourable, and oh so delicious. The original flavor is my favorite and pairs nicely with apples. I like the Bourbon flavor too. It’s great over vanilla ice cream with a few pecans on top. I’ve been known to eat both by the spoonful straight out of the jar.
A lot of time has been spent this last week working on pickles of various sorts. I did two types of cucumber pickles this past week. One of them is a sweet lime pickle.
These pickles are crisp and have an excellent flavor. R. swears they have the same flavor as the Del-Dixie Sweet Baby Gherkins he used to eat as a boy. I love them because just a few of these pickles and you’ve got a nice flow of flavor from sweet to puckery and back to sweet again.
Here’s the recipe I used for the Sweet Lime Pickles:
2 c. hydrated lime (I used Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime)
2 gallons water
7 lb. sliced cucumbers, 1/4 inch thick
4 1/2 lb. sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. salt
1 1/2 qt. cider vinegar
2-3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. pickling spice (I used McCormicks and left the Chili Flakes and the bay leaves in).
Mix and stir lime in water. Add cucumbers and let soak for 24 hours. Stir often. Drain. Wash well in clear cold water. Soak 3 hours in clear water and drain.
Make syrup with sugar, salt, vinegar, cinnamon, cloves, and pickling spice. Put cucumbers in syrup and let stand overnight. The next morning, put on stove and bring to a boil for 40 minutes. Put in hot jars and process 10 minutes.
I also sliced up cucumbers for two types of sweet pickles – Sweet Lime Pickles and Cinnamon Pickles. The second pickle is new to me. My aunt says that the pickles end up tasting like candied apples. I’m looking forward to seeing what they look like when they are done. R. says that the first recipe reminds him of the the Del-Dixie sweet baby gherkins his mother used to serve at Thanksgiving.