Canada Garden: 2017

Monday, July 31, 2017

July News

July has flown by! Mark got a new smoker and has made some amazing meats--pork belly, brisket, ribs.  We have chickens to smoke next. 
This is the chicken salad from the recipe posted previously.  It was so good.  Makes me think of Paducah and I get a little homesick for family.
Our G Dog is hanging in there.  He had a little turn for the worse this month, but then he's rallied again.  Too much medicine made him weak, so we cut back and he's better.  We tried the raw diet for the dogs, but it proved to be too much for us right now.  I really wanted to get the carbs out of their diets because it sounds like too many carbs are as poison for our dogs as they are for us.  We found a new brand of dog food that is 40% carbs, which is low for a commercial dog food.  I'd rather have them down around 5%, so there's still room for improvement. Anyway, we're happy to have our G Dog feeling better.  He's 12 now.  I used to call him my big strong brave boy, but now he's my wise old man. 
I wore a dress one day!  That's different!
We're still low carb happy.  Mark has been working out at Fit Club and is building a bunch of muscles.  My little Keto With Kynda group at the church is going strong and I'm so happy that this  many of my friends and their friends have been able to lose weight and drop their blood sugars and blood pressures and feel so much better while eating good food.  It is my dream come true.
Mark's first tomatoes here.  We love the bacon & tomato--I add lots of mayo to mine!--even without the bread.  I hear Betsy & Kyle are going to be here this week, so August is going to start off with a bang!  I am so thankful for these so many blessings. 

Saturday, July 01, 2017

House of Grace California Chicken Salad

Back in the 70's/80's, I loved going to House of Grace where Curtis Grace made the best food in a beautiful old house that was refurbished as a tea room.  He still has a House of Grace there, only now it's in a former Pizza Hut.  The last time I had this wonderful salad from him was on a visit with Nan.  Ellen picked up take out for us and we had a wonderful time visiting in their kitchen eating Curtis Grace's food one more time.

Nan threw Debbie a baby shower at House of Grace one time.  There were probably 8 of us and the meal was served in 5 courses.  We were fancy in those days!   Another one of his specialties was strawberry shortcake.  It was an old-fashioned shortcake even then--more like a cracker than a cake.  

Anyway, I found this recipe for his California Chicken Salad which was my favorite of his specialties.  As I was looking at it, I realized that it's pretty much low carb!  I just left off the grapes to make it keto.  And I used chopped pecans because I didn't have slivered almonds.  It's as good as I remember.

 Look at that typing!  I am thankful we don't have to use an old fashioned typewriter to copy recipes anymore :)

June Visits

 I am missing my mom & sis & Jeff and all the fam these days.  PJ and Jeff look great and are our gardening gurus.  I can't believe it's already July 1st and 2017 is  half over!
I'm ready to go back to visit again already.
Mama and I both wore our black & white pants one day.
 When Mark picked me up at the airport, we visited the botanical garden where there was an art glass show by Craig Mitchell Smith.  This was my favorite piece: 
In some places, it was hard to distinguish the real blooms from the glass. 
 The kids came to visit and we had a wonderful time with them as always.  More of our favorite peeps to miss and go visit :)

I was so bummed to miss seeing Jennifer and Isaac when they traveled to Madisonville.  She left her bunny Bun Bun with Rachel for summer vacation.  I'm sure hoping for a good visit with them soon too :)   

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Happy Birthday to my Mama!

 I'm usually at mama's on her birthday, but I went up a couple weeks earlier this year.  Peony-wise, it was perfect timing.  We had a wonderful visit but I miss them terribly when I get back home.  

 The fanciest of the peonies didn't have much of that heavenly smell, as often happens with hybrids--fragrance gets lost when the plant is changed to make bigger "better" blooms.    But still, we gravitated towards this one because the blooms were so pretty and they matched mama & PJ's perfect t's to a t.  They are as cute as the peony!

So happy happy birthday to my beautiful sweet mama today.  I love you and am so proud to be your daughter. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Annual Spring Vaca @ Jonathan Creek

We've been blessed blessed to be able to go to Jonathan Creek to fish and eat and visit with family for most every year for the past 12 years.  
 He may not have caught very many fish this time, but Mark caught a few big ones :)
Judson and Rachel brought the kids up and we all went to the Dinner Bell.  We eat differently now, but the Dinner Bell is still a favorite place to eat.  We also went to Patti's and to the Brass Lantern.  And we cooked a lot.  Four pounds of bacon over the course of the week. A couple quarts of heavy cream.  A keto cake for Mark's birthday.    Deviled eggs.  Cauliflower rice.  And western Kentucky barbecue from The Four Little Pigs in Benton and from Starnes in Paducah.  We don't eat pie or cobbler anymore, but we had wonderful meals and we didn't go hungry not one time. 
The before picture in Mark's collage was from a couple years ago.
I read good books.  Loved Option B by Sheryl Sandburg & Adam Grant.  I've been worrying way too much lately and this was a perfect read to help me let go a little bit.  The Wally Lamb book was a pretty quick read and I liked it.  I loved Hillbilly Elegy,  J.D.Vance's memoir about his hillybilly family who migrated to Ohio to escape the crushing poverty of southeastern Kentucky. 
I journal almost every morning thanks to Pat's Artist's Way classes that I've taken at Unity over the years.  I had a lot to pour out on the page this week.  This was a beautiful place to write. 

I got to visit with Sue.  Why didn't I take a picture with her?!?  I talked to my mom almost every day.  Mark and I went to the cemetery.  

I was feeling a little (okay, a lot) blue at the first of the week. Seeing Judson and Rachel and Betsy and Kyle, talking with my mom, visiting with Sue, fishing, reading, writing, looking out over the lake, seeing Mark so happy with his fishing, eating good food:  all good medicine and I feel so much better. 
We're home safe and sound now.  Can't wait til next time.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Don't Worry

I posted this picture of me with my mom and mammy on facebook for mother's day.  I've been thinking a lot about my mammy lately.  When Tommy and I were in the hospital (it will be 40 years this August) that she told me to remember the 23rd psalm. She'd send notes and letters and probably a little cut out version like this one too.  The other day I went with a friend to the cancer center for her treatment and I  felt like Mammy was right there with us.
We've had a beautiful spring.  Lots of rain, mostly cool.  Mark has worked like a dog in the back yard and it's never looked this good this early.  Of course, he's had help from our actual dogs--Skye loves to dig and G dog is her very good teacher. 
I have so many many blessings.  I'm thankful for children, my children's children, my garden, and another spring. 
G dog and Skye after a big day digging in the garden. 
I love this picture of Judson and the kids on his birthday. 

I was cleaning out a closet the other day and found this "therapy fund" jar that I've had for years.  I wish I could remember who gave it to me but I have always loved it.  I used to recommend God boxes to my clients.  You may have heard of those--a box or container where you put all your hopes and dreams and worries and give them to God to handle.  This was what I used as my God jar. 
 When I opened the jar, I  found all these prayers that I put in there way back when.  I wish I had dated them.  Every single prayer has been answered.  Every. Single. One.   Even big ones like Mark's diabetes.  I've been saying lots of prayers lately and I will add those now.  My friend Gail reminded me the other day, "His eye is on the sparrow."

The TV is on in the background and I'm hearing the latest troublesome news from Washington.  I'm going to put our country in the God jar too.  


Sunday, March 26, 2017

February/March Report

 Betsy & Kyle had 80s day at school.
I had another birthday.  With keto cake this year :)

 We made a trip to California to see Isaac.
I love this picture of Betsy and Judson.  I wish we could have been at her choir concert too.
 And spring is here again.