Monday, November 26, 2007

Festival of Nativity

November 29th - December 1st
5280 Kincaid St
(604) 291-1734 (Office)
(604) 299-5633 (Hallway)

Celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ at the 2007 Festival of the Nativity.
View Nativity sets and artwork owned and created by members of the community and listen to Christmas music performed live each evening. Open daily, 10 am to 9 pm in Burnaby, BC. Breathtaking nativity displays from around the world held in a winter wonderland. Live Christmas music from 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm every night. Bring your family and friends.

Happy Go Lucky is feeling better...

It turns out that besides the bladder infection Lucky had an extremely low thyroid, common in older cats and some kind of tumor. I am not sure about the tumor but Pat said they biopsied it and we haven't heard any results. I thought old animals just get lumpy and that if it wasn't bothering him we didn't have to worry about it. Now that he is on the thyroid medication he is gaining some weight swiping at the children's toys, purring and rubbing himself all over the place. You may have already heard that in the summer Patrick decided he should be living it up and eating canned tuna and salmon, all the time. He went to Army & Navy and got tons of the fish for him. He decided Lucky would be much happier if he wasn't a carbohydrate addict. He was hoping he might do less biting. He has giant teeth and although he never scratches he does bite and hard! He doesn't bite the children unless they are really mean and poking and pulling at him a lot. Then they just get a warning nip instead of his usual impaling of the teeth and dragging of them that the grown ups get. The lovely ladies at the vet got one of those and they had to use a towel around him because he was so scared and being so vicious. Anyway after Lucky switched to the fish he was very happy but he lost weight so quickly I started to get worried. My friend Dora told me about this Inova Evo food that contains no grains. Usually he has to have a special vet food to reduce crystals in the urine but he didn't have any peeing problems at all after switching his diet both times, thank goodness. Now that you've all been bored with this terribly interesting recent medical history I can tell you that he is feeling like himself again and is much happier. His coat looks shiny again and he has a lot more energy. Since he went off of commercial and veterinarian foods he doesn't shed nearly as much so it's nice to be able to wear black again. I am pretty sure it cost my husband quite a bit of money but it is a lot nicer not to be stressed out about the health of the cat and our family is happy to have our good old Lucky back to normal.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Halloween memories...

I know Halloween is so long gone, so over with and we're all moving on to Christmas but I am slow getting my photos posted. We went trick or treating and had a nice fireworks display in my mom's back yard put on by Daddy. The Saturday previous we went to the chapel where they had a children's Halloween party in the morning complete with Trunk or Treat in the parking lot. That same evening we went to Lillian and Rio's house for another Halloween party. It was all fabulous and fun!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Amma's Breakfast Cookies

My mom makes these breakfast cookies so on the mornings when Marvin arrives hungry he can wolf something down before they do the one mile walk to school. Daddy doesn't always have time to make breakfast if he gets busy with Anastasia and Marvin won't get out of bed so she tries to keep some on hand just for that or else they eat M&M's chicken nuggets. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day they say...
Here's her recipe:
Mix 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice with 1/3 cup freshly ground whole wheat flour, set aside.
Cream 3/4 cup soft butter and add 1 egg, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup molasses, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
Blend together 1 more cup of whole wheat flour, 1 tsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/3 cup non fat skim milk power.
Add grated orange peel from the oranges used to make the juice, 1 cup of nuts, chopped, 1 cup giant organic raisins and finally
1 cup rolled oats or similarly steel cut grains such as flaked rye, spelt. Be careful not to add hard spring wheat or whole wheat berries or oat groats that may not cook enough during baking. Be careful if you disregard these instructions adding some of these ancient grains may be hazardous to your teeth. Recently my mom did this and while she was eating the cookies which still tasted good but it seemed like there was bits of rock in them, her filling came loose and fell out of her mouth! It fell to the floor where the smokey snauser named Elliot gobbled it up! He's no worse for the wear but my mom had to visit the dentist.
Add wet and dry ingredients all together and bake in gobs put on baking sheet at 375 degrees Celsius for 10-12 minutes
I added 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips and used a combination of walnuts, pumpkins seeds, and sunflower seeds. The big one in the first picture was from the original batch. They kept coming out too flat and too big, not like Amma's at all. I checked with her and checked the recipe, then refrigerated the dough. When i pulled it out I decided to add the left over peanut butter from the bottom of the jar, about 1/4 cup and some cinnamon, ginger, and clove powder. That made all the difference, now they taste like real cookies! Also they came out formed better after being in the fridge.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Yerba Mate

When we were at BC's Creative Expo last week we were drinking this tea the whole time! It's really good! It's called Yerba Mate and it comes from Southern Brazil at an elevation of 800 to 1500 meters above sea level. The subtropical forest consists of rolling hills with ravines, canyons and many creeks and rivers and that is where the tea is harvested from. The weather is cooler, the Mate trees thrive. Yerba Mate is a combination of cultivated trees (which grow up to about 12 feet tall) and wild shade grown trees (which reach up to 60 feet tall and are more difficult to harvest). Both are grown and maintained organically and responsibly. The fellows we met that had a booth opened up a store in Chilliwack with all their delicous teas available and some organic baked goods.
Long ago, in South America, there was unlocked a secret for maintaining good health. It was found in the healing qualities of one of their native plants. It was the Yerba Mate tree. The Mate beverage made from this tree was discovered to benefit health, vitality and longevity. It has been used for centuries to boost immunity, cleanse and detoxify the blood, tone the nervous system, restore youthful hair color, retard aging, combat fatigue, stimulate the mind, control the appetite, reduce the effects of debilitating disease, reduce stress, and eliminate in somnia, promoting overall good health.
In current practice in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, Mate tea is made from the leaves steeped in hot water. Properly brewed, Yerba Mate makes an excellent beverage that aside from all its nutritional properties, tastes good!
But Mate is much more than a very nourishing and refreshing beverage. It is a drink that has a long traditional use in South America. It is the focal point of a culture famous for their hospitality and brotherhood. Mate remains the center of their social lives. The gentle stimulant effect invigorates their warm interaction and conversation.
Yerba Mate is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including carotene, vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B-complex, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin C complex, magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, manganese, silicon, phosphates, sulfur, hydrochloric acid, chlorophyll, choline, and inositol.
In 1964 The Pasteur Institute did a study on the properties of Yerba Mate. Their conclusion was:
“it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to Mate in nutritional value. It has most all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.”
The Pasteur Institute study indicated Yerba Mate to be a more potent antioxidant than ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Antioxidants are the body’s main defense against free radicals! Free radicals are chemical compounds produced in the body as a result of toxic exposure to pollution, radiation, heavy metals, and pesticides. Free radicals increase the probability that affected cells will become susceptible to a wide range of infections and degenerative diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, premature aging, and strokes. Antioxidants are nutrients that seek out free radicals and neutralize their damaging cellular effects.
The pleasantly stimulating effect of Yerba Mate comes primarily from a compound called mateine. While mateine is related to caffeine, and sometimes referred to as such, the way the body absorbs it differs significantly from caffeine. Yerba Mate affects your system by gradually bringing up your energy level more slowly and evenly. It has a more long lasting effect and most people find this much more enjoyable than coffee.
Mate seems to act like a tonic, invigorating a weakened and depressed nervous system and relaxing an overexcited one. We have found that Mate gives more energy and vitality; better ability to concentrate; less nervousness, and eliminates fatigue, stimulating mental and physical activity. Yet for the most part, Mate does not interfere with sleep cycles, but helps to balance them.
Perhaps the main area to benefit from Mate is the gastrointestinal tract. We have seen that it helps the digestion, and even seems to have the ability to repair damaged and diseased gastrointestinal tissues. Constipation, acute or chronic, can be relieved by drinking lots of Mate.
Heart ailments of all kinds seem to be helped by drinking Yerba Mate. Mate supplies many of the nutrients required by the heart for growth and repair. In addition, it increases the supply of oxygen to the heart, especially during periods of stress or exercise.
Mate increases the immune response of the body, stimulating natural resistance to disease

It is said to energize naturally without caffine,