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I see that I have been silent since the summertime and now things are cooling off as winter comes. I have stated many times over the years, it is not unusual for me to drift away from projects for weeks, even months. Often, during non-blog times, I think of things to write about here, but seem to have difficulty getting entries to the publishing stage. I do have a couple that I started on and a couple that I was planning to write.

So, why am I writing this now. Well, I suppose one reason might be a health issue. Many weeks ago, I acquired what looked like a large pimple on the inside of my thigh. It bothered me for quite some time and then, with the help of some tea tree oil, it seemed to begin to heal. Then one day, it popped up again and continued to get worse than before. Soon, it was black and dark purple and was giving me severe pain. Last night was the worst time. I spent Remembrance Day treating it with hot compresses and tea tree oil. I made the gauze compresses as hot as I could and stayed up late to spend extra time doing the compresses. The boil simply had to burst, it seemed to be under such pressure and causing such pain that I could not wait. I read that the release brings great relief. I bandaged it up with a gauze pad and tea tree oil and went to bed.

In the morning, when I looked under the bandage, I saw what I was expecting. The pain had subsided and the gauze was full of, well, I won’t get too detailed here. It has been oozing all day and I have had to take an extra day to tend to it and to rest. My wife has been treating any possible internal infection by feeding me golden seal tea—a very vile concoction, to say the least. This sort of bacterial infection can leave one feeling drained and ill. It is, however, a great relief to be over the pain. If it is not not getting markedly better by tomorrow, I will go to the doctor.

Summer ended with Malcolm heading off to Simon Fraser University (SFU) to begin his journey for his degree in Mechatronics engineering. He has to travel to the Surrey campus, a trip that takes him over an hour each way. This rather new field of engineering merges mechanical, electrical and computer engineering into one massive program that involves six courses per term and the textbooks for the first term were $1089. Michelle is continuing her quest for her Creative Writing degree at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) in Kelowna. She will graduate next summer.

Thus, we are preparing ourselves for the empty nest syndrome, looking toward some short years down the road when the young-ins are out on their own.

We have past Thanksgiving when I did another turkey on the BBQ rotisserie. We were unsuccessful in finding guests, so there was plenty left over, in fact, tonight we are gnawing on the drumsticks that have been thawed from the freezer. Last week, the bones were thawed and boiled into soup.

Several weeks ago, we picked up the VitaMix super blender. In case you haven’t got one, or heard of this, you might have seen the commercial version used to make a smoothie for you at a place like Starbucks. This thing is a monster. Crushing ice, no problem. It is so powerful that if you leave it running for five to seven minutes, it will cook. That’s right, it makes soup. What a difference this has made in the smoothies my wife makes everyday. They used to be mashed up greens done with a hand mixer, which didn’t come near to making a smooth smoothie. Now they are fluffy and smooth. We have made ice desserts and soups. The great thing is that whatever goes into a smoothie gets really pulverized so that the micro nutrients are ready to be absorbed into the body. In the case of a soup, hot beverage or, unless you pre-cook something, it only gets hot. Thus, you are getting raw healthy food that is easily digested. Tonight, my wife invented her own soup. It was good.

We researched this machine for a couple years, I’d say, and the best deal is at Costco. At our Costcos in Canada, we can only get the 5200 model in white. My wife wanted the red one that just happens to match our Kitchen Aid mixer. I also found out, on one of our trips to the U.S., that there is a new model with automatic presets for the most common items made—smoothies, frozen desserts and soups. Just toss everything in, set the dial, turn it on and wait for it to stop. Last week, the VitaMix roadshow was at our Costco and we decided to get the dry grinder to make flour.

After we got the VitaMix, I decided to try to grow some greens to put in the smoothies. I heard a gardening expert taking calls on CBC radio and he mentioned that it was a good time (October) to plant kale, one of the most nutritious foods and a main ingredient in our smoothies. I had a couple of pots I had scrounged and I scrounged one more. Then, I got some baby plants, spending just over $20 for the experiment. They are off to the races and are two to three times the size they were when I got them. If this works, we can pick what is ready leaving the other leaves to grow. I may even plant more.

If you read my entry back in the summer, you know that I had a bike accident that took me out of commission for a while. I just finished getting over a wry neck and back for two weeks, an now I have this terrible boil. I hope that is it.

I can’t think of anything else to write about, except that my wifey has joined me in eating porridge every morning. We went and bought a huge bag of organic steel cut oats. So, she makes the smoothie and I make the porridge. Soon, I will get back to bread making. We plan to get the whole berries to grind into flour with the VitaMix. I can’t wait. Since the weather is cooling off and the local mountains are preparing to open, it will be nice to have some nice warm bread.

Refs. for further reading: