About the Web Links on my Site:


About the Web Links on my Site:

7 – an experimental mutiny against excess

This was an experience, just thinking about this. I’m hoping for myself that it changes my perspective and keeps me balanced. Go to this site and check and see if this is a book you would like to read. Look at the responses of those who reviewed it. It’s good for me to shake up my thinking, chew on it a few days and look for where I might make changes. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12171769-7 The site I have on the lower left is the blog of the author, Jen Hatmaker.

http://www.Medify.com

This site blew my socks off! For the last 10 years since I found out I was ill, I have tried to search for infomation left and right. I have found it so hard to find anything of substance. The site starts out with this statement: Medical Research is complex, the search for it shouldn’t have to be. I agree. They have enlisted a large number of medical research facilities and schools and testing facilities. On Medify, in one place you can look at everything that is happening with many conditions and diseases. As a disclaimer, I will say that I can’t vouch for them and I can’t say that they have all the information because I don’t have the resources to check everything out but enter and weigh for yourself and see what your opinion is of the site. I have to say even though it’s just my opinion, I am very excited to find such a place that I can go and look for information. I hope it is of help to some of you.

What does Spock say? Live well and Prosper!

Jan

Image

A New Day


Sample of Seeds Collected 2011

What a nice weekend!  It’s actually like winter but the sun is shining. It’s awesome. I love sun shine and I like the snow. I’m torn between the two. I’m just glad to live in a place that has different seasons. The time has come to look forward to spring. That’s my favorite season. Everything about spring speaks of Hope and Life. I have an itch to scratch and that itch is the itch of the gardener. I’m already looking at what needs to be planted. I feel like a current day Johnny Appleseed.

There is this thing about seeds . It’s like I’m driven to collect and plant. I save every seed that crosses my path. I take them home to care for them like a child. I dry them, package them, and date and label them. Then I itch untill I can plant it myself or find someone who will treasure it as the wonder it is.

“Today’s mighty oak was once a single nut who held it’s ground.”~Mark Twain  Love this saying!! I found this @ this site:http://www.quotegarden.com/food.html

I told you in a past post that we have a postage stamp size kitchen, well, we have several postage stamp size garden spots. One is 4×8 behind the shed and 2×8 to one side of the shed and 4×4 behind the addition. This is a combined square footage of 64 square foot.  We plant not in rows but in mass 3″ wide strips. A very special woman in her 80’s gave me 3 rhubarb roots. that is in the 2×8 strip by the shed. I waited several years like you are supposed to giving it time to mature before we finally pulled the stalks last summer and had rhubarb and strawberry pie and rhubarb sauce. Splenda is a great sweetener to use if you are diabetic

I was amazed at the amount of produce we got out of our little garden. My husband and my labors in the garden paid off. Out of just such a small amount of space we ate all summer and froze goods for the winter. Not a huge amount left for the winter but every little bit counts.

We saved seeds from our produce … tomatoes, peppers both green and jalapeno. We had a volunteer plant come up in our garden because during the winter we composed on the main garden spot. We distributed egg shells and vegetable peels and coffee grounds out there and anytime the weather broke Darnell, my husband would go out and rototill the garden. We have a mini rototiller for our mini garden. It’s awesome!  So the volunteer that we had come up because of composting was a sweet potato squash which is  about the size of a large sweet potato and tastes just as good. Yum!

This year we are planting:

  1. Tomato-of course – saved seeds
  2. Peppers-Green and Jalapeno – saved seeds
  3. Swiss Chard – Rhubarb Swiss Chard with a red spine – already have seeds
  4. Basil-for some good pesto and seasoning – buy these as plants
  5. butternut Head lettuce – small loose heads – dark green – buy seeds
  6. Carrots-buy seeds
  7. Beets -buy seeds
  8. Onions -buy seeds
  9. Butternut Squash – saved seeds from squash we bought
  10. Fennell – buy seeds
  11. Kale – buy seeds
  12. Potatoes – Planted 6 whole potatoes and got 10lbs potatoes!

A Little Topsy Turvy Like Me

We have a “Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter” that we plant cherry tomatoes in that hangs by the patio so

we can eat them at will. It hangs down from the bottom of the container.

Hope you gardening fans are out there looking through the gardening catalogues and planning. Spring is coming. Tell me what you like to plant and if you have any special ways you plant things. I would love to hear from you.

I will be pre-planting tomatoes and peppers soon. I save the plastic containers that cherry or grape tomatoes and spinach or spring mix lettuce come in that has a hinged lid and is clear and makes an awesome mini greenhouse to start seeds. 🙂  Can’t wait to start!

I have flower seeds too. I gathered hibiscus seeds. I read that they’re hard to start from seeds but I’m

going to try. Anyone out there have any tips for me?

Till next time…happy dreaming about spring!

Jan

Sugar Free ~ Yea!


I had a delightful evening yesterday. I have been diabetic for 29 years. My oldest son turning 40 this

Yummm ~ Ice Cream!

year has signs that maybe he needs to watch what he eats so he can avoid the problems the disease brings with it.

We both love ice cream like life itself so that’s something we definitely wish to keep in our repertoire for happy days treats. I stumbled on a recipe for homemade ice cream that you can make without an ice cream maker. I have a rather small kitchen, I’d say about  the size of a postage stamp. My appliance garage is filled and besides, if I got one, it would be expensive!

I was delighted as I set out to try this challenge. I made chocolate chunk ice cream with pecans. Yummmmmm!!!  It was a definite success. One of my grand-daughter said. “It is better than any in the store!” Jeff, my son and I, were talking about the ice cream and it made him drool. It is wonderful but it’s not sugar free. I have a small cone of it which is roughly shy of 1/2 cup. It is acceptable to eat it occasionally. I do ok with that but he finds that his urges for ice cream are far more frequent than mine and of course he wants a mammoth-size serving to be satisfied.

We became foodie chemists looking for the perfect answers to our question. We started digging and found a recipe and altered it a bit but it’s texture was just not right. It was a bomb but will still work as

a base for milk shakes. We both were scratching our heads and looking for a solution. From the original recipe, the ingredient needing to be replaced was Sweetened Condensed Milk. There are recipes out there for sugar free replacements for that. Tweaking the recipe with the research finds. As we prepared it, holding our breaths, it looked very promising. Tomorrow is D-day and I will let you know how it turns out. The camera is going to get into the act and soon there will be pictures for you to see. I’m very encouraged. The calculations on the recipe drops the carbohydrates by two-thirds and the calories by one-third. We aren’t done tweaking yet!

Right now I am working on the blog content but the camera is definitely getting into the act very shortly. We will update you on the results of our experiment in a day or two. See you soon.

Thanks for stopping by,

Jan

What? I’m a Pit Bull?…


I have been called Savvy Grammie and sometimes Pollyanna.  One day when I was surfing the internet, there it was; What DogWhat? I'm a Pit Bull? Are You? It is like the great vortex that sucks you in and before you know it you are taking the test! When I completed it, my jaw dropped to the floor and as I reached to pick it up, I read, “You most resemble a Pitt Bull” I was horrified! I kind of think of myself as a gentle soul, a bit of an introvert, and I could in no way see how they could set me in line with these powerful, active dogs. I am such a klutz and when it comes to excelling at extreme sports….NOT!!  Once I calmed down and began looking at the character of the dog, I could see some slight similarities. The Pit Bull is loyal, competitive, protective and if they must fight then they bite down till they get to the other side. Yes, I can see I am all those things when it’s needed. I just hate it when I get sucked in like that.

The Savvy Grammie moniker was hung around my neck because anywhere I worked seemed like they would all come to me for answers. I am the mother of 6 children and now have 9 grand children. I am the encyclopedia, dictionary, and tutorial program all mixed up in one. Besides that I am the best darn researcher around.  Pollyanna on the other hand is there because I believe that if you do what you can things will work out in the end. Yes there are occasions when they don’t. That’s where I say, “The tree that doesn’t bend breaks.”

I have a patio out front of my house. Almost every morning, I make a pot of coffee and go out and sit and read and drink coffee till the first neighbor drops by.  I either do that or I have a basket I load up with cups, coffee in a thermos, and some goodies and go see a friend who can’t come to my patio. Ar either place we discuss all the ills of the world and the challenges we face each day. They have definitely increased in number and see if together we can figure out some solutions. Never hurts. They say “Two heads are better than one.”

I do a variety of things. I’m a foodie that’s loosing weight. Inch by Inch life is a cinch! I thought if what I’m doing helps our household then surely there are others out there this would help.

I learned how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. Yumm!! My grand-daughter says it’s better than any in the store. I make yogurt and cottage cheese in my crock pot. I do other things that have nothing to do with skills in the home also. I just waded through the medicare Forrest of horror. Whatever things I need to face, I just dig till I find an answer. Next thing I know they will be calling me Digg Dug!! We just joined a medication mail order group and I’m still questioning that. I feel a little singed around the edges.  I have some thoughts about politics. I have a list a mile long.

I’m going to lay out the welcome mat and just see who comes to my door and what kind of solutions we can provide. I hate to let experience go to waste.  Hope you will come so we can talk.

Hope to visit again soon.

Jan

Aside

Finding Our Way Through the Maze


Medication Box

Medication Box

Hi there,

Today is going to be a serious blog. It’s about finding the right way to make good decisions and what you may need to know to do that. The decision I’m talking about is picking your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan. Hindsight always makes things clearer so I wanted to tell my story. What things did I needed to know to make it turn out much better.The last couple months we have had a few challenges. My husband and I are on Social Security early because of disability. We have Medicare and every fall all seniors on Medicare sign up for the medical prescription program and it has progressed and now it extends to cover Dr. and Hospital bills which is called Medicare Advantage. We were very resourceful and gathered information on the two plans available to us in our area and made a decision. We felt good! We had a nightmare of a year in 2011. The first of December we signed up for our plan. The plan included a mail order medication program. That sounded like a good decision because:

  • Mailed right to your door
  • $0 Co-pays on generic medications
  • Reminders when to refill

We pay less money because of lower copays and less gas money. We input all our medications into the system to make sure they were on their formulary. We were delighted to find they covered all but 1 medication. We sailed through Christmas feeling pretty good and relaxing a bit since our experience in 2011 was almost more than we could take. We had a very rough year.

January 1, 2012 our plan took effect. They told us to make an appointment with our Dr. Have him send all our prescriptions to the mail order program. Step one right? We waited for everything to fall into place. My husband’s medications came back pretty quickly. Mine was a different matter. He has normal aging conditions for the most part. My dosages are irregular and not in the normal range because I am seriously ill. As soon as they received my list, all kinds of warning signals went off. They started calling the Dr. office and telling him they needed clarification. What puzzled me was that they didn’t phone him once with a complete list of questions that needed their clarification but there was repeated calls in a three-week period.Every time that happened it put the order on hold and it was as though it went back to step one  They said once it was clarified , it would be a week to ten days before it would be sent. It was a worrisome time as I was nearing being out of my medications.

The persons who answered the calls had no idea about medical things, couldn’t spell the medications, and had trouble finding anything on the computer. This definitely made the whole process painfully slow. I started on the 5th of January and it took till February 16th for me to get all the medications. I had been out of almost all of my medications two weeks by the time they arrived. Here are a list of question you should have your Doctor answer and choices you should make:

  • Get the physical prescription and send it to them yourself
  • Have your Doctor send a statement that you have not had any drug interactions with the current prescriptions
  • Ask the Doctor if the doses are within the normal prescribing guidelines
  • Don’t give them a payment method but have them invoice you for the purchases.

Mail Order Prescription Plans can be very beneficial.  If you are fairly healthy then you it should be fairly simple. If you are seriously ill the list above should help.

Because of the extreme cost of my medication I have to calculate the cost of my medications to the Insurance Company. I never could get a price quote. Since I am seriously ill and on many medications, I have to know when I’m going into the donut  hole. Just in case you don’t know what that is, here is a quick overview of the Donut Hole or Coverage Gap.

Last year basically I was in the donut hole by the middle of the year and at that time you pay the full price for some and a percentage on others. Needless to say we struggled most of the year.I know, this is a long, drawn out donut hole saga. How things proceed this year had to be very important and so I ask them about the cost to the Insurance Company.

Once I had the invoice, I was able to see and be able to calculate when I would reach the dreaded donut hole.

I don’t know about you but the whole situation made me nervous and a little bit crazy!

I am back on the medications for a week now and slowly getting back to normal. I haven’t been feeling very well but things are looking up. In a couple of months I will figure out the next step in this crazy challenge.

I’m thankful for my insurance and  This year is going to be better. Keep in mind what I said about how they look at your prescriptions and what questions to have answered so that it goes much smoother. Hope this problem never crosses your path but if it does then I hope some of my tips will be of help to you. Thanks for coming to visit. Hope your path is wide and clear of big rocks!  🙂

What It’s All About….


Hi, This is Savvy Grammie.

I decided I wanted to blog. I’ve had so many experiences and I want to share with others in my ever enlarging community. The core of the blog will be about Health, Diabetes, Losing weight or maintaining it, Insurance, Medicine, Doctors, Cures, … the things that come up everyday as you try to preserve your health.

I’m a normal woman and as I am doing this blog, I’m living my life. Doing things with my family, 6 children and 9 grandchildren, and all the things that it entails. I’m a foodie but I’m also diabetic and trying to manage my health. I’ve lost 60 lbs in the last year and a quarter. I’m maintaining that at this time and looking forward to continuing the challenge as a lifestyle change not a diet. My husband and I both like to cook and not just cook. It’s an adventure and we are constantly trying something new. In fact, my oldest son and I just tried making sugar-free ice cream. We are on batch 3 and have plans for the 4th. Things are looking up. Comparing regular french vanilla ice cream with our ice cream, we reduced the carbohydrates by two-thirds! That’s huge! Jeff, my oldest son and I can not live without ice cream. The last batch was amazing and with just a few tweaks, I think we will have something that will allow us to reasonably indulge. When we get done we will share our recipe with all of you. you should have seen us. like a couple of foodie chemists! It’s pretty comical. I’m 5’2″ and he is 6’3″. We look like “mut and jeff”!

It’s called, “A Walk Down the Garden Path” because I love gardening. I know I will share some of that. We have a postage stamp size garden in the summer and it is amazing what we get from growing it and what we are able to do with the produce. I also love flowers of every kind.

I deal with Social Security and Medicare so we will talk about that. I’m sure I will learn from you and I can give you some tips from the things I’ve experienced. As we travel down the garden path together we can share and learn from each other. I am looking forward to it.

Please tell me what you are thinking. I know we will enjoy our visits. See you again soon.

Savvy Grammie,

Jan

Journey Along the Garden Path

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