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April 9th, 2016 our local Abbotsford Arts Council put on our community’s 12th Arty Award event. An event well worth attending; in fact in my opinion, one of Abbotsford’s finest events.

Culinary catered food, fun, quality entertainment and awesome, stone hand crafted awards, made for a night to remember. 

We were introduced to some of our community’s finest, most talented artists – dance, theater, literary, visual, music, culinary, photography …  every category of the arts was represented. 

 

Yes, I got nominated… for the “Outstanding Literary Artist.”

And I won!!  I’m still feeling the thrill of it as I write this. Just had to get that out there. It was pretty exciting. Thank you – everyone who put so much into this outstanding evening. 

 

This year’s  theme was the 80’s. 

It took me several weeks to come up with something appropriate. I searched online for the 80’s style… as I was having trouble remembering – the 80’s were 30 years ago. Apparently I was not very fashion conscious at the time. But the research took care of that. I remembered a dress I’d sewn many years ago that fit a description of the 80’s formal wear. 

Puffed sleeves, shoulder pads, velvet, scalloped neckline. This dress has it all! 

hand sewn 80's dress Carrie ©

Sewn with my Bernina sewing machine – 80’s dress – Carrie ©

I dug into my closet, opened the garment bag… I put it on… it fit!

I was set.

I took a look at my handiwork from so many years ago – “Not a bad job”

… I complemented myself. 

 

The artist, Robert Syrenne, owner of RS Arts in Mission, hand-created the beautiful stone art pieces awarded for this year’s Arty Awards.
I am thrilled with mine!!

Literary Arty Award 2016

 Arty Award 2016

Thank you Abbotsford Arts Council / Kariton Art Gallery & Boutique for putting on this event and recognizing our community’s many talented artists. It gets better every year.

And thank you, Charles Wiebe and Associates, for sponsoring the Literary Award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NOTE: The Fur Trade Challenge project dates have been moved up one week from previously posted – PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGES:  The Fort Langley tour – Friday, Oct, 11, 10:00 – 12:00 noon (bring a bag lunch to share after the tour)
Classes will be held Tuesdays starting October 15 – Tuesday December 3, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM.

Attention: Home school families in the Abbotsford area… 

I am very excited about offering this new course to home school families. 

Fur Trade Challenge – for Grade 5 Home School Students

Fur Trade - Fort Langley, BC - © Carrie Wachsmann -  watercolor

(NOTE: this project meets many of the HCOS (Heritage Christian Online School) requirements for Grade 5 Social Studies – see list below under “Requirements”)

Here is what you can expect from this course:

Project includes the following:

  1. A visit to Fort Langley – “ Fur Trade Challenge” interactive tour. NEW this year
  2. Research
  3. Descriptive writing/outline & report
  4. Art & crafts/visuals/display
  5. Building a Fort Langley model
  6. Costume creation/character identification
  7. Presentation

Date & Time: The Fort Langley tourFriday, Oct, 11, 10:00 – 12:00 noon (bring a bag lunch to share after the tour)
Classes will be held Tuesdays starting October 15 – Tuesday December 3, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM.
Duration: 8 weeks starting after the field trip to Fort Langley.
Cost per student: based on requirement of 10-12 students  (supplies and facility included)

Cost per HCOS student is $100

Cost per student from other schools is $135

Extra cost: Families are responsible for admission to the Fort Langley tour on Friday, Oct. 4
Cost of admission per student $3.90 & $6.55 per parent  (taxes included – children under 6 – free)

Location: Solid Rock Church 34371 4th Ave. Abbotsford. 604.850.1350

Fort Langley project winter scene

Popsicle stick version of Fort Langley’s Big House and outdoor oven, along with dough characters – done several years ago. 

Project DETAILS:

  • The Fort Langley project takes the students on an exciting adventure into the lives of our pioneering
    ancestors.
  • This project will begin with the students enjoying a day at Fort Langley.
  • Students will choose a character or personality that they would like to represent .
  • Students will have opportunity to create a costume (thrift store shopping) that fits their character.
  • Students will write a descriptive letter to family back home, about their experiences at the fort. (research and outline included)
  •  As a group, students will recreate the fort using popsicle sticks, and branches. Each character will build their own building, and in some cases 2 or more students may work on one building.
  • The fort will come alive when the students fill their fort with dough characters they have made.
  • Students use their resourcefulness to outfit their buildings and finish off the fort.
  • The project ends with a family presentation day where students get to share their story with parents and guests. Parents may want to provide snacks (perhaps something representative of the early Fort Langley days) to celebrate the students’ accomplishments.

Requirements:

The following requirements taken from HCOS Social Studies learning plan are covered in this project.

http://www.onlineschool.ca/outcomes/Socials.php

(italizied areas indicate where this course meets the requirements of the learning plan)

3. What were problems faced by people involved in the Fraser fur trade? Choose one and identify why it was a problem and how it was solved. If it wasn’t solved, suggest a solution (Students will choose a character that would have settled at Fort Langley)

8. Interview someone about their life. (Students will be interviewing tour guides at Fort Langley on the field trip as well as doing other research) Are their answers the same or different? Explain why. Present your questions and answers in one of the following formats: written report. (Written in the form of a letter to family back home across the ocean – about their experiences as a settler to Fort Langley) (hand written rough work, then typed) electronic presentation, illustrations with captions, dramatic, roll play, song, time line, journal, diorama).

9. Find some primary sources (defined as: original document relating to a particular subject, experiment, time period, or event) (research their topic and character) for your own life or someone else’s life (birth certificate, pictures, journals, diaries, school work, art work, stories from parents, etc). Use them to make a secondary source (defined as: a document that interprets or analyzes primary sources and is usually written or produced some time after the initial event took place or work was produced). You could also put the primary sources together into a variety of other presentation forms listed in question number eight.

14. Who were the first settlers in B.C.? Choose a person or group and tell more about them. Clarify things like: when they came to B.C., difficulties they faced, things they enjoyed, daily life, etc.)

15. When creating any of the reports above or for another Social Studies assignment for project, create an outline before you begin. In the outline identify the following, topic/assignment/title, how you will introduce your topic, key points (with details for each point), how you will conclude your topic. Your outlines can be graphic, written, or done electronically.

16. Create an annotated timeline, map, scrapbook, story board, or other graphic to illustrate selected events

18. How did the Canadian environment affect early forms of transportation and communication in Canada? (Rivers)

19. Pretend you are an early settler coming to Canada from another country. Outline the trip and all the different types of transportation you use and why you needed that type of transportation.

26. How are waterways used in different parts of Canada for transportation? How has this changed over time?

46. Pick a job (character) that was around in 1827, and currently (e.g., teacher, grocery store owner, carpenter, farmer). How has technology changed how this job is done?

47. Choose a city that has a natural resource industry (saw mill, mine, fish and marine, energy). When did the town start? Did it start because of the natural resource? (Fort Langley)

82. What did the Canadian constitution give Canadians in 1867 and 1982? Describe the significant events and people contributing to Confederation (e.g., fur trade, gold rush, railway, John A. Macdonald, Pierre Trudeau).

Instructor: Carrie Wachsmann

Here’s what some parents and students have to say about Carrie’s instruction: (feedback from Carrie’s home school course “Writing, Art & Bookmaking”)

(Note: Watch – details on this course to come shortly)

“Well organized. Carrie had 12 kids happily engaged for three hours at a time, asking for more work, and at times forgetting their lunch time. She gave them tools to edit and do their work on their own. This has helped the students to expound their creativity and still keep their original ideas. They shared their very own story/book with everyone at the end. They have learned tons of skills beyond book publishing.”
S.K.

“I love the concept of this course, and my daughter and I are both very pleased with the book she was able to make. We also really enjoyed Mrs. Wachsmann’s teaching style and inspiring creative talent…” R.F.

“The course was excellent. Very well prepared… The cover idea was brilliant.” G.B.

“I think it was the best class I have ever been to.” E.E.

“It was excellent fun.” D.K.

“It was a wonderful course! I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks. Mrs. Wachsmann is an excellent teacher.” J.K.

“… Making a book with you was like opening a door into another world.” A.F

BIO: A little about myself

Carrie library candle stick 5

Carrie (Heide) Wachsmann has been writing stories since she was first able to hold a pencil. Her short, personal stories have since expanded and she is now a published author. Her first fiction book called “The Ryder” was published in 1991. Since then she has also written for a number of national and international magazines. Her on-line articles can be found at examiner.com and abbotsfordtoday.ca. Her personal blog nuggetsofgold.wordpress.com chronicles some of her current and past writing accomplishments.

Carrie also paints, sketches and illustrates books. Some of her paintings can be found at carriewachsmann.myartchannel.com.

In 2008 she was awarded the “Outstanding Emerging Artist” Arty Award, by the Abbotsford Arts Council. This was in recognition for her contributions to art in Abbotsford in writing, painting and videography.

Carrie is currently completing her second and third novels of the trilogy that began with The Ryder.

The Ryder 1991 cover - Carrie  ©

The Ryder 1991 cover – Carrie ©

Her first fictional dramatization of a real life story is being edited by the publisher, and is expected to be released in early 2014.

Not only is Carrie a skilled artist and writer, but she has also developed a series of instructional courses on writing, art, bookmaking and creative, multimedia story telling.

CONTACT: carrie@wachsmannstudios.com

Check out the FACEBOOK Event page – Fur Trade Challenge – Home School opportunity 

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So you figure you don’t have a “Green Thumb”? Then this short tutorial just might be what you are looking for. 

Thanks to Minde Wagner for sharing “How to Plant Outdoor Potted Flowers” with our readers. 

Time to play in the dirt.

Introduction

Flowers planted in June

Pot 1 latest pictureThe flowers planted in June – photographed on July 4th.

Potted flowers July 2013 2

This article will guide you through the process of creating an outdoor potted flower arrangement. It will instruct on how to plant “partial-sun” flowers in a plastic pot.

This project should be done in spring in order to experience the full blooms in summer. Be prepared to use gentle hands throughout the entire process, and consider the idea that you may get a little dirty.

Before you begin, there are four basic things you need to think about:

1. The location of your flower pot

The location of your flower pot is categorized into 3 different types of sun exposure:

  • Full Sun – minimum 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • Partial Sun – 3 hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • Shade – less than 3 hours of direct sunlight each day.

2. The type of flower pot.

The two main types of flower pots available are:

  • Clay (ceramic) pots – for herbs and flowers that like dry soil.
  • Plastic pots – for most flowers.

3. The types of flowers you should buy

The types of flowers you buy should match the sun exposure of the flower pot location. You should find similar exposure symbols on each of the plants when you purchase them:

  • Full Sun – minimum 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • Partial Sun – 3 hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • Shade – less than 3 hours of direct sunlight.

4. Your ability to maintain and care for the flowers

You should be prepared to water the flowers each day and remove the dead flowers and leaves regularly. Removing dead flowers promotes new blooms.

List of Materials and Equipment

All of the following materials can be found at Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Superstore, or any local garden shop. The flowers and equipment may vary in type and style. Some items are seasonal and only available in spring and early summer. Most items are available all year.

  1. Small Garden Shovel
  2. Water Hose with Shower Nozzle (or Watering Can)
  3. Small-Medium Rocks (approximately 2 liters)
  4. Flowers.

Minimum requirement for this project:

  1. 1 x 5” Saratoga
  2. 3 x 2” Petunias
  3. 4 x 1” Lobelia
  4. Potting Soil Mix – minimum 60 liters.
  5. Scissors
  6. Garden Gloves
  7. Sheet of Plastic or Garbage Bag (size: 3ft x 2ft)
  8. Plastic Pot with drainage holes (size:16”top with 10” bottom).

Materials and Equipment Needed to Plant the Flowers

Materials and equipment

Steps to Planting Flowers in the Pot

Make sure to follow each of the steps and sub-directions in sequential order. The main steps include: (Step 1) set up materials and equipment, (Step 2) prepare the pot, (Step 3) prepare the flowers, (Step 4) plant the flowers, and (Step 5) water and care for the potted flowers.

Step 1: Set Up Materials and Equipment

  1. Purchase and have all materials and equipment ready.
  2. Put on gloves.
  3. Place the plastic on the ground to keep the area from getting dirty.
  4. Place the pot on the plastic to one side.

Plastic and Pot Set Up

Plastic and pot set up

Step 2: Prepare the Pot

  1. Put the rocks in the bottom of the pot
  2. Fill the pot with potting soil until just over ¾ full.
  3. Make sure you have enough soil reserved to fill the remainder ¼ of the pot.
  4. Dig 6 shallow holes in the soil.

Shallow Holes in the Soil

shallow holes in the soil

Step 3: Prepare the Flowers

Be gentle and take your time when handling the flowers. Try not to crush or break stems and leaves. Some breakage may happen by accident; this is usually OK. Most plants will recover from damage if cared for properly.

  1. Water the flowers using a gentle stream until the soil and roots are moist.
  2. Cut the plastic flower containers into individual pieces with the scissors.
  3. Arrange the flowers in the pot to visualize how you would like them while they are still in the plastic containers.

Cut the Plastic Flower Containers

Cut the containers

Arrange Flowers in the Pot

All plants in the pot

Step 4: Plant the Flowers

When handling the flowers, grasp gently near the base of the stems where they are strongest. Take your time and be careful with the stems and leaves.

  1. Hold the first container by the flower base, turn it upside down and look at the bottom.
  2. Remove any roots sticking out of the bottom container by pulling or cutting them.
  3. Hold the flower base with one hand and squeeze the bottom of the plastic container with your other hand.
  4. Keep squeezing the container and pushing the roots upward until the flowers and roots are out of the container.
  5. Gently break up the bottom of the roots so they are hanging loosely. (This will help the flower plant to grow quickly, and to its full potential, in the new soil.)
  6. Place the flowers and roots in one of the shallow holes in the pot.

***Repeat these steps 1-6 with each flower container you wish to plant***

Squeeze the Container and Push Roots Out

Squeeze container

Break up the Bottom Roots

Break up the bottom roots

 

Once you have all the flowers out of the plastic containers, the bottoms of the roots are gently broken up, and each plant is placed in the pot arranged as you like; you may proceed with the following steps.

  1. Scoop soil using the shovel, from the ¼ reserved potting soil, and put it around the base of the flower plant.
  2. Repeat step 7 for each flower plant in the pot.
  3. Fill the area around each flower plant from the remaining ¼ reserved soil until there are no roots showing.
  4. Gently press the soil around the base of each flower plant with your hands.

Scoop Soil and Fill the Area around Each Plant

Scoop soil and fill in

Step 5: Water and Care for the Plants

  1. Water the base of each flower plant in the pot, using a gentle stream of water.
  2. Wait for the water to soak in, and water again.
  3. Gently wash any soil off the leaves and flowers.
  4. Let the water fully drain out of the pot. (This may take 5-10 minutes.)
  5. Place the pot of planted flowers in the location you chose. (The flowers in this example will require a “Part Shade” location.)
  6. Water every second day, or keep soil moist.
  7. Pick off dead flowers and leaves every day, throw them away.

Water the Base of Each Flower Plant

Water the base of each flower plant

Finished Outdoor Potted Flowers

pots latest picture 2

Once you have completed Steps 1-5, the flower pot should look similar to this.

This photo taken July 4th, 2013,  about 3 weeks after planting

Flowers are now in full bloom

Potted flowers July 2013

More Information:

The flowers used in the above instructions can be found on these websites:

The flowers used in the above instructions can be found on these websites:

Here are some websites to help plan and care for your outdoor potted flowers:

Trouble Shooting and Problems

Below are some potential issues that you may encounter during this project and a list of suggested solutions.

Water does not drain from the soil.

  • The pot needs to have drainage holes.
  • Check to make sure the pot has drainage holes.
  • Check to see if the drainage holes are blocked.

The flowers are limp and the leaves are wilted.

  • Most flowers need to have moist soil.
  • Do not buy wilted, dried-out flowers.
  • Do not let the soil dry out.
  • Water the flowers before you begin planting.
  • Water the flowers after you finished planting.
  • Do not let the flowers sit exposed and out of the container without water for more than 1 hour.
  • Once you have finished planting the flowers and watering them, and the water has drained out of the pot; wait 24 hours for the flower plants to recover and leaves to strengthen.

There are many broken stems and leaves.

  • There may be flowers, stems, or leaves that break off in this process.
  • Be careful while handling the flower plants.
  • Remove any broken leaves or stems.
  • As long as there is a plant fully attached to the roots, the plant should grow and recover with continued care.

The soil dries out quickly.

  • Small pots dry out faster than large pots.
  • Small pots will need more frequent watering than larger pots.
  • Use water gel from your local flower shop to decrease watering times.

Warnings

The finished outdoor potted flowers in this project will be quite heavy and weigh approximately 50-60lbs.

  • Bring the materials and equipment near the location you chose for your flower pot.
  • Follow these directions near the location you choose for your flower pot.

Some flower plants may be poisonous, and should not be eaten.

  • Read the labels before purchasing flowers.

Copy Right

All photos by Minde Wagner.

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Sourdough Bread is not only delicious, but also highly nutritious.  

Our first sourdough rye bread attempt

According to Kitchen StewardshipSourdough rye bread in particular is noted scientifically to be the most nutritious of them all. 

Sourdough is a fermented food. 

Fermented foods provide the body with good intestinal flora, and aid in digestion.

This is very good news for someone who is off wheat and yeast breads.

And to top it off, sourdough rye bread is the most tasty of them all –  in my opinion.

By the way, does anybody know of a restaurant in Abbotsford, Vancouver or the lower mainland, where I can get a 100% Sourdough rye bread, sandwich?

That would more than make my day.

How does Sourdough bread  improve nutrition? By…

      • pre-digesting starches, making the bread more easily digestible
      • lowering insulin response/improving glucose tolerance
      • protecting Vitamin B1 from the damage of the heat of baking
      • breaking down gluten, which may result in a bread that gluten-sensitive people can eat
      • activating phytase to hydrolyze (dissolve) the phytates, thus freeing up minerals such as:
        • zinc
        • iron
        • magnesium
        • copper
        • phosphorus

Last week, my husband and I decided to make sourdough bread.

Monday my husband started our sourdough starter.

  • 1/2 cup rye flour and enough pure water to make a gooey mixture
  • Mix and put it into a glass bowl
  • Place it in the oven with the light on, cover  with a cloth and let sit
  • Stir a couple of times a day and feed it every day by adding  1/4 cup flour and enough water to keep the same consistency – continue to let it ferment

Initially it looks like nothing is happening, but in a day or so it will start to bubble and get larger. It has now attracted natural yeast from the air and the environment. It will have a good sour smell.

Three days later our starter was bubbly and ready to use.

To keep the starter growing, add a little flour and water everyday and let sit on the counter. If you are not going to bake for a week or so, put into the fridge to slow the process down. Take out and let grow a few days before making the bread.

Here’s how we made our sourdough bread.

We took about half of the starter for the bread recipe.  Then transferred the remaining sourdough starter to a jar, and fed it once more. It will continue to grow and we will continue to feed it, until we make another loaf of bread.

The RECIPE is simple

Sourdough Rye Bread Recipe

  • Put  4 cups rye flour into a bowl
  • add 1/2 tsp salt and blend
  • Put 1 cup pure water in a bowl and add 1/4 cup olive oil
  • To liquid add 1 cup sourdough starter
  • Slowly add liquid  to flour
  • Add more pure water until you have a dough that you can roll and kneed.
  • Place into pan
  • Set oven for 400 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Egg wash the crust at this time if you wish. (take an egg, blend it well and brush lightly onto the top of your loaf)
  • Turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes – 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when you stick it into the loaf.
  • Let cool for about 1/2 hour before slicing

Kneading the dough

Our first attempt was satisfactory.

Dough ready for the pan

Our 100% sourdough rye bread

Sourdough rises much slower than yeast breads. I think we should have let it rise longer. We let it rise about 3 hours. We’ll have to figure this one out.

I do like the consistency and the taste is excellent.

We forgot to add salt… but a little butter took care of that. Next time.

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Yes, Mennonite girls can make New Year’s Cookies

This tasty donut like treat is a bit of a project to make, but well worth the time and effort.

This recipe is not on the top of  my healthy foods list, but is a family favorite that comes around only once a year.

There’s something about tradition that speaks it’s own language.

New Year's Cookies


New Year’s Cookies

(AKA fritters or Portselkje)

  • Dissolve 1 tsp. sugar in 1/2 cup warm water. Sprinkle 1 pkg. dry yeast (.25 ounce) on water and let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Add 3 cups warm water
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter melted
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups raisins or more
  • Stir in enough flour to make a fairly thick batter.  Let rise until double in bulk. (I use light Rye flour)
  • Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil. The batter will sink to the bottom and rise to the top.
  • Flip once
  • When golden brown scoop the cookies out of the hot oil and place onto a paper towel or drip tray.
  • Roll in icing sugar if desired.
The key is to have the oil hot enough so that it does not soak into the batter. (about 375F or 190C)
A couple of years ago, our son made New Year’s Cookies for a New Year’s Eve party.
Being innovative, he stuck a chocolate square into the centre of each cookie.
Needless to say, the cookies were a big hit.



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Vintage style aprons…  with a flare of their own.

My mother grew up sewing just about everything.

Her aprons were always delicately embroidered, or beautified with lace and ribbon.  I went searching in my treasure box and found this one.

One of Mother's hand stitched aprons - 2011 Carrie ©

Notice the detail - 2011 Carrie ©

My mother taught me to sew when I was twelve. A gift that will last me a lifetime. These were fun to make.

Polka Dot Black Tie - 2011 Carrie ©

Emerald Lace - 2011 Carrie ©

Purple Party Apron - 2011 Carrie ©

Lady Gardener's Delight - 2011 Carrie ©

Just Peachy 2011 Carrie ©

Sassy in Pink - 2011 Carrie ©

Vote for your favorite. Let me know which one you like best.

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Sweet red beets.  This year my organic garden has a perfect crop of red Beets.  I am so happy!


Red Beets in my garden - Carrie ©

Why do I love my beets so?

Because red beets:

  1. are sweet and juicy ( I never realized how delicious raw beets are)
  2. are anti-carcinogenic
  3. are high in antioxidants
  4. increases oxygen-carrying ability of the blood by up to 400%
  5. were traditionally used to battle leukemia
  6. have been shown to inhibit colon and stomach cancer
  7. help reduce serum cholesterol
  8. help to normalize blood pressure
  9. are a powerful cleanser and blood purifier
  10. help to keep your arteries elastic
  11. help to prevent varicose veins
  12. are high in folic acid
  13. stimulate the function of liver cells
  14. protect the liver and bile ducts
  15. are highly alkaline
  16. help to relieve constipation
  17. are anti-inflammatory
  18. help in detoxification

If you are not use to consuming beets, give your body time to get accustomed to it. This is a powerful food.

(Warning: you may experience red stool!)

Beet juice is so powerful that it you may feel dizzy during cleansing. This discomfort is normal as toxins are being eliminated. It is advised to drink plenty of water to help in the elimination of toxins.”

Harvesting my Red Beets - Carrie ©

Ways we enjoy our sweet red beets:

  • Washed, peeled and sliced into thin slices (served with home-made dip)
  • Grated fresh or diced and added to one of our many varieties of fresh salads
  • Juiced
  • Washed and steamed for no longer than 15 minutes
  • Beet leaves are filled with nutrients as well. Washed and steamed or added to  juicing

2011 Carrie ©

Beets prepared for steaming - Carrie ©

Red beet and carrot juice recipe

  • 1 whole Red Beet (leaves included if desired)
  • 2 medium sized Carrots (green tops included if desired)
  • 1 Apple

Juice and drink immediately.

This is one of my favorite “get started” in the morning juice recipes.

You’re sure to enjoy this next recipe…

Beet and cucumber salad recipe

1 whole raw beet, peel and diced

1 small/medium cucumber diced

1 small sweet onion diced

add dried or fresh dill

add 3 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

Sea Salt to taste

a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash

mix

Let sit in the fridge for a day

Serve with a meal or enjoy alone

Drink plenty of water.

For more detailed information about the benefits of red Beets,

http://bit.ly/oSo3bV

http://bit.ly/qg0VN

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation


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Kale is a super, nutritious green food.

Curly purple kale - Carrie ©

That is one of the reasons why I grow kale in my organic garden.

This past summer I planted two varieties of kale – the curly purple kale and a long leaf green/blue kale. We enjoyed both but I do prefer the curly purple variety.

Kale is known to help protect the eyes as well as build and maintain healthy bones. It can be eaten raw or cooked.

To eat it raw, I either add it to my juicing along with other vegetables first thing in the morning, or I make dehydrated kale chips. It can be added to a salad or used to decorate a plate.

The dehydrated kale chips are a very viable substitute for regular chips, and provide a highly nutritious snack. They taste so good there’s usually none left for another day.

I’ve posted a recipe for kale chips as well as several other ideas on how to serve kale, at Healthy living examiner.com

This summer I intend to try yet a third variety of kale – the curly green variety. Variety is the spice of life.

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Happy Valentine’s Day to

all my friends and followers

Valentine's Day card 2011

Happy Valentine's Day - Carrie ©

Have a wonderful, stress-free, happy day and pass it on.

Ideas to help make your day a good one:

What women want for Valentine’s Day

or……….

How to express your love on Valentine’s Day

visit my site as Vancouver’s Healthy living examiner.

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Does Valentine’s Day promote anti-aging?

Valentine card - Hart Wachsmann ©

Valentine’s Day is very popular.

Everyone wants to stay young.

Put the two together and make them work for you for the rest of the year.

If everyday we thought about love and how to express it, we’d all probably live to be a 120 years old. Maybe more.

Those good, loving, happy thoughts would keep the stresses of life where they belong – underfoot.

If you need a little encouragement in expressing your love and affection to your Valentine, you can find some great advice at examiner.com, “How to express your love on Valentine’s Day.”

Stay young, be happy and nurture your relationships.

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Zesty Super Bowl Salsa recipe

This year why not spice up your Super Bowl party with healthy snacks.

This zesty Salsa recipe is a spicy healthy alternative.

You can find the recipe here at Examiner.com, along with 4 tips to help make your Super Bowl party a great one. 

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There are many good reasons to use Apple Cider Vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar is:

  • known as the wonder vinegar
  • an effective natural bacteria-fighting agent
  • loaded with vitamins, trace minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and dietary fiber (pectin

In my latest Healthy Living article for Examiner.com I list

11 good  reasons why I use Apple Cider Vinegar.

I’ve also included my recipe for, Apple Cider Vinegar and sun dried tomato salad dressing.

Apple Cider Vinegar and sundried tomato salad dressing

So easy to make, so delicious, great for salads and more.

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Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is proven to help persons suffering from SAD.

Carrie ©

If you are:

  • sad
  • depressed
  • tired
  • irritable
  • craving sweet starchy “comfort” foods
  • gaining weight
  • feeling just plain lethargic

you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

One solution that has proven itself to be helpful is vitamin D.

You can read more about SAD and vitamin D in my latest article published on Examiner.com – What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and can Vitamin D help?

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation


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Here is my recipe for healthy, raw food, energy bars.

Not only are they healthy and easy to make, they are also delicious.

Note: if you don’t like carob, you can substitute raw organic cocoa.

Click here for my ‘No guilt energy bars’ recipe.

No guilt energy bar recipe - by Carrie Wachsmann

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To one and all – a Merry Christmas Eve. 

Soap Stone Carving- Nativity - Carrie ©

Tonight we’re making a beef dish called “Rolladen”.

It is of German origin.

My “Rolladen” recipe:

Ask your butcher to slice thin strips of top quality beef (no fat) about 6 inches wide, 8  inches long, and a mere 1/8 inch thick

Spread a little hot mustard on one side

At one end, place a small pickle or pickle piece

Crush fresh garlic and sprinkle over the meat

Do the same with bits of real bacon

Add some sauteed onions

Roll in up and use 2 toothpicks to keep together

Put into a glass casserole and add:

About 1/2 cup water

1-2 Tbsp. virgin olive oil (use a brush to cover the meat with the olive oil)

Salt and pepper

A few shakes of Mrs. Dash.

1or 2 bay leaves (place in the water)

Bake slowly at 325 degrees

This meal goes great with garlic mashed potatoes or dumplings.

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Twas the Night Before Christmas

(inspired by a true event)

“It came upon a midnight clear, that glorious song of old.

From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold.

‘Peace on the earth, good will toward men’,

from heaven’s all gracious King!

The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.”

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” 1  Carrie ©

Christmas music gently filled the little coffee house. Unlike the carol heralding a ‘midnight clear’, this night was everything but. Snow fell fast and thick.

In the corner, a young man sat alone. He looked out the window and watched as the last patron of the night plowed their way out of the parking lot.

“Young man, we’re closing.”

He nodded, put on his coat and made his way to the exit. He looked to be about fourteen, fifteen at the most.

As the door closed behind him, the cold quickly bit into his face and hands.  He pulled his collar up close to his face.

“Do you have a ride?” a voice called to him.

The young man turned to see someone standing in the shadows of the building.

”No, I’m good,” he answered firmly.

The man persisted. “I’m not so sure about that. It’s Christmas eve. Shouldn’t you be home with your family, sitting by the fire and enjoying hot chocolate, or something?”

The lad shrugged his shoulders as if to say… yah, so what. Who cares anyway.

The man stepped out of the shadows.

"Twas the Night Before Christmas" 2 - Carrie  ©

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” 2 – Carrie  ©

The young man saw that he was an old man. Old enough to make him wonder what someone this old was doing out in a snow storm at this hour of the night.

The old man continued. “Where you’re headed… it is not worth it… You do have options you know.”

The young man was beginning to feel somewhat uncomfortable. He stared at the old man not sure what to make of the encounter.

“How do you know where I’m headed?” he finally asked.

“I know that place, under the bridge.” The old man continued.  “You won’t find what you’re really looking for out there. Running away isn’t the answer.”

Now the young man paused.

How did this old man know that he was going to that “homeless place” where he might make it through the night?

Maybe if he was lucky someone would share their Christmas “Spirits” with him.

And how did this old man know that he was running away?

The old man smiled knowingly and said. “I’ve been young and now I am old…but I have never seen God’s children forsaken”… The old man talked so strange…and yet he was most compelling.

“I know a place.  A place where you can get a hot bowl of homemade soup, and a good night’s sleep.”

“Follow me,” the old man continued.

"Twas the Night Before Christmas" 3 - Carrie  ©

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” 3 – Carrie  ©

The old man began to make his way through the deep drifts of snow. The young man hesitated but only for a second or two. “Man…what do I have to lose,” he mumbled.

He began to follow in the old man’s footsteps.

After some time, the old man stopped at a building with a sign that read, “The Welcome Home Centre”.  He turned to the young man. “They will take care of you.  You can stay as long as you wish.” Then he paused, looked the boy in the eyes and added, “God loves you, you know. He’s got plans for you”.

The young man did not know what to think. No one had ever talked to him like this before.

They stood in silence and waited.

Eventually a pleasant sort of man answered the knock on the door. The young man’s last bit of resistance melted away as he breathed in a blast of warm fragrant air. He smelled something wonderful.

“Come in… welcome,” the man said sincerely.

“I…ah..need a place to hang till this storm’s over,” the young man said, hesitantly.

“You’ve come to the right place then,” came the reassuring answer.

The young man sighed.

He turned and started to thank the old man but no one was there.

“That old man, who was here with me. He brought me here. He was just here,” the bewildered young man exclaimed .

“I didn’t see anybody but you, lad,” came the answer.

“But he was here, I followed him here. He told me about you…he knew stuff about me…he…”

Bewildered, the young man took one last look out into the white night. He saw only lonely empty  streets and a fast disappearing, single set of footprints, that lead to The Welcome Home’s front porch.

Putting a kind hand on the young man’s shoulder the man at the door said, “It’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened son. “I do believe you.  Come…I want to hear all about it.”

It’s now midnight and that brings our 2010 Christmas eve story to an end.

Yes, this young man’s life was changed forever that Christmas eve.

What will this Christmas bring you?

Will you let God’s love bring you a miracle this Christmas?

I wish for you, a life changing kind of Christmas.

One that you will remember forever because it was…well…life changing.

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As I was working on one of my latest art pieces, I found myself smiling.

This was often followed by a soft sigh.

Why? My lightening fast mind kicked in and reminded me that it’s at these moments that my body produces significant amounts of DMAE.

That I was involuntarily producing an anti-aging hormone brought another smile to my face.

Yes, the anti-aging DMAE hormone we all long for…  at least those of us who care. Those who realize we are coming apart at the seams… somewhat.

Before I get on to the DMAE anti-aging – easy to acquire youth hormone… let me add an aside.

A big Thank you to my faithful readers… those who’ve checked in on my site during the summer/fall months.

My usual, at least once a month post, dragged out to be every other month… but I have not forgotten you.

That darn organic garden just took over…weeds and all.

Some important tasks, like blogging, were left for a another day.

Actually I loved the gardening – even the weeding.

A little piece of heaven in my otherwise whirlwind of a world. Anyone know what I’m talking about?

Well, now that ‘nother day is here.

I’ve put the garden to bed for the winter and it’s time to get back into things like blogging and painting.

What makes me smile…

“Milking Rosie”

The story behind Milking  Rosie.

As a child, I would visit my grandparents’ farm on a daily basis. I especially loved to hang around at milking time.

One aunt would often conscript me to hold the cow’s tail to keep it from swatting her in the face.  That tail had a nasty sting as I soon discovered.

Cats and their kittens came out of the barnwork, and waited patiently for a squirt of warm milk. They got pretty good at catching the stream.

Milking Rosie sketch - (oil painting to follow) Carrie ©

Etched in my memory, this experience always brings a smile to my face – the kind of smile that supposedly  immediately increases the levels of DMAE in your body. (anti-aging !!!)

Happy thoughts, laughter, giggles, anything that makes you sign and go ‘ahh.

Think on these things and your internal fountain of youth will begin to bubble and then pour.

(Check out my post on “God Gave Me Laughter” for more on what happy thoughts can do for you.)

https://nuggetsofgold.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/god-gave-me-laughter/

In my research, I discovered that anchovies, wild salmon (not farmed) and sardines contain DMAE.

Rosie, was a Jersey cow.  Jersey cows are quite beautiful, I think.

Anyone who has met a Jersey will be captivated by their eyes. Big, beautiful, soft, and gentle with thick, long and curly eye lashes. (to die for eyes)

Jersey cows produce much more cream than other cows. Rosie gave us plenty of rich cream to turn into butter.

Making butter the way we did, was the perfect arm muscle toner/builder. (another sure fire way to up your DMAE – good healthy exercise)

Today we set aside time to lift weights and count to 10 or 20. Back then we had to shake the container until we had butter. A lot longer than a count to 10 or 20.

My thought for the day – seek out those things that make you smile and make some butter.

As for me, I’m planning to have several more “smile” moments thoughout the day.

And, I think I’ll have Wild Pacific Salmon for dinner…again.

As for making the butter…perhaps tomorrow.

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Panda Bear, pencil sketch - Carrie ©

True to my word, I searched my closet for photos of my Newfoundland dogs.

Our two  Newfies, Panda Bear and Dandie Lion,  are called Landseers (Black and White). The Landseer was named after an English painter, sir Edwin Henry Landseer.

For more of Edwin Henry Landseer’s paintings check out the Encore Editions site where I found this painting. Delightful artwork. Encore Editions

Called “Newfoundland and Woodchuck”

“Their big head and kind, gentle expression makes them very adorable and dignified”, as my daughter put it.

Beautiful, dignified, and true to their nature, these dogs were every bit a Newfoundland at heart. How we loved our Newfies.

Panda Bear and Dandie Lion playing soccer - Carrie ©

Panda Bear and Dandie Lion, Someone has a ball! - Carrie ©

Playing in the Back Yard with our son - Carrie ©

I’ve decided to dedicate a page to Panda and Dandie.

A  page where I get to tell stories about all my furry and feathered friends.

I’ll be sure to sneak in a bit of informative stuff as well.

You’ll find these animal stories here: Panda and Dandie’s page

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The tasty, nutritious asparagus falls under the category of super foods in my books.

Asparagus photo

Here’s what I learned about asparagus.

Asparagus is:

* Rich in proteins

* High in fibre low in carbohydrates and calories

* An excellent source of vitamin K, folate, vitamin C and A as well as many other minerals and B vitamins.

* Calcium and magnesium are found in the idea ratio of 2:1.

* Good for your heart

* Good for your gastrointestinal tract and colon

* Good food to help with depression

* Considered a diuretic

* Has anti-inflammatory effects

* Helps detoxify the body

* Good for nursing mothers – stimulates milk production

* Has anti-fungal and antiviral qualities

* Helps prevent bladder and urinary track infections

* Great for your capillaries – helps with preventing bruising and varicose veins

* Suppose to help stop hair loss

Almost too good to be true? That is an impressive list. And that’s not all I found. I left plenty of the supposed health benefits out – because it did sound just a bit too good to be true and would require that I spend a lot more time researching.

Having said that, I think we’ve got the picture.

How to best prepare asparagus. Lightly steamed is the most nutritious. This only takes a few minutes so don’t walk away from the stove. Use glass or stainless steel pots. When done, the stems should be a bright green color and still have a crispness to them. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt or Mrs. Dash and serve with a meal – or eat it all by itself as a snack.

Asparagus is a member of the lily family. Other vegetables in the lily family include leek, onions, and garlic.

I think you would agree that Asparagus is an excellent food to incorporate into your diet on a regular basis. Sometimes people avoid eating asparagus because of the smell excreted in the urine subsequent to ingestion. An amino acid called asparagine found in abundance in asparagus, is the reason behind this. Asparagine helps the body to cleanse itself of waste material.

A couple of good resources:

http://bit.ly/m2Bhv

http://bit.ly/2VrK7x

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation.

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I have had a beautiful purple flowering Lavender plant growing in my little garden. To my chagrin – the harsh winter killed most of it and I am left with but a small, although healthy looking shoot. I am nurturing it in hopes that it will have a speedy come back.

Here’s why.

Lavender is not only pleasant to look at, it is soothing to the soul and healing to the body.

Let me tell you the ways I love Lavender.

Lavender and Roses - Carrie

Lavender and Roses Carrie ©

I love Lavender for:

1.    Its sweet aroma.

I use it as a natural perfume.
One drop of Lavender oil behind the ear is all it takes.

I use it as an air freshener.

A few drops of Lavender in a spritz bottle makes a great air freshener. I also have a little container of dried flowers in my house at all times. Just pinch a few in your fingers and inhale. You’ll feel your body relax.

Put flowers into a cotton pouch, add a little embroidery if you are so inclined, and squeeze and sniff.

2.    Its soothing properties.
I use a drop on the pillow at night.

Lavender is calming to the heart, relieves anxiety and soothes the nervous system. Soon, sleep comes sweetly.

3.    Its culinary uses.
I use it in tea and put it in salad.

Lavender makes a great addition to a cup of tea or even salad.
For a pot of tea use about 1 heaping Tbsp. of the Lavender flowers.
(fresh or dried)

For Salad, sprinkle as desired.

Lavender is has been used to aid the digestion since ancient times.

4.    Its healing properties.
I use it for healthy skin.

Add a few drops of Lavender oil to your bath. It will lift your spirit, calm the body and heal the skin.

Add a few drops of the oil to your all natural body lotion. From ancient times Lavender was used for it’s healing, antiseptic properties.

Lavender is often used to treat burns and wounds. Keep a spritz bottle of water with a few drops of Lavender oil added, in your beach bag. Spray lavishly onto skin after spending time in the sun. On hot days, I spritz to keep cool.

Cotten pouch containing dried Lavender

Here is MY “squeeze and sniff” Lavender pouch.

Notice the embroidery. No, I didn’t make this one.  This was a gift from a friend. I make very good use of it.

My husband is hooked on Lavender too. Not to be outdone, he took a sock, filled it with dried  flowers and put it into his car. Talk about smelly socks.

My husband's Lavender pouch

My husband's Lavender "squeeze and sniff" pouch

And… a few more interesting pieces of information:

Did you know that Lavender is known as a love potion?

Apparently, in Roman times “women hung Lavender next to their beds to incite the passions.”

http://www.lavenderenchantment.com/History_Lore/history.htm

Did you know that Lavender is mentioned in the Bible?

Lavender is mentioned many times in the Bible. In ancient Greece, Lavender was called “nardus,” “nard,” or “spikenard” (named for the Syrian city of Naarda) and was used as a cure for everything from insomnia and aching backs to insanity.”
http://www.auracacia.com/auracacia/aclearn/features/lavender.html

Several  passages in the Christian Bible which mention Lavender (spikenard):

Song of Solomon (Canticles) 1:12

“While the king is at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance.”

Song of Solomon 4:13, 14

(King Solomon talking about the love of his life)

“Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with pleasant fruits, fragrant henna and spikenard… spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices.”

If you are a romantic at heart, the book of Song of Solomon is a must read book.

Mark 14:3
“…And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper as He (Jesus) sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenards. And she broke the flask and poured it on His head…”

(This woman is showing honor to Jesus by giving him her most costly possession)

John 12:3
“…Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil…”

(Here Mary gives the very best she has to Jesus, showing Him honor)

Here’s another good site to visit. Very nicely done.

http://www.healthmad.com/Alternative/10-Uses-for-Lavender.47948

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Ginger Root, used as an ancient remedy for upset stomach, indigestion, and motion sickness, is more than just any spice.

When used for motion sickness, I have found it to be every bit as effective as Gravol,  without leaving me groggy, wanting to sleep the day away.

I discovered that every Cruise Ship Kitchen has fresh Ginger available for those who don’t have their sea legs.

Ginger is also a wonderful food additive. A little Ginger spice goes well with chicken or stir fry, makes a great, rich tasting cookie, and a zesty cup of tea.

To make the zesty cup of tea, I take a Tbsp. of fresh shredded Ginger, add to boiling water, and add a little honey. Sometimes I add juice from a real lemon. (great if you’re fighting a cold)

I think everyone agrees – there’s nothing like freshly home baked cookies.

My mother used to make this  Ginger Cookie recipe.

If you've been at that computer for more than 3 hours, you need to take a break! Go bake some cookies.

If you've been at that computer for more than 3 hours, you need to take a break! Maybe go bake some cookies.

_

Ginger has been used to cleanse the body of toxins. One way it  will do this is by expelling toxins through the skin, so… if you find yourself breaking out in a light sweat after drinking your zesty tea, that’s a good thing.

If you are PMS-ing and have one of those headaches try a cup of Ginger tea. This has worked for me many a time. Add to that a neck and shoulder massage, and the chances are you will soon be feeling much better.

Some studies suggest that Ginger is effective as an alternative therapy for Osteoarthritis.

AND...Ginger is also used as an aphrodisiac. There’s more…

You might find these sites helpful (information includes recommended dosages and restrictions)

http://www.wellnesswithrose.com/77superfoods/freereport.html

http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/benefits-of-ginger-root-4366.html

http://aafp.org (American Academy of Family Physicians)

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation

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Why is Apple Cider Vinegar known as the wonder vinegar?

We’re talking about the brown colored, unfiltered, unpasteurized “with Mother” Apple Cider Vinegar.

The clear version will not have any of the benefits listed below.

It ‘s loaded with nutrients; vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and dietary fiber (pectin).

In my research on this Wonder Vinegar I came across some very good reasons to add this my diet.

My Top 11 good reasons to use Apple Cider Vinegar “with Mother”

1. Helps to reduce cholesterol and regulate blood pressure

2. Contains Malic acid which helps to fight fungus and bacterial infections

3. Dissolves Uric Acid (cause of painful joints and gout)

4. Helps indigestion and Acid Reflux

5. Helps in weigh reduction and obesity

6. Helps to relieve constipation or diarreha

7. Helps the body use calcium and supports good bone health

8. Is low in sodium and fat

9. It is loaded with nutients

10. Is great to use for marinating meat, fish, chicken

11. Is absolutely wonderful used in home made salad dressing

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR & EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Salad Dressing Recipe

11/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 lemon – juice

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp honey

1/2 tsp mustard

2 tbsp mixed dried herbs

(we use herbs like, basil, rosemary, dill, chives, dried onion bits, thyme, sage, parsley)

2 – 3 cloves fresh garlic chopped

a few drops of hot red pepper sauce

Optional:         add 2 tbsp. capers

or 2 tbsp. sundried tomatoes.    Sometimes we add both.

mix and let stand for a few hours. keep in the fridge.

enjoy on salad, potatoes, veggies, dumplings,  pasta and rice.

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