Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How I avoided knee replacement surgery

I feel impressed to share this tidbit, though I realize it is out of the norm for this blog.

Some years ago I underwent two different knee surgeries: one for a torn ACL on my right knee, and a torn meniscus on my left knee. Neither knee have been the same since my surgeries. In fact, for a while I was in so much pain from inflammation that I was relying on Lortab to help me sleep. I found it quite odd that the pain bothered me worse at night, while I slept, than during the day. The doctor told me this was probably due to the messaging action of everyday movement keeping the swelling down, but when it became immobile the swelling, thus pain became worse. His solution was to keep me on pain meds and when that became unbearable, he recommended a partial knee replacement. Needless to say, I didn't like that answer.

On a whim, or perhaps it was inspiration--someone upstairs looking after me--I decided to try one of the home remedies mother had talked about. My mother had been involved, for as long as I could remember, in natural healing. I had inherited at her passing, a collection of her herbs and tonics. The one I felt impressed to take for my knee was a neutralizer by the Miracle II company.

I mixed this small packet of minerals in a gallon of purified water and took about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of it a day. I was blown away when about a week later my knee pain went away. I could sleep at night without taking pain meds. After my first gallon of neutralizer was consumed, I quit taking it. About a week later my knee started hurting again. So I resumed its consumption.

Last week I ran out of the neutralizer again, and low and behold, my knee started hurting again. It's too consistent to be a coincidence. I swear by the stuff. If any of you out there with knee pain want to look into it further, her is a link to the Miracle II site. Or you could do a google search on it, as many places sell MIRACLE II NEUTRALIZER.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to make Homemade Honey Vanilla Yogurt

I decided to take a diversion on my blog from writing this week and share with you a recipe I've developed over the past few months. Last September I realized I was buying vanilla yogurt almost every time I went into the supermarket. (I love to eat it for breakfast along with fresh fruit on my homemade whole wheat waffles). So I  tried a few recipes that I found on line, added some things and subtracted other things, coming up with a recipe that I liked. I gave homemade yogurt away for Christmas, along with my recipe. All of the recipients loved it.

Since I like and value you, my readers, I think it's fitting that I share my recipe with you and encourage you to make some for your self. It's healthy, tasty, and easy. You just need a candy thermometer, a good sauce pan, an oven that can maintain a temperature of 100 degrees, and the following ingredients:

4 cups of fresh milk
1/3 cup powdered milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch.
Mix together in a heavy sauce pan with a wire whisk.
Turn the burner to low-medium low and let the milk slowly rise in temperature up to 170 degrees, but DO NOT let the milk come to a boil. Stir occasionally to prevent a film sticking to the bottom of the pan.

When the milk mixture reaches 170, remove from heat and stir in:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Let the mixture cool down to between 130 and 120 degrees and add:
1 teaspoon instant pectin (for making freezer jams)
2 tablespoons sugar
(mix the two above ingredients together first to aid in the distribution of the pectin).

When the mixture reaches a temperature between 112 and 108, add:
1/2 cup of yogurt starter. (Use plain or vanilla. You can reserve a 1/2 cup from your previous batch of yogurt).

Mix well with wire whisk. Strain and pour into containers. I like to use Pyrex bowls that come with lids, but I have found that used yogurt containers work, as long as they have snap on lids.

Put the lids on the containers and place in a pre-heated 100 degree oven for 6 to 8 hours. Turn off the heat and let remain in the oven for another 2 to 6 hours, depending on how strong you want the yogurt flavor.

Refrigerate and enjoy.

Friday, January 11, 2013

What do you do on a SNOW DAY?

A blanket of white
after a quiet night
makes me want to write.
So that's what I'll do,
after this quick post to you.
Sorry, my words are so few,
but I want to write.

Okay, so my blog is writing. But it's not helping me finish my edits on my new book that's coming out in a few months, or work on my new story idea. I don't know how some of those authors do it; write religiously each week in their blog, be on facebook every day, and chat in all of their yahoo groups, plus pump out their necessary pages/edits to be a successful author? If I had my way, I'd bow out of social media--it's so time consuming. But I know that it's essential in promoting one's books.

Oh, well, that's where balance comes in.

How do you keep a balance between social media and the things you NEED to do?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

GOALS: he who shoots for nothing will surely hit

     A new year is before us. How exciting: a blank slate just waiting for us to fill it with experiences and creations. But nothing of substance will happen without planning. In the words of one of my high school teachers, "He who shoots for nothing with surely hit." GOALS. They are essential in a satisfying life.

     Writing my goals down helps me to focus on them better. I've decided to take that process a step further this year and write them in my blog--that way I'll have a permanent copy, (I always misplace things), plus I'll be motivated to work on them harder because now I'll be accountable to my readers.

     What are some of your goals for the upcoming year?
      Here are mine:

*Finish editing/polishing my middle-grade novel, Tree Boy by mid-February, begin the querying process and find an agent by the end of the year.

*Prepare my upper middle grade/YA novel, Literary Loom for self publication and release it by the end of April.

*Create a school-visit presentation focusing on the importance of historical fiction using puppets and       schedule some visits before the end of the school year to promote Literary Loom and Promises, (last year's publication).

*Begin editing of my NaNoWriMo novel (The second in the Tree Boy series), and prepare it to submit to my online critique group by the end of January when they will have finished with the first Tree Boy book.

*Interview Karin Adams (WWII East Germany survivor), capture her story, outline it, and begin writing the companion book to I Couldn't Serve Hitler before my dystopic novel, Bonded will be finished with my critique group and I will need another book to bring. (March to April). Put Bonded on the back burner for a while, as I need to make some major changes and I feel it will benefit both me and the manuscript by resting for some time.

*Complete historical research on Galelio, Newton, and Einstien for my second book in the Literary Loom series and begin writing it. (Summer)

*Make final edits as per Covenant Communication's instructions and prepare my I Couldn't Serve Hitler manuscript for its early 2014 publication.

*Figure out how to format my picture book, Hunter and upload it for sale as an e-book by mid-year.

*Complete two illustrations/pages per month for my next picture book, Crook and Nanny.

*Write, write, write. (Finish at least one of the two novels I will start this year, and get the other one close).