Thursday, May 28, 2009

Okay, how many of you have ever heard of sealing teeth? I have never heard of this and I can't imagine that it's been around that long. Anyway, here's what Wikipedia has to say about it:

Dental sealants
are a dental treatment consisting of applying a plastic material to one or more teeth, for the intended purpose of preventing dental caries (cavities) or other forms of tooth decay.
Since the 1970s, in the United States, the incidence of tooth decay on the smooth surfaces of teeth has declined, in part because of fluoridation becoming widespread in public water supplies as well as improved dental hygiene among the public. However, because the teeth in the back of the mouth (molars and premolars) have numerous pits and fissures on their biting surfaces, certain areas of these teeth are often difficult to clean even with vigorous tooth-brushing. To remedy this, research into dental sealants began in the 1960s and by the early 1970s, the first generation of sealants became available and were approved by the FDA.

Dental sealants are usually applied in a dentist's office. The dentist, dental hygienist or assistant first cleans and dries the tooth to be treated, then paints a thin layer of liquid plastic material on the pits and fissures of the tooth. After application of the plastic liquid, blue spectrum natural light is shone on the applied material for a few seconds to cure the plastic. Alternatively, some brands of sealants self-cure via a chemical process.

After curing, the plastic becomes a hard, thin layer covering the treated portions of the tooth. Despite the incredible pressures effected on teeth during chewing each day, dental sealants may remain effective for five years or longer, although sealants do wear naturally and may become damaged over time. Bacteria and food particles may eventually become entrapped under the dental sealants, and can thus cause decay in the very teeth intended to be protected.

Okay, so they've been around for thirty years and I am just now hearing about them? Perhaps I've just not been paying attention but boy I am now. Just think, to reduce the hassle of making sure your children eat healthy food and nagging them to brush their teeth you can just take them to your dentist and have their teeth coated with plastic! Isn't technology wonderful?
I'm not intending to attack anyone's parenting decisions but who in their right mind thinks that this is the superior dental hygiene choice?
It's been demonstrated over and over and over that teeth do remineralize. And it's been demonstrated over and over that by never starting your children on refined flour and sugar products you can prevent cavities. Despite what the dentists and the FDA would have you believe, dental caries are NOT caused by leaving food on your teeth. Many "primitive" peoples never brushed their teeth, let alone set foot in a dental office and yet their incidences of dental caries is remarkably low. I found a copy of Dr. Weston Price's book, "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" online and I've been relishing reading it.
This article also mentions that cavities are going down due to the widespread fluoridation of water sources but that's not true. I don't have all my information on fluoride right here so y'all will have to investigate that for yourself.

Bottom line: Feed your children the right food. Instead of an Oreo, go for an organic, soaked oatmeal cookie. They taste way better than nasty Oreo's and they won't drain your child's body of the minerals it needs to develop properly. Instead of Mac and Cheese from a box, make it from scratch with organic, brown rice pasta. My girls get so excited when I make "cheese noodles" from scratch. Instead of sugary soda, make kefir soda. No GMO's, no sugar and probiotics all rolled into one tasty package.
Making parenting decisions that sacrifice the health and safety of your children for your own convenience is not the right way to parent. I can only hope that when the time comes for me to start making nutrition choices for my children that I'll make the right ones and not take the easy way out.

~Pam

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sourdough Success!

My first Real Food Wednesday post!
Anyone else struggle with making an authentic sourdough loaf of bread? I mean real sourdough, not yeast bread, flavored with something sour. I made an authentic Alaskan sourdough starter last year and have managed to make maybe six loaves with it. My biggest struggle is with making a high loaf without the incredibly tangy flavor. The longer you leave sourdough to rise, the more sour it is. Well, the best loaf I ever managed, in terms of height, was after a 48 hour rise and it was nearly inedible. We ate it with soup the day I made it but it would be worthless as a sandwich bread and was sour enough to cause a pucker. Well, I believe I've stumbled upon a good compromise loaf. The recipe is for a soaked flour bread, (to reduce phytic acid) but I can use my sourdough starter as the soaking medium. I diluted the starter as the recipe called for and left it in the bread machine to soak overnight. When I got ready to put the rest of it together this morning I discovered that it had risen a little while not getting very sour at all. Don't get me wrong, I love sourdough bread, just not so sour that you pucker when you eat it. I figure, a twelve hour rise is the most that I want and if I can get the phytic acid reduced before hand and then use yeast to assist the wild yeasts I'm gonna go for it. I'm not sure how I can get the true sourdough that I want but in the meantime this is a good compromise.

I started with fresh ground wheat (hard red):


I didn't manage to get a picture of the mess I made when I forgot the grinder was running and it overflowed.

Next, I mixed my starter, the flour, maple syrup and water in the bread machine:

This takes a lot of the work out of it.The recipe uses a Bosch. I think I'll talk my husband into getting me one for my birthday... As soon as I get a husband that is, since I'll never finagle one out of my parents.

Then I left it to soak overnight and in the morning, this was what I found:


I activated the yeast in a small bowl with water and honey:


I had to knead the yeast mixture, the ascorbic acid (dough enhancer) and the salt in by hand since the bread machine just couldn't break through the gluten cloak that had already formed. This was what it looked like when I put it in the machine to rise again before I baked it:

I can't get a good picture of what it looked like before I baked so y'all will have to use your imaginations!

A nice, fresh, loaf of bread!:
I went to the neighbor's for an hour and a half so it got a little dark.

I'm really impressed with this brand of yeast. It's made by Rapunzel, the same company that makes Rapadura, unrefined sugar. I like that it's organic, so no GMOs and they put a lot of it in the packet because they can't supercharge it in the laboratory. It's $1.50 a packet so it's not a great deal and I'm going to keep working on making a pure sourdough loaf. In the meantime it's a great way to make sure my family has healthy bread to eat.

We cut into the loaf as soon as we could cause I was a little late getting dinner on the table. It is wonderfully light (for wheat sourdough) and has that marvelous sour tang but it's not so overwhelming, even after 12 hours. The bread machine is awesome cause I can turn on the bake cycle for ten seconds or so and then turn it off to make it warmer in the machine. It took about three hours for the bread to rise as high as it did and I might have let it go a little more if I'd been home. For those of you who want the recipe here it is:

In you bread machine start with-

1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups water
5 1/2 cups of ground flour (you can replace 1 or 2 cups with unbleached white flour for a lighter end result)
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup coconut oil, butter or palm oil, melted

Work it together using the dough setting then cover the "pan" with plastic wrap, close the lid and let it sit for 12-24 hours.

After soaking, activate the yeast by combining:

1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp honey
1 packet organic yeast

After activating the yeast, combine it with the soaked flour and add the remaining ingredients:

3/4 Tbsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ascorbic acid (I used homeopathic vitamin c tablets)
1 cup unbleached white flour, if necessary (usually not necessary and wasn't for me)
Sunflower seeds, if desired

I had to knead for about ten minutes to get everything mixed into the dough. When it was done I rolled it into a ball and put it back in the machine. Turn the machine to 'bake' for about ten seconds. Don't walk away and forget it or you'll end up with a brick!! Let the dough rise until double then turn the machine on to bake and walk away. I had to cover the dough while it was soaking and rising with plastic wrap because the machine doesn't seal. The bread can't rise if there's a crust on top. Slather on a thick layer of organic (cause I can't get grass-fed right now) butter and munch away!!

Enjoy,
~Pam

Friday, May 15, 2009

FIGHT BACK FRIDAY!!!!

I've been meaning to do a post for Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays Blog Carnival for some time and I finally know exactly what I want to post about.
Last year our supply of raw milk dried up and I don't believe they have cows anymore so I had to improvise. Her name is Bonnie and her first attempt at calf-making will be in July so hopefully, we'll have our own supply of milk around April 2010.


Our turkey's were not pastured, technically, but they were not sheltered from the elements, bugs or grass either. Having spent the last six weeks of his life on a soy-free diet, this bad boy was delicious. I am working on building a one acre bird yard so they can truly be pastured.

The pigs are being temporarily housed with us but it is a wonderful learning opportunity and I have asked for the lard when they are slaughtered. We are going to do pigs later, when we have a large parcel that we can let them roam around on.

The eggs ($3 a doz.) are soy free, and summer pastured, laid about 40 miles from us. I think it's worth it! And during the winter the yolks were as orange and tall as they ever were in the summer so I know those hens have access to lots of good quality hay. Can you spot the Aracauna egg?



This journey has been a long one, full of pit-falls and setbacks but I truly believe I'm on the right track of optimal nutrition for my family. I am learning to avoid sounding preachy while still getting my message across to those I care about. And the best lesson I have learned, as my pastor always says, is always demand proof! Never take someone else's word for things without doing the research yourself. You can't convince a group of people without being sure of your position.
Best of all I revel in my newfound identity as a FOOD RENEGADE!!!!!

~Pam

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Last service


Raisa Rea was laid to rest on Wednesday afternoon at the Spruce Grove Cemetery in Kasilof. It was a really poignant scene and would have been much less emotional if they hadn't invoked the protection and blessing of Elohim, the god of Kolab. Being as almost all of Kiki's family is mormon, it was perfectly natural for them to have "Aunt Linda" ask "god" to bless the service. Kiki's sister read some things about Raisa since not everybody in the family had even met her (it's a huge family). At the end she said she couldn't wait to be reunited with Raisa, "as we all will". At that point my heart cried out since I know for a fact that if anyone there is trusting in the mormon gospel then they are never going to see her again! But, then was not the time to say anything and hopefully, I can recognize witness opportunities as the Lord presents them. Anyway, here's some pictures from the service and what her burial site looks like now. Jaime, Ariana and I went to the cemetery after church to see it when nobody else was around.
Mom, signing the guestbook

A duty that no parent should have to perform.

This was Wednesday night with Jaime and Ariana



There was condensation on the inside of the glass and I'm kind of worried about the glass as the temperature fluctuates over the year because they sealed it with silicone. Hopefully, it'll be fine for many, many decades.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

For my Raisa



In a hospital bed, a child lays dying. Her parents beside her are huddled and afraid. Their confidence waning, they feel the end near and hug their baby close, hearts torn and souls aching.

Round her bed sight unseen, an army stands guard, angels of God sent to escort her Home.

Filling the room the enemy waits and watches as another young soul is snatched from their grasp.

“Forget her” he says “others are despairing. Get to it imps, there’s fear to sow and anger to reap .”

As the phalanx grows tighter, the imps melt away and the angels know her time draws near.

Her small chest rises and falls but does not rise once again and her young soul rises up, loosed from her coil.

As her parents realize their baby is gone, alive and whole she is taken by the hand.

Able to talk for the first time, she asks, “Where are we going? Is it someplace bad?”

“Never fear child, the Father awaits your arrival in Heaven.”

Her guardian steps forward, holding tight to her hand and all together they leave, for realms beyond.

Now I have no way to know what happened after she left us. I can only speculate, based on my faith in God’s word.

As she approached the Lord’s throne she looked to her right and saw a being of beauty, shining so bright.

When she stopped before the King, her guard left her side and she stood alone, so small in God’s sight.

The Adversary stepped up, opened his book with a smile, placed his finger inside and searched for her name.

As his finger moved down, his smile faded and he glared, her innocence sealed.

“I have nothing for her. You took her too soon. But I know of others, her family you see.

They’ll hate you, you know, for taking their baby. I’ll be there to feed it, with lies and deceit. They’ll never accept the sacrifice of your Son, I’ll see to it.”

“How soon you forget Lucifer that I have a witness down there. A whole group of people are my ambassadors to her family.

My peace I give them, their faith shines through.

In time they’ll see it and yearn for it too.

Try as you might, my children stand strong.

They’ll tell of my love and my faithfulness too and when they are ready her parents will join me.

It’s hard on a family when a young one comes Home but I’m still there with them, and I want them here too.”

The girl stood agape, her mind so expanded as she knew where she was, and to whom she’d been handed.

As her knees hit the floor, from her lips burst forth praises, she knew she was in Heaven before the Father and Jesus.

From his throne Christ stood and reached out His hand.

As she took it and stood, he smiled so kind and said those words, I yearn to find,

“Welcome Home ”




Thursday, May 7, 2009

Raisa's Memorial Service

This is the piano at the front of the church and the slideshow of Raisa's pictures that played before and after the service.


The spray from Tammy's. I really
like this arrangement.

This is the guestbook table at the back of the church.

Raisa's memorial was really nice. Tammy's Flowers did a really nice job with the flowers and Pastor made a really nice program and preached a really nice message. Since neither Kiki nor Tony are church-attending people it was short, and sweet and very, very to the point. Rest assured, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Raisa Alexandria Rea walks the streets of Heaven this night and the only way to join her is to repent of your sins and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. I've done exactly that, seven years ago. It makes me so sad to hear people leaving the repentance out of their salvation. Without repentance there can be NO salvation. You cannot "be nice to people" and earn your way into Heaven. God doesn't just turn his back on our sin, we must repent of it before the Father allows Jesus Christ to cover our sins. That is exactly tha attitude of one of Raisa's parents. 'Just be nice to people, and treat them how you want to be treated and don't worry about it', is what I hear all the time. India, poor India, knows that isn't true but she can't just pipe up and tell one of her parents that they're wrong. By that same token, the other parent was raised to belive that salvation repentance was a repetitive act and that a priest must absolve you of your sin before you can get to Heaven. Neither view is right and I've had discussions with both of them about this very subject. Neither is willing to accept the truth yet because that would mean that family they loved, that they thought were in Heaven, probably aren't. That's a hard pill to swallow for some. I know that some of my dearly departed family members are probably not going to be there when I get there but I have no way of knowing which ones so I assume none of my family is saved and attempt to share the gospel with them all. Really, the Lord is the only one who knows for sure who is one of his and who isn't but I can't assume anything other than all the people around me, without a solid testimony of God's saving grace in their own lives, is lost. It's a grave assumption but necessary for me to do my duty as a child of the King.
Well, here's some pictures of the service. The girls are coming tonight so I gotta hurry and wrap this up. Night!
~Pam


This is Raisa's vault/monument at the cemetery
It will have rocks all over it and even inside
of it when it's done.






Wednesday, May 6, 2009

India's all clear

The doctor gave her the all-clear yesterday. He didn't know that she had been kept out of school and his exact words were, "I don't understand why people keep freaking out about this MRSA thing". Tony didn't say what he was thinking and I have to commend him for that. "People freak out for good reason you jacka**". Needless to say, Tony will be finding another pediatrician to go to. That doctor is a member of the school board and even Mom's supervisor, a man with heavy interest and friendships on the school board, advised Mom to go to someone else. I've never been impressed with the man's medical knowledge since he couldn't tell a friend of mine had a broken collarbone. Even though she was skinny as a rail and the other one was undamaged, for comparisons. He isn't that great a doctor but he is an elder in the Mormon church in Soldotna so everyone in that organization goes to him for everything. I'm going to point Tony to the naturopath in Soldotna as an alternate doctor. I've been learning some things these past few days that really make me wish I had a time machine. And I think the best thing for India's compromised immune system is a doctor who understands how the body is supposed to work to heal itself and can help her rebuild her immune system instead of ignoring her body until something is wrong with it and then treating symptoms.

~Pam

Monday, May 4, 2009

I forgot to tell you guys that I'm making some oatmeal cookies tomorrow. I'm trying the soaked oatmeal recipe from Cheeseslave's blog (check the sidebar). She explains why oats need to be soaked much better than I can. I'll take pictures and post them for you guys to drool over.
Coming soon: Soaked chocolate chip cookies. I have dessert for church on Sunday.

And, I'm only five inches from my goal of waist-length hair. Only 20 inches till I'm at classic length, where I'll maintain and allow the thickness to catch up before I think about trying for thigh length or even ankle length. I still need to check my growth rate but I should be at my first goal by the end of summer since my hair grows like crazy then. I'd post a picture if I thought anybody but me really cared about my hair!

~Pam
Okay, Raisa's memorial service for the church is set for Thursday at 6 pm. I say it's for the church because her mother plans on having a ceremony at the cemetery when they bury her ashes and then a buffet at the Clamshell (the bar that Kiki works in) next week. I understand that the people who are there are her friends and most of her family feels quite comfortable in a bar but I have issues with that. Then again, most Kasilof memorials are held in a bar cause those are the social gathering places most of the year. And since I'm not the mother I really have no say so I'll just keep my mouth shut and try to figure a way out of it. I have no desire to be seen in the Clamshell but how can I bow out of Raisa's family's service for her? What a pickle! I'm sure the Lord will work it out for me so I leave it in His, more than capable, hands.
The girls go to Kiki tomorrow and India's follow-up appointment is tomorrow as well. Hopefully, the doctor will give her the all-clear and she can go back to school. She really misses it, strange as that sounds and it's really crazy having her around during the day. She is used to a routine and she has been quite the handful since that routine was disrupted. Last time I saw it, her spot was almost gone, it doesn't itch at all and the inflammation of the surrounding tissue was gone as well. Now all she has to do is heal from the band-aids and she'll be back to abnormal... I mean normal.
Phaedra's daddy is talking about cutting her hair. He is having trouble with the ends since she is tender-headed and it breaks his heart when he hurts her. I tried to talk him out of it since I'm pretty sure it has stopped growing for now and it will start to split if he cuts it. And then they have to keep on top of the trims or it gets really bad and you have to give it the big chop like what I did to India in February. The hairdressers (you know who you are) weren't coming down, weren't staying long enough or were too pregnant to cut hair these last few months so I couldn't get it done by a trained professional. Kiki was going to take her in and get a layer cut but never got around to it. India had gone from waist length hair to nearly armpit length in three months so I finally stood her in the bathroom and cut it off. It's grown back about an inch and a half since but it is much neater and not nearly so fragile. I might start doing search and destroy on them too.
Here's some more pictures for those of you who desire them. And Andrea, how is beauty school working with the no poo?

Night,
~Pam
This is the lake in the side yard. The culvert under the driveway has either collapsed or it is frozen still and this water has not drained. I'm hoping it sticks around until July so I can take the girls swimming in the backyard. It's still too cold even though the temps have been approaching 70 this last week.



I saw this raven in Anchorage last month. He landed on the car next to us and posed quite beautifully for this shot, but only this shot.


Phaedra Thyme, decked out and ready to sing her heart out!

About Me

We're a family that came to Alaska in shifts. We've been here since 1995 and don't plan to leave any time soon.

For Jaime

Comment from a SMART President

" The government that is big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have."

Thomas Jefferson President 1801-1809
Died on JULY 4th, 1826

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Learn to cook online. Traditional foods, sourdough, and more!