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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Shout Out to our Fabulous Medical Teams...

Sometimes our doctors, nurses and staff go unrecognized for the amazing, heartbreaking, compassionate job they do...

love this story from The MetaPicture:

These are the Little Things that Make

"Meet 9-year old Joshua.  He recently had to go in for surgery and was so nervous that he brought along his stuffed wolf.  The wolf had a tear in its leg, so Joshua asked if his doctor could do a wolf surgery too.  His parents said "no."

But when they walked into the recovery room to see their son, they discovered the little wolf laying next to him; this time, with a surgical mask, a little cast, and surgical quality sutures in his leg.

We think the entire surgical staff deserves some serious respect and love for this act of kindness."

I simply adore this.

Thank you to all our doctors and nurses and technicians and medical teams who minister over us,
this cancer journey we find ourselves on is not easy.
Your tender touch, healing words and solidarity in the fight
has made a Huge Difference.

You are a Gift!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Give Me a Sign...

Just because they made me laugh... And today, I needed a laugh!  Enjoy!

Looking on the lighter side today,

My Love,

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Game Changer...

Humor me... Just for a moment or two...

This UCLA study is worth mentioning.  And no, it doesn't really have anything to do with pancreatic cancer.  Not really.

But, it is so important.  And you need to hear this...

UCLA has developed a program that demonstrates the very real possibility of reversing memory loss in patients with a Non-Drug approach.

Did you hear that?  No Drugs...

It is back to the Basics.  Reclaiming our lives, and our memories, by eating right, sleeping well and exercising with intention.

For many of us, it is a complete Lifestyle Change.

This concept is nothing new... We have talked about it before...

Feeding the Disease or Fighting It

White Crack... the Sugar Connection

The Lifestyle Change that Saved this Pancreatic Cancer Patient

One Tiny Apricot Kernel

Over and over we see the dangers in a Western diet so rich in saturated fats, processed foods and unhealthy sugar levels.  For an eye-opening article on our sugar addiction, you might want to check out this article, What Happens to your Brain on Sugar... (beware, it's not pretty!)

Maybe Hippocrates had it right so many centuries ago... "let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."

The study that UCLA presented took a decisive non-drug approach to affect change in the life of alzheimer patients.  And that's where the rubber meets the road.  For who among us like to work that hard when we could just take a pill?

The UCLA protocol is a rather complex, 36-point therapeutic personalized program involving comprehensive changes in diet, brain stimulation, exercise, optimizing restful sleep, and specific vitamin and mineral supplementation among others.

The dietary changes involved removing all processed food, gluten and simple carbohydrates (think sugar) from the diet and eating a healthy variety of raw fruits, vegetables,fish, grains and nuts.  And let's just be honest... that kind of lifestyle change is daunting.  It's hard.  It seems impossible.

But what if that hard work and discipline could give you your life back?

What if changing our diets and turning back to natural, whole foods makes the difference in how our bodies age?

And what if that change strengthens our immune response and protects us from other chronic diseases, including heart disease and many cancers...

As I said, the idea is hardly new.   As Quartz explains, "Researchers have already shown that multi-faceted, comprehensive lifestyle interventions can significantly improve outcomes in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension.  But it's difficult for these approaches to gain traction for two reasons. First, these protocols are more challenging than simply taking a pill at bedtime.  Patients need ongoing education, counseling and support to effect meaningful change.  And second, the pharmaceutical mode of treatment is deeply embedded within our current medical system.  Insurance companies are set up to pay for medication, not lifestyle change; and physicians are taught pharmacology, not nutrition."

Food for thought... literally!

But in the fight for our lives, I think it's a lifestyle change that is very, very worthwhile.

I'm in... Anyone else??

Love you,

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Here Comes the Sun!

Y'all!  We have finished the Biggest DIY project we've ever tackled... and I mean HUGE!

This winter past we (meaning mostly the farmer) put together our solar off-grid power system.

Amazing and Awesome in scope... We are running on the sun, powering up everything from the well pump to this very computer I am typing on.

It is like magic!

And, of course, there are pictures... you expected that, yes?!

So, in a somewhat orderly fashion, here is the step by step process we went through to power up the lake place... 

After much research and lots of mulling the options over, we decided to go with Iron Edison for our complete off-grid kit.  The batteries and solar panels were delivered by freight truck  and that's when our work began.

Each box contained the cells for our 48 volt battery bank, with each cell weighing close to 80lbs... these batteries are seriously heavy duty!

We set the battery bank up inside our shop container and then turned our attention to the meat of this project... the solar panel array...

First came the nuts and bolts, setting up the ground mount system for the panels, which meant bringing out the post hole digger... love that little Kubota tractor, it made quick work out of the digging... 

The bigger job was making sure we set the rack up facing true south, so that the solar panels will catch the most sun.  We wrangled with that compass more than was reasonable, that's for sure!

Pipe cutting and setting was the next step...

Finally... Finally!  
Time to set the solar panels...

The grid was complete with 18 panels, room on the top for another row if we decide to expand.

We might have given a whoop or two when that last panel was finally attached... Exhausted but so excited... couldn't wait to harness the power of that Texas sun!  And to be honest, just a little scared it wouldn't work and then what??? !!!  (Can't even go there...)

It took roughly a week of steady work to get from the freight truck delivery to this point.
But we were far from finished...

Next step was connecting the solar panel grid to the battery bank.
We chose to run the electric cables underground as much as possible...

Once the cable was run up to the container, we fed it through pvc pipe up to the battery bank and set up the rather complex inverter and solar charge controllers. The Farmer could give lectures on amps and charge and carrying loads...(this is where you tell your children that math and science are actually very important, so pay attention and do your homework!)

With fingers and toes crossed we flipped the switch and...

We Had Lights!!!

And Heat and Air-Condtioning!

As well as a myriad of assorted and sundry electric appliances!

And, maybe best of all, We had our first brewed cup of Coffee!!
All from the power of that gorgeous Texas sun...
It's like magic I tell you!!

Of course, this project had it's share of goofs and bloopers... nothing goes as smoothly as you imagine it!

One of the solar panels had a rough trip on the freight truck...

Ouch!  Not what we wanted to see...
Thankfully, Iron Edison quickly replaced it at no charge to us!

Another major snafu was a little bit bigger hiccup.
The first time we ran the A/C, the load drained the batteries down in just several hours,
to the point that it shut the whole system down!

We were like, Yikes!
It gets hot here in Texas...
A/C is not just a luxury,
it's a mandatory utility!

With hearts sinking, we feared that our 48 volt Battery Bank
was not going to be sufficient to power us thru the rising temps of summer,
let alone the brutal dog days of a Texas August!

A call to our favorite technician at Iron Edison, helped alleviate our concerns.
With the patience of a saint, Rhodes talked Leroy through troubleshooting the parameters on the system and found that it had been pre-set at the factory for wind-power rather than solar-power.

Obviously, that wasn't going to work!
Parameters were re-set and we were off and running!

From sunrise to sunset,
the sun brings renewed power and life to our little country homestead.

It is a simple joy and blessing indeed!
God is good,
and we are graced with His sunny smile today...

With bended knee and a happy heart,
thanksgiving pours,
My Love, Always,