Camping Recap : Bay Furnace Campground : A Historical Monument to the Upper Peninsula’s Iron Ore Heritage with a Stunning view of the Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore Conveniently Located Directly Across the Highway from a Casino Where Your Destructive Gambling Addiction and the Dead Eyed Visage of Saint Nicholas are Beckoning You to Bet All Your Money on Black and Leave Your Wife and Child and Never Look Back.

Bay Furnace Campground : It was very neat and clean. The facilities were also freshly updated and well maintained. Plenty of beach to go around even if you don’t nab a spot directly on the lake shore. 5/5. We stayed here Labor Day weekend 2019 for our second anniversary!

Here are some photos :

Firstly : The furnace itself! Yes, this is named Bay Furnace because it is a bay where there was a giant blast furnace where they made pig iron. IMHO Furnace Bay makes more sense but what the hell do I know?

 

It was pretty odd to think that where we were camping was a developed town built up around a giant blast furnace at one point. Kind of humbling to think that in 200 years any evidence of my ass being here could just be wiped away. (This is called foreshadowing, kids. You may have to be a bit of uh inteleckshual to understand it.)

 

Campsite and Beach Views! That land mass across the water is Grand Island.

 

 

The following photos were taken along the beach just off of the Sand Point Marsh Trail where it connects with the North Country Trail.

Nap Time!

IMG_20190901_174107-EFFECTS

Post Nap Asshattery!

*Models Booty* *realizes it’s a video she’s taking*

“There’s something wrong with you. I’m normal.”

You’re normal?

“I’m normal, but there’s something wrong with you.”

What’s wrong with me?

“Well, you married me for one so that’s like the biggest mistake you could make.”

I see. What’s my second problem?

“YOUR FACE.”

And the look I was given after the video was taken and her phone got nabbed!

IMG_20190901_174339IMG_20190901_170705IMG_20190901_170738

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Crock-pot Low Carb and Low Sodium Vegan Ramon Noodle Soup

Attach0

After researching various recipes I decided to come up with my own version of vegan Ramon low sodium and low carb soup. Before I dive into the recipe I should explain why I make recipes like this. About three months ago a friend found out that his health needed some improvement. Per the doc he had to cut down on sodium and animal products. So, I offered to make him a dinner once a week that is vegan and low sodium. Since I eat low carb I also do my best to keep it low carb.

My first vegan Ramon noodle soup I followed a recipe I found online. For the Ramon pictured above I did my own thing. Sadly my Skinny Pasta was out of stock, but silver lining is I found another very good option for noodles called Smart Noodle by House Foods. They taste very good; slightly higher in carbs, but only by 2 carbs. Sodium is the same. I think I will likely use them again.

In all, I am very happy with how the recipe turned out. Per serving it was only 15 carbs and sodium was 180 mg. If you make this carbs and sodium will depend on the ingredients you use. Please keep in mind I made this to be spicier, so if you want it less spicy add less of the chili powder! If you like it super spicy add more chili. My friend loves spicy food so he added a little more spice to his bowl. Mine was more than

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Packages of Smart Noodles or Skinny Pasta
  • 1 Package of extra firm tofu
  • 4 Cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2-3 Minced fresh garlic cloves
  • 1/4 Cup shredded nappa cabbage
  • 1/4 Cup chopped carrots
  • 2 Medium turnips cut into small cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder + 1 table spoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle chili powder + 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon coconut amino soy sauce
  • 1 to 2 Teaspoon sea salt or kelp granules
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (Coconut, vegetable, etc.)

Instructions:

  1. The night before prepare the tofu. I found a wonderful website for making the best tofu! Please reference the link here. https://minimalistbaker.com/tofu-that-tastes-good-stir-fry/ . For those wanting a quick how to:
    1. Wrap tofu in paper towel and set something heavy on it. Once paper towel is soaked through, remove the paper towel and wrap the tofu with fresh paper towel. Repeat the process until paper towel is not completely soaked.
    2. Cut tofu into cubes.
    3. Use the oil to grease a cookie sheet.
    4. Sprinkle evenly 1 tablespoon of chili power, 1 table spoon chipotle chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt on the pan.
    5. Put tofu on the pan spaced apart.
    6. Cook for 15 minutes, take out of oven, flip each tofu piece and bake for another 15 minutes.
    7. Remove from pan and let them dry further in a sealed container.
  2. The next day get out your crock-pot. Add all ingredients except for the tofu. Make sure to follow instructions for the low carb noodles. Most will suggest washing the noodles.
  3. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours depending on crock-pot.
  4. About 30-40 minutes before serving add the tofu.
  5. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Chinese New Year

 

My friend Lucy is an online teacher for VipKid; a program that teaches English to students in China. Every year she hears about the Chinese New Year and always wanted to participate in it. A few months ago she brought the idea up to the group and all agreed it would interesting to learn about it.

Originally the plan was to enjoy dinner at a Chinese restaurant and then go to my brother’s property to light off fireworks. We made it to the restaurant on Tuesday February 5th, but unfortunately while we sat inside enjoying the food the snow storm outside got steadily worse. So, fireworks were postponed to Friday February 8th.

The following Thursday I got together with Lucy and we decided to make a large batch of dumplings. The dumplings were a lot of fun to make, but very tedious too!  We also made traditional almond cookies that no Chinese New Year is complete without. (At least according to online articles I read.)

The next day we all met at my brother’s for dinner, sledding, tea and fireworks! Everyone enjoyed the dumplings with rice with a light touch of soy sauce. Once dinner was done we all made our way to the barn for hot chocolate and tea. Almost everyone took a turn sledding down the hill. Once we were all sufficiently covered in snow we began sending off paper lanterns. At the end of the night we sent off fireworks and then finally said our goodbyes.

Next year we want to make it a weekend event of getting everyone together for making the dumplings and other Chinese New Year must haves. We will do the fireworks and paper lanterns again, but will add in more elements. We want to make sure to include more information about the New Year and what makes it so special. Lucy is ordering a book about the New Year to read to the children. Everyone who participated this year is already excited about next year. I know I am!

 

The Fertility Statue

There is a fertility statue that has passed from Alwine to Alwine for generations now. It’s become a family joke in a way. Can’t get pregnant? Send her the fertility statue! What? She still doesn’t have a baby? Give her the statue even if she does not want to have a baby yet.

It all started roughly about 45 years ago. My Aunt Lorraine entered a unique gift shop and found an unusual wooden statue of a old man holding a fishing pole with a fish on the end of it. When she asked the shopkeeper about it he said it was a potent fertility statue. Well, at this my Aunt laughed with glee and promptly bought it as a joke for her mother.

Not long after having the statue her mother was pregnant with Lorraine’s youngest sister. Her mother threw the statue at her head screaming “Get this out of my house.” While my aunt had it in her house she had one of her three children.

My Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Mike had tried for years to have children. They went to fertility doctors and specialists. They tried everything they could think of. Enter Aunt Lorraine with the fisherman statue. Aunt Cheryl had a boy and a girl not far apart. Then, just in time for the first two to hit toddler years, she had twins. According to my mother Aunt Cheryl was being wheeled into the hospital for an emergency c-section and was completely passed out when the doctor asked my Uncle Mike if Cheryl still wanted her tubes tied. At this she woke, sat straight up, yelled “Yes!” and than passed out again. After the twins were born the statue was again thrown at my Aunt’s head.

This went on for years until it was given officially back to my Aunt who boxed him up and wrote all over the box “fertility god. DO NOT TOUCH.” About 5 years ago my sister Sam was upset because the doctor had informed her she was not going to have children. His exact words were it would take a miracle. At this my aunt took out the box from her closet and gave it to me to give to my sister with the explicit instructions I was not to touch the statue.

Sam laughed when I gave it to her and graciously set the statue up.  It was less than a year when she found out she was pregnant with her beautiful daughter Gracie. So, I’ve heard the stories and seen it in action, but when Sam handed me the statue I could not help but laugh. Not because of the reason you would think. I laughed because it was a very large hint my family wants me to have a baby soon.  Funnily enough my Aunt Lorraine texted me shortly after that saying “While you are at your sisters grab that statue.”

When I came back home I told my husband to look in the bag that housed the statue. He took one look and quickly handed it back to me. I laughed asking if he wanted to touch it. His response was “Not until we have better health insurance.” My husband may believe in the statue more than me!

Happy New Year

With the new year beginning I can’t help but reflect on my last year. What has 2018 done for me? Well, it gave me diabetes. That certainly was a disappointment. We are still working on getting the house, but that, again, did not happen. Well, if this is the extent of my bad times I can’t help but feel grateful.

Life is not about it being fantastic every single day. It is about living through the disappointments and coming out the other end a better person. Was getting diabetes a hardship? Well duh, but the important thing is turning the hardship into a championship.

So, again what has 2018 done for me? Well, I am a healthier person. I eat less carbs and work out more. My outlook on life has changed drastically for the better. I am no longer about getting through the work day. My eyes opened and I realized I did not just want to be another worker. I wanted to be someone that made a difference. So, I took the leap and left the job I have been at for four years of my life. Shortly before Thanksgiving I stated a new career as an educational aide. Not going to lie, I was terrified and almost changed my mind. After two days working there I was never more certain I made the right choice. I love working with the children and my stress level has gone down considerably.

I worked on my friendships this last year as well. I am not what you call a social person. Socially awkward is more like it. I prefer to stay in my house and binge on Netflix. However, that is not living life to the fullest. So, this year  I focused on creating more friendships. I rekindled old friendships and worked on created a couple new ones. Am I still socially awkward? Oh yes. I think its something my friends love about me. Or maybe they are feel they are just as socially awkward as I am.

So, 2018 kind of sucked due to getting diabetes, but was great because getting diabetes made me stronger. It helped me see I want to be more. I worked hard to make the positive changes I wanted. I got healthier, changed my career and I worked on foraging more friendships. I made sure to get myself out of the house and have adventures. I am loving the new Katie. She is much more positive and outgoing than non-diabetic Katie. I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings.