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!

 

Cirque du Soleil

It’s excitement and wonder. Your eyes are locked on one act only to realize something equally exciting is happening elsewhere on the stage. People flying in the air. Someone balances on twenty chairs. Lights are changing colors all around you and there is that one silly clown you can’t help but laugh at. To top it all off the entire performance is on ice. What could make for a better weekend? I saw this show in Milwaukee, but it’s traveling all over! Click the link to learn more and see if it’s coming close to you. https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/crystal

 

Kinda Low Carb Meatballs

Tonight I created another Katherine original. I threw this together very randomly, but this time I actually noted what I did! So here it is! If done correctly you should have about 12 medium sized meatballs. Each meatball is about 10 carbs roughly depending on what brand or amount of breadcrumbs you use. I think I might be able to get this a lot lower carb, but it will take some playing around first. If I do come up with a lower carb version I will update this post.  IMG_20190204_185340

Ingredients:

1/2 pound pork
1/2 pound beef
2 eggs
1-2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon mince garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
A dash of black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon of rosemary
1/2 teaspoon celery flakes
2-3 tablespoons red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Put all ingredients in a bowl except the red pepper flakes. I suggest taking off any rings as this time as this can get gross! Are you ready? Roll up the sleeves and start mushing everything together.
  3. Once everything is combined form medium size meatballs and place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over meatballs.
  4. Cook for about 30-35 minutes depending on your oven. I flipped the meat balls halfway through. Using the thermometer verify they are the correct temp. Let sit on the oven while preparing noodles and sauce. I used Skinny Pasta (5 carbs per serving) and Mezzetta Napa Valley Homemade Marinara sauce (also 5 carbs per serving).
  5. IMG_20190204_192354IMG_20190204_192335.

Katherine’s Protein Pancakes

So believe it or not, but this stack of pancakes is only 10 carbs. And that is total carbs; not net! Of course this depends on protein powder brand. I use Sun Warrior: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0728KH7BX/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1549037067&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=sunwarrior+protein+powder+vanilla&psc=1

Ingredients:

3-5 Eggs (depending on how eggie and fluffy you want them)

2 tablespoons ground watermelon seed

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dash if pink salt

1 tablespoon cream cheese

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon monk fruit. Add more if wanting sweeter

Instructions:

1) Crack eggs into large bowl and beat until smooth.

2) Beat in rest of ingredients until combined.

3) While mixing ingredients heat oil in pan. Once pan is hot add dough.

4) When top of dough is bubbling or brown on underside flip pancake.

5) Repeat and enjoy!

Getting Sick

As I get further into my career as a diabetic I have discovered new and exciting elements to contend with. The most exciting being my blood sugar goes high when I am sick.

So not only do I have to contend with the fact that I do not feel good, but I have to take extra insulin to keep my blood sugar at an exceptionable level. I am also finding that it takes even longer for me to heal. The common cold lasts far too long for my liking. I have not gotten a flu bug yet and I am hoping that does not happen anytime soon.

Now, I need to keep close tabs on my sugar when sick. In order to do that I check my blood sugar more often and I give myself extra insulin when eating.

The good news? I haven’t had any issues with low blood sugar while sick. Finger’s crossed that does not change! Anyone else have issues with high blood sugar while sick?  I would love to hear about and what you do. I would love any advice.

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.