Today is the day. Today is the day I break my silence. I haven’t written for a few months. It’s been one thing after another that has gotten in the way of my writing. Let me explain.
In mid December, my husband became ill with kidney stones and life changed. I spent sleepless nights worrying about him, driving him to ER rooms for xrays, pain medications,and fluids. Then they scheduled a surgery the same day to put in stents in his kidneys which led to his bladder shutting down the next day and another trip to the ER, this time in Oakland. The doctor immediately gave him a catheter which relieved the pressure from the blockage.
He needed a lithotripsy appointment which would blast the stone into smaller pieces so he could pass them. But that appointment couldn’t be scheduled because the office that does the procedure wasn’t open for two weeks during the Christmas holiday. My poor husband didn’t attend any holiday parties because he was embarrassed about having a catheter. You can’t blame him, but it made Christmas extra sad. Eventually after 5 days Ken removed the catheter himself after watching a YouTube video and from directions from his urologist. Ken could sleep better and had less pain after the catheter was removed.
More CT scans and a trip to Antioch Kaiser on a Sunday to get a sonogram on his kidney. This was our new life. Many phone appointments with his medical doctor, urologists but not his surgeon because he was off for the holiday break. Let me just say, don’t get sick during the holidays.
Finally, the Friday after the new year, the lithotripsy appointment was scheduled for January 8th at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland which is one of the few hospitals that provide this procedure in California. Later they got him an appointment sooner on January 7th since Ken had plans to travel for work in late January and we were begging his doctors.
A week later, Ken passed the stones at work while I was in Disneyland at a pre-planned trip with the family. A week or so later, he went back into the urologist to have the stents removed after more xrays to make sure the stones were passed.
Let’s just say I have taken a new appreciation to having good health. We’ve always eaten well as I usually cook every night. Ken has had a family history with kidney problems and has had them in the past. We weren’t unfamiliar with this illness, but we never thought we would have to go through this.
As I said earlier, Ken had to travel to Texas in late January and was gone for most of February with the exception of two weekend visits. During this time, I spent a lot of time on Twitter following what was happening in Wuhan China. People were dying from the Covid 19 Global Pandemic in masses. Crematories were working 24/7 according to some.
Around this same time, I found Macrovoices.com podcast on Twitter and began listening to Erik Townsend who would interview people about finance and macroeconomics. Listen to the January 30th, 962 Hot Topic #6: Covid Pandemic Update episode with Chris Martenson PHD from Peak Prosperity.com.
I learned about the asymptomatic transmission about people that can shed the virus without being detected which makes it hard to contain.These people test positive for the disease, but have no symptoms.
In any case, in the past few months I have been shopping and preparing for the worst. I bought a huge bag of flour (which is the way I usually buy flour), lots of eggs, extra milk, extra sugar, etc… I even bought dry milk, and dry eggs in case we can’t get these commodities.
My seedlings getting thinned out and transplanted into larger cell packs. I’m growing tomatoes, cucumber, pumpkins, squash, beans, sweet peas, shallots, garlic, onions, and more
I’ve also spent hours and hours planting seeds for my vegetable garden knowing we could have a food shortage in the future. I listened to John Barry on Peakprosperity.com who wrote the book Author of “The Great Influenza.” He also writes a survival blog and that has inspired me to get prepared for the worst.
I bought a generator in case we lose our electricity so we can charge our cell phones and keep our food cold. I’ve been making bread to feed my family since it is something that I can do to keep my family healthy. I use bread flour, whole wheat flour, spelt, flax meal, rye flour, oats and sunflower seeds to make a loaf of bread and will share the recipe later.
The new normal is we are on lockdown here in the East Bay Area of California and we don’t know how long it will last. We don’t have a vaccination yet, and we do not have immunity to this disease. We don’t have pharmaceuticals that are effective in treatment. We are told to wear masks if we are out in public and to wash our hands often. Most restaurants and stores are closed. Only essential businesses are open like grocery stores and hardware stores. Most people are working from home and schools are closed.
I have been scared that my parents will get sick since they are older and have compromised immune systems. My father lives in a skilled nursing facility which is at risk since these diseases spread easily there. We haven’t been able to visit him recently, but we can call him to check in.
Here I am with my dad when I last saw him on Jan 18th.
My mother’s immune system has been compromised for 6 years because she was diagnosed with a rare blood disease. It’s scary for all of us since if my parents do get the Covid 19, we won’t be able to be with them at the hospital and they could die alone.
Here I am with my Mom in front of my favorite tulip tree in our yard. Photo taken several years ago.
So today is the day I’ve decided to speak out about my life these last few months. I’m grateful my husband is better and my kids are healthy. I hope all of you stay safe.
Here is my Multigrain Bread recipe for you. This recipe makes 2 loaves.
½ C Rolled Oats plus more for top of loaves
1 ⅓ C Cooked Wheat Berries
½ C Flax Meal
1 C Soaked Bulgar Wheat
2 ¾ C Whole Wheat Flour
2 ½ C Bread Flour or All Purpose Flour
1 C Rye Flour
2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
2 pkg Active Dry Yeast
½ C warm water
2 teas honey
6 T Softened Butter
1 ¼ C plus 2 T Warm Water
3 T Honey
1 T Molasses
½ C Guinness Beer or beer of your choice room temperature
1 Egg white plus 1 teas water mixed to brush on loaves before baking
⅓ C Sunflower Seeds plus more for top of loaves
Crumb of my multigrain loaf perfect with butter and apricot jam.
Measure out all dry ingredients (Oats, flax meal, whole wheat flour, Bread flour, Rye flour, and Kosher Salt) into an extra large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Cook Wheat berries as directed on package. Cool.
Soak Bulgar wheat in 1 Cup warm water (drain)
Mix ½ C warm water (NOT hot) with honey and 2 packages of Active Dry Yeast and mix until dissolved. Will get bubbly.
In a large measuring cup, measure out 1 ½ warm water, honey, and beer together.
Add cooked wheat berries, soaked Bulgar and yeast mixture to a large bowl with dry ingredients. Can use a large stand mixer with dough hook instead.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients slowly adding softened butter in as well.Add sunflower seeds and knead or process on mixer for a few minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Continue to mix or knead for an additional 10 minutes adding extra All Purpose Flour if dough is too sticky.
Place dough into a large buttered bowl covered in plastic wrap and let rest for 1 ½ hours in a warm place.
Multigrain dough after being kneaded and placed in a buttered bowl
Dough after resting 1 1/2 hours. Ready to divide, mold and put into loaf pans
Cut dough in half, roll into two rectangles, then fold over and place into two buttered loaf pans.
Brush with egg white and water. Sprinkle oats and sunflower seeds on top of loaves.
Let rise again for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake loaves in center of the oven for 45 minutes to one hour or until golden brown.
Serve warm with butter and apricot jam.
Thanks for reading my blog. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or have something to share.