Right now the limit of how old we can get is between 110 and 120 years. Occasionally you have outliers who turn a bit older. But the limiting factors are:
- Our energy organelles, the mitochondria are disappearing as we age. Each of our body cells has hundreds of these energy packages. If only 50 are leftover, our body energy is dwindling. The brain, the heart and the skeletal muscles have thousands of mitochondria in every cell. If half of these disappear, we fall asleep on a chair (senescent people do that) and we have a shuffled gait. Our heart may start failing, so congestive heart failure may sets in.
- Our DNA is stable most of our lives because we have repair mechanisms in place. But the older we get, the more mutations occur, as the repair mechanism ages. This can cause cancer. But we may also lose bits and pieces of our DNA and various body deficiencies start occurring.
- Our telomeres, the caps on each of our chromosomes are getting shorter, the older we get. This is no problem when we are younger. But as we age, the stem cells that normally have the longest telomeres are also starting to have shorter telomeres. Now this affects cell replacement. If you don’t replace the cells that are lacking you get organ deficiencies and organ failures. Many old people die because of heart failure, bone marrow failure (no blood cells, no immune cells), kidney failure, liver failure and dementia (brain failure).
- Until we will be able to address my concerns expressed under point 1 to 3 we will have problems extending our life expectancy limits.
So about a second after I announced Can-Do Real Food unfortunately had to stop because of health issues I began to feel like that was NOT the best solution.
In 2017 I canned lots of fruit and veggie recipes but I also expanded what we were doing with with dehydration. I became fascinated how we could develop meal mixes. not just dried fruit or leathers. We asked shoppers at the downtown farmer’ market to taste and comment on some new concepts, like dried tomatoes. People responded well by offering suggestions like putting herbs on some, salt on others. One guy said, “Yup, it tastes like tomatoes and I hate tomatoes.” He was a good sport!
We had some disappointments. For example, a recipe we first prepared fresh and thought a winner did not work the same when dried, so we had to let that one alone.
But, others were winners. Our Mole Mix, for example, always sold out each time we prepared a batch.
And always, we stayed with our mission and obtained surplus produce from farms, helping reduce food waste. We will continue to purchase produce from our farm partners.
Meanwhile, in my private life I was watching my daughter Lisa and her dude go on their back country adventures. They backpack, mountain bike and ski, often in places few people go. They carry their food, their water, and their fuel as o wood fires are permitted any monger because of the threat of wildfires.
I listened to their comments about the dehydrated foods available on the market. There were some they loved and others that were never going to be repeated. Lisa also combined some things together herself to supplement the prepared mixes because they were things they liked and could not purchase. They already had told us how they enjoyed the Winter Squash Coconut Curry instant soup mix and challenged me to develop more foods that could be edible with a short fuel usage to bring water to boil. Our Mole Mix will do that, too.
We will be in the test kitchen in the next few months to see if we can develop a powered version of the canned Loaded Pasta Sauce. We believe we can come up with something definitely different in texture and a bit different in taste but still really good. The cause can be used with the dried zucchini noodles we make from those squashes that get away from the farmer and become watermelon size.
So, in 2018 Can-Do Food will be preparing canned products ONLY for contracts with our farmers or others and about 3 or 4 savory dehydrated offerings and a number of fruit based dried foods.
For example, when we processed one of our farm partners’ garden huckleberries into a syrup, we milled to separate the the berry skin from the juice. We then took the solids, added a bit of sugar (in this case only because garden huckleberries are NOT sweet) and dried the mix. Because of the lumpiness of the skins, we could not make a fruit leather, but we ground it to offer as an add-in to oatmeal or yogurt.
The backpacking community will enjoy this, as well as other campers who want a break from preparing a meal from whole foods. In addition, a supply of some of our foods would make sense to anyone who loses power at home several times a year. If you have a grill, you can heat up water and then you can prepare he mix into a good meal.
We will NOT be at the farmers’ market as we have been the last two summers. Instead we may have a table one week in September when we have built up an inventory during the harvest season. Generally we will market online and be able to easily mail these lighter weight foods.
Please let me know if you like to be on a special email list to announce when we will be at the market or when foods are available online. Anyone who is interested and wants to be on this special email list, the address is: Beth Rankin, 859 SW Sitka Drive, McMinnville, OR 97128.
[Beth Rankin is well-known to our readers. She is the CEO, along with her husband Graham, of Can-Do Foods. Beth is an entrepreneur, businesswoman, blogger, and social activist. They live in McMinnville, Oregon.]
ALMOST NORMAL! It’s been about 5.5 weeks since my total knee replacement December 4 and I will see the surgeon on Monday for a post-op appointment. I have some expectations and hopes for that visit. The primary issue is will I get permission to get back into our hot tub?
We purchased an inflatable hot tub almost two years ago. We discovered how helpful sitting in the hot tub could be back in 2007 when Graham was on sabbatical in Pueblo, Colorado and the apartment complex had a hot tub next to the pool. We learned that the heat eased sore muscles and joints and improved nighttime relaxation and better sleeping. Although we were in Colorado from January 1 through June 30, the hot tub was available, even in the winter when the pool was closed. It was about 200 yards from our apartment door. We’d get into our bathing suits, put on our terry cloth bathrobes and some slippers and walk over. Chilly, but bearable. Getting out and back into the warm apartment after the soak was more of a challenge. I discovered that there seemed to be an envelope of warm air around my body for a very short time when I exited the hot tub. Getting the bathrobe on during that time was mandatory! Then put the cover back on the hot tub and high-tail it back home.
Our apartment was in the building on the right side, so not too far, except when it was five degrees.
The photo viewpoint is from the kitchen door, so you see how much shorter the after-tub commute became.
We agreed if we ever should be lucky enough to have a hot tub it would be right by the door to the house. And so, about a year later, we found ourselves building an enclosed screen porch on the back of our house in West Virginia. The tub sat on a concrete pad on the ground and the floor of the porch was built around the tub. We stepped down into the spa and Graham installed a handicap pull bar to help any of us climb back up and out. The walk to the kitchen door was maybe ten feet, very easy even in the winter.
But then, we moved to Oregon where we are renting a house. I was missing the evening soak time. My joints ached more and so, a friend a friend suggested an inflatable. We bought a Coleman hot tub from about $450 the first year but after they replaced one filter/motor, when that failed within a few months, they would not replace it. We searched but could not purchase a new filter alone. So we bought another inflatable for about $250. Watch for sales!!!!
The inflatable works for us. It runs on 110 household current so we did not have to install a new 220 line into the house. That saved us some money for me; I don’t use the jets.
So, the last time I was in the hot tub was the morning before my knee surgery. After that I was restricted from “swimming, hot tubs, saunas” and a few other wet activities. One concern is infection through the suture site. That is well healed now, so should no longer be a factor.
But, and this is a big issue. I need to be able to get myself out of the hot tub safely. First, I need to be able to swing my leg over the height of the wall. It is an inflatable so not rigid, and if I touch it, it will bend. Graham built me a contraption with two posts and a rope so I had something to proper height for practice. That was not difficult to gain the movement I needed.
However, I need to get up off my butt. The inflatable hot tub does not have the molded seats a regular fiberglass hot tub offers; we sit on the padded bottom. So, I need to be able to stand up without the need for a block and tackle. Simple, eh? Well, no. As my knee issue got worse and started involving my pelvis and hips last summer, Graham installed a handicapped handrail on the post holding the roof over the tub. (You thought we sit in the hot water with the cold winter rain falling on us????? Come on!) That rail helped me, but I was able to get on my knees before the surgery. Now, not a comfortable position. So, after think and thinking about it, I tried a few times at home.Now, in order to do a task that is difficult, the easiest way to figure out how to manage the move is to figure out the physics of it to maximize the strength while minimizing effort. I didn’t take physics in high school and until now, I figured the computer science class I took instead was an excellent substitute. But now, more than 45 years after that class decision in high school. I was trying to figure how to fulcrum me up and out…..hmmmm.
Physical therapists are special people. Maybe a tad masochistic as they push their patients through pain to improvement, generally they are upbeat, optimistic and very much enjoy challenges like this. So this morning at Physical Therapy I sat on the floor next to a table that had been lowered to the height I needed and it only took two times to conquer the move. I know I can get up now! No block and tackle needs to be ordered. LOL
On Monday I will go to the surgeon’s appointment prepared to show him I have the safety issue covered. And if I need to wait, I will wait….but I am betting on hot tub Monday evening!!!
[Beth Rankin is an entrepreneur, writer, and raconteur. She lives with her husband Graham (and their hot tub) in McMinnville, Oregon.]
When we were kids in Louisville, Kentucky, we played all kinds of games: hide and seek, kick the can (on Bayly Avenue), jump rope, “Peggy” (with a bat and ball), basketball (with any kind of ball available), stick ball (usually with a tennis ball), to say nothing of neighborhood struggles in football (both touch and tackle). I was later to discover these games were pretty simple, compared to those that had been played in the past in Eastern Kentucky and in other parts of Appalachia.
Traditional games here took many forms: games for large groups and small, games indoors or outdoors, boy’s or girl’s (or both) games for different age groups, noisy or quiet games, games that were slow or vigorous, mentally or physically challenging games, and a game for nearly every occasion and mood.
The names of the games could be as imaginative as the games themselves: Ante Over, Old Granny Hum Bum, Fox and Geese, Hull Gull, and Mumble Peg. The equipment was usually minimal, often simply reflecting what was available. A ball could be “store boughten” or homemade from tightly wound yarn. A bat was often a straight stick. “Make do or do without” was the universal rule. The rules of the games could vary from place to place or even from day to day. Improvisation was the key here, too.
Most older folks remember Ante (“Annie”) Over as one of the most universally played games. A low building and a ball were all that was required. The ball was tossed over, or bounced on, the roof to a team waiting on the other side. If the ball were caught, the person who caught it would try to conceal it, while other team members pretended to have the ball. As each team raced around the building the person with the ball would try to hit members of the other team with the ball and “capture” them. The game continued until one side captured everyone on the other team.
With Fox and Hounds, there were no boundaries or time limits and almost no rules. One layer was the “fox” and the rest “hounds.” The “fox” would run off through the woods leaving a trail of bits of paper or broken twigs. The “hounds” stayed on the trail until the “fox” was in sight. Then the “fox” was allowed to go on its own without leaving a visible trail, trying to make it back to the “den” (the home base), without being caught.
Any number of children could play Red Rover, a schoolyard favorite. Two teams locked hands and lined up facing each other: “Red Rover, Red Rover, send [name] over.” The named player would run and try to break through the hands of two players on the other team. If successful, he “captured” those two players. If not, he had to stay. the team that captured all the other team members but one, won.
Old Granny Wiggins Is Dead was perhaps the silliest game of all, but great fun. Players would stand in a circle while the “lead” person cried: “Old Granny Wiggins is dead.” The next person would say: “How’d she die?” Next person: “She died this way,” and then they would do something like waving a hand up and down continuously. The next person had to start waving in the same fashion. The phrases were repeated for every person in the circle until everyone was waving. Other movements were added until feet, heads and hands were all in motion. The real fun came, when, at a signal, everyone fell over “dead” on top of each other to end the game.
Old Granny Hum Bum was an exercise in pantomime. One player acted like an old woman, while the others would say: “Old Granny Hum Bum, where did you come from?” Answer: “Pretty Girl’s Station.” Reply: “What’s your occupation?” Then “Granny” would act out an occupation, like sewing, which the other players would try to guess.
Horseshoes was an eminently social game in the Appalachian region. A typical layout was a fifty-foot long court with pits about four-feet square, with iron takes int he center of the pits. Players could pitch from either side of the pits and scored one point if they tossed to within six inches of the stake and three points for a “ringer.” “Leaners,” in some locales, earned two points. Stacked ringers cancelled each other out. The winner was the first team to reach an agreed upon number, or the team with the highest score after fifty pitches.
Marbles were played by almost all the school-aged boys, and some of the girls, with Bull Ring the most common version. A circle about eight feet in diameter would be drawn in the dirt. After agreeing on how many marbles to play for, players would roll, “lag,” a marble to a line to determine who went first. Players shot with a “taw,” a large marble, or a “steely,” a steel ball bearing. Players tried to knock marbles out of the ring without physically touching another marble, and without the “taw” leaving the ring.
Men played Mumble (“Mumbly”) Peg. In one version, two players with pocket knives tried to stick a blade upright in a circle drawn on the ground using a sequence of twenty or so positions. The first player to complete the sequence won the game. The loser had to retrieve, with his teeth, a small peg that had been driven into the ground with a couple of licks from the winner’s knife handle.
That certain games persisted for many generations, “tested by time,” seems to indicate that there is something in the human spirit which is satisfied through the continuation of these simple rituals. Videos, computer-generated games, and organized team sports have seriously eroded interest in the games we used to play, and the games I’ve listed here don’t begin to exhaust the list of games we used to play.
I’ve never been a light hearted soul….things just are not right so much of the time that it concerns me.
That’s not to say I’m not a happy person or enjoy a good laugh. I AM a happy person who is pretty positive but I don’t laugh easily. Most of the time, it seems that things other people think are funny just don’t hit me the same way.
Recently, in an effort to still try to talk to people who have viewpoints on the conservative end of the spectrum I have begun to respond to comments they make, particularly if the reaction of their other friends is laughter and the issue is not funny to me. If the meme or comment is a putdown, so the joke is at someone’s expense, I am the stick in the mud who points out that it is not funny. That perhaps they forgot to pull on their Christian compassion before making fun of someone. (I only say that because they post a lot of Bible quotes and also how important it is that Jesus is in their lives.)
Generally, my comments are not appreciated. No surprise there. Someone who uses humor at other people’s expense generally is not comfortable being told, even when calmly and with quiet language, that their choice of words is not healthy. I suppose it is only a matter of time until I am unfriends. Not a biggie, but it will be sad because the more we stop talking to each other, the sooner we will forget we have more commonalities than differences.
Being told to “lighten up, it’s only a joke” is something I’ve lived with. My last blog I told about my husband. This time, the story is about my second husband.
Before I go further I want to say this marriage produced two beautiful children who are now healthy adults, participating in society and enjoying life. Despite all the angst that resulted in that marriage I would never say or feel it never should have happened. I am blessed to have those children.
The differences between that man and me, our views on what life can be and our ways of aiming for our goals were very clear. Still, I can appreciate a few things he gave me that were gifts of insight I never would have made because I just did not think the same way.
For example, when my dad had been living with Parkinson’s disease for ten years and no one would talk about it, he called us out on it.
For example, I had been fighting my naturally curly hair all my life trying to make it straight and he suggest I get it cut well so it would be acceptable to me.
For example, when he asked me if I like to dance and when I said yes, pulled over to the curb and pulled me out to dance to the radio on the grass.
But those were few and far between. Life with him was usually off kilter at best and downright fearful of what I might find when I cam home when things were at the worst.
See, he is mentally ill. His diagnosis has changed over time but he never worked to “get better” because he argued the therapists wanted him to change. Well, duh. What you’re doing is not working Maybe a change would be a good idea?
And his favorite expression, after he would denigrate me was “I’m only joking.” Sorry, forgot to laugh. In fact, instead of not laughing I had to work hard to stay calm because of his fragile mental state.
It was clear that he thought only of himself and how the world revolved around him. He is unchanged to this day.
Now, I do not know this Facebook friend well enough to know if she also has some issues so making jokes like that helps her cope. No idea. But I won’t stay silent. I will not be, nor will I permit someone to be, the butt of a joke.
I read something else today on Facebook, also from a person whom I don’t really know. But I do know one of her adult children and that gives me a lot of insight about her. She noted that in times of recent crises we saw people ignore any political, religious, or racial differences and just pull together to help each other. She suggested we live this way.