Re-Future-Ing - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at - 270776

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

Mar. 21, 2012 9:44 am 
Updated: Mar. 30, 2012 10:58 am
These last two weeks have been days of good and great news!
Many of you know that I had a condition called Abdominal Aortic Aneurism which is the aorta develops a “ballooning” that projects from the aorta. The condition was discovered in a PET scan and has been monitored ever since. This can rupture and cause me to bleed out internally. It had been slowly increasing in size so; the vascular surgeon decided it was time to repair it.
Eleven days ago, I was admitted to inpatient and put on the table for a three hour procedure to repair my aorta. The repair involved inserting a stent to the inside of the affected area to reinforce it. Eventually, the aneurism, now without any pressure on it, will shrink to a normal size.  Afterward, I spent the next 24 hours in critical care until the surgeon arrived, evaluated my response to the procedure and discharged me to the care of my wife.  I had to stay inactive for the first two days at home and afterward three days of moderate activity and then resume normal, but cautious, activity. (It was easy to discover when I went too far with “normal” activity. Once, I went for a walk and got sick and another time I had stood up and sat down too many times and had some very unfriendly pains at the entry sites that were the messengers notifying me of my carelessness.)
The success of this procedure is wonderful all by itself, but five days following it I had a regular follow up appointment at the cancer center. I had some lab work and x-rays which were negative and following the normal exam routine, I was once again, declared cancer free. This time, though, was much different than the first time I heard the words, “You are cancer free!” This time I felt the impact of what those words really mean to me. I don’t know if I have ever been more joyful than I was at that moment. This time, I feel cancer free! I’m not ashamed to tell you that I tear up when I think of them.
Now, with no serious issues between me and my remaining life, I am going to re-future. Re-future???  I’ll define it this way. “Re-future; the acts of planning and following a lifestyle of healthier diet and activity conjoined with love of family and friends through outward expressions, as opposed to previous mindsets.”  Two years ago, I embarked on a new approach to my lifestyle but, as often happen, my mindset was diverted for one thing or another and I didn’t succeed. Now, there is nothing between me and a successful healthier lifestyle.
I don’t think my normal diet is where I want to go, though. It wasn’t a particularly unhealthy diet but it will be modified to meet a better more conscientious intake.  My diet has been largely fruit and vegetable for the past six weeks but I don’t want to dwell in that diet much longer, either, because I am getting a strong desire to climb trees, bite lice and fight dominant males.
 I’ll be seeing a fitness coach/ nutritionist in a couple of weeks and hope to get a solid plan from her- a workable plan that is enjoyable. From that information, I’ll assemble menus and snacks to accommodate this completely new (for us) lifestyle.  As I learn my way through this maze, I’ll relate what I have been told and how it seems to work.
 My obstacles toward healthier diet? Cooked green anything. Forget boiled! I can eat green stuff if it is steamed just enough to kill the bugs. (I don’t like to feel them squirming as I chew.) Reducing my consumption of meat. For way too many years I have preferred portions of meat that hang over the plate- and don’t crowd that portion with too many potatoes. Reducing carbohydrates. To me, carbs have been the reward for eating all the meat.
So, here it is. The basis for re-future-ing. Now, to make it become a plan for action and then to follow that plan. Do I have the desire? The fortitude? Common sense? The self-respect?  
Like you, I won’t find out until chapter two is opened.

Mar. 21, 2012 9:53 am
I didn't know about the aneurysm, I'm glad they took care of it, those things are scary!
Mar. 21, 2012 10:19 am
I wholeheartedly believe in you, Mike! Go forth and be WELL, be GREAT! :)
Mar. 21, 2012 10:22 am
Great news, Mike - love to hear it! Good luck on the healthier diet - that's something I need to look at here also.
Mar. 21, 2012 10:22 am
Mike, that sounds great! I'm so happy for you and wish you all the willpower there is to succeed in your new journey. Congrats on your new lease on life!
Mar. 21, 2012 10:26 am
I am so pleased to hear that the surgery went well. May the next chapter of your life bring you much joy! Thanks for keeping us posted, I look forward to reading about your new adventures.
Mar. 21, 2012 10:40 am
Because my MIL had a huge aneurysm, we had my hubby tested for one because it runs in families. Luckily he is clear. I'm glad you were having that monitored well and that you are on your refuturing track now. Best of luck because we all love to hear about you and will take pleasure in reading about your ventures.
Mar. 21, 2012 10:45 am
Hi, Sassy!... I have not made it well known that I had that aneurism and only a very few knew of the surgery. I have some very special reasons for that. Thanks for posting!
Mar. 21, 2012 10:47 am
I like your attitude! Keep it up!
Mar. 21, 2012 10:47 am
Thank you, Jan! Your support has been very welcomed during these times.
Mar. 21, 2012 10:48 am
Thank you, Maggi! This should get interesting as it progresses.
Mar. 21, 2012 10:49 am
Thank you, Staci!
Mar. 21, 2012 10:54 am
I'll be posting as I learn, B'Nana! It does seems strange that I have taken this course at my age. Hopefully, it will be an interesting account. Thanks for posting!
Mar. 21, 2012 10:57 am
You are very kind, Marianne! Thank you! My aneurism was not genetic, though. Mine was (essentially) self inflicted because I had been a smoker for way too many years.
Mar. 21, 2012 10:58 am
Will do, Fabius!
Mar. 21, 2012 11:29 am
I am thrilled with your news! I do hope you continue to share what you have learned with us. You have made me take a long look at what I consider exercise and I am far more mindful of what goes in my mouth. I wish you continued good health, and fun with your new eating venture.
Mar. 21, 2012 11:41 am
Great news Mike! With your perseverance and upbeat attitude you'll live to be a healthy 100.
Mar. 21, 2012 11:50 am
Hi Mike. I am so glad to hear your great news. I have to tell you it made me smile, but the description of your fruit/veg diet and how it made you feel had me laughing so hard the tears were running down my face. I totally relate - except for fighting dominant males. A couple of years ago I cut my meat content down to almost nothing. I eat largely fruits, veg., grains and the like. I've started exercising and I have lost 62 lbs. As a result I have lowered my blood pressure dramatically. Your news though has me feeling so happy. You have the fortitude, the strength, definitely the common sense. The desire? For sure. Be well, my friend. -Patricia.
Mar. 21, 2012 1:31 pm
Oh Mike! You know I was so glad to get the good news and I am still very grateful that you will continue on blogging! Biting lice, fighting dominant males and boiling greens till the bugs are dead, who else could give us those visuals! Not to mention sharing your life out loud so the rest of us are reminded to take care of ourselves!
Mar. 21, 2012 2:18 pm
Mike. Do you have a good wok?
Mar. 21, 2012 3:18 pm
Mike, I am glad to hear you are on your way to recovery. I enjoy reading your well written blog. I am looking forward to reading about your refuture-ing adventures.
Mar. 21, 2012 5:44 pm
Good evening, BigShotsMom! I'n glad that you have found something useful in my blogs. Now, without the confusion happening, maybe we'll be sharing something new. Or, at least, well directed. ;) Your continuous support during these years is deeply appreciated. Thank you!
Mar. 21, 2012 5:47 pm
100, bd? I had something in mind with four figures!
Mar. 21, 2012 5:56 pm
Outstanding work, Rosebud! Congratulations for your own determination! let's not forget something ellenmoriah said in one of her posts, "...try not to be scared of what pops up on life's journeys... try to embrace instead. It's easier that way." I found more than a bunch of wisdom in her advice.
Mar. 21, 2012 6:22 pm
Sharing my life out loud was not the original intent of my blog, Cat. I was going to blog about my new lifestyle that resulted from that TIA. You know how that direction got changed. Now, two years later, it semms I have rediscovered that course. You too, Cat, have been on my support staff during those years. Thank you.
Mar. 21, 2012 6:32 pm
Hi, again, Baking Nana! A true to form wok I do not have. I have what could be a wok but it has a flat bottom and a single long handle and is stainless steel. I have had little problem using it for stir fry. I do use it for your Pineapple Fried Rice recipe and have been very satisfied with the results. Everything happens just as your recipe says it should.
Mar. 21, 2012 6:35 pm
Thank you, Lela! I'll try to keep the re-futuring interesting.
Mar. 21, 2012 7:12 pm
So happy to read your post Mike. Have been thinking of you daily. Looking forward to your bright re-future! :)
Mar. 21, 2012 7:28 pm
Congrats on all the great stuff, and good luck with admirable efforts!
Mar. 21, 2012 7:42 pm
Mike, I thought of you as I prepared dinner. Have you ever sauted spinach or chard in a little EVO and garlic? Toss with a wee bit of either balsamic or good cider vinegar. Absolutely not the same as boiled greens.
Mar. 21, 2012 7:50 pm
You have to go where Life leads you some days:) And I must say, you do say it so well. Doesn't matter if you are talking spice mixes, how to quit smoking or how to change your diet you do keep it lively and interesting!
Mar. 21, 2012 7:58 pm
I LOVE the new term "refuturing!"
Mar. 21, 2012 8:11 pm
Well, let me date myself and is the first day of the rest of your life! Glad to hear your good news - cancer free - and of the successful surgery.
Mar. 21, 2012 8:37 pm
Love "re-futuring". We should all evaluate where we are periodically and make changes. Diet is my pit-fall. Sweets are my demons. They chase me through my mind until I can't stand it and HAVE to have something. One would think that at my age (got my first SS check last month) that I could be wiser/smarter and stronger. Hmmmmm. I just wish it wasn't so difficult. Keep us posted. And so wonderful on the cancer-free verdict!! Yay!
Mar. 22, 2012 3:26 am
Mike, I was unaware of your aneurism, and am so glad it has been successfully taken care of! Once again hearing you are cancer free is sweet music to my ears! Good luck in the days ahead as you change your lifestyle. Can't wait to hear more from you.
Mar. 22, 2012 4:33 am
Good morning, Lady Sparkle! Thank you for the positive energy!
Mar. 22, 2012 4:34 am
Good Morning, Good Eat NZ! Thank you!
Mar. 22, 2012 4:36 am
I have some spinach left over from some salads, BigShotsMom. I'll try that for lunch. All my experimenting is done at lunchtime- it's easier to hide the failures.
Mar. 22, 2012 4:37 am
Wow! Thank you, Cat!
Mar. 22, 2012 4:40 am
Lots of people just put meals on the table, not realizing that whatever food they use, it is a diet. I hope you make a diet for yourself that you can work with!
Mar. 22, 2012 4:44 am
Good morning, Marianne! Refuturing will be an important word in my posts. There is so much to learn and pass on with the hope that younger folks will take note of this old man's mistakes and
Mar. 22, 2012 4:46 am
Good morning, Thisni Caza! Thank you for commenting!
Mar. 22, 2012 4:51 am
Good morning, Chris K! I had to give up refined sugar and I found it to be more difficult than giving up cigarettes! It's just too available! Thank you for your comment!
Mar. 22, 2012 5:05 am
Good morning, Mother Ann! I kept the aneurism rather low key and very few people knew of the surgery. Thank you for being one of my long time supporters!
Mar. 22, 2012 5:09 am
Good morning, sueb! I tried making my own diet/exercise plan and failed with the diet part. I just didn't have enough workable information. That's why I have decided to have a fitness/nutrition coach to put it all together for me.
Mar. 22, 2012 6:25 am
Mike, I find your story and line of thinking so be as honestt a thing as I've ever come across. You impress me as being a very good man and I wish you all the best in your desire to make the most of your life. Good luck pal.
Mar. 22, 2012 6:30 am
As usual I am late to the party!!! i just wanted to say congratulations on your cancer free diagnosis. Also on the successful repair of the aneurysm. The refuturing plan sounds great. We are still waiting for the cancer free dx. around my house for my DH.I still have faith that will happen one day. Look forward to reading about your venture.
Mar. 22, 2012 7:23 am
Thank you for that, Randy! I won't let you down.
Mar. 22, 2012 7:32 am
Thank you, char! Getting that cancer free dx is like nothing else you will hear on this earth. It does take a long time to get it, though. The medical pros will not deliver false hope.
Mar. 22, 2012 7:45 am
Good Morning Mike, thanks for telling it like it is. I always love reading your inspired writings. Tears of joy and praise for your great report! May God continue to bless you and yours!
Mar. 22, 2012 8:19 am
Good morning, Shearone! I don't know why I have been the recipient of so many blessings. Maybe it is to make sure I continue doing what I am doing? Dunno.
Mar. 22, 2012 9:10 am
Good morning Mike. Just responding to your comment regarding what Ellen said. You're right that we should try to embrace life's pop ups. Also wanted to see how you're doing today.
Mar. 22, 2012 9:30 am
Doing just fine, Rosebud! Thank you. Tomorrow morning I get to remove the bandaging from the surgical sites and I get to see what I'm living with- finally! ;)
Mar. 22, 2012 10:23 am
Well I do hope there aren't any lice by the time you arrive at my house. Looking forward to hearing more about your lifestyle changes.
Mar. 22, 2012 11:44 am
As I see it, the distance between our house, Lady Sparkles house and your house isn't so far that the supply will be exhausted. More than happy to explain the fine art of biting lice! If we are frugal, there ay be some left to share with Cat!
Mar. 22, 2012 2:19 pm
Keep your lice to yourself! Please! I can't wait for you all to visit here. Maybe the travel be smooth and the weather fine!
Mar. 22, 2012 6:19 pm
But Cat!!! There's so much to share!
Mar. 23, 2012 5:48 pm
Yes Mike!! Love the new "buzz word." Re-future-ing. I am so glad that you have come through all those procedures and continue to feel better, stay positive and choose to live a better life that will help you stay here longer. Please continue to post all that you learn and your goodness/happiness will be contagious!
Mar. 24, 2012 4:51 pm
Good evening, Rhonda! I'm happy you love "re-future-ing". I was trying to find a word that could describe this undertaking and somehow, this non-word popped into my skull. (Probably looking for a spacious environment.) ... I would like to stay here longer but, I think, that may be accomplished by making what's left to be better than what's passed. Longevity is welcome but good health is more welcome. Thanks for commenting!
Mar. 27, 2012 9:37 am
Oh, Mike! That is wonderful news!!!!! I'm so happy for you:o) We will have a proper celebration at Cat's this summer! Keep on keeping on:)
Mar. 27, 2012 11:06 am
Thank you, Mangel! There's going to be plenty to celebrate besides this. I keep hearing stories about Lady Sparkle and Magnolia Blossom and we are traveling with them.f we don't show up, I'll be needing somebody to find out what jail we are in.
Mar. 30, 2012 8:19 am
Hey Buddy! So glad to hear you are doing better! (Mad at myself for not spending more time on AR!) Can't wait to meet you in June.....if you can't walk so far, we'll walk for you! XOXO
Mar. 30, 2012 10:58 am
Walking will be fine for me, Cindy. I had a walk of 5.5 miles at 3.1 mph yesterday and a 2.5 hour workout of weights and stretching. Nothing was at an aerobic level, though. Gotta wait for the doc to OK that.
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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Battle Creek, Michigan, USA

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog.
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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