Thursday, December 29, 2011


 My son and I have been busy at work re-purposing more wood palates.  This time we took an entire palate and cut some fence boards I picked up at Home Depot and screwed them in from the bottom to fill in the gaps.  My wife is going to add some concrete with colored glass or something into the gaps.
 We took a four by four post and created some legs and bought some expensive feet that screwed into the four by four legs.  The final wood portion of this project was to create an edge around the table to hide the opening of the palate and also keep the concrete in place when it is poured later this week once staining is complete.
My wife used some old stain we had laying around the house to "country chick" the look and you get a real nice outdoor palate coffee table to match our outdoor palate bench.  These projects have been lots of fun because my wife has been scouring craigslist for free palates and I just buy a bucket of screws, nails, a few knotty two by fours, and some one by four by six foot fencing.  Total cost so far is just under twenty five bucks.  The feet were four dollars each so take out that sixteen dollars and we have a real deal but, the feet set it off nicely.  I always say the first one is our base model and we can make the following models better once we build the first and find out what works and what does not.  Our bench needs a little extra support for the back rest and I have to finish sanding (you can just imagine the splinters from sitting on palate wood) the legs and then it is just stain and call it done. 

What my son and I have learned so far is that whenever you buy any saw may it be circular, jig, or mitre saw you should always just buy a new blade to put on.  The blades saws come with these days are junk and replacing the blades makes a world of difference.  Then we also learned we do need to get a table saw and a router would finish off the wood working tools real nicely.  I can't wait till we move to welding.  These backyard projects are very good father and son bonding and learning times.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lower Carb Homestyle Breakfast

 I know the pictures do no do this meal much eye pleasure but the taste was out of this world.  This meal will definitely make it to my list of breakfasts to cook on a Saturday or Sunday morning.  Remember me telling everyone about a couple of classes I am teaching on January 7th?  The classes are outdoor cooking A to Z (one hour class) and also Dutch oven cooking (another one hour class).  Since I am a diabetic there will be healthier foods than normally prepared out of a dutch oven. 
This meal here is simply one pound cooked sausage, I used a maple sausage and it gave the meal a nice sweet flavor to it.  Then it was six eggs, half a cup of cheese, and eight pieces of bread, and alot of milk (I can't remember how much).  Now that is half of what the meal actually called for but, since this was for a family of three I did not want to eat four eggs and a half loaf of bread for breakfast.  The instructions call for just putting a layer of bread down, then sausage, the egg, and last some of the cheese.  This layering method made two layers and I put just three whole pieces of bread down and broke up the fourth piece and placed it in the cracks.  Now I say this is a lower carb because you are only eating a slice or two of bread and with the cheese you can use as much or as little as you want. 

The great thing about his meal is that you can add or subtract ingredients along the way.  Next time I will probably put in some onion and peppers and play around with some salsa or chipotle sauces.  Kind of make a breakfast lasagna.  The last is something like cook it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a fork comes out clean.

The flavor is kind of like a keish, french toast, scrambled egg, homestyle thing.  It was so good I had seconds and it did not give me any sort of off the wall highs after eating it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Endangered Diabetic

 My wife says I love to take pictures of myself?  Who am I to disagree from looking at the pictures on my blog.  I must be the happiest diabetic on the planet.  Yes, my wife made me a custom winter panda hat.  It fits perfectly over my satellite ears and is warm as can be.
 We were looking everywhere to buy one and none of them had the widows peak and most had the eyeballs on the top.  The hats with the eyeballs look like someone just shot a panda and put it on their head.  I was looking for one that incorporated me as part of the panda, kind of like an endangered diabetic panda.
Yes, I am the goofiest diabetic on the planet but, I now feel like a teenager and also have warm ears.  Since today is Friday and I probably will not be posting on my blog until after Christmas, I must say Merry Christmas to all of you diabetics out there.  If you find a way to bolus for grazing on food all day please let me know.  We have a Greenburg turkey in the fridge (this is the one Oprah Winfrey used to give as holiday gifts and they are from Tyler, TX) and a honey baked ham in the freezer.  Today at 2PM I will go out and start my Christmas shopping.  My wife says I procrastinate alot as well.  She knows me like the back of her hand.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Have a seat.

 My wife, the middle school coach and science teacher has a best friend at her school and it is the art teacher.  She hangs out with her any chance she can (my wife is also in love with art) and the two of them search the Pinterest website looking for art projects.
 The good thing about my wife is that she realizes that Michael's is a very expensive store.  The bad thing is she can still find projects out of free material.  I have a garage full of flattened card board boxes just waiting for her to glue together and make furniture.
 Some of these art projects are fun and Zaine and I get to participate in (kind of like the whole family working together).  What you see in these pictures is the art of repurposing old pallets.  If you remember we took old pallets and made "Pete's" chicken coup earlier this month.  Now we (Zaine and I) are to make an outdoor lounge area out of these pallets.
Above is our first attempt at making a bench.  We took a pallet and cut it into thirds.  The first third is the seat, the second third is the back and well the last part is just in the yard.  Then we took a pressure treated two by four and made legs.  I did not want simple legs and my wife wanted me to use a four by four post so we compromised and we did a little jig saw, cowboy, eagle claw, style legs.  Looks almost safe enough to sit on.  Next will be the coffee table.  My wife wants to take an entire pallet and screw boards under the top boards and fill in the gap with concrete and broken glass.  This sounds even more safe than the rusty nail bench.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Class Prep

I am teaching some camping classes on January 7th.  So to do some prep work I have been busy making all sort of Dutch oven meals.
while I have been making these wonderful meals I have learned something about how to motivate my son.  If I asked him to go in the kitchen and cook us dinner he would complain and procrastinate.  Now when I tell him to go in the backyard and get 40 briquettes going and when you are done with that cook up this ground turkey and add in these other items.  He gets all sorts of excited to do these things.  The difference is one is used and thought of as a chore and the other is an adventure with fire and food.
Not only am I preparing for these classes but also we are coming up with ideas to help us do more duth oven cooking in our back yard.  Notice in the pictures my Dutch oven cooking site is made of bricks covered in foil.  We now have an idea to make something like a bar but instead it can be for Dutch oven cooking so we don't have to cook on the concrete floor.
Since I am diabetic (hence the name The Diabetic Camper) and the first thing everyone thinks of when you pull out the old Dutch oven is cobler.  I am working on  making healthier meals but with that same old flavor we all know and love when camping.  That is the taste of home cooking.
The meal in the attached pictures is a modified cowboy cornbread made with lean ground turkey, onion, bell pepper, black beans, corn, rotels tomatoes, tomato sauce (small can), a layer of cheese on top then one package of corn bread mix poured on top.  This gets about 40 carba per serving and also fills you up nicely.  Oh I also used one pound of turkey and when cooking it in the Dutch oven I added taco seasoning.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Birthday party

 My wife's birthday was December 13th but she was extremely sick with a cold.  She did not want to go out for dinner, nor did she feel up for any fun and games.  That is why I steered clear and installed the dishwasher on her birthday.  I told her that we would celebrate her birthday properly this weekend once she felt better.
 Brenda was pretty bummed that we did not do anything in celebration for her birthday (I told her that installing the dishwasher was pretty special but she did not think so).  I did mention to her that we were going to celebrate her birthday this Saturday after she had her basketball game and was feeling better (she completely forgot about that conversation with me).  The first thing we did was get an assortment of six cupcakes from Annie's Bakery in Murphy, TX.  To personalize the cupcakes Annie printed an edible picture of "Pete" the chicken with caption above it saying "Happy Birthday Mom" (this was Zaines way of contributing to the celebration).
  If you can't really see the pictures above of "Pete" on the cupcake, above is a picture of Zaine trying to get "Pete" to act like a parrot and sit on his shoulder.  We have now put a golf ball in "Pete's" bedding to try and get her to start laying eggs.  She has two options, either lay eggs or become fried chicken in the spring.

So what do you get your wife who is bummed for three days because of a horrible cold and that she did not have a special birthday?  A NEW CARYes folks you heard me right, after my wife drove her Subaru Baja from mile 23 to mile 170,234 and from August 2003 till December 2011, she has upgraded and downsized from a midsize all wheel drive SUC (sports utility car) to a 2008 Mini Cooper S.
I have been working for the past six months trying to find the right car at the right price for my wife.  First there was the A3 but negotiations broke down and the dealership sold it.  Then there was the Mini Cooper S above that we started negotiating on before Thanksgiving and I had to walk away from the first time because we could not meet at the right price.  Then came the worst part which was trying to work with the Fiat dealership.  They offered such a low ball on my wife's car that I could sell the car just as metal to a scrap yard for more money than they offered to buy it for.  They even were bragging to me on how cheap they buy trade-in's and told me the price they paid for most of the cars on their used lot.  Then it was back to the Mini Cooper S and the dealership finally agreed with me and we are both happy.  My wife loves her new (new to her) car and the dealership has it off of their lot after almost four months.  .

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dia-banksy is back!

 My son is a Sophomore at Wylie High School and takes welding technology class.  He is not very driven in the usual subjects in school like math, English language arts, science, or history.  The one thing my son loves is his elective classes.  Those classes are welding and agriculture.
 For Christmas my son has been working on making me a charcoal grill that has a grate top on it so I can use a griddle standing up.  He has been working on this for the past two weeks.  The only thing is that the charcoal grill will not be ready by Christmas so he decided to make me another gift.
In these pictures you see an insulin syringe hot iron brand.  Yes, the type of brand you would put on your cattle, horses, goats and maybe "Pete" the chicken (just kidding about branding Pete).  You may remember my post over the summer about how I watched the documentary "Exit through the gift shop" with my mother.  Then after watching the documentary my brother and I cleaned out her garage and I made an insulin syringe stencil out of some cardboard.  My son took that picture and turned it into a hot iron brand.  How cool is that!  Now I am for sure going to be Dia-Banksy and have to start tagging things.  Using his resources another student in advanced wood shop class is going to make a wood handle for the brand.  Just wait till I have a heard of cattle with insulin syringe brands on them!  We joked about testing the brand on my forearm first so that first responders would know I am weird, I mean they would know I am diabetic.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Last weekend was the Frosty 5k.  I was planning on a 29 minute run and well I think that is what I did.  Do you notice everyone in our group wearing their numbers besides me?  That is because my number and my timing chip was sitting on my kitchen counter while I was at the race.  We had lots of fun and afterward the brisket breakfast tacos were excellent along with the Community Coffee from Rudy's.  This has inspired me to participate in more "organized" runs.  Then just when I have this vision quest to do more, a friend hits me up to do the Stone Bridge half in February.  Now that is going to stress me out all winter to run in the dark, snow, cold, and other stuff.   Or is it going to motivate me to stay healthy and train in this season?  Is there some secret force working in this world working against me or what?  A little FYI for you, the gentleman standing next to me wearing the shorts and Adidas stocking cap and shirt is Jeremy Wariners brother.  Yes the gold medal Olympic sprinter.  Just let me tell they are not both gold medalists.  He finished around the 28 minute point. 

I am probably late to this party but a friend of mine pointed out this remake of the LMFAO's song "Sexy and I know it" on YouTube.  This is "Santa and I know it"  The part that cracks me up most is when he says: "My doctor told me I have diabetes.  That's what happens when you eat a hundred billion cookies."  Now that is funny, even if you are not diabetic.  Just to warn you this is a little risky of a song and video.  Nothing bad just lots of sexual innuendo's. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Diabetes and Handyman work, do they get along together?

 On the web there are articles about how diabetics feel alone in certain situations.  May it be talking about their disease with others, or testing in public.  Personally I usually only feel like I am the only one when it comes to how bad I eat at times and also doing work around the house.  Lets leave the eating aside and look at my latest work.
 I have blogged before about how I could not find any information on how to clean my hands after doing car work with diabetes.  The grease and grime in my fingers when testing seems like it would alter my numbers.  Then building "Pete's" chicken coupe I tore up my fingers up pretty good.  Two weeks later and now they are starting to heal.  There is no information I can find about precautions or what others have done while doing home or auto maintenance in these situations.  Now I am going to make the most un-true statement ever and I know it is wrong:  I am the only diabetic that works on their own car and does home repairs.  This statement I know is 100% false but back to feeling alone, this is when I feel like I am the only one like this.
 Yesterday was my wife's birthday (Happy Birthday Brenda!) and she has been wanting a new dishwasher since the second day we moved into our house.  We bought our house new but our family is hard on appliances and well a bit lazy as well.  That whole rinsing and washing your dishes before you put them into the dishwasher just does not work for me. 
 What luck we had once she ordered her new dishwasher it was delivered about a week later on her birthday.  I took the day off to spend with her and to install the dishwasher.  As our house falls apart (almost ten years old) the more and more work on fixing items,  I am learning and doing the repairs on my own.  Have you ever thought about growing up as a child you should have paid more attention to your parents when they were fixing things?  I think that is one reason I make my son do alot of these repairs with me.  He needs to learn.
 So here we are (son, dog, and me) getting ready to put the new dish washer in the wall.  Looking at both washers sitting side by side you are thinking they look the same.  Well folks let me tell you our old washer seemed to make the dishes dirtier than when they were put in.
As a diabetic and a klutz put them together with home repairs and my hands are always destroyed and it seems like weeks of healing once I have completed these projects.  This time I tried to put a screw driver through my pointer finger and only took off an inch of skin. 
I know there are millions of diabetics out there that do this sort of stuff every day.  The only thing is I can't seem to find them on this inter web.  Just like how I never found any camping, outdoor, or guy stuff related to diabetes and I started blogging.  I know there has to be someone or somewhere out there that can help me get grease off of my hands or how to keep me from destroying my fingers and hands.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mini-Me or Mascot?

The first look at what might be everyones favorite diabetic camper.  The Diabetic Campers logo/mascot.  I recently asked my friend Deb Meyer if she would not mind doing a favor for me by creating the "image and look" of my blog.  She sent me these preliminary pictures and I was so excited that I had to share with everyone. 
If you can't tell, my blog is stock everything.  I spent a week making my blogger button alone and that was just taking a De Tomaso emblem picture and updating it in a free picture editor.  In the images above, the first one is a blood drop head camper with an insulin pump on his belt.  the second one is not a marshmallow on a stick, it is a needle in a insulin bottle dude.  We are going to move forward with the blood drop head guy.  The only thing is what name does he get?  Please let me know if you have any ideas for a name of the official mascot of "The Diabetic Camper."  The only name I have currently is "The diabetic drop of blood dude."  That just does not roll off of your tongue at all.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Late Night Low

 I think at some point every diabetic gets relaxed and comfortable with their diabetes.  I certainly do this well too often.  Last night I worked late on some recon items and left the office around 6:30pm or so.  When I arrived at home my usual routine went into focus on making sure Zaine (my son) has fed the dogs, his homework has been completed, and do some basic cleaning of the house and catching up with the news.
 During all of this stuff going on last night I also wanted to spend some time working on my classes I am teaching on Jan 7th on "outdoor cooking A to Z" and "Dutch Oven Cooking."  Since it is one month away there are some items I need to review and get my lesson plan together.
Around 11:00pm or so I decided it was time for bed.  If you look at my diabetes notebook for the date of 12-08-11 you see that the only thing I ate after 4:00pm was a root beer and a snicker bar.  Then came 3:00am in the morning and my mind was running on full, making lists of things to do and then it hit me,  I am probably low.  In the pictures you see that I was 52 at 3:12am and after 24 oz's of apple sauce and 6 oz's of orange drink I went back to bed.  Why does it feel like a Mac truck drove over you in the morning after a low?

How does anyone forget to eat dinner?  It just goes for show that I need to bring up with my dietitian the discussion on getting a CGM (continuous glucose monitor).  This topic has been avoided by myself due to the addition of another device to keep track of. Also having another needle duct taped to my body does not excite me.  Having a pump for over 10 years now I am used to it, but to add another item to stick to my body seems way too crowded.  Just thinking of the new camping issues makes my head spin.  Then there is the issue of paying for more diabetes crap.  If I were just worked harder on my diet and carb counting a CGM is not necessary.  Oh well I think the answer is to get the CGM and bite the bullet.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Random winter wants

I am truly a kid at heart and I see all these youth running around in these crochet animal head hats.  Am I too old for one?  The Panda winter hat is on my list of "wants" this Christmas.  My wife has said she can make me one but there are different looks and maybe an owl head would fit me better.  When I was in grade school my mother bought me a knit hat that had a fake pair of goggles on the part you fold up.  Everyone in grade school loved that hat and so did I.  That hat was worn from kindergarten until probably fifth or sixth grade.  I thought I lost it years ago, then one day at my sisters house and she pulled it out of a drawer.  Why does my sister keeps all my memories from me (just kidding)?
As a child my mother would frequent the thrift bakery shop.  This place was a carb lovers dream come true.  They had mini donuts, fried pies, and every bread on the planet.  I drive by a "Mrs. Baird's" thrift bread store on my way to and from work each day.  This store closes at 6pm and usually I either have something to get to or I work too late and the store is closed.  The other day I had a chance to stop in and look around.  These stores should have a diabetic alarm on them.  I picked up as you can see in the picture above 2 packages of eight cinnamon rolls, a pound of powder donut gems, and a pound of chocolate donut gems all for four dollars and fifty cents.  That is like the deal of the century.  They sell fried pies for seventy five cents.  I used to love fried pies.  Maybe these are some of the reasons I became diabetic?  They don't have any loaves of bread over two dollars and fifty cents.  Most bread at the grocery store runs three bucks or more.  I am going to have to add this store to my regular stops.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


 It is that time of year when a few friends from work get together for the Frosty 5k and Merry Mile.  We did this run last year as a team and was a blast.  Partly because it was good weather and this is a flat course.  Put those two items together and that makes fun for all.
 Above is the usual long sleeve T-shirt you get for participating.  I usually give my running T-shirts to my dogs to use as blankets unless I get one that is really unique.  This shirt is too main stream and pretty for me.  I like my shirts really odd looking like my "Onion Festival" shirt.  The shirt just has a big onion on it with "Onion Festival 2008" written above it.  I get alot of comments about that one.  I tell them "What happens at the Onion Festival, stays at the Onion Festival."
 Running for me lately has been about keeping my diabetes under control and to give me the ability to just eat like crap.  Why not run for two hours and try to polish off a bucket of fried chicken afterwards?  Sounds good to me.  Burn the carbs and replace it with a bunch of fat.  My pace is slow and paying good money to have a timer tell me so just seems wrong.  People say, "well you should do it for the charity" and I tell them isn't diabetes enough for me to support?
 I guess this frosty 5k is my annual race to run now.  The Dallas White Rock Marathon was last weekend and I thought about entering the half marathon until someone told me it cost 130 bucks.  That is a bit high for my slow feet to pay for right now.  My wife and I had participated in marathons years ago and they used to cost us 60 bucks.  At that price I felt that running slow for five hours was worth the price for charity.  It has been so long since I have participated in running events that when I received the goodies bag with my number in it I was confused on this timing thing.  I remember the big plastic things they zip tie to your shoes just before the run and they cut them off right afterwards.  This strip of metal thing looks like I was made in China and being shipped in a box of toys bound for Wal-Mart.
While rummaging through the goodies bag at the bottom was this 8FL OZ bottle of water.  I hope they have more water at the run and I am not supposed to be bringing this with me to drink afterwards.  I was hoping for maybe a GU or snack bar but only this tiny bottle of water was in the bag that falls under the "consumable" label. 

The fun thing about running and participating in running events is having a team.  If I was a member of a local running club then I would have an entirely different outlook on running events.  The game of competition drives us all to better ourselves.  I look forward to the frosty event every year because it is the one time a year my co-workers and I get out and compete to see how fast we can run for 3.2 miles.  After the event we head over to a BBQ place called Rudy's that serves up the best breakfast brisket tacos on the planet.  They also serve Community coffee which is probably my favorite because of the chicory in it.  I think that is the same thing with diabetes.  If we all are on a team that meets regularly and discusses relative subjects then the group as a whole improves their lifestyle.  Just doing things alone there is no reason to improve yourself if you are the only one in the game.  Belonging to a team brings out the energy to help others while improving yourself.  I should join the Plano Pacers again to motivate me not to eat the entire bucket of fried chicken.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Home sweet Pete's Home

 Previously I had mentioned about how our family has come into owning a chicken that my son named "Pete."  Now Pete (yes Pete is a girl) has been living in our garage while my son and I came up with a plan to build a chicken coup. 
 This past weekend I originally planned on going out to our land in east Texas to put out more deer corn, set up the game camera and chop some wood for the winter.  As is with all good plans I was tired by the time Friday rolled around and rain and cold was what the news told me. 
 Instead we built Pete this lovely chicken coup you can see in all the pictures.  We started with an old palate that my wife made me go and get in the middle of the night from some people who had to get them off of their property so they could get a city inspection.  My wife was planning on building her dream (OK a modified dream) back patio furniture set out of palates.  On a scale of one to ten she is about an eleven on her crafts.  I still have a garage full of card board boxes that was supposed to be turned into furniture as well.
 The bottom of the coup is a palate and we filled the gaps with old fence boards we saved from when we had our fence replaced.  The the four supports are from an old landscaping timber we saved from the old fence as well.
 At an auction I purchased the chicken wire for one dollar (money well spent).  The the back boards are from another palate.  The side boards are cedar pickets from Home Depot.  The top is made of pressure treated 2.4's and two 6x2 sheets of corrugated tin also from Home Depot.  Then there are random nails, screws, and the hay.
We even built a nesting box for her with a ramp (we did forget to put the steps on the ramp) for her to climb into.  In the end I spent about 50 bucks and my son and I learned all sorts of things about how to build a chicken coup.  We could have purchased one at Tractor Supply for something like a hundred fifty dollars.  We do have to still paint it with some discount paint I purchased off of the wrong color rack at Home Depot as well.  This was a great father and son experience that we both learned alot and feel proud now that if we were homeless then maybe some palates could be our future home.  I am just saying.

Monday, December 5, 2011

20% off

Here is the coupon code for Mountainsmith again.  Today has been a busy day so sorry for the light on the reading.  Tomorrow will be exciting!