Update: Encouragement Cards will be shipped


Remember how I said you would pick up Encouragement Cards at Walgreens? I stand corrected.  Walgreens will ship them to the address specified in PayPal.  The current ship-time specified by Walgreens is 8 days.  Presently we are only shipping to US addresses via USPS standard.  

I included a couple of screen shots so you can see what they look like.  If you haven’t been to the LHC Shop yet, please stop by!


295. My Best Beans

My Best Beans |Vegan, No Refined Sugar | Ann Ning Learning How

Not only are these my best beans, these will likely be my only beans.  I don’t think I’m digesting their protein well.  If I were not in a bit of a digestive pickle due to the AVM rupture + massive stroke I would be eating these all the time – so that’s why I feel good about recommending them to people looking for a tasty plant-based protein source.  My statement re. not digesting the beans’ protein well  is based solely on CMD’s evaluation of my tongue – these (like all the other food I’m eating) caused me zero digestive distress.  I  actually told Mommy after I made these that I was so happy that my soaking method appeared to make these easy for my belly to take(The popular bean soaking method I found online:  Soak dry beans for 2-3 days, changing the water every morning and night.  Add bay leaves, ginger, or kombu to the soaking water.  I used 2-3 bay leaves.)  I normally avoid beans in chili or in other dishes at restaurants, but these were fantastic for my purpose.  I cooked them in a vegan baked-bean style, with no added oil (I don’t count greasing the baking dish) or salt, a la Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live method.  I love baked beans, but they don’t love me back.  These, however, contain no refined sugar and I included a bit of cinnamon so it smelled lovely – like the chicken Moroccan stew I used to cook all the time in Oregon.

I had my first personal training session yesterday.  I got to lie on the mat pretty much the whole time, but fascinatingly, I am still sore.  D evaluated my muscles and could tell right away that there are differences between the right and left sides.  Happily, he has plans for how to address them.  It came to light that D married a respected dietitian in our area, or a nutritionist, or something, and knows about this stuff himself. Great.  Another person to debate with over how I eat.

Just kidding.  The nutritional advice he gave me was very kindly given, based in clinical research, and was just that – advice, not a decree.  So I’m going to ponder the future of my Vegan Experiment, but I have to say that I am enjoying it so far and my tongue looks better.  It’s still not pink like yours, but the whiteness has receded a bit and isn’t as thick.  So I’m going to keep on going for now.

My Best Beans [Vegan]

These are baked beans sweetened with dates instead of oodles of brown sugar.  You’ll bake them at 350, but you pre-cook them on the stove so you could probably preheat the oven near the end of the stovetop cooking step.

1. Prepare the Beans:

1 16 oz bag of dry cannellini beans (you could try navy, pinto, or whatever you like)

  • Soak (instructions in paragraph 1 above) and rinse them
  • Cook them in a pan of water for 45 minutes.  Although the end result was fabulous, this might be a little overkill since you’re going to simmer them and then bake them, but I’ve never cooked beans before, so I cooked them just in case.  Use your own judgment on if/how long to precook the beans.

2.  Prepare the Base:

  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ small onion
  • 1.5 tsp Mrs. Dash No Salt
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 10 dates (pitted and pre-soaked in hot water for 15 minutes)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (I would’ve used fresh, but we were out)
  • splash of natural maple flavoring
  • dash of cinnamon
  • Throw everything in your blender or food processor and puree.


3.  Cook the mushrooms and beans on the stove

  • 1/2 lb of sliced mushrooms, e.g. baby bella
  • veggie broth
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Broth-sauté the mushrooms:  Bring a splash of vegetable broth to a boil (as much as you can since it’s only a splash).  Add the mushrooms in, stir and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  Stir again and cover on low-medium heat for 2 minutes.  The mushrooms will release more water.
  • Pour the base (#2) over the mushrooms, stir, cover, and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the beans and stir, cover and let cook, stirring occasionally for 45-60 minutes.

4.  Bake

  • Pour into a greased casserole, cover and bake for 60 minutes at 350.






The Weeks in Review – Nov 2, 2013



It’s already November and I forgot to wish you a happy PT month (it was October).  See the progression in the sign above?  I’m SO going to look like that figure on the right.  🙂

It’s been a good morning – I ate my breakfast and then cooked a nice vegan bisque – chowder for lunch.  The Vegan Experiment continues.  I really am trying to get plenty of plant-based protein and Mommy helps me monitor this, but I was discussing the strength of my digestive system as shown by the state of my tongue (as explained by CMD) with Tanpo last night and he was not pleased at the idea of Ann/Ning not eating meat presently.  He needn’t worry – Mommy is watching me.  It’s just that if Dad sees me eating he’s like, “Good girl.”  I think it’s a Dad thing to be enthused/concerned re. your kid’s nourishment.



Dad and karine - Cherry BlossomsMonday (Oct 21): Experience

Tuesday: Thanksgiving –  Baked Butternut Apples

Wednesday: Mirror Image

Thursday:  The 7th Hospital

Friday: Flourless Maple Pecan Brownies (GF, Vegan)

Monday (Oct 28):  Thanksgiving – “Cheesy” Veggie Bake (Vegan)

Tuesday:  Shopping Day

Wednesday:  Praise Report

Thursday:  Outlier 2.0

Friday:  Mundane

Outlier 2.0 | Ann Ning Learning How

277. Wake Up Call


See? It got better, just like I promised. Sorry for the emotional ambush yesterday, everyone – my bad. I am so used to this subject matter that I sometimes forget that it is upsetting. Let’s call that a defense mechanism. But still, sorry – I will be happier today. JPAS shared a verse on Sunday during the Lord’s Supper – Exodus 2.25 (ESV) “God saw the people of Israel – and God knew.” The context is that the Lord saw Israel’s suffering while they were slaves in Egypt…and He knew.

When you combine the question, “Don’t you know” with the natural inquiry, “Don’t you care?” you get a probing heart-cry that many experience. In case you’re wondering, however, if the “You” in the questions is God, the answer in both cases is YES.

The next logical question is, Well, if God knows and cares about my situation, why hasn’t He DONE SOMETHING about it yet?!?! I don’t know the specific answer to this question for you, but I know the general answer for me. I’ll touch on it tomorrow, but I’m going to write about it fully in the 2nd Vol. of my “Memoirs” – you know, the one that I can’t write yet bc I have to wait for more stuff to happen. Incidentally, I am praying that Vol. 1 of my “Memoirs” will be ready soon – I’m still ironing out logistics and would appreciate it if you’d pray with me.


I took this picture on Saturday. E&R came to visit and we went to visit S, “my other jeweler.” My “original” jeweler is Mr. K (Classic). I always said that if the financial analyst thing didn’t pan out I was going to come home and be his apprentice. Sadly, there is no room for vision and fine motor skill impairments as a jeweler. Another dream bites the dust.

But I took this picture bc I sat on the same bench I did over two years ago when I went to go buy my walking ring. Actually, I did not sit on the bench then – Mommy parked my wheelchair next to it and Daddy got us (predictably) ice cream at (predictably) my request, and we had a snack there. This time I sidled up to the bench on my own steam.

It was S’s idea to engrave my walking ring with the date of when I first walked (9.21.11). The ring was still with her when I walked, so Mommy called S to tell her the date. So we have good news then, S said.

I wanted to share this email (the one that followed directly after yesterday’s) because it talks about when I woke up. My social worker at The Place asked me to tell her about the first thing I remembered. I told her I saw a pretty nurse bending over me and pinching me. She encouraged me to respond saying stuff like, I know you can do it, etc.

My nurse found me online after I sent “thank you” cards to the hospitals, and when I clicked on her FB profile my eyes widened and a lump came to my throat. I had always thought that I might have dreamed what she looked like, but she really does look like that – and I’ll always remember how her words pleaded with me to rejoin the land of the living.

Later on, my therapists et. al would talk to me, and the assumption was that I was already a part of the land of the living and I could laugh and joke about things like people do. Even now I see myself in those situations as a 3rd party observer, not really believing those words were for me.

But they were, and I know it seems like a little thing, but talking to me like everything was business-as-usual, and treating me with extra kindness when the occasion required are things my medical teams did for me that I will never forget. To quote myself:

“I would like to thank Dr. Dogan, the surgeon who saved my life, as well as the army of doctors, nurses, therapists, and aides who brought me this far. If this hadn’t happened to me I would have never been privileged to see the strange and wonderful world you work in, where you change people’s lives on a daily basis. I know because you changed mine.” (Learning How… Vol. 1, Introduction)

Thank you can never be enough, and too few of us say it. But it’s all I can do right now – and let me assure you that I REALLY mean it: Thank you xoxo.

4.10.11: Day 3, Sunday – This is what everyone was waiting for.

Dear Beloved,

We give thanks to the Father of mercies for His hand of grace and answer to all your prayers.

Yesterday was a low point as we sent out the update regarding Ning’s condition. We went to bed agreeing that we probably would not be able to get to church. When we got up in the morning, we decided to go attend the Lord’s Supper and remember the Lord as He commanded. We would not able to see Ning ‘til after the Lord’s Supper. We decided that was the right thing to do, with the thought that Ning would go to the Lord’s Supper under the circumstances.

On the way we telephoned OHSU and spoke with the nurse on duty and asked how Ning did during the night. She said that Ning did fine and as a matter of fact Ning responded to their commands to wiggle her toes and she even gave a thumbs up.…When we heard that Ning gave the thumbs up we knew that this was Ning and we burst into tears and gave thanks loudly in the car.

We thought we were going to be late for church but before we knew it we arrived on time and had a few minutes to spare. We passed the news to one of the elders to make an update announcement at the end of the meeting. All in all, the Lord’s Supper was a warm and wonderful remembrance of our Savior Who loved us and gave Himself for us, with many participating with a word, prayer or hymn. When the announcement was made about Ning’s responses to commands and the thumbs up she gave, they broke into applause and disregarded the normal decorum. After the meeting, the believers came up and greeted us most cordially. It is evident that there is so much love for Ning and they have been praying most earnestly as you have.

We quickly returned to OHSU and went to see Ning. G, the nurse, woke Ning up, saying, Ann I am going to do some suction and make you cough. Wake up, your mom and dad are here to see you! As a result of the suction she did cough and she did wake up from her slumber and opened her big eyes. This is the first time we have seen Ning open her eyes on her own. At G’s request, Ning wiggled her left toes. Give us a “thumbs up”, G said. Ning responded with moving her left thumb up! We gave thanks to the Lord. PT then left to bring in Ernie and Ai Ai so that they could see Ning as visiting is restricted. Juio told Ning that was what PT was going to do. When Ernie and Ai Ai came in, we could see Ning’s eyes focus on Ernie and Ai Ai as they talked with her. We are really thankful for that. Ernie pulled out a card that his daughter little Karine had drawn for Ning. Ai Ai asked if Ning would like to see Karine’s card and to answer yes by blinking her eyes. Ning obliged! She kept her eyes opened for a long time even though we asked her to rest. We did not wish to overdo and exhaust her. We told her we were going for lunch. “So, don’t go away, OK, as we shall be right back.” These are the typical words that Hannah and Karine, her nieces, would say to her when they wish to make a quick exit and come back later.

Thanks for all your earnest prayers that have gone before the Father of Mercies. Please continue to uphold Ning before His Throne of Grace. The staff tells us that Ning is still in a critical stage and the process can be expected to be long and not to get our expectations too high. There could be some ups and downs which would be normal.

So, today is as different from the last two days as between day and night! Praised be our Blessed Lord for His mercies and His intervening Hand. He is present all the time but we could not humanly see Him. Underneath Ning are His everlasting arms.

Ning has been resting peacefully this afternoon and is probably exhausted by all the activities from us.

Tomorrow morning, the doctors will perform an angiogram on Ning’s brain to get a better picture of any remaining AVM clusters. Please pray for this procedure to be completed safely, for the Lord to guide the doctor’s hands, and that the results would be clear and accurate. Please also pray with us for the doctors to have wisdom in evaluating the results and determining the next course of action, if any.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

Gratefully in His love,

Juio, Ernie, AiAi & PT

All dressed up…

With no place to go…do you ever feel like that? Eddie was planning on wearing this outfit to the OR. Thank you so much, Dr. SJ, for snagging me the goods! My healthcare is changing to Medicare – thanks for praying re this decision! I’m just waiting for confirmation and then I’ll go to my new doctor and PT and my Daddy’s ENT. She will decide if I go to ST again or surgery. So I will keep this outfit in the drawer in case Eddie needs it later :).


The Week in Review – September 7, 2013



This is another old Labor Day Picture (2010).  See how little Ezzie is?  He’s just a baby.  I was playing the piano that morning so I was practicing and then J==>G, who was walking by, said he saw a pink blur as I shot out of the big hall and ran down or up the hill (can’t remember).  Maybe I was late for a meal, or I was just in a rush to get back to Tim&Ai Ai’s (I always stayed with their family in the T Cottage).  The point is, though, that I was running.  Probably not very fluidly or fast – I didn’t hope for those in my old life, either, but I could do it.  This year I brought Charles ( My Rice Baby stroller) and chugged up the hill slowly but steadily.  My face was really red afterwards, but I did it.  Excuse me – I have to go count my blessings now.  Plus, I’m upstairs but I can hear that Mommy is clearly baking something.  The oven door is seeing some use.  It is my duty to go check it out.  Have a great weekend!




Monday:  I’m not hating... (excuse the expression)
and flourless Peanut Butter treats [GF, Vegan]

Tuesday:   Dark Chocolate Sun Butter Brownies [flourless, GF, Vegan]
PB Bread [Grain and Dairy Free, No Sugar Added]
and PBJ Bars [Grain and Dairy Free]

Wednesday:  Well Manicured

Thursday:  I ❤ Land & Pool PT Pie – Almond Coconut Blondie Pie with a Brownie Swirl [flourless, GF, Vegan]
please go make this now.

Friday:  Too Much Fun

123 x2. Don’t You Care? & Ed goes to the driving range


I’m still on vacay.  In fact, I’m extending it so I’m outtie for the entire week.  We had a lovely time with the ladies on Saturday – thank you all for coming out and for being such a gracious bunch of listeners.  And thank you all for praying xoxo.  Ed would have been there except it was a gathering of Ladies so he went to the driving range with the Men Folk.  :).

I’ll see you all next Monday!

This was the first time I heard myself play the piano (I’m still sitting at the keyboard) and I heard what I sounded like.

This was the first time I heard myself play the piano (I’m still sitting at the keyboard) and I heard what I sounded like.

Ji read the account of Peter walking on water on Sunday morning.  At least that’s what I think he read – I’ve had hearing loss so I often fill in the blank with what I think was said.  It reminded me of a favorite passage in Mark 4 – the one the phrase, “Peace, be still” comes from.

Tanpo read the Scriptures to me at night before he and Mom would leave for the evening.  I would often request something and I remember requesting Mark 4.  We never talked about it, but I remembered this since I’ve enjoyed this passage for years and I had a deep desire to hear it again.  Long after my parents left and during the days that followed I’d lie in my bed and think, “He cares.  He cares.”  Because that’s why I wanted Dad to read Mark 4 to me.

First of all, it’s the Lord who suggests, “Let us cross over to the other side,” (Mark 4.35).  Changing locations was His idea in the first place, and idea execution is a non-issue for Him.  I like to remember that me being disabled was His idea in the first place (I was initially a very unwilling participant) and He’s the One who’s going to see this thing through.  Second of all, I like this account because the disciple’s question is so terribly honest.  The wind and waves are crashing around them, and the Lord is asleep – asleep – in the stern.  So they wake Him and say, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4.38).

Can’t you hear their tone of voice?  They’re like, Hellooooo – we’re all gonna die.  I know that tone of voice since I use it often myself (at least mentally).  It’s not the amazing power the Lord demonstrates as He calms the storm that grabs me, it’s the fact that such a raw question made it into the Scriptures that made me request this passage in the hospital.

In answer to their question, the Lord addresses the situation immediately.  I would love for my situation to be addressed immediately, too, but we’re not working on my timeline.  He then asks the disciples, Where is your faith?  Sometimes I can’t find mine.  Maybe I left it in the pocket of the jeans I was wearing when my brain bled.  Or maybe it is in storage with the rest of my things in that garage in OR.  But no, it’s still with me – along with my family, it’s one of the things Ididn’t lose that day.  I just forget sometimes and need to be reminded that He cares.

Hebrews 11.6 But without faith, it is impossible to please Him.

Psst – read this, too!

63. Everything is *Completely* Under Control