Archive for August, 2010

New Puppies at Mountain Valley View Farm!

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Monday, August 30, 2010

Ginger, our full bred cockapoo had a litter of five puppies on July 8, 2010. All of them are second generation cockapoos, which means two cockapoos were bred to each other. Normally a cocker spaniel is bred to a toy poodle. A 2nd generation cockapoo litter is smaller in size. Because this breed is more rare, the expense is higher. Ginger, the puppies’ mother, is a silver, beige, and white cockapoo with a very loyal and loving personality who loves to be around; and the father Reggie is a red cockapoo, a loyal companion who enjoys spending time with his owner. The three females and two males all have a complete set of vaccinations, health examinations, dew claws removed, and tails docked. They are ready for pick-up September 2nd, a perfect gift to start off the fall season.

Cockapoos are known for their intelligent, affectionate personalities and playful activity. They also have the low-shedding and low-dander qualities of the poodle, making them the ideal pet for any home.

If you interested in more information about these sweet puppies or would like to bring one home with you, please call 509-922-0456.

This is Cocoa. She is black with a mahogany colored undercoat. Some say she has brindle coloring, but I’m not sure. She has a white marking under her chin. She is shy, but very sweet. She is the smallest puppy in the litter.

This is Sadie. Red colored female with curly hair. She is very playful and likes to explore. She has a very sweet disposition.

This is Molly. Red colored straight- haired female with white stripe. She has the darkest red coat with dark red ears. She was the first born of the litter.

This is Rex. Red colored male with white stripe. He has a very adventurous personality, and is the biggest of the litter.

This is Teddy. Silver cream colored male. He is an easy-going companion. His coat is the most curly of the whole bunch and he reminds us of a cute cuddly teddy bear.


Huckleberry Season is Here!

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Author: Laurel F
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are right in the thick of huckleberry season, that marvelous time of year when the Northwest’s favorite berry is ripe and ready for the plucking!

Huckleberries are a delicious, blueberry-like fruit that can range in color from deep crimson to dark purple. Because huckleberry bushes yield a small amount of fruit compared to other berry bushes, they are rarely grown by farmers. Most huckleberries are handpicked in the wild and sold in local stores and farmer’s markets, or harvested for specific companies that use the berries to make syrups, jams, jellies, and other tasty treats. Many huckleberries grow in high elevations on the slopes of mountains. There are dozens of varieties, but the most sought after is the black huckleberry, which yields its sweetest fruit at elevations of 3000 to 6000 feet.

The huckleberry has great cultural significance for the local Native Americans: the Yakamas used them as a major food source for centuries, and still uses them in feasts and religious ceremonies today. For others in the Pacific Northwest, this berry is quite beloved, spawning numerous Huckleberry Festivals in small towns across the region. Even bears love these juicy, flavorful berries–so if you are out in a remote location looking for your own huckleberries to pick, be careful!

Once you have a gallon or two of huckleberries, what next? How to transform all those sweet berries into delectable treats that will delight you and your family… Luckily, we have just the thing! Huckleberry Delights is a wonderful cookbook full of delicious recipes that will help you make the most out of your huckleberries. Recipes have clear, simple directions and are accompanied by a collection of poems, folklore, and history that add to your enjoyment and knowledge. Huckleberry Delights comes in several formats, including a bilingual English-Spanish version, a Christian version with selected Bible verses, a large print edition, and a journal that can be used to record your own thoughts and recipes. To order this unique cookbook, click here.


WACAP Placed Families Update: August 2010

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Monday, August 23, 2010

Dear Placed Families,

PBS is broadcasting a series of four documentaries about adoption in the coming weeks as a part of their Point of View (POV) series. (Synopses are here, here, here and here.) We hope that you will take the time to watch some, if not all, of these documentaries, as they explore many complex adoption issues.

Check your local listings for the time and station. Depending on your local programming, it appears that these documentaries may air more than once.

We’d like to invite you to consider donating an item or experience for our 2010 WACAP Children’s Hope Auction, which will be held on November 13 at the W Hotel in Seattle, or for our online auction, which will also be held in November. If you’d be willing to donate the use of your timeshare, boat or vacation home we would love it! And we’re not just looking for experiences in the Seattle area: Because our online auction reaches all of our supporters, we welcome donations for experiences across the United States and around the world. We’re also looking for tangible items such as tickets to sporting events or the theater; baskets of specialty foods; electronics, like digital cameras or iPods; or anything fun for an auction.

If you have an item to donate or have any questions, please contact us at Please note that all items for our live auction must have a retail value of $50 or more, and all tangible items must be new.

Tips From the WACAP Social Services Department
Many parents wonder when the time is right to send their adopted child to school, particularly those who bring home older children. How soon should your child start school, and how should you prepare him or her? Click here for some answers from our social services department.

Starting or going back to school can be a stressful event for an adopted child. Adoptive Families magazine has compiled a great page of resources that can help you ease the transition for your son or daughter.


Peaches & Dreams

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Friday, August 20, 2010

Peaches & Dreams

Sometimes it seems like the peaches of your dreams don’t exist. The peaches that always taste like summer. Smell like summer. Remind us of flaky crusted peach pies. And can’t be found in the grocery store.  The peaches that come straight off of the tree.  If you’re lucky enough to get this kind of peaches, you’re lucky enough.

Bob and Shelly Berryman of Twin Springs Farm have been growing the peaches of your dreams for several decades. Their Certified Organic farm is off the beaten path in Rice,  Washington. But you don’t have to travel quite that far for the fruit from the trees in their orchard.  They bring it to the Liberty Lake Farmers’ Market every Saturday. Peaches won’t be in season forever so why wait to indulge in every foodie’s dream. Eating raw peaches seems to be the easiest, but if you take the time to make peach sorbet or peach pie you won’t be disappointed. Bob and Shelly might even give you a recipe or a few pointers.

Pick up a copy of The Liberty Lake Splash this week. In it you will find a coupon that you can use to save when you purchase peaches from Bob and Shelly this weekend or next weekend.

These Melons are Guaranteed

Anderson’s Produce is a small family farm located along the Columbia River north of Kettle Falls. They grow everything they sell with organic practices with help from their nephews,  and an aunt, uncle, niece or cousin from time to time.  They have been around farmers markets for many years now and have been involved with eight farmers markets.

Each year the garden changes as they are always growing and learning. This year they added another acre of production. They have a few fruit trees, but they concentrate on their produce including melons, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and always zucchini.

When you come to the Market you can meet various members of the Anderson family. This past Saturday Ben was at the Market. And if you buy a melon from him he will guarantee that it is ripe. We caught Ben saying this to a customer, “I guarantee that my melons are ripe. If you ever get a bad melon from me just come back and I’ll give you another one.”

The type of service you get when you buy your food directly from the farmer is quite different from a grocery store experience.

Transitioning to Organic
Nate Drake, a student at Eastern Washington University, operates Paradise Prairie Farms.
He is in the process of Organic Certification for the farm. Recently he received his Transitional Organic Certificate
from the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Congratulations Nate!!!

His farm will be Certified Organic by May 2011.

Nate likes organically growing vegetables. His garlic braids are beautiful and garlic is one of his specialties. But he also grows beans, beets, carrots, leeks, onions, peppers, tomatoes, herbs and more.

Visit Nate at the Market to ask him more about his growing practices and about transitioning his farm to Organic.

Tip Top Melon Sherbet


Interesting research on moose

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Friday, August 20, 2010

Moose Offer Trail of Clues on Arthritis

George Desort

LONG-RUNNING A study that began in 1958 has found poor nutrition as the cause of arthritis.


In the 100 years since the first moose swam into Lake Superior and set up shop on an island, they have mostly minded their moosely business, munching balsam fir and trying to evade hungry gray wolves.

But now the moose of Isle Royale have something to say — well, their bones do. Many of the moose, it turns out, have arthritis. And scientists believe their condition’s origin can help explain human osteoarthritis — by far the most common type of arthritis, affecting one of every seven adults 25 and older and becoming increasingly prevalent.

The arthritic Bullwinkles got that way because of poor nutrition early in life, an extraordinary 50-year research project has discovered. That could mean, scientists say, that some people’s arthritis can be linked in part to nutritional deficits, in the womb and possibly throughout childhood.

The moose conclusion bolsters a small but growing body of research connecting early development to chronic conditions like osteoarthritis, which currently affects 27 million Americans, up from 21 million in 1990.

Osteoarthritis’s exact cause remains unknown, but it is generally thought to stem from aging and wear and tear on joints, exacerbated for some by genes. Overweight or obese people have greater arthritis risk, usually attributed to the load their joints carry, and the number of cases is increasing as people live longer and weigh more.

But the moose work, along with some human research, suggests arthritis’s origins are more complex, probably influenced by early exposures to nutrients and other factors while our bodies are developing. Even obesity’s link to arthritis probably goes beyond extra pounds, experts say, to include the impact on the body of eating the wrong things.

Nutrients, experts say, might influence composition or shape of bones, joints or cartilage. Nutrition might also affect hormones, the likelihood of later inflammation or oxidative stress, even how a genetic predisposition for arthritis is expressed or suppressed.

“It makes perfect sense,” said Dr. Joanne Jordan, director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina. “Osteoarthritis starts way before the person knows it, way before their knee hurts or their hand hurts. It’s very clear that we’re going to have to start looking back” at “things in the early life course.”

Such research could lead to nutritional steps people can take to protect against osteoarthritis, a condition that is often painful or debilitating, and according to federal data, costs billions of dollars annually in knee and hip replacements alone.

“It would be helpful to know if we want to make sure pregnant moms are taking certain vitamins or if you need to supplement with such and such nutrition,” said Dr. David Felson, an arthritis expert at Boston University School of Medicine. “The moose guy is right in that we probably should study weight or some other nutritional factor almost through adolescence when the bones or joints have stopped forming.”

The “moose guy” is Rolf Peterson, a Michigan Technological University scientist on the Isle Royale project, which began in 1958 and is reportedly the longest-running predator-prey study.

For half the year, Dr. Peterson and his colleagues are the only humans allowed on the 45-mile-long island, part of a national park. They stay in yurts, a log cabin or a wood-stove-heated lodge, navigate the wilderness without roads or cars, and share a single staticky phone line. They analyze everything from wolves’ moose-hunting strategies to moose feces. Collecting bones of more than 4,000 moose, they noticed that out of 1,200 carcasses they analyzed, more than half had arthritis, virtually identical to the human kind. It usually attacked the hip and instantly made the moose vulnerable.

“Arthritis is a death sentence around here — you need all four legs,” Dr. Peterson said. “Wolves pick them off so quickly that you don’t even see them limping.”

What is more, the arthritic moose were often small, measured by the length of the metatarsal bone in the foot. Small metatarsals indicate poor early nutrition, and scientists determined that the arthritic moose were born during times when food was scarce, so their mothers could not produce enough milk.

Dr. Peterson said if the arthritis were caused by excess wear and tear on the moose’s joints, that would have meant that times of food scarcity occurred when the moose were already grown, since the extra wear would have happened to moose walking farther to find edible plants. But the arthritic moose had had plentiful food as adults.

For people, several historical cases may suggest a nutritional link. Bones of 16th-century American Indians in Florida and Georgia showed significant increases in osteoarthritis after Spanish missionaries arrived and tribes adopted farming, increasing their workload but also shifting their diet from fish and wild plants to corn, which “lacks a couple of essential amino acids and is iron deficient,” said Clark Larsen, an Ohio State University anthropologist collaborating with Dr. Peterson. Many children and young adults were smaller and died earlier, Dr. Larsen said, and similar patterns occurred when an earlier American Indian population in the Midwest began farming maize.

British scientists studying people born in the 1940s found low birth weight (indicating poor prenatal nutrition) linked to osteoarthritis in the men’s hands, Dr. Felson said. And Dr. David Barker, a British expert on how nutrition and early development influence cardiac and other conditions, said “studies of people in utero during the Great Chinese Famine” of the late 1950s found that “40, 50 years later, those people have got disabilities.”

Overeating can be as problematic as undereating. Dr. Lisa A. Fortier, a large-animal orthopedist at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said she saw “abnormal joint and tendon development from excessive nutrition” in horses overfed “in utero or in the postnatal life,” probably ingesting “too much of the wrong type of sugar that may cause levels of inflammation.”

Dr. Peter Bales, an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with University of California, Davis, Medical Center, who has written about nutrition and arthritis, sees similar problems in overweight patients. He said the causes were not as “simplistic” as “carrying more weight around,” but might involve nutritional imbalances that could hurt joints and erode cartilage. Much is unknown about nutrition’s relevance. Isle Royale moose, for example, also seem to have genetic predispositions for arthritis, suggesting that nutrition might be amplifying or jump-starting the genes.

“Genes are not Stalinist dictators,” said Dr. Barker, now at Oregon Health and Science University. “What they do, how they’re expressed, is conditional on the rest of the body. The human being is a product of a general recipe, and the specific nutrients you get or don’t get.”

Studying nutrition in people is much more complicated than in moose. Dr. Peterson said the early moosehood developmental window occurred in utero through 28 months, but humans’ developmental time frame lasted into the teens. Some experts say prenatal nutrition is most critical; others see roles for nutrients after birth and beyond.

“Up until the growth plates close, which is through adolescence and even early adulthood, the effects of nutrition are magnified,” said Dr. Constance R. Chu, director of the Cartilage Restoration Center at the University of Pittsburgh, who said nutrients might affect the number of healthy cells in cartilage and its thickness. “But in my opinion, it’s relevant throughout life.”