Love this! Happy holiday! I’m off to boil a few eggs, this has put me in the mood.
Since the new telecommunications entity in this town is no longer the disliked but benign Verizon, it is now and has been for about 8 months…Frontier communications. OMG. What a BEAST! They cut off my internet while I was in the hospital and nursing homes for December and January, so I had to re-start it. For the service, I was quoted $20.00 per month for internet by the Frontier salesman. Well, I got the February bill for internet only (no landline) and it was $138.94.
How do they do this???????
I’m totally dumbfounded.
Oh, and I’d take a photo of the bill but discovered more things taken by Presentation, the Philipino thief that 24 Hour Homecare last sent to me was my camera, case and tripod! Wow. Don’t ever trust such services. They make a big deal about how they do all kinds of background and security checks on the people they send out but obviously they don’t or if they really do, they miss whole a lot.
It became apparent to me earlier last summer that I was losing interest in the general subject matter on my blog. I no longer had a dog and my life had become smaller and smaller as walking became harder and harder, so I felt I had nothing to write about. Sorry for my prior extended absences.
What has been consuming my life is aging and everything involved in it. In case you missed the post with my age (I finally admitted it), I’m 66 and will be 67 in May. What I’ve been finding is that there’s very little written for those of us who are aging and the “challenges” we will face. No one seems to have any kind of major info….
So I decided to write about the things I run into as I hit them. “Hit them” is the operative phrase here, because pretty often it’s a shock. The other thing I’m going to write about are the interesting recipes I’ve come across that don’t require a lot of physical work or effort to make. You can stop laughing now…I was referring to carrying big pots of water, food etc. across the kitchen to the stove and back.
As you may or may not know/realize, since the emergency surgery and three or four weeks time I spent in the I.C.U. almost 2.5 years ago, my balance has really deteriorated. I’m now “chained” to my walker as it were. The whole idea of filling my 5 quart Dutch oven up with water to cook one or three artichokes (looovve them to pieces) or anything else, only to have to move the big (5 qt.) pot of water (cold or hot) between the sink and stove is just really unsafe at this point.
A while back, I had a very nice homecare person, named Antonia in to help me for a few hours. Got a lot done but sadly the artichoke (on sale over Thanksgiving) I’d been lusting after all summer only got halfway cooked before she had to leave. I tried leaving the it in the hot water hoping it’d finish cooking but no such luck. They’re tough little buggers.
So, using my 2 cup measure, I drained it (again, no moving big pots of water around the kitchen) and wrapped it in plastic resolving to figure it out in the days that followed. They last quite well when bagged and refrigerated.
(Oh, and did you know the way to check if your artichoke is ready? You take a tongs and grab hold of one of the leaves in the middle. If the leaf releases from the veg easily, voila, done. If not, cook some more. Usually takes about 40 or more minutes and you really can’t overcook them. Well, maybe 2+ hours would….)
So, I googled “can artichokes be microwaved?” and got all kinds of info that will now make my life and hopefully yours easier (and safer). What follows are just a few sites addressing this! Here are just a few:
Ten Minute Microwave Steamed Artichokes
(This article is really interesting because it talks about how to eat the stems! Some of the stores in my area actually advertise in very early summer having chokes with long stems because they are very similar to the heart of the artichoke. Who knew?)
How to Microwave Artichokes
Ways to Cook Artichokes
So getting older may be an evil none of us can avoid, but hopefully you, like me, will realize there are a number of ways around some of the problems. Oh, and for sitting through this long post, here’s my recipe (yes, I finally measured the ingredients vs. eyeballing them!) for a dip that’s fantastic with almost any form of raw veg as well as a great dip for the artichoke leaves and other cooked veggies. I’ve used this recipe for the last 35 years with virtually no alterations. It keeps (in my experience) for over a week in the fridge or until the whey in the sour cream has separated into a watery layer on top (just stir back in or pour off if you’re so inclined).
Dip for Artichokes
1 c. or more of Knudson’s sour cream (16 ounces or 2 cups shown below)
1-1.5 t. Lemon Pepper (not an expensive one)
1+/- t. Beau Monde by Spice Islands
1+/-t. Bon Appetit
Alternate measurements or to taste:
2 c. of Knudson’s sour cream (16 ounces or 2 cups shown below)
2+ t. Lemon Pepper
2+ t. Beau Monde by Spice Islands
2+ t. Bon Appetit also by Spice Islands
Sprinkle on the surface of the sour cream in a fairly solid track. First one direction vertically (or horizontally, doesn’t matter) and same with the other in the opposite direction. See photos.
Begin by topping with Lemon Pepper (as above). I used McCormick’s. You use the most of this “spice”. In other words a bit more than what’s seen here. And yes, this is a 16 ounce container of Knudson sour cream.
Mix well and chill to blend for about 1 hour. If you don’t let the spice “crystals” bloom, the dip will be crunchy if used immediately.
-Buy a cheap brand of lemon pepper vs. one by Spice Islands or any of the high end pricy ones. Easier to find and they taste better. My opinion. (This note applies to the spice mix Celery Salt also. I’ve tried the higher priced ones and the flavor doesn’t blend into itself well. Each element in the mix fights the other rather than becoming a homogenous flavoring. Again, my opinion.)
-You can always add more spice to the dip if it doesn’t suit you. Just let the spices meld again.
Dip and enjoy!
As you age, touch typing after a long hospital/nursing-home stay is tough. Like now, I tried to type a paragraph and wound up erasing it far more easily. Anyways, it’s (good grief, having to forefinger-type AND look at the keys sucks big-time) going to be a post that spans several days…sorry.
Friday and Saturday were long miserable gray, rainy days. I’m watching The Crown on Netflix. It’s a series!!! Award winning even! Who knew? I’m really enjoying it.
The furnace in this rental house croaked on Wednesday. Today (2/18/17) it was finally sunny in the afternoon…how nice! Warmth…but short lived. Of course the cheap-ass landlord and property manager have not called a furnace repair company yet. Nubs, the property manager went out after dinner tonight and bought a huge portable heater (I’m sure she figured this would alleviate the need to replace the 65+ year old gravity furnace.)
One very large problem, it was really big and powerful. Where the heck would it fit and not start something nearby on fire or melt something? So I have no heat again for the night and it’s supposed to be about 50F or less tonight in this rental with no insulation.
She said she’ll go tomorrow, return the huge heater and get me a tiny one like my own. Again she seems to think this will be a lasting solution. Good grief. She probably thinks since it’s “almost spring”, no problem.
And Eric wonders why I call him vs. her when there’s a problem with this rental. Only catch is that I’m going to be freezing for more nights to come and it’s the weekend so I can’t even call the city and ask what the “rules” for a livable dwelling are. Again, good grief!
2/19/17 It’s Sunday morning and still no solution. Nubbers said she’ll be getting a smaller heater for the bedroom this A.M. but no luck for Nubbers finding a furnace company yet!!!
I haven’t gotten any sleep for five nights because it’s been so cold (if you live in the Northeast, you can stop laughing now). In 2 days the night temps will fall into the low 40’s! So for this 600 square foot ice box of a rental I pay $2100+/month!
It’s now Sunday afternoon and no heater plus no news of a furnace repair company.
Well, she just saved herself by showing up at 12:20 P.M. with a (not too) big electric heater which I had her put in the kitchen, yay! Lightweight too. She even took the info on the furnace survice I found, shock of shocks!
It’s now President’s Day and @ 9 AM Nubbers was here ’cause “her guys” were due to arrive and fix the furnace. Supposedly they know how, we’ll see. As always they wanted to use my vacuum to clean out the furnace box.
too funny… Heaven only knows what was.
sitting here and listening to re-runs of Fraisier and totally enjoying the Seattle rain,
Now I forgot what I was writing about …:(
it wasn’t worth remembering, I guess, as my mom would say. Miss her dearly.
Probably the radical amount of rain we (LA) have had.
But it’s like this every 5 yrs. or so…it’s just that no one remembers and of course the NEWS is in heaven since there’s something to report about…aka drought.
The spacing on WordPress is nuts!
|Issued by the National Weather Service|
|FLASH FLOOD WATCH FROM 7AM PST FRI UNTIL 11AM PST SAT …FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LOS ANGELES/OXNARD HAS ISSUED A * FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR LOS ANGELES, VENTURA, AND SOUTHERN SANTA BARBARA COUNTIES * FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING * PERIODS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN WITH RAINFALL RATES AT TIMES AROUND 1 INCH PER HOUR. OVERALL 2 TO 4 INCHES OF RAIN ARE EXPECTED ACROSS THE COAST AND VALLEYS WHILE 4 TO 8 INCHES ARE EXPECTED IN THE FOOTHILLS AND MOUNTAINS. HEAVIEST ALONG THE SOUTH FACING SLOPES FROM THE SANTA YNEZ RANGE EAST THROUGH THE SAN GABRIELS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… FLASH FLOODING AND DEBRIS FLOWS WILL BE A PARTICULAR THREAT IN AND BELOW THE RECENTLY BURNED AREAS. A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING.|
we have a flash flood alert & I can barely type after 4 wks.+ in host & nurs. home
How are you doing?
Hi again after a nasty absence. For the next five days we’re looking at temps in the high 90’s and low 100’s. That. Is. Obscene. That’s a jump of almost 30 degrees!!!
After a lovely and wonderful Spring that I could kiss a god’s hand for, we are being lead into our future for the next five to six months…essentially HELL (yes, goal post, e, double hockey stick).
I dread this time of year. As you may know if you’ve been (thank you!) following me for the last years, California houses have NO insulation anywhere in them. So summer (which lasts till November) is utterly miserable.
Continued from June 1, 2016…
Well, time has passed, three weeks to be exact and last week was the start of our version of hell here in So Cal. Yesterday the temps which had ventured into the 100’s, hit 114F and the best one can do is just exist. It was so hot, that I didn’t do anything but lay in bed, on and off, in front of the window air conditioner. I didn’t get any sleep till about 2 am last night and then woke up at 6 am.
“Two Wildfires Near Los Angeles Explode Overnight, Hundreds Evacuated”
I had even postponed my grocery order due to the heat. Anyhow, I scheduled it for today. Little did I know that wildfires would break out in the next suburb and just two more away. I had left the window open last night in hopes of catching some cool air (at 1 am it was still 99F). Unfortunately the breeze shifted, causing the heavy plumes of smoke to settle in this part of the valley. I woke up to wretched, acrid smoke and a brilliant orange sunrise.
I can tell from the blackness of the smoke above us, that some structures may have been hit. I know that several areas were evacuated. Usually when it’s just forest and brush, the smoke is pretty much white to light gray. By contrast, the pall hanging over this area was very dark. The only good I can see is that the smoke cover may cut some of the heavy sunlight and thus perhaps heat. We’ll see. I read the areas burning, haven’t done so in over 35 years, making them major tinderboxes.
The one thing that always strikes me is the brilliant colors of sunrises and sunsets during these kind of smoke covered days. They look like they’ve been photoshopped to the max when they haven’t been touched. Funny how something beautiful can come from tragedy.
Had the nicest week here, weather-wise! Actually chilly. This is my birthday week so it was a real treat. On Friday, my birthday, I received the nicest present…rain. Lovely slow-falling, rain. It was so nice and grey all day, perfect weather for sleeping in. When you get beaming sun morn to night, you really learn to appreciate “May Gray”. So I gave myself the gift of sleeping as long as I wanted. Delicious!
My childhood friend, S, called to wish me happy B-day around 5 pm. And since I have a million rollover minutes, we talked for a good hour. My brother, Rusty, sent an email. He can be such a disappointment sometimes. But, whatever.
My dinner was a frozen Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Prima Vera. So, so. Kind of watery, fyi. Should have gone with the bag of salad I had in the fridge, but oh well. Had the salad today with grape tomatoes and Marie’s Chunky Blue Cheese dressing…mmm.
Found a strange link when looking for an image to put into this post. You can write your name or a friend’s on an assortment of Birthday cakes and send it to them. Not the cake, just the image, like this:
This is a good thing since the odds of me baking a cake are zero. Lol!
To anyone else who had a birthday this last week, Happy Birthday to you!
Well, I must apologize for my lengthly
sabbatical absence from this blog. Sorry. See that puppers up there? Kind of how I feel.
Going through some angst about aging. Suddenly my skin looks like an old woman’s when I look at my arms. Plus I’m waiting for the landlord for this property to jack up the rent another 10%. Cringe. LA is just becoming obscene to live in.
Oh, and add to that we’ve had a very early and brief spring sadly, with little in the way of rain. 😦 Today it hit 94F (34.5C) and will repeat the same tomorrow. 😦 Yeah, I’ve just been kind of bummed lately. Again, sorry. I’ll try to be better. If you’ve checked in periodically, thank you! From the very bottom of my heart!
Well, Thanksgiving came and went. My brother on the East coast emailed me. What is it with people and not calling to say hello? It’s so much more enjoyable and rewarding to hear a loved one’s voice.
My little 2.75# turkey breast in the crockpot did not turn out so well. I think I’m crockpot challenged. I do much better with a plain old heavy duty Dutch Oven. So, so much better!!!
It’s probably because that was the pot my mom and aunt always used so I must have absorbed the “how to” from them. Never was around anyone who used a crockpot so am not quite so gifted.
I’m thinking of tossing it out, I mean, really, why keep it? Plus when I read crockpot recipe, it almost automatically is converted to Dutch Oven measurements in my brain…no idea why. Actually I just may keep the cooker to use in the summer to avoid heating the house up. Of course, who knows if my luck will be any better? On a happier note I found an image of a tree in its full fall regalia and looking gorgeous!
We’ve had the loveliest streak of fall weather and it’s been heavenly! Trees are actually changing color (well, the ones that are deciduous). Hope your holiday was happy!
Are you ready for the next one that’s upon us in 23 days. I really wish the fall holidays were spaced out a bit more so we could all enjoy them to the fullest!