Love this! Happy holiday! I’m off to boil a few eggs, this has put me in the mood.
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!
I think everyone in L.A. will agree that summer has over-stayed his/her hot welcome. Temps for the next week are forecast to be in the oppressive 100’s. Gasp! Not nice. Especially when half of your face looks like you were shoved into a brick wall, is brilliant red with purple tinges and swollen (I won’t frighten you with a photo; it’s that bad!). And particularly when one of your upper molars started screaming bloody murder this morning.
Luckily, I have a great dentist which is why I now drive over one half of an hour to see him. He actually called me back yesterday when I left a message on his special phone number for emergencies. Yes, on Labor Day! As a result, he will be squeezing me into his schedule today.
He also called in a prescription for antibiotics yesterday which my neighbor across the street, A. kindly picked up for me. I couldn’t drive if I wanted to, my right eye is so swollen. She usually goes to Trader Joe’s on Sundays or holidays and asked if I needed anything. What a saint.
Another saint in my roster is my friend S. and her sweet husband J. She couldn’t take me to the dentist tomorrow (she herself has doctor appointments) so she volunteered her husband. I really am blessed!
I need a little cheering up here so I’ll post a couple of videos. One actually hints at an upcoming post. First, your very own countdown to the end of summer right here!
And then this video of incredible fluffy cuteness!
The beautiful music in the above video is very relaxing. So too are the images. Just look at the little paws reaching for the man’s shorts to make sure he sees them. I really needed that!
Well, we’re 30+ days into the new year and I’ve already been reading articles here and there about people whose New Year’s resolutions are falling by the wayside. I think this is probably part of the reason I don’t set any. If I want to change something, the most logical way to do this is to just begin…”just do it, now”. New Year’s resolutions simply seem to make change more of an event than it should be. It seems to put more pressure on one. At least to me.
This seems especially true in the area of health. I just calculated that we have 300+ days to go till the next new year. That sounds overwhelming when faced with a resolution and just makes me want to crawl under the covers.
For example, back in December, I noticed I was drinking less and less water which isn’t good for many reasons. As a result I wound up practically inhaling one to two glasses by 4 or 5 p.m. So I made a mental note that whenever I was near the bathroom to stop in and drink half a glass of water. The glass in there holds 12 ounces so this meant I was consuming about 5 to 6 ounces each time.
Over the course of a day, and I’m just “ball-parking” it here, I wind up adding at least six 8 ounce glasses of water to my consumption.
Last week I found something interesting on just how much water you really need based on your weight. On The Lemon Bowl blog I found this post in which Liz notes that your daily requirement for hydration “should be half your weight in ounces”. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you need 80 ounces of water a day which is ten cups.
My other to just do, is keeping the amount of sodium I consume down to 1,200 mg per day. Having recently heard that the government will not only be cracking down on the tons of sugar in everyday products, I read that salt was also going to fall under scrutiny. This makes me quite happy because the amount of sodium in store-bought products is astronomical.
I’ve noticed more and more food blogs as well as recipe sites are including nutritional info on their recipes which I think is great. One problem. Do these bloggers and sites know just how much that is for assorted people? For myself, I’ve set the max at 1,200 mg. per day.
A recent example I found was a dish billed as healthy. It’s a nice six ounce white fish with homemade salsa topping which, of course sounds delicious, but the salsa bumps the dish up to 1131 mg sodium per serving! That would leave me with 69 mg. Sorry, but I’m just not willing to eat only six ounces of fish and call it a day. Why do people dream up recipes with such high sodium scores?
Who knew February was American Heart Month? I didn’t. This post is a total coincidence which started as thoughts about New Year’s resolutions.
BTW, here’s another interesting info graphic. Sorry, couldn’t figure out how to copy it to fit on the page. Here is a link for anyone interested in low sodium cookbooks. And here is a link to 60 recipes from “goredforwomen.org”. Here you’ll find the mg. of sodium per serving for many popular canned soups and the names on the labels can be very misleading like Campbell’s Healthy Request soups. Yikes.
The CDC recommends less than 2,300mg for the average person, 1,500 for people over 51 (or about half the the U.S. population). But in reality, the current intake averages more like 3,300 mg! See the info here from the CDC and this is from 2010. There’s an infographic showing a very conservative breakfast, lunch and dinner plan here. Total for the day? 3,160! No wonder so many people have high blood pressure, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.
I also found it interesting to find that “salt” and “sodium” do not mean the same thing, but they are often used interchangeably. Salt, also known by its chemical name sodium chloride, is a crystal-like compound that is abundant in nature and is used to flavor and preserve food. Sodium is one of the chemical elements found in salt.
More info, courtesy of the FDA:
“USE THE PERCENT DAILY VALUE (%DV) TO COMPARE PRODUCTS
The %DV tells you whether a food contributes a little or a lot to your total daily diet.
- 5%DV (120 mg) or less of sodium per serving is low
- 20%DV (480 mg) or more of sodium per serving is high
I also liked learning the meanings behind the labels on packaging:
“You can also check the front of the food package to quickly identify foods that may contain less sodium. For example, look for foods with claims such as:
- Salt/Sodium-Free → Less than 5 mg of sodium per serving
- Very Low Sodium → 35 mg of sodium or less per serving
- Low Sodium → 140 mg of sodium or less per serving
- Reduced Sodium → At least 25% less sodium than in the original product
- Light in Sodium or Lightly Salted → At least 50% less sodium than the regular product
- No-Salt-Added or Unsalted → No salt is added during processing, but not necessarily sodium-free. Check the Nutrition Facts Label to be sure!”
Well, now that I’ve bored you to tears I’ll leave you with a wee bit of inspiration 🙂
For the last week plus temps had dipped into the low to mid 60’s (15’sC) during the day and low 40’s (4’sC) at night. It’s hard to type when your hands feel like ice cubes which is kind of an oxymoron. “Feel” and “ice cubes”, get it? If they’re ice cubes how can they feel?
Continuing on, I’ve had the heat on every single night because I was so cold. Uncharacteristically, I even turned it on a few times during the day which I rarely do. Don’t want to see my gas bill for the month. Anyhow, today it’s 85F (29.5C)! This is the kind of weather that starts the cold and flu season going. Ugh.
Over the weekend, I ran across an interesting article on the “anniversaries” of historic events that are coming up this year. To the day I die, I’ll always remember watching the moon landing with my parents and brother on a television in the lobby of a hotel in Rome, Italy on July 16, 1969.
Remember how long it took for NASA to figure out Neil Armstrong’s “one small step” because it was so garbled?
This year commemorates the passing of Vincent Van Gogh on July 29, 1890. Did you know he sadly only sold one painting in his lifetime? Recently, his “Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies” sold for $61.8 million to a Chinese movie mogul. Must be a lot of money in Chinese movies.
I know you were expecting one of his paintings, but I find his drawings enchanting. No reliance on color to carry them off, just movement and brushstrokes, so much done with so little. Though I must confess that the painting below is a real favorite,
(if it’s possible for one to have only one favorite).
November will see the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s presentation of the Theory of General Relativity to the Prussian Academy in Berlin.
For more anniversaries (and there are a lot), see this link. You’ll be quite surprised.
Since I didn’t do anything special for Christmas, I decided I had to at least attempt something celebratory for New Year’s so I made Salmon Roll-ups. The cool thing is that you can store them till needed in the freezer. Just like my ham and cream cheese roll-ups! Delicious!
Didn’t take a picture of it since I didn’t set up a whole platter. It’s just me after all. The photo above is sort of what they looked like but made with salmon not ham. Here’s the video recipe for you. It’s from Rouxbe.com (MSN) which doesn’t have any link to the video that I can copy and paste into this post so it will play here. So just click on the link “video recipe”.
Oh, and while I was hunting for an image to get the idea of what these little bites of heaven looked like, I found a few other interesting recipes along the same line here, here and here. Oh, and here. Here too!
I hope the coming year will bring happiness and joy, leaving all sadness and despair at the door. Of course that won’t happen but I can wish. And so I wish you the best year yet! Thank you for dropping in to visit.
The magic of distance and friendship.
This is a photo taken by my penpal/friend of many, many years, Heleen. It’s from the terrace of her home in the old double-walled city of Amersfoort.
Growing up, my mom always made sure I was in the Brownies and Girl Scouts since I was quite shy. At one meeting the troop assistant asked if anyone was interested in a penpal. Well of course, everyone clamored for a name. However she only had one.
You see, she had requested a penpal from some service at her college, but received a little girl instead of a college-age teen like herself. Since our troop was mostly ten year olds, the assistant decided to raffle the name off. She had us guess a number between 1 and 30. I picked 21 and luckily “won” Heleen.
We have had the remarkable good fortune to stay in touch and even visit each other quite a few times. She is a well-known architect in the Netherlands. Being an artist myself, we get along very well. In fact, even if we haven’t seen each other in years, we can just pick up like time stood still. It’s a very rare gift that I feel privileged to enjoy. I’m very fortunate.
Wishing you magic and a very merry Christmas!
Well, this is been another version or installment of my ER Adventure. It’s titled, “Getting Back Home After Four Weeks”. Everything in the refrigerator pretty much spoiled. Even the cheese was sprouting a nasty blue and black beard. I think the real corker was the tube of Grands biscuits that I purchased before my little ER event to use in making chicken pot pie. The expiration date passed while I was away. As a result the roll had blown open in the fridge and attached itself quite firmly to the bars on the shelf where it sat. I’d always wondered what would happen in such an event. Now I know.
So cleaning out the fridge. What. A. Pain. Luckily I had a stool to sit on so I didn’t aggravate my wound by bending over as I pulled stuff out. Who designed refrigerators? No one over four feet tall, that’s for sure.
And who knew I’d be on a four week vacay from the house. Unlike vacations though, I didn’t have the opportunity to use up all the food before leaving. Sadly, I had just gone to Trader Joe’s and Von’s before the trip to Urgent Care/ER, so there was a good deal to toss.
Currently, I’m still using Von’s delivery. I really like it. As mentioned in an earlier post, my car needs some major help, so I haven’t driven it yet. I’m going to have it towed to the mechanic on December 1, since it’ll spend over a week there I’m sure. It’s not worth having it go in as we approach Thanksgiving since nothing will be done over the holiday. Plus, I want to avoid renting a car. Not that having the dead one in my driveway is of any use…but still.
Oh, and BTW, my absence on the blog can be explained by the following picture:Beginning the second week in November, I was rearranging my desk and had to move my iMac (21.5″ screen). I cleared the areas around it and picked it up. As I went to set the beast down, the back left part of the stand caught on the narrow shelving at the back of the desk causing it to lunge towards me. I grabbed it but before I had control of it, the lower right corner of the glass screen hit a candle with a metal cover on it. I had moved it “out of the way” but obviously not enough to avoid an unexpected disaster.
The screen shattered and immediately had thin multi color bars across the bottom and on the right side vertically. I thought I could live with it but as days went by, more and more of the screen vanished under thicker and wider bars of grey and black till all that I could see was about an inch at the very top. I had hoped to hold out till Black Friday, but, no way. So I received my new Mac (identical but twice the ram) a week ago. And here I am, Hi, I’ve missed you!
While thinking of loss, my mind turned to the one year anniversary of Blue leaving this earth on November 18 and taking my heart with him.
My brother had to put his 16 year old Vizsla to sleep about the same time. This is what he sent. Just in case you can’t read the sentiments above, I wrote them out below.
“Ghost dog. So much time has passed and yet I still see you from the corner of my eye when I come into a room. I still hear you. I still miss you. Soft feet. Eager footsteps. Always ready for what was next. A swim. A walk. A run. A sleepy afternoon with Tali.
Our constant companion – the soul of our home. Who would ever dream your leaving could result in such a bottomless space in my soul. I look down into it sometimes and call your name. An echo returns nothing but the sound of my own voice. Your are so completely gone – only your ashes remain in a small wooden box.
Cannot bear to have you join the other ghosts who linger just beneath the yellow magnolia tree. People and cats. Memories in boxes. I still feel your warmth and the overwhelming joy and happiness you gave me. Gave us. Gave to everyone. To have been so loved is my only consolation in your loss. That I was so lucky to be with you…if only for a little while.” Russ
No, November is not a good month for me apparently no matter what the year. November 30, 2009 I lost Alpine (aka Frost) at 2 in the morning. This Thursday would have been my mother’s 97th birthday. It seems there’s just a lot of loss and memories in the eleventh month of the year for me.
Another November loss: anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination 51 years ago. That was on Saturday, the 22. I had a feeling I was missing the date but I didn’t find a single mention of it anywhere. All weekend.
The 35th President of the United States (1917 – 1963). He’d be 97, same age as my mom would have been. Wow, didn’t realize that till just now.
I guess the important thing to remember is to live in the present and not fall into the trap of “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”
John Lennon (and others)
Well, that wraps it up for this month. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and are surrounded by people who love and support you and your dreams. Thank you for stopping by, reading, liking and commenting on my blog. It means the world to me!
Truth be told, July 4th and Halloween are my least favorite holidays. Used to like them as a kid, but then something changed. No idea what. Thought it was just one of my weirdnesses until yesterday when I was in CVS to pick up some meds. While waiting in line I heard one of the employees express the exact same sentiments. I was totally shocked… a fellow-holiday-hater.
Meanwhile the illegal fireworks here have already started going off. What amazes me is that with the high-drought conditions that any fiery “toys” are allowed. People drive around, light the explosives and toss them out car windows. Just hate it.
Or maybe it’s the people who think it’s funny to strap these incendiary devices to animals. My Dad once found a puppy with half its face blown off by a firecracker someone tied to its neck. Dad immediately left work and brought the poor creature to a vet to euthanize it. I remember catching a glimpse of my Dad later that night, crying to himself. I’ve never gotten over it. All you have to do is Google this and you’ll see all the horrors perpetrated by sick youths that you’d ever want to see. If you want a REALLY horrifying graphic, go here, but you’ll need a very strong stomach and steely heart. I don’t recommend going there, your imagination can do enough.
It’s also possible my feelings could have been cemented when I first moved here and the ratty kids in the house behind me, one lot over got their jollies by tossing plastic bottles with lit firecrackers into neighboring yards (this creates a very explosive device). One was tossed into my yard scaring the shit out of my Siberian. She had never been afraid of anything but never recovered from that evil kid’s act. I could have shoved a cracker down that two legged embodiment of evil’s throat and to be honest, not blinked twice.
Fortunately his crippled father was evicted along with the kid for nonpayment of rent a few months later. (Note: don’t feel sorry, he was part of a well-known bad news motorcycle gang and was hurt when trying to haze an innocent runner with a pipe while riding with other members in circles around the runner.) And it’s not that I wished them ill but I guess I have karma to thank for keeping an eye open.
Sorry, didn’t mean to go off on a somber little rant. I think it all really came up because of an article I found today about a soldier born on the Fourth of July. First let me give you one, really sobering fact: veterans of the last two wars commit “suicide almost every hour, according to the Department of Defense”. But for some there are miracles like Axel. You can find his and Captain Jason Haag’s story here.
Perhaps it’s the contrast of the senseless waste of companion animals to human malevolence and the loss of human beings to their families from the violence of war that is at the center of this post. Maybe it’s the fact that Axel was rescued from a shelter and given a new life. A life that gave life back to another, who like Axel, may not have made it out alive, were it not for him and other dog’s like him/her being on this earth as “throw-aways”. For humanity to step to a higher plain and find a purpose for those who I sometimes believe were put here for a reason, somehow balances a lot out.
To all our service personnel past, present and to come, thank you for all you sacrificed, continue to and will sacrifice. Nothing will ever be forgotten.
P.S. I would be sadly remiss not to send hugs over the Rainbow Bridge to my beloved Corgi, Blue. The poor little guy suffered through four July fourths in a shivering little ball. I loved him and miss him dearly, though this is one day I’m glad he’s across the bridge. May heaven bless all of you and your loved ones be they two, four or more footed. xo
Hmmm. I seem to have taken another vacation from this blog. Actually I finally figured out why. It’s that period when my parents died 29 days apart. Even if I’m not consciously thinking of the events, they seem to subconsciously sneak up on me and knock my knees out from under me when I’m not expecting it. Tomorrow it’ll be 14 years since my mother died. Time helps but it will never erase the pain. It just is. So with that, on to today’s thoughts and links.
First, Memorial Day. As in the past I’m sharing an image that says everything about this holiday. I found this on Facebook. Tried to track down the source but no luck. This photo breaks my heart. It reminds me how lucky I was to have had my parents as long as I did. My sincere thanks and gratitude to all who have served and will serve. And a special thank you to those left behind. I send you blessings and grace.
And now to lighten the mood a wee bit with another, albeit still serious, image:
Yes, the months of April and May put me in a darker, quieter place than normal. Sorry about that, but sometimes life just requires patience and being with the pain till it once again passes into the realm of forgetting. You will recall the following quote by Gabriel Garcia Marquez from this post a while back. It’s so true. “He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.”
While surfing the net today I came upon an article written by a nurse worked in palliative care. She helped people who had returned home to die. In the three to twelve weeks she was with them, she came across five common themes. Here is the link to her thoughtful article. It’s something to think about even early in life though we usually don’t till much later. So in the spirit of living in the now and taking time to appreciate this amazing life, I give you the following video which I think you’ll find remarkable. Who knew such creatures existed?
And now, even more creatures. Perfect if you need to slap a smile on someone’s face. 🙂 Make sure your sound is on and get ready for some fairly thick British accents and laughter. Enjoy!
On a totally different note, after having two five-day streaks where temps were in the 100’s (40C), we seem to actually be having a Spring. It’s so nice. We’ve even had a few days of “May Grays” where it was overcast all day. Loved it. I hope we continue right into the traditional June Gloom for the whole month of June. The
fool individual I was married to, used to hate May and June because of the gray days. He’d complain non-stop about the lack of sunny skies. As far as I’m concerned, anything that holds our hellacious summers at bay, I’m all for. But that’s just me. Oh well.
Hope you had a wonderful holiday with family and friends. You were in my thoughts.