Filed under: Uncategorized
I made this very virtuous pot of vegetable soup for supper. Very virtuous indeed, low in fat, high in flavor, using the broth from cooking milanesa (super thin beef steaks, very cheap on sale) for enchiladas tomorrow night and all those odds and ends of vegetables in the drawer: a squash, a carrot, a nub of cabbage, that cup of butter peas in the freezer (too much to throw away, not enough to use in a meal), an onion, and some of the rampant oregano on the patio.
Thing is, I don’t want virtue.I want fried chicken, or something deep fried and smothered in sweet, sticky sauce from Southern Palace (Statesboro’s answer to International Cuisine). But, because Agnes McCalvinox is strong today, we will have Virtue for supper. With a side of cornbread, or maybe cheesetoast if I don’t feel like sullying a bowl.
Terry, naturally, will be out tonight. He has an Industry Leaders Meeting, a monthly thing where all the Captains of Local Industry eat steak, drink Evan Williams, and discuss the issues they have with hiring these days. Since he’s the Chairman, he has to be there, even if he can’t cut his steak. I never get a steak, but sometimes there’s leftover liquor and I get some of that.
Tomorrow he gets the pin (or ‘rod’, as he calls it, and since it’s about the diameter of a broom handle and sticking an inch out of his wrist, rod is probably more appropriate)…ok, I indulge in some hyperbole, but that’s my privilege, because it’s my blog. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah…tomorrow he gets the pin removed from his wrist. He’s going to take the entire day off even tho it will be like 9 am when it happens, and even tho he’ll probably be just fine, he’s pretty sure it’s going to hurt like hell and and will Ruin His Whole Day. Since the weather is supposed to be GRAND I anticipate a day of leisure for him, because he deserves it. Get this!! El Presidente (Ptui!) has declared that Terry’s time out for his surgeries and recoveries and all that, count as vacation days, not sick days. He doesn’t get sick days, apparently, and only gets 10 vacation days, because any more than that Would Be Stealing From The Company. Never mind that El Presidente (Ptui!) takes days off with great abandon, and isn’t going to count Jack’s 3 months from having his lungs removed as any kind of time off at all. Because That Wouldn’t Be Fair (or something). Terry has recently adopted a decidedly “Screw You” attitude toward work. He’s taking the time, and El Presidente (Ptui!) can “go blow it out his ass.”
So, back to the culinary virtue. Vegetable Soup is the easiest thing in the world to make. No measuring, just run everything through the slicing blade of the food processor, and cook in broth to barely cover. Season however you like, with fresh herbs, salt and pepper, whatever. Use whatever leftover veggies you have (except I don’t use broccoli or cauliflower….don’t know why, just don’t care for it).
ok, the house has been invaded by 2 squealing girls, ages 7 and 6, and they’re making David very nervous, as well as the dogs (tho they are sweet natured girls, and really good with the dogs). So, I’d better go and make sure they don’t paint the dogs toenails and talk David into cornrows in his hair.
Filed under: aaawwwww
Can’t think of anything to blog about today. It’s just…Wednesday. Ran a couple errands, cut the grass, blah de blah, right? Wednesday…
So, for your viewing pleasure, here’s a picture of Gracie ignoring the dogs. You’ll have to tilt your head.
Tonight: comfort food. Screw healthy, screw low fat and high fiber. Sometimes what a person needs is something simple and tasty and comforting. I’m thinking Terry needs a stick-to-your-ribs meal that reminds him of growing up and easier times. Therefore, tonight’s menu is Comfort Food Beyond Compare. Peppersteak and brown gravy with mashed potatoes. In my world, the peppers resemble a green vegetable, so I’m not even going to bother with a side of broccoli or green beans or whatever.
Here it is:
Peppersteak and brown gravy, mashed potatoes
1-1/2 pounds very thin sliced steak (milanesa), cut into strips*
1 large yellow onion, cut in half and sliced thin
1 tablespoon minced garlic**
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet. When it’s hot, add the meat and saute’ for however long it takes you to cut up the onion. Then add the onion and garlic. Put a lid on it and let it simmer for several minutes. Then add
4 cups of water mixed with
4 packages of that brown gravy mix from the store***
Put the lid back on it and let it simmer at very low heat for a long time, maybe an hour or more, just however long so the meat gets good and tender and it smells the whole house up so the neighbors come over and want to know when supper’s ready. Then about 10 minutes before you eat, add:
2 bell peppers, cut into strips
Put the lid back on. Don’t cook it more than about 10 minutes or the peppers will turn olive green and over-flavor everything else. I hate that.
Season to taste with salt (probably won’t need it because the brown gravy mix is salty enough to irritate my nephrologist) and pepper.
8 medium sized russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
a large pot full of water, enough to cover the potatoes when they’re in the pot
Boil the potatoes in the water until they’re tender, then drain, put back in the pot, and add:
1 cup hot milk
1/2 stick melted butter
salt and pepper to taste
Using a hand mixer (oh fine, if you have a potato masher, use that but honestly, an electric hand mixer is way easier and they taste just the same, no matter what Alton Brown says, with his fancy ricer-made potatoes), blend the potatoes with everything else, adding a little more milk to get the consistency you like. If you’re like me, and screw it up by adding too much milk, you can thicken them with a sprinkling of instant potatoes.
*you don’t have to use milanesa, I used them because they were on sale. Any cut of beef will do, as long as you slice it across the grain so it will cook down and be tender and not stringy.
**I buy those big jars of already minced garlic packed in oil. It tastes just like fresh, and you can use the oil when you’re making garlic bread. Sure, you’ll want to keep whole garlic on hand to roast, but the minced stuff in the jar is just TOO convenient, and my hands don’t smell for an hour afterwards.
***The whole point of the recipe is that it’s pretty simple and relatively quick to make. If you like, you can make it up to this point in a crock pot, set it on low, and forget about it all day. You can also make homemade brown gravy. recipe follows
Homemade brown gravy, for the culinary snob we all know you are, Bro. Scott.
3 cups water
3 teaspoons beef base (I use Better Than Bouillon by Superior Touch)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
mix it all together and cook the meat in it. An hour or so before serving add:
1 cup of cold water mixed with
2 tablespoons cornstarch
stir well and cook uncovered until it thickens
Filed under: dogs!
Rosie is our smallest weiner dog, the Alpha dog of the pack. 7 pounds of paranoia and neurosis and silliness.
She has strange ways, we think she sees things that we don’t. Perhaps she can see portals into another, parallel, universe…you get that idea because she’ll suddenly stop, and stare into the distance, ears up and head cocked. She also hangs on the edge of the dog bed, staring and talking to the cushion within, as if she’s keeping company with an invisible friend.
She is a prisoner of sunlight. Probably due to her black coat, but if she walks through a sunbeam she’ll stop and get a puzzled look, then collapse, helpless as a narcoleptic. If you pick her up and put her in a shady spot, she’ll recover instantly and go on her way as if nothing ever happened.
For all her helplessness in the sunshine, she is a fierce protector of the household. A while back, this dog that lives down the road engaged in a single-minded chase of one of our cats, even climbing the fence and chasing her into the back yard. This dog was a 60-ish pound pit-bull mix, and Rosie took great exception to this dog rudely trespassing, and ran it all over the back yard, finally cornering it near my garden and threatening it so much it peed itself. Yes. 7 lb Rosie. I know it happened because I saw it, and opened the gate so the poor thing could get out.
She is loving, affectionate, friendly to (human) strangers, nervous (she vibrates constantly, unless she’s asleep), and she won’t look at you directly.
That’s Rosie, sweet Rosie.
Filed under: *whinge*, Good grief, ridiculous!, spouse, what? um...what?
I’ve said before, Terry’s work is causing him no small amount of stress. His boss, El Presidente, is showing signs of early stages of dementia. A while back I said how dementia takes personality characteristics and inflates them. We see this happening, and when you add that to an industrial setting, it’s not pretty. However, it’s not so bad (yet) that well, anyway…Top it all off with El President soon to start chemotherapy and radiation treatment for prostate cancer…
Terry has a coworker, whom I call The Jackass, because that’s what he is. He’s charming, looks like Rhett Butler, abusive, crass, generally awful. How one manages to be charming and awful in the same package is a topic for a psychology text, not a blog. Anyway, he’s about to have 1/2 of both lungs removed because of cancer, and will be out from work for 3-4 months. They’re making noises about Terry taking over his plant in the interim, and letting the people from Chicago take over Terry’s. Ok, sounds logical, but what happens when/if The Jackass comes back, will the Chicago contingency be willing to give Terry’s plant back? I doubt it. So where would that leave Terry? Without a plant to run, without a job. Since The Jackass (quite literally) has NOTHING else to do except his work, he will be back, 1/2 lungs or not. He has no family, no nothing except work. As long as El Presidente is there, The Jackass will have a job, because they are in cahoots in some fraud, and need each other. that’s another long story.
Yeah, this place is…well…you wonder how they EVER get anything made.
Terry doesn’t mind taking over The Jackass’s plant, and will be capable of whipping it back into shape, if The Boss (El Presidente’s Boss and the owner of the company) would grow a set of cojones and let him do it. Terry understands well the processes used in this plant, in fact developed some of them, so he is totally qualified. The issue behind the entire set of problems is that El Presidente is a bully, and has The Boss convinced that NO ONE on the planet is capable of running the outfit except him (El Presidente), even tho Terry has run outfits bigger, more complex and modern than this one, tho Terry has designed from the GROUND UP many of the processes used in these (and other) facilities. The Boss is a wussie. And Terry is tired of it. So am I, of seeing Terry’s frustration and anger.
However, with Terry’s Arm Issue, and Insurance, he needs to stay put until that’s resolved. And he’s not supposed to drink alcohol or smoke until it’s all better. And sex is awkward, between his arm and my tubercular cough. So the poor man has NOTHING to help him relax when he gets home.
So that’s what the issue is.
Filed under: *eep!, Dewicate feewings, God Stuff, Sometimes she thinks too much
I just watched this documentary called “Forgiving Dr. Mengele” that followed a woman named Eva Kor, who was one of the twins Joseph Mengele conducted his sadistic and pointless experiments on in Auschwitz.
*aside* Holocaust deniers…get a brain. /end aside
Her whole premise was to forgive. She started by forgiving Dr. Munch, an SS physician who was at Auschwitz but didn’t participate in the experiments. He, in fact, showed mercy and kindness toward the concentration camp victims. Then, her forgiveness proceeded toward Dr. Mengele and the entire Nazi system. She talks alot about how forgiveness lifted a weight off her shoulders, released her from the burden of hatred.
She made sure you understood that she did not forget the Holocaust, and has established a museum called C.A.N.D.L.E.S. in Terra Haute, Indiana.
Anyway, the whole show was incredible. This woman, who was treated in the most heinous ways as a child, was able to forgive her tormentor. I’m not sure I’d have the (whatever it is that she has) to do that. I can see the benefit of it, to not carry such bitterness around inside of you, but if someone did such things to me as she had done to her? I don’t know.
1. act of forgiving; state of being forgiven.
2. disposition or willingness to forgive.
–verb (used with object)
1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.
2. to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).
3. to grant pardon to (a person).
4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one’s enemies.
5. to cancel an indebtedness or liability of: to forgive the interest owed on a loan.
I have my own stories about forgiveness. Growing up, there was a group of peers in my school who made life fairly miserable. I was teased, tripped when I had to use a cane, had rumors spread about, pretty much nonstop from 5th grade until I moved away the summer after 11th grade. I hated those people. I wanted terrible things to happen to them, and figured I would take a certain amount of joy in it if they were unhappy. I chewed over them for years after leaving school. I let their treatment influence how I saw myself, and how I expected others to treat me… I wore it like a heavy, wet cloak, wrapped it around and filtered everything through it. Not good, but there I was.
Then one day, it occurred to me that all my hatred for those people was doing nothing to them. I had no contact with any of them, ever. It did, however, make me bitter and cynical. I didn’t trust people, and that mistrust made it kind of hard to make friends (gosh, ya think?!). All that anger affected no one but me and the people I loved, and they certainly didn’t deserve it.
Please understand, I am not trying to set myself up as some sort of example “Look at me! Do what I did because I Forgave and That Makes Me Good”, but rather to say that Eva Kor is right, forgiving lifts a burden off your shoulders, it takes off the blinders and lets you see things a little more clearly. It’s hard to do…it requires admitting something that you’ve believed for a very long time might not be the best thing. It takes time, and thought, and…it’s kind of scary.
But, it’s worth it.
Now, One of the arguments against forgiveness is that the person (persons, society, what have you ) being forgiven has to feel remorse for what they’ve done. They have to atone for their sins. Eva Kor did not (according to some) have the right to forgive Mengele and the Nazis because there’s no evidence that they felt any remorse for their actions.
1. satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.
2. Archaic. reconciliation; agreement.
–verb (used without object)
1. to make amends or reparation, as for an offense or a crime, or for an offender (usually fol. by for): to atone for one’s sins.
2. to make up, as for errors or deficiencies (usually fol. by for): to atone for one’s failings.
3. Obsolete. to become reconciled; agree.
–verb (used with object)
4. to make amends for; expiate: He atoned his sins.
5. Obsolete. to bring into unity, harmony, concord, etc.
While the people that picked on me were not Nazis, not even remotely, I did not feel the need to write them and ask if they felt bad for picking on me. I doubt they even remember doing it. They were kids. I don’t believe the person (persons, society) have to feel remorse before they’re forgiven. I don’t want to wait until they’ve apologized. That would take too long, and be too complicated. I simply said to myself, that I am not going to be burdened by this bitterness anymore, I forgive them,and that was that. I know that they no longer have the ability to pick on me, or even if they do (like through Facebook, that’s another story), they’ve matured beyond that. I don’t require atonement. I hope that people I have wronged will forgive me.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Wants to write a post about forgiveness. except that it’s kind of deep and everyone keeps talking to me.
This post is going to be all over the place, because we have health issues all over the place.
1) My nephrologist wants me to do a 24 hour urine test. He gave me this jug and I’m suppose to collect all my urine over a 24 hour period. Only, the jug was designed BY a man FOR a man. I don’t *have* great aim provided with a hose, and the jug is this deep thing that has to be used standing up. EXCUSE ME?? I don’t pee standing UP! Not only that, I’m indulging in a nice post-cold juicy cough, that, thanks to the birth of 4 oversized babies, means I pee every time I cough. And no, I’m not walking around with a jug ductaped to my hoo-haa all day in order to catch each little squirt that comes out when I cough. I am, however, willing to weigh each pad to determine volume of each irritating squirt. Because I’m at heart a scientist. And want to accurate on this. Tho it will totally freak out David when he walks in on me weighing a feminine pad with the grain scale in the kitchen. Sorry, David. I am afraid I am going to have to discuss the logistics of this with Dr. Courage, because seriously, that jug simply isn’t going to work.
*edited to add* Apparently I’m supposed to collect it however I can, maybe in a bowl or something, and pour it into the jug, which needs to be refrigerated. Which opens an whole ‘nother can of worms, because my thickheaded children might mistake it for apple juice or something.
2) Terry’s arm is healing nicely, and he is anticipating having the pin removed next week. Anticipating with a certain degree of trepidation, because honestly? It’s going to hurt like a m@*%!!(*)!r when they take it out. It will mean, however, progress. He’ll know by then if his wrist is healing properly, or if he’s going to need the (forewarned) further reconstructive surgery. We are thinking positively, that this surgery worked, and he’s going to be in physical therapy and wrist braces for a while, which is progress. Yes indeed, think positive.
3) More Terry. Work is kicking his ass. Not just because of the arm, but because the tension is so thick that now he’s throwing up in the morning before he leaves. Yeah, it’s that bad. Time for a new job. Time for a resume, time to sign up at Ladders. Time to talk to Tony, and Pat, and put out feelers in to the industrial community. Time to talk to a headhunter. Time to consider options. To talk to George about the very real craziness that is El Presidente. It’s a fearsome thing to do, because it involves chain of command stuff, and Terry is a committed believer in following the chain of command. He’d be a whistle-blower, and that could make it *very* difficult to find work. There is no easy answer. And, with a broken arm and months of physical therapy ahead, he couldn’t exactly toss over the whole management job situation and go to work making custom cabinets or fixing cars. Not to mention the insurance issues involved with changing jobs. No easy answer, at all.
4) I have this aformentioned juicy cough. I sound like a 20 year 3-pack-a-day smoker, bringing up a lung on a regular basis. I whined to Dad about it, and he asked what I did with the lung when it came up. I told him I rinsed it off, and kept it in a jar of salt water until I felt it was ok to stuff it back into place. “Well,” he said, “That’s about all you can do, Just try not to be in public when it comes up, as most people wouldn’t understand.” Yeah. We went to church again yesterday (the same one we visited 2 weeks ago).
I sat right by the door, so when I felt a cough coming on (they’re LOUD, not polite little *koffkoff* that could be stifled) I could slip out, hide behind a bush until it passed, and return with little disruption to those around us. We stayed for a potluck lunch (I LOVE POTLUCK! We didn’t do potlucks at our last church because it was too big) and again, I sat near the door so people wouldn’t think I was trying to infect them with tuberculosis. Plus I have this nasty raw patch on my nose, from blowing my nose so much. I mean, I look a mess even tho (except for the lung issue) I feel fine.
I am not typically a Natural Medicine Healer Hippy Type. I mean, I like my mint and ginger for upset tummies, but that’s about as far as my herbal medicine experience goes. However, I’ve had this dishydrotic excema on my hands for a few months. It itches like hell, and causes your skin to sort of delaminate- to separate into it’s layers with blistery watery stuff in between, and did I mention that it itches like hell? The only Medically Approved treatment is this high powered steroid cream that kind of works for the itching but does strange things to the texture of your skin. So, in desperation, I consulted my resident Internet Hippy Natural Medicine Healer Daisy Deadhead and she recommended Neem Oil. So, Saturday we drove down to Savannah and I went to Brighter Day and bought myself a bottle of neem oil from a sincere young man in dreadlocks who smelt strongly of patchouli. I love Brighter Day. I also got some Israeli couscous which I intend to fix with some chicken but that’s another post. Tut suite, I rubbed some neem oil on my itchy nasty delaminated skin. It smells kind of…pretty strongly herbal, like crushed orange leaves sort of acidic but not stinky. I also rubbed some on that nasty spot on my nose. And…it worked. Faster and better than the steroid cream without making the texture of my skin strange. I wished I’d taken pictures of it because the results are quite dramatic. So, if you have dermatologic issues, get some neem oil. It was $9 for a 1 oz bottle, but seriously a teeny little do will do you. One drop covered all the affected parts of my hands *and* the bit on my nose. I make a sincere bow to Daisy, and thank her profusely. Now if she could tell me something to take that will make me stop peeing every time I cough.