Friday, November 20, 2015

There once was a girl from Nantuckett...

(Well...there probably was, but it wasn't me...)

 It's a jazzy kind of Friday.  I'm doing laundry, and have a list of stuff to do because my brother and sister-in-law and niece are coming up tomorrow from southern Illinois for a visit.  I haven't seen them for a while, so that will be nice. My house, on the other hand, is still in various stages of recovery from not doing any housework for the past months when I was either a) in so much pain I couldn't walk) or b) recovering from a total knee replacement. Believe me...even though I have doing little things of late trying to find some kind of order in the can barely tell. I have to go out and sweep the front porch again because I vacuumed yesterday but the dogs (and their man) keep tracking so much back in every time they go out you can't tell.  Sigh...that's my life.  lol

  The weather is turning cooler and they are predicting snow on Saturday. Probably just too much milk and bread piling up on the store shelves. It is getting down to something crazy like 19 tonight, so I guess anythings possible. But 2 days ago it was 75. Go figure. Whatever happens, I don't care. The only reason I have to go out is to physical therapy and that will only be another week or so.

  The Irishman is going to spend Thanksgiving with his family in Wisconsin. I am staying home. My sister-in-law is feeling very badly and might be nearing the final stages of brain cancer. They are trying the last hurrah on her and have said that after this, there is nothing else to try. She cannot tolerate a lot of noise and chaos, so there won't be a big get together this year.  I'll probably stay home and have a nice quiet day with my son and we will eat until we die. lol  One of my nieces may come with her children, but that isn't a sure thing. Apparently "everyone hates her" and she isn't doing anything for the holidays. People hate me too, but that doesn't stop me. lol

   My friends husband died a couple of days ago of another cancer. I am so sad and relieved for her...she has lost the love of her life, but his suffering is finally over. This is how I will grieve with my brother too, when that time comes.  Cancer seems to be everywhere these days...

    Well, I have done some cleaning...different slipcovers for the chair and loveseat. Swept the porch (this is the only time of year I am not absolutely in love wth my yard and all the trees). Cleaned the windows behind the couch where the big dog leaves a mess with her nosiness., Got a couple of loads of laundry finished and one more to go. Started clearing up the island and getting ready to slice mushrooms for dehydrating. (Sonny boy brought me in a gorgeous 7 lb. half of a hen of the woods he found.) and we can't eat all of it quick enough, so I always dehydrate some to use in winter soups and stews.

  Gotta leave in about an hour for my reschedules physical therapy session. Try to get at least one more thing done before then...

  Hope your day is fun too !!  


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Mid- November and the butterflies and small snakes are everywhere

 Today's temps were in the low seventies. Sunny and beautiful. Tonight the rains are coming in for a 2 day visit. The night time temps will stay in the low 50's.  Daytime temps around 60.  We are about to be swallowed up by all the leaves, I sweep and sweep and they come back like magic. The beautiful dance of falling leaves of gold and red and orange is something that never fails to enchant me. 

  I had 2 business meetings today, one that started at noon and the other at 2 that lasted until 4. So ready to retreat home to my sanctuary when it was over !  Before I left the house I had washed dried and put away one load of laundry, washed the second load and put in the dryer, and started the 3rd load. I also made a batch of granola bars for the Irishman's lunches, and got the bars all cut and wrapped. Felt like a productive day. Tomorrow I have to go early to the doc for my INR monitoring blood draw then come back home and start baking french bread (2 loaves) and soft garlic breadsticks (probably about 2 dozen). We are having a pasta potluck and I am also making a couple of pasta dishes. Gonna make a simple chili-mac because it's a local favorite and I just happen to have a lot of leftover chili (on purpose) in the fridge. Not sure about the other dish...either Aglio y Olio  OR  Porcini stuffed tortellini with a butternut squash sauce.  Or perhaps an Alfredo, but that is almost a little too rich. I'll decide once I start cooking. lol  A rainy day will be good cooking weather.

  My chickens have gone insane. If I didn't know better, I' think they were taking LSD.  They repeatedly kick over the waterer that sits inside the coop (it's a gallon size and very heavy when full) and make a complete mess of the floor. They kick all the straw out of the nesting box and insist on laying eggs  willy-nilly all over the place. Then they turn the box upside down . They will lay only one or two eggs a day for a week and suddenly lay 6 every day for 2 weeks. I am seriously considering therapy. For them or me--not sure. lol

  We are considering raising a pig next spring. It would be in a small enclosure back of the property near the pond (but not too near). It sounds like a good idea, but we'll see. 

  The Irishman is going to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving again this year and I am staying here with my family.  Not sure what we are doing, but it may not include my sister in law. She is becoming increasingly sensitive to noise and chaos, and we are a big loud bunch. I have invited my brothers daughter and her kids to come here, as they are basically alone since my brother moved to Georgia. Add to that strained family relations and well...they are still my family and she seems so sad sometimes... There is lots of love to go around. May invite a couple of other friends that have no family nearby...we'll see.  Hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner--I'd better get a move on !  I have lost track of this thing you call time...

  No matter what or who--I am cooking a turkey. and that is that.  lol

  The midnight hour beckons and I am tired. Sleeping earlier these days since the knee replacement I started going to bed around 10, but am slowly staying up later and later.Hmmm...good or bad ?  Who knows. 

  Sleep well dear ones...   Namaste.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Lost in the woods...

  She's been lost in the labyrinthe of her crazy cockamamie world...  lol   But she's still the queen of Quite A Lot.

 I finally had the knee replacement surgery, for one thing.   I will be having the other one done too within the next 6 months sometime. Depends on the other stuff going on. I had some issues with blood clots  from the surgery, and am taking  Coumadin and trying to find the right dosage to get things leveled out and the numbers of the PT/INR where they are supposed to be. 

             [The prothrombin time (PT) is used, often along with a partial thromboplastin time (PTT), to help diagnose the cause of unexplained bleeding or inappropriate blood clots. The international normalized ratio (INR) is a calculation based on results of a PT and is used to monitor individuals who are being treated with the blood-thinning medication (anticoagulant) warfarin (Coumadin®).]

 It seems I  vacillate between clot city and hemophilia. lol  I had a pulmonary embolism while at the hospital. It was a small clot in my lung (never life threatening) and was addressed immediately. I spent a week at the most amazing hospital ...4 days longer than I was supposed to.  The knee replacement itself went exceptionally well and I am now at 6 weeks post-op and am walking without even a cane. The relief and lack of knee pain is so amazing I am begging them to hurry and do the other. lol  

  This is a pretty brutal surgery. They cut the femur bone in 2 places (above and below the knee), manipulate the muscles and tendons and out with the old and in with new. The pain from the surgery is pretty bad,--who knew cutting your bones in half would hurt so much ??  Those ladies at the circus make it look so easy when they are sawed in half...  

 Anyway I had home health for a few weeks because it was just too hard to get rides and to appts (exhausting) because I live out here on Honeysuckle Hill. I have to have that blood monitoring done weekly, so it was easier for them to come here and the physical therapist too. But now I am driving again and back in life. Have a few weeks of outpatient PT and then I'm finished with that. Very happy to have finally taken care of everyone said I would be.

  I have stopped writing everything for a while here.  No blogging, no magazine stuff, nothing. I wasn't even on the computer at all for days at a time. Been lots of other stuff going sister-in-law's brain cancer is in full progression it seems and we are all dealing with that.  Within a 6 month period 8 people I knew died, one of whom was a family member. The weather was a nightmare here this year and I had no garden to can. Imagine what THAT has done to me.  lol  I did buy some tomatoes and can some salsa. have canned some Cowboy Candy. Have frozen what few bell peppers made it. It was awful.  By next spring my pantry will be empty. Thank goodness I have canned so much the past 2 years when the gardens were bountiful.  One of my peach trees died. My apple and pear tree were hit by fire blight and are going to have to come down. The county sprayed and killed ALL the blackberries along the front of my property one day when I was guys working for them and didn't understand about the wrath of Annie (they do now).

  All in all--a very strange year indeed.

  Hopefully I will get back on track. I have missed you all so much. Missed writing. Missed reading your blogs. I feel like I am coming out of an intensive hibernation. On a bright note,  I did have 2 of my recipes PAID FOR and PUBLISHED !!!!!!!!  by Grit magazine in a special bread issue they put together. As soon as I can find one of my copies, I'll take some pics and show you.  Very proud !  lol  

  You can imagine the disarray of my house after several  months of not being able to do my householding chores. First because I could barely walk there at the end and then the recovery from surgery.  Slowly but surely I am making my way through it. lol



Sunday, July 12, 2015

  Isn't this beautiful ?  I could have a spot like this, if it would ever stop raining and I had the energy to work this hard.  

  It actually didn't rain today. It wasn't supposed to rain yesterday either, but it did. We had days of rain and the temps were not getting past 70 degrees. IN MID JULY.  Today it hit 97. And the humidity was suffocating.  It is supposed to rain every day next week I think. We are drowning. The fields are looking weird and yellow, the corn already starting to look bad.  The bugs (mosquitoes and gnats) are horrific, because there is standing water everywhere.  I don't have much hope for my garden. We'll see. I am not giving up yet.

  I harvested a good sized mess of green beans yesterday between downpours. Enough for a big meal and a little leftovers. They are beautiful and there might be a lot of beans this year. If we ever get enough sun.  I sauteed them to a crispy crunch with olive oil, minced garlic and Himalayan sea salt and cracked black pepper. They were too good--first produce of the season always is. The lettuce and kale and chard are a sickly pale green. The carrots are spotty (and they usually do so well). Sigh...

  Today I baked an Italian Creme cake for a 22 year anniversary celebration.   The party was at 6, so we were home by 8, even though we hung around chatting. Always so good to celebrate sobriety. We got home and watched some episodes of Red Dwarf--one of the crazier scififantasy sitcoms I've ever seen. Last night we grilled steaks and had the green beans while we watched Young Frankenstein, Hysterical.  I had a bunch of chanterelles my son found, so I grilled onions and mushrooms to go on the steaks.  I love those mushrooms...this morning he came back in with another bag of beautiful chantrelles as well as quite a few hedgehog mushrooms that he is sure I will love. He says they're pretty rare, so I had to google them  lol  They are pretty and aromatic with a nutty taste.  I have quite a bit of mushrooms in my fridge and need to figure out something to use them in in the next day or so. Was thinking maybe a garlic, spinach and wild mushroom fritata . Or something. lol

  No eggs yet from the new chickens, but should be any time.  One of the hens turned out to be a rooster and the little bastard is pushing his luck. Crowing from 4 AM til midnight. Chasing me in the run.  I named him Earl, so I can sing "Earl's gotta die"  (Dixie Chicks) lol. He's not long for this world, the mean little sucker.  lol

  Guess I'm headed for bed soon as it's after midnight and I'm pooped.  Have a great week and hope everyone's garden is doing better than mine.  I know we all count on that food.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

There...and back again.

  Well, we survived the trip. It was hot and rainy, which had the humidity at roughly 400 %.  The event was spread out over 3-4 buildings (Georgia World Congress Center, The Georgia Dome, The CNN Building and the Omni Hotel). and the amount of walking was brutal.  This picture is from the Georgia Dome during the flag ceremony. 86 countries were represented.  As you can see, it was a LOT of people. Estimates are between 59-65,000 sober alcoholics, getting together for some fun.

  After being there the first 2 days, and walking, walking, walking, I spent Saturday in the motel room  with my legs elevated on pillows and ice packs on my knees. I couldn't get a wheel chair or a scooter because they were all reserved. And mostly because when I registered, I refused to label myself  "handicapped/special needs".  If  I get to go to Detroit in 2020, I will not make that mistake twice. My ego got it's ass kicked. I can still barely walk and am hobbling around like I'm 102.

  I had a great time, all in all. It was almost impossible to find people, tho we did run into a group of young women from here in the International Hospitality Suite.  And I got to see my 2 friends from California that I haven't seen in 20 + years--we had lunch on Sunday after the closing ceremony and before we left to head home.  Also caught up with my old pal Viv from NC--completely accidentally--she was volunteering at the registration table. She lives in GA now.

  It will take until 2020 to recuperate lol.  I'm still so tired it's unreal. Of course, we've kinda been on the run since we got back home. But I need a break and plan to stay home and chill tomorrow.

  Still raining here. And today the temps barely made it past 69 degrees. IN JULY !!!!!  The garden may be a bust. I have 2 ft tall tomato plants that have tomatoes the size of baseballs  on them ! Everything is over run with weeds. The lettuce looks really good though, lol  If we don't get some hot sunny days soon, we will be screwed. This weather is so crazy...

  I woke up tired this morning and am going to make it an early night. Hopefully I'll get caught up on my rest soon so I can manage to get something done. It's white clumps of dog hair season here. I cannot, I must not let it get out of control.  My friend fell and broke her foot/ankle (?) in  3 places last week.  Had to have surgery and had 11 pins put in. She will be in a wheelchair for 10 weeks. I'm going over with lunch Friday and we'll have a girls afternoon. Bless her heart...and they just bought a new house and are closing in 2 weeks. She can't even help pack.

  OK kiddos--- I am outta here. Sweet dreams...


Monday, June 29, 2015

Another Saturday in summer

 It's mid afternoon on a Saturday.One of those days that makes you stop and see and smell and fall into the wonder that is nature.  We have had extraordinary amounts of rain this year- good in some ways, not so much in others- and the outcome is one of the greenest, floweriest, lushest seasons I can remember.  After I got home this afternoon from a meeting and then lunch with my pals, I strolled down the driveway to check the mail. Along the way I saw a couple of the Siberian Irises that are still standing, Queen Anne's Lace, Elderberry flowers, honeysuckle (of course), hollyhocks, lilies and roses. The peonies are barely there too, and the grass needs mowing again. It will have to wait until tomorrow though...still too much to do today.

 The weather has cooled off, thankfully. We were having temps in the high 90's (and rain !) and now it's suddenly back down into the high 70's, low 80's.  That's pretty nice weather this time of year.

 Starting to make my packing lists for the trip to Atlanta...personal, general, necessaries. Things that are too easy to miss, like moving the first aid kit from our car into the rental car. Stuff that I cannot survive without (phone chargers, camera battery chargers). All that stuff--well, you know.  Trail mix, snacks, etc etc. Trying to efficiently pack as there are 3 of us going in a small car. That will be the biggest challenge. It will all be fine...

   We were talking today about shifts in perception, and how those shifts affect our lives. I was thinking that a trip like this is a perfect example of how different things can be for a person like me. There was a time when my experiences with things like a trip like this would have had me spinning and panicking and maybe even just totally cancelling the trip in the end. lol  Too many details to attend to. Too much minutiae. Too much fiscal responsibility.  In reality we have been planning this trip for a year, so it hasn't been so bad. But it gets tiresome. lol

 I started this post 2 days ago and thought I would get right back to it. But got busy, so here I am now. It occurred to me this morning that I only have another day left to post before we leave. I am not taking the computer with me. No ma'am. Taking my phone and my camera, but that's it.  I hope to post once more, maybe tomorrow night, but if I don't make it back, you'll know it's because of all the impending excitement.  lol

  Yesterday was a full day. I drove an hour south of here to see my pal get her coin for her 29th sober birthday and her sponsor too, who has 45 years sober. Man...what a deal, huh ? Might not seem like much to anyone who never had a problem with booze, but for people like me's a miracle.  Went out for lunch and then flew back north to hit the district meeting (made over half of it. lol)  I made a decision to take on another service position, that of a liaison  between the office where I volunteer and the district itself.  Not a big deal, one meeting a month with both sides and give a report. Easy Peasy. I have always done quite a bit of this kind of thing and have backed off the past couple of years. Just feels like time to jump in again.  Then when that was over, I drove across town to pick up a couple of lovely ladies to go to a late afternoon meeting. It was an awesome day all around.

  Today I am doing laundry, making some snacks to take along for the 9 hour drive to Atlanta, and hopefully hitting the library, as I just finished [what I think is] the newest Patricia Cornwell book. Published in 2014. I'll also drag out the suitcase and start my packing, fill my little traveling medicine box with all the anti-inflammatories, bp meds and god knows what all I take every day. Making a list for packing too so I don't forget anything (hair dryer, phone chargers, etc). I hate having to buy things I forgot to  Have to water plants in the house (still raining here), make a detailed feeding list for my son who's going to take care of all the critters. And probably a few more things I'm just not thinking of right now.  lol

 Okay--I think the laundry is ready to go in the dryer and then I'm running into town. 

  Have a great Monday, ya'll...


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Who buys a 2.5 quart jar of whole kosher dills ?

 It's that time of year. The bee balm is blooming. The lilies are out in full force, the clematis keeps trying to be beautiful, but the storms keep beating the hell out of it. Still some blooms though.

  I am eating the biggest kosher dill pickle I have ever seen, from a big jar I bought the other day. Bought it for the jar really. Am I the only one who does that ? lol

 I have not been writing since last March. Where've I been ?  Don't know really.  Nowhere. Here. Addressing some health issues. Trying to keep the world from flying out from under me. I've been kind of okay...nothing serious...although it hasn't always seemed like that. lol I am writing a garden/fresh food recipe column for a newsletter that comes out 4 times a year. But that's it. The muse has left the building. I have had no interest in writing or reading or anything else much.

 Had a terrible time getting the garden in this year. And there has been so much rain that it's washed out seeds and drowned some things. And of course the weeds are magnificent. They seem to thrive in this weather. Even though I lived in the Pacific Northwest for a long long time, all this rain has made me terribly depressed and I am sick of it.  Feels crazy saying that, since parts of the country are suffering terrible droughts. According to the experts, this is the 5th wettest June in history with almost 8 inches of rain so far. On a happier note, the berries are looking really good and we now have bird-spread red and black raspberries coming up EVERYWHERE. Which is good, since the road guys mowed down all my blackberries out front when I wasn't home.  ggrrrrr

  The chickens got moved outside finally and are growing nice and big. And one of my sweet little hens turned out to be a damn rooster. And he's trying to start crowing, but sounds like a strangled hedgehog.....they are so funny. The little shit is already trying to chase me out of the chicken run when I open the door in the mornings. I'd really like to keep a rooster, but I am not putting up with that crap again. I tried to reason with him, lol, but he doesn't want to listen. Hopefully I will be getting eggs within the next month or so...have you seen the price and availability of eggs at the store ?  Insane.

  My computer has been out again. My PC died and the super geek nephew tells me the power switch, the motherboard and the hard drive are all fried. Dammit all.  I am currently using a friend's laptop, and can't wait to have a regular pc again.  These little laptops are just not for me. The good news is that when I had NO computer for almost 2 weeks I started reading more again.  I've been going to our little local library and reading all the Patricia Cornwell I can get my hands on. lol  About 3 of them a week.  The librarian just raises her eyebrows at  me...

 I wound up in the hospital last month, them thinking I was having a heart attack. Me thinking they were wrong. But I went, because my blood pressure shot up to some vulgar number (210/140) and it scared me.  They put me into the chest pain ward and kept me overnight and ran all the cardiac tests on me they could think of. The good news is they said I have a very healthy heart, no blockages or restrictions of any kind. The bad news is, it cost about 15,000 dollars.  They finally decided that I was suffering from situational depression and stress, and put me on an anti-depressant. I guess when I was telling the doc that I was so overwhelmed...that I had had 8 people in my life die in 6 months, that my sister-in-laws brain cancer is back, that I feel like I cannot cope some days...they drew this unreasonable conclusion. BUT--this little episode has at least caused me to finally have all the tests doctors have been harping at me about for years, because of my family history of heart disease. Haha. I win. No heart disease.

  My knees are still in bad shape and I guess it will be time soon for replacements.  We have tried several different things and nothing works for long. Sigh....

 On a brighter note (maybe) my husband has decided that we are going to Atlanta, Georgia over the 4th of July to a giant International AA convention. A grand event, celebrating 80 years of Alcoholics Anonymous. In ATLANTA.  In JULY.  I am trying to not even think about it.  If you never hear from me again, it will be because I have died.  In ATLANTA.  In JULY.

 Alright. Seems that either I don't write at all, or I blather on like an idiot. Must be time to see about getting out there to weed the tomatoes and green beans....

  Namaste, y'all....