Friday, November 28, 2008

Results- NO Peel Egg Peeling

Yesterday morning I was so optimistic that I had found a way to save time and make my life flow a little smoother when preparing the much accurately named Deviled Eggs. I mean, after all, I even shared the YouTube video that someone made to assist me in egg 'no peeling' bliss. WRONG. Have you ever blown several dozen balloons? You know how those glands right below you ears kind of hurt afterwards? I had forgotten about that until I attempted to "blow" the first egg. NOPE that sucker was not about to be blown from it's shell. I quit trying the method I posted about in this post after three failed attempts. Egg Blow Job I even attempted to use water pressure to force the interior egg from the safety of it's shell. NOPE, but now there was water all over the kitchen. I momentarily wished I owned one of those big air compressors, because I really wanted that egg to come out the other end in one piece or even at all. I went back to the old method of peeling. Thankfully, they did peel without ending up looking all mangled.
Okay, I lied. I did try blowing the last egg (#24) and quickly was reminded of the definition of know the one I mean. Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
I am now left wondering if maybe I boiled the eggs in the wrong kind of pan, but, I will never really know the answer since I don't think I will ever attempt the NO Peel way again.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Egg Blow Job

One of the things my family really enjoys with most holiday meals is Deviled Eggs. I do not mind making them; after all, they are easy. Or at least they are some times. The thing that annoys me is when they are difficult to peel. I have never figured out why some years they peel with no problems and other years they end up looking like a mangled mess with small bits of peel stuck to the whites.
I thought I was boiling them all wrong but, really, how could that be? Too long, too hard, wrong pan, not enough water, cooled wrong, cooled too slow, etc. I have actually worried about this. Then the light bulb went off. Google it. I found this little video and I am optimistic that the whole experience will be better than a high school science experiment. Or maybe not.

I will let you know how it works out.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Stop Getting Phone Books - Go Green

Yesterday I found three phone books that had been delivered to my front porch and I thought about how wasteful that is. I never even brought them inside. I thought about just walking them to the recycle bin but they are a little heavier than I want to lift right now. I don’t think I know anyone who uses a phone book anymore. I haven’t in about three years. Today I found this GREEN site that has a lot of helpful hints but the best part is there is a link to get off the phone book list.
Stop Getting Phone Books
I guess in rural areas some people still use them but for the most part if you know how to Google I bet you don't use one.
On another green note.....I have not used a paper plate in 2 years and I am working on letting go of paper towels.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Where I Am From

I am from many different people, places and every thing from Three Musketeer’s candy bars to Schwinn Bicycles with a Mickey Mantle baseball card clothes pinned in the spokes sounding like a small motor. I am from the Mickey Mouse Club and Disneyland.

I am from the 6th Street home in Colorado. The small house with the grey flowered wool carpet, the wringer washer in the basement and the aroma of Grandma’s fresh baked oatmeal cookies filling the air.

I am from the sweet potato with the toothpicks holding it in water in the Mason jar so that it would vine, the hollyhocks in the back yard and the full vases of fragrant sweet peas sitting on the old bookcase in the parlor.

I am from fruitcake baking and eating people. I am from the kind of people who would sit around the table talking while shelling pounds of walnuts and pecans. I am from Collins, Barnes, and Leach people.

I am from baseball people and military men.

I am from brave hardworking men who were in the Civil War and from men who worked on the railroad. I am from humble women who sewed, baked, gardened and had big families. I am from women who endured floods, and lived through having Small Pox.

I am from God-fearing people, hymn-singing people who in addition to Sunday services also attend Wednesday night prayer meetings at the local Baptist Church. I am from other people who did not go to church, people who worked in Cigar stores and played pool. I am from a mix of good people; some were kinder and gentler than others were.

I am from a family who not only expected but also enjoyed fried chicken every Sunday for supper. I am from a gang of chili lovers where mostly everyone agreed the more chili powder the better.

From the chain-link fence that I scaled the first day it was put up, from the swimming pool at Golden Gate Park where I became a junior lifeguard and the from the lugs of fresh peaches that would soon be made into pies.

I am from locks of hair tied with pink ribbon neatly tucked away in Mom’s old jewelry box that she hid in the bottom of her laundry basket. Even though we never had any robbers, it was the place where they would not think to look for her most sentimental processions like my baby teeth and the locks of my baby hair.


I am not sure anymore where I first heard about this writing exercise but if you would like to use the it is Where I Am From.
If you use the template please link it back to me so I can read it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I am so frustrated being injured. I do not know how Tess has been able to be in the kind of pain she is in for as long as she has because four days is enough for me. I am hopeful that her surgeries will be scheduled before too long. She is more patient than I am. She has had to learn to be.

My chiropractor told me that she didn’t think I would be able to go to the gym for a least a week. She massaged my muscles a little before the adjustment and told me I felt like I was firming up. That made me feel great because I had really been putting my all into each workout. I will miss the workouts, which is something that surprises me.

Son Max took me to the appointment yesterday and we stopped for Thai Food on the way home. Spicy coconut chicken soup was perfect. I love Thai Food. There are four Thai restaurants within a two-mile radius of my house. Life is good.

Son Ace took me to my appointment today and we had a mahi mahi sandwich for lunch. We ate in a burger joint but I avoided the beef. The fish was a nice change. It wasn’t like eating in Hawaii but it was nice not to have to cook. There was a seafood restaurant next door which would have been a better choice for the fish.

I canceled all my appointments for today and spread them out over the rest of the week. I am thankful Tess doesn’t have any doctor’s appointments this week because driving would be a tough thing to do, besides helping her up and down the stairs or in and out of the car would have been next to impossible for me to do. I am having another adjustment myself tomorrow and I hope to have progressed enough to skip Thursday.

I am feeling much better. The pain is more centralized and less intense. I am off to bed now and I hope I sleep better than I have the last few nights.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Follow-up on Fire - This and That

I talked to my future daughter-in-law this morning and found out her family was allowed back into their neighborhood late last night. Their house was spared but several of the neighborhood homes were burned to the ground. She told me that all the brush right up to the edge of their property was charred to the ground and several of the oil drums in the area blew up. Since the winds have changed, she thought their home would be okay.

When I talked to her, she told me that she was taking a walk with her mother and that the neighborhood was on lock down because of the looters. Her uncle is a member of the SWAT team and he is checking on them so they feel relatively safe.

For the last three years, I have played Fantasy Sports with my two sons. Max, my oldest son, invited me to play when they needed someone to fill a league (I am sure I was their last pick) and I have continued to play every year since then. Many of the people that work at or attend his gym are in the league so you can imagine how competitive they all are. Most of them have worked in some way or another with professional athletes so they eat, breathe and sleep ball. Our league is through Yahoo, and we play football, basketball and baseball. I only play so I can be involved with Max and Ace as I have plenty of other things that suck my time away. If there is ever a lull in the conversation we can talk about sports. I understand sports but I do not know any of the professional players anymore so I play according to the statistical information available which is usually enough to keep me semi competitive. If you have never played in a fantasy league, I want to tell you I have had a lot of fun and it just takes a few minutes to set a roster for the week. Would I do it if my sons were not in my league? Honestly, no….just one of those things a mother does to stay close to her sons.

I have been thinking about how I hurt my neck. It could have happened at the gym or maybe when I had a violent sneezing jag. It really doesn’t matter. All I know is that I had the worst night’s sleep I have ever had in my life. I could not find a comfortable position and if I relaxed, too much the pain was too intense for me to remain still. It sucked. I watched the fire coverage almost all night. I iced it, iced it, and iced it. Ace is going to drive me to the doctors tomorrow, as I cannot turn my head to the left. I would not want to attempt to drive myself.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Smokey Day

This morning when I woke up, I was physically feeling good. It was early, too early for me to get up, so I went back to bed for a few more winks. When I got back up I could barely move my neck or right arm. Of course, this is a Saturday so I have to wait until Monday to go to the chiropractor. I am not one to run to the doctor but this pain is more than I can take.

I did some stretching and settled down with a cup of coffee and my computer but distraction came in the form of the strong smell of smoke. We have been having Santa Ana winds nearly 70 mph. I grabbed my camera and went outside to see what the sky looked like. I knew the fire would be miles away up in the canyons.

This is about 10:30 am.

I took some ibuprofen, grabbed a few icepacks and headed back to bed. I could not lie down. I could not push through the pain. Eventually, I figured out a way to crawl into my bed and have the icepacks situated so that they were hitting all the hot spots of pain.

The phone rang just as I was beginning to drift off and I could hear a very panicky Natalie wanting to know if I knew where Ace (youngest son) was. Her family home was in the path of the fire and she wanted him to drive his truck to help with the evacuation. She was at work and heading towards her home. I had not talked to Ace but I told her I would track him down. I got up and walked around the corner to see if his truck was there. I knocked loudly on his back door, waking him up and I told him what was going on with the crazy out of control fire.

Ace is studying to be a firefighter. He moved with lightening speed, phone, TV, clothes all simultaneously attending to each. Once he saw the hellish flames on TV, he was out the door and on his way to help his fiancées family. I felt scared when he left and thought about all those families that send their children off to war. That has to be one of the most difficult feelings one can go through. Within minutes, Ace called me and told me it there was smoke and he could see flames in the direction he was heading. I told him to focus on his driving because there would be people driving crazy to get to their homes. He assured me he would keep me in the loop.

I watched TV, Googled maps of the area and I could see that the fire was getting closer to Natalie’s home. I called Ace because I figured they would not be sitting around watching TV. He did not answer but called me right back. He told me that area he was in had not been ordered to evacuate yet.

I went back outside to take a few more pictures and wait.

I went back to watching the live reports on TV. I heard the evacuation zone’s boundaries and my heart sank. I called Ace again and he told me they were loading up the cars and getting out of there. I went outside and inspected the falling ashes.

After Ace got down the hill he called me and gave me a little more of a blow by blow description of what it was like at Natalie’s home. He said conditions changed quickly and when they left her home, the fire was only about a block away. Ace told me that he heard explosion after explosion as he drove away from the area.
It will be interesting to find out his thoughts being a firefighter after seeing first had how fickle fires are, and that they take whatever they want along their destructive path.

Here is the sun at about 2pm. No more blue skies.

The news reports there is no water pressure up there. System design failure. That is a very difficult concept to understand. The winds are not dying down and the region is dry. People are in a panic, overcome with smoke, abandoning their cars on the freeways.

Ace is safe. I don’t know if Natalie’s family home made it unscathed or not. I will have to report on that later as I need to lie down now.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Days Turn Into Weeks

The older we become the faster time seems to go by. I never seem to have enough time to do what needs to be done. Hours seem like minutes.

I never realized how busy I have become lately until I finally sit down to write something to add to my blog. I have time to read others blogs and leave comments but to finish a story seems almost impossible with all the other priorities I have. I have no less than five drafts about different things I wanted to share. I get so many interruptions and it could be hours before I get back to blogging. Sometimes I am just to tired to make much sense.

Tess had a couple of doctor’s appointments last week and with that came a slew of referrals. I am grateful that with this new insurance program she will finally get some of the medical assistance she so desperately needs. She is scared because she knows that means several different surgeries and months of physical therapy. As I know more about what she is facing I will post about it.

I went to the gym five times this past week. I made a commitment to myself to loose 50 lbs in six months. My eating is out of control and I am not practicing any kind of will power. Luckily, I don’t buy sweets but I still eat too much. I am hoping that I quit self-sabotaging really sucks. I have really only dieted once in my life and although I was successful I did it with a special friend and this time I am on my own. I am struggling and so Curves is where I am beginning to feel supported.

My caregivers support group is over this next week. It was a small group of only nine participants. The facilitators were well prepared with tips on how to take care of ourselves while we are care giving. It is not uncommon for caregivers to put themselves last. The facilitators always brought the focus back on us and off the loved one we are taking care of. The group members made a weekly individual action plan and were accountable the next week for what we planned for ourselves. Several weeks my plan was to exercise. I am concerned I will not be as committed since I won’t have the group. All I can think of is to be accountable here.

My personal therapy is a good reminder to do things that bring me joy. Most Friday evening I go to dinner with my long time best friend. That brings me joy. Okay, sometimes it is bittersweet because I wish Tess were able to go out occasionally. I love going out with my BFF and Tess wants me to do anything I can to enjoy myself. One day I will write about my BFF and if she gives me permission, I will tell her story of family abandonment because of her sexuality.

I took Tess to a nice lunch after one of her doctor’s appointments. I am not sure she even enjoyed one minute of it, as it was such a fiasco getting her in and out of the car and using the bathroom. Most movement triggers her pain. On top of that, the whole thing is so reminiscent of my mother’s failing health that it is eerie for me at times. Before my mother died, she was in a lot of pain when she walked too. When I take Tess out she uses a wheel chair, at home she uses a walker.

I feel like I just babbled but I wanted to write something before another week comes and goes.

Be good to yourself.

Yes We Can!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why did you start blogging? Part Two

Picking up where I left off last week:

I read two blogs for about a year. That was really all I made time for and they were enough to give me an escape from my day-to-day life. I did so miss the country. I never considered having my own blog at that time. Eventually I clicked on a link that led me to a female artist’s blog. JudithHeartsong Not only did I think her art was fun and whimsical but in that blog I found a strong woman who had left an abusive husband and now lived with her soul mate. My gaydar spiked, and yes, I was right. Now blogging was getting interesting I was starting to find my people.

She told her story of starting over and leaving her abusive past where it belonged. By then, I was thinking of having my own blog. I started a journal on AOL. I invited my family members and friends to view it. I found myself posting things like flowers in my yard. For a variety of reasons, I did not want to blog about my personal life. Maybe it was because I had connected it to my email address and I did not want to be so visible to people I had worked with. Nonetheless, my AOL blog was boring and thank God, AOL closed all their journals a couple of days ago.

Back to the artsy blog….One month she posted a contest, she was having so that her readers could share their creative minds. I did not enter as I do not consider myself an artist and certainly, I could not write like those who entered the contests. The next month, another contest, I did not enter , and so on until one day, she had a contest about vegetables (and if we considered tomatoes a vegetable, we could enter something artistic about them). OMG I had something to enter so I entered a clip I made that featured my cat, Digit and a tomato. To my surprise, I won.

I wish Judith would begin her contests again. They were fun to think about and read.

Here is my artsy award:

If I could figure out how to put it on the side I would display it proudly.

I began clicking on blog lists on each site I was reading and eventually I had found more of my people. Women who loved women and wrote about it, I was hooked on several sites and little by little, more fun blog reads were added. I am not sure if Pioneer Woman’s site lead me to Doc's Sunrise Rants or if I found Hahn at Homefirst but I love to read the everyday thoughts of these two women who are not afraid to speak their minds. I learned words like asshat and f*cktard from Doc. Even then, with my new vocabulary words I still did not start a blog. I was just about as depressed as one could get and reading the blogs was the highlight of my day.

Eventually I began reading BearsMountain. I remembered the struggle I had leaving my 14 year marriage and upsetting my son’s lives. I remembered how exciting my first relationship with a woman was. I was only 16, she was 17 and it was as if we found each other at the perfect times in our lives. Our relationship only lasted the summer between my junior and senior year (she went away to college) but I will never forget how much we needed each other that summer. We were both only children and we seemed to fill an emptiness that made us complete. More about this later…perhaps. It was a good summer.

Old Crone (BearsMountain) wrote something about how in real life she never had as many people that related to her as she did online. I could see from her comments that others were supporting her and the difficult decisions she is trying to make. I wish blogging were something that was available 40 years ago because I think it would have saved me a lot of pain, and just maybe, I would have been able to find more of my people. I felt so unsupported back then.

To be continued...