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Showing posts from November, 2021


   "Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home." - Edith Sitwell     

Thanksgiving 2021

  🍂 Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! 🍂  Our holiday meal is always a quiet affair. No reason to watch football. We forget about the Macy's parade every year (my dad never missed it). It's just the three of us. This year's feast was a mix of prepared food and Cranberry-Orange Glazed Cornish game hens. ( Recipe! ) I dressed the birds but Jeff was our master chef. Oh holy god, his hens turned out perfectly! I'm so proud of him. Hens, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green beans graced our table, along with Hawaiian roles and a bottle of 2019 Ménage à Trois Pinot Grigio. The latter got me through the dishes, and I came upstairs afterward with quite a buzz on. It's difficult celebrating without loved ones, even those a phone call away. This is our third year without my dad, and our first without Jeff's mom. My mom tackled the prepared dishes. I snapped a picture of her before we settled down to eat. She looks so tired. Still, she doesn't look bad for be

RECIPE: Cranberry-Orange Glazed Poultry

Cranberry-Orange Glazed Poultry    This is a Giada De Laurentiis recipe that circulates through the Fam. We've used it not only for turkey, but on chicken, Cornish game hens, and duck as well. We boil the unused bones/meat with celery and carrot tops and onion cores (the stuff you usually throw away), and freeze the broth (in ice cube form) for soups or anywhere that asks for a small amount of chicken stock.  Because the turkey is cut up beforehand, you don't have to worry about a large roaster or roasting pan taking up valuable space.  Total Time: 3 hr 35 min (for full sized turkey) Prep: 1 hr Inactive: 35 min Cook: 2 hr Yield: 6 servings Level: Intermediate Ingredients One 11-pound turkey, cut into 6 pieces (or whatever bird floats your boat) 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Cranberry Orange Glaze, recipe follows 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth Assorted fresh herb sprigs, orange wedges an

Waukesha Christmas Parade Massacre

Nobody wants to wake up to horrific news, especially when it involves death and injury of innocent people.     We woke up, grabbed a cup of coffee, and sat down to start the day. Every feed covered the massacre at last night's Christmas parade in Waukesha, WI. This year's parade theme was "Comfort and Joy". Both were taken away in a matter of minutes by a thug with a mislaid moral compass. There are indications the Waukesha suspect was fleeing another incident when he drove into the parade route, according to multiple law enforcement sources familiar with preliminary investigation findings. - CNN The suspect, Darrell Edward Brooks Jr, turned onto that parade route. He had the option to brake. But God forbid he's caught by the police and go to jail for violating parole.  What is wrong with our society? The criminal justice system and its revolving doors amounts to nothing. Ethnicity really doesn't matter when it sinks to street level. This criminal element


  I fell on the steps again . I ended up on the floor again . Karma . I'm so fucking tired of it. The adventure continued when I lost balance and slid down three stairs. My lower back hit each tread's nosing.  Holy fuck, the pain! I stayed on the floor and rubbed around the scar from my laminectomy, softly crying my eyes out while the dogs pawed at me: You're on the floor! Play with us! No. Just no. The hours crept on. I reached my pain threshold. The ER doctor, Richard Hemdon, is an asshole. I described the accident and my symptoms. Nerve pain. Breakthrough nerve pain. Nerve pain that feels like electricity going down both legs instead of just the left leg. Registering a 9 on my pain scale nerve pain. I asked to have a pain med on board before going to radiology. The nurse brought me a Tylenol extended release, 650 mg. I'd already taken a prescription strength Tylenol. It's a Schedule III controlled substance because, technically, it is an opioid. If the


My office is messy but the warm hues cast by the setting sun more than make up for it. I'm in too much pain to write, to watch a series on YouTube, to kick back with Netflix.  I'm in too much pain to remember how to spell the words I use on a frequent basis. I'm in too much pain to care about my pain. I smile at the warm hues instead; this is the balm for my soul.

Morning Karma

  There are good mornings, and then there are mornings that grab you by the throat and hiss I'm about to kill a bitch . This morning is the latter. It started with cracking my head against the metal shelf by the toilet.  This isn't the first time. It won't be the last. Thankfully, it didn't split my scalp.  The adventure continued when I lost balance and slid down three stairs. My lower back hit each tread's nosing.  Holy fuck, the pain! I stayed on the floor and rubbed around the scar from my laminectomy, softly crying my eyes out while the dogs pawed at me. You're on the floor! Play with us! No. Just no. I don't have vertebral bone on my L4 and L5. Impacts directly, well, impact my lower extremities. I hauled my fat ass upright. God, I need to lose weight! The next few minutes were spent wiping tears and snot off my face. The dogs began to circle. Food? Food?! Food food food! Nothing is going to happen until I set my coffee to perk. I did alright with


 Trollhunters , IE Tales of Arcadia . I'm giving it another try. Round Two, y'all.  I'll stop at 3Below and pick up again with Wizards . I'll end it there, too. Why? Krel's whining about being unpopular drove me nuts in 3Below . His sister, Aja, doesn't care enough to pronounce common words correctly. It's like a 30-Sue Pileup*.  (On the other hand, I absolutely adore Varvatos Vex, the "Mom and Dad Blanks", Zadra, Buster, and Stuart.) The final chapter after Wizards , a movie titled Rise of the Titans, pissed me off so intensely that I completely stopped watching the entire Tales of Arcadia series. Prior to that, I kept shit on repeat and regulated it to background noise. The massive RETCON is to blame. "Titans" is the poster child for bullshit. It's heavily revised retrospectively, smashing everything prior by changing the very first action... one that sets everything in motion. Why go back and watch a series if everything we know a

Gardening: The Callery Pear

Scientific classification   Kingdom: Plantae Clade : Tracheophytes Clade : Angiosperms Clade : Eudicots Clade : Rosids Order: Rosales Family: Rosaceae Genus: Pyrus Species: P. calleryana Binomial name Pyrus calleryana Once upon a thyme, when I was smallish and going through social phobia for reasons I won't mention here, I took to roaming the neighborhood shortly before sunrise. I'd traipse home in time for the drive to school. I loved how the early morning light made everything seem otherworldly. I got to meet elderly neighbors puttering around their lawns and flowers. It was almost always a good learning experience. Trees were my second favorite thing in the entire world. William Morris (and later, JRR Tolkien) sparked this interest. I was (and still am) in love with Mirkwood's flora and fauna.  Morris's Goths inhabit an area called the Mark on a river in the forest of Mirkwood, divided into the Upper-mark, the Mid-mark and the Nethe


  "Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him." – Hal Borland

Port flushes and pain

Today is a bad pain day. I went for my port flush and gave some thought to going downstairs to the ER. There's never a dull moment in our lives. Needless to say, I'm not going to bother with it. Pain patients are faking it to get their fix, right?!  I'm really tired of that shit, and I'm equally bitter about all the times they made me feel like trash or deprived me of necessary treatment because "war on opioids". So I'm sitting on the back porch with Zoie. It's warm out. She's bathing in the sunshine. I want to lie down beside her and share the joy. Reality sets in and I remind myself that getting up would be a challenge.

Nature: Bee Thing

  Dear Bee Thing, You were an awesome companion. You captured my imagination. Your nuzzles cheered me on bad days. And now you've tapped on the window for a final goodbye. It's gonna be okay. Nothing lives forever, but love keeps memories alive. Kindest Regards, Your Pupil Paper wasps, much like many "stinger insects", aren't going to attack you for no good reason. Some insects will, and without much provocation. The Africanized ("killer") honey bee is an example of the latter. The key is to learn to identify your insects. Sit. Observe. Research. And then, sit quietly again when you see them. Don't flail. Don't panic. Just Be. This attitude makes me less of a threat to them. Some come to the porch to visit me, especially if I have my sweetened coffee or tea handy. One sting would kill me but I garden ergo pollinators visit. Many years ago, a carpenter bee decided to befriend me. She was Fuzzy Bee. I'd sit on the back deck with my laptop and

A Discordant of Dogs: Nail Trim

Do you see that face? Eyes one centimeter shy of a roll? It was that kind of morning. We had forewarning. I set this nail trim appointment weeks ago. I spent a bit of time mitigating all chances for catastrophic fail. By that, I mean stuffing a pillow behind the front passenger seat and my purse behind the driver's seat in order to prevent asshats from going under them. The best laid plans of mice and men... A Discordant of Dogs We don't have a pack. Rather, ours is a writhing dogmageddon comprised of fur, coughs, screaming, and tangled leashes. Ware the approaching Discordant! It is profane and no thing is left untouched! It is more a violation of sanity".  Our monthly trip for nail trimming is...interesting? Outrageous?  Yes. We have four dogs. Alone, each dog somewhat behaves itself while traveling. Jointly, God help you. All of them want to be on Jeff's lap rather than remain in the back seat. Some of them suspect that we are going to the vet. Jeff's "GE

Nostalgia: May Thoughts, 2012

    I stumbled upon a warm memory while looking for the photo of our old flowerbed. Rather than cry over the nostalgia, I reminded myself that I should be 'journaling' the here and now. Perhaps in 2031, we can look back at 2021 and find smiles tucked in the cobwebs.     “The library in summer is the most wonderful thing because there you get books on any subject and read them each for only as long as they hold your interest, abandoning any that don't, halfway or a quarter of the way through if you like, and store up all that knowledge in the happy corners of your mind for your own self and not to show off how much you know or spit it back at your teacher on a test paper.”  ― Polly Horvath, My One Hundred Adventures There are many things that mark the approaching of summer. For us, it is sweeping the back deck, lighting the BBQ and turning on the AC. For me, specifically, it is bringing my laptop outside, arranging myself to avoid the glare of the sun, and catching up on b

To Garden or not to Garden...

 The above is a small snapshot of our front garden, an equally small portion by the front steps dedicated to annuals or whatever small thing had caught Jeff's fancy.  (I feel a panic attack rising as I look at the beautiful bird feeder in the background. It was left behind when we moved out. Cigarette time!) Can I recapture this effect at the new house? Probably, but it will be much more difficult now that I'm 50. Also, the upfront cost will be a bitch. I'm not worried about borders. I can buy a few bricks at a time over the winter. The initial plant investment could rise to $500, including soil but NOT whatever we choose to finish it off, it mulch vs rocks vs lots and lots of small ground cover. The question is simple: Do we invest because we plan to remain in this house for the rest of our lives, or do I plant flowering shrubs and plan to move to a single-story home in a few years? Every day, I ask myself that question. I'd prefer to stay put, but a lot of work needs


    Yeah, about that template thing... I sorta lost it. Lots of solid code tweaking, gone. I don't know if I should take that as a sign from God that I find something other than writing to occupy my brain. Because, y'know, there are better things to do! Aren't there? Or is this it? Feh. I'm still butthurt over my mother's antics today. This wasn't a moment for blorfting.  Me: Hey, mum. Can I bring my chair down here to- Mum: No. Me: -to share time with you in the evening? Mum: I watch old tv shows. Me: Uh huh, me too! [I actually do like the same shows] Mum: Evening is my time to relax. Me: I won't talk to you or have the dogs here to- Mum: No. Oy gevalt! Forget I asked! But I couldn't forget. It gnawed on me until I remembered that she sneaks alcohol in the evening. She stopped drinking after her heart surgery. It was nice while it lasted. She buys and hides three mixer 16oz bottles at a time; we have to take her to the grocery store every three days.

The day after Halloween

EXTREME PUMPKIN Alas, Halloween has drawn to a close. We didn't celebrate it (again) nor decorate (again). I'm crushed, to be honest, but I won't let the lack of decorations get in the way of good stuff. Like that rotting pumpkin. This offering is from Extreme Pumpkin. Usually rot is something you want your carving pumpkins to avoid, but this one uses a partially rotted pumpkin to very cool effect. Yep. Totally agree. Nothing can prevent me from enjoying scary movies either. Alright, I can already hear some of you proffering a skeptical reminder that electricity will prevent it. I know. I get it. I also can't ignore the comedy to be found, and the annual events, such as " If Veterans Were In Horror Movies 4 "     Oh my sod! Did you watch the vid all the way? See it? Black Rifle Coffee's The Headless Horseman's Roast ! Buy it or a zombie will steal your ammo.