Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Oof

     As much as I believe in the importance of being informed, this morning's radio news lays heavier upon my head this am. Time to seek some light diversions on and off today.

     More dance party, less reading of news.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Despite the Years of Training

     Something I've begun to notice (and be amused by), is how condensed a day in the house can feel. About every other night, when I start my evening ablutions, I stop and peer at myself in the mirror and ask, "Didn't we just do this?". I'm not alone, am I?

     Not sure why that's the moment my brain chooses to question my actions. Is it the mirror? That moment of looking oneself in the eye at the end of the day?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

I Don't Know About You, But . . .

     N's long been mystified over my ability to set an alarm and hop out of bed when it goes off. Now? Those days are long gone--even before the Trump Virus. Because after retirement, I began to slowly assimilate to N's habit. It's a way to listen to the news, with little interruption. And if we happen to drop back to sleep? No worries! The news repeats on public radio!

     Once I'm up, it's time to feed the pups, carefully prepping their 3 tablespoons of wet food and then smushing it together with the added water. (Thankfully, with 3 feedings a day, the wet food no longer activates my gag reflex.) Then it's time for our morning oatmeal. When did I start adding a handful of granola to our oatmeal? I'm not sure, but I enjoy the contrasting texture. Then it's time to empty the dishwasher and start a pot of tea before digging into breakfast.

     That's when I sit down to work on my first of three crossword puzzles of the day and write letters. After that, I hit the shower. Not sure how or why others are showering less--I do some of my best musing under the showerhead. At least that's my opinion. Besides there's lovely moist solitude in that stall!

     In the afternoons, we usually walk the dogs, work on the latest crossword puzzle, do chores, read, dance in the kitchen, and begin to contemplate dinner. Then into the evening we drift, eating dinner, watching the NewsHour, deciding what to watch on TV next.

     As a long time introvert, I feel like I've been training for "Stay Home" my entire life. Though, to be honest, I doubt it'll take us long to spread out our tendrils and enjoy people, stores, parks and life as we knew it. See ya all on the other side.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Rotisserie Chicken: And How Many Days it Can Feed Two

     Oh boy, do I enjoy Costco's rotisserie chicken. So moist, so tasty, and a bit on the buff side. It's sustained us for many quick dinners and chicken salad lunches. There are other businesses doing the same, but their chickens tend to look scrawny next to the "pumped up" Costco version.

     The first dinner, is usually (depending on time of day of purchase) rotisserie chicken with veg and baked potatoes. Since there's just the two of us, after dinner, I remove all of the leftover chicken from the carcass. It tastes better removed, than if I left it on the carcass. Perhaps this is a personal preference. {shrug}

     I have some favorite uses of those moist, tender, leftovers--not counting how I like to dip a small piece in mayo to nosh on. One of my favorite, is (what I affectionately refer to as an accidental dinner) a combination of onion, garlic, chicken, rice, tomato, black beans, chicken broth-- seasoned with oregano, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes. I try to make just enough to be sure there will be lunch leftovers to stuff into flour tortillas.

     Then there's chicken and cauliflower over rice: I trim and prep the cauliflower into bite size or slightly smaller pieces, place on sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with coriander and ginger and salt. Massage together. And roast in 425 degree oven for approximately 12-17 minutes. Then I saute onion and red pepper, add rice, diced chicken, chicken broth. Season with cumin, coriander and chili powder to taste. Add cauliflower when roasted.

     Chicken Alfredo with broccoli (so many recipes for different tastes available out there, but here's one...) https://www.thekitchn.com/make-these-chicken-alfredo-shells-tonight-244597

     Tomato, Spinach, Chicken Spaghetti, is another recipe with plenty of options. I sub pesto for the basil: https://juliasalbum.com/tomato-spinach-chicken-spaghetti/

     But, barbecue chicken sandwiches, might be my favorite. It's a situation when the barbecue sauce, and bread matter . . . a lot. Bacon can add a little something extra, as well as some nice thick tomato slices on top of the spinach leaves, and don't forget that sour dough and a bit of horseradish sauce. Sometimes I'll add a slice of Monterey Jack cheese on top--telling myself that it's all about keeping the chicken from falling off the bread.

     What's your favorite use of rotisserie chicken? Because I'm always looking for another good recipe.

   

Sunday, March 15, 2020

I Grew Up in a Small Town

     First off, let me admit that the group of small town classmates I grew up with were a bunch of anarchists (yes, I include myself). What else would you call an entire class of third graders who conspired against a substitute teacher, by carefully placing thumbtacks on the seat of her broad wooden chair?

    That wasn't our last effort. We continued until the very end and if I'm completely honest--Timothy Paulsen was our ringleader. Well, that's what we told our parents. And they were eager to embrace him as the villian, but (as many of us know) parents are happy to defend their own and vilify the rest.

     Looking back over some of the most memorable moments of our reign, I have to believe that we were an anomaly, that was all about that particular time of history. Whenever I'd broach the fringes of the topic with my older sister, she'd always reduce it to the era of the Vietnam war. Perhaps she was correct--history has much to do with human behavior.

     In the end, we battled with the small town school board to create the graduation we desired. They were happy to give us one of the lesser demands--the music we walked into the gym to and the song we sang together. And still we weren't happy. It's all about the struggle, isn't it? The struggle for independence. The struggle for identity. Yet, we were privileged young white people. We had zero idea of what a real struggle was.

   

Monday, March 9, 2020

Lungs, Lovely, Lungs

     I was one of those children who (it seemed) always had a sore throat or a cough. So many home remedies: my least favorite was the (very) damp cloth diaper-pinned around my neck during sleep. The most effective was that shot of brandy, my exhausted mother gave me in the wee hours of the night. Something she hated to admit. And I completely understand.

     Several weeks back, I realized why I probably suffered more than some--it may have had an impact on my upper respiratory system that, nearly every week, our dining room (and the dining rooms of my parents' friends) were filled with cigarette smoke, during their card games. And, possibly, due to living when many homes were heated with a wood furnace or stove. {Cough, hack, spit}

     I don't miss that cough or bark--I know my coworkers didn't. And I'm still thankful to the doctor who prescribed an "as needed" inhaler and suggested I get my pneumonia shot early. That doesn't help the teeth I ruined by sucking on cough drops at night, for months at a time, but it's kept my lungs feeling normal. Hooray for science!

    Today, I decided--as much as I love (LOVE) volunteering at school, I need to quit for now. If I brought that bug home to N, I'd never forgive myself. I tried to bargain with myself in the wee hours, but loving that activity isn't a good reason to continue during this time. My personal pity party may drag on a bit longer, but imo it's the right thing to do.

Monday, March 2, 2020

November 2009

     About once a year, I recall the month that H1N1 stole from me and how long it took to get back on my feet. I was glad to (re)discover today that I wrote posts during that time, because details can matter when it comes to the next virus.

     One detail that rises above the others, is the pain I experienced under my right shoulder blade when I didn't have any other noticeable symptoms. Though, without running a temperature, perhaps the doctor wouldn't have ordered an x-ray. Impossible to know.

     Going back and reading also gave me an opportunity to re-experience gratitude for all of the help I received from family and friends. Yet another reason to feel good about having taken the time to write it down.