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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Caveat Emptor, Grocery Bargain Shoppers

I  first typed "carpe diem" for the title. Now, that is not a bad sentiment--to seize the day-- but this is a warning to those who bargain shop for groceries.

"Buyer Beware"

Nor long ago, at a smaller store in my quest for bargains, I found Miracle Whip for $1.29 for a quart/30 ozs. in the ads I search. I did check the date on the jar. I use lots of Miracle Whip, so according to the date, I could buy more for later or just buy one. I know the food is not expired!

Well, I looked at the use by date and it was two weeks away. I had just opened a jar of MW and would not finish it in two weeks! Plus, I had another jar on the shelf. I was planning on buying at least three at $1.29 and I had coupons! I never want to be out of Miracle Whip.

This incident caused me to check use by dates more carefully when things were on sale. I ate a can of tuna two years past the date on the can. It was fine. It had gotten shoved back on my shelves. However, I did not want MW to go runny, or off tasting even if it was still safe to eat! MW is the staff of life around here. Just kidding.

Plus, when I get a sale on canned goods, I do not want to be buying many if the cans are near the best-if-used-by date. I might buy two cans of green beans close to their date. Might!

This one event is the thing that has caused me to price-match because WM food from their warehouses turns over so quickly. The other store had been offered food from a warehouse and took it for a sale. I have found too-good-to-be-true prices in other smaller stores have the same problem.

Even if the food is near the date on the merchandise, sometimes I do buy it, knowing it will not be used by that date. It depends. Each person can make the decision on what they can deal with eating and how much there is on hand of that item in the home.

I won't purchase it or accept past-date, but if I have it on hand, I will eat it if the can is in good condition. Now, I am not talking decades-old cans.

Oh, I would not serve it to my children or grandchildren without my children's permission.

Dominique gave me an egg today!

UPDATE: Anne mentioned coffee. Here is my coffee story.

Your turn
Do you ever check dates on sale cans and find the food is two weeks from that date? Would you do a stock-up with cans close to the date on the can? Will you eat the food in your own stock if it is past the date?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Free Lunch and other stuff

Lunch was very good--ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, roll, and chocolate cake. Yes, there were leftovers for Dominique and she jumped right in the middle of them and scratched once to scatter them to the four corners of her pen...sigh.

As I sat there at the end of the meal and we talked, I cut Dominique's ham into small pieces for her. She likes it that way. A PhD in Poultry Science said chickens like what they are fed when they are young and want it that way when they are grown. Besides, I hate to see her pecking and throwing her meat, trying to rip off a piece.

A teacher who taught both my older children was at the dinner. There were several retired teachers there who wanted the dates and times of the other two free dinners!

There was a guy at the dinner with whom I discussed the spelling bee and a book my friend wrote. I talked this guy into entering the spelling bee, and now they are going to skip a year having one or not have one ever again, not sure.  Now, after talking to him, I have decided the format of the book I have started writing. I may knock out a chapter tonight after a nap. My friend wrote a book with chapters with an over-riding theme but no plot. That will suit me even though I have a plot book in the works, not much done.

I went to the doctor last Wednesday and still feel the same today, Tuesday, no better, and still have same degree of temp. The doctor's office had called and said the doctor wanted me to come in about my numbers for diabetes. When he saw me, he asked me why I came in! I had to explain the office staff called and said he wanted me to come in today.  Then, he remembered. lol...nice guy.

Bronchitis is not better, so he changed antibiotic. He was very unhappy with my A1C.  I went to WM before doctor and then had to return for meds. I was so tired. Inflammation causes AIC to rise, I am told, so no wonder it was higher than it should be!

Then, weary as I was, I had to go to Publix to get the a2milk that keeps me from pain and gastric distress. I have recommended this to so many people, that last week they were out. After a talk with the guy who orders, he said he would order more. So, today, there was twice as much or at least two rows of whole milk.

Of course, I tried some of what the guy was cooking and had a sample of soup. They make the best soup! I brought home a recipe from the sample guy.

I may have a bowl of oats for dinner along with a glass of milk. My stomach still hurts from sausage with MSG in it that I ate last night. Maybe I will have a grilled cheese sandwich and an apple.

Today, the skies were a brilliant blue with wisps and clumps of fluffy, white clouds. The sun shone so brightly. the whole scene was mesmerizing. Its the kind of sight I want to just drink in for hours. Of course, driving was important, too.

Your turn
Have you ever taken meds for a whole week and not felt one bit better at the end of the week? Is anyone writing a book? About what? Has anyone tried the a2milk yet?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Cat and Egg and Syrup

There's a new cat in the neighborhood. It has really annoyed me since it appears to have appropriated my picnic table for its lookout perch.  So far, I just scowl at the cat, yeah, like it cares! It also sits on a wall near the back door, apparently doing nothing but soaking up sun.

I never like cats on my porch since they knock items off the porch, like pots of flowers or the paint brush I left there five minutes ago. They sit on my chair cushions or door mats and deposit fleas and hair. They stalk birds. However, there is absolutely nothing that can make a cat go home! I yell and throw things like dust rags and pine cones at them, never hitting them!

After exbf was sitting in the car waiting on me for an hour, he reported a sight that will make this cat a welcome cat. He saw it go under the porch with what he described as "prey" in its mouth. Hallelujah! I have chipmunks or ground squirrels, whichever you want to call them. They dig in any plant I have out in a pot. For years I despised them and for some reason, they went away--probably into a cat's stomach.

For the last six months, it appears chipmunks have returned. So, this cat seems to be the only hunter in the neighborhood. J said it was the cat that always follows her to my house and lives at the same house she does. I only knew a cat followed her one time! This cat is a hunter and she is a city cat who gets plenty of food. So, she must do it for sport, the challenge. I wish I were that fast.

More about the cat. One day, I heard Dominique making noise and told J that Dominique had laid an egg and this was her egg song. We both went around there. No, this cat was at the corner of the pen with two legs/arms through the chain link. I doubt she wanted to give Dominique a friendly hug. Poor Dominique was cackling in the opposite corner of the pen and had not laid an egg.

Chipmunks/ground squirrels--I do not want to hear that they are so cute and stripe-y because I used to think so, too. I even thought raccoons were cute once upon a time! No more. If you love either, come and get

I have a dozen eggs from the store that cost $0.50, but will only cook with those. I have everything for a strawberry poke cake laid out when I feel like baking--strawberry cake mix, frozen strawberries, and strawberry jello. I don't have Cool Whip or cream to whip for the top. This was once my older daughter's favorite cake, but she has no memory of it! ??? Son hated Cool Whip, so he ate none of the topping. I think a chocolate poke cake would be fabulous. Or, I could just make chocolate poke brownies. (You don't need a strawberry cake mix, but I have one for some reason.)

Dominique gave me an egg today. She is a real little egg factory! She must have heard I was going to replace her with new  That makes two fresh eggs for me to scramble for dinner tonight or for breakfast tomorrow.  The seven I had from last week was breakfast and a dinner over the weekend.

Does anyone have a tried and true recipe for chocolate syrup to put in milk? I want one with a water base not milk base. I see lots on the internet but don't want to chance mixing up a disaster. Some have brown sugar and white sugar. That seems odd. I really want a recipe with confectioner's sugar.  I am tired of consuming things in the syrup concoctions, powdered or liquid, that I do not wish to consume.

Your turn
I know some of you have cats that hunt? Do you allow cats to stay around because they hunt? Do you hate cats on your cushions and picnic tables and chairs? Exbf just now said he had never had a poke cake. Has anyone eaten a chocolate poke cake? Syrup recipe?

Earth Day 2016

Even though I have a reel mower which uses no resources and does not vibrate your hands and deafen you and drown out the sound of the birds, I had someone use my gas mower. This mower is new and only uses 100% gasoline, no ethanol.  None of this is completely earth friendly, but the best I can do.

Instead of dumping leaves in the street, I had them dumped into Dominique's pen and she is composting them for me. I am not sure what the leaf truck does with them, but I do I take care of them.

I ate food in the refrigerator even though it killed my back to get so low. This way, I won't allow something edible to spoil.

More LEDs were installed to use less energy.  I had one burn out after three months, but I took it back and got another instead of using the incandescent ones I have still.

I ate eggs from my hen, scrambled like I like them instead of using store eggs. Dominique eats well, but no commercial chicken feed.

I think I only drove to get J home. A tornado warning sounded when she was here, and I did not want her walking.

When I scrubbed a few pots, I used a drop of Dawn, vinegar, and baking soda instead of a commercial product like Soft Scrub or ZUD. I used the same on sinks, too.

Finally, I turned off the switch that controls the 60 watt bulb that keeps Dominique's water from freezing in winter. I just kept forgetting!

My efforts at being a good citizen of Planet Earth are not earth-shaking. Some of you do much better.

update: I also did not use the dryer. All my efforts are usual for me, not just a special one-time effort.

Your turn
How did you celebrate Earth Day? Any special activities or festivals?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Disaster Brace

It was closing time on a Friday when I was wheeled to the brace room. If I had walked, it would have been an hour past closing.

Everyone in the room was scurrying to get ready to leave. I had a brace installed on my right hand. I say "installed" because it sure did not fit like it would if I had been fitted for a brace! I mentioned it hurt in a certain place and she said, "That is how it is supposed to be." I complained my hand was tingling after 30 seconds. She said, "It has to be this way to immobilize the thumb." NO, it does not. I said it hurt in a different place. She said, "It will stop hurting after a while." NO, it did not.

During this I mentioned it could be adjusted. She commented that there was no adjustment, that this was an off-the-shelf brace. Well, I watched a doctor ask specifically where the brace on my left arm hurt and watched him force the metal to fit me like a glove. It can be done. This ain't my first rodeo! This old woman knows how braces feel and can be fitted.

When I told her the best brace was the kind that is a slab of plastic-like stuff that was heated and molded to my hand and reheated in the places it was too tight and chaffing. She called the name of it and repeated that this was an off-the-shelf brace and the other was a custom brace. Still, I am not new to this and watched real fitters make one that supported wrist, reduced motion, and did not hurt at all.

Oh, by the way, I could stick my hand in the brace along with the arm since it is so loose there, one reason it chaffs, all the motion.

Well, I will have a custom brace! I now have sores where it sits hard in the wrong spots. I am chaffed where the top and bottom of braced were tightened. And, that is after just sitting in the car and riding. I know I could relieve all this with gauze, but how easy is it to treat yourself one-handed, especially when you must work with left hand only? Sure, it can be done, but with a "professional" doing the work, it should be done correctly. Well, it was a few minutes to 5 pm on a Friday evening.

Actually, I could get as much relief from putting my hand in the cardboard box the brace came in and taping it to hand and arm. Monday, I will complain. This brace is not worth over $200. Plus, I read somewhere that I have ten days in which to return it. I will.

Your turn
Have you ever had a brace on arm or elsewhere? Did the tech readjust to get a good fit? Have you ever had the kind that is molded to your arm after heating? Do you hate it when people assume you know nothing and just lie to you?

Day Finally Over

Friday, I told exbf just to be here by 11:30 or noon instead of 9:30 as usual. So, he gets here at 10:15. He always sits in the car waiting for me when he comes IF we are going somewhere. It is so hard for him to get to house and up steps. So, today he opted for sitting in the car for over an hour.

For his snack I packed cut up short jerky stick and string cheese stick, in one snack bag. and about 8 tiny slices of bread about 1.5 x1.5 inches square or smaller. They are crunchy, so it feels like substance. I cut an apple into slices. He ate half those at lunch when we stopped along with a chicken sandwich on an artisan hamburger bun and yellow mustard. I had chicken on same type bun with Miracle Whip and half my apple. I brought a bottle of water for each of us.

Since I had not put on my makeup, I had him stop for that and lunch which we ate in the car. we had time it perfectly and got to the doctor's office a few minutes before my appointment. He even had his snacks in pocket as day progressed. I put the snacks in snack bags so he can put them in one pocket and bottle of water in the other pocket.

I was afraid the wheelchair pushers would not want to push exbf since he was not a patient, but they were so nice to him. We got there at 2 pm and saw doctor at 4 pm. We finally left after 5 pm. Shockingly, we missed the horrendous traffic rush hour on the Parkway and drove home the back way--through the country.

When he pulled up here to drop me off, I came in and got a full gallon of milk for him and a stack of saltines I did not want and the Tupperware dinner bowl with his dinner. Oh, I remembered to give him his cornbread for dinner.  His dinner was huge chunk of boneless, skinless chicken breast cooked in crockpot and frozen in two-breast packs. Last night I cooked field peas and snaps and some frozen butternut squash with a pat of butter and sprinkle of cinnamon.

When I asked him at 10 pm how he liked the butternut squash, he said he really loved the spice I put in it. He did not recognize it as cinnamon. He would have taken off the pat of butter if I had not mashed it into the cold squash. Of course, that contributed to the deliciousness. It was funny that he said the field peas and snaps were his favorite. I had packed the bowl full instead of just a helping into each compartment. He said there was enough for another meal. The guy sounded really happy about that fact. He makes me smile over his food comments.

Okay, the thumb now.  The doctor was puzzled. He said he could find no evidence of a crack in the xrays. He mashed my thumb so that it was really hurting. He commented that there was a bit of arthritis, but nothing unusual, not much, and maybe it was arthritis pain. I totally disagreed that this excruciating pain could be caused by a little arthritis. I told him about my fall and how the right hand had hit, but I brushed the grass away and ignored it because of pain of left arm, head, nose, and teeth.

I mentioned the burn and all the strange movement of pain from tip to base of thumb. He had no idea and commented that the burn looked healed. When I told him the burn never looked any worse than it did now, he just looked puzzled. When I mentioned the nurse's comment about staph, he commented it did not look infected. So, staph can hide and show up later? He agreed. He assured me the meds for bronchitis would take care of any staph, but he would look for it anyway in the MRI results.

He said that there are ligaments in hand just like other parts of the body and it could be a torn ligament. So, MRI is ordered. Yes, I knew about ligaments being all over body.

He was very nice guy, more so than many doctors. He listened instead of wanting to "move on." Friday was a long, long day. I have to get up too early tomorrow, so a nap will be on the agenda on Saturday.

More about the news and huge brace tomorrow.

Your turn
Have you had arthritis pain that made you feel like screaming in pain? I know nothing about arthritis except people complaining. Does it come on like a knife stab? Do daylong doctor appts out of town drain you?

Thursday, April 20, 2017


I told you about my fall right  HERE.  I also mentioned staying in bed all day once this last month. I have had severe allergy problems--earaches, sinus pressure, and malaise.  I felt like I could not safely drive to the doctor office and maybe I would get better. I did get better but not well.

As long as I do not have ac in the car, I will be ill. So, even though I cannot afford it, it must be done. I was hoping I would hit a pothole just right and it would come back on like it did a couple of times last year. No such luck!

Finally, on Tuesday night, I was really feeling horrid. On Wednesday, it took me three hours after I awoke to get to the doctor office where they had needed to do blood work for something else. The nurse practitioner kept mashing my forehead. I finally told her I had a head injury and the pain in one spot was worse and not sinus related. She told me to go to a neurologist because of the continued pain and possibility of a concussion.

She did all the obligatory things--look in nose, ears, throat, listen to chest front and back, feel neck. Finally, she asked me about coughing or chest pain. Well, I coughed some and took guaifenisen and it quit. I know that g word is not spelled right and I don't care. I told her I could feel scraping in my chest when I breathed. She said she suspected I might have pneumonia. Xray said no pneumonia, just bad bronchitis. Steroids and antibiotics were prescribed.

She left and said some of the reading of the blood would be done right now and she would see what was going on. I had a nurse call her back because she did not tend to another problem.

I may have told you this. But, I burned myself about two months ago picking up a kielbasa fresh from the oven. It stuck to the foil as it sat on the stove, so I held on for another two seconds. It really burned and I hurried and stuck my finger under cold water as I shrieked. Exbf was concerned then wanted to know how badly I was burned. I was not worried, just hurting. I have asbestos fingers.

The part of my thumb that was burned was, looking at the back of your hand, on the right side where I had it between index and thumb. Two days later, that part was very hard and white. Bummer. Still, there was no sign of a blister since I rarely blister when burned. Maybe a medical professional on here can tell me why I just get a thick white spot and no blister 99% of the time.

Two days after that, the side of the thumb that was not burned was now swollen, hard, and white. Then, the skin below the nail bed...down my thumb, was swollen and red. Then, the nail bed turned white, like it was blanched from pressing it, only whiter, then my nail turned almost black. For two weeks I used no nail polish just so I could see what happened to the nail bed and thinking maybe it ought to air out.

THEN, the first joint was tender like I smashed it, alternating with a strange crawly feeling in the first joint. Then, the pain moved down closer to my hand, beneath that joint. Finally, the pain extended below the second joint from the nail. As I tried to turn the key in the car, there felt like there was a ping feeling in base of thumb. So, I cannot turn on the car of press in the button on the gear shift. Twisting to use my left hand and arm is not fun. So, J turns on the car and shifts when she is with me.

To back up a little...The nurse practitioner at the urologist last month said the problem sounded like a staph infection with the pain in joint. I mentioned that yesterday and the nurse was not amenable to hearing another opinion. yikes.

Exbf is driving from beyond B'ham to come here tomorrow and drive me to Huntsville. For those of you that don't know, that will be about a 220 mile drive for him tomorrow.  I will not expect or allow him to buy lunch or dinner, so that must be done tonight. Plus, I pack us snacks and him a snack that can be eaten in dr office without getting out chunks of fruit or eating a sandwich. The few times he has had to be out so late with me, I give him the choice of my heating dinner or him just taking it home. He growls that he will just take it home.

With a 2 pm appointment, I expect to be out by 4 pm and home be 6 pm. Then, he has a 1.5 hour drive home. I will be nice always am nice to him. Plus, I will tell him not to get here until 11pm instead of 9:30 am when he usually comes here.

The pants I wanted to wear tomorrow were on me and the other two gray pair were dirty, and I did not want to get out a pair with tags still on. I had to mend a tiny hole in them and noticed another. THEN, as I turned them wrong side out to wash them, I noticed a tiny hole slightly below the waistband. I never mended that hole. By the way, these are knit pants and I can mend without it showing. Have you ever tried to handle a one-inch needle with your thumb in a splint? Well, the splint came off for ten minutes. The nurse said take it off instead of getting it wet, but to be careful with the thumb.

Today, the doctor office called me and told me to come in soon as I could so they could splint my thumb and then go soon after that to orthopedist. I said okay and then called back and asked why. It seems there may be a crack or break at a bone at the base of my thumb after someone else looked at xray of hand. I can only guess the burn has nothing to do with the cracked/broken bone. ???  But, the progression from thumb tip to base seems suspicious.

Yes, I can type without a thumb but for this last week I truly understand the importance and usefulness of an opposable thumb.

For all my tumbles while skating or whatever, I have never broken a bone. I did break a little toe once when I slammed into a chair.

I read this over after posting, and the mistakes are legion. I don't feel like going over it again. work with me. Plus, I told it out of order.

Your turn
Have you ever just felt bad and it turned out you were falling apart? That is how I feel. Is this old age? lol