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Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Clean House


 
 
Oh, Happy Day! I am finally vindicated!
 
You know, it is true. For three days I did not have a computer or internet service. I got so much done.
 
So, I give you this and will go about doing things in house and yard. I will not do much, I promise, so don't feel like a sluggard.
 
I don't know where I got this. If you know where it came from, like from your blog, let me know and I will give full credit. IN CAPS
 
Your turn
Can you relate to any of the poster?


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Allergies Can Cause Cancer?

a flock of hen cookie jars

Even though I said I did not see many hen items, less than a week later, I saw these in Walmart. They are soooo cute, sort of the color of my hen fabric. At $15 each, can I afford these? Do I really want one? No cookies would be stored in these because I don't need a stash of cookies, especially ones in sight. Aren't they cute?
 
Okay, on to allergies...

Yes, that is a provocative title that, in my experience, appears to be true.
 
When I had the endoscopy, I was told I had lesions in my esophagus that would become cancerous over time. So, pre-Barrett and pre-cancerous was the diagnosis. THEN, after the biopsy results, he said the lesions/diagnosis were eosinophilic esophagitis (EE). They were caused by allergies! Okay, I have had allergic reactions and symptoms since I was an infant. (My mother used to tell me stories about it, not knowing the ramifications of what she revealed to me about my infant self.) You can read about EE  HERE if you want to.
 
Maybe my statement that "allergies can cause cancer" is a little far-fetched to you. But, if the lesions are not cured, I am headed to a sure cancer of the esophagus. I have no strictures or stenosis, just impaction.  Somehow, the Protonix takes care of the impaction, not sure how.
 
I have said here and elsewhere in real life that I think I am allergic to beef. And, according to the allergy test, I am! My choice of chicken or turkey seemed to be fueled by my small economies, preference, and availability of free and reduced chicken and turkey. Now, I wonder if the discomfort beef caused me was why I chose chicken! Beef is not the only thing to which I am allergic.
 
So many times in my life I have indicated/said I did not like something--from infanthood to now. My baby body did not know the concept of "allergy" and could not know or explain. I obviously did know how to press my lips together, push food out with my tongue, spit, shake my head. Later, I could verbalize "I don't like it." Mama said I would not allow meat to pass through my lips until I was six-years-old. (I am not saying beef causes the lesions in my esophagus.)
 
When I was 23 and now, allergy tests showed me why I did not like certain things--allergic reactions!
 
I was diagnosed with strep throat on the 17th, bronchitis on the 19th, and the allergy problem in esophagus on the 27th. I have ten new prescriptions in ten days, including four (4) inhalers, and can barely keep up with taking medicine, new what I took pre-17th. It is sooo confusing. I cannot even figure out how to use one of the inhalers.
 
Do not put off having an endoscopy! Memories of having my stomach pumped out when I was three made me delay having an endoscopy. 

So far, I have had a nodule removed from behind my thyroid that is the kind that always becomes cancerous if left alone, polyps from colon that are the type that become cancerous, and now this....sigh.  Since cancer killed so many of my father's 11 siblings, I worry.

If you have medical expertise, and I explained this all wrong, you may set me straight. Just be nice.

Your turn
Have you ever had this diagnosis--eosinophilic esophagitis? Do you have pain when eating? Have you had your endoscopy?


Friday, March 28, 2014

Questions for My Readers--Turkeys and Plaintain

wild turkeys or domesticated?
click to embiggen

I had the occasion to take a business drive out through the country on a four-lane, divided highway. These turkeys caused many people to stop on the shoulder and take pictures. Sometimes, the Toms spread their tails. Their display was very small, nothing like the typical Thanksgiving pictures of turkeys. I think they are wild turkeys that are not so wild. What do you think?
 
I cropped this picture to get a really close view for you. 


 
 
Above is a photo taken from the shoulder of the road. You can see how far away they are. They were frightened by me when I got out of the car. When I got back in the car to take pictures, they were calm. 
 
 
two mystery plants
 
 
Is the large plant above a plantain? I think it is, but I included a page to id it. What is the tiny plant about about 2 o'clock? I had a persimmon tree in this pot. I suspect something ate the tender little trunk. 
 
I found a site that shows several kinds of plantain. But, I feel unsure of myself, unqualified to judge. Maybe some of you are more experienced or have a better eye for identifying from the page above.

what is the tiny plant?
 
Update: Double homestead in comments below identified the tiny plant as Henbit. Today, I looked at it again and it is about 7 inches tall and just like pictures of Henbit. 
 
Thanks for helping me.
 
Your turn
 
Can you id the turkeys or the large or tiny plant? Thanks.

Brand Loyal?


I will have to admit being brand loyal sometimes. Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese is and has been my preference for spaghetti topping. In my opinion, Kraft products are always good. A few years ago, I decided I would try a store brand grated Parmesan to save $1 on the canister. That cheese was so horrible that I could not finish the container. The taste was off and the texture was not any kind of cheese-like. I think waxed paper might have been more palatable. The store gave me back my money. And, I swore that Kraft was my brand from now on for parmesan cheese.

All that changed Tuesday at lunch. At the church lunch we had spaghetti. The cooks and servers broke out the parmesan cheese. OH, NO! It was a store brand. I bravely sprinkled it generously on my helping of spaghetti. I was shocked at how good it was, maybe even better than Kraft!

On Wednesday, I had a reason to go to that store and bought the off-brand cheese. Just in case I was mistaken, I bought the smaller size. I brought it home and sprinkled some in my palm and ate it. Yes, it is delicious. It may taste a little cheddar-y, but at least it is cheese-y and cheaper.

It was good on a salad. It was great in the salad dressing I made. So, it's a go for me at this point. It is a lot less finely grated, but that has no influence on my decision.

I will save about $0.60 on each shaker canister. That's not much, but enough to sway me since the taste is great.

I do draw the line at buying Great Value, Walmart's brand. Never. That's just me.

If I have not gotten around to your blog or miss your comment here, I will, maybe visit. I am still pretty ill and went to the doctor yesterday.

Your turn
Are you at all brand loyal? Or, do you just go for the cheaper price/unit? Are you brand loyal on some things and all for the least cost on another item? Is the Food Club brand in your store?


Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Surprise in the Mail


For me?

TLC at Making Cents of it All emailed me and said she had something I might like, asking me to send my address. I honestly thought I was getting coupons, pamphlet on chickens, a recipe card. Well, was I ever surprised. She sent me a gift card for Panera Bread. How nice!

Thanks, TLC. I should be going back to Huntsville soon and will certainly enjoy my Panera visit.

Happy Dance!

Your turn
Do like Panera Bread? What is your favorite item to order? I will take all the favorites into consideration.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Charming

funky chicken fabric for napkins
Since I always make my own napkins, when I saw this, I just knew this cute pattern would make great napkins for me. Of course, they are colorful and not like any chicken I have ever seen. The feature that sold me was the chicken wire in the pattern.

Four yards are waiting. All my other napkins are 20" x 20". Because of the cost of the fabric and the fact that I want napkins for my grandchildren, these will be 12"x 12" or the best small size to save maximize the number of napkins.

In yard sales or thrift stores I never see hen things, just rooster items. Since I don't have roosters, I prefer to keep chicken items to hens. I bought this about four-years ago, and so far this is my only chicken item, but it's new fabric from a fabric store.

Your turn
Do you have chicken items in your house? What animal do you collect or have in fabric or ceramic? Do you have hundreds, dozens, or just the token animal figurine around the house?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Recipe: Crockpot Bread Pudding

7 qt. crockpot of bread pudding

Bread pudding was free today, okay, almost free. I had a hankering for bread pudding like my mother made. I succeeded even though I made up the recipe.
 
Cost
bread--free
eggs--donated by my hens
sugar--$0.25/lb--not sure
vanilla--not sure
margarine--about $0.40
 
This cost less than $1 for me. Use stale bread. You can just stick it in the freezer until you have enough. You may not have egg machines in the yard or find sugar for the price I did.
 
Last year, I had a sample of bread pudding at the grocery. It was not my mother's bread pudding with the raisins, cinnamon, and nuts. I prefer my mother's recipe.
 
Recipe
6 eggs
6 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick margarine or butter
2 T vanilla
 
I broke bread into irregular pieces, about two gallons. The bread was not stale. I should have put it in a warm oven to dry it, but it worked just fine.
 
If you put this in a crockpot, melt the margarine or butter first. It needs to be melted before the bread goes in. I had to fish out the pats of butter to melt in the microwave.  Beat eggs and mix with sugar, butter, and milk. Use powdered milk, canned evaporated milk, or any milk you have on hand, whatever you drink.
 
Add the bread and shove it down. It needs to be soaked with milk but some milky places are necessary for it to be really soft to eat.
 
This stayed in the crockpot for about four hours. Dip into it to see if it is getting firm all the way down. Turn the crockpot to low and let it sit for another hour. Or, dip it up. It will be more or less firm depending on your crockpot and the dryness of the bread and how much bread you add.
 
This is a very mild dessert, not very sweet at all. Let me know if you try this recipe and how you like it. I am quite sure I will not make this soon since it is not conducive to weight loss. However, when my mother made much less than I did and gave it to five little children, it did not adversely affect our weight!

By the way, if you cook this in the oven, put it in casseroles and sit in a pan of water to cook for about an hour at 350  F. It is done when a knife comes out clean.
 
No proofing once again.
 
Your turn
Do you like bread pudding? Have you ever had bread pudding? Have you ever had biscuit pudding? Do you make it like this? Have you ever made bread pudding? In the crockpot? Do you like it?


My Mistake!

finally completed
$1 lamp
bit of spray paint
 
At this point I don't remember what I have told you. I took this rough lamp and used steel wool on it and painted it--Aged Copper, I think. This may look a little Early American, not my style, but it was the least offensive metal paint.
 
 
ready to spray
 
Above it is taped and ready to be sprayed. You can see it is not in really good shape. Maybe you can see the rust.
 
 
Today, despite feeling ill still, I decided I was going to take out the lamp that the on button failed (one below) and put this one (ab0ve) in its place so I could have light. I was getting really tired of the oppressively dark room in which I sit.
 
 
 
I have a lamp with three bulbs that sits about one foot to my left. There is another with three bulbs that sits about five feet to my right.The one to the left totally failed one day and about two days later, the one across the room failed. I was sooo depressed.


lamp across the room that failed
 
Exbf had asked if he could have one of the lamps in the basement since his bedside lamp had failed. Of course, I readily agreed. He brought up two, choosing one and leaving the one at the top of the post here with me. It was dirty and rusty and a horrid color. I cannot find the "before" picture.
 
Okay, back to the story. The lamp above that is inside and lit (and with milk glass) had to be unplugged to put in the one at the top of the post. This was a struggle because it is plugged behind the sofa. Not only that, but boxes were packed to be removed and were sitting in front of the sofa. There was basket of laundry on the sofa and another box of donations under that. Soooo, I got everything moved and reached behind the sofa.
 
WHAT?
 
The lamp was  UNPLUGGED! Was that all that was wrong?  grrrr I plugged it in and put a new bulb into it. It works! So, I have been in the dark for too long and worked to clean and paint the other lamp at the top of the post. Okay.
 
Now, I can pack it in a box, ready to store. Or, I can sell it. What to do? Okay, I made a decision. I will pack and store and maybe sell later. I think it turned out pretty decent. It is not shabby at all for a $1 lamp that had a portion of a $7 can of spray paint used. The only thing left to do is to find a finial that is cheap, like from a thrift store or yard sale, spray paint it to match. I even painted the rusty harp with it!
 
I cannot stand a huge, bright light in a room. However, one dim bulb doesn't work for me either. I like many dim lights all around: 40- or 60-watts. Some have just a 7.5-watt bulb!
 
Your turn
Have you ever assumed "broke" when plugging the appliance or whatever into power was all it needed? Usually, plugging something in is the first thin I check for, but this time I just assumed.
 


Monday, March 24, 2014

So, that explains it

pink tulips
 
 
These tulips at the mailbox were bought at full-price, not a sale or cheap price. They were lovely the first year. Then, occasionally, I saw a puny bloom. It appears they are multiplying since I only had two or three bulbs to begin with.
 
Sometimes, I am a brilliant gardener. This time--not so much. For over 20 years I have waited for another bloom. It never happens! Until last year, I was totally unaware that bulbs had to be removed from the soil in order to get more blooms next year. Last fall, a Lowe's garden center employee casually mentioned that I did not have to leave the bulbs out of the ground for very long!
 
WHAT? Leave bulbs out of the ground? Dig them up each year? Gadzooks! Not a job for me! She explained that bulbs won't produce blooms if they are left in the ground over the winter or something like that. It is all a hazy memory right now.
 
As I was taking pictures on the first day of Spring, it hit me--I need to dig these up! Yeah, I know. But, my excuse is that I am still ill, coughing my lungs up still.
 
Then, on another blog someone mentioned that tulips cannot be naturalized. I knew that somehow the was not quite correct. I looked it up and found some can be naturalized. So, from now on, I will only purchase those. My friend told me that just digging tulips up, leaving them out long enough to get new soil or amend the old soil, and then replacing them in the pot will work. Bulbs are supposed to produce the next spring. We will see.

Here is what I found about naturalized bulbs: http://www.almanac.com/content/best-bulbs-naturalizing


When you shop for bulbs, you'll see some labeled as "good for naturalizing." This means that they can be counted on to come up year after year, and spread informally throughout your garden. The following spring- and summer-flowering bulbs are reliably perennial in habit. Plant bulbs in autumn.

(Average blooming periods in parentheses.)

Alliums

Require sun. They can also manage on the sunny edges of woods.
Allium aflatunense -- Ornamental garlic (summer)
Allium giganteum -- Giant onion (summer)
Allium karataviense -- Turkestan onion (summer)
Allium moly --
Lily leek or golden garlic (summer)
Allium neapolitanum --
Naples onion, daffodil garlic, flowering onion (summer).
Allium oreophilum -- Ornamental garlic (early summer)
Allium sphaerocephalon --
Drumsticks, ballhead onion, round-headed garlic (summer). The best allium for naturalizing.

Anemones

Need sun and are beautiful in borders.
Anemone blanda 'Blue Shades' -- Greek anemone, windflower (spring)
Anemone blanda Mixed -- Windflower mixed (spring)
Anemone blanda 'Pink Star' -- Windflower (spring)
Anemone blanda 'White Splendour' -- Windflower (spring)

Crocuses

Come in a wide range of colors and will spread quickly.
Crocus ancyrensis -- Golden bunch crocus (late winter/early spring)
Crocus 'Blue Bird' --
Botanical crocus (early spring)
Crocus 'Blue Pearl' -- Botanical crocus (early spring)
Crocus Botanical Mixed --
Species crocus (early spring)
Crocus 'E. P. Bowles' -- Botanical crocus (early spring)
Crocus 'Cream Beauty' -- Botanical crocus (early spring)
Crocus 'Jeanne d'Arc' -- Dutch crocus (spring/early summer)
Crocus 'Pickwick' -- Dutch crocus (spring/early summer)
Crocus purpureus grandiflorus -- Dutch crocus (spring/early summer)
Crocus 'Remembrance' -- Dutch crocus (spring/early summer)
Crocus 'Ruby Giant' -- Botanical crocus (late
winter/early spring)
Crocus 'Whitewell Purple' -- Botanical crocus (late winter/ early spring)
Crocus Yellow -- Dutch crocus (spring)

Irises

Don't naturalize in a competitive area.
Iris danfordiae -- Dwarf iris (late winter)
Iris reticulata 'Harmony' -- Dwarf iris (early spring)
Iris latifolia --
English iris, can cover whole yard (early summer)

Muscari

Tolerate late snowfalls and work well with crocuses.
Muscari armeniacum -- Blue spike, grape hyacinth (spring)
Muscari botryoides 'Album' -- Grape hyacinth (spring)

Daffodils

Bring sunny colors to the garden before the taller tulips are in bloom.
Narcissus 'Actaea' -- Small-cupped daffodil (late spring)
Narcissus 'Barrett Browning' -- Small-cupped daffodil (midspring)
Narcissus 'Birma' -- Small-cupped daffodil (midspring)
Narcissus 'Carlton' -- Large-cupped daffodil (midspring)
Narcissus 'February Gold' -- Botanical daffodil (early spring)
Narcissus 'Flower Record' -- Large-cupped daffodil (midspring)
Narcissus 'Fortune' -- Large-cupped daffodil (midspring)
Narcissus 'Hawera' -- Botanical daffodil (late spring)
Narcissus 'Ice Follies' -- Large-cupped daffodil (midspring)
Narcissus 'Jack Snipe' -- Botanical daffodil (early to midspring)
Narcissus 'Minnow' -- Botanical daffodil (early spring)
Narcissus 'Mount Hood' -- Trumpet daffodil (midspring)
Narcissus 'Peeping Tom' -- Botanical daffodil (early spring)
Narcissus 'Salome' -- Large-cupped daffodil (midspring)
Narcissus 'Suzy' -- Botanical daffodil (midspring)
Narcissus 'Tete a Tete' -- Botanical daffodil (early spring)

Tulips

Hard to naturalize. You must be cultivar-specific in choosing those you plant, as only certain ones will work. The following are recommended for a naturalized setting.

Tulipa 'Candela' -- Botanical tulip (early spring)
Tulipa 'Orange Emperor'-- Botanical tulip (midspring)
Tulipa 'Don Quichotte'-- Triumph tulip (midspring)
Tulipa 'Kees Nelis'-- Triumph tulip (midspring)
Tulipa 'Praestans Fusilier'-- Botanical tulip (early spring)
Tulipa 'Princeps'-- Botanical tulip (early spring)
Tulipa 'Purissima'-- Botanical tulip (early spring)
Tulipa 'Red Emperor'-- Botanical tulip (early spring)
Tulipa 'Red Riding Hood'-- Botanical tulip (midspring)
Tulipa 'Toronto'-- Botanical tulip (early spring)

These showy, lilyflowering tulips will also spread:
Tulipa 'Aladdin'-- (late spring)
Tulipa 'Ballade'-- (late spring)
Tulipa 'Maytime'-- (late spring)
Tulipa 'Red Shine'-- (late spring)
Tulipa 'White Triumphator'-- (late spring)

Darwin hybrid tulips such as these are great multipliers:
Tulipa 'Apeldoorn'-- (midspring)
Tulipa 'Apeldoorn's Elite'-- (midspring)
Tulipa 'Beauty of Apeldoorn'-- (late spring)
Tulipa Darwin Hybrid Mixed-- (mid- to late spring)
Tulipa 'Golden Apeldoorn'-- (midspring)
Tulipa 'Holland's Glorie'-- (late spring)
Tulipa 'Oxford'-- (midspring)
Tulipa 'Striped Apeldoorn'-- (late spring)

Also Good for Naturalizing

Brodiaea -- Star flower (early summer)
Camassia cusickii -- Quamash, Cusick camass (late spring)
Chionodoxa gigantea -- Glory-of-the-snow (early spring). Need sun.
Chionodoxa luciliae -- Glory-of-the-snow (early spring). Need sun.
Colchicum autumnale -- Meadow saffron (autumn). Need sun.
Erythronium -- Dog-toothed violet (spring). Good in shade.
Fritillaria meleagris -- Guinea hen flower (spring). Very good at naturalizing.
Galanthus nivalis -- Common snowdrop (late winter/early spring)
Ornithogalum umbellatum -- Star of Bethlehem (early summer). Good in shade with some sun.
Puschkinia libanotica -- Striped squill (spring)
Scilla campanulata Mixed -- Spanish bluebells (spring)
Scilla siberica -- Siberian squill (spring)
 
Another comment on the blog I was commenting on:
 
So, I suppose we can sort it all out for bulbs that do not have to be dug up yearly. Most of my bulbs will go into pots, so digging those up would not be difficult, just annoying. At least I can put pots on a table instead of getting on hands and knees.
This is my lesson of the year that I learned even though I learn something every year, this solves the puzzle of why my tulips only bloomed for a year, maybe two.
 Your turn
What large or small lessons have you learned about flowers or food gardening that solved a problem? Or, just helped you and could help me? I am listening.
 
 


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Check the Ads

another good deal
Before I went to Walmart one day last week to get another prescription, I checked 8 local grocery ads. Lucky me. Kraft Cheese was on sale for $1.50 for the 8 oz. chunk or shredded. I bought four Medium Cheddar. There was no more energy left for shopping. Once I saw the cheese ad, I left for meds.

I came home and was searching for something in the refrigerator meat drawer, aka "Cheese Drawer." There in the back was an unopened 8 oz. package of Kraft Cheese, Medium. You may think I don't keep track of my food very well, but let me assure this was so far in the back of the drawer that I have trouble bending far enough to see what all is in there. My food is a casualty of disability!

The use-by date is Sept 2013. Yes, I am eating it instead of one of the newer ones I just bought. If it had been opened, it would have been all mold.

Maybe I can rummage around and find chocolate! Actually, I have found stashed chocolate in the past!

While I still had a bit of cheese besides what I found, I still bought more at this great price. I try to always check the ads before going to the store for anything. It pays off most of the time.

That day, I bought $2.98 cheese for $1.50, a savings of 50%.  You do realize I don't get all my food for 50% off? Sometimes, it is more like 96% saved. However, there are things that I pay 100% to bring home. I can only buy these goodies at full price because I shop sales, reduced for quick sale, clearance, and with coupons. I think my savings are more like 30% to 40% overall since very few full-price items come into the house.

No proofing once again. I still feel ill and tired.

Your turn
Would you eat unopened cheese that was six months past the use-by date? Don't you love finding food you did not know you had? Do you go to the trouble to figure what percentage you saved after a grocery trip? Have you ever found a stash you forgot?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I Even Ate the Bones!



After the chicken stayed in the Crockpot an inordinate amount of time, my parsimonious meal continued in the Crockpot. Potatoes came out early, but the carrots needed more time.

I had taken the chicken out, removed meat from the bones and placed the tiny bits and pieces and bones and carrots back on to cook. Then, I fished out the carrots and broke the bones up, cooking it even more. Finally, I poured the broth through a strainer. The strained pieces were destined for the hens. However, I found huge chunks of meat and took those out for me. Occasionally, I plopped a piece of meat into my mouth.

Eventually, I was eating bones. That was a surprise. Bones were no more crunchy than an M&M or salmon bones, which I love. Even when I realized I had just put a chicken bone in my mouth and chomped down on it, I just kept chewing and swallowing.

This must be very nutritious for us. I wonder if all the people who don't feed their dogs bones could safely feed these long-cooked, soft bones to their pets.  I know a pressure cooker softens bones where they are safe, but was surprised at this development.

I watched the hens as they devoured about a cup of bones and meat. They really looked happy. I have almost two quarts of really dark broth.

Your turn
Have you ever eaten the chicken bones when they are cooked in the crockpot? Do you ever feed these soft bones to your animals?

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Polyp Report

From my gastroenterologist's letter to me:
"Your polyp was adenomatous and was benign." Good news! But I had four polyps.

"...[A]denomatous cells can eventually grow into a cancer in a several to ten-year period."

That's not good.

"Since adenomatous polyps are hereditary, we recommend notifying your first degree relatives (mother, father, brothers, sisters, children) that they should have their colons evaluated with colonoscopy by age 40 or ten years before your first adenomatous colon polyp (whichever is sooner)."

But, will their nurse stepmother poo poo MY physician's advice or say I am lying? Yes, she would do that! I have such power and charisma that I have convinced judges, teachers, attorneys to lie about ex. You have to know I forge official letters and reports all the time. I am good or bad, whichever way you look at it.

I feel a great relief but anxiety for my children. All three have jobs with good insurance, so I hope they listen and follow through.

I hate to get a letter in the mail about medical, financial, or a worrisome thing on FRIDAY late. That is anxiety for the weekend.

Your turn
For those of you in the know, I have questions: Is four a large number of polyps for a 67-year-old woman to have? When they mention one polyp, are they ignoring or forgetting I have four polyps? Do people usually have more polyps the next time around? Is having four any indication I might have more and cancerous ones? I had a nodule removed from behind my thyroid, the kind that eventually becomes cancerous. I am just a person sprouting precancerous growths? Kristine or Jane or anyone, got any answers/opinions?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Day of Spring: part 2

I love the sentiment

This is a picture rich post. Almost all these plants coming up are from 30 years past or gotten on sale or for free last year.

Red hosta?

Iris?
I wish I remembered what color!

more iris, I guess


hosta to the back

I scraped back the leaves and found these tendrils growing sort of in the center. Last fall, I was planting to things two in a pot when I got desperate. So, I am not sure what this will be. I hope it is not a weed since I will lovingly care for it. Yes, Coffeypot, I may be watering weeds.
 
 
 
hosta at 2o'clock and a mystery plant
 
Can you see how the plant died back? 
 
 

antique planter, destroyed
 
I bartered with someone for yard work, specifically clearing out a jungle that has encroached from the back neighbor's yard. Dragging a small tree with a spread of 15 feet through a passage that is about 12 feet wide is a recipe for disaster. Charlie does not respond when he wants to just do what he wants to do, damn the consequences. The USA pot had the whole bottom broken off on one side.
 
He got his full value. I had my value reduced because of his not caring. He does NOT allow destruction in his yard. Urge to kill wells up!
iris
 
 
fireants
 
It would not be the South without fireants. This is about one fifth of what I can see. I imagine the rocks protect a much larger nest. When we lived in Jackson, MS in the 1950s, banks along the sides of the roads would have fireant colonies that were 10 feet long and extended up the banks for five feet. This was not unusual at all.
 
Okay, I am tired and need food. I will be back with maybe more interesting pictures.
 
No proofing here!
 
Your turn
Are you as happy with bulbs and plants that return as I am? There are only a few annuals that I will buy. Do you try to get iris bulbs from friends who have the colors you don't?
 
 



First Day of Spring: part 1



five pots of tulips
 
 
I worried about these last week, or maybe it was the week before. They are really growing tall. Remember, these lived in a plastic bag in a cold house all winter. I hope there are actually tulips. Maybe that is what I planted.  ???
 
 
 
one tulip? two tulips?
 
Which will I have? Only one bulb is in the pot. There is another pot with two sprouting things, also.
 
 
future greenhouse?
 
This was going to be my greenhouse for winter and spring. But, I could never afford the heavy plastic. sigh But, it is working for these right now. There is a board across the arms of the swing and another across the braces. I rarely sit in this swing since I prefer the wooden one on the other side of the yard. 
 
 
 
112 year old board
 
The board is part of my falling apart house. Let me go measure it. When I took pictures early this morning, I forgot my tape. It is 8'2" x 11 3/4" x 3/4". It was about 12', but I had the broken part cut off. Just as it is will be a great place for seedlings. Hopefully, cats will leave them alone, squirrels, too.

 
3 something
 
It looks like only one survived. If I were smart, I would have made notes of what I planted where. I think I recorded it in pictures somewhere. Where did my young agile brain go? Has anyone found it?

broken ear
 
I picked him up by his concrete ear and broke it. What fixes this? NOT concrete.

What is this?
See the Hosta coming up behind?
 
It grows to about two feet, looks like an umbrella. Eventually, it will have a small flower underneath the leaves.
 
Okay, this is all for this post. I went to the doctor again last night and have bronchitis (oh, I told you that) and did not sleep all night because wheezing kept me awake. I am not sure I even know how to use the inhaler. Please don't explain it to me.
 
There is lots more in my yard that I will put in another post. Now, I am going to sleep.
 
Your turn
Can you answer any of my questions?


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

And, the doctor said...


All night long, when I breathed in, I had a low raspy sound. When I breathed out, I had a higher wheeze. Sometimes it woke me. I don't snore at all, or so I have been told. After a miserable afternoon today of the same and shallow fast breathing, I went to the church dinner, stuffed myself on spaghetti and a very nice salad of expensive salad greens. Then, at 6 pm, I went to the doctor.

He ordered xrays because he thought I had pneumonia. My temp was up. No, he said I had a "very bad, very serious case of bronchitis." For that, he changed my antibiotic to Levaquin and a prescription for an inhaler. Maybe I will get somewhat better by morning.

Dying of respiratory problems must be a very difficult death. I was not afraid I was going to die. It's just an afterthought as I write.

I am well-fed tonight. But, I still must get those carrots from the Crockpot. I need more Crockpots because I am inspired when I load up this very lovely one...lol. I am so sick and feeling ambitious beyond what I can actually do....just dreaming, I suppose.

Now, I must prepare the two mailings for my secret shopper job that was due last Friday and delayed every day by the company.

Spring arrives at 11:57 am on Thursday. I will commemorate it in some way. After this horrid winter, I need to do something special and uplifting. Since it is supposed to be in the high 60s Thursday and in mid 70s on Friday, this will at least be a good two days. Yay!

No proofing on this post, either. I am just too tired.

Your turn
Have you had something just get worse even with antibiotics? What are you going to do to commemorate the first day of Spring?

Aldi Deals

March 18--Aldi carrots with price match at Walmart

This was the last night (Tuesday) for these prices. I had to go to Walmart for a prescription, so picked this up.

Carrots at Aldi--$0.49, at Walmart--$1.78
Cheese at somewhere--$1.99, at Walmart--$2.98
 
Carrots for $1.96 or for $7.12?
Cheese for $2 or for $2.98?
This is not a hard decision for me to make.

I saved 63%
Yay for me!
 
 
These buying decisions are not hard to make for me. How about for you?
 
Okay, I would go to Aldi's but walking that far is not going to leave me with energy or will to do much more considering the pain I would have to endure then and later. I cannot spend three days recovering to do the right thing.

Now, what shall I do with them or at least 3 packages?  I don't have the energy to cut further for dehydrating. I don't have the energy to can them. That only leaves freezing. Ugh! and blanching. I don't have time until Thursday. Maybe I will feel like dehydrating them by then.

Okay, cheese and Rye bread is my lunch right now.


Your turn
How do home frozen carrots turn out?
Are you getting your Aldi deals? I will probably turn orange between carrots and sweet potato consumption.



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Using the Crockpot

carrots in chicken broth, waiting for potatoes

Even though I had planned a really cheap roast meal from about six tiny reduced steaks, I ended up using a thawed, free chicken. Since I was and am still ill, this worked out fine. The chicken cooked in the crockpot for 16 hours. I just did not feel like taking it out after 12 hours when I awoke. The breast were huge, so there are six meals there, including a sandwich or two. Exbf's thighs and legs will yield him two or four meals, so that's his call. I think 8-10 meals free is a great deal.

I got the chicken out, but not the other bits and pieces of meat that fell off. I broke the bones and put a quart of water in the crockpot. From the Aldi price of 16 oz of baby carrots for $.0.49, I dumped these cheap carrots, the whole bag, into the crockpot. The potatoes I bought for $1.20 for 5 pounds last week will go in there too. There aren't five pounds left because I have used from them twice.
about three pounds to go in with skins minus eyes
 

The potatoes will be tasty from the chicken broth that was seasoned with Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper, liberally sprinkled and a yellow onion. If I had celery and green bell pepper, those would have been added.

I will eat some of these potatoes with plain Greek yogurt. It's almost like having sour cream minus the calories.

There are turnip greens in the refrigerator, just waiting for this meal. Tonight, I will go to Walmart for another price match on the carrots. I don't feel like dehydrating them since they would have to be cut into medallions or strips.

I am no longer contagious, so none of this food will spread strep. No worry.

Your turn
What can I do with carrots right now? At $0.49 cents for 16 oz., I hate to leave them behind. I don't want to cook them, and don't feel like shredding or slicing. The sales goes off tonight.

$10 Reward Card + $0.17 = Dinner

$10.00
 
I am always surprised when one of these $10 reward cards arrives. Yes, $10 worth of free food at KFC. It takes a long time to buy $75 worth of KFC  because I don't go there often. I just talk about wanting it.

This is how I quit frying chicken and lost 46 lbs in 3 months many years ago. I would fry three large chicken breasts and eat them in two days. Of course, I made too much mashed potatoes and gravy and ate that for breakfast. There is no way to fry one piece of chicken and I was not craving baked chicken without the sides. I was cooking as though there were a family still here and was beginning to look like a family inside my clothes. EDIT: I ate at KFC one a month to get my fried chicken fix back then. So, no judging my choice here.

Now, I still eat KFC about every six weeks unless there are extenuating circumstances, like the 1/2 birthday reward card I received a few weeks before this. And, the points on food I pay for or someone else pays for on my card add up for free KFC.

Last Friday night, I decided this card was dinner. I had to spend all $10 worth or lose the rest. When I had ordered what I wanted without thought of the cost, I was happy. I spent $10.17. Dinner cost me one dime+one nickel+two pennies--$0.17. I can deal with that. I would have taken off a side if it kept the cost right at $10.

Usually, I get two breasts and take one home. This time--no.

My tray-- one breast (original), one biscuit, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, another little side of gravy, slaw, and macaroni and cheese.  I ate part of it and brought the rest home for another meal. The biscuit was a snack much later. The hens even had their share--all the skin and bones not picked clean. They were excited the next morning. That was a good $0.17 I spent.

The one good thing was they were a little skimpy with the mac and cheese. but, at least they helped me not to eat much...lol. But, I practically licked the gravy bowl clean.

I wish I had gravy right now. At least I could swallow it. Nothing will go down as I start coughing and I choke. I choked on one bite of chicken. I choked on bagel. So, I had two scrambled eggs. Last night, I had two scrambled eggs for dinner and cooked another two for today. At least I didn't choke.

No proofing, so deal with it...lol.

Your turn
I probably have asked before, but does you KFC offer this reward to frequent fryers? Have you checked it out? Okay, if you don't eat KFC, never mind. 
 

 


What Happened?

Does my blog appear with blue words underlined in blue? What did I do? I tried to make AVG quit popping up, alerting me to every cookie it detected. Instead, I think I took off my popup protection. And, AVG is still showing me everything in a popup. Okay, I am going to publish and see if this has blue words underline in blue.

Okay, it's on mine, how about yours?

Is there a sidebar to the left with something about searches? I have never done those searches!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Streptococccal Sore Throat and Allergies

That is what the doctor said: Strep throat and severe allergy problem.

The nurse gave me an antibiotic injection called something like rociferin (sp?) and a prednisone/cortisone injection. Both hips hurt now. Then, I got a prescription for Cefdinir (some antibiotic) and 3 Prednisone tablets. Plus, I am to take Guaifenisin, pseudoephedrine, aspirin, and a antihistamine. When I do that, I am going to bed.  Maybe these spellings are wrong.

Snowbrush, I meant to write and say that a fever can occur with allergies AND accompanying inflammation and infection. When I have hives, I run a fever. At the first contact with anything I am allergic to, my temperature rises.

My life is defined by allergies. I would have been a geologist if not for allergies. What a rock was, how old, and why were burning questions when I was thirteen-years-old. I thought about being an anthropologist, not only digging up bones, but studying the bone, but again, dirt and dust thoughts stopped me. I was very young. Since I loved literature, words, and grammar, being an English major suited me just fine. But, books make their own dust. Old books are practically lethal to me. Since socio-linguistics very much interests me, I could have been happy studying Anthropology of Linguistics. Now that I am older, I see more opportunities I could have had.

I am going to bed for a while.

When I talk to exbf, I will tell him not to come tomorrow. I need him but don't want him to become ill with strep throat. sigh....I need him. Tomorrow is the only day he can come until next week.

Your turn
Did allergies or some other real health problem help set the course of your life?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Eating an Orange

eating an orange

I decided to have an orange and maybe get Vitamin C. This is how I eat an orange. I peel an orange, just barely skimming off the yellow rind. I love Love LOVE the white part, the pith. So, I cut oranges instead of peeling them. The taste and texture of the pith is superb. There is almost as much Vitamin C in the pith, the part under the rind, as there is in the juicy orange part.
 
This is a horrid orange. It is next to dry and the sections are going to mush. I know that sounds contradictory. It does not even taste like orange, just bland. The pith was the only good part, so I just peeled it off and ate it....sigh.
 
This is why I rarely buy a bag of oranges. I have been burned too many times. I bought a bag of oranges at Christmas on sale. Most of them were black rotten inside. The rest were crispy dry. I traded it for another bag and returned it and got my money back.
 
This time, I bought two oranges at $0.50/each. They will both go back if they are inedible like this one.
 
Now, I am choking and coughing and freezing! Plus, my nose is running horribly. I had a salad that was  very nutritious, but it seemed to make these new symptoms appear.
 
Your turn
Do you like the white pith or hate it like most people do? Do you ever just keep getting bad oranges? For those in California or in the know, why? When is citrus season?

Tell me I am asleep and this is a nightmare, please!

I awoke with a terrible sore throat. It is 2:30 pm, and I have not spoken a word except to tell Patsy Cline and Thelma to "come here."  My head is so stopped up. Crap is sliding down my throat. My head is pounding. I can tell I have a slight temp because all my joints ache in a way that I recognize as feverish. My eyeballs feel hot. My face hurts. I was uncoordinated as I tried to untwist a twist tie and unwrap cheese. My chest is getting full of congestion. I am wheezing. This all happened within 6 hours I slept. Yes, I need a nap.

Okay, a thermometer is in my mouth.

What happened? Last night it rained all night. The ensuing humidity during the night did this to me. See why I don't camp? Cannot sleep with the windows open even on a hot night??? Even driving in the car with open windows brings on a fever.

My daughter has asthma and could never play outdoors before 10 am or after about 5 pm because of humidity. Of course, there were days this was cruel.

My temperature is elevated 2 degrees. Yuck. It is only 99 degrees, but still up 2 degrees from my normal of 97. That always caused doctors to say I was not running an elevated temp.

When I entertained every month for two years, we sat outdoors from 3 pm until sometimes 1 am. On those simple nights of pleasure, I awoke ill the next morning. This is not fun.

OTC medications and home remedies are in order to avoid a doctor visit and prescriptions that I will not want to take. And, I did not proof this post at all.

I will be back eventually.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

College Food Banks for Hungry Students



College food banks are on the rise. I contribute to a food bank at a junior college nearby. Have you investigated the possibility of donating to a food bank on a college campus near you? The Baptist Student Union runs the one here.

Your turn
Do you know if there is a food bank on a campus near you or where your child attends? Could you contribute any food to a campus food bank?

Pi is of the Devil? Celebrate "π" Day?

A young friend, middle 30s, approached me with a bit of spooky (to him) information. It seems that when pi  ( "π")--3.14--is written on a piece of paper and held up to a mirror, it reads "pie." Now, this information was presented in the same vein as listening to music played backwards, some sort of satanic or mystical message. ???

Pie/pi/ "π" Day is March 14--3.14

I wrote 3.14  and held it up to a mirror. No, it approximates "pie."

I wrote 3.14159, held it up to the mirror, and it was nothing. This was just silliness on my part.

First of all, 3.14 is not all of pi. It is a shortened version that we just use so we won't have to use 67,000+ numbers in a simple calculation. I use 3.14159 or 3.1416 for  "π". So far, no one has found that pi ( "π") is a repeating number, just still an irrational number.

I really worry when religion  tries to make a mystical connection to John 3:14 (For God so loved the world...), the ratio of a circumference to diameter of a circle, pi, and pie viewed backwards. That is hard work and lots of mental gymnastics--the world is round, the center of the circle for the radius is God, 3 is the trinity.

Rant over.

Your turn
Did you celebrate Pie Day? I love it. Kids will at least talk math for one day.