Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Stonekettle Station: Downwind from Standing Rock

Stonekettle Station: Downwind from Standing Rock:   For the last few years Alaskans have been arguing over a hole in the ground. Now, to be fair, this isn’t just any hole. This hole is f...

Monday, August 29, 2016

WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Pure Imagination Gene Wilder (1971)

RIP Mr Wilder, we will miss you :(

Finally got some more baking in this weekend

I had been gifted several rather large zucchini from several friends who have more than they needed (don't they always LOL!). So two weekends ago I peeled them, cut them into chunks and cored them. Then into the food processor for a quick whiz and then into quart bags for the freezer.

I pulled a couple out this weekend and decided to make a couple different zucchini-banana breads.

The first one was this recipe here. Since it was the first time I tried this, I pretty much followed the recipe, tho the eggs came from Winco and the honey probably wasn't organic. As much as I would love to buy all the good organically certified and grown foodstuffs, that ain't happening on our budget.

So I tossed everything into my Kitchenaid mixer and sprayed down a loaf pan with cooking spray and into the oven the batter went. Took about 45 minutes and out it came to cool down and then I sliced some off for dessert. Very yummy and has the hubby's seal of approval (tho I called it just banana bread, he hates zucchini).

As you can see it didn't rise much:

but it is yummy and moist and I will do it again, probably see about making it into mini-muffins.

Then I made Death by Chocolate zucchini-banana muffins. I started with this recipe and then changed it up. The original recipe didn't call for bananas and I still had a couple left. I also used whole eggs since I didn't want to mess with separating yolks and whites. I doubled the recipe and since I didn't have any of my regular gluten free AP flour, I used one cup white rice flour, one cup garbanzo bean flour and half cup tapioca flour (since it was a doubled recipe). I also cut the amount of sugar by half since the bananas gave some sweetness to it.

Sprayed a regular sized 8 count muffin tin with cooking spray and then my mini-muffin tins. Scooped the batter into them and set the timer for 40 minutes. All I could do to keep from diving in once they were out of the oven, but I restrained myself and let them cool. Was well worth the wait, they came out yummy:

I will wrap and freeze most of them when I get home tonight so I can have some stashed before hubby finds them and eats them all. Still have about 6 quarts of shredded zucchini in the freezer, need to restock my flour supplies and grab a few more bananas.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

That took a while!

So back in February I ordered turmeric rhizomes on Amazon as I could not find fresh anywhere in my area:

Okay, they aren't very pretty, but I got a pound of them so I could make tinctures, plant them and keep some in the freezer for cooking.

Making the tinctures wasn't hard, made some with vodka and some with apple cider vinegar:

The tinctures I tucked away in the cupboard and took them out once a week or so to shake them up to make sure all the turmeric goodness had a chance to infuse the liquids it was in.

Then I planted 5 rhizomes into a pot, set it in my kitchen window and started watering.

Watered a pot of dirt for 6 months with no sign of anything. But I had read that turmeric was slow growing and I started to think I should have mini-greenhoused it like I had done for my garden starts the year before:

Was beginning to think that I either had some rhizomes that had been treated to keep them from sprouting (even tho I got them from an organic supplier), had been frozen before being shipped (which they were not supposed to be as they were supposed to be fairly freshly harvested) or I was doing something seriously wrong, even tho everything I'd read for growing them in pots is pretty easy. But I kept watering the dirt and hoping.

I was starting to think I just needed to abandon the whole attempt, but decided that since it was taking me a long time to recover from my accident and I needed to be patient with that, I should also be do the same for the turmeric.

My patience paid off. Imagine my surprise last Friday when I peeked into the pot when I went to water it and saw this:

I am pretty sure it hadn't been there a couple days before, but it was a joyful sight. Been watching it every day and it is growing fast:

It has tripled in height since Friday and I can't wait to see it bigger. I am still hoping some of the other rhizomes will finally sprout. I don't want to disturb them at the moment, but if and when they do, they will be going into their own pots. If not, then this little baby will be getting LOTS of attention while it grows. What ever I finally harvest will most likely be planted again, but this time I will mini-greenhouse them to make sure they get a good start.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Slowly getting back to normal

Have started my summer work schedule this week. So Mondays thru Thursdays with my Fridays off. Have lots of annual leave built up since I've not been using it, so am good to go for my 3 day weekends the rest of summer. Still have TONS of sick leave (and dear Universe, please stop looking at those statements and saying "Challenge accepted!" It is too bloody painful GRRRRRRRRR!!!!) for those occasional colds and flus this winter.

Had my last physiotherapy session this morning. So going to miss the massages, but am NOT going to miss the torture sessions. But my balance is so much better (but my physiotherapist was evil when she had me walk heel to toe forwards AND backwards with my eyes shut. Almost killed myself :( ). Am also glad to see the last of that evil half ball she had me stand on and get my balance. Bad enough doing it just standing, THEN she had someone throw me a ball for me to toss back, all standing on that demon inspired torture device!

I am back to going to the pool this week. So that will take the place of the other physio. Only going twice a week, SOOOOO not going to get up early on Fridays to go to the pool. That is my sleeping in time LOL! But being back in the pool is good. Really need to rebuild my stamina, still tend to feel like a newborn kitten when it comes to doing stuff, still tire easily. The vertigo and dizziness are getting better too. Have some exercises I can do for them. Now if my tailbone would just stop aching I would be a very happy camper.

I've new glasses. My poor old ones took a battering in the accident and finally gave up the ghost a few weeks back. Managed to hold them together with some gorilla tape:

They were pretty much useless for anything other than driving short distances (have to have them for driving) and trying to work on the computer and anything else was painful. So finally got new ones:

So seriously cute and taking a lot of getting used to (one of my eyes changed prescriptions completely, went from near sighted to far sighted!) .

Finally got to drive the new car. SWEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mostly around town, can't wait to give it a try on the highway. Been driving the Mountaineer since that is mostly just to work and back.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

It's been 2 months since my life was rearranged

Two months today, whoa.

Steadily getting my life back in order. I have started working on being at work for 5 hours a day this week. Managed it Tuesday and Wednesday and with luck tomorrow. Had physiotherapy on Monday and today, so both were short days.

I can manage to get around with just one stick. My balance has gotten much better according to my physio. Still have some dizzies, but they are fading away and not too much of a bother. Mostly when I am too tired.

Getting back into my routines is taking a bit. End of day I am pretty exhausted, esp if I manage to get through the day without a nap. That happens a few days a week. Weekends I do sleep in a bit and will take a nap if my body insists on it. But last night I successfully set up the coffee maker AND set the timer for this morning LOL! Did it Monday night, but forgot to set the timer so had to start the coffee maker when I got up.

Still haven't driven our new car. I want to get out to a big parking lot to do that before getting on the road and get a little practice in so I can get the feel of the car. Until then I am doing well driving the Mountaineer to and from work. Luckily it is a short drive since moving into town (and that was a year ago. WOW!) and with the students gone the traffic isn't much.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Managed a bit of gardening

Before the weather turned icky again. Hubby bought me this cute little garden scoot and a trowel with an extendable handle to make working in my flower garden easier:

Was able to get quite a few weeds out of the bed, tho not without a little help from a certain black kitty who decided the trowel was a toy:

Then he decided the root ball of the big clump of grass was fun to play with, making my getting it with the trowel more difficult:

But he was rather cute looking like a fierce panther in the tall grass LOL. But despite his best efforts to distract me I was able to get the big clump up and out:

It was a bear to get, but worth the effort. Was able to get a few more weeds up, but that pretty much did me in for the day and I haven't been quite up to snuff physically to get much more done since. I did get out with the hoe and decapitated a few of the taller thistle coming up in the flower bed, but wasn't up for cleaning it up. Hopefully this week the weather will cooperate enough I can get that spot cleaned up and the daylilies that need to be moved there. Has been raining enough this last weekend that they should be easy to dig out.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

My life post accident

So it has been a month and a half since I had my life rearranged in the Costco parking lot.  We still have no idea exactly what happened with the other driver, whether he just mistook the gas for the break or had some other issues.

Still unclear also how I got tossed where I did and whose car ran over my butt (suspect it was ours), but thankfully no broken bones and the sore tail bone is slowly getting better.

First two weeks at home was lots of sleeping and bed rest when I wasn't parked in my chair with my feet up and curled up with the heating pad. Thankfully friends brought food, so we had some variety. Hubby was now in charge of the kitchen and could manage simple things. I did have lots of mashed potatoes and chicken broth.

As mentioned before, I was loaned a walker and that made life getting around the house so much better. Couldn't get it thru the door into the bedroom tho, so I relied on two canes there and thankfully Napoleon behaved himself around them (more or less).  The dizzies from the concussion were pretty much constant if I moved much or suddenly. Made trying to roll over in bed interesting.

Two days after I got home I had my first shower in a bit and was finally able to wash my hair. Very gently of course, but oh it felt so good to finally have clean hair and get most of the ick out. Did end up with some serious small clumps, not all the hair that had been cut had gotten removed thanks to blood and healing ointment.

Didn't leave the house at all for the first week and a half, even to go out on the front porch. Granted the 1st week back the weather was pretty icky, cold and rainy. The next week was nicer and hubby opened up the house and oh did that warm breeze feel good.

But Thursday of the 2nd week I was able to go to my doctor for a follow up. WEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Weak as a newborn kitten and definitely needed two sticks to get around. But the best thing was I was able to get the staples and stitch removed from my scalp. Oh that felt so good. Had blood work done and arranged to have a follow up CT scan the next morning for the kidney.

That weekend was nice, I was able to go out and sit on the deck and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air first hand.

Since then I have been working on getting my life back to normal. Started back to work a couple hours a day (over hubby's objections, but I HAD to get out of the house), but made sure I didn't exert myself there and got plenty of rest when I got home. I am now up to 4 hours a day and will stay there for a bit and then start adding more as I feel up to it.

Thankfully I have LOTS of sick leave. Used to brag I could be sick for almost 6 months with no worry. I think the Universe took that as a challenge. Thanks a lot Universe!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

They say your dignity is the first thing to go when in hospital

But frankly, at that point I really didn't give a damn about dignity. I just wanted them to make all the aches and pains and such go away. Exact timeline of events at this point may be a bit garbled, my brain was not fully functioning and recording properly for obvious reason.

My time in the emergency room was about as pleasant as could be expected considering I just had a close encounter with my car and I was now flat on my back with a cervical collar and wanting to roll over onto my side to be more comfortable. But alas, until they could determine my condition, the collar stayed on, no pain meds and definitely staying on my back.

My hubby had been sent to a separate room, where he was evaluated and sent for CT. While he was doing that I was getting IVs adjusted and a going over as best they could without moving me much.

I was sent off to get my CTs done. The ride there wasn't terribly pleasant, things were getting dizzy by then. The nice folk there made sure I knew what was going on, explained things simply and did their best to get the best scans with minimal amount of pain and discomfort for me.

Back to the emergency room where that blasted cervical collar was finally removed (I guess the CT scans said things were fine) and I was able to start wiggling around to find a more comfortable position as best I could. Those beds are not the most comfortable in the world. But I managed to get into a position I could live with.

At this point my clothes were cut off (I think, may have been earlier, that is a fuzzy area now), at least most of them. I am so glad all my leggings had been in the laundry and I was wearing a pair of slacks that, while I liked them, did not break my heart having them cut off. Tho granted, at that point I most likely would not have had the broken heart over my leggings until much later. The nurses did manage to eventually wiggle me out of my bra without cutting it off. I did tell them it was okay to cut it, but as it is one of my better bras, glad it was saved. Besides that, the only other clothing not cut off were my socks LOL!

Hubby was finally able to come in. I think they were just getting ready to start stitching up my head. Ended up with on big stitch and at least 12 staples. Gonna be a kick ass scar, but it is well hidden in my hair now.

Hubby did get pics of assorted injuries, tho those are not for public consumption. The head wound was pretty gory even after cleaning and staples. The bruises were looking pretty spectacular even then and the scrapes on my right shoulder were impressive. Thankfully they weren't too terribly deep, just hurt like hell.

One of the things they were worried about after the CT was my right kidney which had a pretty good sized hematoma around it. But a check by the surgeon didn't turn up any blood where it shouldn't have been if my kidney was injured badly. But just in case, I got sent to the unit just below ICU to keep an eye on things.

First night in hospital was definitely not a vacation. Was in a double room and it was busy all night between the two of us.  Hubby had called a friend who eventually came down after swinging by our place and grabbing hubby's CPAP instead of mine (no problem, same pressures as mine, just the nasal mask was a bit big) and drove him home where he picked up my CPAP and the truck. While he was gone the night staff were busy getting me settled in and vitals and checks frequently.

I was in and out of sleeping, esp once hubby brought down my CPAP. Hubby slept in a chair by my bed the first night. I did get some liquid dinner at some point earlier, never has chicken bullion tasted so good (as did the jello).

After making it thru the first night, they decided I didn't need the extra care, so I was moved to another section where I had a room to myself. Didn't have to move out of my bed, they took me and it to the new room. Which was fine with me due to the fact that shortly after I was able to start moving around and sitting up in the emergency room, the concussion side effect of extreme dizzies and nausea went into overtime.

I hate throwing up.

Thankfully they had anti-nausea meds they gave me via my IV, along with wonderful pain meds.

Definitely nicer in my own room, once I got settled in I made hubby go home to get some proper sleep. Sleeping in an uncomfortable chair is not good. Was also able to have solid food for dinner that night, tho I was only able to eat a couple bites of ham (it being Easter Sunday by then), all the mashed potatoes and the dessert (either fruit or jello, that detail is hazy now).

Went longer between being checked on and was in and out of sleep all night. Hubby, before he'd gone back home the night before to grab the car, had set up my phone so I had speed dial to call or text him. Kept my phone plugged in all night (LOVE extra long power cables) so whenever he was gone I knew he was just on the other end of my phone.

Did manage a bit of Facebooking, just to let people know what was happening, but not much.

Met so many wonderful people there, all the staff were kind, efficient and took their time to explain a lot of what was going on.

Monday morning the surgeon from the emergency room came in and said that since my kidney was still doing nicely he saw no reason I needed to stay another night. I agreed. As grateful as I was for all the wonderful care and attention I was getting in the hospital, I really, REALLY wanted to get home to my own bed. And my kitties, I was so missing my kitties. So I texted hubby to let him know I was getting sprung later in the day.

One of his first stops back down in the valley was the yard where the car had gotten towed to pull everything of ours left in it. Not too mention getting pictures. Oh my!

I was able to have breakfast and lunch before he came to get me. I'd finished going over all my release stuff by then. He brought me down clean clothes since I didn't have any left in wearable condition LOL!

Managed to get into the wheelchair with not too much problems, my day nurse Esther had gotten me some anti-nausea pills earlier when I went down to X-ray and those were still working.

The trip home was nice and uneventful. Hubby had called some friends to meet us there, I needed some help getting into the house. Other friends loaned me a walker so I could get around the house easier. Napoleon thinks my cane is a toy and likes to attack the end. Not good when your can't walk straight and are dizzy as all get out.

So the recuperation at home had begun.