Odds and Ends No. 68


As strange as it seems, I’m forcing myself
to eat salad. I enjoy eating salad out once
in a while because I don’t have to make it.

But the state of my life demands otherwise.
I eat at home more often than not. My
eating alone habits rarely include salad.

They include soup, sausage, peanut
butter, and the like. A little rice. Or an
occasional pasta that would last most

of the week.  The sausage staple is the
easiest part. Wrap two Polish sausages
in paper towels. Place on paper plate,

microwave for one minute and thirty
seconds. Squirt some mustard on the
plate. Hot, juicy, yummy. Done. But I

had to choke the salad down! Where
did my distaste for salad begin? Come
to think of it, I don’t remember taking

salad in the mess hall during my Army
days. A twenty year salad gap. In
retrospect, there was salad in marriage

and neither fared well. But to be
truthful, my salad with oregano, salt
and pepper, garlic with olive oil and

fifteen shakes of red wine vinegar
remains a favorite. I guess it comes
down to this. Some days are salad days

and some days are not salad days. And
for me, there are fewer salad days by
unconscious choice. I seldom crave a

salad. A rabbit and I have absolutely
nothing in common. Yesterday I bought
two bags of lettuce and five Roma

tomatoes to get myself to eat salad
this week. One salad put me over
the top. After today’s lunch salad, I

rather not think of salad again this
millennia. The tomatoes won’t go to
waste. If I cook a pound of pasta, it

will last a week. Like I said. Then,
I could make a fresh light sauce with
one tomato. I’m gagging thinking about

the lettuce. I measured out an 85 gram
portion like it said. Much too much
lettuce for me. Where does this lead me?

I do remember salad pressure when I
was a kid. My mother would serve a
small bowl of salad before the main

meal. She refused to serve the meal
until everyone finished their salad.
The seeds of salad enmity were sown!

How do I get out of this salad exposé?
After all of this embarrassing salad talk,
but one thing comes to mind.

Let us pray.

Odds and Ends No. 40


She popped out of bed around four, as they
were flying back home this morning. I could
smell the coffee but I didn’t get out of bed
until about five. Eye drops then toothbrush.

The kids were gathered around the kitchen
table eating bacon and egg sandwiches. As
for me, I wasn’t awake enough to eat or
drink a thing. I just listened to the chit

chat and watched them eat with one hand
while they played with their phones with
the other. That would not be me. Eat or
phone, but not both. Yesterday, they were

up early, too. She and the kids left for the
Grand Canyon as the sun was coming up.
About three and a half hours one way from
here. By the time I made another pot of

coffee and cleaned up the kitchen, it was
eleven-thirty. I decided on a PB&J with a
few thin slices of Pepper Jack cheese to go
with the coffee. Grape fruit spread, too. I’m

grape only when it comes to PB&J. There is
something magical about opening a new jar
of Skippy. Creamy, of course. I’ve never
known anyone who eats chunky style. (Don’t

know a lot of people either.) Starting a new
peanut butter is as exciting as being the
first one into the pool after a break. (That
was never me.) After unscrewing the cap, I

remembered that is one reason I keep a
small pair of pliers in the kitchen. The jar
seal is white on top, foil underneath, with a
few short tabs folded down around the

outside of the seal. You can lift the short tabs
so they are even with the top but no one on
earth has the finger strength to lift and
remove the seal in one piece by hand. Hence,

the pliers. Squeeze, pray, and lift. Done. Four
bites into the sandwich, I groan a good groan.
PB&J is like manna from heaven. The day is
more peaceful and quiet than usual. I can tell

because I have the front and back doors open.
No traffic noise. No deafening yard work
blowers. No kids on bikes or skateboards.
Strangely quiet now that I think about it.

The house is a comfy 77 degrees. At night, the
house is like a walk-in refrigerator. Plus a fan
above and at the foot of the bed (her side).
Look at it this way. My marriage has trained

me to be able to sleep in hurricane winds.
AC is fine when it is 110 degrees outside, but
I can live without it. (Maybe that is why I long
to live in Asia again!) Still sipping coffee. A

strong pot of Gevalia. I poured a cup and put
the rest in my thermos for later. Cookies are
in order. Two Vienna Fingers will work with
the coffee. (Or with anything if you are a

cookie monster.) As I was making my sandwich,
I realized that I didn’t take any of my morning
stuff. Good that the kids are here. She is so
excited. More so after they asked her to go

with them to the Grand Canyon. Last night,
she was tired and went to bed while I waited
for the kids to get back from their first outing.
She is asleep. So, I decided to put on my

headphones and watch a BBC police drama
set in Whales. I got a few minutes into it and
they got home. I’ll finish it another time. On
Saturday, while they were at the Grand Canyon,

I was thinking of doing some computer tweaking.
It is that stupid soft spot I have for Microsoft.
After all, we’ve been together since DOS days
and the advent of Windows 3.1. I excelled in

all things Microsoft during my technical writing
years. Have I changed or has Microsoft? Both?
I want simple. I want quiet. I don’t need glitz or
eye candy. I corrected my course and stayed

with Linux. Looks like my Halo playing days
are over. Well, they left for the Mesa airport
around five. She is working on a presentation
for tonight. I’m sitting here with you debating

if I feel well enough to walk Thunderbird today.
It will reach 102 degrees by the time I walk.
Cold medicine is gone; but not the cold. No
cough. Throat still sore. And I’m tired.

I’ll see how I feel at three. Then decide. Life
goes on. The kids hit Lake Pleasant and
climbed Camelback yesterday! Seems like
they fit a week’s worth of activity into two

days. They are young; they can do that. We
always feel younger when they are here.
And older. It is all good. Darn it, I miss Halo!

Odds and Ends No. 21


Sometimes, there is a fifty-cent solution to
a million-dollar problem. We used to say that
in the Army all the time. People called it

many things. Battlefield expediency,
innovation, quick thinking, love of your
fellow man (or woman), luck, chance, or the

intervention of Almighty God in the affairs
of you and me. This time it may have taken
the form of a Bullet Journal (Not HTTPS.)

Or not. That’s why I was out of action
yesterday. I setup and am “testing” my own
bullet journal written by hand that contains

everything going on in my life. I did get out
of my bologna rut yesterday. Tuna. Drain one
can of tuna. Sprinkle generously with any

form of garlic. No fresh, so I used powder. Or,
minced dry is okay, too. Added a little mayo to
the dry side. Don’t want it swimming in mayo.

Dark rye toast; like cardboard, the way I like it!
(They just took me in for my EMG test. Waiting.)
Scoop tuna on toast. Add romaine lettuce and a

slice or two of cheese. I looked in the fridge and
took some Pepper Jack. The end of the rye bread
came when I had it with a bowl of yesterday’s

cabbage soup for dinner. Why is it that soup
tastes better on the day after it was cooked? Hope
the doc gets here soon. I’ve already gone to the

bathroom once since I’ve been here. I was here 15
minutes before my appointment and it is now 45
past it. EMG is finished. Doc walked out to have

his nurse add spine to neck MRI for Friday. I think
he said something like L5 S1 are slow. Otherwise,
my muscles and other stuff okay. I may have to

take a nerve biopsy. He said my brain MRI okay.
Now 13:46. No lunch yet. Out of bread. Subway?
Tacos? When you are hungry everything sounds

good. Odd, Trello won’t sync without WiFi. Bullet
Journal is looking good, but I didn’t expect the
hand pain. My hands hurt and writing a lot makes

the pain worse. Something has to work! Doc not
back yet. Now 14:16. Still not back. I’ve been here
almost three hours. (Third time to the bathroom.)

He came back. He looked over my records. We
talked a little more. Nothing conclusive. Tests first
for now. Any more tests! I’m turning this by hand

bullet journal into my world. I’ve missed writing
with a fountain pen. Bleed-through in the old Mole-
skine. The new one will be a little smaller than my

secret writing journal. It will be an A5 with thicker
paper. (She may be getting them for my birthday.
I hope!) By then I should know if the “by hand”

method is for me. “Test” for now then transfer data.
Picked up a Subway meatball on the way home.
Another busy week; not getting much done at all.

The Lord is good. I trust He will give me the strength
of Caleb to keep my bullet journal. More, like Moses
when he died at a hundred and twenty, “yet his eyes

were not weak nor his strength gone.” (I didn’t tell
you about God, Caleb, or Moses to convince you;
rather, to convince me.) No dinner. Tea is good.

Odds and Ends No. 20


After I started the electric kettle, I realized
that I was undecided about having tea or
coffee with lunch. So, I left the kettle on,

took out sandwich stuff, then decided to
brew the whole liter of water coming to a
boil. I put three scoops of coffee grounds

into my old Bodum coffee press. Added
water. A quick stir, and I let it sit while
I made my lunch with only minor variation.

About the same...

About the same…

You’d think I’d make something different
because it is Sunday. Not so. Photo is proof.
Added olives with the radishes. And you

already know, coffee instead of tea. And
my thick lunchtime reading goes on with
the book that never ends. Michener never

ends. Seems like it. WordPress Help got
back with me. He moved over my purchased
theme; I just finished setting it up hence

this post. I want to make sure it works okay.
Not using it on the other blog, might as well
use it here. (What will I do with the other

blog if it isn’t deactivated? Help emails still
going back and forth.) And I still have to
learn how to use the options on this theme.

I doubt that I’ll do anything fancy. After a
haiku, poem, or chapter, I’m fried. Until
the next time. She is making one of our old

soups. We call it the Mrs. Dash Simple
Cabbage Soup. It smells so good. One of
the healthier things I eat. Can’t remember

where I got the recipe. (I think I modified
one from a neighbor who moved away.)
Unconventional in a poem, but here it is:

 


mrsdashsoupMrs. Dash Simple Cabbage Soup

INGREDIENTS

Onions, 2 medium
Celery, 5-7 stalks
Carrots, 5 med. to large
Mushrooms, 1-8 oz. box
Water, 12-cups (omit if using Veg Broth)
Vegetable bouillon cubes (omit if using Veg Broth)
Or, Vegetable Broth, 4-32 oz. boxes
Bay leaf, 3 ea.
Mrs. Dash (1 heaping Tbsp.)
Diced tomatoes, no salt, 3-15 oz. cans, add with liquid
Tomato paste, 1 small can
Garbanzo beans, 1-15 oz. can, rinsed (or other bean of choice)
Potato, 4-5 small to med. Idaho or Russet
Cabbage, 1/2 head, sliced thin

This makes a big batch, so use a very large soup pot.

Start to bring vegetable broth to a boil. (If using water instead, bring to a boil. Add bouillon cubes any time after it comes to a boil.)

Add Mrs. Dash, and bay leaves. Stir to dissolve and blend. Chop vegetables into large chunks (except mushrooms and cabbage). Add onions, celery, and carrots first. Then mushrooms.

Incorporate tomato paste and diced tomatoes with boiling liquid. Add beans. Stir. Then cut up potatoes with skin; halve them, halve again and cut in large chunks and add. Stir. Cut cabbage in thin strips or bite size pieces, add last. Stir soup and return to boil.

Cover and turn down to simmer 20-40 minutes or until carrots, potatoes, etc. are done. Remove bay leaves and serve. A little spicy, but one of our favorites.


mrsdashbowl

Nothing like poetic license. Now it is
time for me to get a bowl. The smell in
the house is heavenly. Bon Appétit.