...and I am very happy there.

...and I am very happy there.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A marathon of a different kind...

Today was a cold day -- at least comparatively speaking. We have had several days in the 90's with high humidity. This, after several days in the 80's. Then we had today....60 was the high and it has been either pouring or raining lightly or just about to rain. So what do I do?

Bake! Broil! Grill!

On chilly mornings, even during the warmer months, I make hot cereal. Today was no exception. Steel oats mixed with a dash of cinnamon, a bit of honey, some raisins, nuts and you have a nourishing hot breakfast to warm your cockles.

Realizing these cooler mornings were limited, I decided to make some oatmeal raisin muffins. While the oven was on, I decided to try something new and made some mini quiches with spinach and artichokes.

Then I got a phone call with a opportunity I couldn't resist, so off I went to meet some friends for... breakfast! But what about all that food I prepared? No problem, we will eat it all week!

After breakfast, I took a trip to the Farmer's Market and bought some organic strawberries, chard and kale.

Once home, I started the oven up again and made some granola. Then came some eggplant rollups for lunch. Continuing to take advantage of the hot oven, I made a vegetable lasagna for dinner.

When dinner time rolled around, I had to heat up the oven once again, so I threw in a pear crisp and used up those pears that were getting a tad ripe.

Sometimes I think I want to be a chef, baker, or cook. But reality sets in and I hear that voice of wisdom say, "if you HAD to do it every day, you wouldn't like it so much." So I will stick with my high production in the kitchen whenever the mood strikes. Jim greatly appreciates all this diverse cuisine. You would think he'd be the size of a house eating all that I prepare. Alas, he still is thin and I on the other hand could stand to stop "tasting" my own cooking for a while. But then that encouraging voice once again shouts out the retort:  "you only live once!", "you made it 'healthy' so you can enjoy it", or in any Italian Grandma's voice, "Mangia! Eat!"

I haven't always been this way...Love to cook -- yes. Cook, bake, broil or grill many things in one day -- no. It wasn't until our kids left home that my style of cooking changed. Jim and I decided to start eating healthier now that we didn't have kids to nag at us about the food I prepared. I tried to get the family to eat healthier when the boys were home and I succeeded only minimally. But now the kids are out, the organics are in and I can experiment all I want. Jim is a willing guinea

I have also learned to cook some family recipes that were daunting to me in years past. I now make the best sauerbraten, turkey with specialty stuffings, lasagna with three different meats and cheeses just like my momma used to make, or tweaked to customize it to my liking. Earlier this week, I made pizza on the grill! And not just an ordinary pizza, but one with beets, cheese and dates. Weird combo, I know, but delicious! Nowadays, I never lack for willing taste testers and requests for repeats.

What's next???? Crepes... rouladin?? The choices are endless. Sorry kids your momma ain't cookin' yo dinna no more!

Melancholy Monday --- I mean Tuesday...(Note:this was written earlier and not published. Hence it is out of sequence according to my other blogs.)

I wrote a draft blog (I never published it) a while back where I described feeling "Melancholy". Today is another one of those days...

The world is a crazy place. My job situation has been up in the air the past few months. Life is a jumble.

We are heading out soon to fly to Florida to see our two younger sons and visit with them.

I am still recuperating from laser surgery for varicose veins.

It's amazing how many things can come into your life and sideswipe you and the emotional range from one end of the spectrum to the other is unbelievable. I keep watching Jim to see how all these things affect him. Men don't. Why is that?

Working backwards here is what has led to my melancholy.

This morning I went to my computer and saw a note from my son (Bryan, the one with the grandchildren) stating they have decided not to come down to Florida while we are down there. Though we had hoped for at the very least a weekend visit, short and sweet, it would have been a chance for all of us to be together. They usually drive down one day visit one or two days and drive back. While I am devastated at not having the chance to see my grandsons, I am sure the current gas situation ($4/gal) or their reasoning is justified something other than that of the the cat needing to get fixed, which is what he said in his message.

I state the above at the risk of making our other sons feel a bit put out because it would seem I am only interested in seeing my grandchildren. Seeing our children AND grandchildren is a HUGE thing for me ... as they live in Florida and Georgia and we still live in NY!!! We have little family here and we were supposed to move closer to them two years ago. But with the economy changes, and the house not being ready to sell, we are stuck here.

Which brings me to the next great news I received...

Yesterday I learned that my one boss is cutting my hours so I will only be working four days a week a.k.a. part-time. That in itself is not too bad -- at least on the surface. I really would like only working four days and have three off.  But when I went down to talk to our HR Dept. to see how this cut affects us, I was shocked. No more life insurance, no more disability insurance, even though my contribution to my heath insurance would have dropped; it won't now.

I can't complain too much because I am paid well for my responsibilities. At least I will still have insurance. But I know from the past any negative blow, even when expected, is still a shock and causes some major adjustments.

I still give thanks to my Provider for he has always provided. Many times in many ways. I try to always remember there are those worse off than me. Therefore I am grateful. I may not like the situation, but I am grateful.

The other thing that plays on the back of my mind is the laser surgery I just had...did it work? I don't seem to notice that much of a difference. I do know the vein has been shut down and others are picking up the blood flow, but the veins in my calf are still showing...maybe more time is needed. Then there is the experience I am having with this vascular group that I chose to do the procedure. While I bragged about their expertise. I realize now that was only attributed to one person in the group and he was not the nurse or the surgeon! So as the weeks have gone by, I see more and more incompetence with this group. Is that why my leg does not appear to have had the result I expected? To be fare, I'll give it some time.

The historical news in the world since Sunday night is the capture and assassination of the beast of a man named Osama Bin Laden (or for some reason, Usama, on Fox). This man ravaged the world, mostly US citizens and those who helped them for more than 20 years. He was the same age as I am. That hit me...Through my years, I have mellowed. How could one person have so much hatred, and evoke so much devastation in his 54 years? I guess the one main difference is he served his god and I serve mine. One justifies hate and the other love. Amazing to me that some say our paths lead to the same end. I think not.

I want to grieve for this man's soul because somewhere along the way he was deceived. He never learned the truth and he sought honor and eternal life by destroying everything in his path --even the poor woman he used as a human shield in his last attempt for survival. Power can do some ugly things to people. Money too. Unfortunately he never learned that there was another life chosen for him yet he chose not to take it. There are many out there doing the same. Not all are in the news or are having such a devastating impact on the world, but they are heading down the same path and my heart grieves for them.

Well, this is a gloomy piece if I must say so myself. But they say we have the power in each of our own minds to see the glass half empty or the glass half full and while this post may leave you thinking I am really down. I am not.

Within the next two weeks I will be in sunny Florida, with Jim, Aaron & Corinn and Dan. We will walk, hike, swim, laugh, eat and share some great stories.

The gifts I bought for my grandsons are shoved up in the closet for another time.

My recovery from laser surgery will not hold me back from my endeavors and WILL eventually be an improvement.

My job frees up a day to do what I want! Whether it be staying home reading a book or helping a friend, it will be MY choice.

Jim will be working soon and that will bring some relief to our finances as well.

While the world appears to be in a death spiral. There is a plan, there is a God who cares, and I know what happens in the end.

For those of you who think I have been duped to believing in fairy tales....I am in my own little world and I like it there very much....if I am wrong -- I have nothing to lose.