Day 21: Wait, Wait, Wait

Yesterday’s appointment was set for 8:20, which required me to get up at 4:00 to complete drinking the jug of liquid. Thank goodness I had consumed more than half the night before! Needless to say, it did its job.

The voice,who set the appointment, said no need to get there early because it won’t do you any good. I walked into the office at 8:18, got my bracelet and took a seat. We sat and sat and sat. No one was going in or coming out of the procedure area. Lots of people were filling in the waiting area. I watched a couple of episodes of Flip or Flop.

Finally they call me to the back! 🙂 Let’s get this over! I change into their lovely cotton gown, answer various questions (do you have any metal in your body?, have you fallen in the last three weeks?, when was your last solid food?), and the nurse takes my vitals. Then she plans to insert the needle for the IV. She is not confident in her skill with my small veins. She calls in the vein whisperer to insert the needle. After lots of tapping and tightening the arm band, she slips the needle in with minimal pain.

Nurse 1 tells us someone will be there to roll me back to the room and I will sign the papers with the doctor. We wait, and wait, and wait. From my view I see very little movement going in or out of the other rooms. No one comes to my corner of the room. We wait, and wait, and wait. Finally the doctor appears and I sign the papers giving my consent.

I’m wheeled to the back, introduced to the staff (who I hope never to run into again). I hear the doctor mention he is an hour off his schedule. (No kidding, I thought.) Then it’s lights out for me.

I’m told the report is good, I don’t think I was awake yet when the doctor came back by my area. I get a fig bar and cup of apple juice. Time to get dressed and be released. I’m wheeled out to the sunshine where my car is waiting for me. The nurse reminds me, no cooking today. That brings a smile to my face.

After a quick lunch, we head home and I welcome a nap. I’m thankful the procedure is over and the doctor said my favorite words, “See you in ten years.”

 

Day 20: Five Favorites

Did you happen to catch the invite to Leigh Anne Eck’s party on March 1? If not, you can read about it here.

This is a lifeline for the day you can’t ferret out a slice from your present day life or perhaps you have a procedure that interrupts your life. That day has arrived and I grab hold of that lifeline to keep me in the writing game.

I placed some restrictions on my list. They had to be tangible. Something I could actually bring somewhere. So that eliminated many items from my treasure trove of favorites.

Five favorites (in no particular order):

  1. Coconut: I think I fell in love with coconut when I ate my first Mounds Bar. I love all things containing coconut. I bake my own birthday cake every year, Italian Cream cake. Even though it doesn’t sound like a coconut cake by the title, it is. I’m still mad at Panera’s for dropping the coconut macaroon cookie.
  2. Picture books: Turn me loose in a book store or library and you will find me with a stack of picture books beside me. Or step into my office space, but don’t trip on the stack of books I have waiting to share in a school next week.
  3. Bath and Body Works body cream lotion: I only need a small dab of this lotion to soften my hands. The regular lotion seems to evaporate and require more and more. I savor the luxurious feel of this lotion. I prefer scents that are floral or fresh, not food flavors.
  4. Purses with pockets on the outside: I do love the sleek look of some handbags, but I need pockets to hold my keys and my phone. I don’t want to dig around inside looking for these two items. They need to be reachable in an instant.
  5. Dark chocolate: Milk chocolate seems too sweet. I love the slight bitterness of dark chocolate. When I find the combination of dark chocolate and coconut, oooh! Life is good!

Thinking of five favorites was not as easy as I imagined. Give it a try!

 

Day 19: Liquids Only for Today

How did ten years speed by so fast? Medical procedures can be a pain in the butt. Sometimes it’s the actual procedure, but sometimes it’s the preparation for such procedure. All those who are fifty and older will recognize the preparation for my procedure.

  • Stop eating anything with seeds five days prior to your procedure.
  • Day before procedure liquid diet only.
  • Nothing red or purple can be consumed on the liquid day.
  • No dairy products allowed.
  • Prepare your gallon jug from the pharmacy in the morning and place in the refrigerator.
  • Begin drinking from this jug at 5:00 p.m.
  • Drink half of the jug in 6-8 ounce increments every 15 minutes.
  • Four hours before procedure, drink the rest of the jug, but must be finished two hours prior to appointment.

I have my blue jello ready (I asked if blue was okay). I have white peach grape juice chilling. Popsicles are in the freezer.  Tea and chicken broth will be my main course of the day. Dessert will be cherry limeade sparkling water. I even have a choice of flavors for my evening jug, I think it will be cherry, minus the limeade. What a day of flavorful treats!

Tomorrow I will have to cash in my invitation to Leigh Anne Eck’s Favorite Things party. My appointment is 8:20 and I remember sleeping a lot after the procedure ten years ago. Hopefully I will return with a good report Wednesday.

Enjoy chewing your food today. 🙂

 

Day 18: Eat Fit Go

It was lunch time. I had wandered, sampled my way through the new grocery store. I needed to pick up something for lunch. I didn’t feel like fighting the crowds to find a tasty morsel in the new store, but I had an idea of where to go.

I love to try out new restaurants. A new place opened recently that I had not yet visited. It’s not really a restaurant but it has food that you can eat there or take home. It is called Eat Fit Go. Their brochure says, Eat Well, Stay Fit, on the Go.

I walked into the store/restaurant (?) to face a  wall of refrigerated containers. Thankfully there was a young lady ready to explain what I was looking at. She handed me a brochure that listed all the ingredients in their meals. Everything is already cooked, it only has to be warmed in the microwave.

I studied the labels and menu before I selected a Fajita Smart Chicken bowl for my husband and Citrus Salmon with asparagus for me. They were quite good.

It’s a nice healthy option for my husband if I would be out of town for a night or two or when I don’t feel like cooking. It’s kind of nice to let someone else do the preparation and all I have to do is heat and eat.

A wall of prepared meals and snacks

 

Day 17: Chance Encounter

“I think I know you,” said the elderly lady pushing the grocery cart. I stopped, checked to make sure she was addressing me, before I studied this woman.

Could it be her I wondered. I think it is. “Mrs. Rummel?” I questioned. A welcoming smile told me I was right. This was my high school home economics teacher.

I was in her class forty-six years ago. I have changed quite a bit from those high school days, particularly my hair color. She did not recognize me from those days. I met up with her about twenty years ago because her granddaughter was a fifth grader at the school I taught at and her daughter-in-law also taught there. She recognized me there and remembered my brother played basket ball with her son.

She quickly caught me up on her daughter-in-law and granddaughter. The granddaughter is a teacher too, and she has two children. Hard to believe so much time has passed!

Seeing her sent me back to my high school days and right in her class. I remembered on the first day of class, she asked, “What do you want to get from this class?”

My response, “I want to learn how to cook without a recipe, like my mother does.”

She said, “That only comes with lots of time in the kitchen.”

I can’t say I accomplished my goal in that class, but over time I do have a few items I can make without a recipe. I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen over the past forty years. However, a recipe is always nice to have at hand.

Day 16: It’s Open!

TV news reporters, headline article in the newspaper, the town’s a-buzz over the new grocery store opening. The signage on the outside promises “Good Food for All.” Of course, I had to be a part of this excitement. Don’t you just love wandering a grocery store when you don’t have to collect the weekly groceries?

They opened at 6 a. m. but I waited until about 10:45 to make my way over. As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed every spot was filled and there were cars roaming the lanes looking for a spot. Was that a spot on the side? Darn, someone pulled in front of me to claim it. Now it was serious business, it’s just like the challenge of Christmas mall parking. Follow the people to their car and wait to claim your spot. Just as I was rounding the corner, a man got into his car to leave. Victory for me in the parking lot!

I really intended just to roam about, no cart needed, but right at the door they had fresh pineapple for $.99. How can I resist? Another score for me because there was a mini-cart available. What other treats could I find?

I meandered through the store noting that their prices weren’t especially great. In the wine section I found the Merlot we like on sale. This store has a bar and tap room tucked into a corner.

Other unique features found here:

  • a juice bar as you enter the store
  • a Starbucks (not so uncommon anymore)
  • a chop shop (they will chop your vegetables or fruit for you, $3 for five minutes of chopping)
  • an extensive bakery section (of course they had samples of several breads for patrons to try)
  • a brick oven pizza where you can buy a slice or whole pizza
  • a chocolate shop (they make the candy there, I may have enjoyed a couple of samples)
  • huge meat and seafood counter
  • a cheese area (sampled an expresso coated cheese, quite tasty)
  • a section of ready prepared food or boxes with ingredients assembled for you to prepare

I’m sure there are more sections that I will discover when I return another day. Hopefully there will be fewer people and more parking. New grocery stores don’t open up every day, so you have to seize the moment when one comes along.

Wine area, boxed meals to prepare, produce section, bakery

 

 

Day 15: Thirty Minutes

Can you really run into the grocery store and be out in less than thirty minutes? Rarely does that happen to me.

What about reading? Just let me read thirty minutes. What? My time is up, are you sure it wasn’t just ten minutes?

The recipe says thirty minute prep time. As I’ve stated before, that never works for me. Sorry dinner will be a little later tonight.

Thirty minutes evaporates whenever you are totally engaged, but I have found one activity where thirty minutes feels endless, time crawls.

Knees go up, knees go down, around and around, faster, slower, never stopping.

Every day I face thirty minutes with resignation as I climb on my bike connected to a trainer in the garage to begin nonstop pedaling. A TV on the workbench tries to distract me from the inching of time. Pedal, pedal. I pick up my phone looking for distraction. Pedal, pedal. I can read email, three minutes pass. Pedal, pedal. What else can I do with my phone? Pedal, pedal. I’m limited because I seem to move too much. My finger hits the wrong thing if I try to play Solitaire or Word Warp. Pedal, pedal, pedal.

Finally, the timer sounds! The pedaling slows. I’m sweating, breathing heavily as I gingerly climb off the bike. Thirty minutes completed! Until tomorrow . . . when the pedaling begins again.

Day 14: Save the World!

What did you think when you read my title? Perhaps you’ve read articles on how to save the world. Perhaps you are doing your part by recycling whenever possible. Perhaps you are reducing your carbon footprint by driving a ecologically clean car.

Here are a few ideas I discovered when I googled how to save the world. Reader’s Digest has an article titled 5 Crazy Ideas that Might Save the Planet. These ideas are a bit crazy, but there is some scientific reasoning behind each one.

  1. Give the earth some shade
  2. Wrap Greenland in a blanket
  3. Feed pollution to the algae
  4. Float New York on the water
  5. Get plankton to the ocean’s surface

Popular Science has 10 Audacious Ideas to Save the Planet. Forbes published an article that lists 20 ways to save the world. My google search found about 138,000,000 results (0.76 seconds) for how to save the world.

This whole search for ideas to save the world came about because of a sign I saw the other day as I was leaving a movie theater.

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Really?! Isn’t that overstating it just a bit? Wouldn’t it be nice if that’s all it takes to save the world? Sigh . .  .

Day 13: Is There Hope?

Weather report prediction: snow with morning temperatures at seventeen degrees.

My heart sank like the Titanic. The peach tree in my backyard was in full bloom. Seventeen degrees spelled certain death to every blossom and future peach.

The tree before the predicted snow and temperature drop.

Not again, I thought. Several years ago, the tree did not bear one fruit. It never even had the opportunity that year to produce a blossom. The cold froze the buds just as they were forming.

Last year, my husband and I draped the tree with sheets to protect the buds. That would not be possible this year. The tree was simply too tall.

All day I waited for the snow to begin. It didn’t. Maybe, the temperature won’t drop tonight. I went to bed with that flicker of hope. At first daylight, I checked the tree. The blossoms were still there. I waited until it warmed up to see if they would continue to hang on. They did! I went out for a closer look. Pink blossoms littered the ground.

Those peaches died an early death.

Wait! Look up!

Hardy blossoms weathered the cold night. Branches continue to sport their finest pink jewels. Thankfully the temperatures only dipped down to thirty degrees during the night. One cold snapped weathered, but more are predicted all week long. Will these blossoms hang on or will they all be littering the ground by the weekend?

 

Day 12: Food Naan-sense

Last week, Shaggers Picchu’s Blog posted and linked some of her favorite recipes. I’m always interested in new cooking experiences, so I clicked through the links. I thought I’d like the Feta Quiche, but that was loaded with mushrooms. I don’t do mushrooms. I will think about what else I can substitute for the mushrooms. However, the Naan bread piqued my interest. Recently, I bought some Naan for pizza crust, but it was rather pricey for the three pieces.

I read through the recipe, but discovered it had yeast. My heart dropped a bit, I don’t have very good luck with yeast. Apparently I’m execute yeast with the heat of the water. So after a moment of hesitation, I added the ingredients to my shopping list. Yeast, you will not defeat me!

With the support of my brother-in-law, I tackled the creation of Naan. First up, mix yeast, sugar, olive oil, and water. I brought out my instant read thermometer to check my water temperature. Good, it’s not too hot. I expected gurgling bubbles to form, but it just made a foamy mix.

Ingredients gathered, stirring, kneading, rising

Next step, stir in flour, then knead the dough. Once that was accomplished, I put it in a warmed oven (turned off) with a bowl of warm water for an hour. Yes, it did rise, but perhaps not as much as I thought it should. I flattened it and cut it into eight pieces, which were rolled into balls.

I used my pizza roller to roll out the dough. My brother-in-law was in charge of watching and turning the Naan in the cast iron skillet. The first one was our learning curve. First of all, the skillet wasn’t hot enough. Also, I didn’t get the dough thin enough. We weren’t getting the bubbles in the dough like the picture on the recipe showed. So we adjusted and the rest were great.

We ate them alongside our Chipotle Corn Chicken Chowder and even had some hummus with them. I have a couple left which will become pizza crusts. When I asked my brother-in-law what he thought of the Naan, he said it seemed like a lot of work for what you got. Yes, it was a little work, but I think I may have found my new pizza crust.

Another fun food adventure. I wonder what else I might try this month.