Thursday, July 23, 2015

Going Bald Gracefully. Not.

The Art of Going Bald.

There really should be an art to it.

 And there must be thousands of books on the subject but apparently they are all hidden in someones basement never to be seen or heard from again. I know because I have looked for books on the subject of going bald

 Men do baldness with grace and dignity. Some even shave their heads because, why bother with hair if you don't have to. It's certainly easier in the shower. Only body wash required. Shampoo optional. Men are supposed to go bald. It's a rule. They even have a name for it. Male pattern baldness. There are, of course, some men who hold out to the bitter end before admitting defeat. They have a ring of hair around their heads that looks like a Frisbee got stuck there.

Then there are the others that take the three remaining hairs on their heads and comb them to the side then wrap them back around in a sort of swirl effect until it looks like they have three hairs on their had that decided to do a waltz and are now standing at attention. These men are so attached to their hair they will do anything to keep it.

Women don't have that same luxury. We need hair, Hair is what we hide behind, frame our faces with, Create fabulous works of art with that take hours only to go home after the party and wash it all out. Having hair is work and women need to have hair. Think about the time in the bathroom women would save everyday if they, suddenly went bald. The same things would apply to us. Only body wash in the shower, no more trips to the salons, Lots of money saved there,

I'm not really changing the subject just veering away from it for a minute. I've been going to physical therapy for 16 weeks on the orders of my doctor. The therapy I've been engaging in has been based in the swimming pool. I've gotten stronger and have lost a total of 20 pounds. Next Tuesday is my last day of therapy. I see my doctor on Monday. At that time I will beg her to give me a medical release to do water aerobics with the 15 or so ladies at the pool each day. I have learned a lot from these ladies. But one of the main things is that they are, to some degree, losing their hair. Today I felt free for the first time in I can't remember when. I have been wearing wigs, hateful contraptions that make your head itch like crazy, an odd assortment of hats, yes I have about 75 hats. I like hats so I'll probably keep wearing them. And I have some head scarves that I wear when I want to challenge someone to a fight because they think I'm a Muslim, instead of the shirttail Baptist that I actually am.

Today was therapy day. I got ready to go and hat in hand was walking out the door. I decided then that today would be the day. My freedom day. Today I went without a hat to the pool. Yes some of the ladies actually cheered. I didn't feel out of place, I didn't feel like people were staring at me. And I didn't put my hat back on to go to the grocery store, or the pharmacy or even in my own home. I am going to embrace the baldness. not. I will still wear hats, the hateful wigs and the scarves until it is socially acceptable for women to be seen in public bald.

Til next time,

Have a joy filled day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Joyful Cooking

                                  RECIPES FOR FUN


       I've always loved recipes. I can't tell you how many cookbooks, cooking magazines and just plain recipes I've gathered over the years. The ones I'm going to share with you came from friends along my way. I have treasured them because they are handwritten and have been some of the best food that I ever ate.

 A smiling face is half the meal.   Latvian proverb                                                                                                         
Have you ever looked around at something and ask yourself where did all of this stuff come from? I am a collector of recipes. I have no idea how I became a collector of recipes, unless it was handed down from my Mom, who is also, a collector of recipes.  I have no intention of ever cooking all of them but I like having the option of cooking them…someday. Being a collector of recipes has its pitfalls. People feel like they need to give you more recipes to add to your collection of recipes that you have no use for.  But as a collector of recipes some have found the way into my collection that are, quite simply, extraordinary.

I don’t know the author of this recipe or how it came to be in my collection. It’s written on a sheet of lined tablet paper and has been encased in what appears to be clear packing tape. I have copied it here exactly as it has been written.

“ “This receipt is guaranteed to be the most unorthodox, unconstitutional, & ridiculously compliled you have ever tried to absorb!” “
“P.S. a real Mexican would shudder & say no-no-no. But I don’t like their chili either.”
Ground Beef (regular) Browned in skillet (alone first)
“           “        (course grind)
Bulk Sausage
Canned tomatoes-crushed with potato masher
Onions-diced and sauted-oleo
Green peppers-“    “       “-oleo
Green chilies-popped in oven-diced
Mushrooms-chopped fine and well browned
Garlic-Fresh-thro garlic press
Cumminos (spice sparingly)
Mild chili powder (2 cans we sent) for flavor
Hot chili powder-to taste
Sugar and salt-to taste

Optional-(all adds flavor)
Canned mushroom soup or gravy
Tomato juice-Lea and Perrin or A-1 sauce-Red pepper-can of tomato puree

Various other tidbits & nick nacks & odds and ends to numerous to mention.””   

Happy eating!
Food has always been a big part of my life. The following recipe was given to me by Alice. This was one of her son’s favorite meals and since he was my new husband at the time, it was with great pleasure that I cooked it for him.  Although, having been born and raised in southern Arizona, this was not the way I learned to cook enchiladas.

2 cans-cream of chicken soup
2 cans-cream of mushroom soup
2 soup cans of water
1 can chopped green chili (small)
3 or 4 cans tomato sauce (8oz)
½ can of el pato sauce (more or less to the taste)
Combine and heat until warm (do not boil)

Brown 2 lbs. ground beef with
1 tsp. garlic salt
Drain and set aside

Dip corn tortillas in hot grease to soften (or heat in microwave)
Dip tortillas in sauce. Put a little ground beef and cheese on tortillas, roll and place in baking pan. Pour sauce over the tortillas, top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts.


 This last recipe, also for enchiladas, is from Charlie. He is as handy as a pocket on a shirt. He even has a possible box. I asked him one time what a possible box was. He told me it was possible he was going to need something out of it. I told him I’d had one of those for years, it’s called a purse. Mine weighs approximately 28 pounds and has everything that anyone could ever need. It is also the size of a small suitcase and causes me to walk lopsided. I finally learned to change shoulders every so often so I can straighten back out. After my spinal surgery this spring, my surgeon advised me not to carry a purse. Okay. Now I carry my driver’s license and debit card only. 

Lance carries my purse.

Here is Charlie’s recipe for:
White Enchiladas

1 pkg shredded cheese
1 # meat (hamburger, chicken or turkey)
1 can chopped green chiles
1 can cream of mushroom soup (small)
1 8oz cup of sour cream
8oz picante sauce
1 pkg flour tortillas
Brown meat in skillet Pour out any excess fat add picante sauce and simmer until well combined at same time, make white sauce, In sauce pan put green chile, sour cream and cream of mushroom soup. Add enough water to make it pliable and not stick. Bring to a slow boil. Roll meat mixture into tortillas and place in a 8x11 pan. Pour white sauce over top. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until sauce thickens on top. Add cheese on top and melt.
I put extra onions on top before I put in oven the first time. I use aluminum pans so if I don’t want to wash it, I can just chunk it.

I have to say I like his logic. I often have felt like just “chunking” something. I have actually tried both of the enchilada recipes. Oddly enough they are both quite good considering that they both use soup. I have nothing against soup but I had never thought of them being a staple for Mexican cooking. 

 Until next time.....

Happy eating


Saturday, July 4, 2015

When Life Gets In Your Way


Sometimes life gets in the way and keeps you busy with other things that you'd rather not do. Like spending time in the emergency room twice. Having to face the prospect of physical therapy for 16 weeks. And having one of your fur babies need the services of a veterinarian for 2 days in a row. That has been my downside of my life for the last few weeks. Hopefully a medication change has made my desire to rearrange my face one piece at a time, history.

The first ER visit was because of a series of events. If I had that day to do over, I certainly would. It all started fairly normal, until the mailman arrived. Let me assure you now. This was not my regular mailman.

I saw him struggling on my front porch to put an over sized package into my small mailbox. Do you see a problem here?  Sadly I didn't. I opened the door and stepped out offering my assistance to the person who was delivering my mail that day. I really don't think that he deserves even the title of mail man and you'll see why in a minute.

Anyway back to my tale, I offered to take the over sized package from him so he could get the rest of my mail in my box. I guess there is some unwritten rule he was following by not handing me my own mail. By this time I had laid the package on the handily located bench right beside the mailbox. So my hands were empty. My Boston Terrier, Laci, picked the moment that I was attempting to take the mail from him, to bolt out the front door. She pushed me off the porch onto a patio that my husband built out of pavers. I managed to give myself a concussion, ripped all the skin off the side of my face and wound up with a broken elbow and a broken wrist. The person delivering my mail, left me lying on the patio, didn't call an ambulance, didn't try to see if I was still alive, and was actively kicking at my sweet Laci, who loves everyone. My next door neighbor chose that moment to come home and actually helped me to get up. Called my husband Lance at work to come home, and was going to help me find Laci. At that time another neighbor brought my Laci back to me.

In case you were wondering. No I never said anything to the post office about the person who was delivering my mail that day. Several people have asked me why I didn't turn him in. I always said, what for, being a complete jerk. I don't think he broke a law by not helping me. But I was certainly glad to get my regular mailman back.

This was the beginning of a very long 3 month journey.

The second time I fell, this time with no help from Laci, was in the back yard. I blame Lance for this one but really he had nothing to do with it. He had mowed the yard earlier and was inside the house taking a break. I was going to the garage to get something for dinner out of the freezer. I had healed from the previous fall and was doing well until the moment I stepped off the walk, to go around the BBQ, and wound up stepping in a hole that was camouflaged as grass. Yep I fell again. This time I bit through my bottom lip, tried to break my nose and actually broke my upper denture. On a Saturday this time. My lip needed 4 stitches, my nose, thankfully, wasn't broken and I had another concussion. Lance found me this time. He was a lot calmer than I was. All I saw was a pool of blood with no idea where it was coming from.

The third time, I guess you could say, was the charm. I fell in my home right before I got into my bedroom. This time I thought I'd break some of my ribs and a hip. I didn't go to the emergency room for this one and my doctor is very upset with me because of it. She didn't even know about the second visit. So she ordered x-rays of both hip and ribs. It's official broken ribs.

This week, Laci decided she'd try to test my nerves by coming in the house with an eye that was almost bloody it was so red. I had been at physical therapy that morning and she was fine when I left. I have no idea what had happened so off to her vet we went. It turns out she had a scratch from something so he fixed her right up with all the necessary drops and gels to get her healed. The next day while I was in the shower she decided to break one of her toenails so that it was hanging by a thin piece of her flesh. Thankfully, her mom didn't pass out on her. I once again took her to the vet, we now have a standing appointment with them, and he clipped the offending toenail off. Put a large white bandage on it and sent her home.

Frankly I'm afraid to leave the spot I'm sitting at because it actually seems a little safer here. I still have joy in my life and I'll let you in on it with my next post.