Friday, August 25, 2017

Harvey the Hurricane, control (NOT), and cats

Today was a day of diligence. I cleaned the Nubby Buddha and managed to change ALL their litter boxes, plus the inside litter boxes, and bird cages, just in time for the garbage pickup. I built up the rocks around the little gold fish pond with the hope that the baby fishes won't get washed away by the impending flood. I looked after the stray momma cat and her three kittens whom I relocated from the back porch to the shed. I went out to Home Depot for night lights and rubber gloves. Went to Walmart for wine, nicorette, and canned cat food. I talked to both Mom and Gordy today. Harvey the Hurricane is expected to make landfall close to Corpus Christi. Gordy's Mom and Sister live there. They seem to be prepared. John Michael texted me tonight to see if we were okay and ready for the storm. I received a text from Carol, who is the new TA for Java @ UH. She's just lovely. She said a few people had dropped by to ask about me. One of them is a professor who is such a nice fellow.

Tonight, I watched the movie "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." It was weird because I had just started reading the book and the movie popped up on Hulu. It's a good movie, sad, and moving.

As I was vacuuming the living room @ 1:00am tonight I had to laugh at myself. Vacuuming before a major storm is just like me douching before going to the hospital to give birth to my first child because I was afraid what the docs might think of my unkempt dumbassary.

Despite my valiant attempt to control perception, neither the floor, nor my kootch are squared away.

I hope everyone on the Texas coast (and inland) remains safe and sound throughout Harvey's visit. That's all I have to say for now.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Gordy and I were talking tonight after the 3rd Defenders show. We were talking about Leon Redbone's version of "Shine on Harvest Moon" and that somehow led to me admitting that Neil Diamond is one of my favorite male vocalists...and that led to my admitting that as a young girl, getting to see Jonathan Livingston Seagull in the movie theatre was transformative for me. You know, that scene where Jonathan flies higher than all the other birds. Yes!!!! Take that, unbelievers and assholes!

Gordy immediately purchased it from Google, and now we watch.

Salty black beans, Netflix series "Defenders," Dad's lip cancer surgery

So, today I made a batch of black beans using the leftover drippings from last night's carnitas. I'm not going to lie, the aquafaba, the bean juice, whatever it is called was freaking fabulous! However, I totally messed up the heavenly bean nectar by tossing a couple of smoked pork necks that I had purchased from the grocery. I wanted to add a little meat to the mix and didn't realize HOW MUCH SALT (yes, screaming) was in them. Oh geez! Don't get me wrong, I am no pussy when it comes to the indiscriminate use of salt. Those salty pork necks turned my best beans ever into the Dead Sea of Legumes. No manner of kale, carrot, nor potato could rid my prize-winning black beans of the overwhelming salinity that took over. *sigh*

Now on to drowning my sorrow in copious amounts of cheap Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc and binge-watching the new Netflix series "Defenders" while farting like a mule...assuming mules fart a lot.

Gordy has been playing his guitar all night. He is really getting good!

My Dad had some kind of crazy 5 hour surgery to remove cancer from his lip. All I know right now is that they took away so much tissue that they had to reconstruct his lip from the inside of his mouth. As much as I would like to have called him just to say "I love you," I couldn't bare the thought of him struggling with pain just to talk to me. So I texted instead. He responded. He always refers to himself as "Pops." One time, Mom eluded to her distaste for him calling himself "Pops." She said that it implied a closer sense of familiarity and kinship than "Dad" does. I don't get that at all. To me, "Pops" would be something I would expect to hear in a NY Italian gangster movie. Anyway, after Mom's comment, it makes me wonder if "Pop" is Dad's way of conveying a closeness.

This is all I have for now.

Pork carnitas and's so hot outside, who cares?!

The pic of the carnitas was taken prior to 2.5 hours of simmering followed by 30 minutes of roasting and shredding @10 minute intervals of basting in the juices. PLEASE, let me tell you that this shit was good, dayum good. The best I have ever eaten.

Yesterday, my Dad had some kind of lip surgery to cut out skin cancer. I don't know how it went. He told me he would call after the procedure and let me know how it was going, but he didn't. I did not want to bother him with calling especially if he was having a difficult time. I text messaged him early this evening (no response) maybe I will try to call him tomorrow.

I went to the new HEB in the back of Kingwood tonight. That is one helluva huge and sprawling grocery store. I tell you that we fat lazy 'mericans are a lucky bunch to have such a variety of food available at our fingertips. That store is a cornucopia. I felt inspired, yet frustrated as I had to keep running back to the produce section for accompaniments to meal ideas. I'm ashamed of my "first world" problems. None the less, I got stuff to make carnitas, veggie kraut, Thai chicken in coconut soup, and more!

I'm going to use the left over broth from the carnitas to make a new batch of black beans tomorrow. I know they will be good!

Tonight, we watched two movies: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010) and Nightcrawler (2014).

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Spinach, bacon, cheese quiche on a shredded sweet potato crust

One reason this recipe caught my eye is because the quiche is baked in a cast iron skillet. At a glance one might assume it is a one skillet meal kind of gig... but actually, I dirtied a shit ton of dishes.

O Brother Where Art Thou?

This music is wonderful...

Especially this one! Oh my.

And on a completely different musical note: Ramble On

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Skillet breakfast with kale, navy beans with kale, and greek-style bell pepper salad

This morning I woke up late after having stayed up until 3am with Gordy who was on work conference calls with participants from all over the world.

For breakfast I fried up potatoes with garlic and onion in ghee, cooked a couple links of andouille sausage, sauteed some kale, and fried eggs sunny side up. Gordy loved it! I have to say it was surprisingly satisfying in that I felt full well before I had finished my food. I wonder if cooking with ghee has anything to do with my feelings of fullness?

Our local grocer has started stocking a brand of ghee called "4th & Heart." It's a little pricy for sure, but I was intrigued by the fact that it is made from grass-fed cows, and it is salted with Himalayan salt. Most of the ghee I have seen is unsalted and in the past I did not care for the taste or smell of it so much. This stuff is good! Also, it does not require refrigeration. I looked on Amazon's website and it can be purchased through them at about $3-4 less a jar, if you subscribe to regular deliveries.

Here's a link to the ghee on Amazon: 4th & Heart ghee

I started a batch of navy beans that I had soaked overnight. I always forget how white beans seem to cook faster than the darker beans so I ended up scooping out most of the beans and letting the smoked pork necks to cook down more. I used bone broth and regular chicken broth for the bean liquid, added about 10 cloves of garlic, fresh parsley, and Mexican oregano. I felt like the broth was a little too salty so ended up adding a potato to the pot hoping that it would soak up some of the salt. Then about 30 minutes before serving I added a bunch of chopped purple kale to the slow simmering pot. Overall, the beans taste good.

The Greek-style bell pepper salad is very good. I LOVE the dressing. The salad is a mix of chopped up cucumber, one each of all colors of bell pepper, pitted Kalamata olives, fresh parsley, green onion, and cubes of feta cheese. The dressing is a mix of olive oil, white wine vinegar, Sumac, Za'atar, minced garlic, pink Himalayan salt, and pepper. This dressing tastes very much like the dressing on Niko Niko's Greek salads.

As for TV last night, we started watching a comedy zombie series on Netflix called "The Santa Clarita Diet." It's kind of cute.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Amsler Grid

Learned about an interesting test you can do yourself using an Amsler Grid. This website tells you what to do and provides a printable grid that you can hang on your wall and test yourself.

Brief but Good Info about Diet and Plantar Fasciitis

The diet and supplement info is toward the bottom of the writeup.

So... eat better food comes up again and again, no matter the malady I am reading about.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Christof Koch, Panpsychism, and One World Consciousness

After listening to Christof Koch's Ted talk again and recalling how much I liked it, I searched out more from him.

The first Ted Talk I heard on the Moth:

I found this other interesting Tedx talk he did about consciousness:

I then had to go look up a little more about Panpsychism on Wikipedia:

I love this illustration that is included with the Wikipedia article:

One thing that occurred to me as I learned about this philosophy is how much nicer a place the world might be if we all believed that life of all forms is a part of a single unified, or integrated soul.

Random thoughts on a late Saturday afternoon...

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Baked potatoes loaded with Korean BBQ, zucchini muffins, and more damn kittens

It has been raining on and off all day. There's been no sunshine at all so the temperature has dropped to a slightly less intolerable level of heat. I've got a batch of zucchini muffins baking in the oven right now and the house is smelling loved. Gordy and I rarely eat sweets, so I rarely-if-ever bake sweet things. Last week, I couldn't bring myself to throw away overripe bananas and decided, what the hell, make banana muffins. Turns out Gordy REALLY likes having muffins in the morning. So I am making a fresh batch today to replenish our muffin stash.

Here's the recipe I made:

The only thing I changed with the recipe was adding some hemp seed and the zest of 1/2 lemon to brighten them a little.

As for dinner: baked potatoes loaded with Korean BBQ and all the fixings. The Korean BBQ is a cheater dish, a prepared thing we got from Costco.

On another note, the little stray black cat (I call her "Deuce," as in someone dropped a deuce on me) that has been hanging around the house lately, revealed her not-so-precious brood of five to me during today's rain storms...not cool, Deuce. I really don't think I can take any more of this cat problem that used to be my home and my life. Deuce had apparently moved her crew to higher ground within the open cockpit of the forgotten dreams sailboat doomed to dry dock in the driveway. The problem with Deuce's logic is that the cockpit tends to drain much slower than it fills during a heavy rain. I heard kittens crying and followed it until I located the five very wet and upset kittens. It is no wonder that my usual crew of spayed/neutered free range ferals were not wanting to hang around the house lately. They are as fond of kittens as I am.

I found another adult fairy tale to watch tonight. It's called "Tale of Tales."

More illumination of my state of insanity to come...

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Macular degenaration and Stir fry

So I went back to the eye doc for a follow up on the fluid that had been trapped under the conjunctiva of my left eye and it had reduced quite a bit. While I was there I had my regular yearly checkup. It has been a year since they told me that I was beginning to get cataracts, and now a new old age thing has been added to my list of eye issues: macular degeneration. This is one I knew I had a high probability of getting from DNA analysis, however, I truly hoped it would be something that did not express. I have started to take Lutein & Zeaxanthin supplements every day.

Here's a decent writeup of the two carotenoids:

Yesterday, I made a beef with basil stir fry that was pretty good. One thing that bothered me was how the beef stuck to my stainless steel wok when I was trying to brown it. It led me to read up on why stuff sticks to metal pans and I found a pretty good explanation:

Oh, and here's the link to the beef with basil stir fry recipe:

I'm going to make another stir fry dish tonight, Chicken (with broccoli and mushrooms) in a garlic sauce.

I've been sweeping the driveway and street in front of the house for days because the Crepe Myrtle's are dropping their flowers like crazy and the flowers stain everything a dirty brown. It's so hot outside that by the time I finish sweeping I am drenched in sweat. The Nubby Buddha cats pass the hot days laying on the ground to stay cool. The kittens that showed up have been battling with feline herpes which causes eye inflammation and respiratory problems. I've been dosing with L-Lysine and adding other supplements (probiotics, B vitamins, Taurine, kitten milk replacer, vitamin E, krill oil) to their food and the kittens seem to be holding their own. Some of them have been making better progress than others, but I am still hopeful. I've been getting the L-Lysine from Amazon and it is way more affordable than purchasing from the local pet stores.

Well, this is all I have for now... off to clean cages and feed the birds.

The stir fry was good. We are watching the movie "InkHeart." Gordy just returned home with another new guitar. He is very excited about it.

InkHeart was good. Now, we are watching "Golden Compass." According to something Gordy read, the baptists don't much care for this movie. I'm in. I guess this is our adult fairy tale stage. Okay by me. This is me signing off for the night.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tomorrow, for dinner, I want to make cilantro rice and cuban black beans. Here are the two recipes that I will use as a basic guideline:

I will deviate from the above recipes by using a smoked turkey leg in the beans. Will serve beans with a garnish of pico de gallo, queso fresco, sour cream, and a wedge of lime.

Tonight, Gordy is playing his guitars and has selected to watch a new TV series based on the movie The Exorcist. I went to Walmart this evening and purchased the ingredients for the next two dinners this week. Also got more cheap canned food to blend L-Lysine in with for the Nubby Buddha ferals. I am battling an outbreak of feline herpes. The L-Lysine, along with vitamin B (ground with a mortal and pestle), probiotics, and taurine, have made a remarkable difference in the health of the kittens. I've been supplementing the mothers with chewable L-Lysine tablets, and adding L-Lysine paste to the kittens' milk replacer.

Gordy made burgers on the Weber Grill tonight. I sliced up the tomatoes, onions, and pickles. However, I forgot to get lettuce at the store today. The burgers were the best tasting burgers ever. Gordy diced up bacon and blended it with the ground chuck. He also brushed the burgers with a basic BBQ sauce in addition to the seasonings: minced onion, minced garlic, salt & pepper, soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce.

Let me tell you that I am fighting my way through a really bad depression. I really need to find my ground and get a job. I deactivated my facebook account tonight because I just can't stand the garbage anymore. I will very much miss having "close contact" with some, but HAVE to get away from the rest.

I found out how come my eyes have been tearing and I have had trouble focusing all the time for the last year. I was putting on makeup with a magnifying mirror the other night and discovered an odd bubbly looking patch in my left eye. It looked like a large blister on the white part. Turns out I have conjunctivochalasis. It's a common thing for old people. Perhaps all the crying over the death of our bird "Shadow" forced fluid under the conjunctiva and made my "condition" obvious to me. I've been prescribed steroid drops to see if the conjunctiva will push out the fluids and bind more tightly to my eye. I found a decent article about conjunctivochalasis here:

Who the hell ever knew one's eyeball could wrinkle & sag?!! What other wonderful surprises are in store for me in my old age? I've got cataracts, Plantar fasciitis, and arthritis...and with all the critters I have worked with, I probably have worms and toxoplasmosis too, LOL!

We watched the movie called "Stardust." It is along the same lines as "The Princess Bride." That is all I have to write about right now. Good night.

The Morning After Jerkiness

It has been that slow creep from silent defense shields in place to tiny snippets of less awkward conversation sometimes accompanied by an o...