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Saturday, November 22, 2014


To brine or not to brine?  That is the question.  In recent years, I have brined like a maniac and the result was deeeelish.  But since I'm also about trying new things, I've decided to go the Kosher turkey route, which is similar to brining.  All of the taste and none of the hassle.  Quite frankly, I was all set to brine until I read on my Trader Joe's Kosher turkey that part of the Kosher prep is cleaning, soaking and salting--and that's for an unbrined turkey.  I can't think I'd really need to brine after that, so I'm simply not gonna. Nuh, uh.  Going to spend that time doing something fun.

I'm also thinking it just might be the year to free up my oven for the sides and cook my turkey on my Big Green Egg.  It's always fun to do it that way and so dang easy.  Since mine's in the back yard, I can go get it started in my pj's, with my coffee and Sis to assist me.  (She sniffs while I do all the work.)

Once the turkey goes on, I only have to check on it once, to lower the heat, after the first 30 minutes.  The down side is, if it's cold outside, I need to listen for the probe thermometer alarm to go off and if it's really cold, I'm going to need to delegate that duty.  Besides, I am busy cooking after all. (rationalization).

My biggest challenge and change this year is going the no white refined sugar and no white flour route.  Others can have it--I'm just not doing it--and that has opened up an all new world for me to find things that work.  So far, I think I'm good on that score so this should be fun to see how it all works out. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Let's just hope

In my honest belief that anything--and I mean anything-- can be used for a higher good, I think this whole Ebola situation actually could fall into that category.  No, I'm not suggesting that someone losing their life to this disease is a "good thing" but it got your attention didn't it?

I think the US, in it's arrogance, thinks we have most things all figured out and we're on top of just about anything that can happen to us, when the truth looks a whole lot different.  911, serious Secret Service gaffs, and numerous other examples point to the truth-- that we really don't "have it all together at all."

Enter Ebola.  My belief is NO DALLAS HOSPITAL was prepared to take care of an ER walk-in, possible Ebola patient, much less Presby.  They simply drew the black bean when Thomas Eric Duncan walked into their ER.  If you've ever been to an ER, you know the craziness that is part and parcel of what goes on in a life and death environment.  Nurses put their lives on the line EVERY DAY in the ER, and everywhere else.  Ineffective communication, no training, no protocols in place, no drills, no experience and no hazmat suits, equals disaster-- I don't care how "good" you think you are. 

In my experience, Hospital Administrators make decisions around staff based on the "bottom line" of the budget, and what they are "required" to have in place by JCAHO.  In my 36 years as a nurse and experience in Administration, I have seen education and training for nurses cut repeatedly in order for the hospital to purchase the sexiest new ___X___ that administrators think will suck in more patient dollars.  Nurses?  Maybe next year, gals.

As a female dominated profession, we have ALLOWED this treatment. We have done NOTHING to stop it because the alternative was to abandon people (patients) at their most vulnerable.  Walk out?  Unacceptable.  Let someone die?  No way.  But these same nurses are "on their own" in a hospital lawsuit. More often than not we're simply disposable. 

So, if anything good comes from this whole Ebola scenario, I'm hopeful that nurses will unionize so they can demand protection, education, shift breaks, staffing quotas, equipment, etc.  If nurses put their lives on the line every day, they deserve at least that much.  They deserve to be treated like valued assets-- not children.                  

Lastly, I'm ready for the truth to come out about how hospitals REALLY function.  Every hospital has it's horror stories and secrets, and it's time we all got honest.  I'm ready for the US, Presby (and the CDC) to act with some humility and admit we simply don't know everything, aren't the best, the smartest, or even the kindest. And we sure as hell aren't honest.  Enough with the spin.

 Maybe... just maybe.... that might be the good that comes out of this whole Ebola thing.  I hope so.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Thank heavens yesterday morning started out so great because after I went to check on mom, I was on a bit of a downer.  When I got there, she was out of it but looked cold (body language) so I asked her, and she sort of just squawked at me.  With  wet hair also, I figured that was a "yes" so I covered her up with a blanket and left to run get her a blow dryer.

I know...seriously...a blow dryer for a few strands of hair... but what the hell.  I got one, came right back, and proceeded to blow dry her hair.  She was like an old cat getting it's head rubbed.  She closed her eyes, leaned her head forward, and sighed as I played hairdresser.  Hair flew in every direction but this was not about style as much as comfort.  I got her brush and brushed my "creation", as I laughed at myself.  Her hair is like corn silk and fine as it comes --what little there is left.  Trying to get it to do anything was just a joke.  So, I just brushed.

The lady who used to do mom's hair decided it was too hard and uncomfortable for mom to lean her head back for a shampoo and I suspect she'd rather do ladies that are a tad more functioning than mom.  I get it.  I really do.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sounds fun, doesn't it?

This morning in the shower I had a total epiphany.  Now that we are going to have a grand baby in Nash it makes sense to think about where we'll stay when we go to visit.  Yes, we can always do the hotel scene but that's going to get old at some point and is frankly kind of gross.

So here's my idea: Benji and Andrea may buy a house at some point-- and with their permission-- my idea becomes a reality.  For their privacy and ours, what if we bought a Tiny House (movable) and parked it in their "someday" back yard?  Towable and fully customizable, we could have our own space and they could, too.  I'm thinking a tiny kitchen, Keurig or Nespresso maker, refrigerator/freezer, tiny bathroom and maybe a deck.... and, wow, we're set.  They come with full AC and lots of insulation so we'd be cool or toasty, depending on the season.
When we aren't there, they could use it for friends or other family, an office, or whatever.  They could even Airbnb it, too, for additional income.... but that could get creepy with strangers.  Maybe just friends or friends of friends. Dunno.

If/when they move, we hitch it up and take it to their next home or if we're tired of it by then, sell it as part of their house and recoup our initial investment.  When I tossed my idea out at lunch, Dadamon died laughing-- and loved it.  He broke into a huge grin and said it was a really fun idea.  He did mention stuff like code issues, how to get it in and out if they have a fence--all stuff that requires a little more research on my part--not to mention home ownership for Andrea and know...minor stuff like that.   It's ideas, thinking, playing, researching like this, that really keeps my motor going.

And did I mention I'm dying for a Tiny House?  Well, I am.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Skillet brownies for the win

This morning I feel like a big old box of sunshine.  My slow cooker is chuffing away with a pot roast, the yard guys just finished mowing, blowing, and in a few cases raking, and I have the rest of the day to just get my happy on.  Again, that usually means cooking, or thinking about it.  My biggest quandary is what to cook next.  Sooo many choices, so little time.

Do I make zucchini bread or muffins, or one of the new little skillet brownie recipes I found?  With a blob of vanilla ice cream on top, sprinkled with toffee bits, I'm seriously leaning skillet brownies.  Plus, I get to use my teeny little individual skillets again.  And let's get real here...I get to eat one.  Or at least one anyway. 

On another note, I'm so tired of robo or out of area calls (to get around the do not call list), I'm seriously considering dropping my land line.  The ripple effect will be something to consider since several things will need to upgrade as a result but I'm about ready.  My partner will give me his automatic knee jerk "No" but he'll come around.  He always does.

The boys learned early if they really wanted something, to approach mom first and try to sell her on your idea.  If she buys in, Dadamon is simply a matter of time.  Mom will nag him for you.

**  If the boys are reading this, they are laughing their heads off.  They KNOW it's true.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Head bang, head bang, head bang...

Today is Benji's 30th birthday and we are getting a new furnace installed.  Dang, my life is glam.  Considering our old one is a little over half Benji's age, it's time to quit putting perfume on this pig, and just get a new pig.  Since I need to be here to babysit the install, I've decided to at least use my time well and we all know that's code for cook.  I may even clean out the kitchen cabinets (and again I may not, too.)  It all depends on how hot it gets and for how long. Since we have two systems, Sis and I may be just fine. Right now is lovely.

What's NOT so lovely is dealing with the 1950's jicky construction issues of this old house.  What a hot mess. the you hear a bulldozer?  I think I do. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


After last nights big reveal from Andrea and Benji and watching FB light up with well wishes from their families and friends, I am one grateful MayMay to be.  I won't go into the story about how they orchestrated to tell the Gonzalez's and Harris' but let's just say a LOT of planning went into it and it was down to split second timing, Face Time and a Mac recording the whole thing, Benji texting delivery ninja Erin Spalding to "GO", and the doorbell wringing with no one there.  Just two adorable boxes sitting on the porch--one marked Gonzalez, and the other one Harris. Erin also did the gift wrap (which blew my mind in it's perfection and adorableness) but that's a whole different story.  If this is a look at grandparent hood, I REALLY LIKE IT already!  And we get a baby, too???  What a deal!                    
I also love the continuity.  Erin and Andrea have been close forever.  Erin was there with Marianne and me the day Andrea found her dress.  Erin was all bidness that day and told Andrea to try on her favorite dress LAST, and she was totally correct.  She was Andrea's only attendant in Capri.  And now this.  Wow.   I can't wait to see the next chapter. 

Thank you Andrea, Benji, and Erin for making such a HUGE moment even bigger!