Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Recipe

    I am trying a new recipe tonight. I have to eat a very low sodium diet for my Meneire's disease. For more about Meneire's click here. My family loves the pork Shake n' Bake. Unless I have had a very low sodium day, it is just too high in sodium for me. Frankly, I have been eating low sodium so long it really tastes too salty to me now. We are having pork chops tonight, and I am out of Shake n' Bake anyway so it is a good opportunity to try out some new spices I got for Christmas.
    No. 1 Son and his dear wife gave me a nice box of salt free spices for Christmas. They are Penzey's brand spices. They were packaged so nicely, I wish I had a picture of them, before I dismantled them. In between the bottles were loose Turkish bay leaves, whole nutmegs and cinnamon sticks. If you would like to see a picture click here.
    I used the Sunny Spain seasoning on Sunday. I oven fried flounder fillets and used the seasoning with the bread crumb coating. It was GOOD.
    Tonight I am using the Bavarian Style:


    Reading the ingredients it looked similar to what I believe I taste in Shake n' Bake. I chose pork chops about 3/4s of an inch thick. Here in Michigan they are labeled thin pork chops. In Kentucky, they would just be regular pork chops. I can't speak for other areas of the country. So, go by the measurements, not the label.  I used Panko bread crumbs because I wanted that crispy texture. I used this brand:

 But any kind will do.

    China trivet in the background retired Longaberger, no idea what pattern that is, but here is a closer look. I love the rooster on it: (Please ignore the tomato sauce splashes, as obviously I was able to  until seeing them in the picture. Just showing you with my warts and all.)

I put more seasoning in than I would normally do, because I seem to err on the "too little" side. Here is a picture of what was left after I breaded the chops. (China : Longaberger Woven Traditions retired color Which color? I have no idea.)

I dipped the chops in some beaten egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture. And here is what they looked like:

     I cooked them at 425 for about 17 minutes. I was trying to get the breadcrumbs to brown. Not very successful as you can see:

    I served it with sugar snap peas, baked sweet potatoes and  cranberry sauce, homemade. China is a brown transferware, Johnson Brothers, Olde English Countryside pattern:

    Verdict? I didn't like the  pallid color of the coating. I ended up cooking the chops a little too long trying to brown the coating. The seasoning turned out pretty good. My family approved. I think just a touch of salt would have improved them. Maybe I'll try toasting the crumbs before putting them on the chops next time. That may improve the look of them. Final verdict, worth tweaking the recipe another day.

     Please excuse my food photography. This is my first attempt and they are pretty bad. I keep saying my kitchen is too dark and these photos prove it. Next time I'll try day time photos.



WARNING! Disgusting pictures ahead!

     I mentioned my foot in the last post, but there is more. In the interest of keeping it real, I am posting pictures of the aftermath of my foot surgery. Anyone with delicate sensibilities should just "move along, nothing to see here."  (Name that movie. $200 question.)
    As mentioned in my last post I kicked my bathroom scale a year ago September, (read about it here). Being an RN, and loving to diagnose my own ailments, I ignored  the pain as best I could for about a month, assuming I had broken my toe. Finally I went to the doctor and amazingly, I was wrong! I had a stress fracture down in the foot. I had to wear a cast boot.  Supposedly, they usually heal in about 2 weeks, mine took 6. Wearing the boot gave me a secondary problem. A neuroma. This fun malady is an inflamed trapped nerve which sent a strong electrical shock pain into my toes when I stepped down.  Time usually heals these and within a couple of months I could tell some improvement.
    Somehow, being Miss Graceful, I tripped just slightly and came down a bit hard on the same foot. Stress fracture number 2 had arrived. This one took 3 months to heal. All that cast boot wearing, led to, of course, increased inflammation of the neuroma. After 5 injections of steroid to help heal it, it was obvious it wasn't going to heal. That left surgery as my only option.
    I had the surgery December 8th. Everything was progressing well until the stitches came out. One week later the darn thing dehissed, (split open). Nothing with this foot can ever go well.  Here is a picture of how it looked last week:

Here is how it looks this week:

    Does it look any better to you? Me neither.
      Time out for a rant:

    Can I be frank? I am sick, sick of this foot!  I feel like a slug as normal locomotion has been impossible for over a year. I have gained one thousand and eleven pounds sitting around on my derriere. I have lost muscle tone. I am sick of going upstairs one at a time.
    (Rant Over)

    I leave you with this picture so as not to leave you traumatized by my disgustingness. 

                Thank you for listening and I recommend returning to your regular programming ASAP.

                            Love, Lomelindi

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Knitting Fever

A year ago in September I kicked my bathroom scale.

Not in a fit of pique, (even though that would have been warranted)
, but accidentally, trying to slip past my hair fixing, teenage daughter. I don't believe I have mentioned that I am an RN, so, as usual, at first, I diagnosed myself. (It saves a trip to the doctor as I am always ready to do.) My diagnosis was a broken toe. I carried on with it for about a month with no improvement. So, off to the doctor I go. As no one but me was surprised to find out, it wasn't a broken toe but a hairline fracture in my foot. My right foot, of course, my driving foot. I had to wear a huge clunky boot for weeks and weeks, over a month. The darn thing just wouldn't heal. During my enforced inactivity my dear daughter-in-law taught me to knit. I had always wanted to learn, but trying to teach myself, it just never clicked. I have done tons of handwork over the years: needlepoint, embroidery of all kinds, cross stitch. I have even taken a crochet class. But, I developed carpal tunnel problems while expecting Deedee, (dear daughter), and have had to give up all these hobbies. (Funnily enough, typing doesn't bother me, but the mouse is killing.) Lo and behold, 99% of the time I can knit and knit and no paying for it with pain and numbness later.

I started as most all knitters do with a simple knitted scarf. I can't show you a pic as Deedee has taken it and I don't know what has happened to it. I progressed to a knitted and purled scarf, holding TWO strands of yarn at the same time. Here it is. I was so PROUD. (I have NEVER used the scarf, it is going to Purple Heart next week.)

Next I made a scarf with CABLES!
(Please ignore the bag of clothes in the background No.2 son brought home from college. Just sayin'.) This scarf has also never been worn and is going with its sister to Purple Heart.

I made hats: (Variegated hat is dear Belle's)

Here is dear Ling-Ling in her hat. (Dear Ling-Ling is my niece.)

made the cowl pictured at the beginning. That one I actually wear, and get compliments on. It looks much better on than it does in the picture. I also made a baby blanket for Baby J, but neglected to take its picture before giving it to the baby.

It has become clear that I have a problem. I am suffering from Knitting Fever. There, I said it. It is out in the open. I have quickly moved from knitting one project at a time, to having multiple projects on the go at once. Unfortunately, the next project always beckons, with the result I am having great difficulty finishing any of them.

Here they are:

Deedee's iPod case two-thirds finished:

A lace scarf for me, barely begun:

Another cowl, barely begun:

Qingwan's poncho, 98% finished:

Baby J's sweater one-third done:

A Guernsey wrap just begun:

So, as you can see, this has become a problem. Besides the projects, I have filled a corner of my guest room with yarn to knit up "someday".

Therefore, in the absence of a cure, I make the following resolutions to manage my Knitting Fever symptoms.

I hereby resolve to:

  • Stop trolling yarn shops looking for "good deals".
  • Stop dropping by yarn shops "just to take a look".
  • Finish Xuan's poncho this week.
  • Finish Baby J's sweater by January 20th.
  • Finish Deedee's iPod case by Valentine's Day.
  • I can no longer start a new project until a partially finished project, is finished. (The goal is to keep the backlog to a reasonable amount.

Keep tuned to this station for breaking news as to how this story develops.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back Again

Circumstances got in my way 2 years ago in my goal to become a regular blogger. My mother was ill which necessitated a lot of travel and no internet access at her home. (She's doing much better now, thank God.) The more time went by, the harder it was to get back into it.
So no more excuses!! I'm back and I really want to use this as a journal and a place to maybe try for a little creativity. I've never felt confident or had the belief that I was a creative person, feeling that I too often follow a pattern and do not strike out on my own. This will be the place to be who I really am, without subterfuge or prettying up reality. A place to stretch my wings and take a risk. Blogging may not seem risky to all of you. But as a very private person, it feels fraught with peril.
So, taking a big breath here I am again. And I pray that this time I will be up to this challenge!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hello out there!

I have been off line as I went "back home" to help out when my Mom had surgery. It has taken me awhile to get back in the groove since returning home.

Lots of news around here.

I am finally getting hearing aids! Yeah! I go for my eval next week. It is $150 just for the eval! I know the actual "aids" will be in the thousands, but the audiologist did not want to speculate how much until after the evaluation. I am so tired of misunderstanding, missing half of what goes on around me, I really am excited moving even further along the road to geezerhood. The audiologist asked me how concerned I was about being "discreet" about wearing hearing aids. I honestly answered, "Not at all!" My feeling is, everyone who talks to me for any time at all knows I can't hear. It is not a secret. I have been losing my hearing slowly since age 19, so hearing loss doesn't have the age stigma for me. I hate it, but I accept it. There are other worse things that could happen. At least medical technology has advanced to where there is assistance for me. As my hearing for high pitches is still somewhat normal, I have to have a sophisticated hearing aid with a computer program to only amplify the sounds in the range where my loss is. There are even ones that can sense when I am in a restaurant, party or other noisy environment and automatically adjust to lower the sound of the background noise and bring out the sounds I am trying to hear. (Won't know if those will be in my budget until next Wednesday.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Missing No 2 Son

I am missing my No 2 Son. He went off to college this year, and has hardly looked back. See that big grin? He has the sunniest disposition of any one I have ever known.

If any child had a reason to grow up grumpy and needy it was him. But no, he has an innate core of happiness that no adversity has the ability to stamp out.

He had severe eczema as a baby, severe GERD, and was diagnosed with asthma before his 1st birthday. He spent every Halloween in the hospital on oxygen for several years. Starting at age 8, he suffered for two years with unrelenting stomach pain, which no treatment seemed to abate. Finally, it was decided that surgery was the only option. Much against his will we consented to major surgery
as his only hope for a reduction in his pain and a normal childhood. It succeeded!

Throughout all this he was always smiling, always good-natured, always ready to laugh, never still a minute. We used to say that when he got still it was time to go to the ER. It was true, as he isn't a complainer, a decrease in his nonstop activity was our only clue all was not well with him.

Now he is at college, on a full tuition
scholarship in engineering. He is in a 5 year program where he goes to school year round, and will have his masters when he finishes. No summers at home for our boy, and as he is 6 hours away, no impromptu weekends home.

He is working hard to keep his scholarship, he says, 12-18 hours a day. (It is a difficult program, only the best survive.)
So my thoughts and prayers are often with him, even as he is busy and I am sure happy, far from home.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Virgin Blog

Hey out there. Starting this blog I feel a bit like Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail". She says, "Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Valuable, but small. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I’ve read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So, goodnight, dear void."

I have had a block about starting to post. Perfectionism being the bane of my existence, I had difficulty starting. See, it has to be just right. I don't want to mess up this "virgin blog" with a rotten beginning. Taking a deep breath, I am trying to let go and just make a start no matter how inane I may sound.

A bit about me.

I have atypical Meniere's Disease. It is a disease of the inner ear, and is a disease of the devil. See, it won't kill me. I look no different than I did before my diagnosis, I am not really in very much pain, so it is hard for people to understand how miserable I am at times. I have rotten balance, dizziness, hearing, pressure and tinnitus ( sometimes called ringing in the ears).

There is no known cause for this disease. Without a cause, it is difficult for science to come up with a true treatment. As miserable as I feel at times, I am blessed. Other people have much worse symptoms than I.

I promise this blog will not only be about the scourge of my life. In fact, I want to focus only lightly on my disease, and want to focus more on the people and things I love.

I love my family, 3 kids (2 sons, one daughter), one daughter-in-law, one wonderful husband of 25 years, mother, aunt, sisters, brother, nieces, nephews and cousins.

I love books, including so called "juvenile fiction".

I have an obsession with dishes, old dishes, new dishes, casual dishes, fancy dishes, holiday dishes.

I cook. I cook a lot. I have always loved cooking since I was a child. I make most things from scratch. What I used to do from love, I now do from necessity as part of the treatment for my Meniere's includes following a low sodium diet. Most convenience and take-out meals are no-nos for me.

I struggle with weight and fitness. I have lost 40 lbs in the past 20 months, but need to lose more. The picture is from my No 1 son's wedding and I weighed about 25 lbs more than I do now. That is Mr Arizona (Mr A) next to me.

I am trying to learn photography and will post my attempts at documenting my world.

Well here is my beginning Dear Void, I hope you like it.