Monday, July 31, 2017

Chili Everyday

When I was younger with a houseful of kids, I strived to prepare a variety of dishes for dinner (though I suspect they would have happily eaten pizza everyday), but now...well, now I would be just fine with having chili every night. I suppose I should explain my chili. Minimal spices. Onions, peppers, tomato sauce, beans, some kind of meat. Sometimes I chop up a tomato and toss it in. That's it. No salt as the tomato sauce has plenty.

As we get older, take more meds, our taste buds fall down on the job. Nothing tastes quite like it used to. Most things require more pizazz. And all that pizazz backfires in the middle of the night. The list of foods that backfire is growing by the day so I'm really quite content with the same-old, same-old that I know won't be revisiting me around 2 AM.

So. Chili is stomach friendly (again I reiterate MINIMAL spice) and it's sugar friendly. Balancing the two is difficult.

We don't eat chili every day, of course. In between, we have things like beef and beans (no tomato sauce), green bean/potato/meat goulash, salmon, salmon, shrimp, and...chili. Once in a while we venture out to have a hamburger. The next day, the sugar is generally up fifteen to twenty points.

When you're in a weight loss program, there's a lot of emphasis on variety in your meals and staving off boredom from eating the same thing over and over. Well, I think they should have a special group for the older crowd. We LIKE eating the same thing every day.

And another thing...I look at all those ooey, gooey, cake pics on Facebook, dripping with chocolate and caramel and other stuff and just shudder. My sweet tooth has changed drastically over the last few years. A simple Hershey's bar is tooooo much. When I tell someone I can make a candy bar last several weeks, they just don't understand. Two bites and my teeth hurt. Self control is no problem.

I've been thinking about how we used to go out at least once a week...and we can't be bothered any more. I think it's because nothing tastes like we remembered. And who wants to pay for something they don't even enjoy?

Give me chili.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Series Bingeing

Hello. My name is Anny and I binge series. All kinds of series. Sci-fi, romance, action adventure... just let me find one book I like and I'll devour the rest. The downside is when I run out. I mope around the house while I search for something else to grab my attention. I might do laundry or knit or play a computer game, but nothing really satisfies. Until...until I find that next series to binge.

Let me be clear. I'm talking BOOKS here. Not television, not movies, but books. Often, I re-read a series from the beginning because I can't find anything else. And of course, when a 'new' book from a series is released I read the entire series before I read the new book.

I have heard from other readers who never re-read a book and I'm sorry to say this, but that's just beyond my comprehension. Of course, I've also heard of people who never read. And some who read maybe ten books a year. And I can't imagine that. Ever. I don't remember a time in my life when I read less that a couple hundred books a year and usually, I read twice that.

I love authors who write big multi-book series and especially those who branch out with new inter-related series. You know what I'm talking about. Robert B. Parker had his Spencer series and then his Jessie Stone series and then...yep, you know. J.A. Jance has her Beaumont series and her Joanna Brady series and a couple others. So when I sit down to read, I have all sorts of goodies to keep me entertained. And then there's Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle/Amanda Quick. Mercedes Lackey. Dorothy L. Sayers. Elizabeth Peters. Sigh.

Well. There you are. I could fill a couple pages just listing series of books I read. Over and over and over. Have you made my list? Well, some recent authors are Rena Marks, Cynthia Sax, Michael Anderle, and J.L. Wilson. As I said, I could list and list and list. The test of time is whether I will re-read them. Oh, yeah. Pamela Clare. Susan Bliler. And on and on.

Why? What's so attractive about a series. Well, I would say it's the same reason folks watch a television series. We care about the characters. We get caught up in the series world. We want to know the answer to the age old question, "Then, what?"

The difference between reading a series and 'watching' a series is the effort we expend. Reading requires mental discipline and effort to imagine what the author is conveying. What do the characters look like? How do we envision the world the series is set in? And when we find a series that grabs us by the throat and drags us in? Well, that's a true prize. That's a gift. That's the sort of thing we used to call our friends about because we were so excited.

I wonder what happened? When did we stop sharing? Who's your go-to book binge?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Don't Need No Stinkin' Insurance

There are some idiots out there who think we don't need insurance--medical, vision, dental, etc. Over the weekend, I started having tooth pain. I thought I had a broken tooth (which would have been bad enough) and made an appointment to see my dentist on Tuesday.

He informed me I had an infection in the gum/tooth and for various reasons would need a root canal and crown...and sent me to a specialist as I have tiny fragile teeth and all sorts of secondary medical issues. He also started me on antibiotics.

Saw the specialist on Wednesday with an emergency appointment. He drilled and hummed and once I'm pretty sure I heard him mutter a curse under his breath. And the upshot is I have an abscess, a spreading gum infection, and while the majority of the root canal work is finished, he can't complete the work for two weeks so I have time to get rid of the infection via antibiotics.

So two days worth of dental work equals six x-rays, one prescription (because I already have leftover pain meds from my back issues), an office visit with my dentist, a referral visit with the specialist, $30 in 'sooooft' foods--and I'm sure there will be more in the next two weeks.

Here's the thing. When the hunk retired we opted to continue our dental insurance in his medical coverage. So far, we haven't paid a dime except for the $10 prescription and the groceries. However, if we didn't have dental insurance, I might have had to go with the second option and have the tooth pulled. It's located in the middle of the left side and such an action would no doubt result in a lot of crooked, shifting teeth.

Tell me why we don't need comprehensive coverage for everyone. Everyone.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday, Monday

What is it about Monday? It's an arbitrary day chosen back in the mists of time for the first day of the week. I say we choose to begin the week on Thursday. Or Friday. Yeah, I like Friday much better.

Broke a tooth over the weekend...not exactly sure when, but when it started hurting, it got my immediate attention. Have an appointment tomorrow with the dentist. I love my dentist...I just don't want to see him professionally.

Woke this morning after restless, mostly sleepless night (see paragraph above), dragging my behind, thinking about stuff I needed to do. Waiting for the coffee to finish when a loud knock on the door changed all my plans. Contractors were here to replace our AC/Heat. Trouble was...the closet for the AC is where we store bakeware, extra TP, papertowels, etc. And the maintenance office failed to notify us. Took a minute to dress more appropriately. Then we had to empty said closet while the gents carried in their tools.

Then they discovered a cabinet on the wall next to the closet door was in the way so we emptied the cabinet and moved it. Still no coffee.

Once that was all done and various pieces of furniture were moved out of the way, it was finally time for coffee. At 12-ish, the hunk started cooking breakfast while I discussed my woes with the dentist. By then the gents were carting bits and pieces of the old AC out.

It's 4:00 PM and they're still here finishing up odds and ends. And sometime after they leave, we'll have to put all that stuff back.

So that's my Monday. How's yours?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Caturday Reflections

Ah, the weekend! Strictly speaking, I'm quite busy today, though so far, that has not included writing. Bread is rising. Laundry is chugging away. A tad of reading is edging in on the fringes. I was up very early (for me) to talk to the post office about a package that wasn't delivered yesterday because the postal person didn't knock loud enough to wake us up. Today when she delivered the package we had a very amicable chat about getting older, the perks of retirement, and the necessity for loud knocking when you're sleeping in the other end of the apartment.

By the time all that was straightened out, I was too wide awake enough to go back to sleep, so I see a nap in my future. At least, I hope I can sneak in a nap. Sometimes things don't work out. Such is life.

July is zipping by. I'm not sure why time seems to move faster as you age. Maybe you have an increased sense of time lost. It's reached the point where I feel sometimes as though I don't dare just stop and sit down as that's a loss of time. I don't remember feeling like that when I was younger. Back then I actively prayed for a ten minute break. All right. A five minute break. Anything.

Now I wonder if I can get back all the hours I wasted watching television reruns and reading sub-par books and working at sub-par jobs. Oh, some jobs were...necessary for survival, but others were not.

I'd like back all the hours I spent folding and putting away laundry. Think about it. You fold it up. In two or three days you take it back and wear it. Who sees wrinkles in your underwear and socks? Who? No one. When you put them on, your body waves stretch them out. Voilá! No wrinkles. Same for sheets. Why not just put 'em back on the bed when they're dry? Nooooo folding. And towels? Don't talk to me about towels.

I want back the hours I spent worrying about paying bills. No one should have to worry about that if they're working. They should have to worry about eating or needing a doctor or how they're gonna keep their vehicle. Back in my younger years I spent a lot of time worrying about such things. Folks talk about how things were so much better in the past, but I don't think so. They're not good now, but parts of my early adulthood were no picnic.

When my first two children were born we had no medical coverage at all. No one I knew did either. Think about that. We lived in Chicago, a major city, and I didn't know anyone who had medical insurance. Of course, when I was growing up you didn't go to the doctor unless you were dying. I can count on one hand all the times I went to the doctor between age five and eighteen. I wonder...was I better off then? Or not?

Everyone I know goes to the doctor frequently. So does that mean we're sicker now than back then? And if we are...why? Why is there a growing tidal wave of obesity, cancer, and all those other things we're sick from? Seriously? There are a LOT of obese folks who work their butts off. It's not just a matter of eating too much, or all the wrong stuff. And that cancer stuff? Why are our children and young women getting cancer?

When did I stop singing? I used to sing a lot. So what silenced my voice? Is that how life goes? Maybe. Maybe that's life.