Saturday, May 31, 2014

Idle Language Wondering

This morning I was emailing my daughter telling her what I had put in my fruit crisp last night. As I reviewed what I wrote, it made me wonder.  

Here you have three of the fruits in the crisp. A blue berry - so named because it is blue. A black berry - so named because it is black. And a strawberry - so named because it is ________ ??????? Doesn’t look like straw. Doesn’t taste like straw. Red, juicy and delicious ~ and somewhere along the language line we called it a strawberry. Hmmmm? Any ideas?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

In Honor and Memory: Wilbur M. Mix

Today I have had Papa on my mind. Papa Mix was my father-in-law. He was born in Oklahoma. His sister, who was just 4 years older, was born when Oklahoma was still a territory. By the time Papa was born, it had become a state. He had an interesting life ~ never graduated from high school, a fact he never told his son until his son had his PhD. He made money as a boxer and a ball room dancer. One day he heard the call of God and went to seminary and became a preacher. 

In the fall of 1941, he signed up for a year’s stint as an army chaplain. On the 7th of December, on the way home from service, he heard the news. He went upstairs, put on his full uniform, brought down his helmet, strapped some gear to his belt (I don’t know if that included a gun - I’m not sure if chaplains carried them), kissed his family good-bye and said he wasn’t sure when he would return. Mama and their 7 year old son returned to Texas and Papa sailed for England and the war. 

He served with distinction, being honorably discharged close to the end of the war. He was in a unit under the command of General George S. Patton who was heard to comment after an inspection tour, “Even the G * * d* * * chaplain is a soldier.” Thanks for your years as a soldier, Papa! 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

They Had Pimento Cheese!

That title statement means nothing to those of you who were not raised in or around the South or had an aunt who made the most awesome pimento cheese from scratch. To those of us who fit one or more of those categories, it means a lot. 

To have this savory dish, for years I had to buy it at the store. Even though I have my aunt’s recipe, it takes forever to cook and cool (but Oh My, was it Delicious!!). So I bought a less than but still good product. And then one day, my local stores here no longer carried it, and I waited and it didn’t return and by then I had sort of forgotten and so didn’t ask them to carry it again and so I have been without for several years now. 

Yesterday Dean and I stopped in another store in another town around the lake and while I was looking for humus, there it was. Pimento Cheese!! Oh Bliss!!! I bought two little containers. Even had the discipline to calculate a portion with Weight Watcher points when what I really wanted to do was inhale both containers as soon as we got home. I waited none too patiently for supper time, measured my pimento cheese onto my bread and bit into delectable memories of childhood. I am having another sandwich tonight. I may even get out Aunt Mabel’s recipe and at least give it a look. I’ll let you know if that happens, Cuz! 

Keeping Sabbath

It feels like the world is keeping Sabbath. There is stillness and Silence. It is a meditative, prayerful morning. Even the soft click of my fingers on the keyboard seem to interrupt and intrude. Oso’s collar jingling against his food bowl has stopped and he has settled down after breakfast. There is a tiny bit of breeze stirring a few limbs of the pine trees but mostly they are still. 

Stillness and Silence are both “things”, beings I can sense, feel, and enter into and react with. They support me and move out from me allowing me to be in their center both as receiver and giver. The world is making it easy to keep Sabbath today. ~ with blessings for your Sabbath keeping whatever form that may take. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

And they kept Dancing!

Because I have a Kindle, I often order a book that I would not otherwise have thought about, looked for, or even been aware of. One of these is Operation Cowboy by Stephan Talty. Operation Cowboy was the name given to a secret American mission at the end of World War II to rescue the amazing Lipizzaner Dancing Stallions from behind German lines.

The book is short, very factual and at the same time tells of the danger faced by an American who loved horses and a German veterinarian whose job it had been to take care of these horses as they were gathered from all over Austria. It was Hitler’s plan to do the same with them as with humans: create one race of white warrior horses spread across his Aryan empire. 

The war was almost ended and as the starving Russian troops advanced slaughtering everything in their path, one German vet decided he had to do his best, even risking his own life, to save the horses. At the same time, an American officer who loved horses decided the same thing and fate and good timing brought them together. It is a story worth telling. 

And several years after the war, it was told ~ by an Austrian Count who embellished his part in it and made it a fantastic adventure. The American officer said, No, that’s not the way it happened. When Disney Studios heard both stories, they went with the fantastic adventure instead of the mud-clogged, frightened GIs determined to move the beautiful herd to safety. 

In what I consider delightful poetic justice, the Disney film was a flop. I suggest you read this simple, factual tale of those GIs and fill in one more hole in your knowledge of the ordinary heroes of World War II.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sitcom Photo

Daughter Meredith took the photo and only sent me this one, although she is in one of them. 
She also named it: a Sitcom Photo. 
And she's right. Can't you see this come up at the opening theme song of a sitcom about a delightfully wonderful irreverent family?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Another Wonderful Trip to Ashland

One of the great joys of this trip to Ashland is having Uncle David and Mame visiting ~ the reason that took me back so soon. And one of the joys of having them present is that Uncle David cooks and bakes and we eat like royalty. And Uncle David lets people help.
Owlet chopping carrots for a heavenly curried noodle dish.

Learning how to roll out pretzel dough.

~ and how to twist pretzel dough.

~ and how to hold it so it drops and gets a bit larger.
The pretzels were delicious! They had Kosher salt on them so were great by themselves or dipped in chocolate for dessert. And the chocolate was an  amazing learning for me: put some ordinary Betty Crocker milk chocolate frosting in a dipping dish in the microwave for a few seconds and have the best chocolate sauce I have ever tasted. It will become my regular chocolate sauce for ice cream, fruit or fondu dipping. I do want to see if there is a dark chocolate frosting. This is delectable, folks, and I highly recommend it. Lots of advantages to visiting family again.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Laundry on a Sunday???

Usually I have a rather peaceful, meditative Sunday. Although I don’t attend church on a regular basis any  more, I do meditate, enjoy silent time, time in the woods, and what I do is usually gentle and easy: reading, writing, sometimes just being. 

So why laundry of all things today? Because I found out late yesterday afternoon that daughter Meredith and her husband are spending the week with her sister in Ashland. Discovering I am not as spontaneous as I might like, I am taking today to do laundry, check in with the dog sitter and some other folks and pack. Heading out tomorrow to see my “baby” whom I haven’t seen for almost a year. Delightful!! I’ve become a jet setter without a jet!

May the Fourth be with You!

Having learned this year that this date has been co-opted by Star Wars fans, I wish I had had that knowledge last year. Maybe we could have used some of that Force to fend off Dean’s accident. 

It’s been a year - a year ago today that he landed on the left side of his head and was out for what I have come to call the longest 3 minutes of my life. Recuperation has been good although at times slower than we might have wished. I have learned that lots can happen to you when you hit your head hard on concrete and pass out for a while. Over this year Dean has learned that his tooth was cracked and needed a cap from the trauma of the fall. Worsening hearing was caused by the same trauma. And we have both learned to be patient. Our bodies don’t heal as easily or quickly as they did and this may have been the worst accident either of us has dealt with. In the course of searching for accident pain, an ultrasound discovered a really lousy gall bladder so within 3 weeks of the accident, he also had his gall bladder removed. Not the easiest year. 

And ~ here we are, a year out, and he is feeling good, moving well, getting to ski some and we are holding our collective breaths that nothing shows up as things are liable to do a year out. May the fourth be with us indeed!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Annual Mammogram

Men, if you don't want to hear about women's health issues, then stop reading right now. 

Interesting: I guess I have gotten to the age where anything I do that is not ordinary or usual makes my muscles ache. I don’t remember aching like this after a mammogram before — and boy I did last night and still have some left over ache this morning, especially under my arms. Phew. Otherwise it was as easy as this procedure can be and I have every reason to expect the results to be fine as usual. I just ache. 

My question to you, dear female readers, is have you experienced this or have I just reached "that age" where I can expect this sort of thing? 

The good news is they are not recommended past age 75 so only 4 to go!! 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Feeling Good

Feeling good ~ makes you feel good! Last Friday I had my annual physical and everything was good! My cholesterol numbers were especially good: the bad had lowered some so is at the high of good and still lowering. The good which few people get above 40 is 57 which the doctor contributes to my attendance in gym 5 days a week as well as my better diet. My blood sugar is fine. I asked what effects blood sugar and the basic answer is carbs. With the Weight Watchers food plan I am on, I eat very few carbs and when I do, I measure and so eat 1/2 a cup of rice or pasta, one slice of bread, being very careful and staying within my point count. 

I went into the appointment feeling good. I cannot sense my cholesterol or blood sugar, and yet knowing the numbers are good, I feel even better than I did at the start of the appointment. I pushed some of my exercises in gym this morning and that felt good. Knowing I am doing well is making me do even better and feel better. And, I don’t have to return until my annual physical next year. Yay!