Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘COOKING’

REWIND

I can’t count the number of times that I have started over . Weight up — new diet. Some with success for a short time but the weight came back — again and again. The problem is that for the most part I eat a healthy diet. Because of sodium restrictions I don’t eat a lot of processed foods. I don’t drink pop — regular or diet. I don’t eat a lot of bread or cookies or candy. In other words I don’t have a lot of food to give up in order to quickly lose weight. I learned that limiting meat doesn’t work for my body so vegetarian isn’t an option. I’ve been reading that some people have been successful by increasing their vegetable intake and decreasing the amount of protein. Still open to new ideas but treading cautiously. I prefer chicken thighs to chicken breasts. A recent article mentioned that chicken drumsticks and thighs were packed with vitamin K-2, a tough to find nutrient that blocks plaque buildup inside arteries.

I acquired an Instant Pot in the Fall. My plans to use it more often hasn’t worked out as I had planned. I have enough cookbooks. I just haven’t taken the time to develop enough recipes. I also have an older pressure cooker. I have used it for years when I’m cooking dried beans. Recently I used it to make turkey bone broth. A recipe in a new instant pot cookbook suggested it cook for an hour and a half. One and one made two. I realized I could use my older pressure cooker for the purpose. I was comfortable using it, and an hour and a half on the stove — adding heat to the house, seemed worthwhile. The result was fantastic. I’ve also learned that chicken feet are available for purchase at Wal-Mart, an ingredient mentioned for bone broth.

Because of the weather — January, February — I have limited my walking outside. We have a treadmill but I don’t like to use it. When we had our daughter’s dogs as guests, I stopped exercising. All three wanted to help me and I must admit, their help wasn’t needed. When the dogs left, I continued to be lazy. Any benefit I had gotten from exercise was soon lost. My neck became more stiff, hurt to turn when driving. Although I had continued with bone broth, my knees were rebelling. Lack of exercise, weight or weather — it is hard to tell.

I decided that I was going to increase the number of steps I walked each day. I wasn’t going to settle with 2,000. I aimed for 5,000. It is easy to get that number of steps when I’m shopping or walking outside. It is harder to get them when I’m restricted inside. Still stretching– I’m trying to increase the number of steps to 6,000.

Weight is down slightly, not enough to jump up and down and rave about, but my wrist is smaller. I’ve had to tighten the band on my watch. I’m hoping that reduced weight and increased steps will improve not only my weight but my walking ability. `

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CHALLENGES

Often I can tell what kind of day it is going to be when I first get up. Sometimes the events of the day run very smoothly. My fingers don’t drop everything I touch. I don’t burn myself on the stove. My morning readings are encouraging. If I have to drive, the traffic is light. I find parking places and can get out of the car. Sometimes there are even bargains or sales of items I need.

Then there are the other days. I have trouble finding or putting on my clothes. My knees protest more. I drop too many things or my fingers forget how to work.

This morning I woke to challenges. It had snowed yesterday, we weren’t buried but I knew that I didn’t want to drive to church. Walking was out of the question. Ice? Distance? I planned to increase the distance that I walk each day, but it is still in the planning stage. I went back to bed.

Descending the staircase, my knees protested. Opening the back door, snow covered the stairs. Have broom, will sweep. Some of the stairs were very icy. I was very glad I decided NOT to go to church. Success! Stairs swept, salt poured down and I stayed upright.

I planned to make a pork roast in the slow cooker. Luckily my husband brought the cooker up from the basement and I had the pork roast in the refrigerator upstairs. Planning ahead, I made a low sodium soy sauce from a recipe in a cookbook from our first trip to Hawaii. I hadn’t read through the recipe, it required more steps than I planned, the challenges continued. Oops! Brown the roast — it almost fell on the floor.

I turned on my I-pad only to learn the internet was down. I asked my son for “help”. He said he didn’t have any problems. The internet was on. I was just BLOCKED.

I know I’m not the only one who has these kind of days. When they start like this, I pay more attention and SLOW down! I did. After breakfast which my husband cooked. I laid down to watch a couple of favorite cooking shows. I fell asleep.

I knew I had to write a couple of thought rambles. I had just read a story of the importance of telling your family stories. Although many of our stories have already been written and published, life goes on and so do my experiences.

I ordered new snow boots. They arrived yesterday — BEFORE the SNOW! I put on my boots and the rest of cold weather gear. I got Robin’s leash. She NEVER does her business in the backyard unless it is in the middle of night. I planned to take her for a walk. I was surprised when I noticed that she squatted and took care of business. I guess she didn’t want me to go for a walk!

As I searched for a title for this thought ramble, I opened a couple who shared the title I was thinking of. When I read them, I noticed most were written near the anniversary of the fire which sent my mother and brother home. SURPRISE– the anniversary is this week –FRIDAY!

BACKWARD MORNING

Morning — what a lovely word if I have gotten a good nights sleep. Not so lovely when I am tired, want to stay in bed but know I have to get up. Or tired, but can’t go back to sleep. I have learned it makes no sense to lie in bed when the body is hurting. I don’t turn on the light when I get up. I always choose what I am wearing the night before. This morning everything I put on was put on backward. HOW? Clothes didn’t feel right. Took off and tried a different direction. Now often I’ll put on something backward or inside out but EVERYTHING? I was tempted to go back to bed.

If you have read my thought rambles for any length of time, you understand that my “job” is too share the happenings in my life, hopefully involving “spirit”. If I don’t write on a timely basis sleeping and life become more interesting. I often get hit on the head like I did this morning. I tried a couple of days ago but all I saw was a blank screen. I could NOT come up with a title. The title was given to me this morning when getting dressed became a challenge.

Since the morning was challenging — I hit my head on a hanging cabinet. I forgot the door was open. Oops! Oww! Rain was expected, arriving momentarily, I took Robin for a morning walk. Had a cup of coffee. Delayed starting the day — Bible, Queen of Angels. I usually plan the evening meal before getting out of bed in the morning. NO IDEA! I knew I’m in trouble. Have to write — no inspiration.

I acquired NINE (9) cookbooks since September — Instant pot, hot pot. I opened each one at random looking for an idea. The very first one showed a lovely picture of Apple Balsamic Chicken. but I continued looking through the rest. I found two more recipes that might work for our family — one a soup, the other meat I don’t have in the house. I’ll need to cook many more days. I was dragging my feet, delaying opening the computer.

Looking for a notebook to write the suggestions in, I found a notebook that I used in 2017. It had a few notes from 2018 also. I had wondered what was going on last Christmas. Why had I not baked cookies? Why had I not bought Christmas cards or lights on sale? Some of the answers were there. I would have gladly read through all of the written pages but that would not have solved the problem of needing a thought ramble to publish.

I received two gifts for Christmas that I didn’t mention. The first was laughter — I don’t know where it came from or who was responsible but I found a 2″ plastic minnow on the sink in our upstairs bathroom. ??
Christmas morning, Facebook picked, just for me, a lovely story about a little girl who wrote a letter to God about her Lab that went to heaven. A response arrived, along with a Mr. Rogers book. I don’t know who shared it with me, but I shared it with my family. My daughter’s golden retriever went home in October, her cancer had progressed.

DEBATE

This morning I had to laugh when I opened the bible to Job 40:25 “Can you lead about Leviathan with a hook.” I DON’T like opening the bible to Job. It usually is not good. This chapter Job had been arguing with God and God was responding with questions for Job to answer. I was reminded that I had been questioning the need for me to continue to write. Yesterday I opened a cookbook that I put together. It not only contain recipes that I make often, but verses of songs and poems that are meaningful to me. First I opened to a poem that was given to me when I sent To Pap, With Love to a publisher. “Never forget — Your presence is a gift to the world.” Next I opened to the Song THE SUMMONS. “Will you come and follow me if I but call your name.”

Okay, I understand. I’m being reminded to write. BUT I NEED SOMETHING TO WRITE ABOUT! It is not like I’m ignored by spirit — on the contrary — my life IS ALWAYS interesting. But I’ve grown accustomed to receiving help. I don’t get into the car without asking for “help” with my driving. As a matter of fact I’m usually asking for “help” many times during the day. It’s not that it is commonplace, except for me it probably is and I don’t note all the occasions.

Since the concept of my rambles is interaction with spirit I try to keep that the theme of my rambles.Since we spent the summer and part of the Fall in the country, I’m still trying to get caught up. No writing ideas, and I need three ramblers for the next three weeks. So I argue and receive “directions.”

I was reminded that many years ago I wrote The Voice. I was still learning the ways that spirit interacts with my life. Taking a writing class, our instructor asked us to write something different. I did, I LOVED IT and he wasn’t impressed. This mornings events reminded me.

Next week — for your enjoyment I will republish THE VOICES. It is in my book Journey With Me.

TOYS

This summer I acquired a cookbook for my slow cooker which made planning meals an adventure. We were at the camper. The big question “Would my husband not only eat it but enjoy it?” Every new recipe I tried, he invited friends to eat it with him. Thankfully, each recipe was a success.

Now we are home, in the city. Lately the temperature is COLD. It is only November but the air feels like winter. Although I still use my slow cooker, it is more tempting to use the oven. My winter recipes I have made for YEARS. At first, it was like visiting with old friends — so happy to see them again. I hate to admit that I’m bored — wondering what I should cook for supper. In my defense — I have cooked for more years than I care to count.

To the rescue — a new toy — an instant pot. I have used pressure cookers over the years — for canning and also cooking dry beans. I never gave it a prominent spot on my stove. I debated getting an instant pot for over a year. I even bought a cookbook and looked at the recipes available. I successfully left the pot in the store. Until Aldi’s featured the pot at a more affordable price. Now it is MINE! I’m still learning how to use it.

I have successfully burned myself with the steam. I thought I was being careful! Not careful enough. I wasn’t sure how to set the pot for pressure. I couldn’t reset the time. The last time I used it I was successful. I learned that you can not set the timing lower than the regulated time for that item. Needless to say, I don’t have one of the more expensive models.

Still looking for a new recipe to try, I have acquired two new cookbooks. The recipes are outside of my normal range. I would like to eat the food of the world — my husband is content with the food of the United States — not spicy. The new cookbooks contain recipes from South America, Italy, India, Korea — the world. I can reduce the sodium, I’m not sure how I can substitute ingredients by I’m willing to try.

Since I got the new pot, we haven’t been home enough to try it. I made my recipe for chili — dry kidney beans, finished in an hour. LOVELY! I recently made a macaroni, beef and cheese dish. The entire dish cooked in less than an hour. Both the “boys” liked it. I have received the go ahead to make it again. I made a note to add more seasoning to the sauce.

CELEBRATE

CELEBRATE

Every birthday is important, celebrated. Another year has passed with its challenges and blessings. Somehow entering a new decade carries more expectations. “Life begins at 40” was a quote I used often when I entered that decade. And for me, it did. I learned how to cross country ski and also discovered that I could paint. I’m way past that decade now.

When I turned 50, I graduated from junior college with an Associates degree. I learned that I didn’t learn things as easily as I did when I was younger. I actually had to study and reread parts of the chapters. When I was young, learning was easy. I read something and retained what I had read. Sadly, passing years didn’t give me the same advantage. I also stopped working during that decade. The job was hazardous to my health and my husband told me to quit before the job killed me. For a change I listened.

Writing became part of my life when I was 60. I self published To Pap, With Love, a children’s book Treasure Chest, and Journey with me. As that decade came to an end, I started writing Wandering With Spirit.

Now I’m in my 70″s. My family wants me to pick up my paint brush again. This time in acrylic, since my husband has Emphysema. I’m reminded constantly to lose weight and to exercise. Especially since a pulled hamstring in July stopped my exercising and stiff muscles are the outcome. “My friends in high places” are always encouraging me to write. The blog is over six years old. I seldom miss a week except this time since we were on vacation and only home one day before we were gone again. I have three new toys to cook with and I’m excited.

Recently when one of my daughters celebrated her 50th year, the universe joined in the celebration. Her horoscope for that day was amazing. We don’t believe everything that is written, but the details are always enjoyed. For fun, the temperature of the day was the same date as her birth year. Another blessing. Just to put the topping on the cake, her first initial appeared in the sky a cloud in the radar.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

DELAYED! Again — by choice or by circumstances. Does it matter? I usually have a rough plan for my day — nothing written, or impressive — just a rough plan. I used to be a night person, getting my energy in the late afternoon, accomplishing something in the evenings. That was long ago. Now I’m a morning person. If I don’t get something done before noon, it is a good bet that nothing of importance will be accomplished that day. If nothing else, I usually have an idea of what I’ll be making for supper.

Today — how can I describe today. GOD LAUGHED! I’m in the city, my husband is in the country. Original plan was that I was driving our granddaughter in to catch a plane to return to Florida. I was staying in the city to attend the Mind Body Spirit Expo over the weekend and return to the camper Monday or Tuesday. I didn’t feel good on Monday, accomplished NOTHING! Usually I have a couple of thought rambles lined up to publish. NOT NOW!

I tried to write yesterday. I had ONE sentence looking back at me from the screen. Mind BLANK. I was not impressed. Earlier in the day, I was reminded that I needed to write. I bumped into one of the pipes in the basement, hitting my head. The day before, I hit my head on the roof of the car. These are usually indications that I’m being reminded to write, share experiences.

Today, I stumbled across a few of the stories I had written for Journey With Me, I was IMPRESSED.

Back to my day. It is cooler, I planned to make cat fish in the oven. I planned to go shopping for food. My husband was going to travel with our middle daughter to our youngest daughter’s house. Our family had gathered at our camper for a weeks vacation and our daughter was taking advantage of time with her father. Since I was staying in the city for a few more days, I needed more food.

My husband phoned. He decided he needed a day to rest. Since Friday, he had been busy, traveling around the area — looking for the Bison in Natchusa, visiting Castle Rock and some of the other parks. Hiking opportunities. Because of my knees, we hadn’t visited them this year. If I was feeling better, he thought I should come out to the camper tomorrow.

Plans changed. No sense to go shopping if I wasn’t staying in town. I had made chicken and dumpling yesterday. There was enough left for today. Sitting at the table, talking to my husband, my watch came off my arm. The band broke! “Is someone trying to tell me something?”

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