Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Answering Machines

Remember when answering machines first came out and we all hated to hear our own voices on the thing?  That is kind of how I feel about this video chatting.  I'm quite sure I don't look like the woman saying my words.  Can I get an avatar instead?


I tried to put wrinkles, sags and more white hair.  Darn, it wouldn't let me. Hahahaha.  Guess I'll just have to go like my 30 yo self. 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Not a lot to say.

I broke down and order some washable facemasks from Etsy.  I had hoped that disposable masks would eventually find the way back to the shelves but then I would have to go to the store(s) without a mask to see.  I couldn't find any disposable you could buy online and with pollen as bad as it is down here, I should probably wear one on high bloom days. 

Anyway, glad to support a home-store.  The masks I bought are made of white dotted cotton and have a pocket for inserts.  I bought 2 and figured I could wash them in the sink with lots of bleach and the white material wouldn't fade much.  Speaking of, I guess I need to order more bleach.  I keep it on hand for cleaning but only buy the smallish bottles.   If I can find a large one, it won't go bad if this "thing" should happen to end before the bleach does.

Life has been so boring. I signed on for a free week of Starz and watched Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.  I had wanted to see it but had negative feelings about the fact they used the Sharon Tate murder story.  Turns out, I loved the ending and wish it had been true for that poor group of friends. 

I have washed so much TV that I may never watch it again after we are released.  I have watched parts of the worst programs I've ever seen on Netflix and Amazon Prime.  The fact that they cancel shows I love and spend the money making these awful programs astounds me.  I know there are all kinds of different tastes out there but I have to seriously worry about the people that like some of these programs.  Hahaha.  They'd probably laugh at my choices too.

Other than the need to make a grocery trip, everything is fine.  My sleep is back to rotating around the clock.  No problem.  It's not like it prevents me from going anywhere.  Buddy and I take our two walks a day.  No long walks.  Only had one person walk next to me on the sidewalk and she was talking on her phone and probably (hopefully) didn't realize she wasn't distancing.  I usually go to the street (luckily we have those extra-wide streets with bike lanes) if I see someone else on the sidewalk and they do not look like they are going to distance themself.   Since she was coming up behind me I expected her to move to the street.  Ha. I wish I could teach Buddy to growl on command. 

More later ...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

So, what's new?

Things are not bad over here.  I have groceries and toilet paper and haven't been to the grocery store since I decided to hunker down, except for the time I made a late-night run for chocolate.  I always knew it would be chocolate that killed me one of these days.

The weather has been very pleasant and my walking numbers are up.  Buddy has been hanging out on the balcony and we are working on "no barking" but I think he is bored too. 

Our meal delivery only lasted four days.  I think their volunteers probably petered out.  I only got one meal out of it because of my insulin timing and it was roasted drumstick and potato with orange slices.  Tasted so nice.  I really appreciated it since I don't cook anymore and can't go out to restaurants now.  I  did hear about two local restaurants that were still serving but I just don't see the sense in risking that - says the woman who went out for chocolate. 

My oldest Grand Girl made me sign on to something called Marco Polo.  It is a chat line.  I usually send her pictures and texts to her phone anyway but this way it records a little video, I think, and you talk or send videos back and forth like a CB (remember those?).  So I've sent pictures of Buddy playing and the fish swimming.  They are not really at the conversation stage or so I thought until Grand Girl said she had a friend waiting to Chat so she would talk to me later.  I am being dragged into the future whether I want to or not.

I don't have any masks and don't have a sewing machine to make one but decided if I do need one I am going to cut up a puppy pad the size of a bandana and wear it.  I mean if nothing leaks through to my floor then it ought to protect me from an airborne virus. 

More later. ....

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Some Pleasant News

The day before yesterday the office sent a notice that the office would be closed and no maintenance except emergencies.  Of course, phone and email options are still available so everything should run smoothly. 

Then yesterday we got a notice that the organization supporting our apartments would be providing lunch for an undetermined time on Monday through Friday from 11 to 12 at one of the large patio areas. 

The area has tables, chairs and couches that were spread out to allow for social distancing.  I arrived at 11:00 and a few neighbors were already there.  Our craft counselor who works for the organization and was organizing the event told us that the food was delayed because they had such a large turn out at all the locations they support. 

I talked to a couple of my neighbors and then decided I would walk Buddy and come back.  When I came back lunch had still not arrived but I had to go home and eat because I had already taken my insulin. 

I know some of the people living here (55+ community) have health problems and some don't have cars. 

For some, this may be the one good meal they have.  I thought this was so kind in this time of unpleasantness. 

PS  I have worn the new shirts I bought.  I look really good watching TV.  Hahaha.

More later....

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Grocery Shopping

My check hit the bank this morning so I logged in to place a pick-up order at Kroger.  For whatever reason, and I can think of a few, they have discontinued drive-up orders, for today anyway.  So, I threw on a dress and ran to the market.  There were a lot of people but not that much more than normal.  There were large baskets in the check out line but then I don't know what size family they have or who they are shopping for. 

I was able to get toilet paper and paper towels but some of the strangest things were out.  I only eat the solid white albacore tuna and there was none, but there was regular tuna so I got what I could get.  I eat a lot of tuna for my protein so the better quality is important.

It went on like that.  I eat specific food over and over to keep my sugar level and to make it easier to keep my cabinet stocked.  Here were some surprises. 

Peanut Butter.  I only eat Jiff Crunchy.  None.  I was that much surprised since that is a Hurricane basic but there were other brands of Creamy available.  I didn't realize Jiff Crunchy was a favorite.

Cereal.  When I eat cereal I usually eat Honey Nut Cheerios.  None on the shelf.  Regular Cheerios and thousands of other brands - shelves were quite full - so I had to go for the knock-off Honey Nuts in a bag.  You know the kind I mean?

Milk.  I don't drink a lot of milk but when I do I drink 2%.  So, there was whole milk and 1% milk so I got the 1% to go with my fake Honey Nuts. 

I got two small bags of dog food but forgot puppy pads.  Duh.  I plan on walking a lot more but they are a necessity.  Always out for emergency needs.  No. 1 item on my next trip.

I bought Boost Glucose Control for sudden drops in sugar.  I usually drink Rich Chocolate which is palatable.  I bought two cartons but ended up with 1 Vanilla.  Yuck.  It may turn out to be ok but I generally don't like Vanilla drinks.  Oh well, time to learn. 

I needed garbage bags.  I usually buy Kroger brand with the pull string which holds up pretty well.  Not today.  I picked up the kind where you tie the flaps.  They may work just fine but I'm frustrated that in my haste to get through the store I ended up buying some of the wrong items. 

I spent more than I have ever spent in my life but I do not feel that I took more than I should.  I have heard that a few stores are having the first hour of the day for seniors only.  I think that is nice but I haven't heard Kroger is doing that.  I did see that the reduced hours are 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.  Very reasonable for working people I think. 

I did talk to a couple of neighbors yesterday.  It seems we have all got cabin fever.  The schools are closed so the traffic is reduced significantly.  I've seen a lot of dog walkers I've never seen before.  I wonder if some of those people are working at home now. 

I looked at paperbacks in the grocery store but I have used the library for so long that I had sticker shock. 

Did you see this meme.  So funny. 

More later.....

Monday, March 16, 2020

Just Checking In

I was offline while the Grand Girls were here so I tried to catch up on my reading of your blogs this morning.  I did very little commenting because I am having a bit of brain fog today.  So please know that is the reason you have not had a response from me. 

I'm broke this month because I had a bit of a spending spree.  I bought several lightweight, sleeveless cotton shirts for our year-long Texas summer weather.  I was excited about wearing my new purchases but it looks like I won't be going anywhere to wear them for a while. 

I also bought myself some curtains for the front windows.  By the way, I have lived in this apartment a year now and renew my lease this month so I guess you could say it is working out well.  As I've told you many times, I love watching the sun come up or set, depending on my sleep schedule, through the trees across the boulevard.  I have vacillated on buying curtains since I moved here. 

Last week I received a coupon from World Market so when I was near I stopped in.  I was not looking for curtains, just for my $10 shopping credit, but saw some I couldn't live without.  So now I have curtains and they make me happy. 

Since I spent all my money on my new purchases, I cannot go out and binge on toilet paper. 

The weather has been lovely here.  I did a little work on my flower pots and have been able to leave the door cracked so Buddy could go on the balcony.  He loves the outside feeling and watching all the walkers but acts a fool.  I decided during this social isolation I would try to teach Buddy not to bark.  This involves me getting up and shaking a finger quite often but at least it will keep my hips well oiled. 

This will not be an easy task as many small dogs, like Buddy, are barkers but you are limited on what you can accomplish during a pandemic.  This may also be a good time to lengthen my walk time if we are not told to stay completely inside at some point.  I simply don't have the mental energy to panic and trust that I have raised my children to be responsible and care for their families.

For me and Buddy, we will try to be diligent.  Insulin has a shelf life and I have to get one of mine at Walmart.  I don't know what will happen if they close the store because their pharmacy does not have a drive-through and I save $100 by buying it there.  My other Insulin will be ready for renewal next week I think so I will have 90 days of that.  It sure would be nice if I could buy my insulin by mail but it has to be refrigerated.  Where is a drone when you need one?

More later ....

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Groceries, Coronavirus, David Duchovny and Spring Break

I placed my first order to be picked up from Kroger this afternoon.  I'm doing this partly to keep myself germ-free and partly because of my cough.  I have allergies almost year-round and am constantly sneezing and coughing.   There is something about recycled air in a store that causes me to cough frequently.  It doesn't seem to matter if it is a thrift store or high-end dress store, I still seem to cough.  I will try to stay at home and spare others the scare.  I would get tested but I have no other cold/flu systems.  Since it is possible I could still get exposed and I don't know what Medicare will end up paying, I'll save my test for when I have the flu symptoms. 

Speaking of, isn't it sad about Tom and Rita Hanks being exposed in Australia, assumably.  Apparently, Rita really had the flu symptoms.  American royalty so I'm sure they will get the best treatment. 

I'm surprised our President hasn't used the Mexicans, et al at the Border to reinforce his plans for the Wall.  Maybe he is doing something secretly we don't know about.  Once a liar, always a liar so who knows. 

I watched Aquarius (the tv show) with David Duchovny on Netflix.  I watched an episode or two when it was on in 2015 but I was not feeling it then.  Since watching Mindhunter and Ted Bundy programs, I guess I am a little more anesthetized.  I read the book Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi, the Manson prosecutor after it came out in 1974.  I have never been a true-crime book reader so I'm not sure why I read it except I guess to understand why but there is no explanation to crazy. 

By the way, Duchovny was Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton, received a Master of Arts in English Lit from Yale and started on his Ph.D. but never finished it.  Who knew?

This tv program was loosely based on real life.  Manson was portrayed in just the way I expected him to look and act.  David Duchovny played a fictitious police officer who ended up investigating the Tate murders.  The show was about the events of the times in all of its ugly glory and ended with the murders at the Tate house but not the arrests and trial.  I have never been particularly attracted to Duchovny.  He is a nice looking man but in this show, he was showing signs of aging in a most attractive way. 

I don't think I ever thought of this while I was dating at that age, but there is a stage where a man's jawline begins to soften a little and the area under his chin is a little looser and dare I say if you are looking up, the face as a whole tends to hang forward a little.  Well, Duchovny was about 55 in real life at the time of filming and darned if this old girl didn't flashback on the past and think - yeah, that was a good stage in man's life. 

And, of course, I loved the clothes and hairstyles of the times.  I loved the focus on politics and politicians as well. 

So watching this two series program was my relaxation, although it did cause me a lot of thinking, during a four-day spring break visit with the Grand Girls.   We did make salt dough ornaments and they had a lovely time.  We made our usual visit to the library on the day before they left so they weren't here long enough to read.  They spent one evening with my daughter and her adopted boy.  The youngest told me that the adopted boy told the Oldest girl he wanted to marry her but she told him no because she was too young (10)!  OMG, I'll have to keep my eyes open. 

Buddy and Youngest watching Video

It's hard to make salt dough without getting flour Somewhere


Or Everywhere

More later .....


Monday, March 2, 2020

Dick Tracy comics

Suz at BusyBeeSuz brought up Gravel Gertie and a funny story about her Grandmother.  I got to thinking about Sunday comics.  Remember when there was a big section, in color, devoted to age-old favorites and newly introduced characters.  I met Charlie Brown, Lil' Abner, and Dick Tracy there. 

I remember a character from Dick Tracy called Sparkle Plenty.  My youngest Grand Girl who is all arms and legs and movement loves pink and purple sparkly things and I often refer to her as Sparkle Plenty.  So, I decided to look up the backstory and found this amazing comic cover. 


Oh my goodness.  I forgot about B.O. Plenty and didn't know that is where I heard of Gravel Gertie until I read Suz post.  I do remember both of their drawings now that I've looked them up.  

Ok, confess.  Those of you with iphone watches - don't you feel like Dick Tracy when you talking on them?  Haha.  I confess everything comes around again.  

More later....

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Quick catch up

Here is my 70 yo birthday selfie.  I couldn't get a good picture.  They all looked like a teenager making faces at the camera.  Here I am trying to hold my eyes open so I look like I have more than slits.   Hahaha. 

Also, the day is nice so I had the door open and Buddy was laying in the sunshine.  I thought this one turned out pretty well.  Kind of like a boudoir picture for dogs. 

Well, my energy is on the way up again.  Thank goodness.  My kids bought me a Fitbit for my birthday.   In case you don't know, Fitbit is a watch-like contraption that records your steps/walks/runs, blood pressure/heartbeat, and sleep.   Anyway, I had been wanting one but was too cheap to buy it in case it disappointed me.  I am far from an athlete but was curious about a lot of the information the watch offered.  Do you call it a watch?  It does tell date/time.  It doesn't matter. 

Buddy and I took a good, but not extra long this morning.  The walk was 1,800+ steps.  Wow, that sounds like a lot and that is only one of two daily walks.  Unfortunately, the aim is 10,000 steps so, nope, gotta long way to go. 

As my blood sugar gets balanced again, I look forward to seeing how far I can push myself.  So much fun.  (Has anyone watched the tv program Miranda with Miranda Hart?  The mother always says So Much Fun and I had visions of her as I said it.)

It also recorded my sleep and that was interesting.  It graphed the light sleep, deep sleep and awake moments in the night.  I'm going to read up on sleep next and see how my nights compare to what is considered a good night's sleep. 

More later ....

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Trying to Keep the Synapses Firing

Today is an all-time low.  Only the thought that a shot of insulin may make me feel better could get me out of bed this morning.  This is a terrible disease and I just want to warn people and beg them to get treatment and follow a healthy routine.  They say it makes you feel tired and I can't think of a better way to describe it but to think that you do not have the energy to get out of bed and go to the kitchen is a scary feeling.  Anyway, I am trying to keep the brain working so it doesn't get rusty while waiting for my body to find it's way up again. 

I do have an idea about what happened.  Since I have Roku TV, I don't have to watch ads most of the time.  However, Hulu, for one, has commercials - and I do pay for that, not included with Roku.  There have been a lot of commercials for Weight Watchers and I decided to buy a one-month online membership.  I knew they had a course for diabetics at one time but when I logged in and filled out the form it took me directly to Blue Plan.  I figured a low-calorie plan would probably mean low carbs also but it didn't work so well for me.  I couldn't balance my insulin with the plan and kept getting lows.  So I've given it up.  Luckily I just bought a month.  I have to say I do like their computer program of picking recipes and entering the values for food that are not on there.  The program did ask for carbs as well as other vital info but the information was geared to how many points and not showing me (although I could have found the info) my carb consumption.  I'm going to research it a little further to see if I can make it work for me but I would say that with my limited use as a diet plan and counting program, I thought it was worth the money. 

Aside from that, I celebrated my Birthday by watching two of the Oscar/Academy nominees.  First I watched Parasite.  It is the first foreign film to win.  Now you know I watch a lot of foreign tv and film but I remember the first foreign film I saw and how hard it was to watch the screen and the words at the same time so I am really surprised from that standpoint.  However, all those awards shows really like strange movies most of the time so I can see it from that standpoint.  The story was somewhat interesting.  My daughter loved it and I would not have paid to see it.  Two views. 

The next night I watched the Joker.  What???  Joaquin Phoenix portrayed an incredibly strange person which was just right for him.  I'm glad I saw it but I wouldn't have paid for it (saying after the fact).  What I did like was how the story led you right to the beginning of Batman, so like some of the Star Wars movies, you might want to see it for that reason. 

Next I am going to watch Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.  Quentin Tarantino is another strange bird.  I have liked a few of his movies and been quite confused by others.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt both like strange movies at times so all three together - I just don't know but I'm going to pay my money and take my chance.  

Something that I did see and truly enjoyed was a mini-series called something like the Million Dollar American Princesses.  It was the story of some 200 American Heiresses who went to Europe to find Titled Husbands.  It delves into the history of each Heiress and the history of each Aristocrat.  It was heartbreakingly sad for some of them.  This one I recommend if you like that kind of thing. 

Well, I feel like my brain is warmed up and moving a bit better.  Thanks for hanging in there with me. 

And you will note that 70 years old does not mean you lose your vanity and give up on your chubby little body.  Hahaha.

More later ....

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Birthday Musings

Today is my birthday.  I am 70 years old.  Some of you have already seen this day and for others, it is somewhere in the distant future.  For me, it just seems so strange.  In my mind, I think I'm about 32 with two schoolers to tend to.  Instead, I've got two Grand Girls just about the same age. 

Birthday Card from oldest GG (and Buddy)

I wish I could ask my mother if she can believe I'm this age.  She'd probably say that I'm lucky she let me live this long.  She was loving but strict.  There was quite a bit of combustion when I was a teenager.  Hahahaha.

I wish my Grandmother could see me now.  My heart always belonged to her. 

My children bought me a Fitbit which I really wanted and a bunch of books and tools to do mandalas.  I still seem to like the crafts from the 60s and 70s.  Is it just because that was all around me or is it because it is true to my soul.  I think it was true to my soul but what if I had been born at a different time?  Would I be a totally different person with different interests?  My daughter and I are very alike in our lifestyles, crafts, music and art appreciation.  So maybe I would still be myself. 

The Grand Girls were here this weekend and I had just the right amount of energy, but the last two days I have been dragging.  Yesterday was domino day and I couldn't go but I will follow up and see if anyone turned up and if so, try again. 

My brain goes into slow gear with my body when I get these energy drops but I'll be right as rain soon.  So, that's all for now. 

More Later .....

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Bus Passes

Yesterday the complex had a presentation by the Metro (bus) System.  They were giving away free passes for the residents who are 70+.  They also offered reduced fares for residents under 70.   Since my car is still running smoothly, I didn't really need a pass but I just couldn't refuse something for free.  LOL. 

We have a bus stop just on the next corner and I have seen several of our residents catch it.  One of my neighbors who has bad knees and trouble walking takes a handicap special bus (which the Metro provides).  The bus comes by the apartments and he rides his scooter to the pickup location in our driveway.  This type of bus accommodates scooters and wheelchairs with a lift ramp. 

Houston has a large bus service coverage.  When I worked downtown I would drive to a large shopping center in my area, park my car there and then get on at the bus stop.  We were given a choice by the law firm of a free bus pass paid by the law firm or a parking stipend.  As you can imagine parking downtown was expensive and time-consuming nightmare so I opted for the bus. 

Then the Park 'N Ride was put into effect.  This was essentially a large parking lot (located off a main freeway) specially built so the busses could circle in and out.   You could park there for free and then ride a nice, comfortable bus that took you from the parking lot directly to a major downtown street where you would get off and walk to your building.  It was very nice.  They were upper-class buses and very comfortable but, of course, more expensive than the City Bus I rode before. 

The great thing about riding the bus was how much wear and tear I saved on my car.  My car lasted a really long time and had low mileage when I passed it on to the kids. 

This was long before Uber but if you were in a situation where you needed a car, like a child emergency - you would take a cab to your parking lot and go from there.  If you knew you had a doctor's appointment or another need for your car during the day, you could just drive in and pay for one day of parking. 

Then they developed a rail line on Main St. downtown.  It was a contentious fight by voters against spending the money for same but somehow City Hall won.  One interesting outcome of the rail was that it ran from downtown to the Medical Center (which is quite big if you didn't know). So it was very easy for downtown workers to jump on the rail (train) and go to doctor appointments, etc. in the Med Center - and avoid the very high parking rates there.  I still don't see the need for it but I have used it once or twice.

And finally, the Metro provides us with rides to the Rodeo.  I don't think my pass would cover this but it is well worth the little bit Metro charge.  You go to a local football stadium or shopping center and they have long lines of very nice busses which take you directly from the parking place to a special drop-off at the Rodeo.  The busses run continuously so when the show is over, you just get back in a return line.  Our Rodeo lasts about 2 weeks and has a big star playing every night and matinee.  While it is not everyone's choice, I find it a blessing and it makes those long lines into the Stadium parking lot a breeze. 

I guess that is more than you ever wanted to know about the Houston Metro System.  What I really started out to say about getting my free pass was that I was not able to attend the presentation (although I did get signed up for my Pass) because of the noise reverberating in my ears.  I explained why I left to our community director and she said she had complaints about that before.  Good to know.

I still plan to attend the domino meeting.  I will go without my hearing aids on and see if that is bearable.  If there are any interested domino players we could always relocate to one of the many tables around the complex.  Anyway, it is still an option. 

More later .....

Monday, February 10, 2020

Marvin Gaye and Dominoes - No, not together

Bet your wondering how I knew about your plans to make me blue ......

I saw this A Cappella performance of Marvin Gaye doing Heard it Through the Grapevine on FB and just had to share.  He was truly marvelous.  And, does anybody else remember a dance called the Grapevine?  Sometimes it's great to be old!

Well, I haven't really done anything fun while I've been missing in action.  Of course, my sleep pattern changed again.  Now getting up at Midnight, give or take an hour, and sleeping about 10 hours.  The time change started after I had a blood sugar drop and seems to be stuck there.  I have to say my body feels incredibly rested. I'm surprised that I'm not in some kind of funk from oversleeping.   

I've missed my appointment with the Dietician/Diabetic Educator but notified her and will explain in detail when I finally get there.  I'll be missing a small family reunion in Dallas next weekend but had to turn down the invite as I don't think anyone will be keeping my hours to talk to.  

My middle sister found a small lump in her breast a couple of weeks ago.  She went to the doctor, then had an aspiration of the cyst, then saw an oncologist who took a biopsy which showed clean but sister had them go ahead and remove it and they found cancer cells on the outside of the lump.  Now she goes back to get a node and tissue from the area removed just in case.  Remember ladies, health concerns are not over until they're over so keep up with this and other check-ups.  And, by the way, she did have a clean mammogram just months before she found the lump.  

Apartment News: On Tuesday of each week we have various games, lectures and different types of get-togethers in the Common Room.  I've tried going to some of the get-togethers but the tile floors and all the talking reverberates through my hearing aids and it is just not enjoyable.  However, I noticed that they added a new event on the monthly calendar and we will be having dominoes and scrabble on one of the Tuesdays.  While I do like scrabble, I love dominoes.  My grandmother taught me to play dominoes when I was a kid and it was a big thing whenever I spent the night with her.  Awe.  Such a sweet memory.  I am going to this meet-up and take a chance that there will be less people there (dominoes seems to be a love it or you don't game) so maybe I will be able to hear.  If not, maybe I'll take my hearing aids out and play in silence.  I don't need to hear to count the dots anyway. 

More later .....


Friday, January 24, 2020

Article for Diabetics and a mention of Kidneys

This post will be more for diabetics and people who love them.  So please feel free to skip this one if you have no interest.

Class Action lawsuits on drugs are somewhat common these days.   We know some drugs have had terrible side effects for some people.  I read the article below on one of my Diabetes websites and I know that the SGLT2 inhibitors have given some diabetics serious problems. 

The article deals with excess sugar in the urine which can cause yeast infections and later in the article how SGLT2 drugs can also contribute.  After I read this I asked a friend whose law firms deals with class action drug lawsuits and she told me that there was a real concern about a couple of them.  Since my BIL who is Type 2 and has had serious foot problems as well as being a person with kidney problems before the diabetes, I immediately sent this article to my sister. 


By the way, after a warning from the doctor, she put him on a kidney diet and he showed great kidney improvement during his current check-up.  So anybody with kidney problems, it might be worth trying the kidney diet. 

More later ....

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Cherry Angel Cream Cake (Diabetic Recipe)

I wanted to share this delicious looking Cherry Angel Cream Cake recipe I saw on Diabetic Enjoying Food.  I've saved several good recipes from here but eat at your own carb risk.  I don't think I'll be enjoying any - like the 1960s Lays Potato Chip commercial - I can't eat just one (slice). 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Spring Gardening is in My Heart but Not In The Air

I got a new container gardening book this week and I am dying to buy plants and pots and ......

I used to garden in my yard all the time.  Working for lawyers (read mental fatigue), I would come home every day, and immediately put on my old, "it is already ruined" gardening clothes.  I had all kinds of shovels and spades, wheelbarrows, gardening gloves, and kneeling pads.  I  played out there until I was worn out.  A hot relaxing shower or soak, pjs, and a good book or tv show.  It kept my body parts moving and my head sane for a long time. 

I had a chain-link fence around my yard.  My behind-me neighbor had two hunting-trained labs.  Those dogs never barked and were kept in large, very nice fenced areas.  The dogs seemed to be well fed and cared for but I hated they weren't free to roam. 

It was my understanding that the behind-me neighbor ran a duck hunting business so I guess they were trained to work and not play.  He did let them out fairly regularly and when he did my dogs would run up and down the fence line with them.  My dogs made enough noise to raise the dead but his stayed quiet. 

I planted a row of red-tip photinias that grow very tall and broad down here.  I soon had a very nice shrub-fence blocking the view of my neighbor's yard, yet letting the natural airflow on days with wind.  I loved to see my dogs dart under the branches and glimpses of them as they ran back and forth.  They came in happy and worn-out too.

Every time I see red-tips I think of my little house.  It was the house I lived in when I first came down with diabetes and my life became so complicated.  It was from there I moved to my first apartment since leaving home.  I miss having a yard but intend to make my little balcony the best playground possible. 

I went on the Walmart webpage because I saw some pots on sale.  From there I was like a zillionaire, clicking add to My Cart on everything my little gardening heart desired.  I was over $380 when I shut it down.  It was such fun and I didn't really spend a penny since I exited and did not push Pay. 

Last year I bought half a dozen different types of small plants recommended by my then favorite gardening book.  I have figured out what works and doesn't work of those I bought.  This year I will add a few more different plants that work for small container gardens.  I also want to buy one of those raised flower beds on legs to put on the side of the balcony that looks down on the sidewalk.  Although I would like a tall shelf, it would have to have some kind of lattice-type backing so pots could not fall backward off the shelf and hit a neighbor on the head.  For now, I'll have to limit myself on how many pots I can fit on my balcony. 

As I said, gardening is in my Heart and Head right now but Mother Nature has not caught up with me.  It is cold and rainy and something blew in with the weather than has me sneezing and blowing my nose.  That's ok.  It doesn't cost to dream .... or remember. 

More later .... 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Are You Dehydrated?

This time of year we don't often worry about becoming dehydrated but there are many of us that don't drink enough water, even in the winter. 

We've all read about the importance of water, how our bodies are mostly water, and how much water we should drink each day.  I'm not going to go over this but I will say diabetics, cancer, and dementia patients can also have problems staying hydrated any time of the year. 

One of the diabetic sites I read had the suggestion to try these hydrating foods.  The article link is below the list. 

  1. cucumber
  2. applesauce
  3. carrots
  4. cottage cheese (with celery as a scooper) 
  5. popsicles
  6. watermelon 
  7. iceberg lettuce
  8. grapes
  9. yogurt
  10. broccoli
  11. jello 
  12. tomatoes and tomato sauce 
  13. oranges
  14. soup 
  15. cantaloupes
  16. strawberries and other berries 
  17. bell pepper 
  18. kiwi
I am perpetually dehydrated.  I drink very little in a day.  Even before I reached this glorious age of almost 70 with severe diabetes, my legs and arms were often showing the signs (read it as alligator skin) of dehydration.   

You know, of course, that coffee, tea, and coke do not count as substitutes for water.  I had a hard time teaching myself to drink water when I started trying to control my numbers.  Apparently, if there is not enough water your blood gets thick and your numbers go higher.  Come on.  Is there nothing that diabetes doesn't affect?  It doesn't feel like it.  

I have noticed on certain occasions that I wanted to each something wet.  Watermelon and cantaloupe come to mind so I was very interested to read this article about how I could add more liquid to my intake without grabbing another glass of water.  

Some of you may take a medicine that makes your mouth dry or some of you might be poor water drinkers like me.  This does seem like an easy way to saunter into good health. 

More later .... 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Mindhunter Canceled by Netflix

This post will not have any interest for some of you because (1) you don't have Netflix, and (2) you don't want to watch a show that is ultimately about the mind of a serial killer.  

That is ok, I understand. You already know I watch some strange programs.  I prefer cozy murders, a la Agatha Christie - there is a body in the library- but this show has appealed to me from an intellectual aspect that I find strange myself.  

What makes a killer?   Are some people born bad?  Why do you cross the road when you see one person coming toward you and not another?  Is it all about childhood?  Is it about nature or nurture?  

The series is loosely based on John E. Douglas and his book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit.  The character of Holden Ford is based on Douglas. The character of Bill Tench is loosely based on Robert K. Reesler.  I was not familiar with either of these men or the book.  

I did kind of fall for the Bill Tench character with his smooth dry wit and everyman sensibility.  Apparently Holt McCallany the actor who plays Tench has been in the business some 30 years.  I didn't recognize either McCallany or Jonathan Groff who plays the wide-eyed gung-ho younger of the two.  

Here is a better description of the program from The Men's Journal - you can read the whole article by clicking on the link:

Mindhunter follows FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (McCallany) during the nascent days of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit in the late 1970s. The two agents travel the country teaching local cops federal investigative techniques, while developing the fields of criminal psychology and criminal profiling. How they get that done: Interviewing some of the most notorious real-life serial killers in U.S. history, including Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton) and Richard Speck (Jack Erdie).
The perfect way to sum up the series might be this line from McCallany’s Tench to the higher-ups at the FBI when he defends Holden’s new way of thinking: “How do we get ahead of crazy if we don’t know how crazy thinks?” Tench asks.https://www.mensjournal.com/entertainment/holt-mccallany-having-career-moment-mindhunter-its-about-damn-time/ 
While I truly enjoyed the program what baffles me is why Netflix canceled it.  Netflix never shares viewer information.  Popularity is shared through word of mouth, or word of social media I should probably say. 

When researching why this show was dropped, I read this on Popculture - you can read the whole article by clicking on the link: 
For Netflix, there is more value in variety than longevity, argues Showbiz Cheat Sheet. The company keeps its subscribers hooked with a seemingly endless catalog, not by making them come back for the same show year after year. https://popculture.com/streaming/2019/08/10/why-netflix-keeps-canceling-their-shows/#5
The show is also set in the '70s which is a favorite time in my life and the clothes, music and social standards are all a joy for me to watch.  But there must be more than this because there was a series, HBO, I think, called Deuce.  Set in the same time frame but to me, it was an ugly, grimy portrayal of the times and I didn't like it.  

I kind of hate the fact that there are more really dumb shows out there on the channels I am paying for and then they cancel the ones I like.  Is it me?  Am I old and set in my ways?  Yes, probably.  If no one liked the show but me, why not say it was canceled for lack of an audience? That I could understand.  Frustration.  It is not just this show but the fact that I feel unappreciated and treated irresponsibly as a fan of and subscriber to Netflix.  

Just sayin' ....

Friday, January 17, 2020

What is a Bread Store? And does high fiber bread effect dogs?

Since some of you had never heard of a bread store, I thought I'd talk about it a little bit. 

My first experience with bread stores was in Alexandria, Louisiana.  There was a Bunny Bread bakery off the main drive.  The aroma floated for miles in all directions.  It really is true, there is nothing like the smell of fresh-baked bread.  There was a Bunny Bread Outlet in town but I never went there at the time. 

Go even further back in my history to somewhere between the age of 3-4.  After my parents got divorced we lived with my grandmother in a house not far from where I am now.  Across the street from that house was the Borden Milk Company.  I was fascinated as a child with the glass milk jugs (four in a crate) that came out of one opening in the building, followed the path on the conveyor belt to where the crates were loaded on Borden Milk trucks.  I don't know if these trucks were home delivery or being delivered to the stores but I do remember that we did get home delivery back then.  Because this was such a big and pleasant memory, I think my interest in company stores might have started here. 

To continue, my first experience with bread stores was not until much later.  I was quite a coupon cutter when my kids were little.  They thought it was great fun for us all to sit at the table and cut the coupons out of the Sunday handouts and loved to see how much we saved.  They were also great about taking a coupon for, say cereal, and searching the isle for the exact item.  Bless their little souls. 

Not until I had grandchildren did I discover my first bread store.  I took some side road one day and there it was,  a Mrs. Baird's outlet.  It smelled like there was a bakery behind the store but the smell was not as strong as the Bunny Bread in Alexandria.  One day I stopped and went in.  I was amazed at the number of foods that were there besides loaves of bread. 

Whenever I was in that area I would stop but it wasn't often.  However, the grandson loved going there so when we could, we would pick out those odds and ends of breakfast treats (honey bun, donuts, pies).  I never figured out the relationship of the bread store to the bakery.  Was it made on sight?  Was it day-old bread? Store returns?  I never thought to google it -- now, of course, I google everything. 

The Sunbeam Bread Store I go to now is easy to swing by on my usual routes.  I even stop there when I am on the way to my grocery if I'm low on bread.  I have never looked at the dates so I do not know if they are prior to or just past their sell-by date.  I know that I have been very happy with the bread.  It always seems fresh to me.  I usually buy three loaves at a time and immediately freeze them.  They are 75 cents a loaf with a 20 or 30% discount for seniors on Wednesday.  If you compare that to the $2.25 or so you pay for a loaf at the grocery that is quite a nice bit of change in my pocket. 

I do eat a lot of sandwiches just because they are easy.  Tuna, egg salad, and pimento cheese are my go-to.  I love pimento cheese on toast for breakfast.  Strange, I guess.  This may all come to an end with the Nutritionist/Diabetes Educator so I only picked up two this week - one white and one the mighty Nature's Own Life Double Fiber Wheat Bread.

By the way, when I looked for an image to share I found the Double Fiber for sale at $8.99 on one web site!  That really makes me feel like I've saved compared to my 75 cents purchase. 

Now, for the too-much-information part, Buddy usually eats some of the crust off my sandwiches.  So Buddy got to try the Double Fiber bread also.  Hahaha.  Three times on one walk yesterday and twice on one walk this morning.  Yep, it definitely works on dogs too.  So, no, I won't be feeding him any more crust bits of double fiber. 

Speaking of the goofball, I have been trying to teach him to roll over.  He HATES it.  He runs around in circles and barks at me.  I'm going to have to find a really good treat to convince him to try this trick. 

More later......

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Dumb Things I Have Done Recently

There is a gremlin in my computer and I keep losing things I have typed.  First an Alien and then a Gremlin, time to call Ghost Busters! This all fits in with the comedy of errors happening to me. 

-  You know that I listen to my tv through blue-tooth headphones.  I have more trouble hearing in rooms with hard floors, not carpet, or high ceilings.  Since I prefer hardwood floors this has been a real conundrum.  I do have carpet now but have continued to use my headphones to protect my neighbors from loud tv.  So when I set off to do chores the other day I still had my headphones on.  I got in my car. Drove around to the laundry.  I started loading my clothes in the washer and the headphones feel off on the floor when I bent over. Luckily there was no one else in the laundry to see this. I had also taken a bag of garbage to the container earlier that morning.  I can't don't know if I had them on then also. 

- No, that is not the only dumb move.  When I backed out of the non-parking place I had pulled in to by the laundry,  I thought I was ever so clever being able to pull in and then back my little Honda out between two telephone/utility poles.  When I walked back to my car after my last errand I saw scratched paint and then a long line of yellow paint on my bumper.  The pole I thought I had cleverly out-maneuvered was the winner in that little test.  My car is a 2006 and looks like it has been rode hard and put up wet, as we say in Texas, so a little yellow didn't really ruin it, but it hurt my feelings anyway. 

- I ordered my new glasses this week.  I wasn't particularly impressed with Warby Parker because I am used to the practice of having all these measurements taken when the order is placed.  They do not do that whole process there and I asked why.  Why did I even ask why when I knew it felt wrong and I was not going to be satisfied with the answer?  Then I remembered buying some glasses at Costco and they also did not perform the whole process and yet I was pleased with their glasses.  So, I placed my order based on their happiness guarantee.  We'll see.  I am not afraid of going back.  Hopefully, it will not be counted as one of those dumb things. 

- I buy most of my bread from the Bread Store that is near my house.  I forget which brand it is but I think Sunbeam.  The shelves were low on stock and my eyes wandered to the next shelf with Nature's Own bread.  With carb count in mind, I found that one variety had a few carbs less than the white bread I had been buying (I know.  I know.)  So I picked up a loaf of Nature's Own Double Fiber Wheat with 2x the fiber.  See where I am going?  I do like the taste of the bread but I did not realize what 2x the fiber would do to my digestion.  Let's just say I'm pretty clean these days.

I'll end here before all of the above disappears .....