photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Posts tagged “supper

Hard Day’s Night

Yesterday was a very long day, academically. I had two deadlines in two separate classes: Psychology of Addiction, and Addiction Counseling Theory and Practice. Combined, I wrote a total of 17 pages. I used to get stressed out when I put things off and scrambled to meet my deadlines, but now it’s just part of the game. It’s not impractical either, though it may seem like it. We’re living in a fast-paced, skiddishly-spinning world in which dealing with high-pressured situations are all par for the course. (Unless you live in a hut somewhere in Africa, of course.)  But in most peoples’ lives, rambling throughout the day and scrambling to get things done in a hurry is quite normal. I’ve just adapted to it nicely and I don’t really think that’s a bad thing.

I may be repeating myself, as I’ve pulled another all-nighter. The last thing I said to Josh (late last night) was, “Don’t worry. I’m going to sleep soon. I PROMISE.) Oopsy! I accidentally bought a new camera/Canon t3i and Vivitar Series 1 VMC 70-210mm f/3.5 MF lens to go with it instead.  (And a 2x converter) I am FREAKING STOKED!!! Capturing pics of razor-sharp owls in flight is a breeze with that lens and I cannot wait to take it out for a spin with the new camera to boot. I’ll have a 2 week break in between semesters (in a few more weeks) and I’m needing to start building up my inventory of pics that I’ll want to  start selling soon.

I’m not used to getting excited so much any more, and I’m really not wanting to blather on about Josh’s and my plant-based (mostly vegan) diet and lifestyle change, but really, ever since we made the switch (about a month ago), my mood has been ON POINT. 😉 I’m feeling good- chipper- light in the heels, and Josh and I do a good bit of laughing together. I guess you could say I’m happy. 🙂

Speaking of packages, I’m expecting one to be delivered any moment from Sincerely Nuts, and I have to make Josh’s protein shakes and his lunch, as he’ll be getting up soon for work.

Supper last night: Roasted beet and butternut squash salad with pan-fried tofu w/chile oil, sesame oil, and soy sauce + lemon, EVOO (extra Virgin Olive Oil), sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper a splash of “nooch” (nutritional yeast). and a nice chilled glass of Sunset Blush. It was….amazing.  Until next time. x

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Kitchen Battle (Part I)

J and I have been trying to one up each other in the kitchen lately. I’ve been watching Chopped, Iron Chef, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray (yes- I admit it!), Top Chef, and other food shows on Food Network for years now. I’ve never entertained the idea that I am a “chef”, but I do love to cook with fresh ingredients only and my food tastes amaaazing. I’ve replaced cans of shortening with imported olive oil from Italy- a large jug of it- and rarely buy sliced bread anymore: whole and multi-grain baguettes only. Canned tomatoes have been replaced with fresh vine ripened and the ever-so-handy grape tomatoes (which are great for halving and fire roasting) and bricks of sharp cheddar have been replaced with Brie, goat cheese, gorgonzola and bleu, along with fresh balls of mozzarella (still soaking in the brine), and, I suppose my favourite replacements are the fresh mixed greens that I simply can’t live without: turnip, collards, and kale. (I always keep a moderate supply of spring mix on hand also.)

I’ve long forgotten what it’s like to buy frozen foods (God forbid) and canned and boxed “processed foods” are an absolute no no. Ever since I studied the molecular make-up of foods and their organic compounds last semester (Nutrition class) – I’ve accidentally become a bit of a health nut and a foodie! I didn’t see it coming.

I just want freshness, and I’m a stickler for it.

My food battle with Josh started out simple enough: I wanted to surprise him with a healthy breakfast of cantaloupe, ruby red grapefruit, green grapes, and small, fresh mozzarella balls.

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Josh was naturally delighted, and so when he decided that he would make dinner for us later that evening, he whipped up something that could have been straight from the Food Network Channel: roasted chicken with fresh green beans (as in, fresh from the produce section) with red, caramelized onions, and sautéed kale with kosher salt and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

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Well I certainly couldn’t be outdone by him, although I later learned my son had made the chicken, (because my son prefers to be called by an alias, I’ll call him “Bob”- Bob is a fantastic cook- he gets that from me) I decided to muster up some grub that Josh could never, ever compete with. It’s so fantastic, there’s not even a name for it. But it looks like this:

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It consists of: Curried, cumin sunny side up eggs over brioche (ok, who am I kidding- this is not brioche! Shamefully, I admit that I was reduced to using sliced wheat bread, but believe me, it would have so been brioche had I been able to change it at the moment) with vine ripened tomatoes- fire roasted- sprinkled with rosemary, thyme, basil and parsley, topped with fresh, gorgonzola and feta cheeses- underneath a healthy drizzle of Imported extra virgin olive oil, finished with a garnish of fresh arugula and frisee.

YEAH. Top that, J!

Somehow, Carl ended up in my food folder, but he was just too cute to leave out. (Carl is the perpetually pissed off cat that my daughter rescued from the wrong side of the tracks. He’d been in a fight and had just had a bath.)

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Is it really possible that Josh and I could actually squeeze in a year of Culinology and become private chefs on weekends? We’re entertaining the idea of compiling our first CD, as we’re both musicians, singers, and songwriters (and play a host of instruments between us). Then there’s the children’s book thing. And college. And work… We have a lot of irons in the fire, but we really wouldn’t want it any other way.

After I gave Josh his “egg/curry/frisee/almost-brioche thing”, I could hear loud, audible moans coming from the bedroom. Josh clearly enjoyed it. 🙂 I’m used to feeding the men around here and doing it up right and I’m quite sure that I’m not the only woman in the world who is used to eating last and taking the scraps.

My plate looked something like this:

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But that’s pretty standard around here.

Until next time, bon appétit. 


Beef. It’s what’s for Dinner.

It’s been a crazy day.

Josh and I slept in. (Or thought we would.)

The sister-in-law called with the reminder that she had my $100 that she owed me.
She also reminded me that she dropped it off with someone else and I would need to retrieve it. Nice.
After having our coffee, we left, and made our rounds around town.

We got some gas then were off to pay a bill on the west side of town. From there, we split to the GFS Foodstore to pick up some (very, very good) beef ribs:

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From there, we were off to the park to pound out a mile (right at 15 minutes). Naturally, my head felt like raw heck when I woke up but pushed through the day regardless. What choice do I have?

Following the mile at the park, we hit up the Dollar Tree for T.P., paper towels, shampoo and such. We also found these nifty health pills that are loaded with Gotu Kola, Ginko, Acai berry and green tea extract. (Some of my favourite things.) We grabbed several packs along with some 5 minute Vitamin B12 power shooters and downed them in the car, along with some of the herbal pills. Afterwards, we were off to the Family Dollar where I repaid a debt I owed.

“Excuse me,” I said to the cashier. “I owe your partner, the elderly woman who’s in pain all the time, 3 cents. I’ve decided to pay 5 because she let me slide the other day.”

And with that, I gave the cashier five pennies, and with a quick smile, I left.

(My daughter, Brianna, brought to my attention the other day that I needed to go out and do a random act of kindness. I’m thinking that may qualify to some degree? Perhaps I’m a cheapskate.)

After letting several people cut in front of me  on a busy street (and making an old man smile), we ran back to the Dollar Tree, picked up some BBQ sauce…after popping into Sav-A-Lot for some milk and butter (the latter of which I have renamed “Better than Sex”- but not really) and then returned home.

Ignoring the nagging pain in my head, I stepped out onto my back deck and decided to spruce it up a bit.

The before pic:

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And after:

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I’ve got these interesting little seed thingies falling from the tree. They look like birdseed. Not sure what they are:

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It’s almost 7 and I’m acutely aware more and more that I’m making it particularly easy for a stalker to keep up with me. (I’m quite sure at this point that Mr. Broihier is following my every move. And to that I say, “Mr. Broihier, you indeed still suck, sir!”)

I had plans of sipping a frozen margarita on the deck with Marlene Dietrich’s bio, but no…no… I’m off to slow cook the ribs and catch up on Wheel of Fortune.

Another day gone…


Asbestos

I was on my way to the abandoned water house pump earlier today when my sister-in-law called me asking if I could watch my niece. Naturally, I complied. My niece is a natural artist and very, very intelligent. She has one green eye and one blue eye and she knows she’s unique.

“Where are we going Aunt Birgy?”

“To the park,” I said.

When we arrived at the abandoned water pump house, she said, “This isn’t the park!”

“Yes it is,” I said. “A park to you has swings and stuff because you’re a kid. A park to me has abandoned buildings because I’m a grown up.”

She wasn’t buying it. But I threw a face mask on her and she went right to work squeezing berries for ink, and, using a stick, set out to properly leave her mark on the world.

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Josh had painted a cross by the window, and my niece had painted “When you see the sign” underneath it. Interesting group. 🙂

I donned the face mask as well this time because…well…nobody really wants to breathe in asbestos, do they?

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I dunno. There’s something about walking on broken glass and dodging rusty nails that soothes me- and I’m not just saying that- it really does.

I saw Josh standing in the doorway- his shadow caught my eye. I like the broken glass by the thresh hold.Image

Beyond the house and up the stairs is a neat little walkway that holds many old, rusty valves. They looked like wheels coming up out of the concrete. Very cool place. Josh and my niece took the opportunity to play on them. It was a candid shot. I like it very much.

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After we returned, I washed the dishes and through together an epic meal.

Country fried pork chops
(Spices: turmeric/chile and garlic/sea salt and various other goodies)

Steamed cabbage
Homemade mashed potatoes
Glazed carrots (fresh, always)
Cornbread (which included diced serrano chiles, onions, yellow corn, and shredded cheddar)
and, a homemade apple pie

It’s 1:00 a.m. and I can finally collapse.


Wretched Mess

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Today has been one of the most wretched days of my life. I’ve had the worst migraine that I’ve ever had, and it has been a doosy. I started my day with a strong dose of cayenne and ginger (as usual) , followed by a small  cup of medicinal tea. I was grossly nauseous, and so went back to bed. I tried to read some of my Bette Davis/Joan Crawford dual biography, but was too sick. The pain was mostly in the back of my head, exactly where my cyst is, and it was swelling- massive pressure was building up and as usual, it felt as if I’d been shot in the back of the head- but this is actually worse. When a person is shot in the head, more times than not, they die. If they don’t die, they’re rushed to the hospital and given large doses of morphine, stadol, demerol, or something of that nature so they’re not suffering. In my case, I have to sit it out. Minutes feel like hours. Words are too simple to describe this kind of ongoing pain.

I haven’t taken a phenergan in over a month, but I tried to take one half and be very still. Eventually though, my stomach revolted. My son asked, “Do you want me to bring you the trash can, mom?”

“No, I don’t want to throw up in front of everybody,” I said.

Two minutes later I ran to the bathroom and “worshipped the porcelain god” as the saying goes. Now if you’ve never thrown up a fairly large amount of cayenne pepper, you haven’t really lived yet. My whole head was on fire! My nasal passages felt as if somebody’d sprayed acid into them and I was crying tears that actually burned. (Not boo-hoo crying, but phsyiologically.) Also, the pain was exacerbated by the fact that I had a new surge of fiery adrenaline coursing through my body, particularly in my head.

I made it back to my bed and by God’s good mercy, was able to sleep. I woke up feeling like raw heck, drank a bit more of my medicinal tea (poppy seed tea, which actually works to kill the pain, if you can keep it down), and after five more hours of intense agony- ordered Chinese. (Might I recommend the moo shu beef? General Tso’s chicken is also a tasty dish, and crab rangoons make a great appeteizer. This is what I ordered, along with a coke and a few Pepsi’s.)

It is now 12:45 a.m. and the pain is still pretty intense (it’s moved around to my front right eye socket). Ibuprofin is a joke, but I took two anyway. It’s been three weeks since I’ve stopped taking my Lortab and Ambien. My liver was beginning to tell me that I couldn’t keep taking pills and remain “healthy”. Granted, I never exceeded 10 mg. at one time, which is the equivalent of 1 blue Lortab, (but seldom took even that much). This is part of the reason why I decided to become certified in Substance Abuse- I know far too many people who have been reduced to a mere statistic, having lost everything (including themselves) to drugs.

I’ve become passionate in my search for a homeopathic solution: pain management without having to take pharmaceutical chemicals. Poppy seed tea can be taken at small doses to combat severe pain, such as the pain from my arachnoid cyst, while still allowing me to function. Naturally, if you take a larger amount, you can get higher than a kite, but if I wanted to get high, I’d just smoke a joint. I like to be in control of my faculties though. This is part of the reason why I quit drinking liquor over five years ago. If I chose to not take anything at all, I’d be limited to “getting out of bed to pee” and that’s about it. I can’t live that way. So after much consideration and trial and error, I’m sticking with my cayenne, ginger, and med. tea, when necessary.

I do get more migraines this way (not taking pharmaceutical drugs) and some days it’s sheer agony, like today, but my liver feels 80% better.

Through it all, I’m able to say, “Thank you God for this pain. I still choose to praise you, and lift up Your Name.”

When I compare my pain, to the pain that Jesus had to endure, I shudder to think that I could even complain. I still have two eyes that see, and a heart that loves- two working hands, a family that I love and that loves me. I have much to be thankful for.

Much to be thankful for. 🙂