Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Did You Know That There Is A Reindeer Farm/Center

And, it is in Kent, England.


Just take a look at Their Website.  Such fun and education !!!

For a little pre-Christmas entertainment,  How about a video of a herd of reindeer (in slow motion) heading off to the fields for some morning grass !

Be sure to turn up the volume and view in fullscreen.  And, look at their feet.  No hooves ?  It looks like there are toes that spread out when they touch the ground.  Oh my gosh, look at the size of those antlers.  I understand that both male as well as female have antlers.



Now, that is a lot of reindeer !  Hope you enjoyed.

Mary

Saturday, December 9, 2017

It's Been A Good Day In The Kitchen


Since my kitchen is nice and clean and I have great fresh groceries in the house what's a gal to do?  Well, cook, of course.  So that is what I did.

There is no question about it,  I really dislike the frozen prepared foods from the grocery store but I have to succumb to them more often than I would like to admit.  My forays into the kitchen lately have not always resulted in finished products to my full liking.  Hopefully, I can get my mojo back.  And, this may just be the beginning of that journey.

I decided to keep it simple and not try any new recipes, just solid good home cooked food.  I have been wanting to make some oven roasted potatoes and I have some fresh Yukon potatoes.  So-so easy.  This is what I did.  First, coat the potatoes with olive oil. And then season them with garlic ( prepared chopped garlic from a jar works fine), kosher salt, black pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried basil and some grated Parmesan cheese (from recently purchased 3 oz. Kraft grated parmesan).  Even though I usually avoid this product I bought it because of the small container which to me meant that it probably would not get old and then wasted.  It was perfect for this quick little adventure of mine into the kitchen.  No fuss, no mess!
They turned out so very good and flavorful.

Lovely white fresh mushrooms were for sale at a price that was so low that I can't remember ever seeing it that low.  And, since I like sauted mushrooms it was going to happen. 
I have always made my mushrooms sauted in real butter and at the end add a few splashes of Maggi Seasoning. It has to be years ago that I first started doing that.
I have been so disappointed with the chicken that I have recently bought at the big chain grocery store that I can not bring myself to do it.  The other day when I shopped close to home I bought some boneless skinless chicken thighs that are called Air-chilled Smart Chicken.  Oh my, what a difference!!  An air-dried chilling technology is used instead of the standard water immersion/absorption method which results in a watery product.  Just look at this beautiful chicken !!  Can chicken thighs be beautiful ???
I did not even have to trim anything from the thighs.  Just rinsed and then into the baking pan with a little sprinkle of Grill Mates Montreal Chicken  seasoning.  And, of course just a teeny bit of butter on each one.

Now some steamed very fresh Broccoli Florets.
The chicken baked very fast and reached 165 degrees in "no time" but it was not browning.  I popped it under the broiler for a minute or so but then realized that since it is skinless there would not be a lot of browning.  But, let me tell you.  The flavor and quality of the chicken is fabulous.
Will you join me for dinner ??   I would like that.    Oh, and we must have a little vino.

Happy Weekend.

Mary

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Evening


Happy Flashback !     Jolly Ol' Santa.  Eggnog, anyone ?

On Tuesday I was finally able to go to the neighborhood grocery store.  It is not one of the large chain stores but privately owned High-End Delightful Grocery with a real live butcher at the meat counter.  Even though I don't go there routinely (I wish I could) when I do go I really like it.  Fortunately, they seem to always have nice sales.   When you can't find enough ingredients in the cupboards and refrigerator to put together even the weirdest  combination for dinner it is definitely more than overdue to go to the store.  Even out of Top Ramen!  Out of Coffee and Creamer almost becomes an emergency!

Last evening I took a look at the Soggy Garage.  Since, I had the laundry sorted and in piles near the washing machine when I found the flooding on Tuesday, I quickly shoved the clothes/laundry into the water that was flooding the floor !

So, last night when I started to wash one load of clothes, my greatest fear had already started.  And, that is that the clothes were starting to mildew.  How disgusting !!  Mildew does not wash out even with heavy duty cycle.    So, that meant that several items had to be thrown away.  Just my luck!  My clothes are old but none the less I was still able to wear them.

To "add insult to injury" The light bulb at the back of the dryer burned out.  Ordinarily, no big deal.  But with a partial rotator cuff  tear in each shoulder and my back issues I can't manage to reach far enough to loosen the screw that secures the protective plate covering the light bulb against the back wall of the dryer.  Well, I guess I can work in the dark.     No Big Deal!   I think my life is becoming one big exclamation mark!

Today, I was able to finish most of the laundry.  Thank goodness.  And, also I worked in the kitchen cleaning which had been sadly neglected lately. I took several breaks throughout the day to use the heating pad on my back and leg.  It helps a little especially in this chilly weather.  Additionally, I rested on the sofa most of the afternoon.

My mood has improved and some contacts with a couple blogger friends has really helped.  I really hate to feel so stressed and lately, I have to work very hard to not let that happen.   But, I guess as I am ageing I get to feeling a little overwhelmed at times, especially since my life has become so solitary, which has become my choice.

It saddens me to see the devastation and heartache that the Southern California fires are causing.  It has been such a horrible years of forest fires.  It easily jolts me into a state of gratitude for what I have in this life.

It's like I wrote in a blog lately that life can change in the blink of an eye.  It looks like my "multi-million dollar" brother has had to evacuate his country estate. They reside a little over one mile from the edge of the Lilac Fire.  I'm praying that the Santa Ana winds calm down and the people are  able to return to life and begin reorientation of moving forward with whatever is in their future.  Bless the FireFighters and sending positive energy to everyone impacted  by the fires.  The journey back is unimaginable.







A little more Christmas Flashback .

Let's Give Thanks .

Mary

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Have No Idea Where To Start

But let me start with a photo from the past that gives me a lot of happiness as I reflect on better times.


In full disclosure,  my body is a mess, my life is even worse, and my psyche is in the bucket !!!

I think I will first write what I had started to blog earlier this year about medical care.

I just need a DOCTOR!  Since August 2016 I have been trying to find a Family Practice Physician. My doctor left private practice (after being my doctor for 8 years) to go to work for the local VA Hospital with hopes of having better working conditions and benefits. She was a wonderful doctor and took very good care of me.   Several doctors have left this area during the past year.

I understand that there is a shortage of doctors throughout the nation. And, it is a bigger problem in the rural areas. I guess I have been spoiled in that I have always had a doctor and been able to visit them regularly as well as see specialists without much delay.

We have lost so many doctors which has created a situation whereby the current doctors are not able to take new patients because their workload is already at the maximum. I started my search for a new doctor months ago. I think it was in February.

My monthly medical insurance premium expenses are very high and here I sit without medical care.
With a few telephone calls to the two local hospitals that service my community I was able to get a list of doctors that are taking new patients. I was shocked at the names on the list. Some of them were located more than fifty miles away!  The list was of no help to me.
A few month ago I heard about a doctor who had returned to the area after 13 years working elsewhere and he might be taking new patients.  I immediately telephoned and was able to get an appointment late in August.  That was wonderful especially since my prescriptions were soon to expire!  But, it also meant that I had not had a doctor for a year unless I went to the ER.  I can't deny that it was a very stressful time. 

I like the new doctor but all is not good because as mentioned in the past, my back/spinal issues of severe back pain and burning nerve pain down to my ankle are worsening !  At my last visit on November 20 he ordered Hydrocodone/Norco, a mid strength narcotic pain medication.  I mentioned my past negative experience with narcotic pain medication. Primarily, the side effects are impossible for me to endure.  And, I certainly can not take it if I live alone !  He asked me to telephone him if I needed to.  So, I called his office on Monday of this week and said that the pain medication was not the answer and that I need to have an MRI.  The person taking the call was very curt and rushed telling me he was totally booked and may not be able to call me that day.  Two days later I called again and I was told that they had a prescription for Norco waiting for me at the office.  When I further tried to explain and wanted to talk to the doctor, I was told that the doctor was "out of the office" for two weeks.  I will not reveal to you my thoughts.  I will spare you the displeasure !  Thankfully, my next scheduled appointment is already scheduled for Monday, December 20.  Meanwhile, I am really struggling!  Sometimes/days I have such horrible pain that almost makes mobility impossible. 
Along with medical care issues,  there is so much more that I have been dealing with.  And, there has not been anyone to discuss most issues and help me!

* Appointment with an attorney to update my Will and associated documents.  Very expensive and challenging making major decisions.

* Diligently, trying to figure out how to pay for the services.  Very difficult .

* Evaluating my Medcare Medical Insurance and making important major change (more expensive, unfortunately) with change due date December 7 .  Very time consuming and confusing at times.

* Insure that I have the money to pay property taxes of $1131.00 due December 10.

* Discussing Will and numerous topics with my Granddaughter. 

* Huge decision to no longer be involved in efforts to reunite family before my death.   Daughter-in-law has not made any contact since visit.  No telephone call from anyone at Thanksgiving!  It Is What It Is !

During this time my memory has been very compromised which has greatly added to my stress, especially when in the attorney's office.  It was so difficult and embarrassing.     And, obviously,  the pain I experience is intensified with the tremendous stress experienced of late !

Lest I forget.  Ten days ago, my home security alarm went off at 4 AM.  Spare you the details. It was raining and the fierce wind blew the door that goes into the garage open.  Sheriff came to the house.

Now, are you ready for this?  I had not done laundry for weeks and needed to.  So, on Tuesday, I put a load in and checked it as the spin cycle was running.  Garage was flooding with water gushing from under the sink beside the washer .  No time to panic!  Again, long story short.  Somehow the drainage pipe that carries the water away had become dislodged and all the drain water was flooding the garage.  Have no idea how this could occur. Have not been in the garage lately.

I am happy to say that I am feeling somewhat better.  Now that the above issues are taken care of other than laundry and the wet, wet, wet garage.  I have always had a rug in my garage for added warmth ! Enough on that.

I hope I never have to experience such extensive traumatic issues at the same time, ever again.  I know I am tough but enough is enough!  I felt so close to the breaking point - whatever that may have been.   I continue to see the Psychologist every other week.  I am Very Thankful for that.

Happy Holidays. 

Mary

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tragedy Near Home

It is so true !!!  In the blink of an eye a life can change dramatically.  On Thanksgiving Eve at 6PM (following sunset) a young mother was driving home with her two young children from family festivities. The unthinkable happened when a large Black Bear entered the the road from the side and collided with the vehicle killing the mother and a ninteen month old girl.  A four year old boy was in the back seat and sustained minor injuries.  The impact was so intense that the bear ended up in the vehicle front seat !  The bear was severely injured and died .  This tragedy happened about ten minutes drive from my home.
(google image)
Reportedly,  there have been many more bears in our foothills lately.  It seems like the newspaper reports a sighting every couple weeks or so .  Following all our forest fires the last few years and the Clearcut Logging of our forests the wild animals are coming out of the forest for water and food.

This little family is well known in our community and is receiving an outpouring of support, love and prayers . A GoFundMe memorial account has been started with a goal of 40 thousand. In the last three days, 283 caring people have donated $17,395.00.


Hug Someone today and - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Mary

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Loving Protection Sprinkled With Gentleness

Seldom do I post a video on this blog but this one has touched my heartstrings !  Especially, during these times of unrest and turmoil throughout our world.

The love shown in this touching video stirs my heart and reminds me of my ever faithful loving Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lily, who passed away almost two years ago.


As with many of our pets, she was keenly attuned to me and all my needs and emotions. It was so wonderful for me to feel her protection, love and support for the many years when it was just "her and me" !  Her love was such a beautiful gift !

And now, let's enjoy this facebook heartwarming video together.


Wishing you a Warm and Cozy Day.

Mary

Thursday, November 23, 2017

It's Thanksgiving



Just a little seasonal decor .  I like the autumn leaves placemats. I sure miss all the cooking and baking and family for Thanksgiving holiday.


Now THAT'S a Big Turkey !

Many Blessing and Good Wishes on this Day of Thanksgiving.

Mary

Monday, November 20, 2017

Red Hot Poker In The Winter Garden

What a surprise to see a nice clump of  Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker - Torch Lily)  blooming in the garden when I took a walk outside to see "What's What !  It has been a few days since I have been outside .  The garden is changing colors and dropping leaves quickly day to day .


The Red Hot Poker plants have been here since before I moved here .  They have never seemed to do well until this year .  I understand they require proper moisture and not hot dry conditions .  The plants bloom more as they get older and left in the same location for several years .  Since I have been outside working a lot this past spring and summer in the garden , they have gotten a lot more water than usual . Like Gladiolus, they bloom from the bottom up .  They are blooming probably for various factors .  And, I like it !


The fig leaves are carpeting the ground  in a lovely bright yellow color .  And, the blooming White Chrysanthemums  on the right are drooping their large heads as they are filled with rainwater.


What an inviting view coaching one to take a cup of tea out to the garden for a little sit down time to enjoy the beautiful changing colors .  Look at that singular Yellow Fig leaf in the middle of the Orange Crepe Myrtle .  Is that symbolic for something ??


The Hydrangeas are fading away but still doing well with the rain and all.


These  persistent  Roses are still trying to bring joy even with the heavy rains we have had !




Well, I have to wrap this up and get on the road up the hill to my Medical Appointment.

Wishing you a Fabulous Day.

Mary

Friday, November 17, 2017

Through The Window

The beautiful fall colors are so wonderful especially when I open the dining room drapes in the morning.  The beautiful burst of color the first thing in the day is so energizing .   And, I need all the energizing I can get !  It rained most of yesterday so it is great to see the bright sunshine .

My physical pain, especially left low back with radiation down to my ankle has been horrendous for a few weeks now .  My other joints, especially my knees and shoulders have also been problematic .  In years past both shoulders have been diagnosed with partial rotator cuff  tear .  I have been able to avoid shoulder surgeries by conservative rehabilitation .  I really - really - really do not want to ever have surgery again .  Remember, I do not have anyone to help me postoperatively.  A great deal of the time I am having a lot of difficulty  just walking !  I have a  medical appointment on Monday.

My reality is that friends that would and could help me have passed on .  And, you know my lack of family involment .  Recently,  I read an interesting quote that I think sums up my situation quite well .  "Old age is an island surrounded by death" .

Time to change the subject.  Yesterday , I made some very good soup .  And, that made me very happy  because for quite a long time I have had more failures (which has made me feel terrible)  in the kitchen than what I would like to admit .  And, that is far from my norm .


This is Pasta e Fagioli Soup from Allrecipes.  It was very easy, quick and flavorful.  I used what I had available and subbed small elbow macaroni for the seashell pasta.  Freshly grated parmesan cheese adds a nice additional flavor .  Cheese makes everything better - don't ya think?

And, here is a little something that also makes me VERY HAPPY  .


The Holiday Cactus plants are loaded with buds and are starting to bloom !  I have three plants and they all look great .  Last year they hardly had any flowers for some unknown reason .  So this is great .

Hard to believe that we are at the end of another week .  Wishing a Good Weekend to all.

Mary

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Making You Strong


BUT,  I DON'T WANT TO BE STRONGER!

I have had a life-time of "Making you Stronger" experiences.  One of the most recent is when my multi-millionaire Twin Brother called (which is almost never) and for the very first time in my life I asked for some financial assistance and he replied with a LAUGH and said I guess we both are going to outlive our money.   He also said he thought he read somewhere (Internet) a few years ago that my house was foreclosed.  I can hardly believe the AUDACITY of a such a statement like that.  And, to think he never even looked for me to see if I was "Living Under A Bridge" somewhere.  I have lived at the same address and phone number for almost 25 years.

Not long ago, I came upon a few photos (Internet) of his estate (interior and exterior) and I could hardly believe what I was seeing!  

Years ago, my husband and I were able to help him with some money?  I don't think I will ever be able to understand or accept his attitude.  Perhaps, it is reflective of his nearly life-time involvement with a religion (cult?)  that he has devoured "hook, line and sinker".  I think his basic personality is very consistent with the tenets of the religion.

I had no intentions of writing this but for some reason I felt a strong urge to do so.  I guess I just had to tell my truth at this time.  I am not looking for comments, perhaps positive energy for my comfort.

Happy Week to All Of You.

Mary

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom
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While You Weren't Looking

While You Weren't Looking
I Went Shopping - Thinking of the Holidays