#Haiku Horizons, Full

Ego, inflated

spewing false truths, toxic black

Full of himself, Slick.

******************************************************************************
Flabby stomach hurts
Pangs of sugar induced pain
Full of sweets I love.
English: Sweets from Argentina.
************************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Drape my arm, full moon
Sleeping there soothes my love’s pain.
 Watching over her.

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Living With Sweet Denial

I refuse to believe that in the next few days snow is in the forecast. Yes, I am in the ultimate denial stage. I’ve heard from multiple sources that the temperature is going to drop quickly and that the predicted heavy rain will fall and turn into snow. Yes, SNOW.

I am not going to believe it nor will I think about it.  Instead I am going to live in my world of fantasy for a few minutes, at least, and dream or reminisce about something nice that happened in my past. Let’s see how long I last with this new coping technique…

I once went on a trip to visit my grandparents with my dad in Vienna, Austria. ( Remember we always had free airline tickets.) Do I remember the time I spent with my grandparents? Honestly, no.I remember that my Opa was grumpy but he did love me best and Oma made incredible, moist schnitzel, the best I’ve had in my entire life. Naturally, I remembered food. I also remembered the desserts that my dad and I shared. Both of us had the worst sweet addiction in the world.

I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night but I do remember desserts I have had when I was a teenager. On that trip to Vienna we had a red currant pie that when you took a bite the currants would explode in your mouth. I’ve looked, searching for something similar now for forty years. The other dessert we called “The Swan” filled with vanilla cream, a delicate white meringue, shaped into a swan, covered in aluminum to take home.

Roasted pear creme brulee tart.

Many years later we would look at each other and just say..”remember the swan?” My father is long deceased but when I think of these moments that we shared together they make me feel close to him.  I have not disappointed him in my pursuit of sweets. In fact, I have carried that trait on to my now grown-up children.

My daughter is a chocolate fan, definitely inherited from her dad’s side of the family. It’s chocolate, dark chocolate and nothing else. It could be ice cream or cake but it has to be chocolate, once in a while they will have coffee mixed in but that’s all.

Ah, but my son comes from my side of the family with the love of fruit, custard tarts, crème brûlée and all things vanilla. Sure, we won’t turn down a brownie but our main focus is definitely NOT on chocolate, just the opposite. We like pear tarts and apple crumbles, strawberry fruit tarts with vanilla custard, blueberry pies and for me, anything with coconut or lemon.

Dessert makes a sad day or a bad day happier. It doesn’t have to be big, and it doesn’t have to be a large serving but in our family it does indeed have to exist. My husband and I, since the kids are in college, have a new ritual in the evening: after dinner and cleaning up, working/writing for a while around 8:30 we start to watch television on our bed. Our dog, Lexi is always at our feet. A half hour goes by and instinctively we look at each other and smile.

We know by our stomachs, not a clock, that it is time for dessert. My husband goes down to the kitchen and prepares two small bowls of ice cream, frozen yogurt or a combination, maybe a cookie with it and a few M & M’s. I think we both get the same amount of pleasure from it, I am thrilled with the anticipation and he is thrilled that he is doing something so incredibly kind and I appreciate it. (Not to mention the fact that we are about to have “D” the nickname for dessert in our house.)

We continue watching our show, we eat our desserts slowly (well, I do) and that makes the world a little brighter. Compared to some people it’s not a big deal but for us it’s not only  enough, it’s heavenly sweet.

In memory of my dad.

This New Waking Up At 5: 30AM Is Seriously Getting On My Nerves

If (when) I get cranky during this post you can blame it on the lack of deep, constant, uninterrupted sleep. I’m cranky just thinking about it. This has been the fourth or fifth night in a row and correlates beautifully to the new medicine to raise my blood pressure.

True, I am not passing out and smacking my head getting bumps the size of baseballs but still, as any chronic pain or Fibromyalgia patient knows, sleep is our vacation. I wish I would be kidding but I’m not.

Insomnia

Insomnia (Photo credit: Alejandro (Lì Delfos))

Literally, going on vacation stresses our bodies more than staying in bed, not that it isn’t worth the risk at all. So, this old body now awakens way too early in the morning and today it’s not even a sunny morning but a gloomy gray one. Of course, I try to go back to sleep but it never works. Also, I can’t nap anymore.

Fibro: The Way It Is, make something better, make something worse. A trade-off. Ugh, I’m disgusted but with Fibro or any Chronic Pain Disease when aren’t we totally fed up? Usually I can handle it very well and I am NOT a complainer but now I am definitely cranky. If I can’t run around and have some semblance of a normal life at least let me enjoy my sleep and sweet dreams.

I guess that’s too much to ask, isn’t it? I’m giving this drug a few more days and then I will begrudgingly call the doctor as promised. I know he is just going to give me one pill after another to try but I wanted fewer pills not more. Granted, passing out at any time definitely had its disadvantages and the fact that no one call feel my pulse was a little scary but there must be something in-between?

Before you tell me about any type of herbs or supplements I am NOT allowed to take any, because of the chronic kidney problem. It’s time to do some deep breathing, now that I’ve written my frustration out here, hopefully I’ll feel better soon.

If not, there is always leftover pizza with grape jelly.

IF I had some.

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies (Photo credit: fritish)

Since I LOVE FOOD and SWEETS maybe it’s time to make Nestle’s Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. Just one, maybe two before bed with a very large glass of milk. Milk is medicinal, it helps you fall asleep.

That is, of course, why I will bake cookies today, all in the name of science.

“The Taste” Eh. No, Ugh.

Chefs drinking beer around a ping-pong table, red Solo cups…Beer Pong, Really? Should I beerbottlestart my speech about showing beer pong and drinking on this show and how it might be offensive and disrespectful? Nah.  On the other hand, the show IS about food so let me just write about that. Well…wait a minute. There was absolutely nothing special about the food either..Highly disappointing episode. Also,why are they always swigging beer, does anyone know? Sponsor? Bourdain’s contract?

First I was going to write about the challenge in detail: make things to eat while drinking beer (shocker!) but it was so lackluster that to drag it out in detail would punish you, punishing me was quite enough. Marina won first place by not making anything too good. Shehu lost and went home, Lee who had a panic attack about chicken testicles was told by Bourdain to make a meatball just to get through to the second challenge. He also bribes him with tickets to the Knicks (or some team) if he can just make it through to the second round. Classy, right? A man with integrity.

Ludow has to meddle and say so all can hear “I think, what Tony gives you, it sucks.”  Shut up already, Ludow. Nigella is still walking around though she did give one good call that Marcus was spending all his time with Shehu and not with Sarah and she was absolutely right. Marcus did not listen.

For the second challenge, with guest judge Chef Jonathan Waxman the solo candidates were asked (zzzzzzzz) to USE beer in their cooking. What a sorry lot they were. If this had been the first episode I could have given them some slack. But by this time, it was humiliating, they played it safe, gave up and looked totally disinterested. The judges picked up on that, right away. Thank goodness. Sloppy Joes, Chili, Smelt fries, “like apple pie” and avocado fries? Sausages.To win? They sound like kids eating at camp.

Oh, but the judges fear Marina and they are in awe of her….except they didn’t hear her say “I am using one ball or two, I can do whatever I want, I don’t care what they say, I don’t have to listen to them.” Something to be afraid of, right? Maybe when it got back to them that “she likes to kill food and spank them too” they started listening.

OOOH, there was a twist to the game. They had 2 hours to prepare a meal that had to have beer as a component in it. Wow, 2 whole hours. But, guess what? After an hour, and an immature cursing frat boy rivalry “they had to make a complimentary dish” for the next hour. “Dude, stop trash talking in my kitchen, Chef Waxman says to Jeff and Lee while Louise whines “everybody is overlooking me.”Oh dear God will this never end?

When they are waiting in the chef “green room”  they talk about good stars and bad stars on aprons (yellow and red)  Marina’s eight pressure cookers and general chit-chat about who is worse than the other. BTW, The Judges let Sarah go from the challenge which I think was to her good fortune. I’m betting on her.

By the way Ludow seems to have lost his mind screaming maniacally “everybody stop, use the lemons, use the lemons, everybody stop.” My husband says that he thinks Ludow should be medicated and I concur. The show ends with the required speech of how disappointed the judges were and it was not up to their standards and they didn’t like any dish at all. Anthony Bourdain finishes by saying  “celebrate responsibly and next time make us believers again.”

Celebrate what?

PS (Did I really have to see the white out image of Ludow’s “hairy ass”?) Thanks, Bourdain, I could have lived without it.

“The Taste” 2 (Aren’t You A Sweetie Pie?)

English: Marcus Samuelsson doing a lecture at ...

English: Marcus Samuelsson doing a lecture at Google in NYC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I never do follow-up blogs on here, but somehow the show “The Taste” just begs to be written about, don’t you think? It’s a great food show but somehow it’s also like a comical farce. Do you believe the characters? Love them but surely they must also be picked for their entertainment value as well as their culinary skills. Right?

The judges, are the most entertaining: Ludow running around, literally running around yelling and screaming at everybody. How can that not be comical? Anthony Bourdain brooding, muttering “I hate dessert” like a five-year old. Nigella Lawson just standing there doing absolutely nothing, the “yellow” star of the day goes to Marcus Samuelsson. Not for the winning dish either but for his calmness and class and just the right amount of instruction. KUDOS, Chef Mark and Team.

I do agree with the other contestants that just because *(sorry, I don’t remember her name) dessert was unusual and unique she should not have won. I never heard anyone say they “loved it.” I heard nothing about the exquisite flavors or different textures, all I saw: scrambled eggs with sugar sauce. Come on guys, really? That was the BEST taste for you or just one that was different?

Anthony Bourdain’s utter dislike for desserts and sweets is legendary, why have that challenge when he is so biased? Would you have a tea drinker judge a coffee contest?  It doesn’t make sense. Why even put it on the show?  If you KNOW one of the judges will hate anything creamy, sugary or sweet why have that challenge at all? It’s a no brainer.

I think that this was a waste of an episode it really should not have been aired, and the special guest star chef, perky* Miss Sunshine? Wow!  Is she always like that? She must be eating a ton of sugar and I get that because I am a HUGE dessert person. I GET desserts, it’s genetically programmed from my German mother and Viennese Dad.

While I was sorry to see *Ms. Food Truck go home because I did think she had have a spark and a passion about cooking I think they kept the right person. Damn that zest and if we have learned anything from that show and for life it is this: Trust your gut instincts. If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t. You can use that every single day of your life, many times over. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Pretend I’m Oprah and listen.

* I apologize for not knowing their names, they were not, as of yet, on Google.

Dear Alice,

Creamy Coconut Cake

Creamy Coconut Cake (Photo credit: 3liz4)

Hey, Alice, did you see? I wrote about another lunch, this time it had bread and cheese and red grapes which is my all time favorite lunch combination but knowing me I should have added dessert. Yes, I know I should say something like a square of dark chocolate but who am I kidding? First, it would be milk chocolate that would melt slowly, (and not just one piece, mind you)  but you know THE real answer, now don’t you? Well, I’m not going to bring THAT up again, that’s for darn sure.  I have to limit myself on sweets because once I start I can easily continue and that can get bad. I didn’t say I was going to do it but I sure would be tempted with ONE dessert. Oh, don’t even bring up my diabetes, it’s just borderline. Hush.

It’s been a nasty day here, cloud covering, humidity, thick as if holding the rain inside as a hostage, we want it to open up and pour so we can get some relief but there is no relief coming. Not today and not for several more days.  I can’t stand the freezing cold and I am miserable in the extreme heat, basically, I get about two to three weeks a year when I am comfortable but my old bones hurt anyway. Stiff and sore, swollen. I can barely walk now without using that darn walker too. What a pretty sight I am!

It does seem unfair that life is wasted on young people and of course, we were the same way, weren’t we? We knew everything and our lives were just beginning. What happened? Where did the years go?  My it was their first day of nursery school just a minute ago and now they are both all grown up. It goes by too quick doesn’t it Alice?

I just had my after dinner snack and I can hear you laughing.  I had a huge bowl of cereal,  four different cereals mixed together. Someone bought skim milk instead of one percent and frankly that milk looks gray-green to me. It really does taste the same but I find the color just disgusting. I did add some of that half and half and that sure made it more tasty. Like old times when we drank hot coffee with mostly cream and sugar in it pretending we were so grown-up.

Do you remember all the good food we used to eat at your house when we were little? You had the best food of all our friends.  That cake, the coconut cake your mom would make, oh my, that was the most delicious thing I ever ate in my life. Every time I’d go to a restaurant if they had coconut cake I would order it but none compared to your mom’s home-made cake. I begged you to get that recipe for me, but you never did.  I still hold a grudge for that, yes I do and I always will. Yes, always.

It was bad enough that you had the cancer and died on me when we had our plans to live next door to each other in the retirement home, sitting in our rocking chairs, side by side, that was bad enough, that was real bad, Allie. But the only favor I ever ask from you and you never gave me that recipe, for that coconut cake that I loved so dearly. Why Alice, why did you have to die and leave me here alone.

rocking chair

rocking chair (Photo credit: grimescene)

Yellow Magic Madness # 15 – Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon meringue pie, as delicious to eat as it is to see. To my friends who know me well, of course I did not make this but I will order it in a diner, very, very soon. So refreshing when the days get hotter and murkier, don’t you think? Happy Yellow Day to you.

Slice of lemon meringue pie

Slice of lemon meringue pie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Which Would I Give Up? Easter or Halloween Candy?

marshmallow-y rainbow-y, uh, goodness

Image by McBeth via Flickr

Be serious. There is no way I would give up either one, ever. How could one give up Halloween candy, with those miniature size chocolates that we know DON’T count for calories or carbs. They are fun-sized. The choice too, is endless: Whoppers, and 3 Musketeers and candy corn, and Hershey’s nuggets, not to mention Kit Kat bar, Almond Joy, Mounds or Twizzlers. No, these are not going anywhere. Easter candy? You don’t seem to understand that I wait for those Cadbury creme eggs all year-long. I wouldn’t be happy without those yellow peeps either. While I know now that they sell peeps all year round for every different occasion in every color…that doesn’t make me any happier. It’s the thrill of getting them once a year, the fight to find them that made them so very special. Every year, and I admit, I am 54, my mom still gives me 2 Cadbury creme eggs and a box of peeps. I buy them for my own two children. I have introduced people to peeps who (gasp) didn’t know what they were, I have written about Peeps and Cadbury creme eggs. I’m sorry, I can’t play this Plinky game, Easter and Halloween candy are here to stay. If you’re talking giving up spinach or cauliflower, that game I could play. Spinach, out.

Powered by Plinky

My Thoughts On Valentine’s Day (Plinky Prompt)

Heart-shaped cake with Roses

Image by Taariq Maruzook via Flickr

  • Kiss Me, Hug Me, Tell Me That You Are Mine……….

    February 14, I feel like I should be writing this with red kissy hearts all over the page. ❤ How I feel about Valentine’s Day depends on the year. When I was single, I hated Valentine’s Day, I thought it was overrated and commercial and totally depressing. However, my husband and I got engaged on Valentine’s Day in Hawaii, not at dinner overlooking the magnificent sunset (he didn’t want a scene!) but back in our rented condo, in the kitchen, sharing a Diet Coke. I am sentimental (sometimes) about Valentine’s Day but this year my husband has a meeting with his boss so we will celebrate it two weeks later. After his being unemployed for about 18 plus months, his new job is our joint Valentine’s Day present.
    My husband is NOT well known for his romantic side,(sorry hon, but you KNOW it’s true) I’ve learned to accept that. He’s a more matter of fact, computer/ intellectual person while I am pure, mushy emotion. Sure, I used to dream about red roses coming in a white box delivered by a florist but it’s not his style (and it’s expensive on Valentine’s Day too.) It matters more to me that he is always here for me when I need him, that I can count on him one hundred percent and that he is my best friend and companion. He brings me flowers other times just because he knows I love them, for no “holiday” at all except to make me smile.
    Romance, flowers, sweets are nice, so are red hearts and chocolate covered cherries, and cookies dusted with pink and red sugar. Deep down inside, I am married to the most wonderful man on earth and he is my ultimate gift and so too, I am his.

  • Previous Answer

True Friendship and Chocolate Cake

Two Rainbows at Dusk in Denmark.

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve gotten notes from friends far away saying “I don’t want to read  that you are in pain” when they read SOME of my blog posts. When words strike an already high-wired nerve, I have to respond. I am a woman with Fibromyalglia; Fibromyalgia does not define me. It is part of my life and it has taken a long time for me to accept it but I do. You should too. It is only a part of my life just like food and television and good friendships and my amazing family. I write about all these things.

When I am in pain, I write out my feelings which, I think, everyone in the chronic pain community understands. To the people who read my blog and don’t share a chronic illness, let me explain: when I write these things down, I am trying to heal a little piece of myself. I do not write them for sympathy or for you to feel bad. I write about all my feelings, all the different parts of my life: like having teenagers or hiding orange cupcakes in my room or my sweet, aging dog. I’m sorry if you are feeling uncomfortable about my pain and I’m sure you wish I had less of it but that is not something I can control.

When something funny happens or I fall in love with a cooking show about “Desserts” or “Chocolate” or a delicious/horrendous meal that I have had, I write about that too. A new, dear friend I met on Facebook wrote: “you sure do like to talk about food” as we discussed dinner and I made her describe the chicken and dumplings she made in great detail (hint: buy Bisquik.) I complain about the boring lentil soup I have made and she tells me which spices to add. We both have chronic, autoimmune illnesses but we don’t focus on that. Our chronic diseases are a given. Life goes on and we with it.

I see photos of her beautiful garden with red, ripe delicious tomatoes stretching towards the sun and  bright yellow ears of corn I want to bite into. I see her huge, beaming sunflowers on the side of her house and I am in awe of nature and it’s beauty and my friend’s talent. I taunt her with my (as she calls it “disgusting”) food combinations; pizza with jelly, tuna salad sandwich combined with peanut butter and jelly ( I only did that once) and all things edible. I tease her about her “texture” issues with food, anything “squishy” is unacceptable! Once in a while I will interject a questionable squishy food into a totally unrelated conversation: “raisinettes?” “shrimp?” and she understands what I mean and we laugh.

My evenings are brighter after we talk. This is a friend that has been more protective of me and more supportive than the “best friend” I had for thirty-five years. This is a friend I have made without meeting and if I never meet her, we will still be friends. It begs to ask the question: how do you define friendship? It’s given me a lot to think about. Friendships on Facebook with a common interest are special, we bond about something we have in common and in most cases (except one horrible group I was in) without judgment. Period. We don’t care about how much money people have or what religion they are or if they have a job.  Be wary of a group that say they support everybody with pain and yet they discriminate and cause extreme pain to others who might not “fit in” to their exclusive or religious group. In the other wonderful chronic pain groups, we don’t emphasize anything except friendship and empathy, nothing else matters (if you need suggestions, write me.)

See me, please, as a whole person and if you feel uncomfortable about the days I blog about pain, please don’t tell me not to write about them; you could just say you are sorry that I am in pain and that you are thinking good thoughts for me. Our illnesses are part of our lives, but most of us try not to let them define us. It’s what we have to do.

Dedicated to Katie