Thursday, August 29, 2019

Monkey Cat Fight

My Beloved Sister has said that when the end came our Dad went out swinging for the fences. She says Mom, on the other hand, is leaving in a cat fight. After last night we have amended her exit strategy. She is in a cat monkey bru ha ha.

I have been going to her house every evening to be a constant in the transition from night to overnight care givers. ( This is in addition to being there from 7-11 every morning and running by at about 4 each afternoon)
Last night Mom decided she no longer wanted overnight care and if I could not stay with her every night she would just stay by herself. When I told her she had no choice,  that My Beloved Sister and I had hired overnight care, the woman who has not been able to get out of bed alone much less walk without a walker yelled "The Hell I don't" jumped up out of the chair she was sitting in, ran through the front door and was out on the porch before the care giver and I could catch her. She was holding on to the stair railing trying to make her escape and it took both of us to get her back in the house. Who would have ever thought a tiny little 95 pound woman could have so much physical fight in her.

It turns out in her diminished mental capacity she had decided we are trying to control her (somewhat true, if by control you mean keep her safe) and  we were giving her no input into her own care (also somewhat true, if you mean we talk about it with her before making plans, which she promptly forgets, and every day is the new to her first time she has had care) She also thought her night time care giver, who is an adorable very small woman, was a 12 year old girl, and she was not going to stay with a child.

And now we know a new plan. Every time anyone enters the house, the dead bolts much be locked to slow down her escape routes, because this is really difficult!

And as a small aside, she has no idea why her back is hurting so much more today. Think it might be from trying to escape from our grasps by pulling and twisting with all her might?

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Bond, James Bond

I am writing some of the things that are happening just so my sister and I will have a record of them at some future time when we are sad and need something to cheer us up. You are welcome to read or just pass on by.

My Beloved Sister went by Mom's after work Tuesday and called me to find out "the number". Now I have been sleep deprived and thought perhaps there was some phone number I was supposed to commit to memory that I had forgotten, or maybe I forgot to record a check when writing one to the care giver, or maybe I was supposed to recall some year some memorable family event had occurred. Well, all those things would have been wrong.

Mom was/is convinced she was supposed to receive a phone call last night telling her to remember an important number, then wait for a second call so she could relay said number to the caller. Once she had done that her family would  be safe from some unknown but obviously nefarious occurrence.  Mom was in near hysterics because MBS wanted to leave Mom's house and go to her own home to do something sinister like make dinner and do a load of wash. She dared to plan on leaving  before Mom had gotten and passed on the number. She was also scared for Son2 who was driving home from work without the benefit of her subterfuge.

It took me a while to convince her that she had probably dreamed the whole thing.

But just to be on the safe side I served her cranberry juice over ice _____ shaken, not stirred!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Levity Amidst Turmoil

After a very difficult and emotionally trying day with Mom* I came home and was sitting at the breakfast room table scarfing down eating a bowl of ice cream.  I was talking on the phone to my best friend when I heard the front door open, so I hung up the phone and found TheHub had come home early because the day had been so hard on my sister and me. He sat with me while declaring keto be damned for the day when I noticed I had missed a call from my cousin.

I returned her call but was so tired I could not even hold a stinking cell phone to my ear so I put her on speaker phone. Until TheHub sneezed I did not even mention we were on speaker, but as soon as he did I told her. (It didn't matter since we were only talking about Mom and her health anyway, so no trust violations occurred)

She said hey to him but he said "Please excuse my sneezes. This is Armando, the yard man, and working in the yard makes me sneeze. I am here now and J, I mean Jośe is gone." 

I cannot tell you how great it felt to laugh at that moment. And to TheHub, thank you for knowing me well enough to understand laughing is my primary coping mechanism and providing some immediate comic relief when all I wanted was chocolate and to cry.

* Very early yesterday morning I went to Mom's house to relieve the overnight sitter. She woke and I got her out of bed and walked her (with the aid of her walker) into her den and sat in her chair. She had her eyes half opened and half closed and was breathing very shallow breaths with her mouth gaping open. I asked her what I could do for her, she pulled my face close to hers and said "Please let me go" She proceeded to tell me she had talked with her dad, sister and my dad and they had all told her they were waiting on her. She also said she talked with her mother (Grandmother to all of us) who said "You just do what you have to do", which also sounds exactly like my grandmother. (She was a 4'11" little spark plug filled with siss and vinegar)

I called my sister and told her to hurry, told Mom she was on her way and so we needed to wait on her. Mom said "She better hurry". She got there and we sat on either side of her holding her hands while we played her favorite music and watched her breathing get shallower and shallower, her eyes half closed but completely vacant and her mouth agape because of her slack jaw.

About that time the song "With a Little Bit of Luck" from My Fair Lady started playing and somehow the feet of this person who appeared to be between 2 worlds started keeping time with the music. All of a sudden she bolted upright in her chair and declared she had to use to bathroom. I guess Broadway show tunes and bodily functions had the power to keep her from making the transition she was seeking earlier.

I spent the night with her last night and she talked continually from about 9 until 12:30, stopping only for a quick breath between words and of course milk and cookies (because her world requires milk and cookies every night before bed) 

If you had told me at 10 a.m. yesterday, I would be writing like this today, I would have sworn you were a cruel and lying POS. Life (and death) is interesting and unpredictable, isn't it?

One night when I was staying overnight with Mom TheHub brought a few of these cookies to me. (not a few tins, just a few cookies) Best. Therapy. Ever.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Apologies Retroactively and in Advance

I am so sorry for commenting on your blogs either very little of not at all lately. Life has taken some  twists and turns and bumps and falls. Mom has fallen a few times lately and though nothing is broken she must be in extreme pain because she screams like a feral cat in heat every time we move her. Of course My Beloved Sister and I know she has a very low pain tolerance and has had it for as long as either of us can remember. Maybe we are not as sympathetic as we should be, but even when I was a child a sinus headache would send her over the edge and she would stay in bed all day. I know she is hurting but let no one ever say "she suffered in silence".

Anyway, she is requiring much care and is extremely delusional. (Notice I did not say bat $^!+ crazy)  We had gone to 12 hours a day with her care, but realized last night we are going to need 24 hour care for her, at least until we make a decision for a longer term solution.

I stayed overnight and she has not been to sleep yet. Instead we had a series of dressing to go to her house (we were at her house) then undressing to get in the bed at the motel, nursing home, hospital, exact duplicate of her home, red building by the pipe fitters (WTH?), movie theater or "that building at the fairgrounds". (Feel free to take your pick of any of these locations since, evidently, we were at each place numerous times during the night through the morning.)

 I am  home now and My Beloved Sister is taking this shift. I will be going back after I sleep a little and then I have hired a caregiver for overnight. She is not available until 10pm, but anything is better than spending the entire night with no sleep once again. Her daytime caregiver says she is much calmer until we get there and then she is immediately worse. I noticed that last night when her brother called her. She was in the middle of a hallucination until Uncle Bob called. The minute she got on the phone with him she was completely lucid and responded to every thing she said rationally. The minute she hung up she started talking to me about the 2 little girls who were hiding behind her walker, and wanting to know about the loud music (there was none).

On a lighter note, she wanted to know if TheHub was worried about not being a part of the family anymore. It seems I have divorced him and left him for the yard man. (News to both of us and I am pretty sure Armando has no clue either)  Then she said "If you're done with him (TheHub), I'm done with him too. But it was really nice of him to bring me a bbq for dinner. I am mad at you for leaving your children. That's not good. And why did you steal my furniture? If you want it just ask but don't steal it." (Said as I sat on her couch in her den at her house)

Anyway, I am reading your blogs via my phone between episodes and I am enjoying them but I am not in a position to respond. Life gets more and more interesting, but because of this I have told all three of my sons when it comes time to put me wherever is necessary and feel no guilt about it. And this is the difference between daughters and sons. All three just said (paraphrasing but the intent was virtually identical) "OK. I wan't planning on feeling guilty anyway"

Monday, August 19, 2019

Another Week Bites the Dust

As usual I start the week with a plan and then deviate from it. Because Mom has been having some significant issues lately I had a lot prepped so that I could create meals quickly on the fly if I had to be with her for protracted periods of time.

What was planned:
1. Spaghetti with meat sauce ( sauce done and in the fridge), tossed salad, garlic bread (or none)
2. Ham and cheese frittata (Ham cubed, cheese grated. broccoli steamed and chopped), coleslaw (made)
3. Keto version of chicken divan (chicken cooked and cubed), tomato onion and cucumber salad
4. Veggie dinner, most likely squash, okra, peas, cornbread and coleslaw
5. Grilled chicken, grilled onions and peppers, caulitato salad, sliced tomatoes
6. Sandwich supper (chicken salad is a strong possibility)
7. Keto chicken tetrazzini, asparagus, tossed salad, rolls or keto rolls

Vs. what really happened:
Monday:   I had help with Mom so I decided to get all my ducks in a row and cook as much as possible for the week. I made as much as possible in advance, even if it was just washing and spinning the greens for salads or chopping a container of onions or making several entrees to just pull out of the refrigerator to heat and eat.
Chicken Divan, rolls, coleslaw

Tuesday: Thank goodness for care givers! Mom's is one of the kindest women I have ever met. She was with Mom so I could do a little more cooking, shopping and getting some foods prepped for storage. Ground Chuck was the lowest price it is here so I bought a little over 15 pounds. (Tuesday was the last day of the sale) Some became meatloaf (cooked and in the fridge to cool prior to freezing), some became cooked taco beef (again for freezing), there are many packs of 3/4 to 1 pound of beef, plus 3 ish pounds were formed into hamburger patties and lived on a parchment lined cookie sheet in the freezer. As soon as they were frozen solid they joined a partially filled jumbo freezer bag of burgers I made the last time there was a great sale on it. While I was shopping TheHub called and declared he did not want grilled chicken, (Fine prep and freeze the thighs for another day) I found a pack of nice looking pork chops and decided they would do.
Grilled pork chops, caulitato salad, tossed greens, roll or keto roll

Wednesday: TheHub had a dinner meeting and me, well I was just feeling pissy with the world.
Keto roll with butter, iced tea

Thursday: TheHub had another business dinner at Highland's, my favorite restaurant in tow (and the current holder of the James Beard's best restaurant in America title). I might have been a little punitive about dinner. Earlier in the week he had asked me to make spaghetti and meat sauce because he really does love the way I make it.  Being my true petty self Son2, DIL2 and I had the spaghetti. Moral of the story, if you get to go out to 2 extremely nice restaurants and get all the goodies that go with said dining experiences, you don't get the goodies at home!
Spaghetti or zoodles with absolutely delicious sauce (take that Hub!) tossed salad, garlic toast, or a bloomin' keto roll.

Friday: TheHub worked late and I was not about to cook late. Fortunately I had found a bag of frozen cooked chicken earlier in the day. Sandwich supper!
Chicken salad or pimento cheese sandwiches (Those frozen keto rolls come in handy as a sandwich delivery device even if they don't taste particularly great. At least it has the mouth feel of bread.

Saturday: We were dealing with temperatures that were approximately the temp of the surface of the sun. It was too hot to even think about cooking, so we cleaned out some leftover food. Wouldn't you know there was enough spaghetti sauce so TheHub finally got to eat his beloved meal (I could have frozen it out of spite but I am not entirely petty, just mostly petty!)
Leftover spaghetti and sauce, or leftover hamburger patty, tossed salad

Sunday: We had a little celebration dinner with Son2 and DIL2. They found and made an offer on another house. Personally I think it is much cuter than the one with the septic tank issue, and it is in a much better location. I think they will be very happy.
Steak, pasta salad, tossed salad, caramel cake

And now comes the fun part, planning the next week. I am completely uninspired plus we are possibly going to Portland next week (depends on how Mom is doing). If we do go we need to eat up all the bits and pieces of stuff that I have on hand. If not I need to actually go to the store and buy a few things. Today I am acting like we are going and am only going to plan one meal. I need to take some food to a friend who has been taking of her adult daughter following some serious surgery. She just got out of the hospital and is staying at her mom' house because for the next little bit she will require someone with her around the clock and her husband needs to work. I am just doubling the amount I will take to them for our dinner also.
1. Deconstructed BLT salad
2.-7. No idea. Leftovers or bits of stuff I have frozen if we are going to Oregon and grocery shopping for something if we decide to stay here. We have to make a decision tonight one way or another.

How is that for a plan?
Hope you all have one seriously wonderful week planned, unplanned or just free styling!

Thursday, August 15, 2019


Before you think "Oh my goodness, Anne has gone off the wagon and is eating real food again" the answer would be a resounding no. Mom continues to eat very little so I am trying to find some things she will eat that pack a few more calories and have some nutritive value. (At least more than the knock off brand of Oreo type cookies she eats daily)

Son2 and DIL2 make things to have as a snack while they are working. They both carry their lunch daily. Son2 has a set lunch time and can sit at a table and eat. I would not call his lunch time exactly restful, since he eats with all the participants of Independence Place, but it is still sitting and having some enjoyable (or funny or awkward) conversations. DIL2 is a home health care occupational therapist. Her job is a moveable feast with no time for actual feasting. She eats in her car whenever she can grab a few minutes between patients  (really nice on these 100 degree days) and usually grabs some of the snacks from her thermal lunch bag later in the day. I took what they make and altered it to fit Mom's needs.

Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
3 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup quick oats
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Stir the peanut butter and honey until it is very smooth. Stir in the vanilla and blend well. Add the protein powder (You might need to add a few drops of water, depending on how creamy or dry your peanut butter is. It seems natural peanut butters vary in oil content) then add the oats and chocolate chips (I forgot to put them in). Mix well, adding a few drops of water as needed.

Supposedly you are supposed to cool it in the fridge until it can be shaped into balls. I did and it was too stiff to maneuver so I had to wait until it was about room temp to roll them. I made them slightly larger than the size of shooter marbles because if I made them golf ball size Mom would gripe that they are too big. Mom has diverticulitis, but if she didn't I would have rolled them in finely chopped peanuts.

I did not eat one but I did get two people to sample them for me and they said it tastes like the center of a Reese's cup. I really do want to try one myself, but I am not going to.

I think I will leave half of them here for TheHub and give the rest to Mom. I know he will like them, and I hope Mom will. The jury is still out!

          *** The peanut butter balls in the above photo are of about 1/2 of the recipe***

Monday, August 12, 2019

Wow, That Was a Week

1. Grilled scallops, green beans, tossed salad, rolls or keto roll
2. Spaghetti sauce with beef over noodles or zoodles, tossed salad, garlic bread or garlic keto rolls
3.Squash casserole, sliced tomatoes, cucumber spears, coleslaw, corn bread (or not)
4. TheHub has a dinner meeting. I think I might fast that day
5. Grilled pimento cheese sandwiches (Hurrah for the new waffle "bread") coleslaw
6. Hamburger patty, rice or cauli rice, green beans, sliced tomatoes
7. Huge chopped salad, rolls or keto roll

Monday: I have no idea what happened on Monday, except for going to a local farmers market. I had planned to load up on delicious foods, but very few of their items looked very good. I wonder if the early birds only get the leftover veggies from Saturday. I left with a bag of peas, some squash and some tomatoes. Even the cucumbers looked old and wrinkled. I made a mental note to go to a larger farmers market next time.
Squash casserole, coleslaw, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, cornbread (or not)

Tuesday: TheHub did have a business dinner and I had planned to fast all day, but about 7:30 I was getting hungry and decided to eat. I just pulled a hodgepodge of leftovers out of the fridge
Gathering of remnants 

Wednesday: Other than routine laundry, household things and swimming a lot more than I have been, it was a pretty uneventful day! Hooray. All that swimming made me want to eat a pretty healthy dinner
Chopped salad topped with frozen pulled pork

Thursday: Mom had to have a little oral surgery and I am her official taker to all things health and dental related. After waiting for an eternity (OK it just seemed like an eternity, but 5 hours sitting with Mom who either can't or won't do what you tell her to do per Dr.'s orders t does seem like an eternity) Anyhow, I got home later and had nothing made for dinner. I was planning on having the grilled pimento cheese sandwich one night over the weekend, but desperate times and all that!
Grilled pimento cheese sandwiches (thank you new waffle fake keto bread) , pickle slices, coleslaw

Friday: Mom had an eye procedure done butt early in the morning and it leaves her unable to function for about 8-10 hours later. I had her caregiver arrive about 45 minutes after we returned, then when she left  my sister took over until about 5. I went down to take the last shift was finally able to leave her alone at about 7. Normally she is fine by about 4, but she was having a rougher time than normal this month and I had not planned on having to be there later. Consequently I had nothing started for dinner. We decided a local meat and 3 was calling us.
Out to eat veggie plate

Saturday: This was a wild ride of a day. Mom thought she was in the hospital all day, but thought the hospital had copied her home so she would feel comfortable there. My sister and I took turns staying with Mom. She would be fine, fall asleep and we would leave only to get a panic filled phone call when she woke. Fortunately I live 2 minutes from her house.  I did run home and cook and eat while she slept, before going back to spend the night with her, but it meant a terribly quick dinner had to be prepared.
Grilled chicken with an orange ginger glaze, tossed salad

Sunday: I woke (after sleeping very little at Mom's since I got up to check on her about every hour) swapped duty with my sister, went home and got ready for church. We had just walked in the door afterward when got a call from my sister that Mom was doing much better, knew where she was and had come to her senses again, so she left and Mom took a nap. When she woke she was in a full blown psychotic state and was positive we had moved her to a facility while she was sleeping. I ran down there and stayed with her until she went back to sleep. Ran home and threw a load of clothes in the washer, did a couple of other chores then waited for the inevitable phone call. It came and as much as I tried to assure her she was at her house, it did not register with her.  Son2 and DIL2 went to her house and she complained to them about me lying and trying to convince her the place she was in was her house. After they left I went to her house, made her get in my car under the ruse that my sister was upset we had not met her new dog. We went to Sis's house, met Riley, the dog, filled up my car with gas, and I drove Mom down streets that were familiar to her. We talked about people she had known who lived in various houses and when we got to her house she knew exactly where she was. It was like the car trip had pushed a reset button in her little noggin. Except__she did want to know who had moved her furniture from the facility so quickly. I lied and told her Son2 and DIL2 were magical and could do things easily. She was satisfied and glad to be back in her real house instead of the doppelgänger house she had been in before we left.  I stayed with her for about and hour afterward just to make sure she was functional and able to be left by herself.(For the record, she woke Monday morning clear headed and even remembered her confusions from the previous 3 days) I needed something really fast for dinner and did not give a fat rat's fanny what it was. I had ground chuck in the fridge so that was that.
Grilled hamburgers, lettuce, cheese, pickles, tomatoes, onions. And not another thing!

I am beginning this week with a little trepidation. Mom's neurologist died suddenly a couple of weeks ago, so I have spent the morning looking for someone new. We really need to get her seen pretty quickly but the nearest appointment I can find (after calling several) is early November?!? WTH!

And now on to meal planning, which may or may not happen. I do have a caretaker for Mom today and am using this time to cook a few things to have just in case all hell breaks loose again.

1. Spaghetti with meat sauce ( sauce done and in the fridge), tossed salad, garlic bread (or none)
2. Ham and cheese frittata (Ham cubed, cheese grated. broccoli steamed and chopped), coleslaw (made)
3. Keto version of chicken divan (chicken cooked and cubed), tomato onion and cucumber salad
4. Veggie dinner, most likely squash, okra, peas, cornbread and coleslaw
5. Grilled chicken, grilled onions and peppers, caulitato salad, sliced tomatoes
6. Sandwich supper (chicken salad is a strong possibility)
7. Keto chicken tetrazzini, asparagus, tossed salad, rolls or keto rolls

Also, if any of you are looking for a truly delicious low carb orange ginger glaze, I found this at Walmart. I think it was about 3.80 a bottle. It declares it is a marinade but I say otherwise. I put some boneless skinless chicken thighs on the grill, cooked them until time to turn them, then  flipped them then brushed some of the marinade on the cooked side. Waited until the chicken was almost through cooking, turned it again and brushed it on that side. I let it cook about a minute and a half (just enough for the marinade to "set" on the chicken) flipped it again and waited another minute and a half. I guess I used about 2 tablespoons of the sauce in total and it was some seriously delicious chicken. I am not affiliated with either the product or Walmart, it is just something I used and really did like. So did TheHub!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Keto Tuscan Butter Mushrooms

We get tired of eating the same or similar meals all the time, and yes, I know this is not a true problem to have. I try to make sure whatever I cook fits my keto lifestyle while still tasting good to the non keto Hub, who for the record can eat 2 ice cream cones every single night without gaining an ounce. If I did not love him, he would be very easy for me to hate! We are almost a living breathing Jack Spratt and wife.

I found most of this recipe while I was googling keto dishes. The recipe actually mentions it should be a side dish__what? It screamed easy one pan entree to me. As usual a recipe is just a suggestion so I am posting this with my changes.  They are not that much different, just slight differences that fit our tastes a little better. If you want to see the original you can find it here

4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 pounds cleaned baby bella mushrooms (white would be fine too)
1 container cherry tomatoes, halved (I did not do this but should have)
1/2 cup broth (chicken, veggie or beef would all work)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 bag cleaned spinach ( 2 bunches?)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste (I added no salt because the tomato paste, butter and cheese are salted)

fresh basil for garnish

Melt the butter in a large skillet add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and swirl until it is wilted the  add the tomato paste. Stir it a couple of times then add the mushrooms and stir continually for about a minute. Throw in the cherry tomatoes and the veggie broth and basil. Cook until the mushrooms and tomatoes are soft. (add more broth or water as needed)  Add the spinach and cook until it is wilted. Stir in the cream until it is all blended then add the cheese and stir until it is melted.
Top strips of fresh basil.

To remain keto I ate mine out of a bowl like a stew, but I served TheHub, Son2 and DIL2 over pasta, The sauce spread throughout the pasta and coated every bite. I did have the grated parm at the table for anyone who wanted additional but after tasting it everyone passed on the extra cheese. (I forgot to set the fresh basil out, though) I can't even begin to tell you how delicious this was, except that TheHub asked me to make this often. When all was said and done the only thing left was a few sauce remnants in the bottom of the bowl. I think if anyone here was a bowl licker even that would have been consumed. What a side salad this was a wonderful meal and one I will repeat every single time Aldi has mushrooms as a featured sale item.

Monday, August 5, 2019

This is How We Did It

Each week I post our meal plan for the week and then I post what really happened. I take a very casual approach to my plan because the day I plan our meals is usually before I get to see the food ads for the week so I plan just based on what sounds good coupled with whatever is on hand or in the freezer. Generally once I see what is going to be on sale or what we need to use before it ruins the plan changes__a bunch.  Additionally there are days when TheHub calls from work to see what we are having. If what I had planned does not sound good to him, I will at lest consider changing to something else.

This was the plan for the past week:

1. Tacos or taco salad
2. Mississippi chicken over rice or cauli rice, some green vegetable, tossed salad
3. Grilled lamb chops. mashed potatoes or cauli mash, tossed greens, asparagus
4. Hamburgers with all the fixings, coleslaw
5. Squash casserole, lady peas, sliced tomatoes, cukes, okra (?)
6. Grilled cheese sandwiches, tomatoes, pickle spears,
7. Son2 and DIL2 are closing on a house tomorrow and we will most likely be helping them move during the weekend. I am sure there will be  take out at least one night.

Monday: I think I already mentioned I binge watched Orange is the New Black. I have been watching it since it first came out and I knew this would be the final season, so I binged the entire thing. Did I even think about dinner? Nope but fortunately I always have something in the freezer that takes little time to make. (This is also why I save all leftover taco shells in a cookie tin from every single time we have them.)
Tacos with all the fixings or taco salad

Tuesday: I did laundry and a little catching up from what I did not do Monday while binge watching OITNB. It got to be dinner time and I had nothing thawed, TheHub did not want the Mississippi chicken I had cooked, and The Red Pearl was calling to me. BTW if you are ever in Birmingham and craving Chinese food go to The Red Pearl in Homewood. (If you are in Birmingham, want the best food in town and cost is no object head for Highlands Bar and Grill. It is beyond delicious but make reservations well in advance. I am slightly teed off because TheHub has a dinner meeting there Tuesday night)
Out to eat at The Red Pearl

Wednesday: Not sure what happened. I think I got lost in some time and space continuum. I knew what we were having for dinner so I did not even have to think about it.  It was  planned for Tuesday  and all I had to do was make the slaw and warm the chicken and rice. Since I didn't have to think, I didn't.
Mississippi chicken over rice (or not) daikon radish slaw

Thursday: I was supposed to take Mom to her friend's house for a few hours, but right before I was leaving my house to pick her up, she called to let me know she had found another ride. I don't mind but would have enjoyed knowing a little earlier so I could have made other plans, since I was all gussied up for the day. Did some totally unnecessary running around but I was not about to waste a fully dressed, hair, and makeup day.
Pork tenderloin, tossed salad, grilled buns

Friday: Good things come to those who wait and I waited until the last possible minute to start dinner. TheHub decided he wanted to try a pizza joint near us so we ran by and got one to go. After we ate he went with me to Trader Joe's New experience for him and he is hooked. He is already talking about stopping on his way home from work to pick up some things he saw there but did not get. I have no clue why he didn't buy them while we were shopping. At least he passes it on his way home so this might become his new recreational shopping spot.
Take out pizza

Saturday: For the first time in months TheHub not only took Saturday off, but he also did no office work from the house, nor did he make a single business phone call. Instead he used the day to refill his tanks. We both sat on the porch and talked, then he napped, read and  watched Ted Talks. The weather and water were perfect for me so I swam for a fairly decent amount of time. I decided after swimming I would do some vegetarian meal
Tuscan Mushrooms over pasta (or not) tossed salad

Sunday: We were supposed to have a wonderful celebration meal with Son2 and DIL2 after they closed on their house. The septic system failed when they had it inspected after repeated delays by the seller furnishing information and even denying the inspection the first time they had an inspector there. They decided there were too many unknowns to proceed with the purchase. So instead of celebrating we just had a really delicious dinner.
Grilled lamb chops, mashed potatoes or caulimash, broccoli, tossed salad, rolls (or not)

To plan for the coming week I shuffled through the freezer and found several things I need to use so I will plan around them first. I am hoping Sprouts is having a scallop sale.  I am very uncertain at the moment if it will be in the ad, but I am craving scallops so they are in the plan . Fingers crossed!

1. Grilled scallops, green beans, tossed salad, rolls or keto roll
2. Spaghetti sauce with beef over noodles or zoodles, tossed salad, garlic bread or garlic keto rolls
3.Squash casserole, sliced tomatoes, cucumber spears, coleslaw, corn bread (or not)
4. TheHub has a dinner meeting. I think I might fast that day
5. Grilled pimento cheese sandwiches (Hurrah for the new waffle "bread") coleslaw
6. Hamburger patty, rice or cauli rice, green beans, sliced tomatoes
7. Huge chopped salad, rolls or keto roll

Additionally I am going to make some keto treats. If we have a moderately hot day I will bake a coconut pie and sunflower cookies. I am also going to try basil ice cream with a balsamic strawberry swirl. It might or might not work but I am going to give it a try.

Hope you have a good week staying on plan, going off plan, or having no plan!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Low Carb Sandwich Solution

I have been doing keto for a while now and would like to say I have done it religiously but that would be a big fat lie. From July through mid November of '18 I was on it about as strictly as possible and had really good success losing weight. Until the actual reception of Son2 and Dil2's wedding I had eaten absolutely nothing I was not supposed to. I caved at the reception and ate a slice of cake.

After the wedding we came home to a house full of family, since all the out of town people were staying here through the following week. Now why would I want to have a bunch of people here for a wedding followed by Thanksgiving followed by Pip's birthday party and not enjoy the food I was cooking. And we all know what comes after Thanksgiving, right? Yeah Christmas spirits and cookies.

I will admit I indulged but did not over indulge. (Another big fat lie. I did have a couple of days that I totally overindulged, but as a rule I did not.)  Then immediately following Christmas comes New Year's Eve and Day along with college football playoffs. Of course I had to participate with a fervor. Finally After the National Championship game (Yeah, we lost so I had to eat chocolate for another day or two) I thought about getting back on in earnest, but I guess I was not earnestly ready because I would do keto for two weeks then go rogue for 4 days, then keto then rogue on and on. I was OK because I was not gaining any weight, but I also was not losing.

I had to make a decision to either let keto go or really stick to it until a couple of weeks ago. For me the best way to succeed at this way of eating is to have a lot of things made, frozen and ready to use at a moments notice and I have been experimenting with and freezing a lot of different foods

One thing I really miss while doing keto is the ability to have an occasional sandwich. This way of eating is a totally grain free diet and until today all of the "breads" I have tried taste fine (not like bread at all but good vehicles for butter or sugar free jams) but they were too crumbly and would not hold together to support the weight of the sandwich stuff___until today!

These would work wonderfully well for anyone watching their carbs, or gluten. It is definitely not paleo or vegan however.

It did require the purchase of a mini waffle maker. This is the one I got. (No affiliation with anyone) and it makes a single "waffle" about the size of a hamburger bun. If I had a small round waffle iron I would have made just 1 waffle and cut it in quarters, but my waffle iron is a big ass square one, which meant I needed to buy it. I figure I am worth the 9.99 it cost.

Heat the waffle iron till it is hot, spray with a non cooking spray.
Mix one beaten egg with 3/4 cup of shredded mozzarella. Pour 1/4 of the mix in the waffle iron and cook until the iron quits steaming. (5ish minutes) Remove and let cool, repeat 3 more times, then grab your favorite sandwich fillings  and eat like everyone else.

It was so good that I made 3 additional recipes of it to make sure I have enough stocked in the freezer for the next month or so. Most of the time I eat either a salad or whatever is left over from dinner but on the weekends when TheHub want's a sandwich I get tired of pretending I really wanted a slice of turkey, some mustard and a pickle. Today I got to eat the same as he did, (except he used real bread)

And now I am thinking up other ways to use it. Swiss cheese instead of mozzarella with sauerkraut and corned beef for a fake reuben? A scrambled egg with sausage for a keto McMuffin? Pizza sauce, pepperoni and cheese run under the broiler? I love the different possibilities.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

July By The Book

For the past few months I have a weekly list of things that I feel will improve my everyday life. Some weeks I accomplish these items and some weeks other things take precedent. I do not beat myself up if things go undone, because it is simply a guide and this particular guide is for my summer. It is an evolving list and most likely will change a little for August. This is how July went. (Well, this is how July went other than being the fastest month I have ever lived through. I am pretty sure the days and weeks have been compressed by geniis or elves or some other magical creatures and what the calendar declares to be a month is in reality only a week and a half.)

1.  Either go to or rent a movie to watch by myself
Week 1. Fail
Week 2. Fail
Week 3. Fail
Week 4. Went to see Yesterday, but I did let TheHub go with me

2.  Listen to a new to me album (Thanks to Discover Weekly on Spotify I should probably let you know how I pick each new album to listen to. Every week I get a new list of about 30 songs. Every Monday I randomly pick a number 1-30 than go to that song. They always have the album the single came from, so I click the link to the album and play it.)
Week 1: When I'm Gone Elizabeth Cotten
Week 2: The Capitol Studio Sessions Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra
Week 3: Greatest Yiddish Hits  The Barry Sisters (I have never ever listened to  Yiddish album before and most likely never will again)
Week 4: The Ultimate Andrews Sisters The Andrews Sisters

3. Read a book
Week 1, This is Where It Ends
Week 2. Reincarnation Blues
Week 3: Love Letters to Dead People
Week 4: Fail (Was not in a reading mood this week)

4.  FaceTime with Pip
Yes and No. We are mostly talking on the phone when she is en route to one of the many day camps she is attending this summer. Her school does not have day care during vacation and her time is more compressed. I look forward to the morning (for her, early afternoon for me) phone calls that being with a huge singsongy "Hel-lo".

5.  Talk to each son and/or DIL

6.  Create something
Week 1. Made lemongrass bath salts 
Week 2. Fail
Week 3. Created a party celebrating Apollo 11 for my I.P. friends
Week 4. Have a project but am not motivated enough to finish it. Maybe the first week in August

7.  Rearrange a room (Can be full furniture re-arranging or just changing a few things)
Week 1. Rearranged sleeping arrangements in the downstairs at the lake place
Week 2. Fail
Week 3. Fail 
Week 4. Fail  I am truly not interested in changing things right now.

8.  Get rid of one item each day
Mostly done except for the actual pickup. The truck will be here on Monday

9.  Meet up with a friend for coffee or a meal
Week 1.  Nope
Week 2. Nope
Week 3. Fail
Week 4. Met Millie for lunch

10. Have an ethnic meal
Week 1. Mexican restaurant meal
Week 2. Don't remember, so most likely no
Week 3. Chinese Meal from The Red Pearl
Week 4. Ate at Taco Bell (no judgement)

11. Use the "good" stuff (china, crystal, silverware) or eat on the deck casually

12. Listen to podcasts 3 times per week
Week 1. Spectacular Failures, The Frugal Workshop Podcast
Week 2. The Dropout 
Week 3. Watch What Crappens  (This is DIL 1's fault)
Week 4. The Frugal Workshop Podcast, Watch What Crappens

13. Spa Day (really means spa hour for some self indulgent "treatment")
Week 1. Mini manicure
Week 2. At  home foot soak and pedicure
Week 3. Charcoal face mask
Week 4. Cleaned out a closet and found a never used facial steamer. Used it and it is very nice.

14. Fingernail polish, wear it!.

15: Contact someone I have recently been out of touch with either by phone, email, or text

16: Have Mom up for a meal or visit
Week 1. She ate July 4th dinner with us
Week 2. We took Mom out with us to the fund raiser
Week 3. Big Fat Fail
Week 4. Fail

17: Try something different. The door is wide open on this one!
Failing! Not sure I even want to try anything different right now.

18. Watch a Ted Talk (I feel like I should share that these Ted topics randomly appear on my Youtube home screen. I have no idea what algorithms are used to change their suggestions but most of the time it seems to be completely random. I watch one a week anyway. Some are definitely more interesting than others and some I would never have attempted to watch if I did my own Ted searches. But I have heard some interesting, new and different ideas)
Week 1.  Why You Should Read Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, TheTempest
Week 2.  I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here's why I left
Week 3. My Love letter to Cosplay
Week 4. Isolation is the Dream Killer, Not Your Attitude

19. Go for a nighttime swim
This was supposed to be a way for TheHub and I to relax after dinner. He is working late and we are eating later. He leaves for work every morning between 6 and 6:30  and gets home about 6:30 in the evening. By the time we eat it is usually around 7:45 or 8, then he heads to to den to catch an inning or 2 of a baseball game before he falls asleep in his chair. I guess I could go swimming without him, but I swim laps during the morning or afternoon nearly every day, so why?

20. Swim laps 5 times a week
Doing this pretty consistently 

Now on to August!