Tuesday, March 31, 2020

For Grins and Giggles The Broadway Edition

Just in case you have missed this brilliant Covid-19 inspired video based on music from, Les Mis

And another inspired by The Sound of Music

Monday, March 30, 2020

A Man A Plan A Canal Panama

Sorry about the title but I am bored and amusing myself seems to be a necessity. I like palindromes and it was either this or "Able was I ere I saw Elba"  and I thought that was a tad obtuse for a title about a meal plan.

Sunday night or Monday morning I start thinking about the week to come. And because times are so strange, last week I actually was stupid enough to think there would be very little flexibility in what we would eat.  Little did I know that we would be just as fickle in our tastes and wants as we normally are, but my hard and fast rule was that I would not make any trip anywhere to get anything that was not absolutely necessary.

I had talked with all of Mom's sitters and had done a personal inventory (translation, I cleaned out her refrigerator and pantry) and knew I would run pick up a few things she needed early Wednesday morning. Although I did not really need anything a few things may have jumped in my buggy while I was shopping for Mom.

Based on what I had on hand this was the menu that was planned for the past week:

1. Keto Turkey casserole, tossed salad, garlic toast or none
2. Hamburgers, tater tots (or none), coleslaw
3. Mac and cheese or keto "Mac" and cheese, turnip greens, keto cornbread
4. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes  or cauliflower mash, brussels sprouts, sliced tomatoes
5.  Soup, salad and rolls 0r keto rolls.
6. "Out to eat" take out from a locally owned restaurant
7. " Out to eat" take out from a locally owned restaurant

Monday: I had looked at my food list of  foods I had cooked and frozen previously when I made my menu. I found a small loaf pan of cooked meat loaf, so I took it out and thawed it. A quick zap in the microwave and a couple of sides and dinner was on the table.
Meatloaf, leftover potatoes. tossed salad, brussels sprouts, garlic bread or keto cornbread

Tuesday: I absolutely could not face making a turkey casserole, but I had taken the cooked turkey out of the freezer to thaw, so I was committed to using it. The day was really warm and it screamed for something warm weatherish.
Big tossed salad with turkey and cheese salad, toast or no toast.

Wednesday: When I was out shopping for Mom I was sad to notice there was no chicken and virtually no beef. I did find one nice porterhouse steak. TheHub and I always split a steak so I put up no protest when it leapt into my buggy.
Steak, baked potato (or not), steamed cauliflower (or not if you could have the potato) tossed salad

Thursday: I was just not feeling it. I was not really feeling sorry for myself, or maybe I was. I'm not sure. So I headed outdoors and mostly read until it was about time for TheHub to be home. Then I  headed to the freezer to see what I could find and honestly did not care what it was.
BBQ chicken, coleslaw (Not sure I can really call it bbq chicken though since it was really and truly just cooked chicken I took out of the freezer, nuked it and poured some bottled sauce over it)

Friday: It was gorgeous outside and I was not about to cook anything in the house that I could cook on the grill.
Grilled hamburger patty, wilted spinach salad, pickles, tater tots (or none)

Saturday:  We went to the lake to meet some people who were interested in seeing the house. I took several bags to bring back foods that I had in the pantry or freezer there. I had no idea there was so much! I had taken a large freezer bag and one of those big blue Ikea bags. They were both filled to the gills but I still had to round up several more plastic grocery bags for the overage. Who would have "thunk" it!
We headed home later in the evening and in spite of all the food we were bring back we stopped on  and picked up some real bbq, unlike the fake bbq on Thursday night.
Take out pork plate with coleslaw and collards

Sunday:  Sundays are my non keto day. Don't ask if I made the brownie mix I found at the lake place or don't ask if we had blueberry pancakes for breakfast just to clean out  the remnants of a box of pancake mix stuck in the lake freezer.
PF Chang frozen bagged meal, (chicken something but no idea what kind it was) rice

And now for the new menu plan for the next week (In no particular order);

1. Pork tenderloin, tossed salad, baked potato (or none), broccoli, keto cornbread
2. Chopped Salad, garlic bread or keto dinner roll
3. Ham slices, carrots, green beans, coleslaw, keto cornbread
4. Hamburger helper, coleslaw or cooked cabbage (undecided) I am fasting one day this week so TheHub can have this and then have leftovers for lunch a couple of days
5. Take out from a locally owned place
6. Mac and cheese (or fake mac and cheese, since there is no such thing as keto mac) turnip greens, coleslaw, keto cornbread or real cornbread for the non ketonian.
7. "Night at the movies meal" Snacks that are non-keto for the keto day off. Right now I am thinking popcorn and a corndog, but it is subject to and probably will change.

I need to make:
keto dinner rolls
keto cookies, because a little sweetness keeps me in check
French bread for TheHub 'cause I am really nice, unless I find some when I go to the store for Mom this week.
keto coconut pie (we both like this)

Maybe this will actually happen of maybe not, but this is the plan, or the man, or a canal__Panama!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Isolated Joys for the 12th Week of the Year

I have decided I need to get Son3 and DIL3 to write a little ditty called "Isolation Blues" because I am reading posts from friends who are struggling with the social distancing and not working. I am  looking for every good thing I can find, but I have to admit my world has gotten much smaller. Thank all of you for your posts. Reading them does keep my world feeling larger than it has to be right now.

Wednesday: Found supplies Mom needs regularly ( on sale, to boot!) and did a major stock up for her. I also went shopping for a few food items Mom needed and managed to find some lysol cleaner as well as toilet bowl cleaner and laundry detergent. She had none so it was a joy to find it all at the same place thereby limiting my exposure to more creepy stuff than I have to.

Thursday: Mom fell again, but she did not get hurt this time so that is an extreme joy. I also spent a good deal of time drawing. I created a game for Pip and I to play over FaceTime, that incorporates play and reading new words.

Friday: Son1 sent me a text with a link to an app he created so Pip and I can play the game I made via iPads while on FaceTime. Whoo hoo! App creation is way above my pay grade.
TheHub stopped at the store after work and brought home a nice bottle of wine. We go out every Friday night, so instead, we did the wine and dine thing at home. Also thankful for Netflix and Amazon Prime. If you have Amazon The Forgiven is a very good movie.

Saturday: TheHub and I had to run a couple of errands. I am amazed at how the people at the grocery store are maintaining the 6 foot rule. After picking up a couple of items we stopped by McDonalds and picked up a cup of coffee, then went joy riding to look at all the trees in bloom.  Next we stopped by Walgreen and found gold, since it is now a premium currency item. 2 multi roll packs of toilet paper!  I still have some but mom is running out.  Now we all have enough though I am keeping hers here and will take to her house one roll at a time.

Sunday: Had the pleasure of watching Gunhild Carling live on Facebook. Music al fresco almost! She was in the open air, and I was watching from my kitchen table that sits in a bay window overlooking the back yard. Fortunately I was pretty good at pretending, and even though it was raining at the time, I still felt like I was sitting in the sunshine with her. In fact I am so good at pretending I actually thought I might run upstairs and get an instrument Son3 had left here to join in. Then I remembered I have no clue how to play horns except for the blowing part.

Monday: This was just another day in paradise. I still go to Mom's every morning and then I get my tail right back home to spend the day in solitude. For kicks and giggles I decided to tackle my laundry room. It was officially the messiest laundry room in the world, and though I did not get everything done in one day 3/4 of it is clean, shining and everything was straightened. (I even washed the ironing board cover). I decided the sewing center could wait for another day though.
Later that night TheHub and I watched 3 episodes of Manhunt. It is a Spectrum original about Richard Jewel and Eric Rudolph. (Olympic bombing and a few other bombings)

Tuesday:  Paradise continued! The day was neither joyless or joyful. TheHub and I met with our lawyer and I did not want to go, but I went anyway. (With a bandana that served as an accessory, but I could pull it up over my nose and mouth. I know it was not a mask, but it was better than nothing.)  Fortunately everyone honored the social space, doors were left open and it was brief.
Later I had some delightful conversation with 2 sets of neighbors while standing in the street in an equilateral triangle formation each side being about 10 feet apart.

And now I put the joys of week 12 to rest and will move on to week 13, with thoughts and prayers for all of us to find joy and toilet paper in this odd time we are living through. Stay healthy, my friends!

Blogger issues so I am adding the 15th week of joys here just to save

Wednesday. Our community decided to have a different kind of Easter egg hunt this year. A PDF file was sent in a mass email with large printable Easter eggs on it. The goal was to out the eggs in prominent places that could be seen form the street so the kids out walking with their parents or driving by could hunt for them. I painted the eggs and hid them in windows, under bushes, behind chairs and peeking out of the shrubs.
Thursday Made  some really cute masks thanks to raiding Moms fabric stash. She had a lot of dense cottons and some thick flannel to use as the middle layer. I had some funky fat quarters for the outside of the masks, and have given several to people who need them. I was also tired of cooking so we picked up takeout from Captain D's.
Friday. My sons have found a way to shed their normally kind personas and throw on the insanely competitive natures via family game box using zoom for the connection and Jackboxtv for the games. Lots of laughter and some extremely non traditional answers later Son 2 was declared winner. There seemed to be a Joe Exotic answer theme throughout the night
;zoom game night with the family
Saturday out for a drive beautiful day take out Thai
Sunday Easter services Webex Sunday school. Lots of Easter FaceTime with Pip
Monday. Conversations with my cousin. FaceTime with Pip and another episode of Ozark
Tuesday: Mom had an event while I was at her house. It was very frightening

Monday, March 23, 2020

Food this week

I had planned a menu based on things I had on hand and had every intention of staying away from the grocery store.  But as usual my intentions and actions seem to play against each other. Mom's sitters would tell me something critical Mom needed every single time I was at her house. The pad I have on her kitchen table long with a pen for keeping an ongoing list is virtually ignored and instead I receive texts asking for 1 or 2 things daily. I have her stocked up on groceries, for now, as well as non food supplies she requires and though I am timing any grocery visits to the hours when fewer people are there, I am still having to go much more often than I would have to for just me.  Anyway when I was shopping for her, I did pick up a few things we could use too, so my menu changed based on that and also on a few things I found when I was inventorying  my upright freezer.

  What was planned:
1. Stuffed bell pepper, caulitato salad toasted bread (keto or regular) keto strawberry pound cake with whipped cream
2. Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes  and carrots (or no potatoes and carrots) keto chocolate mint truffles
3. Crustless ham frittata, tossed salad, brussels sprouts, keto coconut flour cookies
4. Chicken something or the other with mashed potatoes or caulimash, carrots, sliced tomatoes, crustless coconut pie
5. BLT on real bread or chaffles , tossed salad
6. Chili (probably the last for the year. Not what I really want but it is extremely portable) keto cornbread, coleslaw
7. Sausages with kraut and potatoes (or not) green beans.

What really happened:
Monday: I began cleaning out the freezer one shelf at a time. I found some chicken that had been frozen for a bit and needed to be cooked, so I thawed it and it became the main event for dinner.
Oven BBQ chicken, caulitato salad, leftover asparagus,  toast or keto cornbread

Tuesday:  Well I suppose it was a happen enough St Patrick's Day with no fanfare at all. Fortunately I had bought 3 corned beef briskets when Aldi had them on sale so all I really had to do was take one out of the freezer in time to thaw. As cabbage is a mainstay here and so are potatoes, throwing a St.Paddy's meal together was non big deal. We did make it somewhat festive by eating in the dining room by candlelight. 
Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes (or none)  forgot to make the keto truffle (oh well)
Wednesday: I have no idea what happened Wednesday, except for my usual morning at Mom's, followed by more work in the freezer. I did find a zip lock bag of chopped ham I didn't know I had, so I used it rather than the sliced ham I had frozen and knew about. 
Frittata with cheese, ham and asparagus, tossed salad

Thursday: One of the last days prior to everyone knowing we were going to have to self isolate, my local Publix had a vendor offering bites of turkey and sausage. I don't even remember the brand, but it was tasty so I bought the polish sausage and bacon. then when the panic buying started and the canned foods aisle was wiped out except for turnip greens and kraut I bought a couple of cans of both. (yep, we are southern and I can gussie the turnip greens up so they are tasty, and kraut, well it's kraut and we eat it)
Polish sausage with kraut, green beans, sliced tomatoes.

Friday: TheHub stopped by the grocery store on his way home from work. He works in the Health Care industry and he is considered essential. Anyway, there is no chicken to be found in the meat department, but Publix was roasting chickens. He brought one home, I guess it is our solution to our usual Friday night restaurant meal.
Grocery store rotisserie chicken, tossed salad

Saturday: While I was cleaning and inventorying the freezer I found a big ham bone so I made a big pot of ham broth and chopped all the meaty bits into pieces. I added an onion, some cauliflower and a bag of Trader Joes cruciferous mix (it was about to ruin) and called it soup. I intended to freeze it in individual serving sizes but TheHub said it sounded fine for dinner. Sold!!!
Ham and veggie soup, garlic bread or none.

Sunday:  I had planned on Sunday being a non-keto day, and had planned on grilling out hamburgers, but the morning was rainy so I never took the patties out to thaw. Then the day because gorgeous and would have been perfect for grilling after all. Oh well, they will stay frozen until another day.
I had cleaned out all of my baking supplies earlier in the week and knew I had a half bag of chocolate chips. Non- keto day+opened chocolate chips meant only one thing__cookies!
Grilled cheese sandwiches with pickles, chocolate chip cookies

Because I have an accurate count of what is available to eat and what needs to be used first, I have a baseline for what we will have for dinners during the week, but the actual dinner may change with my mood.
1. Keto Turkey casserole, tossed salad, garlic toast or none
2. Hamburgers, tater tots (or none), coleslaw
3. Mac and cheese or keto "Mac" and cheese, turnip greens, keto cornbread
4. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes  or cauliflower mash, brussels sprouts, sliced tomatoes
5.  Soup, salad and rolls 0r keto rolls.
6. "Out to eat" take out from a locally owned restaurant
7. " Out to eat" take out from a locally owned restaurant

I do not need to go to the restaurants, but I feel morally obligated to buy things from some of the local places to hopefully sustain them during this time. I am afraid so many small businesses will not be able to recover from this. I wonder of Cookie Fix and Pastry Arts are doing take out?!?!?!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Wash Those Mitts!

While waiting out the virus and self isolating my beautiful DIL has had some composition time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Joys in a Scary Week 11

Eleven weeks have already passed this year. My aim is to recount at least one daily joy each week, then reread them all on New Year's Eve to remind myself that good things happen every single day. Some days I have to hunt for it, but there is always at least one thing that is good about every single day. I hope everyone finds their joy every  single day.

Wednesday: Wednesday is my usual shopping day because it is the day our grocery ads begin. I had a few items at Aldi to pick up, then went shopping to grab Mom a few things. I was just doing my very typical shopping, but did pick up a large pack of toilet tissue because of the recent visit from the son and his wife. It was really just restocking, but turned out to be a happy accident. My joy was buying toilet paper before the panic buying set in.
Another joy has to do with taxing my brain. I have been reading Elephant's Child for several years now and have always enjoyed reading the Words for Wednesday weekly post. (Which happens for me on Tuesday)  There are several words and the object is to use them in some sort of written verse, prose, tale, etc. For a long time I just read what others wrote, but finally decided to dip my toes in the water and give it a whirl. What fun, and I get a true joy if I can figure a way to use the words and come up with some cohesive tale. Then I get double joy reading other's writings.

Thursday: Things began to pick up in earnest concerning the corona virus. To be honest I keep such an overstocked freezer that I knew I would be fine for a while even if we had to sock in for more than a week. If 200 people showed up at my door I could probably wrangle enough food to feed them something. No one would get the same thing and it might not be what anyone wanted, and it might not even really taste good, but it would be food nonetheless. So I consider having the luxury of keeping extra food on hand a huge joy.

Friday: Mom needed a few things from the grocery store, plus I had a 5 dollar coupon off $35 from Sprouts. They had ground beef at the lowest price I can ever get it here as part of their 72 hour weekend sale. I knew I was going to get that, some bacon, sunflower seeds, grapes, and some zinc for Mom (she has to take it daily and was nearly out) Possibly 2 stevia sweetened chocolate bars and a pack of flackers (keto crackers) might have jumped in my buggy (yes I know y'all call it a cart but here in Alabama it is a buggy). I was able to find all the meager things I needed then stood in line approximately 15 minutes while the woman in line ahead of me bought 911 bucks worth of groceries. Wow! Talk about panic buying!
After that I stopped by Aldi and got  the rest of the things Mom needed, plus I found her a large pack of toilet paper. I had forgotten to check her stash while I was at her house and decided I had rather be safe than sorry.
I had one last stop at her pharmacist and then CVS to pick up some non medical supplies for her and t I was done! My official joy was that I got out of the shopping madness early. I also noticed people buying insane amounts of canned chili. Another joy of mine is not having to rely on canned chili as a meal right now.

Saturday: We had to go to the lake place to take care of a few routine maintenance things. The drive down was gorgeous and the weather was near perfect. Trees were either in full bloom or budding, the azaleas are bursting out and the sky was a perfect blue. On the way down we stopped for lunch at a small town bbq joint, sat on the patio and really enjoyed conversation and a perfect day. I would say we enjoyed being at the lake but we just did our chores, locked up and left for home.  There was an unexpected stroke of luck. While I was cleaning I found a huge pack of toilet paper there so we brought it home. If I don't need it here, I can always take it back, but if I need it here it does no good if it is there. Truly the little things make me happy and I am seeing a recurring toilet paper theme of glee this week. Just writing that makes me laugh!

Sunday: I was able to talk to all three sons today and that does give me much joy.
Son1 and family had an uneventful flight to Portland where there was snow on the ground, from Hawaii where there was none. He said when they arrived to 30 degree temps he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and flip flops. He must have missed my travel lesson __dress for where you are going, not where you are leaving!
Son2 is off work until April 9. He job serves special needs adults but along with their special needs are some physical issues that put some of them at a high risk.  At least he will be paid even though they are closed.
Son3 is another story. He is a musician and all his gigs have been cancelled and then we heard that all bars and restaurants are closed. His entire earning system has come to a halt. I do not know if he will continue with his students or if that will be cancelled too. The Bank of Mom and Dad might have to step in.
Another very simple joy? I ran out of almond flour and swerve. Though it sounds like I am being overly cautious, I can buy both in bulk sizes from Amazon cheaper than I can find them in any stores here. Clicked, ordered and it's on its way.

Monday: This was the morning Mom was supposed to be at the dr. at 10:30. As soon as the office opened I called to tell them Mom's age and request that we be shown into an examining room as soon as we got there rather than having her sit in the waiting room exposing her to who knows what. Mom has so little in her reserves that even the slightest illness could have horrific consequences and we surely don't want her to be around any covid19. Well, her supplemental insurance carrier has just authorized the use of phone visits for anyone with a compromised immune system. (Insert sounds of angels singing right here)  Since I have to do all the talking to her doctors now anyway, this was a piece of cake. There was a huge joy being able to conduct the visit over the phone. I do have to take her back in 4 weeks, but I will worry about that in April.
The second big joy of the day was FaceTime with my granddaughter. Pip is quarantined for 14 days. Her kindergarten teacher started showing all the signs of having the virus.The upside is that they were in Hawaii for the entire week so maybe they missed the contagion part.
It was bad enough that school was cancelled, but having her in isolation with just her Mom and Dad is almost too much for her to bear. She is a very social critter.  Starting tomorrow she is attending Annie School via FaceTime. I told my son I would work with her on reading and math for an hour each day, but will try to make it feel like play while she is learning. I also told her to call her beloved uncle, Son3, and see if he might be willing to give her beginning piano lessons over FaceTime. I also suggested to Son2 that he work up a little lesson on plants since he is making raised garden beds while his work is waiting out this immediate crisis. It takes a village, or at least a slightly off center extended family. If we all give her a little time each day, she can continue learning but more importantly her parents can work remotely from home and actually get  work done, while they wait out this quarantine.

Tuesday: What a weird day as things get worse and worse for businesses. I was driving to pick up some medicine for Mom right off Highway 31 in my suburb. Normally it is a heavily traveled road, and making the left turn into the strip where her pharmacy is located requires waiting for the turn signal. On Tuesday, I swear I could have gotten down on all fours and crawled over all four lanes and two turn lanes with time to spare. It was like I was living in some dystopian novel. I miss people! I miss the chaos! I miss going out to eat!
But there is an upside. I live in a neighborhood where a lot of professional people live. Though everyone is cordial, we all have a tendency to go about our lives with just some nods, hellos and occasional chit chat. The last two days I have seen so many people out walking and stoping to have real conversations. And now a couple of the neighbors know I have a real name and not just the "Big Candy Bar Lady".  Joy meeting new folks and yes we are all staying the requested social distance from each other!
My second joy was being able to have school with Pip. We went through a lot of flash card words, created words using different consonant sounds for words she already known how to read, then we did apple math (fractions) and had art. Tomorrow we are learning about animals, and using word prompts (Thank you EC) for her to create a story I will type for her.  I think I will also read her a poem I used to read nightly to Will.
And the third joy was our night out on the town (in our dining room) We had an American traditional St Patrick's Day meal by candlelight with Celtic music compliments of Alexa. I am amazed how much more conversation we had sitting in the dimly lit room and eating. We need to do it more often. Next up is some al fresco dining out.

And that about sums up the rather odd week. We are making the best of what is going on right now and sincerely hope and pray that this will not be as devastating as we hear it might be. Meanwhile I will continue to isolate as much as I can, while making sure Mom has what she needs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Low Carb (Keto) Strawberry Pound Cake

The other day while everyone was panic buying shopping I found a quart of beautiful strawberries. I like strawberries and keto likes me to have a few strawberries so everyone is happy. Except the keto police only like me to eat four or five strawberries a day and that quart had a lot more than those few. Next I had to decide what to do with the surplus, since they tend to get too soft after a couple of days, and my freezer contains a full bag of frozen excess from past purchases.

While browsing keto recipes I found one that I thought might be worth trying, so I made it because I can't go anywhere so I might as well cook. I know I could also clean, but, cleaning is cleaning, and that is my least favorite thing to do. And yes I know I have to clean the kitchen after I cook, but somehow it still counts (at least in my brain) as part of the cooking process and is therefore immune to my disdain for housework.

Strawberry Pound Cake

4  tablespoons butter, softened
1/2  cup Swerve
4  eggs
1  teaspoon vanilla
1/4  cup sour cream
1 1/4  cup almond flour
1/4  cup coconut flour
1/4  cup  golden flax meal
1  tsp baking powder
1/4  tsp salt
1/2  cup chopped strawberries

Preheat oven to 350. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of a loaf pan. Grease the paper and the sides of the pan with butter. (be generous)
With a mixer cream the butter and sweetener until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time mixing after each one.
In a small bowl mix  the flours, meal, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined. Fold in the strawberries. Pour into loaf pan and spread evenly.
Bake at 350 for 45-60 min until golden, firm to the touch. Take it out of the oven and let it cool in the pan. Do not do what I did and try to remove it while it is warm. Keto baking firms as it cools. In the picture you will notice the gigantic crack that resulted from my impatience.

Once it is cool remove it from the pan (this is where the parchment paper lining pays off in spades)  and slice.
Since I realized there was going to be a ton left over I put all the slices except the two we were eating on a cookie sheet and stuck them in the freezer until they were frozen. Then I put them in a zip lock bag. The next time we have them I will just put them out on a plate until they are thawed.

This was really good and better than I expected. If it had not been lazy I would have whipped some cream which would have been exceptionally good. Next time I will. I still have 8 slices in the freezer!

This was good, it's keto and I could have my cake  and eat it without the guilt!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Feed Me Seymour

Because the threat of a pandemic impacting anyone is real  I have to take it seriously. I am just tired of it being the focus of my time and mind, so I decided to go ahead and switch gears and do a little meal planning/prepping. For once I might actually stay somewhat close to my plan because I am definitely trying to limit my exposure as much as I possibly can, which is virtually impossible. Mom has 5 different sitters and I am exposed exponentially to every single person they come in contact with, not to mention every single person I happen upon. And I still have to go see Mom daily, plus I still have to take her to her dr. appointments. We are trying to limit her exposures also, but again, see above! Short of total isolation there is no way we can stay away from the possibility of it.

But geez, did I ever digress!

Last week I planned our meals based mainly on our leftovers:
1. Chinese leftovers
2. Spaghetti or noodles with leftover meat sauce, tossed salad
3. Leftover chili  (TheHub) or chicken soup (me)
4. Leftover chicken and dumplings (TheHub), huge tossed salad, asparagus
5. Soup and grilled cheese sandwich (TheHub) or grilled chaffle sandwich (me)
6.Hamburger patties, mashed potatoes or caulimash, broccoli
7. Dinner out (We have a fundraiser to attend)

And this is what really happened:
Monday: Chinese leftovers 
Tuesday: Leftover chicl (TheHub), chicken soup,(me) coleslaw
Wednesday:Takeout Crustless pizza from Papa Murphy's
Thursday: No idea what we she
Friday: Spaghetti sauce over pasta or zoodles, tossed salad
Saturday: Grilled burger patties, mashed potatoes or caulimash, broccoli, tomato cake and red onion salad/
Sunday: Pan seared scallops, asparagus, baked potato (or not) steamed carrots (or not) leftover tomato sure and red onion salad. keto crustless coconut pie 

And now I have decided (at least right now) to have the following based on only things I already have in the house. Since I can't really go anywhere I might as well make some delicious things, right? As usual the meals are in no particular order, but the St Patricks Day meal is pretty evident. 

We usually eat out at least once a week. In an effort to keep a little distance between us and the rest of the world we are "eating out" at home this week.  We are going to eat by candlelight in the dining room twice this week, with background music playing.  The actual food served might be lackluster but the intent will be there. 

We are also planning to go to the lake for the weekend, so I am including the meals we will have there. (We can't get a whole lot more isolated than we are at the lake.)

And this is what may actually happen.

1. Stuffed bell pepper, caulitato salad toasted bread (keto or regular) keto strawberry pound cake with whipped cream
2. Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes  and carrots (or no potatoes and carrots) keto chocolate mint truffles
3. Crustless ham frittata, tossed salad, brussels sprouts, keto coconut flour cookies
4. Chicken something or the other with mashed potatoes or caulimash, carrots, sliced tomatoes, crustless coconut pie
5. BLT on real bread or chaffles , tossed salad
6. Chili (probably the last for the year. Not what I really want but it is extremely portable) keto cornbread, coleslaw
7. Sausages with kraut and potatoes (or not) green beans.

Sunday afternoon I got a little busy making some of these  things for the week and plan on making a few more to keep me out of the store compliment dinner time. 

This is what I made/ need to make
1. Keto dinner rolls
2. Keto strawberry pound cake
3. Keto coconut custard pie
4. Keto coconut flour chocolate chip cookies
5. Keto cinnamon cookies
6. Keto cornbread

Wishing each and every one of you a healthy week!

p.s. Just in case you are bored out of your skull and need some entertainment The Metropolitan Opera is offering free screenings of several operas for the next couple of weeks.  This is the link
I know I want to see a couple of them! It will be like almost being there except I will be in sweats and a tee shirt

Sunday, March 15, 2020

All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go

Ugh! Right now I am feeling trapped and am sort of pacing between the kitchen and laundry room. Church has been canceled for at least the next two weeks and Sunday afternoons we usually go to the movies. Not today though. We are just hanging out at the house.and though I do not want to give up living like I normally do, normal is changing rapidly here in The States.

We had several events scheduled for this weekend and next week and all have been cancelled, except for the touring Broadway play (and I look for a notification that it is cancelled soon). If not, then next Sunday I will be seeing Waitress.

So now I wonder, do I clean the laundry room which needs a good stem to stern cleaning, do I prep a lot of foods to fill my already overstuffed freezer,  work in the yard which is filled with blowing pollen, have an in house beauty day with self manicures and facial masks, or do I make a cup of coffee and go binge watch some Netflix series?
Binge watching sounds best to me!

Meanwhile I will leave you all with a Facebook post I saw today. It hit home with me.

Breaking News:

Going outdoors Not Cancelled
Music Not Cancelled 
Family Not Cancelled
Reading Not Cancelled 
Friends  Not Cancelled
Singing  Not Cancelled
Laughing Not Cancelled
Hope Not Cancelled

Let's embrace what we have!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

10th Week of Joys

As my usual intro for this post goes, so does this one.  I try to catalog my joys each day. My plan is to sit down on New Year's Eve and read each post to see how joyful every day could be if I just looked for the things that brough smiles and happiness. This is my list for the 10th week of the year.

Wednesday: After having Mom in the ER for hours I was overjoyed she was released to go home. I was equally overjoyed that the ER doc issued a request for medical transport back  to her house.  She was totally unwilling to walk or sit because of the pain. Her tolerance level to discomfort is very low and she even yells and winces when the blood pressure cuff inflates. Before we left she was given an infusion for pain, got home, drank a little water then went to sleep and slept through the night. Another joy!

Thursday: Son3 and DIL3 flew in from New York for a long weekend. We have not seen them since June so it was a great joy for them to be here. Later Son2 and DIL2 came over for dinner also and we had a lot of conversations and laughter. We do have a hard and fast family rule though, no discussions of politics or religion during mealtime so we mainly talk about the funny or embarrassing things we have all done. I think focusing on laughter is critical!

Friday: Late Thursday night Son3 and I went to Mom's house to put the alarm pad on her bed. Though not comatose she was almost lifeless, lying in her bed and unable to speak above a whisper. Son3 was very upset and so was I. It is the worst I have seen yet. I even slept with my phone in my bed just in case the overnight care giver called to tell me to get down there immediately.
What a surprise when I went to her house the next morning. She not only was up and talking, (from about 2 am through 7)  but she was fighting mad because things were not going her way. So my joy would be not getting a call during the middle of the night that something had happened, and of course having our visitors

Saturday: We are taking the Corona virus precautions, but I do think it is funny that people are learning the need for hand washing. I am a hand washer and wash mine all the time, but will also admit I keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse 100 % of the time. Who would have thought hand sanitizer would become an almost black market commodity? I have been unable to find any but did find  a "recipe" for some DIY stuff. My joy was rather simple this day. TheHub and I went to Sprouts where we found plenty of aloe vera gel, as well as a couple of small bottles of hand sanitizer. It's the simple things in life, right?
Oh yes, I almost forgot a huge joy. Son3 and DIL3 need a bigger apartment so they had looked at a few before leaving town. While they were here Saturday, they got a call that they were approved for one. I forget that in NYC you don't just rent a place, but you have to provide personal details about your life and career then be approved by the board. I guess they were deemed acceptable!

Sunday: We were able to have a nice little pre-birthday party for Mom. It was TheHub, me, Sons 2 and 3,  DILs 2 and 3, My Beloved Sister, BIL, Mom and her sitter. Mom seemed to know what was going on and enjoyed everyone being there, even though she could not really follow conversations. Son3 played the piano while DIL3 sang. Mom even got up for a minute and "danced" with DIL2. It was the best gift anyone could ever give her.

Monday: The visiting duo flew back Monday evening and the visit was a huge success. We loved having them here. TheHub and I ate Chinese leftovers, put on seriously soft clothes and socked in for the night for some serious tv watching. I think we watched 3 episodes of Hunters, a new Amazon original series. The first episode made no real sense to me but by the second one it turned into a series with a lot of potential. I think we are really going to enjoy it.

Tuesday: It looked like Mom might have suffered a TIA overnight. As the day progressed it seemed less and less likely that it happened and most likely she had just slept funny and her face was kind of crinkled from an odd sleeping position. My joy was that she was doing OK until later in the night when I got a call from the caregiver that she was being combative. She is on waiting lists for several places but  we are even considering some less than stellar nursing homes now.

I am sure there were more joys but I wrote this after the company was gone so I am positive I left out a lot. I hope everyone reading this found joy somewhere in their week.  Cheers for an excellent week 11!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Meals That Mostly Did Not Happen

This was the meal plan I had come up with for the past week, but we had some major changes in our plan so it pretty much got tossed out the window. For the most part the changes were surprising and good, but as usual there was one Mom snafu.

 Anyhow, this was the plan:

1. Keto chicken and dumplings, coleslaw, keto cornbread (TheHub actually likes this)
2. Reuben chaffles with pickles and coleslaw
3. Hamburger patties with keto gravy and mushrooms, baked potato or no,t  broccoli, roll or keto roll
4. Spaghetti sauce over pasta or zoodles, tossed salad
5. Orange ginger chicken, rice or caulirice, stir fried veggies, coconut pie
6. Keto chicken enchilada casserole, tossed salad, niblet corn or not, keto flan
7. Out to eat

And this is what really happened:

Monday:  I spent a good bit of the day messing around in the kitchen. After cooking 10 pounds  of chicken quarters, then cooking the bones into a super thick rich broth, I was chickened out. I had seen a recipe for Rye Chaffles and thought it might be quite good on a reuben sandwich which would use up some leftover corned beef. So Monday turned into a sandwich night before going to see about Mom. She fell __again__ and might have cracked a rib. My Beloved Sister and I decided the risk of her contracting some other illness  in the ER late at night was greater than the risk of leaving her un X-rayed. I hated it for her and I hated that I had not ordered a bed alarm. It was ordered along with a gait belt.
Reuben Chaffles with a side of pickles and regret!

Tuesday: We are part of the Super Tuesday voters, and TheHub and I decided to go vote together and then go out for an inexpensive meal. Instead we drove to a local food truck and brought a sack of deliciousness home. We both had chicken arepas, but both fillings were different. I really did want to eat the bread, but I left it in the bag. Bummer!
Chicken Arepas, tossed salad (because I had some already tossed in the fridge)

Wednesday: Tuesday Mom was unwilling to leave her bed Tuesday so we gave her another day before having her back looked at. By Wednesday it was evident I would not be able to get her into my car to take her to the dr. Instead I arranged for an ambulance and we just went to the emergency room. The ER doc was a lovely man and after examining Mom for about 6 hours and determining she had fractured 2 vertebrae, she was released to go home. I had nothing ready for dinner so TheHub and I tried (unsuccessfully) to dodge the deluge and went to a local BBQ joint.
Pulled pork with coleslaw and collards. 

Thursday:  Son3 and DIL3 came into town in the late afternoon.  After a post flight snack of cheese and crackers, or just cheese for the ketonian (sounds like a civic club member doesn't it) we waited around a bit talking. About an hour and a half later Son2 and DIL 2 came to join up for dinner and a lot of laughter.
Spaghetti or zoodles with meat sauce, tossed salad and  dinner rolls (or no rolls)

Friday: Son3 and DIL 3 were able to take my car and do some running around during the day.Because I was unable to run down to Mom's, I got some chores I normally don't have time for done, plus I read a bit. Yea! 
They decided to eat dinner here but were meeting some friends for drinks after. Since drinks were planned we acted as chauffeurs and dropped them off. TheHub and I ran a couple of errands then went to a coffee shop for a little caffeine and conversation until they called us to be picked up.
 Chicken and dumplings or keto chicken and dumplings

Saturday: Son2 and DIL2 invited us all over to their house for dinner. I had not been there since shortly after they moved in. I love what they have done to the place. DIL2 has great taste and Son2 is a really nice weekend carpenter! They made dinner from scratch and it was delicious!
Chicken in mushroom sauce, risotto (or not) asparagus, tossed salad and focaccia

Sunday: While 2 of 3 sons and their spouses were available we went to Moms in the late afternoon for a little birthday celebration. Her actual birthday is not until Thursday, but she was able to have a little festivities a few days early. 
We decided since Son3 and DIL3 were in town we wanted to take them out to eat, but we also wanted to be somewhat mindful of a budget so we went to Red Pearl, our favorite Chinese restaurant. (If you are ever there ask for the basil chicken. It is not on the menu but it is delicious) Son2 and DIL2 also love Red Pearl so we asked them also. 
While we were there we learned how to play a new game called "What are the Odds". I am not going to go into the rules of the game right now, but every time our server came to the table I had to do a jazz hands motion and say "Jingle Jangle". The game was fun but a tad embarrassing. 
Assorted Chinese dishes shared with the table

The wrap up:

After finding Son3 and DIL3 were coming to town, and Mom had her issue I punted my meal plans for the most part. Our main objective when they are here is to make sure they can do whatever they want to, while we stay available for visiting with them during the gaps. I can always cook on a plan, but I can't create more time with them, so I will gladly sacrifice the plan, for time with  people I love every single time. 
I created this new plan for the week and will either follow it or not. It just depends on the week

1. Chinese leftovers
2. Spaghetti or noodles with leftover meat sauce, tossed salad
3. Leftover chili  (TheHub) or chicken soup (me)
4. Leftover chicken and dumplings (TheHub), huge tossed salad, asparagus
5. Soup and grilled cheese sandwich (TheHub) or grilled chaffle sandwich (me)
6.Hamburger patties, mashed potatoes or caulimash, broccoli
7. Dinner out (We have a fundraiser to attend)

p.s. This. should have been posted yesterday, but DIL3 and Son3 did not leave until later in the day and I wanted to spend time with them and not spend time on the computer.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Joy for the ninth week

If you have been reading this blog you know that I have been keeping up with the joys I find each day. My goal is to read them in New Years Eve just to remind myself that every single day has something joyful. I hope to reflect on every good thing and truly appreciate each day. If you haven’t read them before, welcome and it is a joy to have you here.

Feb. 26  Found a sale on things Mom needed and also rented the movie Jo Jo Rabbit. I enjoyed it but I am not sure I understand how it was nominated for a best movie award.

Feb, 27  Picked up a very discounted corned beef from Aldi and decided to go ahead and cook it just to see if the flavor was worth the savings. It was delicious and I made plans to go pick up at least 2 more before the sale ended.

Feb. 28 Met a substitute sitter for Mom. She was a delight and I felt good about leaving Mom with her the following day. After work, TheHub and I went to Mooyah for a delicious hamburger. As an added plus__ they actually have a keto burger on their menu. After eating we went to Aldi for the corned beef sale. Then we hit Sprouts for a couple of things that were in their ad. We are pretty exciting aren't we.

Feb. 29 This had to be the biggest joy I have had in a long time. We went to the inaugural talent show for Unless U, an academic and social facility for adults with special needs. It was held at the Lyric Theater  which is an old, restored to its former glory, venue. The beautiful setting was the perfect place to contain all the joy both from the participants and everyone who came out to support them. What an outstanding show/ fundraiser. I am not sure who enjoyed it more, those on stage or those in the audience.
After the performance the audience was milling around in the lobby talking to all the various participants. I am seriously claustrophobic so I told TheHub to take his time and talk to whomever he wanted, but I was going to wait outside. 700 plus people in a tight space is just more than I can bear. While I waited I watched the doors where people were slowly exiting and did not see one person who did not come out smiling, though most were grinning from ear to ear. That is what I call one successful show!
Btw in 2 years the organization has raised almost 1.5 million in capital funds for their new building .  Their goal is to build it debt free. Hopefully after Saturday night they met their goal. Kudos all around!

March 1  I thought about celebrating the arrival of a new month but didn't. The day was a typical Sunday for us__church, lunch, nap, 60 minutes, and of course food. I guess I had 2 joys for the day. I had cooked several things in advance, so the chili for dinner was made and just had to be heated, and I did not have to go to Mom's. My Beloved Sister and I swap days on the weekend so each one of us has a day free from having to go. I am at Mom's 6 days a week so the one day of not going is almost like a vacation.

March 2 Mid morning I got a phone call from Son3 with some surprising news. He and DIL3 are
planning on coming for a visit. This is a huge joy since we have not seen them in quite a while! One other small joy is when I set up the new computer I did not  lose my Spotify play list. I have an extensive list I curated over a few years with over 50 categories. When I finally got it installed it was all there! Whoo hoo! I missed it terribly.

March 3 Mom was not doing so well after a fall late the night before. I went to her house early and there was no doubt she was hurting. My joy was taken from an old episode of M.A.S.H.  As most of you know Mom has dementia and mostly has no idea of what is going on. I had no rx pain medicines so I took two ibuprofen capsules and told her it was a very strong pain med so I was giving her a double dose. The placebo effect worked! She slept all day and through the night which gave me time to arrange special medical transportation for the following day.
 Because I spent a lot of time with her, I had nothing for dinner. TheHub and I picked up some takeout at an Argentinian food truck. Yum!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Back to the Table

I have been very lax planning menus lately, mostly because I was having to use my phone to post and frankly it just teed me off to no end, so I did not post anything really except for my weekly joys. Now that I have my new toy and have an actual keyboard rather than a key pad, life is so much easier for me, but I am still not able to utilize the computer for blog responses. Any help out there would be greatly appreciated.

Lent is in full swing now and one of the things I am doing to observe Lent is staying on keto without some of the breaks I tend to take. So I really do need to menu plan including whatever I need to make in addition to just the meals. Keto, at least for me is not easy when I am flying by the seat of my pants, especially around lunch time when I might be inclined to just eat crackers spread with peanut butter, or a turkey sandwich. For me to stay on it successfully I need things that are leftover but still satisfy my mouth, plus an occasional keto cookie or dessert helps tremendously.

This is the list of dinner possibilities for the upcoming week. I will try to cook enough for some leftovers I can have for lunch the next day. The meals are in no particular order and are based on things I have already bought. I begin this week with a ton of fresh vegetables, some strawberries and grapes, ground beef and many possibilities from the freezer.

1. Keto chicken and dumplings, coleslaw, keto cornbread (TheHub likes this)
2. Reuben chaffles with pickles and coleslaw
3. Hamburger patties with keto gravy and mushrooms, baked potato or no,t  broccoli, roll or keto roll
4. Spaghetti sauce over pasta or zoodles, tossed salad
5. Orange ginger chicken, rice or caulirice, stir fried veggies, coconut pie
6. Keto chicken enchilada casserole, tossed salad, niblet corn or not, keto flan
7. Out to eat

Needed to make:
Keto dinner rolls
Keto cornbread
Keto butter cookies
Keto coconut pie
Keto flan
Keto breakfast cereal or granola ✓
Keto caulimash (enough for 4 meals) ✓

Any of these I make will be much more than I need for the meal plan, so everything left will be frozen for  the upcoming weeks. The exception is the flan. It will need to be eaten immediately with any leftovers refrigerated and consumed within a day of two. I may or may not actually make it.

Hope you have a good food week!