Google+ Followers

Follow by Email


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

     As I write this we are within two hours of 2014.  Perhaps the proudest accomplishment of 2013 is that Cindy enters 2014 weighing 58 pounds less than she entered 2013.  Durelle and I admire her fortitude.  It has been a fine year.  It has had its ups and downs as all years must.  Of course New Years Eve means fireworks, and fireworks mean nervous puppies.  Baxter has had his melatonin and he is wrapped up in his "Thundershirt" in front of the fire.  The TV with its football games is turned up louder than usual and the windows are shut so that he does not hear the pyrotechnics as much as he might.

      So far, so good, but we have not had nearly as many fireworks as last year.  Let's hope it continues.  Our Christmas decorations are limited to a few ribbons and Mother Nature's addition of a lovely bush full of Holly berries.

     Of course the RED Sox do not detract from the holiday theme.  The weather has been just lovely and we enjoyed the holiday drive through the James Island County Park's annual festival of lights.  We sympathize with our many friends whose holiday weather has not been nearly as pleasant.  We look forward to 2014.  My rehabilitation from shoulder surgery is proceeding normally and my primary care physician has sent a referral to the top hip replacement surgeon in the area.  I am optimistic that the summer travel season will find me (and the bus) fit and ready to go.
     We wish all of our readers a healthy and prosperous 2014.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Summer weather

     While the Northeast has been experiencing abnormally nasty weather. The Southeast has been treated to summertime conditions.  Today was 79 degrees that felt like 81 with the humidity.  This evening Durelle and I sat out back to watch the sunset.  (We sit out front to watch the strollers walking around the neighborhood.)  It wasn't dramatic, but I did get some good sunset shots.  A major challenge is holding the camera still enough in the low light.

     As the sky got darker, the sky changed colors.

     We are ready for a quiet Christmas with Durelle and I and Cindy.  By the way, Cindy has lost 55 pounds since the first of January and 35 pounds since her surgery.  I, for one, am impressed.  I should also mention that Baxter will also be part of our Christmas.  Here he is in his usually contemplative state.

     We wish you all a great holiday season.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


     It seems that on every visit to a grocery store I make a visit to the deli.  Our usual lunch is a big wrap that we split.  Today, for example, I bought a half pound each of sliced pastrami, roast beef, and mozzarella plus a pound of sliced swiss.  I often buy some salami or hard sausage to use for snacks with crackers and cheese.  In this case I prefer an un-sliced chunk so that I can cut it to suit my needs and the shape of the crackers.  A very interesting thing happens when you ask the young lady behind the counter to cut a one pound piece off the hunk of salami in the display case.  When asked for a pound of sliced meat, they can just sneak up on it one slice at a time.  Of course they often say, "It's just a little over. Is that OK?"  But the idea of a one pound chunk stumps them.  Once, she set the slicer to the maximum width and gave me about five half inch chunks.  Another skittered off to find a supervisor.  Once in a very great while I will find one who will weigh the whole chunk and estimate what fraction would be close to a pound, but this is an exception.
     These kids are not stupid; they just have not faced the problem before.  When I suggest that they weigh the whole piece, they will.  I explain that, if it weighs two pounds, cut it in half.  If it weighs three pounds, estimate where it should be cut to make three equal pieces and cut on one of those points, then wrap up the smaller piece for me.  If it is an odd weight, the mental calculation can be more difficult.  Once, one of the girls handed me a piece that weighed a bit less than 2 1/2 pounds.  I looked at it and said, "Make your cut between the e and the f in beef.  The resulting piece was almost exactly one pound.  To her credit she wanted to talk about how to do that.
     I can recall when my mother would ask my father how much a piece of meat weighed.  These pieces were home butchered and wrapped for the freezer and did not have the grocery labels.  He would grab a quart of milk from the refrigerator and "heft" it to get calibrated.  A quart weighed two pounds.  "A pint's a pound the world around."  Of course that only applies to water, bur milk was close enough for an estimate.  He would then give my mother an estimated weight of the meat that was close enough to choose the cooking time.
     I am not here lamenting the dependence on calculators.  I am saddened by the fact that an intuitive understanding of fractions has been lost.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Almost Christmas ?

      That's what Baxter says, "Is it Christmas yet"    The tree is set up, but the only presents are a few that Cindy brought over.  It's time for me to start thinking about what I should get for Durelle.  The PT is coming along fine.  The shoulder permits almost any motion.  I have one more session of "range of motion only" therapy then we get into the rebuilding phase on the 23rd.  
     Tonight we were sitting out front watching a full moon come up.  I took a few pictures as the moon escaped from behind a tree.

     My mini tripod makes these possible.
       I assume you are watching the same moon.  We are doing well.  Durelle is disgustingly healthy.  I'm muddingly along.  The reconstructed rotator cuff is almost back to normal.  I have one more "range of motion only" PT session, then we start the rebuild activities on the 23rd.  When the shoulder has recovered, I can think about a hip replacement.  I am looking forward to being able to move normally.
     Tonight was a very successful effort on the grill.  Two days ago I marinated an extra thick pork chop in a mixture of beer, molasses, and kosher salt.  Today I removed it from the marinade, dried it with paper towel, and rubbed in a mixture of minced garlic and pepper.  The Traeger Grill was set at 350.   When the chop reached about 145 degrees, I took it off and wrapped it in foil to rest.  Durelle did a rice/veggie while the pork was resting.  It was perfect.  There is a fine line between getting it done without drying it out.  Tonight was perfect.  It was moist for me and not pink for Durelle.  Here's hoping you all have a great holiday.