Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Big Scary Medical Week ...

We have a ton of doctoring this week. Prescription pickups Monday went well. Today's appointment with my cardiologist went well also but I have to go in Thursday morning to get a defibrillator installed in my chest.

This is not a fun decision to have to make. I'm reading up on ICDs so I can be as informed as possible. Until now, I haven't thought about sudden cardiac death, but my cardio team opened my eyes to the reality of it all.

I could live another thirty days to three years without the ICD. I don't like those odds very much. With the ICD I should have at least another ten years. I like those odds much better.

I am already fairly certain what my decision will be. I just need to hear from the surgeon who will perform the procedure before I say yes or no.

Wish me luck, think those good thoughts and keep me in your prayers, please.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

While grocery shopping earlier in the week, I found a bargain price on chuck steaks. The steaks were all rather small. I had a brainstorm. I bought the little chuck steaks and took them home.

Tonight we are enjoying the results. Steak stew. I put the steaks in my Dutch oven with water and my usual seasonings: rosemary, black pepper, chopped onions, garlic, black pepper and salt substitute. I let it all simmer overnight.

Today, I used two packages of Pioneer brand brown gravy mix to thicken the broth. At about 4 pm I added the stew veggies to the pot: potatoes, carrots, celery and pearl onions. As I type this I am enjoying a very delicious and tender stew. With sourdough bread, of course.

Just perfect to eat while watching the premiere of Big Brother 10 on CBS!

Try it, you'll like it!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Learning a new trick!

Hey, foodie friends! Guess what? I'm learning how to make tamales!! I love those fiery treats and have long wanted to learn how. Now I get the chance.

After I have made a couple or twelve batches I will share my recipes here, including tips and tricks based on my experiences. I'm in for some fun and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I will.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

More MS News

China has had another exacerbation. The left side is getting number and weaker. I posted a new update on her care page at http://www.carepages.com/ServeCarePage?cpn=ChinaHasMS&seed=773642&ClusterNodeID=jb04&tlcx1=default&tlcx2=3608249 Please take a moment and check it out.

Weather has been nicer. We've finally had some rain but not enough yet. July is supposed to be monsoon season here. Some monsoon! Our skin is still flaking off due to the dryness.

We found an article in Yahoo! News that states that watermelon has a similar effect to Viagra. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080703/ap_on_he_me/watermelon_viagra_effect I also read that purple eggplant is good for diabetics. I can't find the link but when I dig it up, I'll post it here.

Happy Summer, y'all!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New haircut, old arthritis

I finally cut my hair after nearly a year. I look different. I will have to post photos soon. Then you can all see what a handsome, young lad I really am. :D

However, arthritis is really giving me heck. My left hand now refuses to close all the way and I have no grip on that side. Two knuclkes of my middle finger have stiffened ti the point that I can't bend them. The pain is devilish at times, too. It has slown my typing speed but I am not giving in to it. I'm fighting for flexibility and movement.

Nothing new to add about my wife's health. She is doing as well as can be expected with me giving her a boost from behind all the time. She's a fighter, just like I am. At the rate we are going, we will still be going strong together long after we should be totally incapacitated. Go us.

On the soap box: Still not buying McCain as a valid choice for president. Let's inaugurate Obama tomorrow and end the tragedy of the Bush years. Off the soap box. Good night.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday the 13th diagnosis

It has been too long since my last update. I've been having ISP issues. Problems solved! I fired the losers and got a new ISP. Qwest is worlds better than Comcast. Yes.

Now for the latest. On Friday, June 13, 2008 my wife was diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. We knew something was not right for years but only now have we been able to get in to see a neurologist.

We are coping as best we can. We have terrific neighbors who all want to help. We have the best medical care available in New Mexico. We also have friends and acquaintances all over the world who care deeply.

Prayers would be welcome from anybody who knows how to pray.

Current Albuquerque Pix

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Trigo Fire - Manzano Mts. NM

Hi, everybody. Just an update to let all my friends know that we are safe from the fires for now. The biggie, the Trigo fire, is being held by the fire crews. Severl states sent in hotshot crews to help ours fight the fire when the winds blasted the fire out of containment earlier this wek.

Two villages, Tajique and Torreon were saved by the emergency efforts. The fire was barricaded of by chemicals and new firebreaks and traveled a path between the villages. A masterful job of fire management under extreme conditions. Hats off to the hotshots.

Since then, the winds have calmed down into the 10 to 15 miles per hour. The planes and copters are flying again and once more the fire is under containment. If the crews can make sufficient progress before the winds before the winds kick up again around midweek coming up.

At least I can put the battery back into my smoke detector now.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Big Brother won by Adam - Right or Wrong?

Hi, friends! Big Brother 9 is history. Adam is the $500,000 winner. I originally wanted Natalie to win but when she got voted out I switched to Ryan. I thought he played the game better than any house guest I have ever watched.

I might have had a different opinion if I had been able to see last season to the end. Dick was a great player too. Unfortunately, I slipped into a coma before BB8 was half over and didn't wake up until it was done.

So, vote in my poll. Over there -----> to the right. See it? (just kidding)

Then, go back to http://slimtainment.com and vote in Slim's poll. Tell him Doc sent you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dumb Weather Channel!

Sitting here eating a chicken salad sandwich and watching the dumb weather channel. Why are they dumb? Because all they do is talk about the weather. They never do a doggone thing about it.

Okay, so Winter's over here in Albuquerque. The temperatures are up in the upper seventies and pushing into the low eighties. The snowfalls are done for this year and the deep dry has set in. All the storm systems shoot past us to the North and we stay bone dry. Parched, even. Daily humidity readings in the single digits. Yesterday, for example, the humidity dropped all the way to 3%. Yes, it is that dry here.

My skin is a mass of flakes. I don't even want to go outside where people can see my dryness. My wife is complaining of the same problem. If the wind would let up for a few days it might be a little nicer but I doubt it. The mountains are only about ten miles away from home and I can't see them for the shroud of dust hanging in the way.

I think I'll go stand in the shower until I look like a white prune. Maybe my skin will stay damp for a few minutes.

Other than that, life in Albuquerque is still pretty nice. I have some nice neighbors. I can watch the middle schoolers play tennis across the street. I can feed the little birds and watch their antics.

I also have this thing called a computer. It's my connection to the world. Howdy, friends!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Time for an update on my condition

Such as it is, my condition is in pretty good condition. My heart is improving. (YAY!) My kidneys are 100%. (YAY!) My diabetes and cholesterol numbers are the best they have ever been. (YAY! YAY! and YAY!)

Now if I can get back into the exercise/walking routine I will be doing just great. Huff-puff-huff-puff! Life can be good at times. Catch you all later!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturdays have become strange around here. I keep having low blood glucose episodes. Last Saturday's almost landed me in the hospital. Puh-LEEZE! Not again! I'm tired of that place! Tonight, I caught it in time and managed to eat enough to stay level and safe.

We got a little rain last Saturday. Today the humidity is totally missing. We got as low as 6% this afternoon. Like my old pal Bob Dale in San Diego would say on his weathercast, "It was so dry you could hear the window putty breaking up." At 10:20 pm it's back up to 15%. I like that much better.

But to cap off the strangeness, one of our new neighbors has young girls. They love to disturb the neighbors. They will gallop up and down the metal stairs making all the noise they can. They will rap on windows and doors while running Hell-bent-for-leather up and down the walkways. They will go into the breezeways and turn off the circuit breakers to other people's apartments. They hit again tonight. I had to hook up my portable oxygen and go out with my flashlight to turn the refrigerator, bathroom lights and bedroon wall sockets and lights back on. Fortunately for us this time, they missed the breakers that run our TV and computers. Lucky us. I just got through talking to the security guys about it. My next-door neighbor saw them and saw which apartment they ran into. I hope they at least get a talking to out of it.

Post me a comment if anything strange has happened at your home lately, please.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mental Exercise ...

I got this from Driller at Brain Freeze by way of Teri over at Eye ........ See You. Thanks for sharing y'all!

If I were a direction I’d be...Southwest - near San Diego but not in the city.
If I were furniture I’d be… computer desk - always busy with what I like to do
If I were a liquid I’d be…root beer float - always tasty and creamy with just enough fizz
If I were a sin I’d be…Gluttony - always wanting more (I know it was Teri's but it fits.)
If I were a gem/stone I’d be…Star Sapphire - as blue as my eyes
If I were a metal I’d be…titanium - strong, light and heat resistant
If I were a tree I’d be…pinon pine - an ecosystem unto myself and my jaybirds
If I were a fruit I’d be… an apple - brilliant, sweet and full of crispy snap
If I were a flower I’d be…yucca - shaped like a lily, home to bees and living in the high desert
If I were weather I’d be…a severe thunderstorm - full of donder und blitzen
If I were a music instrument I’d be…bass guitar - opinionated and authoritative
If I were an element I’d be…nitrogen - plentiful in the air but explosive in the right company
If I were a color I’d be…steel blue - like my eyes but harder
If I were an animal I’d be…a dragon - noble, intelligent, immortal beast with fiery breath
If I were a sound I’d be…glasses clinking - in a perpetual toast to my fellow man
If I were a lyric I’d be… Doctor my eyes have seen the years, And the slow parade of tears - I feel more this way with each passing year
If I were a music type I'd be...Heavy Metal - The slow, musical kind, like Black Sabbath
If I were a perfume/cologne I'd be...Axe Essence - the ultimate duality of personality
If I were a feeling I’d be…powerful - like a 50-ton muscle ready to flex
If I were a book I’d be…a horrific suspense novel - keeping you glued to the pages and scaring the bejeesus out of you at the end
If I were food I’d be…a jalapeno - not hot enough to set you on fire but hot enough that you will remember my passage
If I were a city I’d be…San Diego - big, pulsing with life but retaining that small town charm
If I were a taste I’d be…nutmeg - no explanation
If I were a scent I’d be…newborn kitten fur - nothing to compare to it
If I were a word I’d be…steadfast - corny thought? not at all
If I were a verb I’d be…fighting - to the bitter end and never giving up
If I were an object I’d be…nutcracker - always trying to get to the meat of the problem
If I were a piece of clothing I’d be…boots - sturdy, tough and leathery
If I were a body part I’d be…rock-hard abs - because
If I were a facial expression I’d be…sarcastic smirk - because it fits so well on my face
If I were a cartoon character I’d be…Bugs Bunny - clever, sassy and irreverent
If I were a movie I’d be…Holes - because life is a futile struggle but the perseverent can win in the end
If I were a geometrical figure I’d be…irregular polygon - I'm hard to "figure"
If I were one of the 4 seasons I’d be…Winter - I like it cool
If I were a sentence I’d be…Never give up, never surrender, never admit defeat.

I say help yourself to the exercise and replace my answers with your own. Go ahead! It's fun!

Prez poll closed.

Well, my presidential poll is closed. McCain won. David Archuleta came in last with one vote. What's this country coming to? :D

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I knew I was right! :)

I have long been a proponent of storing my open peanut butter in the cabinet or pantry instead of the fridge. It turns out that Live Science . Com has scientific evidence to back me up!


So, if you don't like the PB in the fridge because it tears holy heck out of your bread and just won't spread, put it in the pantry instead. Go ahead, it lasts for a year without refrigeration. Down with frozen peanut butter! Go smooshy PB&J sammiches!

Listen to this!

Tonight while having the usual good time on Idolbloglive, I met a delightful young lady who sings like an old pro. Follow this link to hear her amazing voice:


There are two songs you can listen to. She intends to try out for Idol next year when she finally meets the minimum age requirement. I hope she does well.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Ramblings and Random Thoughts

The weather here has gone dry. We haven't had half the normal moisture so far this year. We are under high fire danger or red flag warnings daily. The wind is up - no surprise there - since this is Albuquerque in April. The dust is getting rather bad but we are expecting the Rio Grande to flood once the snowmelt starts in earnest up in the mountains. At least I live up in the heights. The flooding won't reach this far.

Other than dry weather we are having fun here. Our neighbors are always doing fun stuff that we can either watch, like garage sales, or participate in, like chasing the little kids around the courtyard. Life is pretty good.

Now if I could just win that lottery!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Billary B. S.

If I could, I would grasp Billary by their collective neck and shake until common sense sets in. They need to step aside and let Obama take on McCain. I won't vote for McCain regardless of who wins the Democrat nomination but Hillary can't beat him in the general election. She just doesn't have the right stuff.

Enough preXidential politiX for now. Veterans of all ages unite! The current crop of returning vets is getting the short end of the stick when it comes to G. I. Bill for college. Over at Wes Clark's place there is a petition to get key senators off their butts to fix teh problem. Please follow this link http://therealmccain.com/gibill/ and sign the petition. It will take mere seconds. The veterans of today deserve no less than the benefits we and our parents enjoyed after our sacrifices.

My patriotic blood thanks you in advance for stepping up.

Monday, March 31, 2008

More Hillary Hokum

Okay, Hillary has proven herself to be a liar already. Now she is saying that if she gets elected president she will cut middle-class taxes by 100,000,000 dollars a year. That's one hundred million clams a year. Is that more of that sniper fire we hear?

It's like her concept of universal health care. Make every American man, woman and child buy health insurance whether they can afford it or not. During Bill's first 100 days, she said, "We are going to make the deadbeats pay up!" Does anybody really think that she has had a change of heart during the past 16 years? Not on your sweet bippy!

So now she has her lapdog, Carville calling Richardson a Judas. He is anything but. He is a savvy polititian with a good sense of right and wrong. What Bill did for Governor Richardson has no bearing on Richardson's political decisions. If Richardson wants to back Obama, he is free to do so.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Mexico Breakfast - I hope!

This is my attempt to recreate the New Mexico Breakfast recipe I posted on Idolfriends before the database met a vicious, permanent end. Sorry Slim. Technology isn't supposed to do that to you.

New Mexico Breakfast

These ingredient amounts are per person. Reason being that I cook mine with Egg Beaters or Better-N-Eggs and my wife's with Just Whites. Different maladies, different diets. But I can handle it!

Two large eggs or 1/2 cup of egg substitute
1/4 to 1/2 cup New Mexico green chiles (sometimes called Anaheims but not in New Mexico)
More chiles will result in a difficult dish to handle and will serve up a little ugly, but indulge your passion for the spicy stuff. These chiles are mild enough for a baby.
1/4 cup Colby-Jack shredded cheese or 1 stick. My favorite is Precious brand Sticksters.

Preheat a 6 inch or 8 inch non-stick skillet. You may use either 1 tsp. of olive oil or 1 tsp. of butter. Put the chiles into the hot pan and stir with a plastic or wooden spatula. I love my wooden tools! Don't let the chiles overbrown or your eggs, especially if you use allwhites, will look an unsavory shade of tan.

You may also add minced onion at this step if you so desire. I like green onions in mine. Add the eggs and stir until the chiles and/or onions are well coated. Let stand for a few minuites and scramble. Soft scrambled works best. Add the cheese, either shredded or broken into pieces and stir continuously until all the cheese disappears into the eggs.

Serve with hot tortillas, your choice of juice and enjoy!

If everybody in the family or group wants whole eggs, you can go nuts with a big skillet and lots of eggs, chiles and cheese. Let your mind go and your hands get into it. :D

Nothing special today.

Just a word or two today. Not feeling all that great but still not bad. Weather is beautiful here this time of year. I need to get out and walk but just don't feel up to it. I suppose a walk to the mailbox will have to suffice. Of course, I intend to feed the birds as well. I'm still finagling with the new camera, trying to get a few good bird pix. I'll post any good ones here.

God bless you all and check back tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Howdy, friends!

It is nice to see my pals from idolbloglive coming over to wish me well. Thanks to all of you. I will be posting more recipes in days to come, too.

Mrs. E. and I are deciding where to go for our health walk today. The weather is so lovely at the moment that we just want to go outdoors and bask. We may do some of that as well as walking.

We know that this time of year brings severe weather to many parts of the country and for that we feel for those of you who are suffering the wrath of mother nature. Our prayers are with you all. We are especially disturbed by all the flooding in the Ohio and Mississippi basins.

So with the birds songs in our ears and a lilt in our stride, we venture forth. If anything interesting happens, I will let you know when we return from our walk.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Serious beef stew - for stew lovers only!

First recipe post. Yayzers.

Serious Beef Stew

A big, honking Dutch oven. Yes, a Dutch oven! Alternatively you may use a crock pot but the meat won't brown as nicely.

2 lbs. stew meat
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. baby or baby-cut carrots (unless you insist on cutting your own)
1 lb cut celery
six to eight medium potatoes or 2 lbs of baby red potatoes
onion to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. rosemary, crushed or whole leaf
1/4 tsp. oregano leaves
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes or cilantro leaves, not both.
1/4 tsp. or 1 clove garlic, crushed
2 packages of Pioneer (R) Brown Gravy mix
1 cup of cold water

Put Dutch oven on stovetop. Add extra-virgin olive oil. Heat until oil just begins to smoke. Dump in all the meat. Brown all the meat chunks lightly. The more you brown the meat, the darker the broth will get. When the meat is brown enough for you, cover the meat with water.

It's ok to fill the Dutch oven almost to the top. Set the burner to warm or the smallest gas flame your burner will give you. The broth will not boil over. You do not want your stew meat to boil dry. It will burn quickly if it does.

Add in the black pepper, rosemary, oregano, parsley and garlic. Stir well with a stiff plastic spatula, scraping the bottom of the pot. Occasionally stir and make sure to scrape the bottom each time.

Let cook overnight. The meat will be melt-in-your-mouth tender in the morning.

In the morning, add in the celery and carrots. Hold off on the potatoes until one hour before dinnertime.

Right before adding the potatoes, mix the graviy mix, both packets together, in 1 cup of cold water. Make sure there is enough broth to cover the stew but leave a little room for the gravy mix. Beat the gravy mix with a whisk until the mixture is totally lump-free. Pour the mixture into the stew broth and stir in thoroughly. Add the potatoes. Cover and let simmer for one hour.

Serve with cornbread, biscuits or brown and serve rolls. We call them burn and turn rolls at our house. :) Enjoy your savory stew creation! This stuff keeps for at least a week in the fridge and can be frozen in batches to reheat later.

First post for my new blog. Woo.

I know a lot of reality TV junkies and hang out over at Slim's place, http://www.idolbloglive.com/ with my friends and worldwide neighbors.

However, there is one work of fiction that I, along with other like-minded people don't want to see cancelled forever. The show is CBS's Jericho. I have posted this bit of text prominently and now include it here:

I know some of my fellow reality junkies also like to watch Jericho on CBS. Well, CBS has cancelled the show. We fans, the Jericho Rangers, think we can convince SciFi Channel to pick up the show in the Fall if we get enough letters to them.
If you wish to help, write an impassioned plea to them and address it to:
SCI FI Channel
21st Floor
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

Please add your voice to the tumult.