Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm Alive!

Thanks for asking, Tech. I'm still here and alive.

It's the time of year when I find myself staying inside the house more and more, trying to stay out of the killer heat. So, basically, it's work, home, sleep, work, home, sleep.

I need to get out and fight the lawn again. Finding the optimal time is critical, however, I have to work it in around the odd schedule of thunderstorms, which leave the grass and ground too wet for mowing; my work schedule, which includes too much weekend and evening time to leave time for mowing; and my chemically enhanced inability to tolerate heat and/or sunlight.

Add to that a wicked propensity to recurring leg cramps and extreme fatigue from the diabetes and you can figure that leave me about 15 minutes a week for yardwork -- at 3 a.m. alternate Thursdays.

I've been on the new combination insulin for a few weeks and have seen some small improvements in my morning blood sugar numbers. However, today I tested a couple of hours after lunch (and a nap, so undoubtedly my liver dumped out a bunch of sugar while I slept). Yeah, not so good. It was 415 at that point. I've only had one reading higher than that. These are scary numbers, if you don't know. But I feel "normal." Having some vision problems, but that's the only physical indicator I have that things are still sccrewed up.

Also I'm taking a mega-dose of Vitamin D once a week. A prescription formula of 50,000 units of vitamin D in a little green gel cap on Wednesday mornings. They only dispense these 4 at a time. Needless to say the medicine-taking routine is now at the point of being a ridiculous ritual. One pink, two yellow, one large white, one small white, a morning injection, an evening injection, another large white, and a greenie on Wednesday. And an occasional purple. GAH! Oh, and blood testing once or twice a day.

This doesn't even get into the food rituals of counting carbohydrates, etc.

Just the mental gymnastics that are required to keep all these plates in the air keep me from having the energy to focus on better things.

And I'm real certain I've just recently posted the exact same post.

In something completely unrelated:

The parable of the Prodigal Son has come up too many times recently to be mere coincidence. I think it would be safe to say I have heard four sermons using this as the text in three weeks. Each focused on a slightly different meaning to the story; however, it's resonating with me that I'm in need of "going home." I know where home is, and I need to get back to it. And soon. Where I am is not home. I will elaborate more when I can get myself back on the path to where I need to be. Sorry to be sort of cryptic but "the plan" for "going home" is not solid enough now to make public. Your prayers, however, are always appreciated for discerning such things. I've screwed up enough on my own.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Conquering the plant world

I'm in the midst of a glorious four-day weekend. I believe this is the first I've had in two years, so I am enjoying every possible second of it! I hope you are too!

I've put in a considerable number of hours working on the lawn since Thursday, trying to catch up with the mowing, and the watering, and the trimming, and the pruning, and the Round-Up-ing (not a verb, but go along with me here, please.) I've got more to do tomorrow, weather permitting. Not a lot, but it could be a lot if I were so inclined, which I am not. I just want to get to the point where Code Enforcement doesn't slap a red tag on my front door again. Which means some more pruning and catching a few strips I missed with the mower while the sun was setting Thursday night.

So there's one attack on the plant kingdom, conquering the suburban lawn. Why did I want to live in a house again? I wasn't built for this kind of work. I'm not good at it and I never get to the point where it is done and well done. Maybe it's time for me to rethink this "life" style. I need a condo with someone else responsible for the grounds. Yeah.... and a masseuse. And a weekly pedicure.

Anyway, today I conquered another side of the plant world with an early morning trip to the farmer's market -- yeah! they were open on the 4th of July! And it was raining!

I woke up early and planned to lollygag in bed listening to the rain falling on my freshly cut grass. Oddly, though, sleep eluded me, which it never does. It's getting sneakier. So I got up, went to breakfast and headed to the farmer's market where I made quite a haul. I couldn't believe how many folks set up in the rain, but they have tarps they set up over their tables. I'm glad they do.

I walked away with a mess of green beans, a couple of tomatoes, some red potatoes, a candy onion, a couple of yellow squash and four peaches.

When I got home I decided to have a garden dinner today for lunch, and so I made up a recipe. Here it is, and let me just say I'll be making it again and can recommend it to you:

4 red potatoes, scrubbed free of the garden mud and cut into bite-size chunks.
1 sweet onion, diced.
2 yellow squash, washed and sliced into 1/2 inch slices. Halve or quarter the biggest slices so they are fairly uniform.

Put the veggies in a foil-lined roasting pan.

In a bowl, melt two to three tablespoons of butter; add about two or three tablespoons of good olive oil.
Add a good teaspoon of kosher salt
Add a teaspoon of fresh-ground pepper
Mince three cloves of fresh garlic and add to the mix. Give this all a good stir to mix. Pour evenly over the veggies; toss and turn to coat well.

Pop this into a pre-heated 450 degree oven for 30 minutes; remove, stir and cover with grated Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven; turn the heat down to 350 and let it settle for about 10 more minutes to let the cheese make friends with the veggies.

Remove from oven; resist the urge to start eating this until it cools down to the point of causing lethal burns. Once it's safe, enjoy!

I had a huge plate full of this for lunch and grazed on it the rest of the day, finishing the last of it off for supper.

Then for dessert, I took the four peaches....

Dip the peaches in boiling water to loosen the skins, then plunge in ice water. The skins will slide right off. Then slice and pit the peaches and put the slices in an oven safe baking dish (I used pyrex). In a small bowl, mix about a 1/4 cup of brown sugar, a tablespoon of nutmeg and a tablespoon of cinnamon (all approximate. Do it by smell so you have a nice spicy-sweet mix). Sprinkle it over the peach slices, then throw on some of your favorite nuts. Pecans would be ideal; I had blanched sliced almonds which were also good. Walnuts also would work great.

Bake at 350 (the oven is still on, remember?) for 15 to 20 minutes, until the brown sugar has melted and mixed with the juices from the peaches.

Again, refrain from eating this until the danger of scalding burns has passed. This is great in a bowl ... with a little vanilla ice cream on top. All melty wonderful, kind of like pie a la mode without the crust.

If you're diabetic, be sure you figure out your carbs first. I can't be responsible for backsliders. I can only tell you these things made my holiday a happy one!