Archive for December, 2013

Investigating Weight Loss Myths So You Ain’t Gotta

As y’all know, I investigated the green coffee bean extract tablets and weight loss to the best of my ability (well, I admit, sometimes I remembered in the morning to take the dang tablets and forgot in the afternoon and evening, or vice versa). Same with the raspberry ketone tablets. If caffeine was the reason for fat burn, that five cups of coffee morning habit with caffeinated sweet tea the rest of the day should do SOMETHING, right? Particularly when the coffee and sweet tea are often meal replacers and, if I’m really busy, I’ll go through the whole day without even thinking about eating if I’m by myself. Apparently I’m with other people too often (grin).

I read a women’s magazine while standing in line at the checkout at Walmart (you can read entire magazines while waiting in line there) about adding a tsp. of ginger to tea per day for amazing weight loss. Up to six pounds per week! Hunh. Well, I’ve been adding a tsp. of ginger to my coffee for a week now. I have not been eating any differently. Guess what happened?

I gained six pounds is what happened.

Aha! You may say. It’s because you’re eating all those cakes and candies and Christmas cookies that go along with the season! Nope. Can’t eat that stuff. Haven’t had any.

Part of that weight gain is probably because I went to a restaurant last night, gave careful instructions about gluten-free everything, but they didn’t exactly comply. My stomach (well, intestines, to be more precise) are all swollen and part of the problem is probably water retention.

In addition, when my cortisol levels are elevated, I just gain weight like a prize steer. With Swampman going into the hospital in a week, Christmas, and assorted other stresses that are going on right, my cortisol levels must be pretty dang high.

Maybe I should do a little more meditating and a little less cursing. And quit restaurant eating completely.

I need to go on a very low carb diet (no rice! no taters! no sweet tea!) in a couple weeks when hopefully SwampMan will be recovering, the holidays will be finished, and everything can calm down a bit.

Comments (4) »

What the Hell?

100_0383I planned to drop off my trash this morning, so I put the bag in the back of the truck last night. I just went outside to make a trash run and pick up one bag of corn for the livestock. The back of my truck was FULL of buzzards. They’d torn open the trash can and scattered chicken bones all over the back of the truck. My truck and the concrete were covered with buzzard poop. I just washed the truck a couple days ago, taking advantage of the warm snap. DAMN.

Back into the house for a new trash bag, rubber gloves, and soap, for the truck will need to be washed before I go anywhere. If I go into town, and somebody says “What in the world are those huge splotches all over your truck?” would they even believe me if I said “buzzard poop”? Would somebody just run over a deer or kill a relative and leave the body out in the field so these birds will have someplace else to eat?

That picture does not do justice to how many were here. They were lined up wing to wing on the roof of the house, on the outbuildings, and in the trees. They were perched all over my truck, and stalking around on the ground amongst the chickens. And buzzard poop…well, I’m going to be busy hosing things off for about an hour.

Well. Perhaps I should look on the bright side. They’d make real short work of any dang zombies that might be lurking.

Comments (1) »

Pardon Me While I Curl Up in the Closet

SwampMan and I spent the day yesterday at a hospital doing his presurgical stuff for his knee replacement surgery, paying the copays for the surgeon and the hospital which left our checking account empty, and being notified that the surgery that was supposed to take place on the 26th had been moved to the 23rd. That wouldn’t be a problem, would it? While SwampMan assured everybody that there would be no problem at all, I whimpered quietly in the corner.

I have three less days to get the house all ready for an invalid. Did I mention that the boys will be here starting the evening of the 17th through the evening of the 23rd? I have less than a week to complete my shopping (did I mention that broke part? I had hoped to hit some last minute deep discounted sales). There will be strange people traipsing in and out of my house, too. No, not relatives. Home nursing and physical therapy will each be coming in three times per week. While the kids are here.

“Please, can we just drive to physical therapy and dispense with the home nurse?” I asked with a tone of desperation in my voice. “What, are you kidding?” SwampMan answered. “We can’t drive the kids to physical therapy!” My eye started twitching just picturing small children, toys, pillows, socks, assorted clothing, and blankets strewn throughout the walking space. Then I started picturing innocent health professional complete strangers tripping over said toys, games, children, pillows, and video game controllers, breaking bones, and suing. If they didn’t trip inside, what if they tripped over a duck or a chicken outside? Hyperventilating. Pull yourself together. Everything will be okay. You can do this. Ohhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmm.

Well, while he was in the hospital, I’d be able to straighten the house and maybe cook some Christmas goodies to have on hand for the nice ambulance people that will be taking me off to be Baker Acted, I thought to myself. Three days under psychiatric observation would probably be fun. Maybe I could even do a little last minute shopping before I get involuntarily committed. Maybe I can drink all the cooking wine in the house! (Note to self: Replenish the cooking wine.) I still need money, though. Perhaps I could sell my soul to Satan. I’ve never really used it yet. It’s practically brand new! I wonder if I should put it on Ebay, or would Craigslist work? The person making conversation while doing SwampMan’s paperwork suddenly jerked me back to the present. WHAT was that?

“Everybody has a private room in our hospital!” the person making the arrangements repeated proudly. “So you will be able to stay right in the hospital room with him and help him with his physical therapy! You can be his walking buddy if he wants to walk the corridors late at night! You won’t have to go home and can stay here the entire time!” WHAAAAAAAAAT? Noooooooooo! My eyes bugged out, but y’all can be proud. I didn’t utter the first obscenity. I did not leap across the desk and strangle that cheerful person, though I have to admit that it was quite a struggle for I dearly wanted to. Then back to SwampMan. “We have you on the waiting list for surgery in case a cancellation occurs next week, so you need to discontinue your anti-inflammatory medications NOW.”

SwampMan told me that, when his surgery was over with, I could take the children home and then, after their Mommy gets them Monday night, I can come back and stay in the hospital room. “Uh, I really don’t want to drive at night when I’m not sure of the way….” I began. “How about I be there right after breakfast in the morning?” I really don’t like to drive where I’m liable to be caught in a shootout between police and armed robbers, either. Hospitals aren’t located in peaceful suburbia. There usually aren’t any gun battles or carjackings at breakfast time. “You’ll be FINE. I’ll program the GPS for you! You know I can’t sleep when you’re not there!” said SwampMan. Well, what I know is that I will not be able to sleep when I’m THERE because I’ll be adjusting his blanket, or his pillow, or getting him a drink, or pain medication, or, well, thousands of other things. And he’ll be on drugs, too, really good ones. I don’t think anybody will give me any. Hmmmm. Being shot dead by an armed robber was beginning to have a certain appeal.

SwampMan hobbled into the house tonight and announced “I feel like SHIT!”

“Well, what’s wrong?”

“I hurt ALL OVER!”

“Is it the change in weather or because you discontinued your medication?”

“I dunno. I feel terrible.”

“Well, maybe it’s because of the physical therapy stuff yesterday. Get on your exercise bicycle, and maybe you can work it out.”


“Uh, no.”


*sigh* “Whatever.” The next couple weeks are going to be interesting. I may do his knee replacement surgery myself with a hammer.

Later in the evening after dinner, SwampMan was feeling almost jovial. “So, when are we having Christmas dinner?”

“I believe we’ll be having it Christmas day. It will probably be imitation turkey and jello.”

“No, when are we having everybody over for Christmas?”

“I don’t know. Perhaps when you’re no longer zonked on pain meds.”

“Do it the Sunday before!”

“We can’t do it the Sunday before. SwampDaughter and her husband are in church until 4:30 p.m. and couldn’t be here before 5:30. Mom and SwampBrother will want to be on the road back to Georgia by 4 p.m. in order to get home before dark. I don’t know if SwampSon is going to be home next weekend. I need to call him and let him know that the Christmas dinner that was moved to Christmas eve dinner has been cancelled, too.”

“How about Saturday?”

“SwampDaughter and SwampSoninLaw are working.

“Well, how about this weekend?”

“What am I going to cook for Christmas dinner? Chicken and rice? We’re a little, and by that I mean totally, broke here!”

“Well, it doesn’t have to be turkey or ham. It could be beanie weenies as long as we’re together….” grumbled the man who, just a couple hours earlier, was issuing orders to me about how he only wanted fresh broccoli with dinner, and no damn frozen veggies like I’d snuck on his plate last night. And tater tots. And steak. Here I could have made beanie weenies instead.

If I don’t see y’all before Christmas, well, I’m either running around like a crazy person trying to get everything done, or I’ve completely lost it and am sitting in a dark closet somewhere. I pray that you will have the merriest of Christmases with your family and friends.

Comments (2) »

USAF Marching Band Flashmob

Leave a comment »

Music for the Season

Leave a comment »

Thanksgiving Dinner for 14

We had a pretty joyous and raucous Thanksgiving Day celebration.  I was feeling pretty happy because I had successfully delegated a lot of the cooking chores. Woohooo!

The plan was that SwampDaughter was making the spinach-artichoke casserole with sour cream and parmesan cheese which she had improved by adding bacon.  Mmmmmm.  Why didn’t I think of that?  She was also making the sweet potato casserole (which turned out really well.   She didn’t have a recipe and just stirred in whatever ingredients she had on hand that sounded good to her into some mashed sweet taters.)

Son got in from Augusta Wednesday night and got up early early in the a.m. on Thanksgiving to smoke the (store bought) turkey.

Mom was bringing the dressing, collards, and pies.

My brother was bringing rumnog and his cream cheese stuffed jalapeno peppers which were wrapped with bacon, skewered with chunks of pineapple, and grilled.

That just left me with a dessert, the wild rice and sausage casseroles, green beans, rolls, and ten pounds of mashed potatoes to fix.  I did everything except the green beans and rolls the night before so I wouldn’t be a total anxious wreck the next day worrying over the food, which I always do.  I STILL had a near sleepless night worrying about whether everything would be okay and whether there would be enough food for 14 people.

I felt I had a lot to make up for.  You see, last year I got the flu right before Thanksgiving. I could barely move.  I was running a high temperature and could not keep anything down.  I called everybody to cancel.  Everybody except our son, that is, who had told me he didn’t know if he would be in town for Thanksgiving and could make it.  Since he never let me know, I figured he wasn’t coming.   Imagine my surprise when, on Thanksgiving Day, there was a knock on the door and there stood son and his daughter, happily expecting a meal with the entire family.  I wasn’t even dressed and sick as a dog.  I wouldn’t let them even come in the house and ordered them away for their own good.  SwampMan didn’t even get a Thanksgiving dinner.

This year, SwampMan was sick. He was not allowed to get near the food.  He was not allowed to get near the table.  He was barely allowed out of  bed because he could not pass his germs on to me this year. I was DETERMINED that this year would be perfect. I would not even stay in the same room with him because I didn’t want the germs jumping over to me, forcing me to cancel Thanksgiving again.

Thanksgiving day, I was barely moving due to the sleepless night of worry.  I decided I needed coffee.  I first made coffee without any coffee in the coffeemaker.  Then I put the coffee into the coffeemaker, but I forgot to replace the pot, and had coffee spilling EVERYWHERE.  On the third try, I got it right. I had to have five cups of coffee before I was awake enough to do my farm chores, then started zipping around the house picking up and straightening up.

About an hour before the guests were to arrive, I started transferring made-ahead casseroles to the oven to heat.  I got to the potatoes that I’d so carefully cooked, peeled, seasoned, and mashed with sour cream and butter, then lovingly placed in my best big glass pyrex casserole dish the night before.  I slid that sucker out and dropped that big ol’ glass casserole dish slap on the floor.  Glass shards flew EVERYWHERE.  (Note to self:  Next time, use the cheapass tinfoil casseroles for the refrigerator to oven thang.)

I burst into tears over my mashed potatoes mess.  “Well, maybe you can just dust it off and put it into another pan!” SwampMan said helpfully.


“Well, maybe you can stir it good.”

I think my laughter may have had just a touch of hysteria in it.  It was Thanksgiving Day, the potatoes and glass shards were all over the floor, the grocery stores were closed, I had a terrible mess to clean up, and it was time to cook the green beans. I salvaged about half of the potatoes to feed to the chickens, putting them into a smaller glass casserole dish and placing it on the counter before cleaning up glass and taters. I had glass and mashed potatoes all over me, I kept having to pick glass shards out of my feet despite sweeping and vacuuming, and SwampMan strongly suggested that I might need to get in the shower to wash some of the blood OFF from glass scratches before anybody got here.  And put on clean clothes without blood and mashed potatoes all over them.

I had just gotten out of the shower and screamed something like “Oh, SHIT!  I forgot the green beans!” as I ran into the kitchen just as the first guests, SwampDaughter and family, arrived with food and kids.

“Don’t let the kids in here without shoes on!” I said as I stopped to pick another piece of glass out of my foot.  “Did Daddy explain that there will be NO potatoes this year and to watch out for glass? Oh, crap, the green beans!”

“RELAX, Mom!” SwampDaughter said.  “You know SwampBrother will be late with the turkey.  He probably won’t be here for an hour yet…” just then SwampSon walked in with his daughter, his girlfriend, and her two kids and the turkey.  I quickly snapped one package of green beans instead of the three I was going to make, and just threw them in some boiling water with bacon instead of the gingered sausage green beans that I had planned.

“Uh, Mom?” SwampDaughter said.

“What is it?”

“Did, uh, you know that you sorta didn’t brush your hair?”

I looked into the mirror.  My wet hair was standing pretty much straight up.

“No, no, I didn’t.  Thank you for telling me now that everybody is here!”

I ran back to brush my hair, then ran out to help Mom and brother bring in food.  We were about to sit down at the table when I realized that I hadn’t put the rolls into the oven to bake yet.  DAMN!

Despite the potato debacle, there was actually plenty of food.  The wild rice and sausage casseroles, dressing, collards, green beans,  sweet taters, spinach-artichoke casserole, grilled stuffed jalapenos, gravy, rolls and succulent tender juicy smoked turkey was enough food for everybody.  It was ALL excellent.  Then there were the pies….

I forgot to take my dessert out of the fridge until after daughter had gone home!  Mom, son’s girlfriend, and I ate some of it before they, too, had to leave.

I was cleaning up the kitchen after the guests left when my brother called.  “Oh, I forgot to tell you.  I left the rumnog in the back of your fridge.”

“Okay, I can bring it to you tomorrow!”

“No, I left it for you. I think you might need it!”

I got the dishwasher started.  SwampMan had gone to bed.  I took out the rumnog and had a water glass of it.  It was potent! And delicious.  I poured another glass. It was even better this time. I couldn’t even taste the alcohol.  Somehow that whole big ol’ bottle of rumnog got empty. I loved my family. I loved the whole world. I was relaxed and warm and happy.

“I probably ought to go to the bathroom and head for bed now.” I remember thinking to myself.  “But I can’t feel my legs.  Should I be walking if I can’t feel my legs? Can I even stand up?”  Somewhere in that conversation with myself I fell fast asleep until late the next morning.

Comments (5) »

‘Cuz That’s How I Roll

I was reading a post on the blogosphere about some woman with washboard abs and three small children and how some women either attempted to have her banned or succeeded in having her and her washboard abs pics banned from Facebook on the grounds that they made other women feel bad about themselves.


When I was young, it took relatively little effort for me to have low bodyfat and washboard abs.  After I reached my 40s, I was struggling. I had to do a LOT of exercise in order to stay even.  When I hit my mid 50s, I would have to exercise for hours every day and eat lettuce leaves and little else to be thin enough to have a waistline, let alone washboard abs,  because the old fat cells are screaming “You could be left on an ice floe any day now!  Eat MORE!  You need to store up food NOW!”  I tell my fat cells to chill because bitch, we in Florida and the only ice is in my DRINK, but do they listen? No.

So that is why, instead of agonizing over my waistline and fat content of same,  I was in the kitchen making my version of chicken piccatta tonight.

I put salted water on to heat in my smallest stock pot.  I took out a package of boneless chicken breasts. I bludgeoned them mercilessly with a marble rolling pin until they were sufficiently thin, dumped some gluten-free flour into a bowl, poured in garlic and salt until it smelled right, dredged the skinny but much wider chicken breasts through the flour, and quickly browned them in a pan of sizzling Spanish olive oil.  After removing the chicken breasts to a platter, I threw a pound of fresh sliced mushrooms and a chopped onion into the pan, and tossed in a half stick of butter. There was supposed to be white wine dumped into the pan but noooooooo.  My white wine was all gone.  All I had left was a little Chilean red.  What the heck.  I dumped some of that in.  It’s not like the chicken was going to complain about me using the wrong color wine.

In the meantime, the water for the (gluten free) spaghetti was boiling, so I put the spaghetti on to cook.  The mushrooms and onions were good, so I added a can of chicken stock, a jar of artichoke hearts, the chicken breasts, and took out the Meyer lemons.

About that time, SwampMan asked “What are you cooking?”

“Chicken piccatta.”

“Does that have lemons in it?”

“Yes, it does!”

“I hate lemons.  Leave those out.”

*sigh*  I just added the juice and lemon bits of ONE lemon instead of three.  Dang.  Then I covered the pot so it could simmer for 20 minutes.

When the GF spaghetti was done, I drained the spaghetti and returned the pot to the burner, adding a dash of cream and 4 tablespoons of butter to the pot to melt. I reached into the fridge for my package of parmesan cheese only to pull out a mostly empty bag.  Well, crap.  I tossed that into the spaghetti, then found a baby swiss cheese that I grated into the pot, stirring everything well.  I grabbed a clean fork and stabbed a forkful for a taste test.  Yum!  I added just a little more salt, then put little mounds of spaghetti with cheese on our plates.  I added capers to the chicken piccatta, then spooned the chicken breasts, mushrooms, onions, artichoke hearts, capers and sauce on top of the spaghetti.

That could be why I do not have washboard abs and do not care.

Three weeks from tomorrow, SwampMan will be in the hospital getting his worst knee replaced.  If SwampMan becomes mobile and we start hiking and camping and bicycling again, I may just start working toward achieving washboard abs again….okay, maybe not.




Leave a comment »