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Saturday, April 17, 2021

down in the back again...

 



About 2 years ago, I had a bad back incident. Never really knew what brought it on, but suspected I had twisted it trying to see around a corner while driving, but never really knew how it happened. But I basically couldn't walk for about a week. Well, I've done it again... and don't have any idea how or when this time. It isn't quite as bad since I can still walk (with a brace and slowly), but haven't had to see a doctor yet. 

My back started feeling a little odd Thursday evening when I got up from the sofa. It's the middle of my lower back.  And now it's continued through Friday and into Saturday... worse if I sit for a while and then try to get up. The brace is one of those sacro belts that are elastic and fit around your lower hips and connect with very strong velcro. It does help. 

Anyway, just thought I'd share. Could be it's just one of those 'perks' of old age. Who knows?  (BTW, those long things with pinchers on the end - do they have a name? They sure do come in handy when you can't bend to pick up something. Every house-hold should have one of those... just in case)


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It's cool this morning here in North Texas... in the middle or high 40's I think. We've had a lot of rain lately, but really needed it... mostly rain so far, nothing severe. 

There are 4 outside feral cats sleeping together in one basket out back. DH just came to tell me. We have one that loves that basket and is always in it... and sometimes he shares it with another. This morning there are 4 squished inside it... guessing they must be feeling the damp.


lone cat in favorite basket


I didn't get a pic of all 4 in the basket as if one sees me, he will run... and then all will run because he ran. Did not want to disturb them. They looked very comfy... although squashed.


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Question:  Have any of you out there used coconut oil... either for cooking or skin or whatever?  I have a friend that swears by it for both... and some of my non-gluten recipes use it.  

I did buy some, organic virgin coconut oil from Central Market (owned by HEB). And I haven't used it for cooking yet, but have been trying it on my skin. Too soon to notice if it does anything, but does smell good... reminds me of Hawaii and the beach.

She also uses Dr. Bonner's castile soap for a lot of things too (refuses to use anything with chemicals - wants all natural) She uses almond, but there are other fragrances. Anyone use this? 

Well, that's my 2 cents for the day. We haven't been anywhere or done anything worth mentioning... so, no fun pics to show. 

I did try to make Naan bread the other day (with almond flour). It tasted good, but was kind of crumbly?  I used a recipe that didn't require yeast and  I trimmed down the recipe so it wouldn't make a lot...  (and possibly I got the amounts wrong). I only wanted to use 1 cup of almond flour, so I 'calculated' what the other amounts should be. But I'll try again next week.

Thanks for reading this far. It's not a terribly interesting post. But hey, it's all I've got for today.

Hugs (virtual),
Rian






Thursday, April 8, 2021

I'm a little behind...

Sorry if I haven't commented much lately, I've been a little behind on my blog reading.  Trying to catch up today. Easter was a milestone for me since we had the kids over for the first time in over a year.  All the adults here have been vaccinated... so we felt it was time (besides, I really needed those hugs!)

Then we had some 'plumbing' problems that needed attention... and not having the use of your kitchen sink is difficult. 

On top of that, one of the female feral cats in our yard (we call her Olivia - female Oliver Twist - as she constantly comes back to the door wanting "more please?") showed up with 3 adorable kittens (one black, one black & white, and one Siamese). They look about 6 weeks old.  


Olivia and kitten

All 3 kits here, but black one is inside U

2 of Olivia's 3 kittens




I also had a video of them playing, but for the life of me could not get it to post on my blog...

And I've now been on my 'gluten-free' trial for a bit now and it's not been too difficult. I have cheated on occasion... had a piece of Strawberry short-cake at Easter, but in general the gluten-free products I've tried (Canyon Creek bagels, Good Thins crackers,  King Arthur GF pancakes, Schar pizza crust) have all been good. I haven't tried the Barilla pasta nor the KA measure for measure flour yet. 

And that pretty much covers what I've been up to. Oh, I have also been working on the "Time After Time" sequel. Have completed about 46 chapters... and may 'possibly' be able to finish the storyline by my self-imposed deadline of May. But then the editing will start...  (I'm still amazed at the orders for the book that come in from Amazon each month... not a tremendous amount, but still a steady flow that makes me smile.)

The weather is beautiful here... although the weatherman is threatening some severe this evening. I'm really hoping it will pass us by. No one needs more to worry about these days when life in general is beginning to feel good again.

Find the little things that make you happy (or someone you know happy) and do them today! 

Make some brownies!
Call a friend! 
Tell someone you love them!

And thanks for reading my ramblings... 

Hugs (virtual),
Rian




Thursday, April 1, 2021

April 1, 2021

bunny windchime


April 1st!  April Fool! 

 Rabbit Rabbit! White Rabbit!



 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

a pre-Easter post...



Hurray! Easter is just around the corner... my favorite holiday!  And now that we've all been vaccinated (except of course 7 year old grand daughter) we will be getting together for the first time in ages... 

We will still wear masks (except when eating), but that's OK with me. They can come in and pick up their Easter goodies (maybe have an Easter Egg hunt for grand daughter) and have some coffee and Easter cake. We will have all the windows open so ventilation is good... and feel that this should be alright at this point. 

We also bought the outside feral cats a new U-shaped scratching post...  the old one was on it's last legs. They love that old thing! And we washed and changed out all the little blankets that they have to lie on outside. I'm going to try to get a picture of them hiding in the high green grass with only their ears showing... 


 




Here's one with one feral cat in tall grass... but not the one I'd like where there are 4 or more hiding in the grass. But this one will have to do for now.









This is a picture of our back yard at sunset. If you look closely, you can see a black cat in the grass over to the right side.



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I came across this picture on Pinterest and thought it so peaceful...




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I got my stitches out from my neck surgery yesterday. I think there were 9 stitches. Since they're on the back of my neck below the hairline, I can't see them, but DH says he counted 9. I had him take a picture, but won't show it as I find it pretty ugly... red and puffy looking. For the removal of one little mole, they sure take a lot of area out. But that's OK with me as long as they got everything they needed to get.

That's about the news here. Oh... our daughter in the hill country just got 6 new little baby chicks.  They are so cute!  I asked her to send some pics so I can post them.

Update on Gluten-Free week:  So far everything I've tried (Annie's rice mac and cheese, Canyon Bakehouse plain bagels, Good Thins rice crackers) have been good. I had ordered and just received some King Arthur measure for measure gluten-free flour and pancake mix. Haven't tried any of that yet. Will let you know.  


Loving this beautiful Spring weather!

and

Remember tomorrow is April 1st!

(April Fool and Rabbit Rabbit Day!)


Hugs (virtual ),

Rian



 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

another done and done!

Just home from having a basal cell carcinoma surgically removed from the back of my neck.  It wasn't a difficult procedure, but one that caused anxiety all the same. From the political atmosphere to the pandemic to the Arctic Storm to Covid vaccines to this minor surgery.... all stressful. 

But do-able!

The way life has been (and it hasn't been that bad considering what some have had to go through) this past year, I find myself waking up each morning saying "thank you for getting me to this day". And if you ask me as to who (or is it 'whom') I'm saying this to, I would have to say, "not sure... maybe God, maybe the Universe, maybe myself".  All I know is that when things get a bit difficult, I tend to give myself encouraging talks and focus on just getting through today... usually works.

Going through the surgery this morning, my heart was beating out of my chest, but as I lay there being loaded with Lidocaine and then later as she was doing the actual surgery, I kept reminding myself of all the really terrible things people have to endure... and this being so minor in comparison.  I talk to myself sternly (in my head of course) on these occasions... like, "Suck it up, you ninny!"  It does work. I wonder if others do that too.

Anyway, I wrote this Monday and now it's Tuesday morning and although the stitches are pulling a bit as I move my head, all seems to be well.  The doctors office just called and moved my appointment date next week as although the doctor doesn't normally need to be there for suture removal, she decided that she wanted to be there to check that all was going as it should. Kudos to her for that.


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Onto another subject now:  

I made empanadas for the first time this weekend.  Those who may not know what these are, they are little meat pies (they don't have to be meat), but generally are... sometimes with potatoes or cheese added. All in all, pretty simple to make.


beef empanadas


They were good, but I didn't have enough pie dough to make more... and we had a lot of meat filling left over. I ended up adding gravy to it and serving it over pasta... the boys liked it.


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OK, I have a question for those of you reading...   are any of you on a gluten free diet or gluten free lifestyle?

Several people as well as a physician in our family have suggested I try this.  I suspect that I could possibly be mildly gluten sensitive, but doubt it - as I can generally eat most flour products... as long as they do not contain too much roughage (as in 7 seeded bread). And I love bread! Our breakfast every morning is either one slice of  Challah bread  or Pagnotta bread bought at Central Market smothered in real unsalted butter and heated in the Aga for 3 minutes. This is all we ever eat for breakfast (along with coffee or tea of course) unless occasionally on a weekend, someone might want eggs or waffles. But I finally gave in and decided to try a few weeks of gluten free. 

Today I  have eaten a scrambled egg for breakfast, macaroni with cheese made with rice noodles (Annie's Rice Pasta and Cheddar) for lunch, and have no idea what I will eat for supper yet. The boys will be having Stuffed Shells and asparagus.

Anyway, we shall see. But if anyone has any suggestions or advice, I'd be glad to hear it. 

Leaving you with some pics of grand daughter and her puppy.  (If I've posted these before, forgive me... I do tend to forget.)




Have a wonderful week! Spring is really here... although it's still a bit soon for me to be sure if it will stay.  However, the grass is growing high in the back and the black feral cats are enjoying hiding and jumping each other in it. Sure fun to watch...

Hugs (virtual),

Rian






Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Pi/Pie Day and St. Patrick's... etc.

OK, this post will be brief as DH and I have just come home from getting our 2nd Pfizer vaccine... and I plan to take a nap in a little bit. 

Just thought that this pic of one of my favorite series was appropriate for Sunday's Pi/Pie Day. Pie in the Sky was the name of this detective's restaurant.

Next pic is one that I took of  the custard pie I baked Sunday for the boys.  And yes, I chose custard instead of buttermilk as I had planned. 


Pie Day Custard Pie March 2021


Now today is St. Patrick's day and with the 2nd vaccine appointments this morning, I'll admit that I totally forgot... and didn't wear green

However, nobody 'pinched' me... unless you can call the shot a pinch. It kind of was... hardly felt it. The first hurt slightly when administered. This one didn't. DH said the same. I wonder if it's partly due to who does the administering. Anyway...







And next just a few pics/posters I like:


daughter's horses

a picture of a house that intrigues me

a poster that says it all

an idea that fits my philosophy

a true statement


That's it... kind of like Bugs Bunny's ... "That's all folks!"  You know I really liked it when you went to the movies and there was a cartoon (guess that dates me).

Oh well, Happy St. Patrick's Day!  

As always, thanks for coming by. Wish I could offer you a cup of Irish Coffee! (I love Irish Coffee!

BTW, our family is Irish/English/French.  But according to last ancestry update, it's mostly Irish/Scottish... (who knew? - but we certainly found Scotland our favorite place when we visited England, Ireland, and Scotland back in the 90's

Dad and Grandpa were born in London, but apparently my great grandparents came over from Cork, Ireland. Don't know where the Scots come into it... (Hard to deny the Irish or the French since dad was an O'Regan and mom a D'Aquin.)


Hugs (virtual),

Rian


Saturday, March 13, 2021

sitting here this morning...




As I sit here this morning thinking about what I could post today, I'm looking at my messy office with all the boxes stacked up from Amazon's purchases this year (they use really nice boxes and I find it hard to throw them away). Then there's clutter both on my desk and on top of the trundle bed. Most of these are things that need to be either thrown away or filed away. It seems I do a little here and there, but it comes back twice as strong (like the mail).

There's even a little Christmas in here that definitely belongs upstairs in the storage area. Sadly I'm just getting some of our Christmas put away... and putting out some Easter. My wooden bunny (wearing his face mask still) went on the front porch this week, wooly lamb went in the window, and a few ceramic or wood bunnies have take their place around the house.   


bunny with face mask


Back to looking around this office, I see things that stand out... like a box of medical face masks and a box of vinyl exam gloves - both used when DH and I go out to the pharmacy to pick up his Rx. These things seem to mark this time in our lives... as does the Lysol spray and wipes that sit on both our kitchen counter and by the front door.

But for what it's worth, I do feel better these days about it all (the pandemic and the political atmosphere). I'm not sure that there's any real reason to - as it's really too soon to tell, but with the number of virus cases down and with President Biden in office (and with the spring season starting), things just feel more hopeful. 

I listened to Biden's speech and liked what he said and how he said it. Now I know that there are people who don't like the man and I don't know if he will be able to do what he says he wants to do, but I find myself believing that he will sincerely try. Somehow we need to put aside all this political party separateness (it reminds me of the Catholic/Protestant wars in Ireland).  It breeds hate... and  no good will come from that.

What I took from Biden's speech is that he plans to concentrate on the pandemic and unity... and in my opinion, that's exactly what is needed now. There's lots of other important issues that must be addressed, but right now, at this moment, we need to work on stopping both the pandemic and this division.


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On a totally different subject now:

Did you now that Sunday is Pie Day! 

Everyone should make a pie this Sunday. 

 I plan on making either a custard or a buttermilk one... 



old pic, color not good... but pie was!!



Have a wonderful weekend!

Enjoy! 


Hugs (virtual),

Rian