Saturday, August 25, 2007

Transfiguration Tuna Salad

Last Sunday was the Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ. It falls in the midst of the Fast for the Dormition of the Theotokos, and is the ONLY day in the fast on which Fish is permitted!

We were blessed, on the Sunday of the Feast of the Transfiguration to have our priest and his Matushka come to our home. Father brought us Holy Communion (long story, short version: we are physically unable to attend Church), then he and Matushka stayed for a repast.

It was HOT - one of those over 100 degrees days. How to serve fish? Tuna salad, of course!

I drained 4 cans of tuna packed in olive oil (I wouldn't TOUCH that dried out stuff, or the tna packed in water - tasteless!) while I blanched and peeled tomatoes. Put the tomatoes back in to the refrigerator to chill down from the blanching.

Then I broke up the tuna until it was in very small pieces and placed it in a bowl. I added finely chopped celery and Vidalia onion (Father is allergic to onions, but can tolerate a small amount - I only used about 1/8th of a very small onion, whereas normally I would use 1/2 onion). I put the tuna into the refrigerator to chill.

When we were ready to eat, Matushka helped me "flower" the tomatoes, place them in individual beds of chopped Romaine, and heaped them with the tuna. I drizzled a small amount of olive oil over, and served with a choice of salad dressings. We had Southern sweeeeeeeet tea to drink. Next time, I'll serve fresh squeezed lemonade, as Father has problems with the oxalates in tea (as many people do).

Later he said it was the "perfect 100 degree day meal." I was so pleased.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hot Weather -

It is so hot . . .

First son has a heat problem - he had heat prostration several times while in the Army, and now must be very careful to not get overheated. This makes yard care rather difficult in the summer (which, for him, lasts from April through November). So the Ol' Curmudgeon, with his bad ticker, is having to "do" our yard. He broke down and got an electric lawnmower (got a *deal* on Amazon). So it is now early (relatively) on a Sat AM, and he's out there working on the lawn - chopping it back to a reasonable height.

Why the concern about yard? Well, we have a brand new Neighborhood Council. Never had one before, but faced with some of the real estate problems of the current market, it was decided that we needed one. Thank goodness it's NOT a "covenant community" kind of organization, but they are still nosy and want all the yards pruned. Have to invest in some "better living through chemistry" products to get rid of all the poison ivy and poison oak. Need to chop the English Ivy and Virginia Creeper down, too. For the parts in the trees, we just cut the link to the ground, and it will "die up" the tree and eventually fall off.

I'd just as soon dig it all up and put in Astroturf.

Oldest Son will be over shortly to clean the gutters and sweep the roof clear of the accumulated pinestraw and leaves. Shoulda-coulda-woulda done it last winter, and it will have to be done again in December - once all the leaves have fallen.

I'd just as soon replace the entire roof with photovoltaics, but the Ol' Curmudgeon says it would cost more than it would save in the long run, given our ages. O well, my attempts at "greening" are rather desultory. Living "green" for the most part means doing more ourselves - planting, gardening, recycling, etc. We are just too exhausted too much of the time to do that. It also would end up costing us more - example: to heat our house with wood (or at least part of the house), we'd have to have the chimney removed and rebuilt. Don't have the $$$ for THAT little project! We heated our house in SC very efficiently with a stove insert in the chimney with tubes and a fan that circulated the air warmed by the fire. We would go through about 1 cord of wood a year - that little stove was REALLY efficient, and didn't use much wood. I even made "logs" out of old newspaper until DH pointed out it would make the chimney more likely to burn because of the residue, so I quit doing that.

As far as planting goes, I've **never** been a "green" thumb person. My XH used to forbid me going into his garden because all I had to do was touch a plant and it would die! No joke! the Ol' Curmudgeon hasn't been a gardener for the entire 30 years we've been married. He says, "I don't do 'yard.' " Well, now he's talking about putting in a "square-foot" garden, elevated so he can get to it without bending over. I've put in my bid for several tomato plants. There is NOTHING like a fresh tomato, just picked from the vine and warm from the sun. Take your salt shaker with you, go out to the garden, and graze! That's my idea of salad. We'll see if he actually does it.

As far as recycling goes, once again it requires too much of MY energy. And I'm really not convinced of the efficacy of it. Now if I could just find a use for used cat litter ...

Well, time for breakfast. It's the Dormition Fast, so no butter, eggs, meat, etc. Toast, fruit juice and coffee.

The Ol' Curmudgeon has been baking bread, recently, so we'll probably have toasted Pain de Mie for breakfast. He even got a Matfer Bread Pan with Cover 15.75x4">from Amazon so he could make "real" Pain de Mie.

He's turning into quite the baker! I may have to "show him up" when I next have a good day.

Well, we stay indoors and try to keep cool. Speaking of cool, it is getting warmer "out there" and I need to call the Ol' Curmudgeon in. He forgets the time, sometimes, when he's concentrating on getting a task done.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sumpin' fer Nuttin'

Seems like more people are suing their docs and hospitals these days. I'm certainly getting plenty of work. But the stuff I'm seeing now differs from what I saw 10 years ago. Back then, most of the cases were pretty focused and even if not meritorious, at least I could see the connection between event and outcome and could understand a patient and his family thinking something went wrong.

Now, most of the cases I see not only are unfocused, but are totally unrelated to the events at hand. Many of the cases are nursing home cases that involve people in their 80's and 90's who have dementia of one sort or another, and finally die, frequently of simple old-age-related conditions. But because the person died, the family wants to be paid. Huh? "Aunt Hattie," whose closest relative is "great-nephew Barty" who lives 3 states over and never came to see her, finally dies and "Barty" thinks the nursing home "owes" him? For what?

Or the person who has chronic heart disease has a heart attack 3 days after having a perfectly normal stress test. Well, bad things happen to good people. Modern medicine isn't magic. It can't predict all conditions. And it isn't as if the person didn't know he had a bad ticker.

Some cases I do understand, and end up agreeing that there was a breach of the applicable standards of care. But all these cases I'm seeing these days are very frustrating to me. They are just giving me a bad taste in my mouth. Is this where the country is going? Everyone gets something for nothing?


Sunday, August 05, 2007

My Mind is Blank . . .

I'm totally without anything to say! Believe it or not!

Here is a pic from the picnic:

Aren't they cute?!