Lemon, Orzo and Meatball Soup

Today, I was tempted to write about Kyrie Irving’s $50,000 fine, or Johnny Depp’s and Amber Heard’s domestic abuse claims; Putin and the war or (don’t even go there) Florida’s political shenanigans, but instead, I decided to make soup.

Lemon, Orzo and Meatball Soup really does help one “Escape the Daily Grind.” The recipe appeared in the October 2013 issue of Southern Living. It takes some time to prepare things and I was thrilled my husband volunteered to help. Bob shaped the meatballs, peeled and cut the carrots; and then asked; what do you want done to the lemons? “Zest them,” I said over my shoulder and leaving the kitchen to write.

An hour later when I returned and found the lemons peeled.

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Would you complain? And all was not lost; I chopped and diced the lemon peel as you would cloves of garlic and the taste and texture was actually better.

There is a note to self at the top because, the soup is better when you follow the recipe. . . that’s the truth Edith-Ann.

. . . just saying

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Easter 2022

scan0019Pictured above, Aunt Carol with leucite handbag, sister Judy, Mother (Pregnant with sister Abigail),  sister Mariellen, Me, Grandmother, and standing at attention sister Martha Gertrude

Easter Hats and Egg Hunts

As Easter approaches I find myself reminiscing about days gone by, holidays I tried to duplicate for my kids and grand-kids that only slightly mirrored mine.

In Florida, the smell of spring and Easter that signaled renewal by a burst of color on Long Island is missing, but memories of blooming Dogwood trees linger. The Weeping Willows wore yellow-green buds to announce the occasion.

We woke to Easter Baskets filled with love made by our grandmother. Hollow chocolate eggs squiggled  with confectionet sugar peeked out of cellophane surrounded by squishy marshmallow chicks called Peeps and jump ropes, jacks, pink Spaulding balls, and socks trimmed with lace, for the girls and for the boys; army men, matchbox cars, baseball cards, and cool shades.

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Great Granny B and 4 month old great-grand son, Tony

My grandmother also baked trays of cookies, some made to look like an Easter baskets, by adding a  handle, shredded coconut, and jelly beans. She used cookie cutters for Bunnies with chocolate ears, and cherry jelly linzer cookies, egg white cookies laced with walnuts and her famous chocolate chips cookies. 

We usually had new dresses and shiny black patent leather shoes, bought by Aunt Carol at Macy’s Herald Square. The shoes fit perfectly because Aunt Carol would trace our feet on card board, cut the pattern out and bring it with her to the store where she and a shoe salesman determined the correct size.

Aunt Carol always carried a pretty handbag and a tasteful hat, similar to  these: 

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After opening our baskets my mother dressed us in order of our behavior, and told to, “Sit on the couch, and don’t move, or else!” And we didn’t.

Drew, the youngest at the time, was dressed, after my mother dressed, and held by the hand until he was in the car and Mass over.

The Easter Bunny  hid real hard-boiled eggs dyed the day before and shortly after  company arrived on Easter Sunday, a whistle was blown, and we ran, desperate to  find THE GOLDEN EGG, a chocolate egg wrapped in gold foil. Little did we know my brother Victor searched ahead  of us, yes cheated, while I prayed to find the Golden Egg . . . . just this once. The prize was one dollar.

Although Easter was about baskets and dyed eggs, it was really about hats. as seen in the above picture and  I remember shopping at Montgomery Ward’s, the day before Easter in a panic then  thrilled, to find the hat I am wearing, an exact match to my homemade celery green coat.  My sister, Judy, was ecstatic with hers, the red band makes the outfit pop, and sister Mariellen’s  perfect in classic white.

Don’t we look marvelous?

Now if I only had that hat.

.   .   .   .  just saying

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Wine Not and Cataract Surgery

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Wine Not and Cataract Surgery

Those of you who have had cataract surgery know what I’m talking about; the world is brighter. I see the walls in my house as cream, not mustard. And my hair, isn’t dingy grey. I’m hoping after the second eye is corrected, I’ll have fewer wrinkles.

Rumor was the regiment of daily drops three days before surgery and up to one month after was the most annoying part.

They were right.

Although, I had to strip naked and wear a surgical gown three times too large; told to use the restroom which was locked, and consequently, had to sneak into the hall with my butt exposed.

The surgery was everything promised. After the doctor marked my forehead to indicate the left eye was to be operated on, I didn’t feel a thing.

In recovery I overhead the nurse’s discharge instructions for the patient in the next bed; no driving, DO NOT bend at the waist, and no alcohol.

However, she did not include the no alcohol in her discharge spiel to me, nor mention the difficulty one might have walking. One eye is new and improved, but patched and vision in the other eye is cloudy and compromised. A glass of wine was in my future.

After dinner I poured myself a glass of wine and watched the level rise in the glass, carefully, not to over do it. There was no rise in the glass and I thought the glass could be cracked, only to realize I had been pouring the wine on the counter.

Fortunately, it was inexpensive wine.

Fortunately, the spill didn’t travel to the floor. I would have had to bend at the waist.

Note to self; in preparation for the second eye surgery, buy straws.

. . . just saying

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Poetry; How I’m Doing?

Photo by Sasha Prasastika on Pexels.com

Some Explaining to Do

Zipping along, writing without a clue . . . The words flew

A minor dental procedure was the first undo

Follow by pain in my hip, x-rays and a walker too

Then vertigo . . .boo-hoo . . . once the crystal where out

There was something else to do

Physical therapy not to walk like a drunk

Add to the stew . . . cataract surgery.

And . . . there’s still more explaining to do?

But I’m not feeling blue and please don’t you.

. . . just saying

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B is for Brain Power

B is for Brain Power

My joints are stiff, my muscles suffer from atrophy and my brain is rusty. There is no doubt about it. It is called growing old, and the decline goes hand and hand with aging.

But is this true?

What if physical decline is not as heavily tied to aging as we think?

What if our brain is like a muscle that suffers when not used?

The expression grow old suggests a condition we developed. However, many ninety-year old’s have more energy and are less forgetful than peers in their seventies. Some of us become decrepit, some don’t and some maintain a quality of life well beyond their physical ailments. Why?

I thought of Christopher Columbus, not because he was old but because he disputed the belief that the world was flat and travelers would fall off. Yes! I know he didn’t set out to prove the world was round; the hope of profit from the spice trade made him set sail, but his frequent voyages proved the point. The world was round. People had been limiting their behavior based on a false belief.

Is aging a self-fulfilling prophecy? gb_magazine_fall20_cover-1161x1536-1-1

Growing Bolder, a movement to rebrand aging, thinks it doesn’t have to be so. There is a PBS television show, podcast and magazine and numerous resources to support the idea.

“To change the way we age, we have to change the narrative around aging. Growing Bolder is doing just that. Learn how to stop growing older and start Growing Bolder.”

. . . just saying

Check out their website https://www.growingbolder.com/stories/introducing-the-new-look-growing-bolder-magazine/

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A is for Attitude

A is for Attitude

Tony Bennett

A recent interview on CBS Morning News with Susan and Tony Bennett revealed his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and the challenges of aging. The discussion highlighted how helpful the disclosure was for the general public. His wife said, “Tony Bennett is battling Alzheimer’s disease, but singing is saving him.”

Well, singing is an option. Remember the songs Get Happy sung by Judy Garland or Happy; written, produced and performed by Pharrell Williams? Both are uplifting and yes after humming a few bars people feel happier. 

The correlation between attitude and quality of life has never been clearer. Books, lectures, magazine and newspaper articles go on and on describing the benefits. We frequently celebrate one- hundred-year-olds who may need help blowing out the candles but nevertheless are recognized for their positive attitude, activity and ability to socialize. Captain Tom Moore published his book, Tomorrow  Will Be A Good Day at age one hundred.   

Having the right attitude matters.

There are more indicators that quality of life can be maintained as we age and questions about the inevitability of dementia in seniors.

Attitude can be a challenge and I used to coil at the phrase happiness is a choice.

But now think; happiness may be a choice. . . some days, although maybe not every day . . . even if the sun is shining.

Well, just hum a few bars of your favorite song.

. . . just saying

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A Self Help Look

The Self Help Look

I’ve thought of writing a self-help series to help myself deal with life and aging. You know something along the lines of; tips on how to get out of a chair or remembering where you’ve parked, and planned to hit the ground running on New Years’ Day.

Today is the first day of the year and the first day of the rest of your life would be the break out sentence. It’s catchy enough don’t you think?

The next day, I woke up thinking; every day is the first day of the rest of your life and readers might be bored. So, I switched to Today is the first day of the end of your life. I thought this funny and was amused with myself. After all, as my golfer husband says, “We’re on the back nine headed to the 18th hole.”

Would readers enjoy my black humor? I needed help and more than likely, unable to help myself. So, I put the self-help series on hold.

Then I found a pair of lost earrings and felt lucky. Perhaps I would focus on a series about luck. The lucky feeling continued when Bernie Sander’s mitten picture was plastered across the news.

Aren’t we lucky to have people like him to lighten the mood?

Perhaps I can help myself. I could call it The Aging Alphabet Series; A is for Attitude, B is for Brain Power, C is for Constipation, D is for Dementia, etc.  

. . . just saying

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New Year’s Eve 2020

A Favorite book of mine

Sing a Song of Seasons, the book was displayed in the children’s section of our county library and I fell in love with the pictures and poems and promised myself to read each daily poem. Of course, I didn’t. The year has passed quickly for me and I find myself with the same goal for 2021.

Poem December 30th

I heard a bird sing

In the dark of December

A magical thing

And sweet to remember

We are nearer to spring

Then we were in September

I heard a bird sing

In the dark of December

by Oliver Herford

Poems; a daily joy to ponder what life is really about.

May you duck in time to avoid life’s mishap or reinventing yourself if you fail.

. . . . just saying

Happy New Year

What Are You Thinking?

 

Bings Landing, Hammock Florida

A friend phoned to invite me out today, I declined saying I was hoping to have a thought, something to write about, as Sunday is my day to post. I had not had one yet, and explained that these days I have to jumpstart my brain, and in addition, my sister had been visiting and we had been sightseeing. The pictures above were taken at Bings Landing where we had lunch at The Captains BBQ and enjoyed the view.  

The conversation caused me to think about thinking, or my failure to. I take that back, I think but not quickly and grab paper and pencil to write down my thoughts, so I do not forget. It didn’t used to be this way.

Before turning 70 years of age, I could keep a thought or idea in my head to be retrieved later. It occurred to me that maybe there is no more room in my head for new thoughts and perhaps the reason we keep thinking old thoughts, i.e., when I was young milk was 25 cents a gallon is because we have accumulated too many thoughts, many of which are dated.

Is there a way to get rid of old thoughts? Head concussions and strokes cause memory loss although these measures would be drastic. Perhaps we can delete or compress some thoughts to make space for new thoughts by viewing old thoughts from a new perspective. For example, can stale bread be made into bread pudding?

The Daytona Beach News-Journal article, ‘Luckiest guy in the world’ reported on the 100th Birthday celebration for Howard Turner a volunteer ambassador at Daytona Beach Airport. When asked about aging he said, “I’m lucky to be walking around. I don’t have a cane. I’m not in a wheelchair, I’m the luckiest guy in the world.” Who could argue with him. He did not talk about memory loss and says he looks to the future, perhaps that is his delete button.

We know the body slows down and the mind becomes stale with aging, but should we throw the loaf of bread out or make bread pudding?

I am thinking of standing on my head, it is just a thought.

What are you thinking?

. . . . just saying

 

Errands, Errants or Creative Excursions

 

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The other day after announcing I was going out to get a few things, my husband inquired, “Where are you going?” I drew upon my friend Claire’s wisdom and answered, “To do some errands,” and was out the door before he could ask, “When will you be back? Did you make a list?”

His questions were simple, and deserved simple answers, however, it seemed tedious to explain; I was going to deposit empty egg cartons and a wad of plastic bags in Publix Market’s recycling bin, then instead of having a colonoscopy was dropping a stool sample off at the lab, swinging by the hospital to leave dated issues of Southern Living Magazine in a waiting room and probably get gas, to which he would have responded, “You can’t get gas at the hospital.” 

A discussion as to why I was not discarding Styrofoam cartons, plastic and old magazines in our recycling, and why not have a colonoscopy, it had been ten years, would have been lengthy, and besides he would predict I would be back in an hour, leading to another explanation as to why that was not necessarily so. That would lead to a discussion of the differences between us, and how we manage to stay married, neither one of us knows.

Eventually, it would have come out that I might possibly check out the Hospital Gift Shop because you never know; get coffee, and walk on the beach, or stop at an antique store, a small table would be nice in the guest room. I was not just going out to do errands.

Which got me thinking about the difference in errand and errant; an errand is a task, duty, chore or job; a short trip somewhere to do something on behalf of somebody else and an errant is wandering from an intended course, not reaching an intended destination, looking for adventure; wayward, sinful, naughty, misbehaving, delinquent.

Therefore, the difference in errand and errant is bigger than d or t and in the hope of maintaining a happy marriage, now will be called a creative excursion because although my going out is task orientated I an still looking for adventure.

. . . . just saying