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Stacia

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Everything posted by Stacia

  1. Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson.
  2. My book choices don't often seem to overlap with others. 😆 (And that's ok.) However, one I've recommended repeatedly & which has been enjoyed by a variety of readers to whom I've recommended it is The Plover by Brian Doyle. Love it & would encourage you just to jump into the story without reading a bunch about it ahead of time. The link is the starred Kirkus review of the book. If you do plan to skip the review or plot summaries, I will tell you that the review ends with, "A rare and unusual book and a brilliant, mystical exploration of the human spirit."
  3. I have always liked this advice: Simple Eating: How I Learned to Save Money, Reduce Stress + Spend Less Time in the Kitchen
  4. Sometimes senior homes will accept jigsaw puzzles (containing all the pieces) &/or large-print novels.
  5. We were just in London last month. You could book a graffiti/street art tour. We wanted to do one but didn't get around to it. We stayed in the Shoreditch/Hoxton area & there was a ton of great street art there. For example, you can find some tours like that through airbnb. Another very cool thing we did was the cable car over near Greenwich. We went at dusk & the view was spectacular. It was very nice. (It may be far from the airport, though. Not sure.) We did a round-trip on it (so just stayed on instead of disembarking once we went over the river) & it was about 25 minutes total. A view from the cable car as the sun was setting: I would *not* recommend the ghost bus. The idea seemed neat & fit well since we had someone in our group who had severe jet-lag (so this was an easy thing, riding, not walking), but it was "meh" at best. Here are a few walking tours that might work for you. Another idea on the list (which I wanted to do but we just didn't get around to) was to meet with a London greeter. You could contact them, tell them things you've already seen & ask them for recommendations or info on something neat to do during your layover. Have fun!
  6. I was just getting to recommend some of the recipes from the same site. 😀 I love the Curried Red Lentil Stew & I'm getting ready to make the Spiced Kale Potato Soup. Also love the Best Soup Ever from Zen Habits. I usually omit the pasta (gets too squishy, imo) & instead add more beans or lentils. If you love lemons, this Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup is amazing. It's addictive, imo. Some comments say it is good w/ chicken added too. (I don't eat meat so I don't know. But I imagine it would work well.) Simple but always tasty: Lisa's Lovely Lentil Soup. My ds loves this one. If I have cauliflower or carrots on hand, I will usually add some.
  7. Last September, I found out my cholesterol was well over 300. I have high cholesterol since I was in my 20s, but never that high. It scared me. I did start a statin but also did a lot of research. What I decided to try and what has worked for me is following a whole-foods, plant-based diet with low/no added oils (like using oils for cooking, including olive oil) and significantly reduced natural fats (nuts and avocados are high in natural fats, so I cut way back on those). This type of eating also means little processed food and reducing sugar intake. Lots of books out there about this type of eating; look for books by Drs. Esselstyn, Campbell, McDougall, Greger, Barnard, Fuhrman.... Forks Over Knives also covers this way of eating. I can eat tons of fruits and veggies, lots of whole grains and legumes. I pretty much gave up dairy. Because my cholesterol was so incredibly high, I did start a statin. I also drastically altered my diet. In only two months, my cholesterol went from 336 to 119. While I am sure the statin played a big part, I believe the larger change came from altering my eating. My goal is to get off statins while still maintaining low cholesterol. It wasn't hard for me to give up cheese. Peanut butter (or any nut butter) was hard; I still eat peanut butter, just a lot less. The hardest diet change was giving up my splash of whole milk in my coffee; I now use a plant-based milk instead. It took me a full month to get used to it but it seems normal now.
  8. Not my post, but I had an Amana fridge that lasted 25 years. It was going downhill and finally got bad enough that I had to replace it at the beginning of this year. 25 years strong though!
  9. Our linen closet is in the hall. We keep most everything on an upper shelf in there. (Upper shelf was back from the days when my DC were young; now everyone is adults and can easily access everything.)
  10. I found this article/video phenomenal for storing greens in my fridge. Works like a charm for me. I have lots of glass jars & I try to go ahead & cut up fresh fruits & veggies w/in a day of bringing them home. (ETA: I chop up the fruits we will use in salads, oatmeal, etc. Others, like apples, oranges, etc., remain whole & on the counter.) I usually put a folded paper towel in the bottom of the jar, as well as in the top to help w/ condensation. Storing them in glass like this seems to work really well. I also store this stuff front & center & try to move up things to the front to ensure they get used. I do all this to try & make healthier eating a priority. I was inspired by the fridge set up here (I have fridge envy 😄); while my fridge won't be blog-worthy, having it prepped, accessible, & appealing really helps (imo). Here's what my main fridge shelves look like.... (top two bowls on the left are kale in the salad spinner, minus the spinner part, & the bowl under it has romaine that is prepped & ready to use; I have oranges cut up just because I like having them handy to toss into a salad). I'm working really hard these days to use up all the fresh stuff w/ buy & not wasting anything. As has already been mentioned, if stuff is starting to go bad, I try to figure out a way to freeze it. For instance, I recently bought a bunch of fresh parsley, but it was way more than I was going to be able to use. I went ahead & minced all of it, then packed the extra into small ice cube trays w/ a little bit of water (to hold it together). I then pop them out & store them in a ziplock & have an easy seasoning to toss in when heating soup or something similar.
  11. Oh, do you have a recipe for this? It sounds so delicious. Like Selkie, I eat whole-foods, plant-based. (For my cholesterol, I try to go no/low added oils & low natural fats like nuts & avocados. Wah for the reduction in nuts & avocados!) I would like to participate in this thread but may follow more than I post. I'm pretty abysmal at meal planning so I really just try to buy a variety of things I can prep & have ready for throwing together for various things over the following days. Plus, this month is busy for me, so I may do better at meal planning as the month is closing & as we move into August. For example, today I had: 2 slices of Dave's grain & seed bread, each with 1/4 of an avocado smashed on it (hadn't had one in quite awhile so I felt ok having half an avocado today), lemon wedge drizzled over, then topped with copious amounts of purple onion, diced radishes, cilantro, & cracked pepper. (Ds had 2 slices of the bread, each with 1/4 of an avocado smashed on it & each topped with an over easy egg & cracked pepper.) Big bowl (probably 2 cups) of homemade lentil soup (no oils in it). About 40 purple grapes, a banana, & an apple. Large salad -- mix of kale & romaine, strawberries, oranges, cauliflower, cucumber, radishes, red pepper, carrots, purple onion, white onion, hemp seeds, pepitas, flaxseeds, & 2 tsp fig vinegar (not vinaigrette). 100% whole wheat tortilla topped with black beans, diced white onions, a whole tomato, & lots of cilantro. Have had water, coffee (w/ plant milk added), & hot tea (plain) today. Still have enough salad stuff prepped to last for a couple more meals. I also cooked a sweet potato & two baking potatoes yesterday, so those are ready in the fridge to heat up for an easy meal. I tend to top them with beans & veggies I have on hand. I also still have a few servings of the homemade lentil soup in the fridge. Plus, fruit, veggies, hummus, & seed or whole wheat crackers for snacking. Ds has some bbq chicken thighs (shredded) leftover from yesterday's dinner, so that will be one more meal for him. We also have eggs on hand (for ds), pasta & sauce available (plus veggies to add which are in the freezer), various cereal fixings, corn & whole wheat wraps, cans of no-salt-added beans (always a staple in the pantry), etc. I need to go prep myself a few days' worth of overnight oats.... I try to vary my salad stuff a little each week & try to remind myself to pick up a rainbow of colors to add to my salad.
  12. I am trying to reduce oils/fats in my diet overall (because I'm working on reducing cholesterol levels). A tip I read a few months ago & which I now implement for myself is to pour off oils that collect on the surface of natural nut butters, tahini, etc. So, I pour off the extra, then stir. Not saying this for you to do but just a general tip for those out there like me who are trying to really reduce fat intake. (I still eat fats, mostly in nuts, nut butters, & avocados. I just try to limit myself a lot with them. Which is a challenge for me because I love nuts & avocados.) You're doing great on weight loss. Love your advice.
  13. I'm intrigued now. Looks like BedJet would be ok with cats. Not sure about the Chili one (looks like cats could puncture it?).... Anyone have experience with that? Does the BedJet actually blow air on you? (I would be ok with that as I love air blowing on me.)
  14. Was this feeling just something you felt that one time? If so, perhaps you were picking up on some (dangerous?) vibe in the room? I'm totally guessing, but what if someone there had a violent encounter outside the room -- w/in his personal life -- or was stewing on some kind of encounter & you were picking up on that? Not that the person would have done anything in class, but perhaps to someone in their personal/private life? A domestic-violence type of situation? Maybe you were reading a "danger" vibe because it was there, just maybe not aimed at you & it's nothing that would have been shown to you or others in the class. This is the type of thing that came to my mind because you said the feeling was so strong, sudden, unexpected, & unsettling.
  15. The Plover by Brian Doyle
  16. I think it helps to spend a couple of weeks (minimum) tracking everything you eat, including measuring out/weighing everything so you have an accurate representation of how much a serving size is for various things, etc. I think that in the US, it's very easy to get a skewed sense of normal serving sizes/weights of foods & going through this process is a good way to relearn what constitutes a regular serving size/portion/etc. Also, this post (from The Minimalists) really resonated with me & helps me stay on track. It talks about making decisions & going from "should" to "must". I'm working on a smaller weight loss goal (& really addressing other health issues). What is working for me is a whole-foods, plant-based diet with low(er) fat/no oils. I know different approaches work for different people, so research, learn, & work to find what works best for you. You mentioned sugar being an issue, so I'll also mention the Go Sugar Free course -- perhaps it would be helpful if it's your kind of thing. (I did it a few years back & should probably go back through it again.... This is not an affiliate link & I'm just mentioning it as a resource in case you think this type of program would work for you.) You can do it!
  17. For some reason, your request made me think of something my grandmother used to make: Blueberry Jello Salad. No, I never really liked Jello, even as a kid. But I always remember this as a real treat, probably because of the pineapple and cream cheese. https://whatscookingamerica.net/Salad/BlueberrySalad-JelloSalad.htm https://cookingbride.com/salads/blueberry-jello-salad/
  18. Hugs, Quill. I would also call the insurance company and ask them to cover it. Years ago, my sister worked at a hospital, negotiating their contracts with insurance companies. Her take is that insurance companies will deny anything they think they can get away with because it saves them money to not pay out. A majority of people won't call so it works to the insurance company's benefit. But if you call and request a reassessment and explain why it's medically necessary, they may reconsider and cover at least some of the cost. More hugs. It is such a pain to deal with all this kind of crap. At least give yourself a restful and nice weekend if you can.
  19. I'm sorry about your dog. You can do the fluids for your cat. You will get the hang of it. Don't be shy about going & doing it at the vet's so they can watch/help the first time or two. As others have said, it just takes some practice. I thought the needles for insulin were intimidating the first time or two, but I had no idea until I had to start giving fluids with those thick needles! Regardless, once you get the hang of it, it's easy. You can reuse the needle (just put the cap back on it between uses) a few times before it starts getting duller. When you do decide to change the needle, do so right before you give fluids. (That was advice from a vet tech. She said if you change it afterward, then you'll never remember when you get ready to use it if you changed it last time or not.) I've given fluids to a few of my cats through the years. I used to hang the fluid bag on the door hinge. I would also use a sharpie to mark where the fluid was in the bag when I started & where it was when I ended, along w/ the date. (Mostly I did this because I found it easier to keep track of as I had multiple medical issues I was treating with cats at that time. Plus, I sometimes did it on an "as needed" basis & it gave me an easy way to track how much was given & how often.) Most of the time, I would try to start the fluids while the cat was sleeping. One of my cats liked to sleep on the corner of my desk. I could hang the bag on the nearby door hinge, then put the fluids in while she was on the desk. It never bothered her & she would often nap during it. My other cat was a busier kind of guy, but if I started when he was sleeping, he was usually willing to sit/hang around until the fluids were finished. (You can also hang the bag over the top of a hanger & then hang the hanger over the top of a door.) Otoh, my sister had a cat that needed fluids (& my sister is a cat wrangler), but the cat was never agreeable with my sister doing it at home, so she always took her into the vet for fluids. So, ymmv. Oh & you may know this already, but the fluids may cause a fluid lump to be on the back of the neck area for a few hours until they're fully absorbed. So don't worry if you see one. (OT. I learned this back when I was administering sub-q fluids.... Apparently it was a short-lived niche body modification thing to do to your forehead in Japan, so that you would get the lump, could press a finger in the middle to make an indentation & achieve "bagel head".) With one of my cats, it's like the fluid always fell straight down into her legs because the fluid would gather there for a day until it was absorbed -- kind of like elephant legs for a day. Hugs as you go through all this. It's good you are doing it & it will definitely help your cat out.
  20. I am guessing that perhaps the paycheck situation is that the account is in the parents' names, but not Jake's. He could sign the check over to them, they could deposit it & there would be no way for him to reach the funds even if he is 18 (because he wouldn't be listed on the account). In addition to leaving the younger siblings, he should consider that if he leaves & his parents are mad, they may try to influence the youngers into believing he is a bad person so they will choose to not maintain contact, even as they come of age. It's hard to consider, but a possibility. Jobs/housing-wise, there is also AmeriCorps:
  21. Could you take them into a local shoe repair place & see what they might suggest?
  22. @alisoncooks, I didn't see your full/original post, so I'm not sure if my info will be of help or not. My sister had half of her thyroid removed years ago (due to thyroid cancer). She did great with surgery, actually asked us to bring her a huge burger from a nearby restaurant after she got to her room. She ate it all, lol. She was in the hospital overnight. Almost no scar. The biggest issue for her is thyroid meds (esp. since she still has half of a thyroid) & getting those properly regulated. I think others have mentioned finding the right person to help with correct medicine regulation & it takes a bit to figure out what works well. So, the surgery was no biggie for her. Getting the meds regulated (& keeping them that way because your body's needs can vary over time) for the long term has been more of an issue.
  23. I was going to mention meat-only baby food too. I have also put it on my finger & put a bit on the roof of the cat's mouth to get it in. The nutritional paste is also good, though I've had cats hold out on that one & just let it dry on their fur & not lick it off. With one cat, the vet recommended that I use a small piece of hard food (something that comes in very small pieces/pellet sizes) & give it to the cat like a pill (basically push it into the back of her mouth/her throat) after she had been ill & having only fluids & baby food for awhile. He said she might have kind of "forgotten" about eating hard stuff & sometimes you have to "prime the pump". She had a form of cancer, so the meds & her cancer sometimes caused her to go through periods of not eating well. Doing the hard food trick usually worked well (would do it a couple of times in a day, one or two pieces at a time) & she would be back to eating hard food in a day or so. I have not heard of the foaming at the mouth effect of Mirtazapine. I have had various cats have it over the years w/ varied success. It seemed to work for some; for others, it seemed to make their stomach upset (& less likely to want to eat). Hugs for you & your cat. Hope she continues eating & getting stronger.
  24. There are SO many things I could list. I feel baffled by others a lot of the time. One... why do some guys spit so much? Not tobacco. Just spit. Open the car door & spit while in traffic. While standing on the sidewalk. Walking down the street. Before walking into a building. Just everywhere (hopefully outside). Is it excess saliva production? Or something? 🤔
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