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Pam in CT

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Pam in CT last won the day on February 14

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About Pam in CT

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    Beekeeping Professor

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    Reading, writing, gardening, taking (not especially good) pictures, knitting. Not interested in: ironing

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  1. My husband significantly lowered his by 1) going a full 6 months full vegan (which he disliked and didn't feel he could sustain over the long haul, but it seemed to sort of re-set his metabolism); and thereafter adding back fish (probably 3x/week) and occasional chicken (maybe 1-2x/month). He uses almond milk for cereal now, he's cut out virtually all cheese, and if we have burgers or sausages at home, we now use Impossible or Beyond (which are super high fat and processed/fake, so, pick your poison). We had always had a pretty low-processed, fruit & veg-heavy, moderate diet before he went this route, so where we ended up NOW is pretty easy and sustainable. The six months vegan interval was hard, though. (And *I* still eat lamb or beef when we're out at restaurants, or cook it when my college son is home on break.)
  2. re fish dish This Persian tamarind-almond-paste is one of my go-to's. I am NOT a serious cook but it really does come out fab every time. The sauce can (should) be made a day ahead; I've put the paste (which is quite filling unto itself with all the nuts) on any number of fish but most often use something like mahi mahi, and as per the instructions I generally do use (well washed, it's better if they're not too sweet) dried cranberries rather than barberries which I rarely find. Tamarind *paste* has more flavor than concentrate; both are widely available at Asian groceries.
  3. On the third and final kid doing the visit rounds now, having done a zillion with the older two, and we never took siblings with any of them. Mostly we managed by dividing, with only one of us (usually me) accompanying the HS junior/senior on the visits while the other stayed home. Of the zillion visits, I can count on one hand the ones my husband and I both went, and those tended to be the schools closest to home. It's an intense and often-fraught time for the visiting HS junior/senior. Having to manage around younger siblings' needs and wants and whims and boredom can only detract from an experience that IMO really should be centered on the visiting HS prospective. If this is your eldest... best wishes to all. It's an often-bumpy process that does not always bring out the best in family dynamics! But you'll get through it.
  4. Oh my goodness. You must be exhausted; and yet it's hardly the circumstances for a good night's sleep, is it. Holding you all in the light.
  5. I think it's fine to take pictures in museums that allow it (though as Farrar said, the distribution of the crowds between ICONIC! and top-top-notch is often very baffling). It's fine to take exterior pictures of the Eiffel Tower, waterfall etc. Don't be a dope about blocking others' views in a crowd for more a than a few seconds, etc. Certainly it's fine to take pictures of orchids or sunsets or anything really that amounts to the wonder of the natural world. I do NOT think it's OK to take pictures of kids you don't know, even if they're unbearably cute; and especially if the context edges anywhere near slum dog tourism territory.
  6. re "magic words" Someone knowledgable really should compile a glossary of magic words. Because most of us mercifully only go through this once or twice in a lifetime... leaving the next cohort going through it to re-invent the wheel and learn the magic words anew. When my father was dying of fairly rapidly advancing cancer, rotating between the hospital, step-down "rehab," home, rinse repeat through to hospice, a social worker told me just those magic words in Pawz' bolded, to get a few more days in the hospital or in the "rehab" center. (Rehab, by the way, doesn't always mean the patient is getting better. They are also used to provide a time and space for PTs to help patients learn to navigate using a wheelchair, or stand up safely on shakier legs, even when the diagnosis is terminal.) A PT told me the magic words "I'm afraid he's unable to manage Activities of Daily Life," to get in-home PT services. The last time he left home, a truly ghastly day during which, in the morning, the PT had arrived to find him unable to get out of bed, but he didn't want to go to the hospital because he insisted "he just needed some rest" and my mother didn't want to overrule him because (as regentrude, correctly, argues) agency, but the PT strongly urged he go to the hospital if he wasn't able to get up by noon, and by noon he was still unable to get up to go to the bathroom, and my mother was not strong enough to help him, so she called me (adjacent state) sobbing, but didn't want to call 911 against his wishes, but implored me to come up, but I'm three hours away so by the time I got there they were both absolute basket cases... but when *I* called 911 the dispatcher asked "is he in acute pain?" which IN HINDSIGHT I later realized the correct magic word answer was "yes" but not knowing that I told the truth, no, he's not in acute pain he just cannot get out of bed... which point the dispatcher carefully asked when was the last time any medical provider had seen him, and I mentioned the in-home PT had been around earlier and recommended he go to the hospital, at which point the dispatcher asked me to get a pencil (?!) and slowly spelled out for me... Your father needs what is called "medical transport." Write that down. What hospital has he been treated at? Is that the nearest hospital? No? Then what your father needs is "medical transport to a designated hospital with his existing providers for an existing diagnosis. Write that down. Now, here is the thing. For Medicare to pay for medical transport to a designated hospital, there has to be a pre-authorization. If I take your call right now, the ambulance will take your father to the closest hospital, and you will be charged $1200 that Medicare will not reimburse. You need to call the PT, you need to explain the situation, and ask her to call me. Here is the number. I will call you back and let you know the ambulance is on its way." Which, bless him, he did. But what kind of a system depends on magic words and the willingness/ability of dispatchers to do that.
  7. That's hard. Your father may very well be very overwhelmed as well. If she's chronically ill, but not within-a-fairly-forseeable-timeframe terminally ill, then considerations such as what private long term care insurance they may have, and/or what Medicare covers for "step-down" / rehab, will matter. Medicare does cover such services, but only for a finite term (something like 8 weeks?), and they are prodigiously expensive if not covered. There are services that can come into a private home and "senior-proof" it, particularly if it's all on one floor. Some adaptations are covered by Medicare; some of them require pre-clearance. Medicare will also provide things like a hospital bed, wheelchair, toilet adapter/lift, shower stool etc -- again with pre-clearance. Medicare will also cover some -- in my father's case, not enough -- in-home services like PT and OT to learn/remember how to safely stand/ maneuver through basic life functions. You might start by finding the hospital social worker and getting recommendations from her on how to navigate through the next phase / phases -- both in terms of stuff & services, and also the financial stuff. Sadly, they go hand-in-hand. Just saw your latest posts. If they have no financial resources but the house, then MedicAID will kick (ultimately) kick in (without your father having to leave his primary residence). Medicaid actually does cover end-of-life nursing home care, though finding a good facility and "spending down" assets to get to eligibility also requires navigation. Hugs, dear.
  8. Hugs. Balancing all the bits you've shared, I think I'd be inclined to text back something along the lines of thanks for letting us know. We'd love to see you for son's birthday dinner on ___ night if you're able to take the train up. And leave it there. Leave the line open, but don't make yourself crazy.
  9. Canaveral is GORGEOUS. If you're headed out end-of-day, though, I'd go the other direction so as to catch the sunset. One of my most cherished memories as a parent ever was when we were, for some reason I can't recall, driving somewhere near Tampa right near sunset, and I demanded we pull off to a beach / any beach so I could watch the sunset (I just spent several minutes trying to figure out where, I think it might have been Clearwater?), and my husband GRUDGINGLY complied but insisted, along with my eldest, that it was too "cold" (it was, like, 60 degrees WE LIVE IN NEW ENGLAND PEOPLE), so the two of them SAT IN THE CAR while my younger two and I piled on sweatshirts, went out to the waters' edge, and sat down to watch the sun set, snuggled up close in the sand. About two minutes later first one, then two, then four and ten and twenty brown pelicans converged over what must have been a large school of fish, divebombing, again and again and again, coming up with fist as often as not, growing, calling, circling, moving slowly up shore as the fish moved, diving plunging rising writhing calling diving plunging over and over it was magical my kids did not move did not speak did not breathe everyone on the beach was spellbound and then abruptly - the fish must have found deeper water and plunged beyond reach - they flew off. And the ~20 or so people on the beach literally BURST INTO APPLAUSE as one.
  10. Whenever I'm having a bunch of people with a bunch of different food restrictions or preferences I figure on some central basics with piles of bowls that people add on whatever they want. So i.e. tacos (or variants like burritos or baked potatoes or rice bowls): a tray of hard & soft shells a bowl of seasoned fish, a bowl of seasoned ground beef, a bowl of seasoned black beans a bowl of greens, a bowl of seasoned diced tomatoes, a bowl of onions & scallions, a (small!) bowl of jalapeños a bowl of grated cheese, a bowl sour cream Vegan's hard unless everyone in the family is on the same train. My daughter's been vegetarian for 10 years now and cooking for her is completely autopilot... but when my husband tried a 6 month vegan experiment I was shocked to realize how many of the things I'd been making for her had cheese or eggs or yogurt, or a dollop of cream in the sauce. About the only vegan dish my whole family truly digs into without a bit of longing for more is felafel, which is rather a pain to make and stinks up the house. And we eat a ton of fish but I'm surprised by how many people rarely if ever do. Fish is so quick and easy to make!
  11. Truthfully, I would be sad. I put a *lot* of thought and love into each of the names of each of my kids, and I think of those names as something like gifts -- and if they opted to set my gift aside, I think I would.... I don't know... grieve a little. But as it's theirs, they are -- obviously -- free to set it aside, if for whatever reason they felt it doesn't fit right.. just as with any other gift. So I'd be sad for a while, and then tell myself to get over myself, and thereafter call them by whatever name they felt better fit.
  12. In those circumstances I would get an appropriate used model, not a new one. No matter the make or model, you lose ~10% of a new car's price within the first ~300-1,000 miles viz resale. So I'd get the lowest-mileage used car that otherwise fit the bill.
  13. I this thread and we don't even have a tree. re upright/narrow conifers The classic narrow evergreen (used for tight patio spaces) is Ilex Pencil Sky, a tree of Many Virtues; but it's a holly and doesn't have that marvelous smell. Cypress, some junipers and thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) are all narrow conifers. The first are slow-growing and relatively expensive, but arborvitae is quite fast-growing and therefore inexpensive; I've seen it in my nursery over the last few weeks marketed as living Christmas tree. (If you want to put it out and winter it over for spring planting you have to be careful about easing it out on a warm day and protecting it; or the shock will kill it.)
  14. ((hugs)). No experience or insight to offer; just grateful on behalf of those kids that you and your husband are offstage but attentive, caring about and pulling for them.
  15. Mmmm. I just thaw it, stick gobs of butter under the skin, shake some salt/pepper/sage over the top, plonk it in a pan with ~1 inch of apple cider on the bottom, and baste whenever the thought occurs to me throughout the day until it's done. Plenty of drippings/liquid for gravy. Stuffing is separate because several in the family are vegetarian, so I make it stovetop, finish in the oven for crispy, and then split into two dishes, one of which gets lots of drippings/liquid. Intrigued by those who do the smoking. How do you keep the top part moist? Do you turn it as it cooks? (Not a lot of smoking in my area!)
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