Smoulder, Baby, Smoulder

Due to the craziness that is my life right now and the many things I simply cannot blog about, I am re-running a few of my favorite posts from before the time I had any readers to speak of.  Hopefully this will only last a week or two; things ARE calming down and I DO have some good news about some of my recent issues.  Until then, in between “normal” postings, I give you some of my more obscure “greatest hits.”  Enjoy.

Despite my fascination with them and their Geico commercials, I’d make a lousy cave man (or woman, as the case may be), if for no other reason than I cannot start a fire. It simply dumbfounds me that someone can set fire to the entire state of Colorado with a carelessly thrown cigarette butt when I can’t light two lousy logs with a blow torch and a half gallon of kerosene.

I remained ignorant of my inability to burn anything – besides dinner – for better than 40 years. When I finally lived somewhere that had a fireplace, I also lived with a man who’d been a boy scout in his youth and could set fire to water if he wanted to. Then, in the winter of 2003, I found myself on my own in a duplex with a lovely, double-sided fireplace separating the living room from the dining area that just begged for a fire. So, I ran down to the corner supermarket and bought 4 logs (for $20!!), along with everything for s’mores.

It soon became painfully obvious that if my kids had to depend on me to keep them warm, they’d freeze to death. Four hours and one Sunday edition of the Dallas Morning News, three issues of Cosmo and an old pizza box later, I sat in front of my cold fireplace with it’s pristine logs, feebly tossing in cigarette butts and pathetically sobbing “Why? Why??

The point is, I don’t know WHY. At first I thought it was perhaps that I lacked a Y chromosome. Then it occurred to me that my sister-in-law, Tough Yankee Broad, can start a fire without a gas can and a stick of dynamite; of course, Tough Yankee Broad can also operate a wood chipper, correctly gap a spark plug and grout tile, none of which I can do.

Ah, well…I suppose it’s all really a moot point. I’ve got the erstwhile boy scout back in my fire-challenged clutches and a 15-year-old son who has happily been promoted from “fire wood hauler” to “fire starter” so I suppose we won’t freeze to death anytime soon. Besides, in approximately 1,278 days the 15-year-old will be old enough to leave home, and I’m moving to Hawaii to become a professional beach bum.

Zucchini Pancakes

I was going to write a review of a local restaurant today for Travel Tip Thursday, but the unbloggable continues, along with overwhelming amounts of work and the stressful situation with my nephew (good news and bad news there – fortunately, the good news outweighs the bad but I’ll go into that later), so I’m rerunning a very old recipe; again, from a time before I had any readers to speak of.

No original photography for this one, I’m afraid – other than the pictures I took of Little Guy over the weekend, my camera has been sadly neglected.  Which means I’ve already bombed out of Project365.  Of course, there’s nothing that dictates you have to begin on January 1st or any other day so I can restart at any time, but until we get the unbloggable resolved in some fashion I can’t see trying to begin again.  It’s all rather sucky, and I’m stuck with some stock photography for this one.

Anyhoo, I love squash of all kinds, and Beloved is particularly fond of zucchini.  You might not think to make a pancake, or blini, out of squash, but they are surprisingly good – I get frequent requests for them from all of the kids (The Young One excepted, of course).  These are super easy to make and are a great way to use up surplus zucchini in the summer.  Or even yellow summer squash, which works well too.  This can be made low carb/gluten-free by substituting the all-purpose flour with a nut or soy flour.

Zucchini Pancakes

2 – 3 medium zucchini

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Vegetable oil

Coarsely shred the zucchini; place it in a paper towel lined colander and press out as much moisture as you can.

Mix the zucchini with the rest of the ingredients except the vegetable oil in a large mixing bowl. Heat a large skillet over high heat until it nearly smokes; add enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom. Drop the zucchini mixture into the hot skillet by heaping spoonfuls, flattening them slightly with the back of the spoon; they should be about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Fry them until brown, about 3 – 5 minutes per side, using care when flipping them. Drain briefly on paper towels, then serve immediately.

Makes 6 – 7 pancakes.

Printable version (requires Adobe Reader)

The Answer Is, Well, NO

Just a little warning:  today’s post is a bit EMPHATIC.

Since this week’s Spin Cycle is “confessions” I’ll jump right in and give you one.

Yes, the vertigo is persisting.  No, I haven’t been to the doctor.  And it’s very likely I won’t unless it becomes something more than a minor irritation, which is really all it is.

I don’t LIKE going to the doctor.  I rarely find them helpful.  They are almost always too busy to really sit and listen to what I have to say, or they are unremittingly patronizing.  (You want to get on my bad side and stay there?  Treat me like I’m stupid – and I’ve spent a LOT of time being treated like a moron by doctors, who seem to think their M.D. negates the IQs of the rest of the populace.)  I have had very, very few good experiences with doctors.

I could carry on all damn day about the drama of dealing with doctors over the last 20 years or so – including the misdiagnosis of my mother’s aeortal aneurysm and the abysmal treatment of my nephew since he was initially released from the hospital three years ago after the shooting and especially in this matter of the severe burns on his foot – but I won’t.  Let’s just suffice to say that NONE of them have been in the least bit helpful with my anemia, Seasonal Affective Disorder, my menopause symptoms, my IBS or my chronic fatigue – I can’t even get one of them to TALK to me about that last one.  As for the rest of it, they’ll fucking diagnose till the cows come home, but won’t offer one bit of helpful advice on how to DEAL with any of it; that’s apparently what the internet is for because that’s where I discovered light therapy to deal with the SAD.

So do I trust them to help me with this vertigo?  NO, I do not.  Because I’ve researched the causes, and since I don’t have any symptoms for something horrid like a stroke, this is what I’ve found:

If it’s Meniere’s Disease, there’s precious little they can do about it (I got that one straight from the horses mouth; I have a coworker who suffers from Meniere’s).

If it’s a virus, there’s precious little they can do about it (except let it run it’s course).

If it’s a symptom of menopause (and a LOT of menopausal women complain of vertigo), there’s precious little they can do about it.

If it’s stress-related, there’s precious little they can do about it.

If it’s Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo, there’s precious little they can do about it.

Since these things tend to come and go, if it still hasn’t gone away in another week I promise I will go see the damn doctor, be dismissed, patronized and told there’s precious little they can do about it.  Cross my heart and hope to refrain from punching someone in the nose.

My Favorite Fantasy Redux

Due to the craziness that is my life right now and the many things I simply cannot blog about, I am re-running a few of my favorite posts from before the time I had any readers to speak of.  Hopefully this will only last a week or two; things ARE calming down and I DO have some good news about some of my recent issues.  Until then, in between “normal” postings, I give you some of my more obscure “greatest hits.”  Enjoy.

My favorite fantasy does NOT include Patrick Stewart in his Federation uniform, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine or Johnny Depp in any way, shape, form or fashion. Believe it or not.

No, my favorite fantasy involves me waking up at 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning (that is a fantasy in itself), stumbling into the kitchen to make coffee only to find my loving family – my ENTIRE loving family – gathered around the dining room table with half a dozen cookbooks and an equal number of recipe websites on my laptop, our grocery store’s sale circular spread out between them. There’s a lively discussion taking place about individual tastes (especially mine), what meals accommodate the family’s busy schedules, what is cost-effective, nutritious and tasty.

They are planning the menu for the week.

They don’t have to go grocery shopping; they don’t even have to cook any of the meals (lest we leave fantasy behind and enter the land of utter lunacy); just plan them. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for seven days.


Disclaimer: Since my Beloved is the most avid reader of my blog, I feel obligated to mention that he does our laundry. Every week. He also has no issues with vacuum cleaners, dust rags, SOS pads or toilet brushes. He does more than his fair share of housework.

See this? It is my ass. It is covered.

It’s The G Man

Someone asked me what I was going to call Little Guy once he was no longer A Little Guy, and Beloved came up with the perfect name:  The G Man.  I’ll probably go back and forth between Little Guy and G Man myself, but Beloved has already begun calling him G Man almost exclusively (yes, in real life).  It suits him.

We did get down to Cincinnati to visit this weekend, and Grandma managed to take over 500 quite a few pictures in the 24 hour period we were there.  I’ve just begun to process them, but here are a couple.  He’s six months old, has two teeth, is sitting up on his own, eating solid foods (quite enthusiastically) and is one of the most sweet-tempered babies we’ve ever seen.

Look!  It’s those Grandparent people again!

Nyah, nyah.

Why, yes – I am fully aware that I am adorable.

Things are still crazy hectic here – we’re still unbelievably busy and these stupid dizzy spells just won’t go away – but I’ll get around to commenting when I can.  Thank you all so much for the good thoughts and wishes, support and encouragement.  Y’all are just the best!  Head over and visit Twenty Four at Heart; she, too, is having a tough time of it and could use some good wishes.

Have a lovely Monday, y’all.