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MARYJEANSL's Recent Blog Entries

Root Veggies

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Trying some root veggies tonight for dinner. I am cooking kohlrabi and celery root in boiling water, and I will puree them in the food processor afterward. I can't wait to find out how they will taste. I may not like them, but the only way to find out is to try.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NASFKAB 1/6/2013 10:12PM

  I fry kohl with a little onion green chili & salt & some cumin seeds cut it like match sticks do try it

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    I'd be interested in knowing how you liked them. I've had neither!

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BLITZEN40 1/1/2013 7:33PM

    I've heard great things about celery root here on SP. I haven't heard of kohlrabi before but it's always fun to try new things. Let us know how it turns out! Bon appetite! emoticon

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IAMARMSTRONG 1/1/2013 7:08PM


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RAPUNZEL53 1/1/2013 7:05PM


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I've Fallen, and I.........Can Get Up!"

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

A few years ago it became plain to me that all the agility I once had was totally gone. In particular, when I was about eight months pregnant with my youngest, I had to get something out from under the hospital bed (pre-eclampsia led to a prolonged stay in the hospital, something which has made me totally allergic to hospitals since). Once I had managed to grab it (and I imagine I looked pretty ridiculous, crawling around on the floor with a belly the size of a tank), I discovered I had no idea how to get up. I finally managed by grabbing the bed and using it to support all my weight.

Even after delivery, however, I found I simply could not get myself up off the floor. I had to have something to support pretty much my entire weight which I could grab with one hand and use to hoist myself up. Such a support (e.g., my 6'1", 230 pound son, a heavy piece of furniture, a stair) is not always available when I find myself on the ground, something I tend to try to avoid.

Fortuitously, I discovered that, if I can get both feet underneath myself, rather than just one, I do NOT need such a support. If I get both feet underneath myself, I then balance myself carefully and use my leg muscles to rise straight up. It isn't easy, but I can do it, every single time. TRIUMPH!

So tonight my daughter and I were walking the dog. It was pretty early but of course at this time of year, completely dark. In addition, it had rained and drizzled all day. One of my neighbours decided not to water his yard the last time we had a drought. We have them fairly frequently, sad to say. His grass all died, and his yard now consists of dirt and intermittent weeds. When it rains, that would be mud and intermittent weeds. Also, his house is quite elevated compared to the level of the sidewalk.

This situation leads to significant erosion. While it is a great practical way to explain the concept to a young child, I could do without the buildup of mud on the sidewalk as a result. Tonight I completely forgot about the inevitable mud.

So, I stepped on a several-inch-thick layer of wet, slippery mud on his sidewalk, my sandal went one way while my body went another, and I did a wild dance, flailing my arms, and I'm sure providing amusement to anyone who saw me - except my sweet daughter, who was very concerned. Luckily it was dark and I hope my face was unrecognisable.

Although I did try very hard, the slipperiness was too much for my dancing to overcome. I did manage to somewhat control the fall, such that I landed on my knees rather than my behind, and the impact wasn't too painful. I did, however, drop the dog's leash, and she took off like a shot, as usual.

My poor daughter had to take off after her, since I was still on the ground, and clearly in no shape to run after the dog - who is unbelievably fast, despite advanced age. There I was, kneeling on a muddy sidewalk, gasping, and assessing the situation. I knew I was going to have to get myself up. Cecily isn't strong enough to support me. I would drag her down long before she could get me up. I got first one foot under me, then the other. I took a breath, and pushed up with my - not sure which muscles, quadriceps? I got up. I did it!!! The feeling of accomplishment was unbelievable. Woo-hoo!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLITZEN40 1/1/2013 7:43PM

    So sorry you fell! Falling down is no joke when you are an adult. Hope your knees are okay. emoticon

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Christmas recap

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I already typed a blog of this topic earlier today, and it got swallowed by my computer somehow. Awfully frustrating...usually I give up when this happens, but I decided to try again.

Mostly it was a good Christmas, but unfortunately I did spend a part of it feeling pretty rotten. I have been persuaded to have a doctor check me out, which is a big hairy deal for me, because I really hate going to the doctor.

I woke up around 5:30 A.M. (after having gone to bed Christmas eve without putting the presents under the tree or stuffing the stockings because I wasn't feeling well) and couldn't sleep. So I decided to go ahead and put the presents out, which I did. Note to self - next year, buy more stocking stuffers - there weren't enough. Then I played some computer solitaire until I felt sleepy and went back to bed.

I was dragged out of bed to open presents a few hours later, and that was a lot of fun. I got some very nice presents, and I think my kids were happy with what they got also. Meanwhile, I was dealing with pain in my stomach, and was mostly incapacitated for the afternoon. I was too sick to walk the dog, and, if it hadn't been Christmas, I would have made the kids scrounge for dinner. As it was, I had promised my son my cheddar mashed potatoes, so I dragged myself up to make them. He did help by doing the mashing. Dinner wasn't ready until after 8 P.M., because I just wasn't too functional - and also had to wash a bunch of dishes before I could cook (washing dishes was very low on the priority list before Christmas).

The mashed potatoes were the only real indulgence we had. It was a very simple dinner for Christmas - ham, the potatoes (made with half and half, a whole stick of butter, cheddar, and fresh chives from our garden), and fresh broccoli with cheese sauce. No dessert. In fact, other than one four-ounce chocolate Santa each for the kids, and cinnamon rolls (from a tube) for breakfast, there were no sweets for Christmas. That is NOT the norm for me, for sure.

After dinner I got sicker - felt really terrible, even though I didn't think I had eaten that much. I went to bed early, and did wake up feeling better today. I had also lost almost a pound from three or four days earlier. I guess there's something to be said for feeling queasy - it does prevent overindulgence.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 12/28/2012 11:24AM

    Hope you are feeling better. Glad you had a good day with your family.

I home schooled 4 kids also. 4 are in college. It was so worth it.

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WORTHART 12/27/2012 1:54AM

    I hope you are feeling better and to haul out another old saying "It's an ill wind that blows no good." Being sick on Christmas is the pits though. Take care.

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BLITZEN40 12/27/2012 12:02AM

    The silver lining in every cloud of sickness is weight loss. I always gain it all back and then some when I'm well again though. Good for you for not doing lots of sweets this year. Glad you made it through the day and hope you get well soon! And put those college kids of yours on dish duty. ;) emoticon

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Oh Dear...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I think I am coming down with something that may even be the flu. I am feeling achy, very, very tired, and also shivery. Late on Christmas eve is not the time to be getting sick. I can't let my kids down in the morning. I am going to take some strong meds and head for bed. God willing, I will wake early feeling better and get the presents under the tree and in the stockings.

Wishing everyone out in Spark land a very happy Christmas! And lots of health and well-being for the coming year.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLITZEN40 12/26/2012 10:47PM

    Hope you are feeling better and had a great Christmas with your kids!

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ARCHIMEDESII 12/26/2012 1:47PM


My brother is getting over the flu now. The nieces and nephews had it too ! Something is definitely going around. Drink some hot tea. I find hot tea helps.


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CLAIREINPARIS 12/26/2012 1:34PM

    I hope you are feeling much better!

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TRYINGTOLOSE64 12/25/2012 8:57PM

    Merry christmas and I hope you get to feeling better!!

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ALICIA214 12/25/2012 12:38AM


I hope you kick whatever you have to the curb ..not a good time to be under the weather.......I just had some sort of stomach bug took up residence for a little more than
two weeks .... not fun. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year.

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POWER2XCEL 12/25/2012 12:29AM

  Merry Christmas and I hope you are feeling better!

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Oh, Christmas Tree...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A couple of years ago, I discovered that, if one waits until late in the month, Lowe's will have their remaining cut Christmas trees on sale for half off. Their trees aren't that expensive to begin with, and cheap is one price that appeals to me greatly.

So, for the last two years, we have gotten a tree - admittedly, a pretty ugly tree, but hey, that really doesn't matter once it's decorated - for around $10-$15 at Lowe's. I don't mind waiting, anyway, because I don't do the decorating in the first place - my 22-year old does, and he doesn't get home from college until around the 15th. And we do do Advent, which I have come to appreciate more and more through the years, and which makes Christmas even more special when it comes.

So that was the plan again this year. However, this year, it seems I waited just a little too long. Yesterday (the 21st) we headed out to Lowe's, only to find that they were totally out of trees other than the artificial kind. We are a 'real tree' kind of family, so that wasn't going to cut it. We tried two nurseries, but all they had were live trees in large pots. I would have been OK with that, and we did get a live tree one year (it lives on in our back yard), but the nurseries wanted over
$100 for tiny little trees, and that is not within budget. All the freestanding tents full of cut trees were also sold out/closed.

My poor son, who really, really cares about such things, far more than I do - because that isn't really what Christmas is or should be all about - was in despair. "Be not afraid," I said to him. (Well, not really, but I wish I had said that.)

Thinking creatively outside the box, I sent him to the Internet and told him to search on Christmas tree farms. The first two he found had both closed on the 16th. How completely unfair of them! However, the third one was a WINNER. They cheerfully advertised that they are open every day right up until Christmas eve. Definitely folks after my own heart. The fact that their farm is over an hour away was not a deterrent. We mounted our trusty steed, er, car, and headed out.

We reached their very nice tree farm, grabbed a wagon, and started looking. Some spirited disagreements about the relative virtues of various trees ensued. After about another hour, we managed to agree on an acceptable tree, ruthlessly sawed it down, stuffed it into the back of our car, and headed home. Damage done - $30. Not my usual super-duper deal, but an acceptable price.

So, after some hard work by my wonderful son, here is the result:

And here are my amazingly fantastic children:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLITZEN40 12/23/2012 12:17AM

    Pretty tree and a great picture of your kids! Glad you found what you were looking for... sounds like a fun adventure!

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MRSOLIVER455 12/22/2012 7:43PM

    that's awesome, any way to save a few dollars! I can't wait until I get in a house instead of this apartment to get a real tree.

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UMBILICAL 12/22/2012 7:34PM

  A bargain

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