Ranting about thankfulness on HumpDay …

Didn’t feel like losing it over anything on Monday, so you got a break.  Love it while you can because that’s over in 4 … 3 … 2 …

So Monday was okay, as I recall.  Tuesday afternoon we’re tootling along Hwy 10 when the tootle goes away.

Kim sits, hands on wheel, just long enough to assess how and why and mutter “F*ckin’ embarrassing” before he starts walking.  Li’l Truck inhaled the last of the fumes about a quarter of a mile short of an exit, beyond which there is rumored (according to the sign) to be a service station, but just before Kim gets to the exit ramp somebody in a big black truck pulls over, picks him up, and drives away.

Which, after the shortest, most obscure Monday Rant you are likely ever to hear from me, brings us to Thankfulness Tuesday.  Because yes, there was a service station just beyond the exit ramp.  WAS.  Extinct and crusty.  Enter Ric, driving back to KC after the cold burial of a much-loved friend.  Spots my husband strolling along the highway, hunkered against the chill, a heavy coat, stocking cap pulled over most of his face, imposing enough man that you’d notice, and of course pulls right over.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ric.  Ric isn’t a big guy, but he sticks in your mind that way.  He repairs heavy equipment and does pipeline work, and I’m pretty sure he isn’t afraid of much, but his kind heart is a lot bigger than all that.  He insists on driving back down the 4-lane to get the Madster and me, carts us all back the other way to where the service station really IS, then west one more time where he uses his new truck to shield Kim from Highway Harm while he pours gas in the tank.  And yeah, then follows us back to the same service station so he knows for sure we made it, and tells Kim to give that piece of green to somebody who’s looking for it.

But wait, there’s more.  Kim’s a good mechanic, knows a lot about a lot.  For instance, he’s known since he bought the truck that it needs a new sending unit for the gas gauge, and probably a new fuel pump while you have the tank dropped, but since he doesn’t have a place to do his own work anymore and hasn’t loved the estimates he’s gotten, he’s just gradually developed a little system.  The system failed yesterday.  But only so we could start getting acquainted with Ric, and so he could offer to replace the unit for parts at his cost, plus labor.  Helps him, lets my husband win.  Think it’s gonna happen.

Also it’s HumpDay AND New Year’s Eve.  Do with that what you will, kids.

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In an odd sort of mood …

IN THE LAND OF ODD

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This — my 300th post on WordPress!

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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Creamy Soup Recipe: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

When temperatures cool down, there’s really nothing better than digging into a warm and hearty soup; the thicker the better, we say. Broccoli cheddar is one of our favorites, and this recipe is the way to do it! It really delivers on flavor and creaminess—packed with broccoli and cheese, you get a ton of bang for your buck and you will feel it warm you up from your core! This soup tastes delicious and is fool-proof to make; get cooking and see how much you love it!

 

Ingredients

4 cups broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
Directions

In a medium pan over medium-high heat, sauté onions and garlic in 1 tablespoon butter until softened.
In a large pot, cook remaining butter with flour to create a roux, 3-4 minutes. Once pasty and thick, add in half-and-half and chicken stock. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Add onions, garlic, broccoli, and nutmeg to mixture and simmer for another 25-30 minutes, until thickened.
Stir in cheddar cheese until melted, taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.
Optional: Puree soup to smooth out chunks {horrors!}, or serve as is.
Recipe adapted from Yammie’s Noshery

http://12tomatoes.com/2014/10/creamy-soup-recipe-thick-broccoli-cheddar-soup.html

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We wish you a Merry Day-After-Christmas …

My blog just texted me that it was lonely.  (And it spelled out each word because it’s, you know, my blog.)  I feel awful — less than 24 hours after the kindest, splooshiest day of the year I wander off and forget the ones who mean the most.

But I’m back with a vengeance, launching bizarrely-benign torpedo-thoughts … configured sort of like my old paper airplanes … into what’s shaping up to be 2015.  For my Faithful Facebook Friends, today’s post will be an instant rerun.  Whatevs — can’t get there today, hope you didn’t have to work either!!  (And sorry, because I know some who did.)

Blessed

I Share

 

 

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Sweet winter peace to all …

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Christmas Eve 2014

 

ChristmasEveFrameKeep it sweet, share the love.

 

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My girl Marilyn knew …

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Not going down without a rant …

My tolerance for whining is minimal, so I try not to do it.

Just the facts then.

If you’ve never experienced an auto-immune disorder there’s no way to explain it to you, but I’m willing to try because at least a dozen people on my Facebook feed, including me, deal with fibromyalgia and/or other auto-immune malfunctions on a daily basis.  If you’ve somehow formed the opinion that we’re lazy, unmotivated, hopeless weenies, at least scan the information below.  Most of us, like you, have dreams and plans, if only our bodies would get in the game.

Part of the frustration that comes with fibro is its unpredictability — one day you’re flying high, the next you can’t get out of bed.  More often, the transition takes place between one hour and the next.  A second frustration is that, plan as you might, there will be social opportunities missed and projects that never really get off the ground.  A third, if you can call it a frustration, is that when flares hit they’re fairly relentless and the prolonged pain and hypersensitivity in bones, joints, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues let you know that everything is on hold for a while.  A fourth is that while researchers are on the brink of several breakthroughs, the root causes of fibromyalgia remain elusive, ergo no effective treatment yet.

I’m blessed that my husband gets it and doesn’t see me as dead weight to haul around, but not all are so fortunate.  It can be a lonely walk, so for friends and family who have to carry the burden of all we DON’T know about the auto-immune spectrum in general and fibromyalgia in particular, here are the fruits of my highly-personal, mostly-unscientific research into the disorder known among the ranks as “the invisible beating.”  (Click pics to enlarge.)

 

common fibro conditions

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Omigosh, you’re still here?  You are either a really caring soul or you have a vested interest in the subject, or both.  We can all help make things better for each other — that’s the truth.  I’m glad you’re a part of that …

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Winter Solstice

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Ready for snowy days, fireplaces, and nesting.  

 

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Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Pie

Because I hung up my apron ten years ago when I married a cook, I don’t post recipes that require 37-million ingredients and tedious hours to assemble — I figure most people are as cranked about that as I am.  Not all, I get that — but it’s cool for the rest of us to have a few go-tos that are within the realm of quick-ish possibility.  Ergo …

CPB Pie

CPB Recipe

 

CPB Comments

 

From 12 Tomatoes.  Check them out here:  http://12tomatoes.com

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And Friday spills over into the weekend again …

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Are you whistling yet?

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This Thursday’s Throwback

Say hello to two of my great-grandmothers.  Of the four I was blessed to have, the lady on the right is the only one I remember.  Great-Grandma Cummings was the mother of my WWI soldier grandpa, and she was as sweet and wonderful as they make them.  Great-Grandma Somerville on the left was a midwife and ran a boarding house and she too was amazing.  The grandbabies they’re holding may be my Uncle Bob and Aunt Bette — waiting for Baby-Aunt Barbara to weigh in on that.

Great-Grandma Somerville used to tell her new mothers, when she helped them bathe, “I’ll wash down as far as possible and up as far as possible, and you can wash Possible.”  She makes me think of Rose Kennedy without all the money.

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Wednesday Wisdom

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Sometimes you just go ahead and dance …

So I noticed a weird little goober on my lower eyelid, oh, months and months ago and when it started to resemble an expanding snot bubble I made an appointment with a specialist — I’m not one to rush into things unless it’s something I really want.  Anyway, today was as much fun as a poke in the eye with a sharp needle — biopsy done and now we have the inevitable wait.  But even if it’s basal cell, as Dr. Specialist surmises, it won’t be a biggie — Dr. Specialist #2 will biopsy the whole thing in layers and if I end up with a divot in my eyelid Dr. Specialist #1 will Bondo it for me and my eye will be good as new.  Also basal cell carcinoma doesn’t metastasize or send out runners.  Yay!

Hey, it’s Tuesday, the day we dahnce, dahlings, and I say we get on with it.  Choose your libation — I’m having NZ Starborough Sauv Blanc — and distract me while the anesthetic wears off and reality hits.  That’s what friends do.

 

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Time for the Monday rant …

Someone I used to respect told me several months ago that he’s an Ayn Rand devotee, which is entirely his business.  For years, though, and maybe still, he was an evangelical Christian minister, so, the two philosophies being mutually exclusive, I hardly knew what to do with that information other than dismiss it out of hand.  Dude, pick a hero — if it’s the biblical Jesus your life will look a certain way.  If it’s Ms. Rand, good luck, you’re already morphing into the polar opposite of a Christ-follower.  Please don’t think I necessarily care one way or the other — I don’t have a horse in the race, beyond knowing that truth still matters and it never disavows itself.  At the end of this post there’s a link to a Salon article, brief-ish and succinct, that illustrates the disconnect required to be both a Christian and a disciple of Randian Philosophy aka Objectivism.  Not enough Xanax in the world, lollipop.

Key quote from the article:

“Rand … stated on national television, ‘I am against God. I don’t approve of religion. It is a sign of a psychological weakness. I regard it as an evil.’  Actually … Rand did have a God. It was herself.  She said:  ‘I am done with the monster of *we,* the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame. And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: *I.*‘”  So, yeah, that happened.

Having been stalked by tragedy and pain over the past three decades, both physical and existential, the road forward was in trying to make sense of the human experience in time to survive it, as a result of which I’m no longer an authority on the subject of a God like the one the evangelicals paint for us.   IF, however, just say, there WERE to be such a God who cared, loved, nurtured, was intimately engaged in the human sojourn on this planet and took a personal hand in events great and small … then it should be excruciatingly, ostentatiously, nakedly clear, despite Ms. Rand’s deistic stance, that *I* would not be that god, ergo neither would you, and — I know this like I know the universe is ginormous — nor would Ayn Rand.  What in hell would be more terrifying, overwhelming, and totally ludicrous than to think that I am/we are/she was in charge, amirite?

You get where I’m coming from, you can’t have it both ways!  Either there’s no god, as a true atheist asserts, or there’s an Infinite God who actually gives a flip about every molecule.  Or maybe somebody something somewhere between — a Force.  A Power.  A Powerful Life Force.  Or … as Ms. Rand apparently believed … god is/was her, therefore you and me.  But probably just her.  So that’s more than two ways, yeah — just … really not an expert anymore, but pretty sure the *I* thing can’t be right.

Here’s another quote from the Salon article:
“Ayn Rand removed Americans’ guilt for being selfish and uncaring about anyone except themselves. Not only did Rand make it ‘moral’ for the wealthy not to pay their fair share of taxes, she ‘liberated’ millions of other Americans from caring about the suffering of others, even the suffering of their own children.  The good news is that I’ve seen ex-Rand fans grasp the damage that Rand’s philosophy has done to their lives and to then exorcize it from their psyche. Can the United States as a nation do the same thing?”

I don’t know, see, because the generally-accepted rallying cry is that we’re a Christian nation, which clearly gives us a leg up on the rest of the world because we’re right.  We can torture choke shoot tase beat and otherwise dispatch fellow persons including animals and it doesn’t make us any less Christian or right because WE’RE CHRISTIAN AND WE’RE RIGHT, dammit!!  We’re Christian, man, serious, but you know, things have changed and we’re supposed to just care about ourselves now anyway.

And so she did — cared foremost, apparently, about herself and what she wanted, and anointed herself her own god.  A god that stood appropriately god-like against Social Security and Medicare and other government spoils until said god was in need of same.  A god that some of my Christian acquaintances seem to co-worship now in a strange brew of sudden jarring philosophical ninety-degree right turns.  Whatevs.  I don’t even know what the “C” word is currently supposed to mean, I just don’t want my name associated with whatever it is.  That’s me talking, not Salon.

Article in the link:

http://www.salon.com/2014/12/15/one_nation_under_galt_how_ayn_rands_toxic_philosophy_permanently_transformed_america_partner/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

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