The good thing about being at a low point in your life is that there’s nowhere to go but up.
Fracturing my right fibula in mid-June last summer was inconvenient, requiring crutches for only a couple weeks. The biggest annoyance was that I couldn’t drive and had to use Uber to get to and from my doctor’s appointments. The bigger challenge came shortly thereafter when I dislocated and fractured my left ankle in two places. That required surgery, a week in the hospital, and follow-on rehabilitation. Losing Romeo only added to my despair. It was one of the lowest periods of my life—only two or three things have left me more devastated.
That was 13 months ago. One year ago I made the trek down 4 flights of stairs to visit the orthopedic surgeon for follow up. That may not sound like much, but it was. Partly because that trip also required coming back up the steps, by myself.
Living alone is hard when you’re physically incapacitated. There’s no one to help you with anything.Continue reading “The UP Side of Being Down”
Note: I’ve had the best intentions of finishing the cliffhanger post, but every time I come to the blog, I get sidetracked with the design… as you can see.
So… the right leg healed reasonably well. I became officially bootless on July 24th or thereabouts—at least toward the end of July. (Can’t remember the day of the week I went to the doc.) The ankle was still a bit sore as it turns out the break wasn’t completely healed. But I was cleared for shoes, albeit with ankle support of some kind, and warned not to go on any day hikes or such.
My car started up fine after 6 weeks of sitting idle. (Subarus may not be sexy, but they sure are reliable!) And life got back to normalcy, except for a bit of digestive problems I was having.
On Tuesday, August 6, I went to the 7-11 in the afternoon to pick up some milk (because I was out) and chicken noodle soup (for my digestive distress). While waiting in line (the guy in front of me was taking forever, what with talking on his phone and trying to get just the right kind of “cigarillo” [or whatever those cigar-colored cigarettes are called]) I became dizzy.
It didn’t happen when I retired. It didn’t happen when I started getting Social Security. It didn’t happen when I started Medicare. Nope.
It happened when I fell.. and couldn’t get up.
In my defense, I had been drinking wine. In fact, I was on my way to the kitchen to refill my glass when I slipped. So yes, I was somewhat inebriated. Hey! It was Friday night and I was celebrating my successful endoscopy/colonoscopy earlier in the week.
It was a strange feeling, not being able to pull myself up. I couldn’t believe that all of a sudden I was that old. A chair was nearby so I tried pulling myself up, but I couldn’t get my legs underneath me. So I got on my knees and tried pushing up that way.
Subtitled: Applesauce Now Has Its Own Marquee!
My grocery store recently changed its layout, causing me to wander up and down the aisles searching for familiar items in unfamiliar places. Thankfully, “Applesauce” now appears on the marquee above the aisle, so I didn’t waste too many steps searching for it.
THURSDAY – First Week – THURSDAY – First Week – THUR
I was surprised a weekly menu included not only a roast, but also a side dish that is fairly time-consuming. Oh wait! these recipes are for college students. They don’t deal with the mundanity of 9-5. Or 8-6 in some cases. Or 7-7 in my last case.
Here’s the menu:
- Roast Loin of Pork with Pan Gravy
- Corn Pudding University of Virginia
Is, as the saying goes, third time a charm? Let’s find out.
WEDNESDAY – First Week – WEDNESDAY – First Week –
Since I finally found the first 42 pages of the Campus Survival Cookbook (yay), I no longer need to rely on my memory (although it was surprisingly accurate). The menu for Wednesday is:
- McCrystal’s Survival Casserole
- Tossed Green Salad with Sliced Cucumber
- Traditional French Dressing
McCrystal’s Survival Casserole: No, I don’t know who McCrystal is. It doesn’t matter because the dish is basically goulash. I didn’t like goulash growing up, but I remember trying this recipe and actually eating it. It was okay, but not something I’d cook on a regular basis. Or any basis, actually.
Remember way back in the olden days of 2013 when I planned to go through the Campus Survival Cookbook and adapt the menus and recipes with healthier alternatives? What happened? After difficulties with a couple recipes (and still not finding the first 42 pages of the cookbook) I got discouraged.
I’m stuck on finding a good, easy substitute for McCrystal’s Survival Casserole. It’s a fancy name for what I grew up knowing as goulash, that hodge-podge of hamburger, tomatoes, macaroni and cheese.
Lazy Day Beef Casserole, from the American Heart Association Cookbook (5th edition) was a combination of chuck steak, tomato paste, mushrooms and onions. It sounded pretty good, but I overcooked it. The beef was dry, tough, and not very flavorful. In fact, it was so awful I couldn’t even finish one serving.
Round 2 was Eggplant Zucchini Casserole, from the same AHA cookbook. It includes eggplant, zucchini (duh!), chopped celery, onion, and green pepper, tomato sauce, spaghetti (broken in bits), and mozzarella cheese. It was quite tasty, but was a bitch to prepare: peel and slice the eggplant (peeling eggplant is not as easy as it sounds), slice the zucchini, chop the celery, onion and pepper, and slice the cheese (since I couldn’t find any sliced mozzarella cheese in the dairy section).
Neither of the above two recipes called for ground beef, so I decided to take a different track. I continued searching for a reasonable ground beef-tomato-pasta mash up, and I think I may have found it. I’m preparing it for tonight’s dinner, so look for a review some time next week.
They say third time’s a charm. That’s what I’m hoping. Another good omen? Yesterday I found the first 42 pages of the Campus Survival Cookbook! Hot diggity!
My goodness, time flies when your
having fun sleeping off drugs. I have several Sunday Seven posts in the works, but they require time, care, and love to complete in the manner which they deserve. Since I completely missed last week, let’s do something quick and dirty today.
Seven Goals for April
(No, filing taxes does not count.)
- Get up by o’clock every day. (The actual time is too embarrassing to post.)
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. It’s not a “well-formed” goal, but it’s good enough for now.
- Reboot my Kitchen Survival series, searching for healthy substitutions to The Campus Survival Cookbook recipes and menus.
- Post at least once a week here and once a week at SciFi Chicks.
- Spend 15 minutes a day cleaning out the kitchen and/or paperwork.
- Make one trip to Goodwill. Should be easy—the car is nearly full.
- Get out and walk twice a week—preferably with camera.
And let’s not forget—no television shopping!
I think that’s a pretty good list. Let’s hop to it! (Easter-ish pun intended.)
[Adorable calendar found at freedesignfile.com.]
This past week I had my taxes done. Retirement has thrown my tax habits into chaos. I tried doing them myself, but got lost when asked for the Fair Market Value (FMV) of my pension. Is there an FMV for a pension? I understand the FMV of my retirement investments, but a pension? What’s the value of that? All things considered (including a printer that’s on the fritz), I gave up and made an appointment to have someone more professional do them.
Sadly, my favorite accountant is gone. Last year she didn’t work because she’d had a mild stroke. (She wanted to, but her colleagues said no.) Since my dad worked several years after recovering from a massive stroke, I was hoping she’d be back this year. But she did the smart thing, retiring and moving out of the area.
Income and withholding information from my working years has not translated well into retirement. I’d thought my W-4 information transferred from employment to retirement, but I was only half right. When my 1099-R arrived last year, it showed no state withholding. I paid for it big time. But this year even my federal withholding wasn’t enough. So now I owe double big time.
The good news is the shock propelled me to change both federal and state withholding. The bad news is I still need to pay this year’s taxes. The further bad news is my meager income will now be even more meager than it has been.
What’s a girl on an austere budget to do? Reinstate the television shopping embargo. Instead of four weeks though, let’s make it an entire month this time. Oh heck, this calls for drastic measures—let’s make it two months.Wish me luck!
Happy (almost) New Year! The new year brings with it the chance to reboot ourselves, however mundane or all-encompassing that might be. It’s filled with hope, a time to start afresh, to look at our lives and figure out what needs improving. It’s not just the standard “eat less, exercise more” routine. It encompasses all aspects of our lives.
I stopped making resolutions years ago, but it hasn’t prevented me from trying to establish or reestablish good habits. It’s an on-going process which lasts throughout the year. That doesn’t mean I’m always successful or that I don’t backslide, but it’s a constant attempt to improve my life. And it avoids that dreadful “all or nothing” thinking.
This year I’m hoping to remodel my kitchen. It’s an intimidating task because I have a massive amount of preparation to do. I started a blog called Ms Pack Brat about five years ago to chronicle my attempts to get my home and life in order, but it was more “miss” than “hit.” Perhaps it was one blog too many. Hell, it may have been two blogs too many, what with SciFi Chicks (where I spent most of last year).
This new year presents itself with an opportunity to renew and revitalize The New Stream of Conscience. I certainly have plenty to write about. Why not make this daunting kitchen remodel (and its prerequisite cleaning and clearing) a focus? Why not write about how I adapt FlyLady’s principles to my own life? And let’s not forget about exploring cookbooks in an effort to eat better.
Hey! That’s a plan!
Photo credit: Small Kitchen Ideas