07 October 2015

Cheese, please!

Kroger's and Murray's partner
to bring cheeeeeeese!
to twenty states' Kroger & affiliates
I've heard our new Kroger's expansion includes a cheese counter, so I asked my husband to pick up some cheese, please.  I really didn't know what I wanted and figured Jerry makes excellent choices as my personal shopper for clothes, so with my warped logic, I then surmised that he would also make excellent choices of cheese.  Besides, I love cheese and rarely have a met a cheese that I didn't like.  Remember cheese kisses?  If you do not, I am not surprised.  Cheese kisses were not popular and only were on the market for a very brief time in the 70s, apparently because I was the only one who liked them.  It's become part of family lore, retold by others with shudders and cringes.

Chianti with no fava beans
Jerry came home with a lovely assortment of six cheeses and a Chianti salami, as well as some crackers to cleanse the palate. We've lots of wine, but I had just poured myself so green tea that I'd steeped slices of turmeric root in...besides, noon is a tad too early for wine for me.  Most days.

This salami is a dense meat, but not too dense.  It is encased in a skin, with a fair bit of oil.  The texture is pleasant, and so is the taste.  I didn't eat much of it, since it does have so many flavors that it stands as its own treat and I wanted to focus on the cheese more so than the salami.  One thing that I enjoyed about it tho was the use of spices.  I like spicy foods, but sometimes salami can have too much and it feels to me that all that spiciness is to cover for something else.  Like folks who use way too much perfume might be disguising other less pleasant odors.  So I'd rather that my salami have a nice blend of spices, but let's not go overboard, shall we?  No, we shalnt.

Cheese us, yes!  Let's focus on the cheese!  My go~to cheese tends to be Swiss.  I love swiss and remember my dad and I eating baby swiss slices when I was a child.  Right around the same time that he and I also would go outside and eat sardines from the can, with crackers.  I remember a few types of sardines, but I think that I liked the kind in mustard best.  The last time I had sardines, they were bigger with fewer in the can than what I remembered.  So cheese, yeah, ok~~of the six cheeses Jerry brought home today, the swiss is what we tried last, because we're somewhat familiar with swiss.  This was a Jarlsberg Lite, which made me wonder what the different is between this and the regular...is the nonLite version more full~bodied?  Fewer holes?  Is the difference comparable to the baby swiss vs swiss?  Not sure, but will explore the matter further in the future!  This Jarlsberg Lite was a bit more dense in consistency with lots of bubbly holes dispersed in small bursts rather than huge gaping holes that you can drive a smartCar thru.  The kick actually hits you more so at the end of chewing, then lingers as an after taste.  Very nice!

Piave Vecchio and parmgiano reggiano are often compared,  The piave surprised me because as I bit into this drier cheese, lush tropical fruit scents wafted up my nose and then as I chewed it, I tasted a blend of citrus fruitiness that confused me but I liked it.  I was confused, since the cheese is a more crumbly sort and the fruity taste was juicy.  It takes lil to confuse me, apparently.  I definitely liked this and can see it being grated on salad greens or even a fresh fruit salad.  Very good!

The Parmgiano Reggiano is considered the "king of cheese".  To
me, what I noticed the most, was a sweet & salty taste with a gritty texture.  I enjoyed it, but think I would love it more so pared with some thin sliced ham or turkey wrapped around it and perhaps even slightly melted.  Not sure, exactly, so I will be trying it with other foods in the future.

Both of the last two cheeses are usually served in a grated, shredded, or powdered form here in the USA.  We tend to shake it from its can onto spaghetti, pizza, lasagna, and other dishes we think are Italian.  But I thought of the holidays past and sitting around the table, playing a boardgame, dominoes, cards, or yahtzee while snacking on fruits, dips, veggies, cheeses, and ring bologna with my friends and family.

Speaking of the holidays, Murray's Black Pepper BellaVitano reminds of some sort of traditional holiday dessert.  I couldn't put my finger on it, but then I remember that AllSpice contains black pepper and that is usually added to most fruit pies.  My mom made pies every year, usually pumpkin and apple, but sometimes cherry, peach, mincemeat, and others.  This cheese is great on its own, and even better with apple/raisin pie.  It was by far the most popular with both Jerry and I this afternoon.  We loved it!

The Jamaican Jack cheese called No Woman was the first cheese we opened and we both enjoyed it,
tho Jerry like both it and the black pepper cheese pretty much equally.  I like it, but was eager to try the other cheeses.  Although I did find it tasty, I was disappointed in the overall lack of spiciness.  It smells spicier than it tasted and with a name like that, I was expecting that extra jerk spice.  If I didn't have that expectation, I think I would have liked it lots more.  I think that it would melt nicely and in that case, it would make an awesome grilled cheese, with ham or turkey, on some really good bread.  With tomato basil soup.  Yes.  It would.

Chipotle Jack put us back on more familiar territory, which came both as a disappointment and as a Yea!  It was a disappointment to be on familiar ground, because our cheese adventure was drawing to a close, much like this post.  But the cheese itself was tasty and moist, a bit on the softer side, as we americans tend to prefer our cheese...I think it's mostly because that's what we know and how we were brought up.  If we were, as the French are, surrounded with cheeses as children {omg, I love that phrase, cheeses as children, so fun to say and fun to write/type too.  just imagine the short story you could pull outta that...cheeses with children, set in a sunday school...too delicious!}; if we were surrounded with cheeses as we grew up, we'd all be getting all riled up over our preferred cheese as we sometimes can over bbq, sweet tea, or any other regional food that differ from that same food prepared in a different way.  You'd have your american vs provolone, vs cheddar, vs brie, vs blues...to the nth degree.  We'd have cheeses with names like Metallica and the heavy cheese, versus the hard rockin' cheese, versus groovy tastes.  We'd be putting peanuts and blackeyed peas in cheese and caramel swirls.  We'd be doing things that other countries would feel are profane and crimes against god, and then again, we'd be having marches dedicated to not letting the big cheese stand alone.  We'd be all freaked out by who keeps moving our cheese, there'd be children's books devoted to finding the cheese in the marbled rind, and we'd wonder where our misspent youth's cheese went to.  We'd have folks wanting lactose free cheese in all the varieties and we'd have way more revitalization in the Make Your Own Home Fermented Cheese movement.  We'd again be saying, "cheeeeeeeeese" while taking pix with our friends, our family holiday shots would be with us saying "brieeeeee" because we think our family is unique and smarter than other families.  Wisconsin, Vermont, and other cheesy locales would become more popular than the Napa Valley wine tasting tours.  And we'd have children writing reports about their favorite cheese, and school projects revolving around each class raising goats to milk versus the other school's fixation on cow's milk as the base for various cheeses.  Then you'd have the avant garde groups making cheese with coconut milk, hemp milk, and almond milk.  And you'd have the herpetologist grad students doing their theses on snake milk cheese.  Some group of mothers weaning their toddlers would decide that donating their extra frozen pumped milk to neonatal units, they'd make cottage cheese for their tykes to transition easier to semi~solid foods.   In short, if we grew up with a variety of cheeses regularly consumed, the USA stance would be ohh! SO! different than any other society's reaction to cheese's presence in their culture.

{i had to slip the culture in, what cheese entry would be complete without it?!?}

06 October 2015

Work in Progress & Resting Scowl Face

Here lately, I've been catching up on some of my fiber projects, mostly knit.  Nothing too wild and creatively cutting edge.  Just some regular knitting, in this case, 1x1 ribbing, using a strand of worsted weight and a strand of variegated fuzzy fur to give it some depth and subtle shadings within each color way.  I worked on it some yesterday, and used a few other colors than the original grey and blue that I started with.  This lacks only the final swath done in dark blue, which is what I am doing now {well, not NOW, now I am typing, and I am not yet talented enough to type and knit at the same time; and I don't think I want to learn that particular skill set}~~you might see the top line of dark stitches, and that is the final color I'm working with.  At this point, the throw is about 3'x4'.  It'll be more square, I think, when I'm through.  I anticipate that I'll be thru by week's end.  Then on to the Not Quite 50 Shades of Green chevron throw.  Yea!

Also, I just realized I look kind of pissed off in this pic.  I'm not.  I have resting scowl face, which is somewhat different than resting bitch face.  I think that in resting bitch face, you are simply not smiling and you look like you are just keeping your thoughts to yourself, or keeping yourself from smacking the shit out of someone.

With resting scowl face, you actively look angry, like something is really irritating you and you are not bothering to keep your reaction in.  You look furious over seemingly nothing.  My daughter in law told me a few years ago that she was really worried that she'd done something wrong or that I was disapproving of something going on around me.  Nope, that's just my face.  I started off with resting bitch as a teen and it's developed into scowl and by the time I am an old woman, I'll have crotchety crochet face.  You whipperschnapper you.

28 September 2015

Dr. Kutz, paging Dr Kutz

When I was a child, about ten to twelve years old, my mom and I spent a lot of time at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA.  We made frequent visits during those three years, the year before my surgery and the two years following my eye surgery.  It's a complex system, even then; with shuttles and multiple buildings, halls, suites, levels, and elevators.  We'd rush and get there early, so that we could allow time for everything from finding parking space to catching the shuttle to finding the right office, only to then wait for the doctor.

While waiting, we'd listen to the pages over the loud speakers {yes, they didn't even have "pagers" at that time, let alone cell phones; you young whipperschnappers you}.  We'd giggle over the names and whisper to each other what they probably did, based on those apropos names.  Dr Kutz, of course, was a surgeon.  So must Dr Butcher be.  We weren't sure what Dr Beatem did, but had I known about sports medicine, I would have said that s/he works with patients who play full contact sports.  But I was ten, or eleven, or twelve and not a huge sports fan.  We thought that perhaps Dr Pokem was a children's dr, but then again I didn't know about proctologists at that time and mom didn't tell me about that, THANK YOU mom, for not feeling a need to nibble away at my childhood innocence.

So fast forward to my recent adulthood...my husband is a HAHhuge Dr Who fan.  My brother was, I think, but I really don't remember a whole heaping lot about that as a child.  We didn't really watch much TV, if at all, for most of my childhood.  Then, I think there was a gap of time when the timelord was not featured on TV; during my twenties and into my thirties.  That was alright, cuz I was living my life and so TV was not a priority at all.  But now, if my husband's home, the TV's on and I may be listening or watching; and even when I am not, actively paying attention, it's babbling or cheering away in the background.  Depending if Jerry's watching football or Dr Who or FX or whatnot.

So I tend to pick up way more than I thought I would ever know about all sorts of stuff.  Like Tom Baker's scarves being iconic, but varied.  He was the 4th Doctor, and very Very VERY popular.  This generally isn't the scarf most folks think of if they know about "the Scarf", but it is ONE of the scarves he favored.  I saw it today, when watching one of the old episodes and thought, "aha!"

AHA! because what started out as a scarf turned into a wrap of sorts, that I've been knitting in a 5x5 rib for a friend of mine who is just now {or soon within the next hour or so} coming out of surgery {which is why I thought of the aforementioned Dr Kutz and Dr Butcher}.  Here's a picture of the current state of the wrap and it bears a striking, yet unintentional, resemblance to Dr Who's reddish scarf that I saw in today's "Breakfast with the Doctor" episode.  I'm finishing up the fourth of five small skeins of the ruby acrylic that is the base fiber for this project.  I anticipate that by the end of this week, I'll have finished this and it will be on its way to my friend, about six hundred miles away.

Speaking of which, I must get crackin' ~~ wrapping up the wrap!

12 September 2015

my eyes, my eyes, my everlovin' eyes

About two months ago, my glasses flew off my face because I am tremendously klutzy and should probably wear one of those elasticized sports straps or the librarian chain to keep my glasses attached to me when I do things like trip over my own feet.  The glasses and my driveway's gravel met, fought, and the glasses were scarred.  The protective coating was gouged exactly in the spot that my right eye typically is lined up to view the most often.  So I tried a variety of methods to fix it, then began to tilt my head and look thru my lens at various angles.  This didn't really help.  So I switched to my old glasses which have a slightly different prescription and stopped by the iDoc for an appt.

He was really booked up so I made an appt for a month out {are ya noticing a trend here?}.  Monday is my appt and it is not a moment too soon.  My long distance viewing is ok, which means that driving is fine.  But my close up vision is badly blurred, which means that knitting, reading, computer stuffs, etc is not always an option.  Cuz my arms are not quite long enough for my eyes.

I do read, without my glasses, just holding the book very near my face.  Which probably is not good either, but I cannot not read.  I've tried, and it hurts.  I must read.  It's not an option to not do so.

So in the meantime, whilst waiting for the appt to roll around; I've visited zenni.com and perused their selection.  I've been getting my glasses from them for the last five or six years.  My husband and Daughter Donna both get their glasses thru Zenni now too.  I love Love LOVE them {my husband, Daughter Donna, and Zenni}.  I keep coming back to this style, available in two color combos.  I might do both options, one as sunglasses and one as regular wear.

Whacha think?


04 September 2015

not THAT kind of nose job

I love where I live so much so that I've chosen to make this my home.  It's not perfect, but it suits me well and fits just fine.  However, there are areas that Starkville could improve upon.  Our 'burg has ONE ENT.  The guy is booked way Way WAY far out,  It's a huge change from when I was there four years ago and there were NO other patients in the office at all.  My appt this morning was for 6:45a.  Yes, 6:45...not usually a time associated with doctor appts; but whenever works is whatever works.

Looking back over my blog for the past ten+ years, I've noticed there were lots of times when I was not well, feeling punky, blocked nose, upper respiratory infection, ear infection, strep throat, etc.  Given that I just got over a hellacious ear infection for which I ended up going to see said~Ear/Nose/Throat dude, reviewing the number of times I've had the crud seemed fitting.  Turns out, there is a good reason for my frequent fitlessness, one that doesn't involve me being all wimpy when it comes to illness.

A few weeks back, I had blood taken and sent off to a lab for allergy tests.  I take Zyrtec daily, and have been for awhile.  I knew that some pollens and spores irritate me, including the decay that occurs to the leaves and plants in the fall, when they go to seed.  I knew that I was allergic to cats {wish I would have known that as a child, but did eventually find out and that's what's important}.  Various molds and weeds made the list, and turns out that I've mild reactions to Oak and Birch/Alder trees.

I also had a CT scan of my facial sinuses done.  I thought that maybe they'd find a pea, bean, or slice of carrot that I'd passed from my mouth up into my sinuses as a child who could not complete a supper meal without choking on laughter, as my brother and his best friend told hilarious stories.  That's a long time to be harboring a pea or bean, but my grandfather always warned me that I'd grow a watermelon from swallowing the seeds, so I figured they might find an entire bonsai version of a garden camped out in my sinuses.  Kiddin'.  Tho that would have been interesting, I'm glad they didn't.

not me, generic sinuses
What they did find was a mess.  Apparently, my septum is deviated {whose isn't?}, polyps have grown, a bone spur grew in there, my meatuses {meati?} are clogged, and my turbinates are swollen and misformed.  Who knew?  A third of my lower left sinus cavity is blocked, my sinuses' lining has been irritated over the years and most of them are blocked.  So when I think that I am breathing freely thru my nose, it's because I can breathe directly from my lungs, up my throat, past the back of my tongue and soft palate, directly out my nose instead of letting that air swirl around in the sinuses like it should.  It most likely is for this reason that I do NOT have sleep apnea, the back of my soft palate is actually not all that soft, oh the things I take solace in...a strong soft palate that does not collapse and create sleep apnea, weee for me!

So this year, for my birthday, yea! in November, I get to have surgery, yea! That just happens to be when the next available appointment is for the procedure and I declined the waiting list route, because I can wait til then.  The surgery is outpatient, because there have been a ton of advancements in medicine, including surgical techniques.  Wahoo!

An endoscopic instrument will be inserted up my nose rather than peeling my face back to clean, scrape, trim, unblock, reopen, shape, remove the bone spur, and otherwise do what needs to be done. I like the endoscopic instrument and am considering procuring my own set.  Just seeing if you were paying attention.  It's called "Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery", including septoplasty {removal of the bone spur} and turbinoplasty.  Whilst they're tinkering with my sinuses, they are also going to place a tube in my right ear {tympanostomy~~cuz they slit the ear drum and insert a tiny tube into the Eustachian tube to help it stay open}.

I think the surgery will be pretty straight forward.  It's the after care that promises to be a bit long.  However, considering that these things didn't get this way overnight, I totally understand it taking awhile to heal up after surgery.

But!  I'll be able to breathe much better, hopefully have less sinus and ear infections, and taste things a bit better too.  Yea!!

29 August 2015

kenya hear me now?

Repost from October 2011

There's an app for that.

So after drinking a large travel cup of coffee, I was thrilled to see restrooms at a lil scenic overlook in the Smoky Mountains.  I quickly zipped up to the door, where a woman was scowling intently at her phone, while standing in the doorway.  Finally, she moved, heaving a huge sigh.  I flew in and realized that it was just a potty, like those in an outhouse or porta~potty.  No sink.  "That's ok," I thought, as I plunked down on the toilet~lid covered hole.  Right before I realized there was no toilet paper.  None.  There was an empty cardboard roll where toilet paper should be.  But no paper.  I clawed up in the holder, thinking, hoping, that there was some squirreled away.


So when I went back to the car, I passed a woman getting off a motorcycle and I told her that she might want to take some tissue or a napkin with her as there was no paper there.  Then I said that it would have been awesome if the woman before me would have said something to me about it.

Then again, she was scowling at her phone.

Perhaps she was searching for an app for that!

28 August 2015

Tripping down memory lane...

Repost from 2004:  For Mic & Bobbert

My brother is about two and a half years older than I am.  When we were younger, it was not so cool for my brother to have a younger sister.  I did not tag along, so there were very few times past the age of ten that we did stuff together that was fun.
At the time of this story, we lived in a small town in northeastern PA.  The playground was directly across the street from our house.  It was rather small and intended for small children’s play.  Big kids played over there though, taking over the basketball nets and sometimes dominating the entire playground.
For some forgotten reason, quite a few of us kids were playing football.  It was guerilla-style, which meant there were few rules other than getting to your team’s fence on whichever side of the playground was yours.  It was starting to get dark.  Most of us should be getting home, or we’d be catching it from our folks.  But the score was so close and most of us just wanted to cram in as much as we could before we went home.  It was turning into autumn and so it was pretty cool, especially since we were all sweaty.  So we kept moving, ignoring the lateness of the hour as best we could.
This was one of those few times my brother and I were playing, let alone around others!  So, I was pretty happy.  We weren’t on the same team,that was a bit much to ask for.  But, I had the ball and was running hell-bent for my section of fence.  I could hear some kids screaming and yelling behind me.
The harder I ran, the louder they screamed.  I was almost afraid I was running toward the wrong goal.  But I assured myself I was going good.  But they kept yelling, so I whipped my head around fast to look behind me.
Outta the corner of my eye I saw my brother gaining on me.  I knew that it was pretty much over, but I put a bit more burst into my race.  As I turned back to face front, I collided with him and we both went ass over tin-can sprawling.  I ate some dirt and had grass stains sliding down my chest, marking my thighs, and that was the extent of my ahem injuries.
My brother on the other hand had blood rushing down his rather white face.  It was smeared on his fingers, too.  He was warbling, “how bad is it?”  I was apologizing hastily and we (his best friend and I) were pulling him up and under a streetlight.  “Huh?  How bad, huh?”  His best friend was holding my brother’s hands away from his face, saying, “oh it’s not so bad”.  Most of the other kids had already run off towards home.
By the time we got my brother under the light, all I could see was shiny dark purple river running down from the two inch gash under his eye.  When I whipped my head around, I caught him, the corner of my glasses sliced open the taunt skin on his cheekbone, just under his eye.  I looked at his best friend, and he looked at me, and we all knew the fun and games were over, because someone got hurt.
We took him across the street, to mom and dad.  We started to get him all cleaned up.  We were ribbing on him about how his little sister beat him up, without even trying.  He was even starting to get some color back into his face.
That’s when my dad said to my mom, “think it needs stitches?”  Yes, she thought it did.  “Well,” dad says, thoughtfully, “you best get your needle and thread then.  What color do you want?”  he asked my brother.  My brother paled and began to tremble.
Mom and dad assured him that they were just joking, mom was not about to sew him up.  But she did take him to the hospital for stitches.  And when people asked what happened, he told them he was playing football (but not with whom).
Later, after the stitches came out, a thin white scar could be seen.  We tell him it adds to his roguish good looks.  For a couple of years, he told the girls he got the scar in a fight.
Sigh, it’s all fun and games, til someone gets hurt.

Whilst losing sleep...

Repost:  August 2006

Occupying my time

whilst losing sleep.

Georgee Porgee puzzles me.

I'm gonna just assume that the story we've hear is true.  Georgee Porgee did kiss the girls.  They did cry.  Georgee did run away when the boys came out to play.

But, dudes, why?

Why did the girls cry?  Was Georgee's breath really that bad?  Perhaps the girls' tears were joyous.  It could be that Georgee's technique was THAT good.  We don't know.

Why did Georee run?  Was he afraid of the competition?  Or was he running to kiss the next group of girls before the rest of the boys caught onto his prowess?

What's the damn deal about the pudding and pie anyway?  I mean, what does that have to do with anything?  The pudding and pie are not referred to again, later.  Was it pudding and pie as in sweets?  Perhaps the girls cried because his teeth were decayed from the high sugar content.  But, maybe the pudding and pie were of the entry variety.  I know meat pies, shepard's pie, chicken pot pie, and other sorts of "pie" that are certainly not dessert oriented.  But, what does it matter in the grand scheme of Georgee's kissing spree?

I wish I knew.   Cuz maybe it'd help me sleep.  But that there Georgee, he doesn't kiss and tell.