Friday, October 24, 2014

Angrying the blood

    My friend Terry, also known as one-fourth of the readership of this blog, likes to quote Satchel Paige on fried foods. Satch said to avoid them, because they "angry the blood." I think I know exactly what he was talking about. Folks back then, especially Southern blacks, tended to fry in pork fat, usually from fat back. I just did something like that.
    The other week, when the Fair was still going on, I was having difficulty getting to my usual Publix store. So I started improvising. I found to my surprise that Aldi sells uncured bacon with no preservatives. I was looking for some kind of meat for my pasta e fageoli (or in pop culture speak, pasta fazoo). The first attempt didn't turn out too great because I had forgotten over the years how to make bacon, and Aldi's directions weren't too useful.
    So yesterday, I tried again. Also in the interim, Aldi brought back their brown rice spaghetti noodles. The result was much better. However, I'm finding it to be quite angrying to the blood. And so I don't think it's the frying; I think it's the sodium. Sodium in bacon; sodium in fatback. It's nice that the uncured bacon doesn't have any nitrites, but dang; still too salty for me. Also I got a lot more indigestion than I did in the olive oil version of the dish. (Yeah, yeah yeah; bacon AND bacon grease. Probably gilding the lily.)
    So bacon sketti probably won't be tried again unless I half the bacon and throw out the bacon grease and use olive oil instead. It's tasty, though, and fun. Ahhhh what the hey! I need some angry blood anyway.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Progress, officially

    Dad is headed out of the ICUniverse, back to the 8th floor on his way back to Lowman Home. The leaving the IICU part happens later this evening; I think they're just trying to feed him first. Lowman Home might take a little while, or now. I don't think most places take admissions, even readmissions, on weekends. Also he's still sick. The Mucinex is not so making a lot of headway, although I guess there's some. As to brain activity, he still says he can't get the phone to work and can't understand why it works for everybody else. I imagine he just has a block. He's hoping there's a better phone in the new room.
    I absolutely can't get straight that it's still Thursday, but if you were puzzled by my reference to the weekend above, that isn't why I said that. He has dialysis again tomorrow, which will suck up most of the day, so Friday's forfeit. For us, it's pretty much already the weekend.
    I like the 8th floor; I like the stairs. I like running up... oh, about half of them. Although whether I run or walk, I always run out of steam at the same place, the 6th floor. Spirit willing; knees weak.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The usual roller-coaster ride

    Yesterday, Dad didn't seem well at all. The congestion had gotten even worse, but more to the point, his brain didn't seem to be there hardly at all. We were more than a little worried. However, before we left, his supper was delivered, and Margaret was happy to feed as much as he wanted of it to him.
    Today, he went to dialysis a third day in a row. I'm pretty sure that two of these weren't full sessions; Monday they must have brought him late, so yesterday they took him back to finish it. And no doubt that contributed to strain and nervousness. I had the strong sense that he was more or less asleep with his eyes open.
    We didn't visit today because of full dialysis and because Margaret is again having leg problems. But she talked to Dad and to the nurses; apparently he was eating everything put in front of him. He said that he hadn't eaten in three days, which either demonstrates that he's still out of it or that he was so out of it yesterday that he can't remember it. I prefer the latter interpretation.
    I recall that in the past, anesthesia knocked Dad for a loop for days. One assumes that getting a drain installed, even replacing an earlier one, might require anesthesia. So hopefully that's it and we're passed it. They also started giving him Mucinex for the congestion so hopefully lessening that is helping, too. We'll look forward to seeing him tomorrow and hope for the best.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


    Since Aldi started selling REALLY good gluten-free bread, a lot of stuff has come back into my life, from French onion soup (of sorts) to egg-salad sandwiches. But the humble PB&J is no longer particularly humble. Organic peanut butter costs $7. Raspberry preserves are $3 or $4; I can't remember. The bread is $4 for a little loaf. And it winds up tasting like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
    What this tells us is that the manufacturers do a good job making fake crap. The cheap peanut butter with all the preservatives and ingredients having nothing to do with peanuts really does taste like real peanut butter. All those ingredients presumably make it possible to make it cheap and sell it for a long time. (That's what preservatives do after all.) And the same is true of the jelly and the bread.
    But I think companies underestimate us, and always have. I think people want companies to figure out how to mass-produce food without all the preservatives. If the costs came down, everybody would eat healthier food. It stands to reason that if the crappy food is cheaper, most people will save money and buy crappy food. I myself know that I should eat organic, but I just can't see paying the surcharge required to do so. I don't know, but I think the glut of preservatives are what is producing all the autistic kids today. My own autistic tendencies have at least tempered a bit since I started laying off preservatives. Try us, won't you companies? We might surprise you.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Can't Touch This

    Boy am I glad I made yesterday's posting short! Even though it was an hour-plus into MC Hammer's State Fair closing show, (and keeping in mind that he doesn't have (cough) much material), I nevertheless got to hear "You Can't Touch This" very clearly on the walk over to the fairgrounds for one last set of photos, that time with the real camera. I was a lot happier to hear this than I would have expected. Not that I ever had any kick against Hammer; I just liked "Superfreak" so well that I've always been disappointed to hear the imitation instead. But last night it made for grins. I wish I could have gone to the show; I would have liked to hear "Addams Family" and "Pray," too. Ah well, it was for a good cause.
    I should have paid and gone in anyway, because you really can't get any useful pictures from across a busy road on the wrong side of a fence. But they were OK. It was mainly just an excuse to take my daily walk, which I had missed, anyway.
    Much as I love the Fair, I am ridiculously pleased that it is gone. To be able to go to the store, and if I forget something, I can just go back-- what luxury! The football team is on the road this weekend. They play Auburn, which is unlikely to be fun, but at least there's the silver lining that I'll be able to get around for almost two weeks straight. Quite a change! I've got to move out of this neighborhood one day.
    What I was planning to write about was my weird feet. I seem to have reached a resolution in the old boots/ new insoles struggle. But I guess I'll wait on some kind of definitive results to share such exciting news. Stay on the edge of that chair!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Much relieved

    Yesterday's reassuring posting proved to be accurate. Granted, Dad is still coughing frequently, but he was so much better today than before. And he ate his supper like a hungry man. And he was friendly to staff and not the least bit irascible. But oddly, what I was most relieved about might be construed as a negative: he's eager to go back to Lowman Home. I guess I was worried that he wouldn't like it, but apparently he does. We had a very nice visit.
    Also I'm relieved that the Fair is over. As much as I love it, it's a major pain in the butt. That said, I'm signing off now to try to get one last set of photos. I guess I'm too late to hear Hammer. Darn it!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

And better yet

    Or so I hope. I got the call last night that Dad was already in the stepdown ICU (which is such a less alarming name than the double ICU, which they also call it). He was having trouble remembering Margaret's number, so they called me to get it and I was glad to help. He had the king-hell day of all days yesterday, having surgery in the morning, dialysis all afternoon, and then being moved to a new room in the evening. I haven't talked to him but my sister did and said he seemed more than a little frazzled. I would say that that's pretty reasonable.
    I'm trapped in Olympia by football and fair traffic. I know fair traffic will be minimal in the morning, so I'll check in on him then. But I probably won't be much help taking Margaret to see him before Monday. With any kind of luck, he'll be back to Lowman Home by then, or maybe Tuesday. Oddly, they haven't been in touch at all about Dad's room, his stuff or anything. They had some rooms free, so maybe there's no pressure. Well, we'll see.
    In another realm, the outside kitty worked himself free from another jinglebell breakaway collar and wasn't falling for having a new one put on him. So I waited until he was sleepy and snuck up behind him. Getting the "dirty cheater" stink-eye, too!