Dinner. In an instant.

A friend recently mentioned that she was thinking about getting an instant pot. Or is it Instant Pot? She asked if I had one. I do not. However, I do have a rice cooker, a blender (on permanent loan from the former boyfriend of a friend – and at the moment, this free blender is the only positive thing about him that comes to mind), a Magic Bullet blender, a stick blender, handheld mixer, KitchenAid mixer, bread maker, a juicer, three crock pots (count them – THREE), three coffee makers – four, if you count the espresso/cappuccino maker, a French coffee press (so coffee implements are now up to five), THREE coffee bean grinders (are you getting the importance of coffee around here?), a vintage glass Pyrex stovetop percolating coffee pot, a stainless steel percolating coffee pot (in case you’ve lost count, there are TEN appliances at my beckon call for the production of one glorious cup of java per day – yes, one), a toaster oven, a food processor, a mini food processor, two panini presses – one of which is a 4-in-1 fancy-schmancy sort, a waffle maker (because… why not?), a juicer, a dehydrator (okay, seriously, is there anyone else who owns a dehydrator??), a popcorn maker, and a nut chopper/grinder. And, no, I didn’t buy that last one for when bad dates go incredibly south.

flat lay photography of vegetable salad on plate
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So. Will I be adding an Instant Pot to my kitchen repertoire? Until my friend asked, I hadn’t considered it. I actually, for whatever reason, never had given it thought. I have nearly every small appliance known to humankind. Yet, I really don’t. There are oh so many small appliances. And they all seem to fill a specific need. A void, if you will. A void in the kitchen. (I may, or may not, discuss the void filled by small bedroom appliances at another time. But not right now.)

I began thinking about the Instant Pot and its intended use. I admit that I had to actually look up the Instant Pot because I wasn’t even sure if it was a brand or just a type of appliance – kind of like how everyone calls their crock pot a crock pot. There’s the Crock Pot brand, but although I have a Hamilton Beach “slow cooker,” I still call it a crock pot. Six of one.

At any rate, my thought about the Instant Pot is this. Its very name makes me not want one. The thought of having one induces stress. As you can deduce by reviewing the nauseating list of appliances I already own, I have absolutely nothing against small kitchen appliances. In fact, I marvel at them. I covet them. Apparently. But an instant pot? No. I cannot.

Do you know that there are blogs devoted entirely to the instant pot? (Lemme ask again. Should I be saying Instant Pot or instant pot? I have a thing about being grammatically correct. Except for when I’m slurring my words.) There are instant pot recipe blogs gaaaaloooooore! Literally thousands upon thousands of recipes – that you can only use in an instant pot. There are actually Instant Pot Master Chefs. Okay, maybe I just made that up. But I would have to learn a whole new way to cook. I’d actually have to read instructions and follow directions! I’m sorry, but that shit just ain’t happenin’.

The instant pot comes, of course, in many different varieties. There’s the “basic” 6-in-1 pot, a 7-in-1 pot, and so on, all the way up to a 10-in-1 pot. TEN appliances in one. Sounds like exactly what I need right? I could get rid of 10 of my appliances and replace them with this WonderPot!! Here are the key features of the 10-in-1 model (courtesy of Instant Pot website):

  • 10-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker – Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice/Porridge Cooker, Cake Maker, Yogurt Maker, Sauté/Searing, Steamer, Warmer, Sterilizer, and the new and exclusive feature to Instant Pot®, the Ultra program.
  • 16 Built in Smart Programs – Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Cake, Egg, Slow Cook, Sauté/Searing, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Sterilize, Yogurt, Warm, Pressure Cook, and Ultra
  • New! Ultra program – Developed to provide unlimited control in pressure and non-pressure cooking conditions. You can adjust different parameters based on your favourite recipes and preferences. Can be used for sous vide cooking with a temperature accuracy of +/- 5°F or 3°C
  • New! Sterilize program – Ideal to pasteurize dairy products, sterilize baby bottles, jars, and utensils; as well as, perform certain types of canning much more conveniently than ever before! (Note: Refer to the ‘USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning’ for details)
  • New! Cake program – Designed to prepare soft and moist cakes
  • New! Egg program – Developed to prepare perfect eggs in just a few minutes
  • New! Altitude Adjustment – Eliminates the guesswork from a recipe conversion for a more precise cooking time
  • New! Large, blue LCD display with a Progress Indicator – Provides a visual on the cooking progress, from preheating, through to cooking, and Keep warm; includes, a new time display
  • New! Central Dial – A simple turn and press, for easier and more precise cooking program selection and adjustments
  • New! Steam Release Reset Button – For safer handling of steam release after cooking is completed. The button resets itself when one opens or closes the lid if the button is in the venting position
  • Dual pressure settings – For fast and flexible cooking – Cooking with high pressure reduces cooking time by up to 70% and the low pressure avoids overcooking delicate food
  • New! Quick & Easy Program Adjustments – Need to make an adjustment after cooking has started? The Ultra allows one to easily adjust settings even when cooking is in progress
  • New! Smart features – remembers your last customization on all cooking programs
  • Delay Start time – Up to 24 hours
  • New! Sound ON/Off – Select if the sound is ON/OFF, the status is displayed on the LCD panel with the Sound ON/Off – ‘Sound’ indicates it is ON/OFF when selecting a program, cooking starts or is completed
  • New! Pressure Cook Time – Allows pressure cook for up to 6 hours
  • Slow Cooker – In addition to the (3) temperature settings, one has the flexibility to customize the cooking time between 0.5 – 20 hours for each temperature level
  • Sauté – In addition to the (3) temperature settings; now, one can easily adjust the time to a maximum of 30 minutes intervals as a safety precaution
  • New! Automatic Keep Warm – one can easily turn ON/OFF. The Keep Warm time is displayed on the LCD panel along with the Keep Warm ON/OFF. The Warm has 3 temperatures settings to maintain food at different serving temperatures

Okay – you got me. I don’t have a cake maker. CAKE. The damn thing makes cake!!

Did you read all of those features? I didn’t. But I like the third one: “[D]eveloped to provide unlimited control in pressure and non-pressure cooking conditions.” What exactly does that even mean? “pressure and non-pressure cooking conditions.” So, in other words, all cooking conditions?? Or does this mean if you’re under pressure or not under pressure to cook the meal? I’m thinking that if I had an Instant Pot I’d be under pressure because it would take me longer to figure out how to work the damn appliance than it would be to just make the dish the old-fashioned way – on top of the stove or in the oven. Now there’s a novel concept.

Seriously. Look at the list of things this single appliance does. Do we even need people? I’m thinking not. Soon enough, we’ll all be replaced by robots. Robots and instant pots. If you’re at least my age (55), think about how many things you used to do yourself that can now be replicated or performed by a machine, gadget, software, app, or piece of technology. Everything you could ever possibly want to do, see, or have, is practically – quite literally – within a finger’s reach. You can swipe open your phone, or even speak a magic command to a glowing cylinder that sits on your living room console (blending in with the décor, of course), and it opens the glorious worldwide web and/or performs a menial task for you. We now take this for granted and become frustrated and annoyed when the gadget fails to perform instantaneously. The next generation doesn’t know any different. Before my generation turns to dust, we will have watched another whole new wave of technology and small appliance explosion.

Let’s do more. Create more. Buy more. Have more. Faster. Bigger. Better. More powerful. More efficient. Less for me to do. Allow more time for me to do. Do. Do. Do. And for what? I’ll tell you what. Stress. Stress is what we’ll get when we do more, buy more, have more. And you know what stress does? Fucks you up, that’s what.

Appliances and technology that are designed to help us and make our lives become more manageable and simplified actually, in a number of ways, often complicate our lives and at the same time make us less “human.” They make us more reliant on “things” rather than on our own damn selves. When was the last time you sat through an entire meal and had a conversation with someone and didn’t once look at your phone? Billy sent a text and you have to read it right now. Because surely it won’t be in your phone still in 15 minutes after you’ve finished eating that instant pot meal that took 13 minutes to make, from start to finish. Appliances like the instant pot have replaced leisure.

adult book boring face
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Why does one want an instant pot? To free up more time to do what? Read the newspaper? Or a real book, printed on paper and everything? Read a book to his or her child? Knit? Play board games with the family? Go on a nature hike? Maybe I’m just a crass crank (kind of like a class clown, only for older people), but I look around and see so much busy-ness that I just don’t think that’s what everyone is doing with the surplus of time they now have as a direct result of the almighty WonderPot.

Don’t get me wrong – I really do think the instant pot is a genius idea. You can even buy one now for as little as $45 (and as much as more than $1,000!!! Holy crap! Who spends a THOUSAND DOLLARS on a fucking pressure cooker?!!) But that doesn’t make me want one. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy the art of cooking and baking. I like learning new techniques in the kitchen and experimenting with flavors and ingredients while I’m cooking. Cooking is meditative to me, much like gardening or working in the yard both are.

time lapse photography of four black metal cooking wares
Photo by Devon Rockola on Pexels.com

Am I judging you if you have or buy an instant pot? Oh, hell no! Judge not lest you be judged. (Remember, I am the crank with 31 small appliances in my 6′ x 8′ kitchen.) There is no doubt in my mind that there is real value in an instant pot. For those who need or want more time in their lives, or for those who just love gadgets and appliances, go for it! As for me, I’ll just stick with my three crock pots.

I had no idea I felt this strongly about the instant pot. But honestly, I don’t need anything in an instant.

Happy Monday, friends!!

Kim

Analyzing my dream…

I haven’t remembered most of my dreams for a very long time. I used to have crazy weird dreams a lot and I’d remember them in vivid detail. Like the time I asked my roommate what she wanted for dinner: “Beans, peas, tomato rice soup?!” I’ve never eaten a bowl of tomato rice soup in my life. That dream was 25 years ago and I still remember it, yet I couldn’t tell you what I had for dinner two nights ago. Odd how the mind works, isn’t it?

Or, one of my all time favorite dreams EVER… About 10 years ago, I dreamt that my boss at the time had really long, thick, wavy hair. Like … Tiny Tim long, thick and wavy.

He was really proud of his long hair and kept flipping it around and flicking it back with his hand – much like you would over-exaggerate how a stereotypical flirting girl might flip her hair. Then, he walked past me and I noticed that his chest was protruding quite a lot — as if he had breasts. I poked one and it indented and made a crinkling sound. It was in the shape of the clear domed plastic top that’s on the cup when you buy an Icee at the gas station — including the hole at the end. My eyes got really big like “Dude, what the fuck??!!” And he looked at me like “WHAT?” — as if he had always worn them. I looked at his hair again and said to him, “Do you want to borrow my flat iron?” He got all pissed off. I was just trying to be nice.

WHAT the hell was that dream about? I have no idea, but you can be assured that I immediately told my boss about it. He roared! Thank god, because telling your boss you had a dream about him has the potential of going a few different ways, and it could have created quite an awkward moment. Or working relationship.

So anyway, for whatever reason, I either haven’t had any dreams (doubtful) or haven’t remembered them for quite some time, except for an occasional random one.

Well, earlier this week was that random occasion. I didn’t immediately remember it, but as I methodically washed from head to toe in the shower, as I always do, when I got to my legs, I was surprised to find them unshaven. I was perplexed for about 3 seconds — just long enough to rattle my memory that I had only dreamt my legs were nice and smooth. Ha!

Now you might not really think this is that funny. But it struck me as funny because, if I’m being honest, I don’t find the need to shave my legs. It’s winter in the Midwest and bloody cold (currently, the wind chill is 14). I don’t wear dresses/skirts, and no one is sliding their hand up my leg — either for entertainment or just to check to see if I’ve shaved. And if I’m being incredibly honest, I haven’t shaved my legs in weeks. Months, in fact.

art beautiful blur celebration
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

SO. I’ve been thinking about this dream for a few days. Analyzing it. Mulling it over. What was the point of it? What does it mean? Maybe subconsciously it means I’m moving closer to being ready to date. If my legs are white, dimpled with cellulite, dry, scaly, and hairy, I’m clearly not in the frame of mind to pursue a relationship. Maybe my hairy legs are my “shell” of protection and I’m getting ready to free the armor.

brown animal on brown rock pathway
Photo by Free Nature Stock on Pexels.com

As long as my legs are hairy, I’m not going to date. Because, you know, when you’re dating someone, that one time you don’t shave your legs — THAT’S the time you should have because Winston was about to get his freak on at the end of date night. So maybe my not shaving is my protection from dating. Fear of being intimate. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of getting close to someone or, god forbid, someone getting close to me. Someone wanting part of my time. Too much of my time! Wanting to know things about me and telling me things about him. Maybe it’s a fear of losing a part of myself.

Or it could just be that I’m lazy as fuck and just don’t feel like shaving. Which is probably the closest to the truth, really.

Maybe, jusssst mayyyybeeee, I’ll consider actually shaving my legs this week. Because I just slid my hand across my leg and I had to look to make sure I was feeling my own leg and not the cat’s.

Have a great week! Nine days down…

Kim

Endangered Brown Bear, Starving…

20171124_140932…for affection.

This happy guy is looking for his next (probably not) forever home. Gently lounged with, never drooled or snotted on, he’s well-groomed and has soft, clean fur. Also, he was previously declawed before he came to live with us, so no worries of being maimed (or scratched, for that matter). Sleep in peace, knowing that your child is snuggling with this friendly, urban, vegan bear who accidentally migrated to the Midwest.

He’s hip and Smokey the Bear-friendly, having lived in a smoke-free and pet-friendly home. Although he has tried to befriend the family cat, she’s having none of it since he took over her favorite nap space, so she completely avoids him, flipping him the tail when he tries to make eye contact. He is lonely, but you would never know it. He smiles 24/7, even after having been recently abandoned.

I know what you’re thinking… When you adopt a pet, it should be a lifetime commitment. I hear you. But another, bigger, bear came to live with us not long ago. Sadly, Cocoa no longer gets the same attention he had grown accustomed to and he went into an unnatural hibernation over the summer.

We are all in agreement that he will be happier in a home where he isn’t competing for love and where he can come alive and truly be himself. No one should have to go through that humiliating experience, and you really have to give him credit for recognizing that it’s time to move on. And I love that he’s taking the high road, keeping a positive attitude and smiling, even though he is sad and hurting inside. He’s one tough bear and has a really giving nature. He’s still great for big, soft bear hugs! Gotta love his spirit.

Please consider adopting Cocoa into your family’s home before the holidays. Think of how happy you will be, knowing that you truly made a difference in saving his pride and giving new meaning to his life. And with him smiling at you every time you walk into your child’s room (or your living room – not gonna judge), how could you not love him as much, and let’s be honest, *more* than we have?

Please open your heart, and your wallet, to give Cocoa a new lease on life. He is free, because you can’t put a price on his life, but there is a $50 non-refundable re-homing fee.

Out of Body Experience

I always thought it would be cool to have an out of body experience. Some people are freaked out by just the thought of it, while others think it’s hocus pocus and no such thing is possible. Well, I’m here to tell you that it is possible, and I’m scheduled to have one next month. This OBE isn’t exactly what I had in mind, but then again the Universe sometimes has a twisted sense of humor when it comes to some of my rockets of desire.

So anyway, several months ago I had some lab work done. (This is putting it mildly.) It’s about to get graphic, so feel free to stop reading right now and either go find a good recipe to save to your Pinterest board or scrub your floor. Either will be more relaxing and much more gratifying than what I’m about to share.

As of January of this year, I hadn’t had a period in … oh, I don’t know, maybe 18 months or so. Yay me! I was thrilled to have graduated from periods, cramps, hot flashes, and so much more that I’ve buried in the far dark stretches of my memory. And then, out of the clear grey sky (remember? I’m in the Midwest, and that’s pretty much all we have in the winter) in February, I had a period. Full. Blown. Period. Cramps, bleeding, clots (yes, I said it… clots), and a general feeling of complete shit on a stick. Just like old times. What. The. Fuck. Knowing this is not normal, and in fact is abnormal, I called my doctor. “Let’s have a look-see,” she suggested. And so the lab work was scheduled. Blood work (OH, I’ve got plenty of blood to work with!) and probably an ultrasound. Depending on what “we” find, perhaps a biopsy. Oh-fucking-yay.

Blood work was gorgeous. My numbers were fabulous. Doc beamed over my panel. So we schedule the ultrasound. I mentally prepared myself. A lot. I anticipated from past experience that I was likely to get the cattle-prod version of the ultrasound. Even though I was not currently sexually active, at least not with another person, I was not looking forward to being probed – particularly in a clinic, and especially with an audience of one. How unromantic.

Still perioding and cramping, I show up for the appointment. I was guided into a dimly lit room by the (thankfully female) lab technician. She instructed me to sit on the table, slide the waistband of my pants down, and lift my shirt up for her to begin the procedure.

“Hot damn! I got myself all psyched up for the hot poker. Thank god!” I was so excited. I was to be immediately deflated.

“Oh, that will come. This is a two-part procedure,” said Wanda. (Probably not her real time, but I decided that was appropriate.) Damn.

When she was finished with the belly ultrasound and the technician pulled out her magic wand, I was horrified. I had forgotten how big that joy stick was. Fast forward, please, to the end of Part 2 of the wanderful experience. I won’t get into the nitty gritty, but I will confirm (or deny) what you’re thinking. It was not a stay at the Sybaris. Let’s just say it didn’t provoke an orgasm.

So back to the doctor’s office I go. The results of the ultrasound showed two fibroids. No surprise, as I’ve been told before that I have them. Apparently they never go away, but sometimes you experience symptoms and sometimes you don’t. I’m in the special group. The ultrasound also shows a thickening of the endometrium, which isn’t normal for post-menopausal women. I’m now in the extra-special group. “Oh, and also, you have a prolapsed uterus.” I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a compliment. “So I recommend we do a biopsy to see if we can find out what the cause of the bleeding is.”

Joy. Let the fun commence. Again.

Back to the doctor’s office I go. Before the procedure, she explains everything that’s about to happen. She also explains that, depending on what the pathology report indicates, she may recommend a hysterectomy.

While I really no longer have a need (as in, using them for their sole intended purpose) for my reproductive organs, I can’t say that I’m particularly excited to have them removed. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t care that I wouldn’t have them, and I truly am happy that I wouldn’t have to deal with the potential future havoc that they could unleash. I’m just not keen on the idea of going through the surgery part. “Just a few snips laparoscopically and we can remove everything vaginally.”

Say what? Yeah. My doctor said that with pretty much a smile on her face. As if it’s no big deal. As if the cleanup crew is just gonna come in with a shop vac after she makes five “small” incisions on my torso to suck my babymaker out via my sacred cave. I’m envisioning scars on my belly that resemble a smiley face. If only I could be so lucky. “Like Shrek says, all you need it for is making babies.” Wait. Did you just say Shrek? You’re dispensing medical advice based on words of wisdom from Shrek? Yes. Yes she was. My view of you will be forever changed. Check back later. I’m not sure if this changed view will be in a positive or negative way.

So where was I? Oh, right. So she continues explaining all of the what-if’s and various scenarios and makes me sign a consent form for the biopsy. This shit’s for real. Okay, fine. I sign, then saddle up into the stirrups. She gives me a warning before everything she does, explaining along the way, which I appreciate. I think. I imagine pink skies, lying on the beach, leisurely munching on un pain au chocolat while sipping café au lait at Les Deux Magots. Purple unicorns shitting rainbow Skittles. Anything happy to remove myself from the current situation. It works only mildly.

After all is said and done, the doctor begins blathering on about what will happen next, how long it will take for the pathology report to come back, and who knows what else. She then picks up the small jar that contains tiny fragments of me swirling around inside. “See? No big deal. Wanna see the tissue samples?” At this point, I’m not feeling so hot. “No, thank you.” Why am I being polite right now, anyway?

I don’t consider myself a squeamish person when it comes to blood and gore. (Well, except when I have to clean raw chicken, but we’re talking about a different kind of animal here.) In this situation, we’re talking about my own blood and gore, and quite frankly, it makes me more than a little woozy. Let me share. Some more.

She’s still talking about something, but my vision becomes blurry and she begins to fade away into mist as I softly mumble, “I’m not feeling well.” The next thing I know, she’s in my face, literally, asking me if I know who she is and where I am. The fuck just happened? I’m moderately freaked out.

Doc explains that I just experienced vasovagal syncope. Holy crap, what is that?!! Well, apparently it is not uncommon. Compliments of the Mayo Clinic:

Vasovagal syncope (vay-zoh-VAY-gul SING-kuh-pee) occurs when you faint because your body overreacts to certain triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. It may also be called neurocardiogenic syncope. The vasovagal syncope trigger causes your heart rate and blood pressure to drop suddenly.

“Oh. That’s happened before,” I say.

“Why didn’t you tell me?!” she exclaims, sort of smiling. Yet not.

“No one ever used that term with me. No one has said I have that tendency. No one ever told me that it was worrisome.” So now I know.

“The next time you have any sort of procedure, tell your care provider so that they can be prepared. There isn’t anything that can be done to prevent it, but at least we can be prepared for it.” Awesome news. I’m feeling incredibly extra-special at this very moment.

She continues. “You were only out for like two minutes. Your blood pressure and heart rate dropped, so we’ll want to keep you here until you’ve fully recovered. Do not get up off this table. Just lie here for a while. I’ll have the nurse check on you a couple of times. DO NOT get up off this table.” She then exits the room.

Well, no chance of that since I feel like complete shit. Speaking of which. Oh my god. What is that smell? It seriously smells like poop. Oh. My. God. Did I fart while I was passed out? Ugh. How fucking humiliating! If I can smell it, I know she can. The nurse can. They’ll go back to the nurse’s station and talk about the patient in Room C that farted after a minor biopsy, and what on god’s green earth did she have to eat this morning?? Could my day get any worse?

Oh, yes. Yes it could.

The nurse comes in a couple of times to check on me. All seems to be going well. But I’m pretty sure that smell is still lingering. Perhaps it’s just stuck in my nose. I’m still beyond embarrassed.

After a while, the doctor comes back in one last time to check on me. Looks like the color has returned to my face, my pupils are no longer completely dilated (such that she couldn’t see any of my iris), and my blood pressure and pulse are more stable.

“What did my vitals drop to?” I’m curious because I have already been diagnosed with sinus bradycardia (basically, slow pulse).

“Your pulse was about 40,” and I have no idea what she said my blood pressure was. Not good, is all I can recall. 40. FORTY beats per minute. That’s not even one beat per second. I’m now in the Rare Gem category of special. But wait. It gets even more special, if you can imagine.

I’m told to proceed with caution getting up off the table. Before she leaves the room, I tell her I feel like I’m bleeding and ask for Kleenex. Instead she gives me a dry washcloth and I use it to check “down there.” Yep, sure enough, bloody hell. She digs in the drawer and pulls out a maxi pad that’s only slightly smaller than a loaf of Wonder Bread and hands it to me before exiting the room.

I gingerly slide myself down off the table and do a more thorough cleaning. Wait. Something doesn’t feel right. I do a little plié and reach a little farther with the washcloth. I inspect it and gasp out loud. Yes, you guessed it. It was not a fart that escaped when I passed out. There in my hand (well, in the washcloth, thank god), was a small piece of poop. POOP, people. I shat myself on the table. Holy fuck. Now what?! I’m pretty sure I’ve never been so humiliated. A grown woman. Pooping on the table. Oh my god. You shit yourself. You literally, seriously shit yourself.

Panic ensued. What the fuck do you do with a piece of poop when you’re not in a bathroom?? My eyes darted around the room. If I put it in the trash, they’ll know for sure that I pooped. It will no longer be a suspicion. The room will wreak for the remainder of the day. And then some unlucky sod will have to empty the trash and it will have permeated a good, long time so that he gags while trying to tie up the bag. No. I can’t leave it here. What am I supposed to do – take it with me??!! Think. I-Spy. I spy the exam gloves on the wall holder. I pull out a large one and stuff the poo burrito into it and tie the end. I shove it into my very small purse. It’s now bulging. Has anyone ever asked “Whatcha got in that bag, anyway?!” when your purse is clearly overstuffed? You respond, “Oh, you know, the kitchen sink! Makeup bag, wallet, phone, glasses, sunglasses, gum, a bottle of water, snack bag, the day’s mail…” And feces. I’m carrying feces in my purse.

My day has reached the lowest of lows. I slink out of the room, Wonder Bread in place and my cramps long forgotten. My mind can only focus on the fact that I just shit myself in public. With an audience. In my haste to get to my car and get the hell home, I forgot to deposit my doo-doo bag in the trash receptacle outside of the clinic. So there I was, driving my embarrassment home with me. Before dropping it into the trash tote, I take a picture to keep as a reminder of perhaps the most humiliating experience of my adult life.

To top off my magical day, I realize that I can never again truthfully say, “I shit you not.”

Gimme a break

Almost two years ago, just before Christmas 2016, I slipped on the ice (ironically, while throwing down rock salt so that no one would slip and fall…) and fell and broke my wrist – both the ulna and radius. It hurt like hell. The good news was that it wasn’t my dominant side. The bad news was that I had broken the same wrist in the same location of my ulna 40 years ago when I was in grade school. It wasn’t set properly and therefore didn’t heal properly, plus there has been a tiny bone fragment floating around inside all these years which has caused issues off and on since.

As an adult, carrying around a heavy cast and going through the healing process affected everything in my body – my gait, my right arm and shoulder (even though my left wrist was the one broken), my hips, my back, my balance, my stability. And my mental state. And, therefore, my spiritual state. “Where the hell are you, Universe?! I thought you had my back?? I trusted you to protect me and now look what’s happened!”

It sucked. In a big way. Not only did my wrist and arm hurt for practically the entire six weeks of lugging around that cast, but I quickly became inactive, out of shape, and basically a depressed and miserable recluse. It was a shitty winter with lots of ice and snow. I was afraid to go anywhere for fear I would lose my balance or slip and fall again. Not that I felt like going out anyway. Everything was a major chore.

Taking a shower was exhausting. Getting dressed was not only painful but took considerable effort and a long damn time. Going to the grocery store? Yeah, that was fun. Putting on and taking off a big puffy down coat with one arm, carefully tucking my broken arm inside and somehow getting the zipper pulled up one-handed was a daily exercise in pure frustration. I had to learn to do literally everything differently. Or not do it at all. Throughout this experience, though, I learned new combinations of cuss words that I hadn’t previously used, so there was that. I know. Thank you. I do try to find the silver lining in everything.

My temporary disability gave me such a different perspective on my life. Yes, I felt like my world sucked. For awhile. But honestly, it made me so much more cognizant of my surroundings. I was acutely aware of everything that may affect my ability to navigate, to interact with people, to take care of myself, and to take care of my family and my home. Asking anyone for help of any kind pre-broken wrist was essentially a nonstarter for me. I have always been very independent so I suppose, for me, asking for help was a sign of dependence – something I had never been (and never wanted to be).

What breaking my wrist gave me was a teeny tiny bit of insight into how people with permanent disabilities live every day of their lives. It gave me true empathy. It instilled in me tremendous respect and admiration for individuals who overcome adversity and make the most of their lives, despite, or in spite of, physical limitations. It also provided some contrast for independence and dependence.

My broken bones have long since healed and I have about 90% use of my left wrist and hand. Some might be annoyed, resentful, or frustrated if they didn’t regain 100% use back. I haven’t forgotten what it was like to be limited in activity and function, so I’ll take my 90% with gratitude.

Kim

Zippity Doo-Dah

I think I often dress in certain colors according to my mood. I’ve thought about this before when something happens or I’m contemplating some big life event. Or not so big meaningless event. Without consciously making the choice, for example, I may wear grey or black if I’m feeling a little blah or somewhat uninspired.

Today was a run-of-the-mill day. When I got up this morning, it was overcast and there were some brief snow flurries. I wasn’t necessarily feeling down or uninspired, but I chose to wear grey cords, a dark grey pullover sweater, and a chambray shirt underneath. For a little color to break up all the darkness, and apparently to embrace the current weather, I wore a white, silver, and blue snowflake pin on my sweater and a pair of rhinestone snowflake earrings. A little bit of hip pizazz.

Nothing really monumental happened for almost the entire day. Chatted in the hallway with a few colleagues, had brief mini-meetings in drive-by fashion with a couple of co-workers, stopped by my boss’s office for a little chit-chat, and went about my benign, merry day. While yakking with my boss, he mentioned my wardrobe and little pop of blue in the snowflake and how it coordinated my ensemble. That isn’t exactly what he said, but the conversation was relatively light and I thought nothing more about it until later. Hours later.

After 5, one other person and I were the only ones left in the office. I ran downstairs to use the restroom. And it was then that I made the horrifying discovery that my fly had been unzipped the entire afternoon. Perhaps the entire day.

My mind raced. Did I go to the bathroom earlier today? Have I really been walking around all day with my pants unzipped? Holy crap. I’m a grown woman. With all most of my faculties intact. Yet I somehow forgot to zip. my. pants. Are you freaking kidding me right now? OhMyGod! I gasped.

I had the memory of standing in the doorway of my boss’s office. His comment about my wardrobe came to mind. What was it he said about the blue in my outfit? Shit! Could he actually SEE my underwear?! Cute paisley design. Blue. Yes, they’re definitely blue. Did he specifically comment on the blue in my pin, or did he just comment on the pop of blue?! Think think think. What did he say? Ohmygod. I could feel the heat rising from my chest and up through my neck to my face. I felt the crimson glow on my cheeks. This was not my normal hot flash. It was worse. Much worse. Pure. Humiliation.

Wait. Wait a second. At least I was wearing underwear. Everyone wears underwear, right? Well, most people wear underwear. Or at least a large majority of the adult population in the United States wears underwear. So it isn’t like I was parading around nekkid. I immediately felt better after putting it all into perspective. Aaaannnnd… at least I don’t have a penis. Now THAT could have been a real pop of color!

Happy HUMP day, friends!!

Kim

Microwave Peanut Brittle

Peanut BrittleWhen the holidays start to roll around, I’m always taken back to my days as a kid. Recently I was thinking about peanut brittle and how my grandma always had it around Christmastime. I’ve never made it before and imagined it would be a long, laborious task that I wouldn’t be interested in pursuing, but I figured I’d check with Google anyway, just in case I was wrong.

I am happy to report that I was wrong! I found a recipe for peanut brittle that is made in the microwave, and after some minor tweaking, landed on what I think is a fabulous recipe. Within 15 minutes, I had delicious peanut brittle in my grubby little paws. Without further ado, here it is.

Microwave Peanut Brittle

Ingredients

1 C white sugar
1/2 C light corn syrup (mmmm… corn syrup)
1T butter
1 C dry roasted peanuts (the brittle in the photo was made with 1 1/2 cups, which I found to be too much… but if you like a nutty nut brittle, go for it!)
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 t baking soda

Method

Important Note: Cooking times are using a 900 watt microwave. If your microwave is a different wattage (higher or lower), you will need to account for the difference and modify the cooking times accordingly. If you don’t know the wattage, check inside the door. It is likely on the sticker that contains the model and serial number of your microwave.

Another note: Measure all ingredients before you begin and have them ready. Once you start, work quickly, as the sugar mixture will begin to set as soon as you stop cooking/stirring.

Another nother note: If you coat your spoon and the edge of the bowl with oil, it makes it easier for the mixture to slide off when you’re ready to pour it out.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the baking sheet into a warm oven while you’re cooking the brittle. To do so, turn the oven to 200F and allow it to come to temperature. Once the oven reaches the temperature, turn the oven off. Warming the pan will allow you more time to work with the brittle when you’re ready to spread it.

In a large glass bowl, mix sugar and corn syrup to combine. Microwave on high for 5 1/2 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR TO STIR. Add the butter, nuts, and vanilla and give it a quick stir. Cook an additional 2 minutes.

Add baking soda and stir quickly, just enough to combine. It will foam up.

Immediately pour mixture onto warm baking sheet and quickly, but gently, spread by tipping the pan back and forth, or if necessary, using 2 forks in a pushing and pulling fashion. Try not to smash it down much, as the airiness caused by the baking soda is what makes it light and crispy.

Allow to completely cool. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

This is your basic recipe. Next time, you can adjust the amount of nuts and vanilla to your liking. It’s quick, simple, easy, and delicious!

Let me know if you make it and how it turned out.

Cheers!

Kim

Caution: May not be habit-forming

I’m not a creature of habit. I try to form all kinds of good habits, but I often go astray. No matter how good my intention may be, I’m a drifter of sorts. I have to work hard at sticking with a routine and if something throws me off, it’s sometimes hard to get back into it.

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Oh sure, I have certain daily habits like making coffee first thing in the morning, taking care of our pets, getting ready for work, brushing my teeth, etc., but those are obvious things that must be done on a daily basis. I’m talking about things where a different choice could easily be made. Like going to the gym (or not), meditating every day at 6 a.m. (or hitting the snooze 13 times), cleaning up the kitchen immediately after dinner (or turning off the light and pretending the mess isn’t there), going to bed at 10:30 every night (or reading just one more chapter in this book…). Or blogging when I said I would…😳 (instead of watching Netflix until past the time I wanted to go to bed).

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Several months ago I fell out of a not-so-regular habit of blogging. To get back on track, a mere three days ago I set the intention to post every day the month of December. Technically, we’re now in the fourth day of the month and I missed the third day posting, but I’m still counting this one because (1) it’s still December 3rd in Mountain Time, and (2) I’m still up, so Monday hasn’t really ended. So, true to my word, here’s my third post for December – three days in a row.😄

Hope you had a great Monday!

Kim

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