Monday, November 14, 2011

Bajan recipes, music, life...

Bajan music by The Merrymen
Well, that would just be me… to tempt you so with a delicious green seasoning but forget to give you the recipe… Did no one notice?  Or just not care or even want the recipe? I’ll give it to you any way and you’ll find yourself using it again and again in a variety of ways It’s such a versatile mixture, just great with fish as it with chicken and beef…If you’re looking for ideas, let me know and I’ll pass some along. As I’ve said it is used in many ways by the Bajans.
           You know, just relating this information to you puts me right back there, When the sun shines here, my imagination takes me there, walking down the road from our apartment, greeting neighbors along the way, sometimes dodging a skate boarder and making room for the vehicles.  As if I’m taking up the entire road!  Most Bajans drive very fast, preferring their half in the middle!  Aside from the obvious sun, beaches, food and booze, Barbados is steeped in history and tradition I won’t delve into that, now, because that information is easily accessible.  But, if there’s anything related to the delectable food, I will pass it along as a “tasty nugget” of information.  It’s a very cosmopolitan country, holding tight to its roots, while reveling in the advances of modern technology.
           As I’ve mentioned before, We rent an apartment in a thriving residential, entertainment-dense area of the southern part of the island, commonly referred to as the south coast, but, we eat many of our meals in-house, frequently enjoying home-cooked food with friends when going to  their homes.
            We do, by times go to one of the many restaurants, rum shops (small bars, serving the obvious – rum, both by the bottle and as a mixed drink, and often food, as well) and pubs, concentrated in and around the south coast. And, all have one, sometimes two happy hours each day… wouldn’t want to miss that!

Bajan Green Seasoning
             As is the case with so many chefs, Chef Dale doesn’t give any amounts, so, my advice is to start with two large onions, finely chopped, or throw them in the food processor and use a handful of chives or the green tops of one bunch of green onions, hot peppers, two reasonably hot, hot peppers, if you want to be authentic, use habaneros What are also known as Scotch Bonnet Peppers, a couple of grinds of freshly ground black pepper, a little salt, and a clove or two of fresh garlic , a little lemon juice. For consistency. And a shake or two of white pepper, if you don’t have it, don’t worry, it’ll be fine with the other pepper flavors!
            At most food establishments, my first menu choice is always Macaroni Pie, A Bajan riff on our Mac and Cheese, A fine example of the popular home-style dish considered a staple in most homes on the island comes from our waitress at The Blue Horizon hotel It is her family recipe, passed down through the generations until it reached my hands. I keep her hand-written copy taped to the inside front cover of my favourite “go to” Bajan cookbook  It is my #1 fave dish in Barbados, especially when paired with a flying fish “cutter”, Bajan terminology for sandwich. I make a couple of changes, depending on the season I’m making it in.
            Cook enough macaroni for those you’re serving Just judge the amount like you always  have to do, pretend you’ve been doing it for decades like I do, in boiling, salted water. One major component making Macaroni Pie different from its northern cousin is the use of imported Australian Cheddar, which is especially delicious Drain the cooked macaroni. And, in a separate bowl, mix a couple of lightly-beaten eggs,( again, the rest of the amounts of the remaining  ingredients will have to be guestimated, depending on the amount of cooked macaroni you have,). A little splash of milk ingredients will vary depending on the amount of cooked macaroni you have)a generous handful of finely diced sweet green peppers, a couple of good handfuls of cheese, cheddar would be fine, as would a combination of other cheeses, Fontina, cheddar and  Provolone, I sometimes use a bit of Parmesan, Asiago or Romano, if I happen to have some. Add a little salt and pepper, a couple of big squirts or glugs  of ketchup and about 1 tsp of your recently-made green seasoning (Please take note : I’m using some precise cooking terminology here, So, read carefully!!!) add a handful of finely chopped onion.. Combine this mixture with the drained, cooled macaroni. Pour into casserole dish, top with extra grated cheese and bake at 350F till golden and bubbly. ENJOY!!

Stay healthy and safe!

Monday, September 12, 2011


            I say I come here for the sun, sand, relaxation and the friendly people…. And while those attributes certainly weigh in heavily on anyone’s decision for a “sun” destination, who am I kidding?  It’s THE FOOD!!!!!
Maybe it’s because I’m thousands of miles away from home, maybe it’s the heat, or, maybe it’s just because these people can COOK! I know, too, that, sometimes, because of the unfamiliar ingredients, my friends can’t understand my liking for this “foreign” food. But that unfamiliarity is precisely what attracts me… not so much the high-end restaurant dishes, but the dishes and meals the everyday folks enjoy are what I want to experience.
            I sampled  a delightful chocolate number last week, sort of like cheesecake, but, firmer in texture. With a ton of chopped nuts and a sprinkling of fresh coconut all relaxing dreamily  in a pool of decadent chocolate sauce…Heavenly!!  I didn’t manage to con the chef out of his recipe, though.  He was a crafty one, caught on to me right away!

TO MARKET TO MARKET, TO FISH MARKET WE GO.  This place is really the place to get the freshest of the Caribbean Sea’s bounty. Brightly painted fishing boats (No, I wouldn’t venture out into the high seas in one of them!!) line up on the strip of bright, white sand beach at Oistins, bringing in the day’s catch. No chilly North Atlantic wind blowing here, just a refreshing trade wind.

The area set aside as the fish market is open air, of course.  The long tables are separated by stall-like walls (not so different from markets around the world).Word to the wise, though choose your place in line very carefully as things can get quite competitive when it comes to the fish heads, bones and scraps, as literally nothing goes to waste in this tiny Caribbean island. Thankfully, there are very few closed in buildings here in Barbados.
Oistin’s fish Market by day. In those very market stalls, fisherwomen prepare the catch for sale.
            It was in the small village of Oistins, several years ago where I first found out, that Bajans (the term the island’s people use to refer to themselves), particularly Bajan women, DO NOT! like to be photographed. I finally found one fisherlady who agreed to pose. Even though she’d agreed a picture. This one truly encompassed the age-old adage that a “picture is worth a thousand words”.  By the look on her face, I would say a thousand words wouldn’t be enough!!

             Oistins Fish Market Oistins Fish Fry by nightwhen the entire area  transforms into a carnival-like atmosphere, bright, decorative lights replace the sun, chart-topping reggae and rap replace steel pan tunes In those very market stalls some of those same fisherladies become chefs “extraordinaire”, serving up fresh fish, chicken and steaks hot out of deep oil boiling away in huge cast iron pots reminiscent of cauldrons, heating over white-hot hard-wood fires, complete with sides of Macaroni Pie (similar to our Mac and Cheese, or coucou, a Bajan “grits-like” dish. A special treat I indulge in all too often when I’m here is Fish Cakes They are deep fried salt fish balls with a distinct spicy heat provided by a “Green Seasoning” mixture of hot peppers and various green herbs, similar in heat to Jamaican Jerk Seasoning There are as many versions of this special recipe for green seasoning as there are cooks in Barbados I scored a great one from our chef-friend, and Kent’s Karaoke partner, Chef Dale Knight. I also scored a gallon-size jug of the valuable stuff of it  from the sister of our apartment building’s manager. I re-packaged the entire gallon when I got it home, using it sparingly and sharing it with friends and family  It was here in Oistins that I learned another valuable people lesson. When you purchase from one vendor, you are considered a faithful customer, never to eat another vendor’s food! (I’m serious!!! And they remember, found that out too!) I didn’t know customer loyalty could be cut-throat… I know better, now!!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ideas for dinner—a la Julie and Julia with "How to be a domestic Goddess” by Nigella Lawson.
That movie, by the way, is an excellent one, not only for foodies, but for movie buffs, as well in general .. and surprise for me!!!, a cookbook that was given to me while in rehab in 2009 proves to be a real gem. I collect cookbooks and was thrilled with this one, by Julia Childs and Simone Beck… come to find out it’s the very book the movie “Julie and Julia was based on.
I’m flipping through the pages now: Cake as the entrĂ©e? (oh, right, I did say we eat very healthfully, However, some habits learned in university are hard broken!
There will be an idea somewhere there Muscat Mascarpone Cake , sounds like supper to me! H ha ha, muscat- grapes-fruit; mascarpone – cheese – dairy; cake – flour – grain. I can rationalize almost any thing into one of the food groups. You can test me if you like. The only food group not covered is Chocolate!
 I know a certain AVR man who swears his wife insists chocolate is a food group unto itself. No names mentioned, but you know who you are! perhaps, it doesn’t pay to let me into anyone’s past. Remember the Karaoke introductions?, eh Len? (I definitely like her thinking), or perhaps wine and cheese party - maybe we’ll skip supper tonight. As for the wine and chocolate: both are now considered heart-healthy given the right kinds, and always in moderation for both (I think).  I was at a conference at the Westin in Halifax a couple of years ago.  It’s a beautiful hotel with all the amenities.  In an attempt to heighten “after-five” traffic in the Lounge, the hotel hosted several special events, one of which was a wine and chocolate pairing sampling. (Lots of really good dark, dark chocolate, -- my favourite). I’ve had the privilege of being a guest at some of the most beautiful hotels in Canada and I do recommend a stay at the Halifax Westin. Make a mini-vacation of it in the Summer, and take in the activities at the waterfront.  Kent and I enjoyed a tour of the Corrvette docked there (I don’t recommend wearing heals for that tour, though. The ladders are somewhat tricky!!).
This night will be a test.  Kent isn’t the most adventurous when it comes to his meals.  Finally, I can hear you all saying, a recipe. Okay, this started out as a Spanish Torta, but, turned into an Italian Fritata. I didn’t have any chorizo sausage (A Spanish pork sausage, seasoned highly with paprika, and serious hints of garlic). Growing up we would often have breakfast for supper, and I love it but, it’s not something Kent favours … we must entice him to be a little more outgoing in this department This recipe was inspired by an episode of The Food Network’s “Jamie at Home”.
For the two of us, I used two Italian sausages, cut into bite-size chunks (if the fridge had had chorizo in it, I would have used a similar quantity, two med. russet potatoes, also chopped into bite size chunks, eight eggs, mixed lightly in a bowl.. Add a generous handful of cilantro, which, for those of you who haven’t had it  is a very strong herb, which I happen to love. And have ever since I discovered it as the defining flavour in salsa (I remember telling a friend at the time it’s the cilantro that IS Salsa).
As you continue with my blogs, You will likely say to yourself, “What food doesn’t this girl love?” And, you know what?  There are precious few.  You can substitute flatleaf parsley, but the flavour won’t be as distinctive. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan.  Fry, (ok you got me, consider that a point, my Anna!!!) stirring frequently, until potatoes are golden brown. (watch that they don’t burn, the paprika gives the potato a nice colour).  Although, Kent denies being a meat and potatoes only man, he really is!  This dish sorta fits the bill, and he loved it, by the way .We had frozen mixed veggies with it, but, it would be superb with a salad or steamed asparagus or fiddleheads, another wonderful vegetable that we indulge in when we can get them.
If you’re using the chorizo, omit paprika from this recipe. There is sufficient in the chorizo paprika from that will leach out into the oil and give the potatoes. and the entire dish quite a commandingcolour.
Now to address a request from one of my followers: Here it comes, Donna, –  Ahhh Spring fair spring, Oh, it’s Summer, now.  But, there’s still time for my all-time favourite vegetable: asparagus.  When single and living alone, I would often sneak some from my neighbour’s patch. He always caught me, but never stopped me. I think, maybe, he thought if I ate it all, he wouldn’t be subjected to it, (or maybe, it was his way of thanking me for the endless games of crib I would play with him). Actually that man, I would find out, was Kent’s father, who would eat any green plant including dandelion and marsh greens. I’ve never had either, but am pretty sure I would like them, too!  Here’s how to make my favourite meal with asparagus It is  a  kind of open-faced asparagus sandwich.  Lightly steam a bunch, don’t be stingy now. Meanwhile make a plain, white sauce, Then, add a chopped hard-boiled egg (which I kept on hand for on-the-run snacking And  I was constantly “on-the-running”. Toast, then, liberally butter a piece of whole grain country or sourdough bread.  Drain, then pat dry the asparagus. Transfer to the bread and cover with the sauce. There are people who like only hollandaise sauce with their asparagus but, trust me, this is delicious!!
Many years later, Kent and I would buy and move into his father’s home …and that luscious asparagus patch was mine, all mine (he he he!). As fate would have it, though, by then we would have the restaurant and rarely ate at home. I did share my coveted little goodies with patrons until there were none of the little green spears left! The rolled asparagus sandwich is a party regular for one of my nurses. I love them, too. Typically, you take a piece of white sandwich bread sans crusts, butter it, then roll up an asparagus spear and place on sandwich platter. My version sees a piece of country-style whole-grain rye bread spread with s light skim of butter and good store-bought or homemade mayonnaise ( the sandwich won’t taste as good with the salad-type dressing, such as the popular Miracle Whip. Top a piece or two (depending on its dimensions) of Speck, prosciutto, or good deli ham. Top that with a thin skim of grainy, whole grain mustard. Roll up the asparagus in the bread. At this point, you can place it with the rest of the sandwiches ,or carefully slice the roll crosswise with a serrated knife, making little asparagus discs, and put the cute little sandwiches with the others on the platter.
   I would love to hear about your version of this party sandwich staple!!! This hot, bright sun is making me home sick for Barbados, our backyard fruit trees, Mrs. Brown, our apartment property manager, our friends and the food, yeah , the food.  I’d love to share some of all the things I love about this Caribbean Island with you…. Well, maybe I can.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

missing you...

Salutations from Sandee.
A major tech failure has kept her incommunicado, and longing to resume shouldn't be long now.
Her apologies, and warm greetings.
Stay healthy and safe!

We've been hearing that some folks are having trouble becoming followers on the blog - turns out it's a problem with the platform and we're expecting it to be resolved soon.  We'll follow up and keep you apprised.
Thanks for being patient!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Blog Post # 10
BIG BREAKTHROUGH TO SHARE!!!! My friend of whom I spoke in an earlier post (who also spent some lonely time in rehab) is now eating vegetables of his own accord.  I can’t begin to tell you of the heated discussions we would have on the subject,. But I WON.  And not just your regular veggies that any youngster would eat, but, Brussels sprouts AND turnip!  Big congrats, Bob!  I’m really proud of you!
I’ve been keeping a food diary for years now, and have been adding notes to each entry since I started this blog, so that I can share the total experience with you, without leaving significant details out of the picture.
“Any ideas for super tonight?  I’m drawing a blank,” This is a familiar refrain in our home.  Kent is once again stumped for supper menu choices.  How about cheeseburgers, I reply.  So much for the slight vegetarian in me cheeseburgers it will be.  I love it when Kent makes burgers. He mixes in finely chopped green peppers, mushrooms, onion, pickle and chili sauce. They are really juicy and flavourful.  The only thing missing is whole wheat buns, very hard to get this time of year in our town.  But, as usual, the meal, complete with oven-cooked fries (we can get McCain’s low-fat fries here and they’re great, because they crisp up in the oven so nicely)! All this accompanied by a fresh garden salad (have you ever noticed how you can only get Thousand Island Dressing in the small bottle?  No family sizing there!!  No matter the brand, that particular kind only comes in small).
Stay healthy and safe!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A big pizza pie – that’s amore!

Blog post # 9
You’d think we’d use up what ever leftovers not earmarked for my mom and dad. No, not us! Kent is not particularly fond of leftovers of any kind, but nothing will go to waste, be sure of that, Fridays have traditionally been pizza night for us. So, since we didn’t have pizza last Friday, Kentsuggested it for tonight – order in or homemade?  For me, there’s no decision. I’m addicted to pizza of any kind, but Kent’s home made is the winner, hands down. Kent, a self- professed carnivore and me leaning  precariously close to vegetarianism, both satisfied by this house specialty – lots of veggies, adequate but minimal meat and plenty of cheese!

Stay healthy and safe!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Blog post # 8
            Today is taken care of, a meal which should yield tons of leftovers (but we will share with my parents who both love this meal, especially when it comes in the leftover version.)

Stay healthy and safe!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The adventure begins

Blog post # 7
           Sorry it took me so long to get started.  Are you ready?  Here we go… I’ll try to figure out the supper menu when Kent has no meal ideas left.  Kent will likely be preparing most supper, as some tasks take me so long we’d never eat!!,  And please, be ready to offer your own suggestions and favourites or comments I’d love to have them, not just for help in the decision-making department, but to get a sense of what you all are eating and what new  trends are developing, which will be important when I win the competition to have my own cooking show on the Food Network’s “Next Food Network Star” some time in the not-too-distant future.  Also, I’ve made initial steps to have British super-chef, Jamie Oliver, to bring his “Food Revolution” to Canada.  His “revolution” has been wildly popular and well accepted in both Britain and the USA.  I’m sure you will all agree there is need for it in this country as obesity and cases of diabetes continue to rise. I’ll get it started and all who are with me, connect with Jamie’s Food Revolution website to express your support.
Kent came in from the freezer (not the Nova Scotian outdoor freezer, but the conventional domestic kind) with a ham (my favourite kind of meat) and suggested ham and scalloped potatoes , one of my absolute fave meals. So, tomorrow’s supper is a complete no-brainer. Ham, scalloped potatoes and baked beans, some leftovers and a new entry.
I do baked beans in my slow -cooker, cleanup is much simpler, as is preparation. For those who don’t use a slow-cooker, my method should work for your recipe too - just as long as you put all your ingredients in and cover with water, It is also important to cook them on low overnight (it will have you wondering why you haven’t been doing it this way all along!! Who knew??
This version I overheard from my floor-mate from the Digby Restorative Unit, Aubrey Joudrey, who is diabetic. This version, has much less sugar in it, compared to our regular version (thought I’d give credit where credit is due).
Combine four(4) slices of chopped bacon in slow cooker pot with two (2)cans of condensed tomato soup , undiluted, ½ pound of dried beans (your choice, but we use pea or navy beans), two small onions coarsely chopped or sliced ,about two tablespoons each of prepared mustard and molasses - eyeball it, I do that with most recipes (you get better at it with practice…the eyeballing measurements I mean - two big squirts of ketchup, or about 1/8 cup stir it all well and add two cans of water (just to clean out the cans).  Be sure everything is completely covered and mixed up well.  I just turn it on  low.  I start this process at about 5:30 the evening  before and leave it on be till the next night’s supper, check it once and add more water to cover the lot, replace lid and leave  until time to serve… ENJOY!                                                                               
Stay healthy and safe!                                                                                                               

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Culinary WUF

Blog post # 6

Now that I’ve given you a peek into my heart, here’s a wuf which with I will challenge myself. As I mentioned in a previous post, my husband, Kent, and I try very diligently to eat healthy. And, I let you in on the fact that we have plenty of meal choices on hand. Mother Hubbard’s cupboard certainly isn’t bare!!  It’s just the decision-making process that stops us up on many occasions.  You are also aware I’m a foodie, but not, as Jamie Oliver would put it, a “posh” foodie. I love more down-to-earth meals.
So what I’m proposing is, what if I come up with dinner ideas every night and do my best to expedite them (on occasion Kent will have to make dinner depending on our schedules and how I feel on the particular day). I will share my  recipes and experiences with you.  My inspiration and some recipes will come from Nigella Lawson’s “How to be a domestic Goddess” (which I don’t claim to be) and ‘Nigella Bites”,and Gina and Pat Neeley’s “The Neeleys”.  Nigella Lawson happens to be my favourite celeb chef for her homey, no-nonsense style, and Pat Neeley’s personality is nothing short of magnetic. Some of this adventure will undoubtedly include some original recipes, which, I’m more than happy to share with you..
Hold up now!! You don’t get off that easily. You have a job in this whole scenario. Your challenge is to come along with me for the ride, making comments and suggestions where you’d like.  It’s okay, I’ve got broad shoulders. Oh, I forgot to tell you, I used to be the editor of a newspaper, got lots of “opinion” sitting in that seat!!  If you like, leave a way that I can contact you online to allow me to share further insight and information.
Stay healthy and safe!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Blog Post # 5
            A previous post was entitled “The demon does not get to win”, and, while that is still true, he may have won A single battle: I slip often into short periods of time when I dwell on the past (this, only in part, has anything to do with the stroke) The what ifs in my life oftentimes loom large and can threaten to take over the stroke survivor’s life.
A physiotherapist I had in Halifax said she and her kids call the ’what ifs’, wufs, (The wufs became a great source of laughter to the breakfast table as they all discussed various possible wufs in the physiotherapist’s job forum).
One therapy suggestion my psychotherapist gave was that when dwelling on past events too much, I should mentally go back to that girl in my memory who was hurt and abandoned and speak in my mind to her, giving her support and letting her know that the future worked out ok, not unlike Brad Paisley’s hit song “letter to me”.
It may sound a bit quirky, but it does, in fact, work for easing anxiety.     

   Sandee, taming the Demon 

In my particular situation, certain ‘wufs’ called into question my conscious control over events in my life, whether or not I could have controlled them. I have found it very easy, and still would, to sink into that place and be enveloped as if in an old feather mattress.  Limited mobility often gives one too much time to think.
Following my stroke and the loss of all mobility on my left side, I wanted very much, as you can imagine, to get better and get back that part of me that had been taken so abruptly by the stroke (If I hadn’t mentioned it in a previous post, I had my stroke in the very early morning hours of June5,2009 while I was asleep ( so, I guess, abruptly is the correct term no symptoms, no warnings). I had heard so much about the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre, that, of course, I wanted to go there to recover as quickly as possible.
            While in Kentville hospital, where, I was deposited as an “acute” patient immediately after the stroke. I worked hard to recover some of what had been taken so abruptly and I finally achieved a “score” that would allow me entrance into rehab, I even started writing again (now, surprisingly effortlessly with my right hand, when previously I had been left handed).
The ambulance ride to Halifax had me filled with a fear I had not known before, even though I should have been in la la land as I had my fair share of Morphine in me, prescribed for the complex regional pain syndrome the stroke had left me with (and some unpleasant side effects).  But on the up side, I came out on top, without a doubt, with just a little bit of re-learning to do, and no, the stroke didn’t take everything. I was left with all the people who love me.  My husband, Kent, and my youngest step-daughter, Stephanie, followed close behind and were both with me when I was express-admitted into rehab. They both helped me get settled into my new temporary “home” still so scared I almost didn’t know what was happening. Mercifully, I was finally in a hospital bed, Kent on my left, holding my hand. Steph, on my right doing the same. 
Then I watched them both as they moved toward the door .I thought again, with tears running down my face as Kent’s white-shirted back moved into, then through, the doorway, “They really are going to leave me here”.  As hard as I tried not to, I started to cry and told Steph, “I just want to go home, too”. She nodded, giving me that beautiful, infectious smile. (She is proof-positive that there are angels on this earth, she was obviously sent down by God, himself, to be there for me through this interruption in life). 
I spent the most lonely, unhappy eight weeks of my life in Room 729 on the 7th floor of the NS rehab centre. Kent visited as often as he could and called twice a day, my parents called every evening. My sister and nephew, Callam were faithful visitors. Callam really “got into” my recovery and noticed even the smallest  improvement, cheering me on and giving me all the helpful tips his 11-year-old mind could conjure up I even gained enough mobility  to go to one of his soccer games. Yet, I was still so very lonely.  I knew I needed to be here to get better, but, I knew that Kent was lonely too, holding the fort down at home, alone. Both the afflicted person and the partner are both feeling a tremendous sense of purposelessness. The only difference being that the former has the benefit of myriad of doctors and therapists to use as sounding boards. The latter must use whatever resources he can muster from within to stave off utter insanity!
My mind pauses and goes back several years to a tine that has become a wuf got me. Just about ‘what if’ everything, if we’d only known that Kent  would develop lung cancer, if I had nagged him harder about  smoking. etc. (he actually does listen to me once in a while. He’ll deny it, if you say anything!).
Another wuf…through no fault of our own, to my knowledge, we became estranged from a dear friend who we love very much and who had been very close to Kent for about 30 years .In the interim, he had a serious illness that forced the amputation of his left leg a few inches below the knee and went to rehab in Fredericton. His “wife” at the time chose the very selfish path. He tells now of how lonely he was in rehab and afterward when he could not leave the house, his wife wouldn’t even take him for a drive!  I feel bad, knowing now full well what he was going through, and, although I had the loving support of my husband, step-daughters and parents, how lonely I was even with their support! Thinking of this is one of those times when I think of the wuf. What if I’d been in our friend’s position, without the massive support of my partner and love? (I guess I’d now be seeing more than a psychotherapist!!! 
I, now, want to be a support for someone else who, for whatever reason, needs another human being to be there for them, by their side, to explain what’s going on… to just listen and who knows what it means to truly, be down-heart lonely. I intend to volunteer on the 7th floor of rehab when my mobility increases more. So, even though, the demon may have made inroads, he will never overtake me. He will never get to win!! I have so very much going for me: I’m independent, determined (my dad calls it stubborn), I have a man who loves me and has through all of our good times and, even more importantly, through our bad times, of which we’ve had more than our fair share.   I have my wonderful friend, Anna,* who continues to support me and cheer me with her visits and her great sense of humour. And I have something the demon didn’t count on when he engaged me in this war: I have my two beautiful intelligent step-daughters and three terrific grandsons.  And, I will cook again! The demon suddenly lost all his odds.
Stay healthy and safe!

 *name changed for privacy reasons

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Changing tastes

 It’s strange how tastes change (or remain the same) with time (or age?)
             Of late it’s becoming more difficult every day to decide what to have for supper (or dinner, however one refers to it). Tonight was one of my all time favourites  – Liver & onions… I loved this dish as a young child, and was not very popular with my sister when this choice was presented , as she hated every aspect of the meal.  I, on the other hand, would choose this option first when offered a choice . I had, however, never heard of liver gravy before I had met my husband, but enjoy it immensely ( knowing, too, it is low in fat).
             As seems to be a common case, my taste for liver has changed over time I, now, prefer my liver to be cooked about medium, whereas, when I was younger, I loved it cooked very well.
It’s the same with fried eggs. When, at seven years of age, my father had me standing on a kitchen chair learning to cook fried eggs, they had to be cooked WELL, actually beyond recognition. My palate has “grown up” since then, in a lot of ways, it seems.
However, a more refined palate seems to do little to answer the daily question:  ”What shall we have for supper?”
As most who know Kent and I will agree, we eat very healthfully.  We try conscientiously to do so.

And our indecision isn’t for lack of food in the cupboards and freezer. We are likely as well stocked as a grocery store, with a wide variety of food items, making healthy eating relatively simple… if one could just make a decision!
Stay healthy and safe!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Send in the Clowns

BLOG POST #3                                                                                                                     
             She can’t move her left leg or arm. She must have had a stroke,  … impossible! she’s much too young for a stroke. He moves his legs with both hands, she’s in a wheelchair with a halo attached to her. These are all  outward  “onstage “ signs of an illness or disease.

artist:  Harriet Parker
 But, who sees backstage?  
 There is a whole other story waiting to be told. A whole new, probably unexpected set of emotions is at skin’s surface, centrestage when the curtains part. In most cases, there is a wife, husband, or significant other that the initial affliction has affected to quite an unknown degree .He or she is brought to his/her knees in Act two when the script casts Another human being dealing with pain, grief for the person lost (in fact, the person stricken with the illness or disease isn’t the only one with a new, unfamiliar group of emotions,… grief, sadness, abandonment, loneliness, anger and frustration, but to name a few. It is very much like someone close has died and there are two close friends mourning. And then, if that weren’t enough, there are unexpected financial woes that both must grapple with… the worries seem endless.

   On the surface things may appear okay, but simmering below  are issues unimaginable to those with seats beyond the orchestra pit and even to those closest to the afflicted person and the partner, the lonely void is quite undetectable, Much like a batting tube in late winter at , dark, the quiet deafening with possibly no way out.

               Both the afflicted person and the partner are both feeling a tremendous sense of purposelessness. Likely the only difference is the former is getting treatment and has an adequate arms-length sounding board to release to, whereby the latter is left to deal with his/her emotions alone. And that word cannot be emphasized enough. ALONE … JUST LISTEN TO IT ECHO IN THE EMPTY DARK SPACE. When you listen carefully, the loneliness of just that word could break your heart.

Stay healthy and safe!