Saturday, March 28, 2009

...salad daze [aka, chopped veggie salad with jicima & cashews]

[note: I use pre-cut veggies when I have no time or hand issues...
one can, of course, cut up everything from scratch...]



you can start with any one of these...
[or really any canned bean you want...
though I prefer those cooked without extra spices, etc...]

I like black beans, drained & rinsed...
[put into a 6 qt container...]



since the jicima is already sliced into stix...
it's easy to chop into cubes...
this size container is about 2 med sized jicima...



then I add a small container of chopped red onion...
and chopped celery [after draining the celery...]



sometimes, they have diced carrots with the onions & celery...
today they didn't...so I adapted...
[ie...diced "matchstick" carrots...]



I think it's always better to buy broccoli crowns or heads...
than "pre-cut"...[they're a lot fresher...]
and not too hard to cut up, even with a weird hand...
but make them small-ish...[bite size...]

sometimes I also use cauliflower...
zucchini & other summer squash work well too...
if you add cucumber or cut tomatoes...
remove the seeds or it will get mushy...

I have NOT had any luck...
with either radishes, mushrooms or green onions...
[they get slimy...]



a 1 lb bag of frozen peas...
[don't thaw, but make sure the peas aren't clumped...]
I suppose edamame, lima beans or corn might work too...
though I really like the peas...

I use a large spoon to mix the veggies...

and then add this...



note that this is the REAL deal...
REAL buttermilk...[homemade is fine...]

I use an entire 16 oz bottle for this amount of veggies...
I think the coating is just right...

after mixing well...
[I have been known to shake to combine...]

you have this...



to serve, add a sprinkle of these...



it gets better as it sets...

it can be stored without dressing...
and each serving dressed as needed...
I never mix the cashews into the salad and store...
they get rubbery...I always add them before serving...

there are an infinite number of variations on this recipe...
the dressing... the nuts... the beans...
the veggies... and you could add meat or even tofu...
and though I never have, one could probably add pasta too...

I discovered this salad at a school potluck years ago...
and have enjoyed it ever since...
I hope now you'll enjoy it too...

Friday, March 27, 2009

...PT ["pain & torture" ...aka "physical therapy"...]



yes, gentle readers...
I have embarked on the road to recovery...
[aka "physical therapy"...]
and it is clearly marked...[see above...]



it brings me here...
Pine Street Physical Therapy in Mudville...
[they also have offices in...
"the sleepy village to the north"...
as well as several other towns in the area...]

my therapist & her smiling assistant are very nice & capable...
on my first visit, she gave me a lengthy interview...
and took all sorts of measurements & administered tests...



one of the tests used this device...
which measures the pressure in your grip...
[right hand 50 lbs, left hand 25 lbs...]



another test measured the "range of motion" in both joints...
both from above & below...

after all the results of the measurements & tests...
carefully recorded...
the therapy session began...

first they had me make as much of a fist as I can...
wrapped it to keep the tendon stretched out...



and had me dip my wrapped hand...
into the melted parafin wax...
5 times... creating a waxy glove...
which was wrapped with plastic wrap...
and then in a fluffy towel...

I then sat for 10 minutes...
trying to let the warm relaxation soothe the soreness...
that came from making a fist and having it wrapped tight...

I learned from this...
& didn't let them wrap it so tight the next visit...



after the waxy glove was removed, the therapist massaged my hand...
which felt pretty good even though she was "exploring" scar tissue...
and swollen joints...[the hot wax is really relaxing...]
she even got my top joint to bend 10˚ farther after the wax...



she gave me these "tendon gliding exercises" & worked me through them...
she told me that if my finger was really swollen, stiff or sore...
after doing 10 reps, to cut back to 5 [which I had to do...]

taking into account the pictures are of a right hand...
and I do them with my left...

check out my progress...







yeah, I know that my injured finger...
doesn't bend as far down...
or go as flat as it should...
what you see is really quite painful...
and is my current limit...

AND I'm discovering some lingering injuries...
to the neighboring fingers...
that I didn't recognize before...
due to the severity of the dislocation...

she also wrote down some isolating exercises...
that I can't photograph since they take both hands...
[not to mention a thumb I don't have...]



this is an example of an isolation exercise...
that is moving only the top joint...

I'm supposed to hold my slightly bent finger...
between my stump right thumb and forefinger...
just below the top joint...moving just the top several times...

then grasp in a similar manner below the middle joint...
to isolate that joint & exercise it likewise...

not easy...

as I have to concentrate on moving the correct muscles, etc...
without cutting off circulation to the finger tip...
not too bad once you get the hang of it...
and these don't hurt like trying to make a fist does...
[have I mentioned that making a fist, of any kind...
really hurts ! ?]

to help combat swelling...
and to encourage my lymphatic system...
to flush out excess fluids...
she decided to wrap my finger...
[light compression helps the healing...]
with the same brownish stuff [Coban]...
that I'd been using to keep the surgical dressing clean...



[wasn't I just here?...]

oh well, 3 times a week for a month...
[2 down & 10 to go...]

this is NOT fun...but it's better than "Frankenfinger"...
it hurt ALL the time...this...I can handle...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

...cat tails [aka "SPie Butter"...]


as Herself was "cat in residence"...

during the bathroom reconstruction...
the bathroom, is, in fact, all hers...
[Mz Sneaky Pie's, that is...]

her most, uh, second favorite bathroom game...
[her fave is TP ravaging/unrolling...]
has always been "tail-chasing"...

in the old bathroom, it was in the tub...
now, it's behind the ajar door...
when she can get "in", that is...
since she shreds TP if I put it on so she can't unroll it...
I've been keeping the door closed...

here you have a few minutes of "unfettered" tail chasing...

enjoy...

video

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

..."interesting", a euphemism for "strange" ?



[HT to Miz Minka for the link...]

I take these quizzes [just like we all do...]
and am almost always annoyed at either the ?'s...
the results...the grammatical/spelling train wrecks...
but this one is different...

intriguing questions...
[I'm always intrigued if I can't figure out the direction...]
very interesting, complete results...
and only one word misspelled...
[it was probably a typo...I corrected it...
but you already knew that...]


Your Brain Usage Profile:

Auditory : 46%
Visual : 53%
Left : 46%
Right : 53%

catsinger, you possess an interesting balance of hemispheric and sensory characteristics, with a slight right-brain dominance and a slight preference for visual processing.

Since neither of these is completely centered, you lack the indecision and second-guessing associated with other patterns. You have a distinct preference for creativity and intuition with seemingly sufficient verbal skills to be able to translate in any meaningful way to yourself and others.

You tend to see things in "wholes" without surrendering the ability to attend to details. You can give them sufficient notice to be able to utilize and incorporate them as part of an overall pattern.

In the same way, while you are active and process information simultaneously, you demonstrate a capacity for sequencing as well as reflection which allows for some "inner dialogue."

All in all, you are likely to be quite content with yourself and your style although at times it will not necessarily be appreciated by others. You have sufficient confidence to not second-guess yourself, but rather to use your critical faculties in a way that enhances, rather than limits, your creativity.

You can learn in either mode although far more efficiently within the visual mode. It is likely that in listening to conversations or lecture materials you simultaneously translate into pictures which enhance and elaborate on the meaning.

It is most likely that you will gravitate towards those endeavors which are predominantly visual but include some logic or structuring. You may either work particularly hard at cultivating your auditory skills or risk "missing out" on being able to efficiently process what you learn. Your own intuitive skills will at times interfere with your capacity to listen to others, which is something else you may need to take into account.

if you want to take the test, click here...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

...Fluff update, 3/23/09



Miss Fluff is doing SOOO much better...
I still put salve in her eye several times a day...
[that is, I'm still allowed to put salve in her eye...]

she looks almost normal in some light...
you have to be looking at the right angle...
to see the opaqueness of her cornea...

she has no sight in it, but has adapted very quickly...
and it's hard to believe just how bad it was...
just a few weeks ago...

the vet is very pleased...
and I think, a bit surprised at her recovery...



so thanks so much to all of you who "thought good thoughts"...
and prayed for Fluff's recovery...
she has even ventured outside on the warmest of days...
making it down & back up the ramp safely...

both she & Piglet are currently not speaking to me...
as I doused them with Advantage earlier today...
fleas were appearing on them & they sleep with me...
so it was that or start wearing a flea collar myself...

they'll get over it...

as soon as I go to bed, they'll forget all about it...
and be right there for the petting & cuddling...
the bed-making, pawing, drooling & eventually, snoring...
a very good time to be flea-free...

Monday, March 23, 2009

...spring garden quiz, 1.1

I opened my 1st spring garden quiz with this...



it looked better before the hailstorm...

no one guessed what it is...yet...



it is on this plant, now leafed-out & blooming...
[# 8 on the first quiz...]

one more clue...



here are the blooms... got it now ?



this was #1... any guesses ?
[people like it's namesake fried, with ketchup...]



these weren't out enough to be on the first quiz...



everyone should know these...



this was #3 & has survived the hail...
[clue : in the song, they're "pink"...]



also much more leafed-out... #4...
[clue: I didn't get them sprayed & they have "leaf curl"...]



these won't really be out until around Easter...
[#5...a Southern favorite...]



also #5, & the blooms are white...



this "furry pawed" plant comes in many colors...



it was #6, and it's marsupial namesake can be "pugilistic"...



#7 has red leaves year round...



I have a number of different varieties...



I'm really surprised that no one got #9...
since it looks exactly like itself...
from the first unfolded "wee" leaf...
[extremely subtle clue...]



this was # 10...this exact cluster...
they eventually have blooms like these...



can you name this variety ?
[I ONLY like pink on roses...& other flowers...]



this one grows next to the lilac...



there can be an upside to NOT pruning your roses...



although I must admit to having cut them back in October...
& this is my reward...



#12 is out farther now...



this was #13, this cluster...



this one is farther along...



this one is "out"...any guesses ?



this was NOT on the first quiz...



it's my biggest plant...
and getting ready to bloom...
and scatter those awful dangle-y things all over...
I'll be sweeping them up for months...



this wasn't on the first quiz either...



it's blooming for only the third year...



it has such a lovely shape...
someday it'll be a mass of blossoms each spring...

I hope you enjoyed the spring garden quiz, 1.1...
leave your guesses in the comments...
and happy gardening !