Thursday, June 30, 2016

Physical Therapy is going well

I am seeing the physical therapist three more times this week, culminating with a massage prior to my last session on Friday.

This is the sign that was posted next to my area when I was in on Wednesday.  It was just so cute I had to share it.

1. Never say “I can’t” because you’ll do it anyway.

2. Never say, “it’s easy” because we’ll just make it harder

3. Never say, “I want to go home” because you’ll stay longer

4. Never lose count because you’ll start at one again

5. Never complain because we never listen.

6. Never argue because you’ll never win.

7. Never scream or cry because it only encourages us.

8. Never look like you’re enjoying it because we’ll put a stop to it
9. Never hold your breath because if you pass out and die, we have to fill out the paperwork.

10 Never lie or cheat because we know the truth and you will live to regret it.

Now you can see what I'm up against!  The pain has greatly diminished, with only some numbness and tingling in my right hand.

So, my plan is to visit the pickleball courts again on Saturday morning and see how it goes.

Wish me luck!

Long Live the Queen 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Queen has an Owie

It had been coming on for a week or so now, the tingling and numbness in my fingers, the ache in my back.

I was trying to tough it out by icing my sore muscles and popping Aleve, but my last trip to the pickleball courts found me not performing well at all.  It's hard to hit the ball with any conviction when you're bracing yourself for the pain that goes with it.

Finally I gave up and called Left Brain to come and get me, it was just too much.  I guess the fact that I've not been sleeping well for several nights now because my entire arm was tingling and throbbing and the right should blade screamed any time I tried to turn over to find a good position.  There were no more good positions left.

As I sat on the bench waiting for him to come I noticed a banner for the Andover Physical Therapy.  Hmmm...was this a sign.  Well, yes, I was a sign...literally.

When I got home I ate some lunch and went to lay down as I was too exhausted to make the call.  This turned out to be a good thing because when I called to make an appointment, she had just hung up from a person who cancelled.

I was able to get in that afternoon and had my assessment done and set up three more appointments for the following week, plus a massage on Friday.

Now I have my stretching exercises to do and instructions to apply heat.  But after some of her soft tissue work I could feel the throbbing leaving the hands a bit.  I don't think this will be a long time off from playing, but for now I need to be a good girl and take care of this achy body.

Long Live the Queen

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Good Times with Old Friends

When you live on the road you meet a lot of new and interesting people, but there's no comparison to the joy in seeing an old friend.

When you've known someone over forty years you can converse in a sort of verbal shorthand, even if you haven't seen each other for a year.  It's so comforting.

We started our day with peach and blueberry power smoothies at Panera and then moved on to lunch at Big Bowl.  Coming to visit her exposed me to another whole area of the Twin Cities I was not familiar with.  But it was hard to believe there was no Barnes & Noble in this huge mall.

We've generally centered our June outings with plant shopping, something neither of us need to do any more since they live on the road as well.  But there were often forays into book stores in the past and wanting to keep the tradition alive, we went to find a Barnes & Noble.

She immediately stopped at the magazine counter, a major weakness of hers and I went off to pursue the book I had my mind on.  After checking with the customer service I found they didn't carry it, so knowing she'd be a while, I wandered off to the cookbook section to find some sort of miracle for my Paleo bread failures.

Pretty soon there she was, with magazines in hand and shaking her head.  She still has a hard time believing that there would come a day that I'd be enamored of cooking.  She's always been my emergency source of information such as calls asking where to find eggplant in the store and my having to listen to her roar with laughter when I admitted I had been looking in the milk and egg section.  She's taught me so much since then.

Now that I'm starting to use fresh herbs she's still my go to for questions as to what to do with this hunk of weed I just paid a fortune for.  Do I strip the leaves off the basil or chop it up, those stems are awfully tough.  Answer was to strip the leaves.

It was her that spotted the perfect book for my baking needs and as I hugged it to my chest I knew that it would always hold the memory of being together every time I used it.  That and if the recipes really stunk I could blame her for finding it.  Yeah, our friendship is like that.

Another part of our connecting usually involved a stop for some sort of decadent ice cream treat.  But I was going to be a good girl and no Coldstone for this Paleo no sireee.  I did real good until I was just about to turn into the motel where they were spending the night when the car suddenly swerved over and we found ourselves in front of a frozen yogurt place.  And it was gluten and fat free yogurt to boot!  Oh happy days.  Now our trip was a complete success.

So once again we hugged each other goodbye, not knowing when we might see each other again, but knowing that time and distance cannot break our bond.

I was getting all nostalgic when she reminded me I was coming back to La Crosse in late July for a doctors visit and we had already arranged to have lunch.  So it won't be such a long time before our next visit...and that's a really good thing.

Long Live the Queen

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Paleo Cooking

This new way of eating has brought many changes to our lives, and I have discovered food and products I never knew existed.

One of the recipes I used recently involved using celery root as a substitute for potatoes.  It was a challenge finding this weird product, but I finally found it at Festival Foods in Anoka.  It was used in a beef stew with lots of mushrooms that turned out very well, except for the hunks of celery root.  Well, that completes that little experiment and it won't darken my countertop again.

I'm still not satisfied with how the breads are turning out.  They are never very high and I'm having trouble adjusting to the dense texture.

The muffins always look okay, but are either overly moist (I threw that word in just for Stephanie) or they crumble at the slightest touch.  I don't know if this is the way of Paleo baking or if I'm doing something wrong.

I have to say that it's easier to give up on the breads and muffins when they are inedible.  Perhaps that's the real secret to our weight loss with this diet.

I even mixed up a batch of paleo catsup for our burgers. 

They were served on my handmade paleo wraps, which at first seemed okay but then felt spongy and soggy.

Ingrid from Dally in the Galley has been helpful sharing her baking skills and I've learned a lot.  

One of my favorite bloggers is now Paleo Newbie, her recipes are simple and so far seem to be the best. She's obviously no longer a newbie!

Long Live the Queen of the Paleo Kitchen

Monday, June 20, 2016

And the Queen Continues to Shop!

I had occasion to go shopping without Left Brain the other day and that always tends to lead to more impulse buys.

Several of the recipes in our new paleo lifestyle would be much easier with a food processor.  Yeah, I know...I bought that little one earlier, but it only holds two cups.  I realize now I could have used a larger one, and yet I don't want anything huge.

So voila!  I spotted the Oster food processor and blender combo at Walmart and it seemed to just jump into my cart.

I had a chance to use it right away to grate the carrots needed to try the carrot cake cupcakes.  At first I had the hand grater and a bowl out and could already sense the pain and frustration of trying to grate my baby carrots.

But I remembered (okay, it was within 24 hours) that I had this new powerful tool.  I have to admit that it made me jump when it roared into action and make short work of those carrots.  Oh the power!

Now I'm researching smoothies since I have a blender as well.  I've never been interested in these before, but on a hot summer day it would be nice to have a flavored drink to sip and enjoy.  I'll have to get advice from our daughter on those, as she is the Smoothie Queen.

Long Live the Queen of Kitchen Appliances

Saturday, June 18, 2016

New Sheets

When the weather is cold and rainy I really miss the flannel sheets we used to snuggle in on winter nights.

But with the shortage of storage space, an extra set of big bulky sheets for such short term usage just isn't feasible.

So when I saw these sheets at Kohl's one day I was intrigued, but had my doubts as to how it would work.

Well, we've used them when it's cold and when it's hot...which in Minnesota can happen within 24 hours easily...and they work beautifully.

I don't know how they do it, but on cold nights I no longer cringe as I slide between the sheets.  And on hot nights they don't feel like they stick to me.  It's a miracle!

They were quite pricey, but Kohl's had them on half price the day I was visiting, so that made it worth it.  We only have two sets of sheets and the other was getting pretty ratty and needed replacing.

You can bet that when the remaining set gets old I will be switching over to a second set like this.

Long Live the Queen of Comfort

Friday, June 17, 2016

Zucchini Noodles

The best part of this new Paleo Diet is buying fun tools to get the job done.  

My newest purchase is the Paderno Four Blade Spiralizer.  

It fits together very compactly for storage, always a plus in a tiny home.

This was ordered so I could try making the Chicken Noodle Soup in my Paleo Perfected cookbook.  The noodles are made guessed it...zucchini noodles.

It actually turned out pretty good and this is one application where the "fake" noodles work quite well.  Either that or I'm just getting used to these new tastes now.

Today for lunch I heated up some of this soup and added a spoonful of yellow curry sauce and WOW...very tasty.

Now if I could only conquer the bread issue and make a bread that looks and tastes like...well...bread.

Long Live the Zucchini Queen

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Too busy to post

Just to assure people that we have not careened off into a ravine or anything...we've just been too busy to write.

Our daughter and her family are getting their house ready to sell and Left Brain has become the painter of bedrooms.  I took my turn at the landscaping, pulling weeds, moving plants and spreading bark...lots of bark.

I had the pleasure of assisting the cleaning of the fridge and washing off an egg explosion.  Yuck.

For a couple with no sticks and bricks house or yard we do seem to be spending a lot of time maintaining one.

Today I spent time in the kitchen boxing up glasses and mugs, cleaning out drawers and decluttering under the sink. 

Emily kicked into gear by helping with the painting and then joining me and scrubbing out the kitchen sink.

We hobbled home about 2:30 for a very late lunch of tuna salad and some much needed rest.

So as you can see, we are fine and well...just busy and tired.

More to come as time permits.

Long Live the Queen

Monday, June 6, 2016

Emily's Confirmation Day

On Sunday, June 5th, we had the honor of witnessing Emily's confirmation and re-baptism into the church.  There were four girls receiving this honor that day and all had family that came to share in the joy.

But I have to say...when our little "village" showed up it felt like a remake in a scene from 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding'.

Emily was the only one who opted for the full blown blessing of being fully submerged to renew her faith.  It seems the other girls didn't want to get their hair wet.  I was so proud of her for partaking of this event fully that I could hardly speak, and you know that doesn't happen often.

It reminded me of when I did my conversion to Judaism and you truly do feel cleansed by the water and that you emerge as a different person.

After the church event we all regathered at the house for the party.  Nobody puts on a party like Steph and Ted!  They are always gracious hosts and you can guarantee the food will be healthy and plentiful.

Yes, there was a chocolate cake involved and it seemed rude not to partake of it for Emily's sake, so I pushed my Paleo diet aside and opted for a nice corner piece with lots of frosting.  I blame it all on Lyle, Ted's father.  He sat next to me with a piece of this luscious looking cake and lead me into temptation.  

What ever the excuse...I ate cake. Left Brain remained a good boy, he has much more willpower than I do.

Lyle presented Emily with the watch that belonged to Betty, Emily's grandmother as this occasion also coincided with the eleventh anniversary of Betty's death.  He then sang the Irish blessing to her in his rich deep tenor voice.

She received many incredible gifts and blessings that day including a buddy pass for travel anywhere she wants to go from Chris and Tracy.  There was also a video game given to her, but I do believe Ted was more enthralled with that than she was.

It was a beautiful day with blue skies and sunshine and we all enjoyed the day of fellowship and family.

Long Live the Queen