Wendy's Wonders

pop culture, music, 70s, television, movies, genealogy, scrapbook

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Slow cooked Beans & Ham

Sometimes I get in the mood to really fix a meal - that includes everything from scratch. Other times when time is short, I like to make do. Below is a recipe I took to a potluck a couple months ago & got some great comments on it. How simple can it be?

Fast - Slow Cooked Beans & Ham
2 cans pinto beans
1 can pinto beans with jalapenos
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1-2 cans great northern beans
1 can red or pink beans
(optional: can of black eyed peas and/or a can of kidney beans)
1 pkg diced ham
1 ham hock
(optional: onion)

About 4 hours before meal time, empty all the cans into a crock pot. I only drain the black beans. Add diced ham & ham hock. You can dice up some onion and throw in as well (or dice it up and let each person add it to their beans when served). Turn on high and let cook.
To serve: You can serve as a soup or just as a side dish. Garnish with onion or green onion. Serve with crackers.


Car Sick Dogs and Honking Humvees

Yesterday I thought our new dog was having an issue riding in the van - but she did really good all the way to our destination (about 40 minute ride - mostly on the highway). It was the return trip . . .
If I'd only gone home first - shaving 5-10 minutes off the trip - then the poor thing wouldn't have found herself in that position. She got car sick - all over the passenger seat & floor. I was so concerned for her & whether she'd step in it. So I'm at a green light about to turn left - there are cars coming the opposite direction - so I wait until I can see a break. Someone's in the left turn lane in the other direction. I'm in a minivan - taller than a mini cooper - but not that tall. Guy behind me is either in a Humvee or a humongous truck - you know, they can see clear to South Dakota - honking as if they had to be somewhere now. Last time I trusted an idiot driver behind me, I almost got creamed by a car that came out of no where. So no, thank you, kind driver behind me who wants me to know it's ok to turn left, I will NOT believe you. My motto is - if I can't see, I stay put. If I have any doubts, I stay put. The green arrow will eventually light up and then I can safely turn left. I don't drive ten yards out into the middle of the intersection just so I can turn when the light turns red. Did that once to - almost got creamed as well. I want to get to where ever I'm going - maybe a few minutes late - but in one piece. You in the Hummer or the big truck - people would plow into you & you'd think a bug had been squashed on your vehicle. If I got plowed into, I would have an injured four year old, and yesterday a one year old dog. And then weeks of insurance negotiations, etc. If I wasn't cited to begin with.
You don't think I didn't want to turn left faster? I had dog puke all over the inside of my van. Get off my back (& my bumper!)

My 2 cents . . .

No one asked me and furthermore everyone has their own opinion but I feel compelled to offer my 2 cents worth - should anyone really care . . .
The case in Florida - Terry Schiavo - caught my attention for a couple of reasons. And before you form any opinions of me as you read this, let me tell you that I am NOT all the way to the right and NOT all the way to the left. I like to think I walk the road of common sense. First and foremost, I've seen someone die from lack of fluids and solids - my brother. He was comatose - waiting for the pancreatic cancer to take him from us - so he was not "awake" or "aware" other than possibly hearing the words we spoke to him on his deathbed. He had already decided after learning of his diagnosis (a mere 2 months prior to his death) - that he did not want any feeding tube or heroic measures - as there was no cure and he would just linger in agony. My mother was very concerned about her son "starving" to death - that is until the hospice nurse - I can't say enough good about Hospice - broke it down very easily for all of us. Giving him liquids (via IV) could cause pneumonia - the liquids could end up in his lungs. We didn't want him to die of pneumonia or suffocation. The nurse told us the same things everyone is reading about in the paper that "starvation" does not cause agony and probably a humane way to die.
Now with that said - I don't know who is right or wrong in Mrs. Schiavo's case. I question why her husband has not divorced her after all these years and move on with the life he has with his new mate and their children. I also don't know if Mr. Schiavo is responsible for the medical bills. However, removing her feeding tube is one thing - why can't the authorities allow her parents or friends to try to feed her normally? That would not be heroic measures.
Bottom line - if you do NOT want to end up as a participant in the middle of a battle like Terry Schiavo's - then make sure EVERYONE in your family knows that - spell it out through a living will. Make sure your parents, your siblings, your spouse, and your children have copies. Sit them all down NOW - with a video camera - and make it clear to everyone - the video will make it clear to the world, the supreme courts of whatever state you are in - everyone. This is each person's responsibility. If Terry Schiavo really did not want to live this way for the last fifteen years - a living will, a video, anything - could have prevented her living without quality of life and stopped us all from attacking each other's beliefs. If she wanted to be kept alive by whatever means necessary - she should have also spelled that out.
So if her life and possible death are to have any meaning - it's that more people are aware of their own mortality and the knowledge they could walk out and get hit by a truck at any time, possibly have severe head injuries, possibly go without oxygen long enough for brain damage to occur, whatever - and then tomorrow won't be here for you to do exactly what I told you to do in the above paragraph. Do it NOW for you, your family, your peace of mind - do it to give Terry Schiavo's life and situation some meaning.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Sunshine in the Middle of the Week

Sometimes it is a good thing when the week we plan goes all a kilter. Case in point - my week started off just fine - my older daughter was spending the night Sunday and was planning to stay a couple days. Went to work just like normal on Monday but the dinner I'd planned for the evening wasn't going to happen as I just couldn't find the right cut of meat I needed for the recipe I was set on using. So instead of gourmet we had chili dogs! Tuesday when I got up, my tummy was a little upset - so I turned to the trusty pink stuff to calm things down. Busy day at work but as the morning wore on, I felt queasier and started to get chills. When I came home at lunch figured I'd take my temp - didn't have one. I generally don't run fevers and generally never get sick with much more than the common cold a few times a year (I think they are mainly allergies tho). So I go back to work & finish the church's monthly newsletter. As soon as I got home, decided to settle in on the couch with a glass of water, the heavy afghan over me, the cordless within reach, and the trusty TV controls. DH fixed supper for everyone that evening while I wondered why every bone in my body hurt. Started feeling real hot but when I got out from under the afghan was cold again. Time for another temperature check - yup! This time I had a fever - low grade - still below 100 - which explains why everything hurt! Wednesday was a "stay home" day (as we like to tell the grandson) - felt better, went to the grocery - still on my quest for Flank steak! Never found it so figured I'd just fix the roast I had in the fridge. By 2 that afternoon I was once again feverish & on the couch. This was a little more than just the 24 hour stomach virus. Took it easy the rest of the evening. So my plan for Wednesday was shot as I had wanted to finish up some bookkeeping. Thursday morning started off much better - I felt like a new woman and was on a mission - to find a birthday gift for my daughter and do the bookkeeping I'd never done on Wednesday. Midway through the morning a phone call changed my day completely. It was my sister! She lives many states away and I see her maybe once a year - we are extremely close which is interesting as we were raised 16 years apart! She's the older of the two of us. So she already had her own life and family by the time I was old enough to realize how important a sister was. By then I'd alienated almost everyone in my family even though she was one of the few who stuck by me and loved me at my most unloveable. By the time we were back on track to being sisters and friends, she moved away. After we both got email things changed, we wrote constantly and became best friends. After all we had a lot in common - the same parents, the same family members who sometimes drove us crazy, and most of our opinions were similar. We were just different generations! Then she moved back several years ago & we were thrilled to be close in proximity again. That lasted just a few years before she moved to her home now. Her daughter is in the area now waiting to leave for overseas and it was her birthday yesterday. My sister flew in to (among other things) surprise her. And she surprised me! We had a great lunch - during which she gave me a piece of news that might mean she'll be closer in location once again. That was very emotional! Needless to say I didn't get anything I had planned done yesterday but the surprise was well worth it! I'd much rather spend time with my sister than calculating numbers, doing laundry and genearl house cleaning (although I've put that off as long as I can!)
I love it when sunshine peeks through an otherwise dismal week and makes the gray skies seem as if they were never here!