Recently I went in for my yearly physical. In my case it’s more like tri-annual, as to be honest I haven’t gone in a few years. Coming from a doctor’s family, you’d think I’d be first in line. My procrastination lies both in the high cost of medical treatment and my position if the white coats prod around long enough the chances are higher something unpleasant might turn up. I see you shaking your heads. I realize you can’t bury your head in the sand and hope the storm will go away, but sometimes life gets in the way of good intentions. Also, and I’m being honest here, I don’t care what they tell you about a colonoscopy – they can serve it to you with a chocolate funnel cake – it still doesn’t sound good to me. That being said, I have raised the white flag on this and made an appointment. They’d better at least offer cookies and coffee. Argh.
The last time I had my blood drawn, before I corrected my health insurance situation, I received a bill for $675.00. My blood must really be choice. Some hospitals, so I’ve read, charge $20.00 for a dose of Pepto Bismol. Considering that is two to three times the price of a bottle, it seems a bit exorbitant. Next time I get ill I’m stocking up. Maybe there’s a hidden market for in-hospital kiosks. Paint them pink, man them with enthusiastic sales personnel, and easily undersell the hospital. It wouldn’t take much at these prices.
If you think about the human body, it truly is an incredibly efficient mechanism. Whoever got the whole program going in the beginning (I’ll leave that to your beliefs) really had their thinking cap on. We eat, our body parts each with their designated roles remove the nutrients and needed vitamins, and eliminate the rest. In the process we get pleasure from the food making us want to eat it in the first place. C’est voila. Perfection. To take it further fertilizer helps produce the food we eat, making the process that much more efficient.Wow, wish I’d thought of it.
Our world with all it’s checks and balances seems to self-perpetuate with fluidity and a nod to our original design. I watched a documentary on the black plague the other night. Probably I could have chosen something a little lighter for my middle of the night viewing, but I have a keen interest in history and what events brought us to the point we find ourselves now. Someone once said to me, “Do you suppose this is all a dream and we each live it out in a different way?”. Wow. People should not make those kind of incendiary statements to those of us with active minds. I chewed on that one longer than Bossie on her last bale of hay. It is enough of an enigma I find myself here in the morning willing to try to sift my way through the intricacies of everyday living without throwing a wrench like that into my thought processes.
But again, I digress. The plague, or “black death” swooped down on an unsuspecting and relatively young world in the spring of 1348 effectively wiping out 25-50% of Europe’s population. People turned on each other, law became non-existent, and day-to-day life reduced to basic survival and suffering beyond understanding. As with the yin and yang in our world, positive effects resulted from the extreme devastation of humanity. The feudal system was left behind in the rubble, and with the population culled to such extremes there were more jobs and fewer people to fill them, causing pay scales to rise.
In Italy, with the years prior to the plague marked with hunger and food shortages, the lessening in population resulted in the years following having an abundance of food in the region and more land available to grow it on. People formerly on the lower rung of the ladder in society suddenly found avenues to rise above their station, fleshing out middle class. Balance in all things.
It does make you ponder why culling, if you will, must be administered in such a horrific way? Couldn’t people just fall asleep and not wake up? I guess it isn’t for us to ponder, but then why were we given brain if not to question the world around us?
On to lighter subjects, there’s a new movie airing about the oft told story of Jesus of Nazareth, perhaps as touted “The Greatest Story Ever Told”. The shoes of the fisherman, big shoes to step into, are being filled in this telling by Diogo Morgado. The actor, who BTW is drop dead gorgeous, makes this version a bit off-putting because I keep finding myself having impure thoughts about him when I see the trailers. I’m sure this cannot be a good thing.
So many stories from our past shape our existence today. Hopefully we learn from those who were here to try it first and fail, or those who tried and ultimately succeeded. Each brick in the wall laid the foundation for those to enter the building years later with falling through the floor.
Certainly we will leave a trail of breadcrumbs for future generations to follow with all our devices and electronic advances. Wouldn’t it be great to be a fly on the wall a hundred years from now and see what comes next? Perhaps cryogenics will advance to a point where some will be there for the next windfalls or giant steps forward. Maybe old age will be cured and we’ll hang around perched on one another’s shoulders looking for a crust of bread. Personally I hope they keep books around to record the latest developments. With the regularity my computer crashes I don’t want to wholly depend on technology as a recording device.
Wellllll, lots of heavy thoughts on a rainy day. Thank heavens the skies opened up and deposited some water out here. During the night a heavy tree bough fell in the yard fortunately landing where nothing else was. In spite of that, as the drops began to fall, my plants were doing the pottie dance in their beds as before the soaking they were starting to grab at my ankles when I walked by and mouth “w.a.t.e.r”. This is a good thing.
These veggies were perfect with a pork loin. As a funny note on the counter I had two large casseroles covered with foil. One held the veggies, the second a chocolate cake I’d baked and frosted for company on Monday. Having preheated the oven, I popped the veggie casserole in setting the timer for 30 mins. to stir. My other half walked in 15 mins. later and commented on the lovely chocolate smell in the house. What?? Oh-oh. Yup, I put in the already iced cake instead of the veggies. Surprise of surprises, the frosting melted into a glaze which in the end was better than the original. Who knew?
Briami (Greek Potato and Vegetable Casserole)
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, sliced thin
1/2 green pepper, sliced thin and quartered
1/4 red pepper, sliced thin and quartered
2 cloves garlic
2 zucchini, sliced thin
3 potatoes, unpeeled and sliced in 3/4″ slices
4 Roma tomatoes, large diced
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut in 2″ slices
3 carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large skillet melt butter and 2 Tbsp. olive oil over med. heat. Add onions and peppers and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 mins. until onions are golden brown. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 mins. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Place all remaining vegetables in large bowl. Mix together 1/4 cup olive oil, red pepper flakes, oregano, dill, and black pepper. Add onion/pepper mix to bowl and mix well to coat.
Spray a 13 x 9″ casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour vegetables in dish. Sprinkle with sea salt as desired. Seal well with tin foil.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes are fork tender, stirring every 1/2 hour.