Archive for the ‘aliens’ Category

Do you ever wish Mother Nature would add a couple of new vegetables and maybe some new protein options to the old menu? Sometimes I sit during the day going over the ingredients at hand for dinner, and long for a new taste or flavor to add to the pot. Perhaps it is just me. At times, as much as I like to cook, and God knows I love to eat, I do get tired of my own cooking.

On Easter, we decided to have rack if lamb. I know a lot of people choose ham for Easter, but neither of us are really ham people. Growing up there was always a ham on the side table at Easter. A glistening hunk of cured pork studded with cloves and adorned with golden rings of pineapple. It always looked so pretty, but I never really cared for the taste. Later in life, my mother always got a honey baked ham over the holidays, but for me turkey was always the star of the show in November and December.

So, having made the decision that lamb it was, and lamb it shall be, we went to Costco and perused the meat shelves looking for the perfect rack. Odd statement, but I shall leave it untouched. At any rate, the first thing I noticed was how much meat prices have soared. Amazing. Chuck roast, the red headed stepchild of ribeye, sirloin, and prime rib cuts, now costs as much or more than the higher priced cuts used to sell for. At the end of one shelf we located huge racks of lamb with price tags running anywhere from $17.00-$24.00. What? Sign me up for that. The last time I purchased a rack of lamb it was more in the $42.00-$47.00 range. Selecting a lovely large rack, and thinking to myself “my Grandma, what big ribs you have”, I tossed it in the cart. Feeling as high as if we’d just successfully knocked off an armored car and gotten away with a large bag of cash, we checked out our purchases and headed for home. SCORE!!! Once home, while putting our refrigerated items away I noticed the tag on the rack read “Rack of Pork”. “Ruh-roh”, to quote Scooby Doo. What the heck is a rack of pork? I’ve walked a few miles on this planet, and I have never heard of this cut before. I mean, it makes sense, piggies have a rib cage, I’ve just never seen it in the meat section anywhere. Setting the package on the counter, we circled it for a bit, like surveying an alien life form emerging from a pod on your front lawn. I don’t have personal knowledge of how this would look, but I can imagine what I’d be doing if one touched down. What do I do with this? As is my answer to every question plaguing me of late, I sat down at my laptop, keyed in “rack of pork recipes” and waited for the magic to begin. I’ve cooked enough to know a poorly constructed recipe from one that sounds promising, so after looking at four or five, I selected one I thought would work, and hit “print”. Yay. What the end result might be, I had not one single clue, but I was up to the challenge.

On Easter Sunday, I made a rub loosely constructed from the recipe I’d selected. I rubbed the rack liberally with Dijon mustard and applied the rub I’d prepared all over all. Whether it would taste good, was still up for debate, but it was looking mighty pretty as I popped it in the oven. Peering at it through the window at the size of the rack, made me think of the littlest member of our clan, Zeppelin, presently wandering through the maze of his two’s. Dinosaurs have caught his attention, and was he standing next to me in my kitchen, I would have told him this was a Brontosaurus roast we were preparing for our Easter feast.

When my kids were little we didn’t see a lot of whole meat cross our table. We made up for this lack in our diet, by regularly attending what we called “whole meat Sunday’s” at my mothers. At the time I was a single mother with two children to provide for, my budget often didn’t allow for expensive cuts of meat. I did my best to get creative with ground meat, chops, and chicken, and pasta was often served, but mum most weeks had whole meat as the main dish for Sunday dinner, and we weren’t shy about taking our place at her table.

When the rack of pork was done, I served it with roasted potatoes, garlicky cooked spinach, and baked apples. It was sooooo good, I cannot tell you. Each rib or chop was huge. I couldn’t eat a whole one by myself, but Dale polished his off leaving only the bone to be disposed of. Yay. Since then I have reheated one third of the frozen leftovers and we have two more meals to do away with. If you ever see this cut and are interested in trying it, I highly recommend it.

So my thoughts for this Monday as a new week unfolds. No matter where you are in life something new always turns up to show you there is much more to explore and many things for your eyes to behold. What an adventure this world is. You never know what’s going to pop up when you least expect it. Have a great day and keep your options open for a new door to peek in through.

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For the most part the symptoms of my recent Covid infection have either abated or in most cases, disappeared completely. Each group seemed to have arrived and departed in waves. Just when I thought I was completely out of the woods, Covid brain arrived on the scene. This is a fun one. I first noticed it while trying to decipher a fairly simple email detailing instructions on how to proceed on a project I was working on. I read and reread the information. In spite of willing my brain to absorb what was written, the data kept seeping out of my left ear and disappearing into the atmospheric continuum. Finally, I had to call the client and have a phone conversation to get it to sink in. Duh and double duh. Not that I can’t be dense times, I most certainly can. However, these were not instructions on how to build a nuclear device, it was how to lay out a flyer, something I’ve done a hundred times before.

I began to notice myself having more than usual blonde moments over the next few days. I made the coffee as I do every night before retiring, but neglected to put the pot under the machine after filling it with water. This would have been less concerning had I not come out half awake the following morning and pushed brew without noticing my omission. Whoops.

Yesterday I took stupid to new heights while trying to take Boo, the queen of cats, to the vet. I have been in my new house over two years. Time to find a new vet, and past time to update vaccinations and to get her a general well check. Vet visits, I have to say, are not something Boo is a fan of. This lack of enthusiasm often spreads over to me. The vet I made an appointment with was recommended by a friend. Though not having been to the office before, I had a general idea of the location. The woman on the phone explained due to Covid, owners no longer accompany their animals inside. Instead they pull into a numbered parking space and call the number provided them when they arrive and animals are retrieved by hospital employees . Works for me. So, I pulled into the parking lot a few minutes early, and didn’t see any numbers by the parking spot I was in, or any parking spot. Odd. I dialed what I believed to be the correct number off my recent call list. The person on the other end answered “hospital”, to which I responded, “Hi, I have my kitty waiting to be picked up but I didn’t find any number by the parking space.” Silence, followed by a little more silence. Finally, I broke the stalemate and said, “Hello”? I believe the operator wanted to ask at that point if I was on drugs or needed to be directed to the psychiatric ward, but instead responded “ma’am this is a hospital”. I was thinking to myself, “Your point would be?”, when she said, “We don’t see kitties here. “ Oh, like a real hospital, for humans. A light went on in an otherwise dark corner of my brain. I had called them yesterday about another Covid test and their number was one below the vets. Whoops. My bad. Looking at my recent call log I located the right number and called it. This time a friendly voice answered, “animal hospital”. Bingo. Once again I explained I had my cat in the car, but didn’t see any numbered spaces. The young woman said she’d be right out. After several minutes, still no one emerged from the building. My phone rang. Apparently the vet assistant was standing outside her building and unless she was transparent or Boo and I were, something was amiss. Drat the luck. I asked her to repeat the address please. Sigh. This was indeed a veterinary hospital just not the one where I had an appointment. Apologizing to the world in general for my dingyness, I pulled out and went in search of the right address. Thankfully, I pulled into a parking lot full of numbered parking spots. Whoopee. Boo was retrieved. The vet called shortly with good news, she’s healthy as a horse (a little vet humor) even bordering on being a little chubby (aren’t we all these days).

The vet, a lovely woman, who took the time to speak to me on the phone said Boo was sweet and wonderful. My Boo? Are you sure you’re looking the right carrier? White cat, calico markings, evil grin? Truthfully, I have to say she is picture perfect when in the vet’s office. I swear, if asked to open her mouth and say “aah’ she would. They give her a pill and she swallows it politely. They send me home with the same cat and the same pill and a little pill gun to shoot it towards the back of her mouth, and it takes three men and a roll of duct tape to get it into her stomach. Amazing. When she had surgery on her ear they put one of those collars around her neck to keep her from bothering the incision. Right. My “sweet” pussy cat took her head and banged it as hard as she could on any hard surface available until it was completely unusable. When I took the tattered remains of the collar back to the vet and asked what I should do, they looked at me as if I was somehow incapable of managing my animal. Really? By the time we hit the third collar they were looking far less skeptical.

This vet today told me Boo was in perfect health but would need her teeth cleaned. This information made my teeth clench. Her teeth were cleaned seven years ago and it is expensive. This will be my Christmas present to myself for the next seven years at $100 each year. I should have purchased that vet insurance when I was thinking about it. The vet asked if I brushed her teeth. Uh, no. She went on to say they don’t expect their cat owners to do this, because if bitten they could get an infection and the fact that the animal is dead set against it ends up being traumatic for the animal. It takes me an hour and stealthlike precision to detail to get Boo into her crate, the likelihood of her sitting still while I’m prying her mouth open and brushing between her teeth ranges right in between 0 and sub 0. I’m just saying. I can’t even find a groomer willing to bathe felines due to their aversion to, well, just about everything they don’t want to do. When the drawing for felines was still in the designer phase back in the beginning, they must have added the feature of cats cleaning themselves knowing this would be a problem down the road.

So, we are back home. Boo is stuffing those little chubby cheeks with her treat for acquiescing to being cared for. Bless her furry little snout.

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Have any of you been following the news story about the mysterious monolith found by helicopter pilots in a remote area of the Utah desert? On a mission to count bighorn sheep, the pilots spotted a tall metal structure buried in the ground. Curious, they landed to investigate the strange sighting. The monolith looked exactly like the one the chimpanzees found in 2001 Space Odyssey. Such a weird movie that one. I saw it on my first honeymoon at a theater in downtown San Francisco. My new husband loved the film, where I found it odd and more than a bit disturbing. This recent story seems to lean closer to my line of thinking, for as strangely as the unusual structure appeared, it has now vanished with no explanation offered. To add teeth to this mystery, the same day the monolith disappeared in the Utah desert, another monolith appeared out of nowhere in Romania. Wow. Good stuff here. Nobody loves an unexplained alien story better than me, or any good story for that matter.

I’ve mentioned many times I am an avid reader. Truth be known I have carried on somewhat of a love affair with words most of my life. The original seed, I believe, was planted by my maternal grandparents who provided my overly active young mind with a library of books to keep me out of trouble. I can remember climbing through the looking glass with Alice, sneaking into Mr. McGregor’s garden with Peter Rabbit and spending days on the farm with Honeybunch. Long winters in Nova Scotia lent themselves nicely to lying by the fire, book in hand, and going off on adventures in faraway lands or unraveling puzzling mysteries, For me, having a book to read is sort of an extension of my own life, an added dimension if you will. Books offer up a window into another person’s imagination often not available by simply engaging in conversation with them. I know when I write I share pieces of me with my reading audience I might not otherwise lay out on the table.

Sci-fi has never really been my bag. The only science fiction writer, more horror really with an occasional sci-fi flair, would be Stephen King. If I could write like him, well, I’d be rich and famous just like him now wouldn’t I? I’d be living in a big house in Maine and married to Tabitha. I always thought it was so serendipitous he married a woman named Tabitha (for those of you old enough to have tuned in Bewitch, you will understand the reference here). What a story teller King is. I think a lot of readers discount his writings because of the genre, but his stories, in particular The Stand, are compelling in so many ways far beyond the horror aspects of the plot lines. Carrie was his first novel, followed by Salem’s Lot, one of my favorites. I can remember reading the latter on the subway going into work in Boston. I got so engrossed in the story line, by the time I looked up I had gone three stops past where I needed to get off. Stepping off into the snow coered station I found myself at the Harvard for the first time since I’d moved to the state. I never got back there again in the next three years before returning to California, so I always credit Salem’s Lot with allowing me the chance to see the beautiful campus before I left.

For all we know, aliens walk among us. If you’ve ever watched some of those National Geographic specials featuring “deep sea creatures” you have to wonder if some if those odd looking beings didn’t fly in on the mother craft. So peculiar. Well, let’s face it some of the African animals like giraffes or anteaters could easily fill in as extras in Star Wars. Aliens, I would suppose, could be totally different life forms then what we expect to see. They could be gaseous clouds, miniscule parasites, or even plants. For all I know, the poinsettia innocently sitting in the pot on the living room table could be an alien life form left here to spy on it’s human host.

It will be interesting to follow the monoliths. Most assuredly this is a human occurrence, not little green men going about the planet toying with our minds. However, there are so many unexplained “alien” sightings over the years makes you wonder what really is floating around out there. Look at the space men painted on caves by early man. Without ever seeing another group of humans in another part of the world how was it they all captured similar images? Then there is runway in Peru? I could go on and on, I often do. Anyhow, a little alien to think about today rather than the virus, the economy, the fact I haven’t done any Christmas shopping yet, and let’s not forget the transition of power in D.C. Sigh. Let’s go back to the aliens.

It’s intriguing the idea of other beings. The missing pieces about such other-wordly travelers, however, could turn out to be a little unsettling. It isn’t written anywhere they would necessarily be friendly visitors. Maybe, like in War of the Worlds, the aliens might want to inhabit our planet, and would expect us to give our 30 day notice. Also, who knows what bacteria or general space cooties beings from other galaxies might carry? I guarantee generating an effective vaccine for an alien virus might be challenging.

On the subject of vaccines, I guess several vaccines have been approved or are near the approval stage for Covid-19. Thank God. I had my second Covid test yesterday to confirm I am virus free. Hopefully, I will get the results in several days. Being an over achiever, I have gone and gotten a secondary infection in my sinuses. This now will require two weeks on antibiotics. My friend was dismayed I had to take another regimen of medicine. I look at it a little differently, I am thankful we have such amazing drugs to take. Don’t misunderstand me, I am a terrible patient. I avoid adding any new pill to my daily regimen at all costs, but if there is one specifically aimed at improving my day to day life and returning to me to good health, well bring it on.

I hope this finds you safe and well. As I said in my last blog keep vigilant, this virus is rough and tough.

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