Thursday, September 24, 2020

Thursday Thoughts

The only exciting thing in the past week was getting out our fall/Halloween decorations. I guess it's a little early, but we're a little bored!

I still have yellow-green bruising in my left arm from the failed CT scan needle. But at least I can put pressure on the area now and not gasp in pain.

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • We started Season 3 of Bordertown (Netflix) and are 3 episodes into it. Finland looks really cold in winter!
  • The Boys Season 2 (Amazon). I'm not enjoying it as much as Season 1. It seems more depressing and much gorier.
  • Lovecraft Country (HBO). There are 4 more episodes and I'm hoping everything comes together and makes a complete story because right now it seems disjointed.

What I'm Reading:

  • The Templars' Last Secret (#10), A Taste for Vengeance (#11), and The Body in the Castle Well (#12) in the Bruno series by Martin Walker. I enjoy the books a lot. I have two left to read, #9 & #13.
  • Total Power, A Mitch Rapp Novel from Kyle Mills and Vince Flynn. I liked the Mitch Rapp books much better when Flynn was alive and writing them. Now they seem a bit more predictable, lighter, and more formulaic than they used to, or maybe that's just a problem with many long running series.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Thursday Thoughts

This week I had my one-year follow-up CT scans. Good news (I guess?): the carotid dissection looks stable, no change in the past year, so no need for follow ups/more CT scans unless I develop new symptoms. 

I was more than a bit terrified to go in for the scans because of coronavirus and sliding into a tube where virus bits might be floating around. I ended up changing the scans from a hospital in Oakland to a facility in the south hills to avoid parking in Oakland and taking several elevators and walking through lots of hallways and being around lots of people to get where I needed to go. I also did a telemedicine visit with the neurosurgeon instead of going to his office for an in-person appointment the day of the scans.

I have the tiniest veins ever and the technicians always have a difficult time. They said the CT needle is bigger, I guess because of the dye injection. Anyway, I don't know what happened in my left arm, but it hurt so much after she put in the IV thing. Just sitting there, cradling my arm, it hurt and made me gasp in pain. So she ended up taking it out and put one in my right arm. My left arm has a big bruise and has been incredibly sore. For a day it was a bit swollen, too, and even today, after 6 days, I still cannot move my arm certain ways without pain. The crook of my elbow has been beautiful shades of deep purples and now yellow-greens. I'd post a picture, but it's pretty gross. My right arm is still sore, too, but nothing like my left. 

We've entered the "run the heat in the morning and the a/c in the afternoon" time of year. I also switched from a summer night gown to light pajamas. I like the cooler temperatures for sleeping, but waking up in a house as chilly as it is in winter is a bit tough!

What We're Eating: 

  • Chicken Fricassee with apples, Potatoes Galette, Steamed Broccoli
  • Pasta with Sausage, Mushrooms, Peas, Parmesan, Fresh Basil, and Lemon
  • Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cinnamon & Espresso

What We're Watching:

  • Bordertown. We finished Season 1 and started Season 2.
  • The usual: Lovecraft Country (which was especially gross last weekend), The Boys.
  • The new season of Halloween Baking Championship. I'm ready for fall and Halloween!

What I'm Reading:

  • The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer - I really liked this one. I thought I had it all figured out, but then I ended up a bit surprised.
  • The Children Return by Martin Walker (Bruno, Chief of Police Series, Book 7) & The Patriarch by Martin Walker (Bruno, Chief of Police Series, Book 8) plus a short story, A Market Tale.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Thursday Thoughts

We had a four day weekend but didn't do much of anything. It was a beautiful weekend, so we spent a lot of time outside on the deck. We had my parents over for a socially distanced dinner on the deck to celebrate mom's birthday. It was the first time I'd seen my parents since early March. It went OK. Even though we had 2 tables appropriately distanced, someone had trouble adhering to the rules and when I yelled insisted that there was no way they had the virus. Sigh.

What We're Eating:

  • Smoked Pork, Macaroni & Cheese, Tomatoes
  • Crab Cakes, Tomato Tart, Grilled Zucchini
  • Dessert: Cheesecake with peach topping

What We're Watching:

  • We finally finished Hinterland (Netflix). We really enjoyed it. I liked that investigations from the first two seasons all came together in the third season, the final season.
  • We started watching Bordertown (Netflix), a Finnish show, last night. So far, we really like the lead investigator and his quirkiness and his relationships with his wife & daughter.
  • The Boys (Amazon) is back! The first three episodes were released and now there is a new episode released each Friday until October 9. It's still violent & bloody with terribly behaved superheros!
  • I've stuck with Lovecraft Country (HBO) and am enjoying it more than I expected.

What I'm Reading:

  • The Black Hand: A Barker & Llewelyn Novel from Will Thomas. It was the one that isn't available in Kindle form from the library. Now I've read them all and await the next one in the series.
  • Bruno and the Carol Singers from Martin Walker. It was a short story, so it didn't take long.
  • I started The Children Return by Martin Walker (Bruno, Chief of Police Series, Book 7). I'm about one-third through the book.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Thursday Thoughts

It's September. It's OK to dive into pumpkin spice everything now. I won't complain. I bought some new fall decor, as if we really needed to add to our two plastic bins of fall holiday decorations. I even asked SP first, figuring he'd talk me down from the online buying ledge. He'd be reasonable and gently remove my hand from clicking BUY, right? Nope. He likes fall/Halloween, too, and indulged me.  

What We're Eating:
What We're Watching:
  • Project Power (movie, Netflix). This was fun. 
  • Rocketman (movie). Not exactly what I expected. I'm not sure I really liked it but I'm glad we watched it.
  • Still working our way through Hinterland (Netflix). We finished seasons 1 & 2 and now have season 3 (4 episodes, each one 1.5 hours).
  • The Boys new season releases tomorrow!
What I'm Reading:
I finally was able to read One Last Lie by Paul Doiron, the latest Mike Bowditch book. I tried to take my time and savor it but it was so engrossing that I finished it quickly and now I find myself anxious for the next book!



Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Cast Iron Beer-Batter Cheese Bread

Last Night we made this Cast Iron Beer-Batter Cheese Bread for dinner and it was delicious! It's easy to make, and pretty quick. It bakes for 20-25 minutes. 
It calls for a 10 inch cast iron skillet. I like the round shape, the craggy crust, and being able to cut a wedge of bread - it made it seem like we were eating pizza with our grilled shrimp and salad.
At first we thought that maybe we did something wrong because it looked a little thin. Ours is perhaps not as uniformly even as the one from America's Test Kitchen but it's not too thin/wrong.
Our pot of chives is thriving which is good since the recipe calls for a half cup of minced fresh chives. It also calls for 2 cups grated gruyere, 1.5 cups in the batter and half a cup sprinkled on top the bread. It made for a terrific top crust of cheese. We used Yuengling beer for the mild lager.
We'd definitely make this bread again. It's our favorite of the 3-4 beer breads we've tried making. 

Recipe here: Cast Iron Beer-Batter Cheese Bread

 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Thursday Thoughts

We did some chores for our neighbors while they were away. To thank us, they brought back some Moxie. SP really likes it. I think it's an acquired taste. I have not acquired a taste for it! It's not terrible. I just don't like carbonated beverages. They also brought back some blueberry tea, which I am looking forward to trying.

I am jealous of people brave enough to go away or go out to eat right now. We are not that brave, fearing the virus because of our compromised immune systems. We've done take out. But we're not quite ready to dine somewhere, even outside. I'm also jealous of people not in wheelchairs. I'd love to be able to get out and hike in the woods/parks, just to get outside, but I can't. We decided against paved paths in parks because the few times we drove around to check them out, they were crowded. So here we sit, sick of our house and longing for "normal."

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • We finished Dark (Netflix). We really, really liked it. I like that it had an ending.
  • Hinterland (Netflix). We are really enjoying this. It's serious, kind of grim, but well done. Each episode is a new case to solve and each episode is 1.5 hours long, so it's like a short movie. Definitely not like the hour long crime shows here in the US, most of which seem to not have much character or plot development and last just 40-45 minutes.

What I'm Reading:

  • The Resistance Man, book #6 in the Bruno, Chief of Police series by Martin Walker.   
  • Wedding Cake Crumble and Dying for Devil's Food (Books 10 & 11) by Jenn McKinlay. I have one more, the most recent one, to read. Even though these are light, quick reads for me, I like that, unlike other authors, McKinlay's characters are changing, growing, aging. The "love triangle" was "resolved" after 2-3 books, not still happening after 26 books.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Thursday Thoughts

I know August is almost over, but it is still summer so I don't want to hear anything about pumpkin spice or fall foods! I'm not a pumpkin spice hater, I just don't think it should show up until after Labor Day. 

We're still staying home and doing our best to avoid the virus. I'm glad we don't live in the south but we do have relatives who live there. Specifically, in the same town where college students had a large gathering without masks. I hope our family is being careful, but I'm worried. One niece is in college in NC and it sounds like a return to classes at several NC universities has not gone well. 

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • Lovecraft Country started last Sunday on HBO. It's a "drama horror" series based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Matt Ruff. SP is quite excited about the show. I figured I'd give it a try. It's... well, I'm not sure! I like it enough to keep watching but I'm not sure how I feel about it yet.
  • Dark (Netflix) We finished Season 2 and started Season 3. We have 2 episodes left so we'll finish tonight. Still really liking the show even if I keep getting more & more confused by the timelines and people and who is what/where/when!

What I'm Reading:

  • New food magazines. 
  • The Dark Vineyard and The Devil's Cave, books 2 & 5 in the Bruno, Chief of Police series by Martin Walker.   
  • Sugar & Iced, Dark Chocolate Demise, and Caramel Crush  (Books 6, 7, and 9) by Jenn McKinlay.