Saturday, October 22, 2016

Do you swear to tell the truth...?

I survived my annual physical last week which, in itself, is no small victory. This was the first year I didn't "cram for the test," as my son would say. The 35-year-old man-of-sudden-wisdom recently challenged me, saying: "Mom. How will you know what's really going on with you if you act like someone else for a month before your exam?"

Hard to argue with logic like that. And, okay, it's probably not the best idea to curtail all of one's bad habits (drinking booze, eating carbs and couch-surfing) weeks before the "well person visit" in hopes of ace-ing the lab work and avoiding bad news.

But it was working for me so well, dammit!

This year, I changed nothing about my lifestyle (which is, admittedly, a lot healthier than it used to be, Shiraz and carbs notwithstanding,) bit the bullet and had my blood drawn. I answered all of my doctor's questions truthfully and took my lumps when applicable. ("You know wine has calories, right?" "Yes, doc, I'm aware.")

And, you know what? I still aced the test! Sure, my weight's not where it should be and I have a long way to go at the gym, but my numbers are all within normal ranges! And, at 60, that's reason to celebrate.

And celebrate I did....  over a big order of shrimp risotto and a huge glass of wine.

Here's to your health, friends! And, remember to always tell the truth.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Going GF OR Thank God for TJ's Oatmeal

     I've officially - and finally - declared myself 100% gluten free. I've been in d'Nile for months (it's a long river, doncha know) but reality literally gut-punched me for the last time this past weekend when I ate a negligible amount of breading on fish and felt like a miserable, gassy presidential candidate for two days. I'm 60. Life's too short for avoidable pain. Which is why I really should stop obsessing about the miserable gassy groper. Besides, I'm determined to keep my blog apolitical. (How am I doing?)
     Now, I'm coming to terms with my new life "without." Without pasta, whiskey, hot-out-of-the-oven popovers on Christmas Eve, cake, fried chicken....the list is depressingly long. But, hey, I'm a creative and resourceful person. A former reporter, for crying out loud. I can find the restaurants that accommodate the gluten-less and research the best GF recipes ever created. (They'll be the BEST, believe me! My recipe file is YUGE!)
  So, from time to time, I will be sharing a gluten-free recipe that meets my Trump-like criteria (oops) starting with the wonderful thing that has replaced my toast and saved my mornings: Magical Blender Muffins made with oatmeal. 

from Cooking Light

    Caution: Not all oatmeal is gluten free. Nor Greek yogurt, for that matter. I buy GF rolled oats from Trader Joe's and Fage Greek yogurt. Here's a list of other gluten-free Greek yogurts, fyi. 
     I've made the blueberry and coconut varieties, so far, adding my own tweaks to the batter including a scoop of vanilla protein powder, shredded coconut and coconut nectar. It's important to store them in a ziplock bag in the fridge, not out on the counter. So simple to make with easy clean up! Delicious with coffee and dense enough to hold you until lunch.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

YouTube and the curse of beginner's luck

    Long before I heard George W. Bush discuss how painting had changed his life, I bought several stretched canvases at Michael's for 70% off.  I already had a basic starting kit of acrylic paints and decent brushes, sponges and stuff. So, I set everything up in my son's old room last week and decided to give the visual arts a try. (I had taken an all-day watercolor class last year and had learned many tips, including watercolor is probably not the best medium for a beginner.)
    This time, I decided to attend the YouTube School of Painting, dialed up this instructional video on how to paint birch trees with a palette knife and basically did the old monkey-see-monkey-do routine.  Five hours later, give or take, I had a painting good enough to hang my daughter's apartment, that is. 
My first painting.
   Motivated by her willingness to accept it and my husband's raves at my obvious God-given talent, I eagerly choose the next piece to, well, copy. This one, found on Pinterest....

  I don't need no stinking video, I thought. So, last Thursday, I went to my makeshift studio, turned on some soothing tunes, brought up the photo on my iPad and fearlessly applied paint to canvas. An hour later, I ran screaming to the kitchen for a heaping helping of comfort carbs, leaving this behind upstairs.... 
I couldn't even get the sky right!
I shall return to it some day this week, hopefully, with a huge jar of gesso and a new YouTube video. 

Did I mention George W. Bush had a private teacher? 

Boomer Girl Review: Ultimate Oriole Feeder

I've still got a way to go before I'm feeding pigeons on the steps of St. Paul's (which I never thought was a bad thing to do ...