Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What the Heck is Turmeric?

For me, it's the wonder drug!

Here's the thing: I've known for a long time that when I eat curried chicken at our favorite Chinese restaurant, well, I just feel so - - -




At Peace? ....Yes, that's it - at Peace!

I never knew why until Dr. Oz mentioned turmeric on his show. Turmeric is the thing that makes curry yellow and contributes to it's unique flavor. It comes from the root of a plant native to India, and is used frequently in cooking and medicine in that area of the world.

"Turmeric is recognized for its medical ant-inflammatory properties," says Dr. Oz, "Researchers are evaluating its use to treat high cholesterol, rheumatoid arthritis, scabies and irritable bowel syndrome."

Well - no wonder my gut feels good!

Turmeric is listed among the best antioxidants, per Dr. Oz and the Mayo Clinic. It is said to be good for fighting infections, reducing inflammation, possibly helping prevent Alzheimer's and cancer, and is a great fabric dye also!

You can add turmeric to rice or couscous.

You can add it to the bread crumbs, flour or cereal coating you use to make baked "fried" chicken.

Or you can try one of these:

Corn Relish:
  1. In a large saucepan, mix corn, cabbage, onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, white sugar, ground dry mustard, celery seed, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, apple cider vinegar and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer the mixture to sterile containers. Seal and chill in the refrigerator until serving.
Southwestern Rice:
  1. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the green pepper, onion and garlic in oil for 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, rice, cumin and turmeric; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Add beans, tomatoes and corn; heat through.
The exact ingredients for these and other great recipes can be found at

Of course, I like to do my own thing, so the other day I cooked half a bag of frozen cauliflower (in the microwave - about 12 minutes in plenty of water), drained it and mashed with a potato masher, and flavored it with salt and pepper and a tablespoon of turmeric. The result looked like rice, so I stirred it up in a skillet with an egg and a few more vegetables. It was delicious "fried rice" without the rice.

Any time I can substitute a vegetable for a carb is a good time for me!

So I hope you give turmeric a try, because it's good for you.

If you've told yourself,  "I would never eat that stuff!" here's some news: Turmeric is a major ingredient in mustard. Guess that's one positive for hot dogs!

If it's still really not your thing - well - brew it up like tea and dye some fabric! Or make a paste and rub it on your face; they say it removes facial hair!

Am I......

the only one......

with facial hair????

By the way....

Benny was released from the animal hospital and is recuperating nicely at home. We're relieved and grateful for his return to health. (See my post dated September 21.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"If you be outside....

....'n you see it comin'....


- advice from Lottie Williams, only person known to have been hit by a piece of space debris ( in 1997, weighing about 6 pounds)

The Sky is Falling!
 So this thing is supposed to rain down on our heads Friday afternoon and as I write this they don't know where.

They said yesterday a person's chances of being hit are about 1 in 3,200. Better than having a car accident; much better than buying a winning lottery ticket...


And they're saying today that there will be about 26 pieces that will actually make it through the atmosphere.

And the largest will be about 300 pounds!

OK - hmmm....

If you're religious, I'd suggest prayer.

If you believe in karma - ah - do a good deed today. Maybe two.

If you're an optimist, make plans for the weekend.

If you're a pessimist, organize your desk and lay out your will.

If you're depressed, go back to bed and wish it to be over soon.

If you're paranoid, put on your tin foil hat and keep an eye on the sky.

If you're Henny Penny, go tell the King - and don't talk to wolves on the way.

The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

Boggles the mind doesn't it - a 300 lb piece of space junk!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Benny (in new shirt) and Odie (in birthday suit)

Benny - the most lovable little doggie I've ever known. Benny is all wiggles from head to toe.

Benny never barks.

Benny's motto is, "Love food, never argue, pee where you feel like it."

Benny's mission in life is to give love lavishly.

Sadly, Benny has been feeling poorly lately and had to stay overnight at the Animal Hospital. He's ten years old and he's developed some of those same conditions that plague many middle aged people.

We all know that dogs and cats age faster than we do, but the knowing doesn't make it any easier to deal with. We're all very sad here, but hoping he makes a full recovery soon.

In the meantime, some quotable quotes, and pictures:

Benny is my "nephew" dog, Odie's cousin

" No Matter how little money and how few possessions
you own, having a dog makes you rich."
Louis Sabin
All About Dogs As Pets

Benny & His Boy

"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy
licking your face."

Bern Williams

"Plays well with cats."
Benny's a bit overweight because he's such an accomplished begger. When he gets over this crisis I suppose he'll be dieting. I feel for ya, Benny!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What Were They Thinking!!!

I have to talk about the latest of several recent beatings and arrests of disabled individuals: This time it was a young man with Down Syndrome.

He was strip searched, punched and body slammed by two officers, right in front of his house at 9:00 in the evening. He had been walking home from a friend's house all by himself.

The newspaper report says he is 5 foot 3 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds.

And two trained police officers couldn't get this little guy under control without hurting him? Yeah, right!

It just so happens that the "suspicious bulge" under his clothes, which was what attracted the police, was - are you ready for this - a colostomy bag!

What is it with people (police) that they have to be so violent!

Here's the thing: I don't know this particular young man, but I have experience with many DS individuals, including my daughter.

Beth, a DS individual, actually takes 10 minutes to process and respond to new or unusual information. I know this is true because I have timed her.

Does anybody get it? She's retarded. "Retarded" is not an insult; it is a highly accurate description of people with Down Syndrome. "Retarded" means

S L O W.....!

If your thinking is very slow, you might adjust to this fast paced world (and police officers) by freezing your actions, taking a defensive posture, maybe shouting "no" or "stop it," etc. What else can you do if you're scaired and you can't comprehend the demands that are coming at you way too fast!

I'm trying to train Beth to say, "Just a minute," or "I need time to think," so that people might slow down a bit when confronting her. (And then she'd better 'fess up if she is indeed the guilty party!)

Down Syndrome people are said to be stubborn. No, they are not. They're just thinking (and constantly trying to keep up).

Authorities of all types - and especially the Police - need to have constant training in how to deal with disabled individuals. I can't emphasize this enough, because they (the police) are armed and dangerous!

When I was working as a case manager I had a client who was retarded (not DS), about 20 years old, and not looked after very well by his family. He was hyper-active, and always hungry, and very thin.

He was also very polite, shy, and cooperative. Truly a gentle soul.

One morning he walked into the convenience store in his neighborhood and stole two small bottles of juice.

For that, a police officer chased him down all the way back to his apartment, and shot him dead.

There were no complaints, no investigation, nothing happened to that officer. Nobody cared about Kerby alive, and nobody cared that he died.

Sorry, I can't add a happy ending to this post.

Sometimes we just have to sit with the fact that bad things happen. When I think about Kerby, I know, guaranteed, that he is in a better place, because this world just wasn't good enough for him.

I'm not bitter. Just determined to do what I can to help. So this morning I sent my comments to the Miami Herald and Channel 10 News. And I am publishing this post to inform and educate.

Now I think I'll call a friend. And maybe sew something nice.

"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."
– Virginia Satir

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Henny Penny

One day Henny Penny, a chubby, likeable, not-very-bright chicken experienced - as they say - a life altering event.

She got hit on the head by an acorn.

Just an acorn. That's a seed from a tree for you city folks.

But Henny Penny was prone to hysteria, so she immediately concluded that total annihilation was at hand.

"The sky is falling! The sky is falling! I must go and tell the King," said Henny Penny.

So she went along and she went along and she went along until she met Cocky Locky.

"Where are you going, Henny Penny?" asked Cocky Locky.

"The sky is falling! The sky is falling! I'm going to tell the King," said Henny Penny.

"Can I go with you?" asked Cocky Locky. "Of course," said Henny Penny.

So they went along and they went along and they went along until they met Ducky Lucky.

"Where are you going, Henny Penny and Cocky Locky?" asked Ducky Lucky.

"The sky is falling! The sky is falling! We're going to tell the King," said Henny Penny.

"Can I go with you?" asked Ducky Lucky. "Of course," said Henny Penny.

So they went along and they went along and they went along until they met Goosey Loosey.

"Where are you going, Henny Penny and Cocky Locky and Ducky Lucky?" asked Goosey Loosey.

"The sky is falling! The sky is falling! We're going to tell the King," said Henny Penny.

"Can I go with you?" asked Goosey Loosey. "Of course," said Henny Penny.

So they went along and they went along and they went along until they met Turkey Lurkey.

And Chickin Lickin.

And Rooster Booster.

And Pigeon Figeon.

And Sparrow Darrow.

And Robin Sobbin. And many others that you may have heard of.

All of them said, "Where are you going, Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky," and so on.

All of them asked to go with Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky, and so on.

And, "Of course," said the inmmitable, unflappable Henny Penny, who by now had forgotton her fear and was enjoying the crowd of friends she was bringing with her. "Boy, won't the King be impressed with how many friends I have!" thought Henny Penny to herself.

So they went along and they went along and they went along until they met Foxy Woxy, who asked, "Where are you going, Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky, Goosy Loosy, Turkey Lurky, Chicken Licken, Rooster Booster, Pigeon Figeon, Sparrow Darrow, and Robin Sobbin?" (and others you may have heard of)

Upon learning that they were going to see the King with this questionable news, Foxy Woxy recognized his golden opportunity.

"Let me help you," he said, "I know a short cut."

Henny Penny couldn't wait to impress the King, so she and her entourage eagerly followed Foxy Woxy to a cave in the woods. "This is the way," said Foxy Woxy at the very dark entrance to his lair. "I'll go in first, and you follow, one by one because the way is narrow."

OK, Parents. Cover the children's ears, or send them to bed, because modern children are too delicate to be exposed to the violence which is about to follow. Ready? OK:

Foxy Woxy waited in the cave and all those silly fowl filed in one at a time.

And one at a time he broke their necks and stacked their bodies in a corner.

Foxy Woxy had a full pantry throughout the winter, and emerged from his cave in the spring just fatter than a fox should be!

And the King never found out that the sky was falling.

Moral: If a leader uses fear to motivate you, be cautious. If you turn off your brain and just follow the crowd to fit in, stop and think. And if a fox lures you into a dark cave, take a flashlight and a neck brace.

Th th th th aat's all, folks!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Don't Panic, Arthur Dent*

ABC News just gave a five minute rundown of what "ordinary citizens" can do to stop terrorist attacks. The gist of it is, be on the lookout for:

Strangers in heavy clothing on a warm day.
People taking pictures at football games(???) because they might be taking pictures of security.
People talking to maintenance personnel at games or in malls, etc.
People asking about fire drills and bomb drills.
Full trash cans; maybe holding a bomb (I kid you not!).

All right, already. Those al qaeda guys must be surprised and thrilled that, ten years after the fact, they're still terrorizing the American population.

We need to chill. Let the professionals do what they're hired to do and protect us.

And then we all need to remember that the next moment could bring anything - disaster, joy, death, wonderful news, devastation, millions of dollars, a great job, a new love, a wonderful experience, a horrible experience, and on and on.

The point is, don't ruin today by worrying about tomorrow.

In 1953 The Communists were going to get you. It said so in the January 1953 issue of Woman's Day magazine, in an article titled "The communists want you!" written by J. Edgar Hoover. Really!

(There was a recipe on the back, which is why the first page of this article got saved in Mother's cookbook for many years.)

And I quote:

"....a Communist National Women's Commission is in charge of preparing special programs for the indoctrination, recruitment, and training of new members....The enemy is here, invading your back yard, your home, your school....They detest our way of life; their allegiance is to the Soviet Union....everything our nation does is wrong, everything Russia undertakes is right....Communists want to make every nation - including ours - a Soviet state."

And on and on.

There's always something to be afraid of. If we let the fear take over, they've won already, whoever "they" are.

Well, they're not getting me, this particular weekend or any other.

Go out and make it a wonderful day!

*Arthur Dent - Character from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a sci fi novel. The guidebook within the book had on it's cover the most important instruction for traveling through space and time: "Don't Panic!"

Love Those One Dish Meals!

I came up with this, inspired by one of my Mother's 1940's recipes. Not being a professional food photographer, I didn't do so well with the picture, but this will give you the idea of it anyway:

Five ingredients:  Chicken, broccoli, rice, cream of mushroom soup, french fried onion rings

Cook the rice. I use whole grain rice, which takes about half an hour. I also like to flavor it with turmeric, which makes it yellow, but flavor yours however you like.

Brown the chicken. I used boneless thighs.

Layer the ingredients as I have listed them, with chicken on the bottom, then raw broccoli, cooked rice, one can of soup diluted with about 1/2 cup water, and then the onion rings.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. If the onion rings start to get too dark, cover with foil.

We had this for dinner last night - yum!

And the best part was almost no dishes to wash after because I washed all the prep pans while it was baking!

"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate." -- Julia Child, celebrity chef and cookbook author

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On Organizing - And Being "Different"

I am organizationally impaired, deficient, disabled.

My daughter Beth, on the other hand, is a super organizer. She gets that from her Dad.

Beth comes to our house for the weekend and the first thing she does is organize her clothes - the clothes that stay here that go through the wash between visits but never get put away until she comes back. I tell myself that she'd rather do it herself - whatever!

After she's done with her own stuff, she starts organizing our stuff, cleaning dirty coffee cups off the desks, putting eyeglasses and car keys where they belong and - without being asked, I kid you not - emptying all the wastebaskets!

We love it when Beth comes to visit!

These photos were taken a few years back, but she hasn't changed very much. That is, except for quite a few grey hairs and her age. She's 37 years old now. Since coming to Florida she has attended an adult day treatment program where she gets instruction in academics, social skills and activities of daily living. Beth's favorite part of the program is the workshop, because she earns real money there.

Thirty-seven years ago I would get up at night and rock this little baby and cry and cry. Then one night I looked down at her sleeping peacefully and realized she didn't have a care in the world. She didn't know she had Down Syndrome. She didn't know her life would be substantially different than most people's.

It was then that I started taking her life - and mine - "one day at a time."

I started noticing that my worries about the future took up space in my head and drained my energy. I also noticed that what I wasted time and energy worrying about almost never came to pass and, if it did, was never as bad as I thought it would be.

So my motto for life is "one day at a time" or, "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it."

Makes for a peaceful life. Although, I think I should tweak it somewhat when it comes to housework....!

Hearts In A Basket
Have a wonderful day!