Farmer’s Market Covid Version

How does a person continue to write for a blog when his mind and heart are not in it any longer? After seventy some days without missing a single day of writing I became blocked. The past two days I spent as off days and enjoyed myself by walking and talking. I attended our newly opened Covid friendly farmer’s market and was pleased. The Village Father’s put some thought into it and I think they have succeeded in remaking it to close to where it was. The Frankfort Farmer’s Market had become the social event of the week. We had farmers from within a 110 mile radius selling fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers fresh baked bread, tacos, and what not. In addition there were booths selling slushies, lemonade, and other hand made drinks. My favorite was a Nun who drove in from Chicago with newly baked French pastries and breads. She and her fellow nuns are from France in Chicago on a mission living in a a converted old warehouse and doing charitable work among the indigents of the city. Another favorite is a lady who bakes pies. My favorite is her apple, cherry, or blueberry pies. She sends her husband to the market with a minivan loaded with pies. His instructions are not to return until the pies are all sold. He never takes any home and he leaves early.

Since the bouncer at the gate controlled the flow of people coming into the market area it was never crowded and lines at the booths were all very short. The line outside the market however, was very long. That is because the people were all spacing themselves six feet apart. The line never stopped. There were always people leaving to allow new people in.

On a normal Sunday, the market wraps around a building we call the Grainery. The booths are stacked next to each other closely to allow the most vendors into the least amount of space. In the Covid scheme the market was split into two areas, i.e. two parking lots across the street from each other. The second section was controlled the same way as the first, the bouncer lets you in and keeps the flow moving.

All in all, the market was the highlight of my day. I walked three and a half miles, and wound up carrying my slushie home before I could drink any of it.

Day 62-SIP-Stupid Fun Makes Dollars

This stay in place business has made me light headed. very morning is a hangover. I must be enjoying the wine by consuming more than usual. The hangover gets me going much later in the day. It seems like I drag my sorry ass behind me like an anchor.

Yesterday, I finally accomplished a new goal, I cooked another one of Mom’s favorite dishes, toltutt kaposta with umlauts over the o’s and an accent over the a. In our language it is simply stuffed cabbage. I watched my mother roll these beauties out in the kitchen too many times, but when it came time to remember what she did, I drew a blank.

As usual, I watched videos of my favorite cook Oma making stuffed cabbage. Oma is currently ninety-two years old and reminds me of my mother. She concentrates on Hungarian and German recipes. What a piece of cake this is, I thought. Wrong! I never handled a cabbage before and got into serious trouble with blanching. The pot I used for this gimongous head of cabbage was just a tad too small. Blanching is a pretty simple process, but since this was the first time I was doing it I made it hard to do.

Mixing the meat with rice, and spices was easy, but when it came to handling the cabbage leaves I was all thumbs. Mom’s recipes leave out all the basic stuff you need to know when cooking. Like how to trim the main rib of a cabbage leave to make it more pliable. The next thing she left out was stuffing the leave and closing it around the meat. That is a practice thing. Mom had been stuffing cabbage leaves since she was twelve, and for her it was an automatic process. Here hands and fingers were so well conditioned from repetition that it was automatic. For me it was a comedy of errors, I was all thumbs. I managed to make about twenty rolls and learned my next mistake was also my first mistake, the pot was a tad too small. I had cabbage rolls stacked to within a half inch of the rim.

Miraculously, I completed the job and ate stuffed cabbage for supper last night. It is not 100% KETO, but it is close. The only non-KETO ingredient is rice. The whole process got my mind off the COVID-19 b-s for a few minutes while I struggled with stuffing and wrapping the rolls.

The kitchen was a mess after I finished as it always is after making something for the first time. Lucky me, the dishwasher was broken and the repair man didn’t come until today so I had to wash all the stuff by hand.

At my Tuesday Night At The Stray Bar Club Zoom meeting yesterday I learned about two things:

1. CD&Me a local entertainment venue is going to open under strict guidelines the first week of June. It will be a parking lot event limited to one hundred cars spaced one car apart. There will be a live band entertaining and a roll out bar for food by the Dancing Marlin. Adult beverages will not be sold but will be permitted (bring your own). Admission is by ticket bought online.

2. One of our group told us a story about her great grandson who is making a ton of money off videos on Youtube and Tik-Tok. I searched Youtube for him and found his videos. They are stupid of course, but he is a very energetic and out-going personality and pulls off his stunts with his girlfriend Mariah. As an example the video I watched had 39,000 likes. As another example this blog GrumpaJoesPlace is lucky if a post gets ten likes. I guess I’ll have to start doing dumb stuff if I want to make some money doing this. The funny thing is I feel like I am doing dumb stuff when I write these posts. Another example is my own grand daughter who writes for a blog called Fan Fiction and gets 5-10 thousand views per post. While my daughter-in-law in Michigan has a blog about her horse hobby and will get hundreds of views for a post. On my best day if I get fifty views and two likes I feel I’ve reached the pinnacle of success.

Making money in the digital world is for the very young. We old folks will only shake our heads in wonderment as to how it can be. I see it happening, I believe it is happening, but I’ll be damned if I can make it happen.

Day 27-Quarantine-Not Camelot

It is hard to believe that I am one day away from  four weeks of Stay in Place. Last week I ordered a list of groceries for home delivery, and they were due to arrive today between 3 and 5. I patiently delayed going for a walk and did other things to fill the day. At the same time, I searched my freezers for something to eat. I have consciously been working down my inventory of food supplies because I had too many things that were freezer burned and discoloring from age. It was my habit to keep plenty on hand while Peg was still with me, and when I went grocery shopping I always came home with more than I really needed. Needless to say the supply was pretty big. It has taken me about six months to work it down. The freezer is two days away from empty, but the order was going to arrive today. I am using a just i time process to buy and keep only what I need. The supply is so close to home that I needn’t have huge backlogs of stuff, except there is COVID-19, and stay in place. The problem is that ‘just-in-time’ is ‘almost-too-late;’

At about three-thirty, I was getting anxious about when to expect the order to arrive so I went online to check it out. Surprise, surprise, somehow I never really finalized the order and nothing was coming. Oh boy! I discovered where my mistake was and reordered but the earliest delivery is six days away. I reordered and this time got a confirmation number and a delivery date and time. Then it became a scramble to rush to the grocery story to buy some stuff to bolster my supplies. At the same time, I called a friend and asked if there was anything she needed. Of course she did. No one passes up an offer to bring groceries. Her last words to me were “be sure to wear a mask.”

So tonight, I had the last tv dinner from the freezer and tomorrow I will cook something fresh to use up the last pork roast I defrosted today. As I cleaned up after supper, the sun was setting low in the western sky and sending beams of bright light into the house. The sky was turning into a blaze of colors which I haven’t seen for a few days because of cloudiness, maybe I’ll get to see the moon tonight.

Last night I watched a public service announcement by our mayor. He talked about the importance of social distancing. He related a personal story about his neighbors, one to his right and one to his left. The man on the right was in Silver Cross Hospital with COVID-19 and on a respirator, the one of the left had COVID-19 and died. He displayed a map of our area in Will County and it was loaded with red dots where all the reported cases were reported. It scared the pants off me. I aways envisioned Frankfort as Camelot. In my mind the red dots would surround the village boundaries but never cross into our little piece of heaven. Well, my vision is totally wrong, we have lots of COVID-19 all around us. Time to tighten up and heed the recommendations more strictly.

 

Day 15-Quarantine-Assess How Lucky One Can Be

Today, I must make a giant decision relative to going to shop for needed groceries. I promised family that I would not leave my home. They offered to shop for me. Why should I put young people at risk for me? I am closer to end of life than I hope they are so it just makes sense to keep them out of harms way.  I will practice social distancing and avoid crowded spaces so my risk is reduced.

15-Online-Shopping-Statistics-Ftrd32.jpg

Yesterday I tried using a shop on line program using Wal Mart service. The program is easy to use and they offer just about their entire inventory of groceries. Where it fails is in the delivery part. I recognize that there are just so many people employed to run around the aisles with a customer shopping list to collect items for a specific customer. Then, there are also too few employees driving those orders to customers. I failed yesterday to get in the que, and this morning I tried earlier with the same result. I will try again in the middle of the night. Meanwhile I will scrape my coolers for available goodies to feed my fat ass. I’m sure I will survive.

Today’s agenda includes cooking, reading, killing grass near the pond, walking, shaping my rose project, and watching a series on TV. Oh, and avoiding coming in contact with COVID-19.

A New Record Set

It has been over a month since I last entered an original post. Why I have taken such a long vacation from writing I cannot explain. Maybe it is because I became deeply involved in clearing clutter from my home. At the same time I jumped head over heels into a new diet to lose my belly. It ain’t easy starving to death. People ask me why I am on a diet and I tell them I am tired of my belly hanging over my belt and bouncing off my knees. That is a slight exaggeration for effect, but my belly is enormous compared to when I rode my bike three thousand miles a year.

Which diet you ask? It is called the Keto diet. I’ve done it before a couple of times with pretty good success when it was simply referred to as a low carb diet. It is the no more bread, no more cakes, donuts, candies, no more potatoes, rice, or anything with carbohydrates diet. Keto tries to keep me below twenty grams of carbs per day.

The trick with this diet is to fill up on proteins and fat. Eggs are a staple and bacon a must. This morning I made a chicken salad for breakfast and was without energy by noon. I used up the chicken breast which doesn’t have any fat. That’ll teach me to skip a rasher of bacon. To cure the problem of no energy, I cheated and had a nice carb loaded peach for lunch with two slices of greasy salami spread with cream cheese to tide me over. Why is a peach not Keto? It has too much natural sugar and takes me over the daily limit of carbs.

Keto is short for ketosis. When your body does not have carbohydrates to use as fuel it automatically goes into ketosis and the mechanism converts stored body fat into energy. Most people on this diet rave about how fast it works. Their biggest problem seems to be finding clothes that fit. The old jeans just slide right off their asses. Not me. It’s been ten weeks and I’m down ten pounds, but my pants are a long way from slipping off. Nonetheless, I am determined to reach my goal to be as slim as I was thirty years ago. That means I have another twenty pounds of myself to abandon.

I am upset that I lost only ten pounds, yet I can feel the effect, it is easier to tie my shoes, I can see my toes again, I can button some of my dress shirts without straining the material, I can pinch several inches now. The goal is to pinch an inch of skin at the waist. When I started, my belly fat was so firm I couldn’t pinch four inches, now I pinch two, ahh progress. Does that make me a progressive?

Maybe my next post will chronicle my experiment with CBD oil.

 

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