An Angel On the Block

This morning I slept late even though I went to bed early. My body must be sending me a signal. I lifted the shade next to my bed and saw a winter wonderland. It had snowed during the night and everything is covered in the white fluffy stuff. Oh well, I thought I won’t need a walk today, I’ll substitute shoveling.

I dressed, put on some coffee spiced with cinammon and scoured the fridge for breakfast. I decided my Keto meal would consist of soft boiled eggs, a hunk of Romano cheese, three slices of bacon, and a small cluster of green grapes, yummy. My plan was to eat, dress for outside, and to move snow. I peeked outside and saw a miracle. My entire driveway and the walks in front of the house were absolutely clean, a miracle, or at least a giant good deed by a neighbor. I looked to the left, the neighbor’s walks and drive were still under snow, the same held for the right, but there across the street was a very clean drive and walkways. I spied the remnants of a trail leading from the street toward my drive. It was Tom, he is the angel. Thank you Tom.

Morty Angel on Skye Scooter

That act of mercy left me with more time to kill in front of my computer sitting on my stagnant ass processing KETO into fat instead of using KETO to burn fat.

Yesterday was Friday, and I thought why not treat myself to a home cooked meal?  I haven’t cooked in a couple of weeks so I won that debate with myself. The meal would be Chicken Paprikas over one serving of rotini. It turned out delicious and I was pleased. By making rotini I saved the effort of making the usual companion piece of home made egg dumplings called nokedli. Had I made the nokedli I am certain the portion size would have been much larger than that of the rotini. That difference would have kicked me out of ketosis and ruined a week of dieting.

Now it is time to bundle up and take a walk in the fresh clean winter air.

I Will Not Eat My Greens

In many movies and comedy sketches I have often heard the line “eat your greens.” I had to look up what greens were. My source labeled greens as collard greens. They are in the same source of greens as kale and broccoli. I found them disgusting. I suspect the vegans in the world think they are delicious, not me. A week ago I wrote about my virgin experience with kale. I love kale, especially when it is drizzled with salad dressing. The collard greens supplied in my Green Chef dinner package turned me off. Maybe they will grow on me if I eat enough of them, fat chance of that happening.

Collard
Kale
Close up of a bowl of Italian boiled spinach

Each time I cruise through the vegetable aisle at my local grocery store I am amazed at the quantity of green leafy lettuces and other strange looking eatables from around the world. On a good day I will pick something I have never tried before just for the sake of experimentation. I can tolerate the lettuces, but when it comes to the heavier leaved darker green things like collard I pass by. As a kid I hated spinach. That is because my mother had only one way to prepare it, by boiling. Boiled spinach leaves are the world’s worst resembling some very old and wet sea weed. On the other hand fresh spinach leaves are excellent in a salad. The best is baby spinach drizzled with poppyseed dressing and with sliced strawberries on top. The chef who invented that combination should be in the Chef Hall of Fame.

Baby spinach with strawberries and poppy seed dressing

I find that the Green Chef meal plan is making me a better cook, and making me develop a more refined pallete. I hate waste and will never throw anything away, I’d much rather make it the way they instruct me to and try it. So far I am batting 5/6, only the collard greens have been a loser. In major league baseball a batting average of 5/6, (0.8333) would command a hundred million dollar contract. I’ll stick to keeping score with my selections from Green Chef.

Kale? Who Eats Kale?

Last evening I made and ATE a Caesar salad from kale. Never in my life have I knowingly eaten kale. You know what? I loved it. When sprinkled with a salad dressing the leafy dark green kale made a wonderful substitute for Romaine lettuce. What it didn’t’t have was lemon, and red wine vinegar. Instead of onions it had sautéed yellow squash. Yellow squash is another vegetable that I am not too familiar with. Probably because removing the skin is a major job, and dicing the meat was work. In combination with shrimp, it was a filling meal with plenty of calories to fuel this old body. I’ll have the second portion for lunch this afternoon.

I was reminded of another question that has rolled through my mind for years regarding politicians. Why would any sane person spend millions of dollars to win a job that pays a meager $178,000. Although the money being spent is not coming from said candidates personal pocket he is no less spending an inordinate amount for so little return.
What I haven’t been able to uncover is all the hidden ways money is channelled into a politicians coffers in ways that is not traceable or illegal.

The latest news item involving ex-VP Joe Biden and his son Hunter has cracked open the door on one way ill-gotten money happens. I’m sure it is all a very large mistake as it always is when someone gets caught with his hands in my pocket. The accused always escapes indictment and trial. To my knowledge only Bernie Madoff has been caught and prosecuted, but he wasn’t a politician.

The U.S. budget is so large that the pilfering of a few million dollars is a mere drop in the bucket of government. If my math is right a million dollars is one-ten thousandth of a percent of a trillion dollars (.0001%); hardly noticeable to a government accounting office, but significant to the common man.

Draining the swamp by eliminating bureaucracies is one way to go. The problem is that it isn’t easy, and was tried by Ronald Reagan who could not pull it off. It is not impossible, but it is hard becasuse so many people are involved in getting it done. They all have to be on the same page. It turns out that in government there is always someone who has a vested interest within a bureau from his state. Getting consensus takes time and most presidents don’t have enough time in office to accomplish the task. Perhaps if the American people initiated a petition and got three hundred and fifty million signatures on it, something could be made to happen. I am afraid it is too late to drain the swamp, it is too big, and will take too many years to accomplish. Anyway, it won’t be done in my lifetime. In the meantime we are faced with politicians who will mis-behave and get away with their mis-deeds.

Miscellaneous Rambling

Today, I went into a mild shock as I tried to stuff a fully assembled winter coat box into my car for delivery. The box didn’t fit, and I had to disassemble it to make it go into the back seat. Now I have to expand the box and tape it at each location that I deliver to.  A minor irritation, but an irritation no less. 

The morning was beautiful sunny blue-sky-day which made me feel really upbeat. I quickly made a KETO omelet with spinach, scallions, and sundried tomatoes accompanied with three slices of gypsy style smoked bacon, and two slices of KETO toast smothered in butter.

After breakfast I read the mail, and then prepped for a walk. The plan was to walk to the pharmacy, to pick up a prescription, then to the mailbox to drop a letter, and finally to the coffee shop for a latte.  The prescription failed, my doctor did not approve a refill, I had to make an appointment for a blood test and an office visit before he would. Onward to the drop box with the letter and for the latte. I arrived home after two hours, and proceeded to assemble the box I grumbled about above. 

I spent a long afternoon surfing the net for information on immigration laws. One of my friends is living here on an expired visa, and needs help to get legal again. I didn’t find anything very promising. I don’t know how all the people who come in here illegally actually get to stay, much less to sign up for bennies. All the law I found is pretty simple, and seems to be iron clad on how to handle illegals. I’m positive that If I try to help this person that I will wind up in jail for five years and he will be deported.

Immigration word cloud concept isolated on white

My daughter called me this afternoon to tell me that her daughter (my grand-daughter) received notification that she was placed on the National Honor Society. Proud mama that she is she couldn’t wait to make a braggadocios phone call to let her pride show. She is one of my favorites so I am as proud as can be of her accomplishment. She did it while hunkered down and forced to attend classes on the internet.

After this post I will settle into my usual evening routine of five hours of non-stop TV. I found a new series which I have been avoiding for reasons unknown to me. It is titled Hunters, and stars Al Pacino. He is a former prisoner of a Nazi camp who escaped being gassed by his captors. He is currently hunting down escaped Nazis from WW-2 living within the USA. I found the first episode fascinating, and will watch it until every damned Nazi is hunted down and exterminated. 

Another movie title caught my eye and I latched onto that too; Moondance Alexander. It turned out to be a horse story about a young girl shunned by her friends who finds a horse while delivering groceries after school on her bicycle. It turns out it was filmed in Calgary, Canada home of the Heartland series my favorite horse opera too date. I must have seen ten movies in the last month all with the same theme, and all filmed in the same location with titles that lure me in. 

It is also time for me to call my long-lost son from the Lone Star State. Our conversation will easily last an hour or two as we share Trump stories.       

KETO-Green Chef vs Factor 75

This week I began a new adventure, actually two adventures. My pre-prepared KETO meal plan is expensive and I was looking for ways to cut the costs. Of course, I searched the internet and found a business called Green Chef. It is different than the Factor 75 that I have been using. Green Chef sends fresh ingredients and a how to cook recipe card with step by step instructions on what to do with each item. Factor 75 sends me pre-cooked ready to heat and eat meals. Both of them are expensive. So far, I like the Green Chef meals because it forces me to cook. I am learning a lot of new things. The meals are also very tasty and colorful. It takes me anywhere from 30-45 minutes to make the meals. Each Green Chef meal serves two, or in my case it is two meals, one is reheated the next day. The price per serving is lower than my Factor 75 meals. Todate, I have cooked three meals all very fresh and very tasteful, and there is plenty to eat. I have one more to go before I decide whether to reorder another round of meals.

Staying KETO is difficult these days. Maybe it is the change in weather and the shorter daylight, but I am craving comfort food, and too often I cheat like heck to fit a piece of cake into the diet. Cooking gives me a degree of comfort even though the food is not classified as comfort food. One thing I like more about the Factor 75 meals is that I can be eating within five minutes of initiating a meal. Unless I opt to go for a wrap. Wraps take a while to put together. Nothing is easier than poking a hole into a plastic wrapper and setting the micro-wave for two and a half minutes. The next step is to peel back the entire covering to stir the contents and to place it back into the MW for another minute or two. I can be eating in five minutes after taking the package out of my refrigerator. While with the Green Chef meal I am dicing, chopping spicing, sautéing, searing, and mixing. a couple of different entrees, one meat and a vegetable mix, with a sauce.

I suppose it all depends on how hungry I am, and how lazy I feel. If I had my way I’d be very happy with sub-sandwiches but they involve bread and we all know bread is not KETO.

In my very first sentence above I mentioned I had two adventures. The second involved building a fire ring in my back yard and setting it up for an evening fire. The kindling came from the trees in my yard, and the fuel came from my wood shop. I finally cut up the boards that were once a special table I built for my mother to keep her house plants on. It served her well for many years, and after she and dad died, and we were finally emptying the house I inherited the table. For many years it acted as a catchall surface for house plants, and the usual junk that accumulates around the house. Two years ago I cleared it and disassembled it for future wood projects. It lay on my shop floor during that time, and this week, I cut it up into smaller burnable pieces for evening fires.

Sitting in the cool night air warming myself by the dancing flames brought back a lot of old memories from my Scout Master days and also when we were on family camping trips. Each time we had a fire one of the family became the self designated pyro-maniac whose job it was to keep the flames roaring. When I first moved into this house I drew a plan of what I wanted in my garden: a pond, waterfall, stream, mini-forest, vegetable garden, flower garden, and fire-pit. I accomplished all except the fire-pit, it is time to close out the plan as complete.

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