Not Anxious To Get Out

Close up of female hands pull out weeds from ground garden.

A few months ago a day like today was considered fabulous. After six weeks of warm weather this morning feels like the middle of January. My agenda calls or a day in the garden yanking native perennials from the annual beds. As I have said before, there is something special about neat and prim flower beds. After this post it may be warm enough to head out into the back yard and do the job. When I awoke the temperature outside was sixty degrees, Oh me what will I do? Put on a sweatshirt and stop complaining like a wank.

The idea of sitting in the house today while reading a book sounds very appealing, but that is not to be. I know that once I finally shoe-up and head outside I’ll stay out until the last evil weed is in the big blue yard waste bucket. I’ll be out by ten and in by noon. Oh yeah that could mean more food! and coffee too!

I love the garden, but hate the work. When it becomes I love the work but hate the garden I know I will have achieved a new level of consciousness.

Yesterday, I fell completely off the KETO wagon at the OASIS Twenty-fifth anniversary cook out celebration. OASIS stands for Orland Area Sight Impaired Support a group of people who are blind, partially blind, or going blind who band together to discuss the trials and tribulations of living in the dark. The Frankfort Lions Club has adopted OASIS as our project to help the sight impaired of the community. Back in 1926 Helen Keller (blind, deaf, and mute) at a Lions Convention challenged the Lions to become the “Knights of the Blind.” Lions accepted the challenge and it remains a pillar of our service. Since then we have added several more pillars to keep the house from falling down, Hunger, Environment, Sight, Diabetes, Childhood Cancer. These five are in addition to the pillars of community, disaster relief, and world-wide disease. There is never a time when we don’t have someone or something to be helping. Sometimes it is monetary assistance, and at others like this OASIS event it was with our presence and hands-on assistance. COVID slowed us down a bit on the hands-on assistance type projects but requests for monetary help kept coming. At the same time we were stifled in our ability to raise money. Thankfully, all that has changed and we are ramping up activity to one hundred percent of normal. In other words, if you see a Lion in front of a store with a bucket, please drop a few bucks in. If you see an ad for a Lions pancake breakfast, please go have breakfast.

Time to go pull weeds.

The Shot That Set Me Free

A week ago I received an email message stating that my long awaited appointment for getting vaccinated has arrived. I jumped at the opportunity. The last time I had a problem with a virus was in 1957, and there was no opportunity to be vaccinated. The polio virus had already been ravaging the world for some twenty years and it wasn’t ready to stop. All the public announcements advised us to stay away from crowds, (define a crowd) don’t go to the beach, rest, etc. None of the advice seemed worthy of taking. I did stay away from crowds unless one calls my group of buddies (5) a crowd. I never went to the beach it was ten miles away. I thought I rested as does anyone who sleeps at night and I still got the virus. Maybe I it got from going to church, yes that has to be it. The problem with that argument is that my buddies all went to church too. None of my crowd got polio but me.

It was a good five years before Dr. Jonas Salk invented a vaccine that worked. I never did follow the news to follow the progress of how the world became vaccinated, my immune system was fixed for life. Luckily, I survived and did not carry too many debilitating side effects. When the COVID-19 pandemic began I followed Dr. Fauci’s recommendations to a point. The point was that I would not allow myself to get overly excited about catching the thing and that I would let my own common sense rule my activity.

My appointment was set for 10:15 on a Friday at the Joliet West High School which is about thirty miles away. I set my alarm to get up early, showered and prepared a decent KETO breakfast so I wouldn’t pass out from a low blood sugar. What impressed me was the system that Will County had set up at the school. First of all, let me say that this school is a state of the art machine. Except for being thirty miles from Frankfort, I felt like I was inside Lincoln Way East High School two miles from my house. The staff consisted of Joliet Fire Department EMT’s. There was ample parking at door fourteen and upon arriving I checked in at a desk where a man pointed a thermometer at me head and took my temperature. He fired off a bunch of questions about how I felt and then handed me a short questionnaire asking questions like are you allergic to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. To me that is the dumbest question ever. How in the heck am I supposed to know what is in this vaccine? There was one question that I had to answer yes to, I am allergic to penicillin and had an anaphylaxis reaction to it. With that yes, I got to take that piece of paper with me to the vaccination table. There were ten tables lined up with a strapping young man directing people to the next available technician. He directed me to table ten. I walked to the table where another young man was waiting. I handed him my paper, and proceeded to bare my left arm. “Forgive me if I don’t watch this happen.” There is something about seeing a needle pierce my body that makes me squeamish. He followed with “you won’t feel a thing,” and with that he was placing a piece of tape on the injection site. Not only didn’t I feel anything I felt it was a sham and that I didn’t really get vaccinated. Another big guy handed me a card and told me to carry it with me. It was a record of the vaccine. He also told me that he scheduled my second shot to take place four weeks from the day at the same place. “Go to the other side of the field house and sit for fifteen minutes then you can leave.”

I sat for twenty minutes waiting for something to happen, but nothing did. I walked out but ran into another young guy about six foot tall and all muscle who asked me how I felt. “Okay,” I answered.

“Good, you can leave out the door you came in by.”

I felt exhilarated, happy, loose, I wanted to jump up and kick my heels together. I made it through the year without catching the demon COVID.

I was so relaxed that when I got home, I took a nap.

The following two days I kept feeling all kinds of tingles and tickles and asked myself “is that a side effect?” If they were side effects they were acceptable and very mild. I concluded they were not side effects but my mind playing tricks on me.

Last night I attended a meeting of my senior friends. This meeting has been going on for over five years on a weekly basis. We meet, drink wine and shoot the breeze. It is such a good time we won’t give it up, but we have not met since the last spike of COVID hit in October. Everyone of us was happy to see each other again. To date, only three of us have gotten the vaccination, but more will be getting it soon. That is, if our governor would get off his fat ass and push for it to get done. Illinois is number 47 out of the states in progress toward vaccinating it’s population. At least we aren’t in the bottom three.

Happy days are here again.

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.

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