I love this stuff!

Yesterday I made something that is so yummy and so easy I thought I would share it with you.

I love Greek yogurt. Sometimes I buy it at Wegman’s but it’s so expensive! I found a neat and relatively inexpensive way to make it and you will love this stuff!

I buy organic low-fat plain yogurt in the large container ( 32 oz.) . I like Stonyfield’s brand! I take a large stainless steel strainer and I line it with a double layer of cheesecloth if I have it or a white paper towel if I have to make do. I pour the yogurt into the strainer set over a bowl and I refrigerate the whole shebang for about 12 hours or maybe a bit more.

The whey drips out and what you end up with is this creamy, thick yogurt cheese that’s so delicious!! I enjoy it with cherry preserves!! What a treat!p4300150

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The results are so yummy! According to my sources Greek yogurt is lower in lactose, carbohydrates, and I suppose if you use non-fat yogurt to start with, fat-free!  I personally like the low-fat version but a full-fat version would be even creamier if you don’t mind a few more fat calories.

Happy eating!

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a close call

p4240121This is my Grand-Dog, Shelby. She’s approximately 12 years-old and she’s the sweetest little roly-poly dogger you could ever ask for.

I almost killed her the other day.

My daughter came over for dinner with my almost-three-years-old grandson, Cole. She never brings Shelby but that night she did.  As I was prepping our dinner I heard “crunch, crunch, crunch” and suddenly my brain understood what it was hearing and I RAN into the other room to find Shelby scarfing down a tray of mouse poison.

I have had problems with mice in my old farmhouse and ever since I let the exterminator go I have had to deal with them myself. I placed a tray of Tomcat Mouse Bait in a little plastic tray underneath the stereo where I know my grandson would never go. Shelby must have smelled it and pulled it out from under and by the time I found her she had eaten most of the bait. And it was  a lot!

I screamed to my daughter to call the Vet  while I ran to the bathroom and grabbed the bottle of hydrogen peroxide. I then ran back to the kitchen and found my turkey baster in a drawer. I sucked up about a 1/4 cup full and holding her fat little body between my knees pried her mouth open and forced it down her throat. I kept telling her “I’m sorry, Shelby!” over and over. My daughter came back into the room and said that the Vet said to do exactly what I was already doing. Thank God I knew what to do and had the supplies on hand. In about 3 minutes the dog started to vomit and there on my kitchen floor came up the foamy undigested chunks of poison.

After she stopped for a few minutes I re-dosed her with a smaller amount of peroxide and again she vomited up a bit of the bait.

When I was fairly certain it was all out of her system I bundled her up and drove her the 17 miles to the Vet clinic where she was pronounced OK.

There was a slight chance that the poison may continue to act and the doctor said to watch for signs of bleeding but as of today the little beasty is just fine. She’s past the time for the poison to have acted so she’s perfectly sound.

Look at this face.  I am so glad she is still with us.p4240123

verily i vociferate

This morning, after having eaten nothing since Monday evening, and drinking 8.3 oz. of Miralax in every conceivable clear liquid along with 4, count ’em , FOUR Dulcolax tablets yesterday, then nothing at all after midnight and after having spent 2/3 of Tuesday hunched on a toilet bowl praying for death (or Thursday) I arrived at the offices of my two dear gastroenterologists.

rectal2I was instructed to arrive by 8:00 a.m. for “the procedure” at 8:30. When I arrived there was no one at the reception window so my SIL (bless his heart) and I stood there until this squawky voice called from an adjoining room “Be right with ya!”

As the lovely lady (cough*BULLSHIT*cough) made her way towards the window I smiled and said “Good morning!”. I was ignored. She took my paperwork without a word and asked me “So,you’re here for a colonoscopy. Did the stuff work?”

What? “the stuff“? OH!!! “Yes, thank you, it worked.” I said. My SIL took a couple of steps back.

She came around the corner and said “Follow me”. I turned to SIL and said ” Go on. Get out of here, I’ll call you when I’m done” and he scooted out the door! She took me to her little corner cubbie and attached a heart monitor and a blood pressure cuff then proceeded to squint and peck at her computer while the machine attached to my tubes and wires tried its best to cause complete blood loss to that limb.

I watched her silently pecking, looking…pecking…watching, waiting…for what seemed like hours. OK, it was about 15 minutes but it felt longer because my left hand was dead blue in color and my heart rate was jumping all over the place. Finally she asked me the same questions that I had answered on the papers I was told to bring AND the same questions this office had had their PA ask me three weeks ago. No, I do not take any medications. No I am not allergic to anything. No, I am not diabetic!! For God’s sake woman! Can’t any of you read????

Finally she stood and directed me down the hall to the prep area. Five women I assume were nurses ( Nurses are evidently NOT gonna wear white, dammit!)  stopped and watched me enter the room. Not one smiled or said a word to me. I was instructed by my  lovely (cough*BULLSHIT*cough) lady to remove my clothes and put on the handkerchief “with the ties in the back”.

Suddenly I became aware that the nurses had regained their voices. A multitude of sounds approximating the sounds of hens clucking and scratching assaulted my ears and the ears of everyone in the room.

“So I said to her ‘ I am NOT gonna take my day off to drive him to the dentist. He can get Marie to do it!” and ” Oh, you shouldn’t have to!” “Where are the bagels? I know there were half a dozen here this morning!”  “He can just go fly a kite! I am not his little servant girl!” “They want me to fill in AGAIN for Dotty on Friday!” ” Is this coffee fresh?”

Now here’s the part of the blog where I’m supposed to stop and say that I have a tremendous respect for nurses, which I do. I am supposed to say that they soothed my brow and made  me feel cared for and that theirs is a difficult job and so on and so forth.  Well, today I was not impressed. This rant is about me and my experience today so if you are a nurse, or you’re married to a nurse or you have a relative who is a nurse, please don’t go all  ballistic and start the flames, OK?

Finally one of the less hunched of the quintet made her way to my cubicle and began to ask me AGAIN “Are you allergic to anything? Do you have diabetes? Did you eat anything this morning?” She told me about the storm she witnessed last night as if I don’t live in the area and I didn’t experience the same thunderstorm. She rattled on about how she has a chain saw but her nephew says she shouldn’t use it because it’s too dangerous but will he bring his sorry ass over to clean up the branches that fell last night..oh no he won’t! All the while she is poking me with an IV needle. Holy Mother of God! She is jabbing that thing like she’s sewing up a Christmas turkey’s ass! “Sorry. I bruised the vein a little there…wait…oh, good, I think it’s in…oops, nope! Ahh……there we go.”

 I watched the male anesthesiologist roll his eyes while waiting his turn to talk to me. He whispered in my ear after she had gone “I’m sorry about that.”

I didn’t feel great about being a woman in that room of women right then. Hell, I didn’t feel great….period.

When I woke up after the procedure one of the hens…I mean nurses, came over to see if I was alive. I assured her that I was and I said “There’s something wet down here by my butt” and she laughed and said “Don’t worry about it. Everybody says that!” When she left I used my IV hand to reach down to my hip and I felt something on the mattress. Grasping it as well as I could I pulled it out and it was a plastic cup!  I must have made a noise because the nurse came back and said “OH!  That’s an irrigation cup! It spilled all over your bed!”  NO SHIT, SHERLOCK!!!!! story

 Let me tell you, I was never so glad for the doctor to pronounce me fit to go home about ten minutes later. Two polyps removed  and the doctor’s pronouncement that they didn’t appear to be cancerous (but they will be biopsied to make sure) and I was outa there! Two years of freedom from the fear of death- by- colon -cancer for me and a few thousand buckaroos for the doctor! It’s a win/win!

facts about 55 year-old women

birthday-candlesI’m in great company!

Condoleezza Rice was born in 1954 as was Oprah Winfrey. Also born in 1954 :

Ellen Barkin  (we share April 16th as our birthday!), Lorraine Bracco , Christie Brinkley, Lesley-Anne Down, Catherine O’Hara, Rene Russo,Kathleen Turner, and Annie Lennox.

Women 55 years-old and older constitute the largest number of new members on Facebook! According to Facebook the  ”  Fastest growing segment: Women over 55, up 175.3% in the last 120 days.”

This movie was made the same year I was born- 55 YEARS AGO! I especially love the alien woman “NAYA”. She sounds so much like Katherine Hepburn. “You speak unwisely.” Check out her bodyguard robot with flowerpot arms!!! What a great old movie!

According to The Hindu News Service: “

55-year-old New Zealand woman claims Cook Strait record

WELLINGTON (Xinhua): A 55-year-old woman from New Zealand North Island resort of Rotorua has swum Cook Strait in nine hours 23 minutes, becoming the oldest person to do so. Pam Dickson, 55, completed the swim on Friday on her first attempt, despite suffering hypothermia on the last leg and swimming in a circle for the final 800 meters because she was so cold and disoriented. She said the water temperature was 18 degrees when she began the swim, but it then dropped to 16 degrees in the final 4 km. She swam the distance of 26 km from north to south. Dickson, a massage therapist and grandmother of nine, said she’ s jumping with joy at her feat, but will probably not rest for too long. She has competed in many Ironman races and marathons and is considering doing the Rotorua marathon in May.

I don’t feel old. It feels like every other day, as a matter of fact. I’m just happy to feel anything these days!!!  I kinda like where I am today, April 16th, 2009.


Waiting for the Baby

My oldest daughter is pregnant and due to have her son on May 19th. I am a nervous wreck.

I can barely even think about it without freaking out.

This is her second child. The oldest, my darling, precocious grandson, C. , is almost three-years-old.  He and this baby may actually share a birthday since C.’s birthday is on May 11.

When my daughter was nearing her due date with C. she asked me if I would be in the birthing room with her during delivery. Having had four children, three of whom I delivered without anesthesia, I was thrilled and honored to help with the coaching and to be present when my grandson was born. She had a birthing room at the local hospital and had had the regular “tour” of the facilities earlier in her pregnancy.  Everything was going fairly normally when her labor started.  Things just weren’t going as quickly as the midwife would have liked so with the doctor’s approval she gave my daughter a drip of oxytocin to help the contractions be stronger and more productive. . It got a little too intense for her at one point so my daughter requested an epidural.   It was given and she felt a great deal of relief.

After many hours ( it seemed) of  contractions and finally instructions to “push”  the baby was born!! What a beautiful little boy!

And then the nightmare began.  She started to bleed….and bleed…and bleed.  There was a fibrous tumor near the birth canal inside the uterine wall. The uterus was unable to contract properly due to the size and location of the fibroid. She was given several pints of blood and frantically the doctor worked to staunch the bleeding. It took hours! I stood helplessly watching the blood flow out of my beautiful daughter, fearing it would never stop! I cry just typing these words!

She survived thanks to the professional care given to her by her medical professionals. The doctor cautioned her that any subsequent pregnancies could kill her unless the issue of that fibroid tumor was resolved.  She waited two years and her longing for another child grew great. She consulted with her OB/GYN and they did a surgical procedure to remove the offending tumor last fall.  When the surgeon went in he couldn’t find the tumor and refused to cut her up simply in order to locate it! So nothing was done except that she now had to recover from invasive surgery. According to the surgeon,  hormones cause the tumor to grow during pregnancy. When she wasn’t pregnant it had shrunk to such a small size that it wasn’t visible to the surgeon.

Pregnancy has caused the tumor to grow large again.

I don’t think I can be in that room and go through that again knowing that she could bleed to death in front of me. My heart says that if (God forbid) something does go terribly wrong I will always regret that I wasn’t there to hold her tight and give her all the love this mother has for her daughter.

I am so afraid. I don’t have the kind of strong religious faith that would help get me through with grace and acceptance. If anything should happen to her I will rail against God the same way I did when I was a child and I prayed in vain for the end of suffering at the hands of my parents.

So while I am anticipating the arrival of another blessing in the form of a fourth grandson, I also fear the whole idea. Pray for my daughter. Please.

da buddies

arrivalPoor Philip…. As soon as I opened the boxes the two monkeys were smoochin’ on the table! 

“Hellll-OOoooOO!!! HmmH!! ExCUSE me, Boo, Bev! Could ya unlock them lips for just a second? I’d like to say hello!”

They weren’t even embarrassed!

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After our introductions the monkeys calmed down and sat quietly scratching themselves very discretely.

To help make Philip a little less lonely I took him onto the sunroom and let him meet all the resident birds. They all came over to Philip and crowded round to get a closer look. After much cooing and ahhing, I noticed one of my birdies making eyes at Philip!p4090067

She and Philip seemed to get along quite well! He even let her wear his cowboy hat! It was darling!p4090068

 The monkeys were getting restless so I left little Bluebird and Philip to get to know one another a little better. I started up the hot tub for those simians and BOY did they like that!lovers

I am pretty sure there was some monkey business going on below the water line!after

I swear I don’t know where Boo got that ciggie!!p4090079

Philip meanwhile went outside with me to meet the Yardbirds!p4090077

Ride ’em. CowBird!!!p4090082

Philip meets Bob #1!  Bob likes Philip!! p4090084

Boo and Bev meet Happy the-Anatomically -Correct Dog! He gave them  a bouncy ride! While they were having a grand old time I made the mistake of moving back to take their picture when I felt a “crunch”! OH, NO! I stepped on Philip’s Texas cowboy hat!!!  I felt terrible!

I remembered that there was a little black hat in the closet, left behind by some previous guest and when I presented it to Philip he put it on and OMG, he looked like the cutest little pimped-out Flamingo!

I took them all back up to the house for dinner ( bananas and assorted fruit for the monkeys, grains and seeds for Philip, hummus and whole wheat pita for me!) Philip asked to use the computer so I gladly left him to it while I kept a close eye on the lovemonkeys. When we didn’t hear from Philip after a while we all went up to check on him and here is what we found!

hot-flamingo

Yep! Flamingo porn!!! I took him away from the computer but after his talking to I came back to find the monkeys having an on line live-cam chat with someone named Spank the Monkey! p4090091

HaHAHAHAAA!!!! We all got a good laugh outa that one!!!p4090097

Good bye, my sweet Buddies!! You’ve managed to keep this crazy woman company for a day…and what a day it was!! Ciao, Buddies!! I’m glad I got to know ya!

Philip is headed to Illinois to Anne and the little Bev and Boo are headed of to play at Starla’s house ! Have fun, Ladies!!!

the sun warms me

discoveryI pray for the warmth of spring and the chance to be outside daily. I do not like cold weather or snow or windy skies. I like warm, sun, temperatures above 70 degrees and my deck and my gardens and my ponds.

Last year I learned how to hoop dance, thanks to Safire, an on-line instructor/ hoop dancing goddess.

This is her newest video. She inspires me. If you like what you see, I highly recommend viewing her tutorials. Thanks to Safire I learned to do the tricks and have since learned to make my own hoops. I have given away more than two dozen of them to people who show an interest. Last year after the Park Avenue Festival in Rochester , NY  D’Bear’s neighbors had their annual Park Ave. backyard party and I taught several people there to hoop dance. We had a few drinks and by midnight there were takers for every one of the 8 hoops I made to give away!

 See if this doesn’t inspire you!

ps. : this is great exercise!!! If I want to be able to wear that cute little French Maid outfit for D’Bear I need to be hoop dancing every day!! Hurry up, sunshine! It’s hard to hoop dance indoors!!

pink is like red but not quite

WARNING TO MY FAMILY- POSSIBLE TMI!!!orangesAs I grow older certain parts of my body amaze me.

When I gain weight, it’s now my belly that gets inflamed huge. When I was younger the weight seemed to spread itself around more evenly. Now if I eat two heavy  meals in a row my middle feels bigger immediately! My pants grow tight and I’m not talking a food baby!

Oh, you know what a food baby is, right? That’s when you get a little pot belly right after you eat a meal. It feels round, like a pregnant belly!foodbaby2

 There are other things that change that no one really talks about, like the color of a woman’s nipples.

When you’re very young, prepubescent, they’re usually pink, like shell pink, very sweet and delicate. Then at puberty they start to darken a little and they get larger. All good things!!

When a woman gets pregnant nipples can become dark as night, dark like chocolate or purply and they grow bigger and bigger until a nursing mother can have nipples as big as a fried egg!fried_egg__sunny_side_up

But then after a certain age, during or after menopause, they start to change again. Mine have become that same shade of pale pink I had as a girl.

They’re still a woman’s nipples. They still love a caress or a kiss. They still respond amazingly to touch or the whisper of cold air or water. But they are such a sweet pink!

Pink is my favorite color. I used to HATE pink but I find it’s a nice color for women des certain age, as the French call older women.  I love that term: “la femme des certain age” ( pronounced “la fem day sairtan odge”  a woman of a certain age. ) It’s so much nicer than old lady, isn’t it? That’s a name I  don’t mind being called at all.

 Aerosmith … I have seen them twice in concert and I adore them! Steven Tyler’s willingness to be androgynous and the mouth on him…well, how can one not be mesmerized by him? His music is awesome!

This song is for all the femmes des certain age that are on my blogroll and for all the women who one day will be ….

It embraces the beauty in every body, no matter size, age, or weight. I love it!