Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Weather Change and Skeletal Pain

How quickly the earth can spin and send us in different weather patterns.  It's not the weather that bothers me so much as the dampness and chills when it rains.

In the last couple of months we have gone from warm 70 degree days to overnight lows of 50's and lower.   Even with a new furnace and setting the temps around 70 for heat and 72 for air the living room seems to be in a constant chill.  That could be because I don't get any direct sunlight into that room and there are no windows on the afternoon sun side.


But for the most part it is the damp weather brought on by rain or snow that gets to me and my bones.


The reason for writing this blog is because my bones are feeling the dampness and I have had to resort to medical treatment twice in the past three months.  The air conditioning was on and I don't deal with cold very well.  So far I'm still only using Tylenol extra strength but I'm taking 4 doses a day during the bouts of pain that creep into my joints and bones.


Doc doesn't think it's arthritis because of where the pains are and where they radiate but I'm the one feeling them and I know it's in the joints and bones.  I do have a bone spur on my shoulder though.  I've become my mother and resorted to using Icy/Hot patches on my back and arm.

Twice I've taken an inflammation prescription but that doesn't help unless I continue to take my Tylenol at the same time.

I firmly believe that it is the dampness in the air that affects everyone who has any joint or skeletal ailment.  I don't have the solution for the pain but I know when it occurs.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Love Your Neighbor

We have been told to "Love your Neighbor, as yourself."  I ask you, "Who is your neighbor?"  Is it the lady next door or the person who stole your wallet last week?  That is an extreme example but one that you have to take into consideration.  It's not just the little things we need to forgive but even the bigger ones.



The real answer is both.  Yes, your neighbor is everyone with whom you come in contact.  Over the years, I've learned that fighting doesn't solve anything when it comes to personal situations.  Your inner being has to let it go and learn to live on with the people around you.

Don't get me wrong.  That doesn't mean you have to be best friends with that someone who has wronged you but you do need to forgive and forget.  I've heard people say, "I'll forgive them but I'll never forget they did that to me."  In the end this leads to a festering sore inside that makes people bitter in their dealings with not only that person who wronged them but with everyone around them.

It's time for us to take a look into what is festering in our mind and whom we are having problems letting go of wronged feelings.  It's time to make a conscious effort to letting go.  You don't have to physically encounter them in order to do this.  What you need to do is make an effort to not dwell on what happened but take it to the high ground and look for what good you can do by letting go of the emotions that are holding you back from forgetting.

I've had many upsets in my life and one of them was one that I had to rid myself from all contact with a person.  Over the years, I let the bitterness set in and avoided them at all costs.  I've learned that because of other circumstances, I'm only hurting other people involved and have come to a position in life where I can speak with them without the rankling and enjoy the company of others in their company.  This is loving your neighbor as yourself in it's fulfillment and I thank God for that realization and with his mercy having come to this point.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Let's Make Soup

Here is a favorite old subject of mine which is making soups and putting them up for winter.  By putting them up for winter, I mean freezing portions for later use.  I find that soups from the freezer are just as good and sometimes better than when we first made them.  So let's get started and make some of my favorite soups.

Tortellini Soup


There is nothing better for you in cold weather than a bowl of soup. One of my favorite recipes for soup is Tortellini Soup. This soup takes some special techniques if you follow the recipe closely but is well worth the effort. This hearty soup is sure to chase away those chills.

Vegetable Soup


You can't make soup from scratch without including Homemade Vegetable Soup. My mom made the best and I've spent a lifetime trying to duplicate her recipe. There is one rule to making good vegetable soup and that is the more vegetables the better. My personal like is to add butter beans but no lima beans. Since this is Lent, You would make the vegetable soup without any meat base but my Mom usually started her vegetable soup by simmering chuck roast chunks to give it a fuller flavor.



Another one of my favorite soups for this season is Stuffed Pepper Soup. This is another hearty soup that is very easy to make. The hardest part of the process is browning the ground beef.

There are so many other soups we can make for the coming blustery Winter season.  I've just recently found a recipe for Potato and Corn Chowder.  This one is easy and can be made using frozen corn rather than starting from scratch like my Mom used to do.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Soup and Sandwich Season

a selection from Panera for those cold days
Here it is January and it's leaning towards being cold, cold, cold in the Pittsburgh area.  It's not unusual for this time of year that we are huddling in our houses with the threat of snow or inches of the white stuff to be shoveled.  That's not to say that winter has been unkind this year.  We are enjoying waves of intermitant warmer weather rather than outright long heavy snowfalls.

We got a dusting so far this season
I came away from Christmas with what I can only call the cruds.  I langered in my chair with a hacking cough and it was all I could do to stand up from the sitting position.  Another reason to do some zoup which is what it sounded like when some of my neighbors said it growing up in Aspinwall.  We had a family that grew all their own vegetable next to me and their 17 children learned the home arts, woodcrafting for the boys and the kitchen skills for the girls.

But I digress.....

I'm sure winter is not done with us by any means since we still have all of  this month, February and March to go this season.  I'm hoping that Punxsutawney Phil doesn't see his shadow on February 2 and we can get ready for an early spring.  I don't mind the cold weather or even short bouts of snow.  I only dread the extremely cold days following bouts of rain when the roads are icy and the only safe place is inside your home.

I'm not a pessimist by any means but I've learned that you can't count on the weather at any time of the year here in Pittsburgh.  On the average, this time of year is what I call soup and sandwich weather.
Tortellini Soup

There is nothing better for you in cold weather than a bowl of soup.  One of my favorite recipes for soup is Tortellini Soup.  This soup takes some special techniques if you follow the recipe closely but is well worth the effort.  This hearty soup is sure to chase away those chills.

Vegetable Soup

You can't make soup from scratch without including Homemade Vegetable Soup.  My mom made the best and I've spent a lifetime trying to duplicate her recipe.  There is one rule to making good vegetable soup and that is the more vegetables the better.  My personal like is to add butter beans but no lima beans.  Since this is Lent, You would make the vegetable soup without any meat base but my Mom usually started her vegetable soup by simmering chuck roast chunks to give it a fuller flavor.

Grilled Cheese


What is better than a simple grilled cheese sandwich to go along with your soup de jour.  While the soup is simmering and getting all those great flavors mixed in start your grilled cheese sandwich on another burner.  All you need is a square griddle, two pieces of bread and 1 or two pieces of American cheese.

Grilled Cheese with Bacon


If you prefer you can add a couple of pieces of bacon to the sandwich for an entirely different taste treat.  Lately I have been buying the already cooked bacon in the dairy aisle and just adding a piece or two on top of the slices of cheese.

Green Pepper Soup

Another one of my favorite soups for this season is Stuffed Pepper Soup.  This is another hearty soup that is very easy to make.  The hardest part of the process is sauteing the ground beef.

There are so many other soups we can make.  Come back tomorrow for another variety of soups to make for what should be this blustery Winter season.