Category: Family N Friends


My best friend has been encouraging me to go to college. Full disclosure here, it won’t be ‘going back to college’, since I never went. She went to college and has her bachelor’s degree and is now looking at law school. She graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA. None of which is encouraging me to actually apply for college since I know I won’t do as well. I”m about half as intelligent as she is. However tonight I applied. New York State is offering free tuition.

It isn’t as easy as I hoped it would be.

As I was filling out the application it said I needed to submit my FAFSA ID, which I don’t have and I was routed to the website to apply for FAFSA. So I started the application process, including questions I had no clue so I guessed, I hope I’m right, if not I’ll either owe NYS a billion dollars or go to jail. I can handle jail. I couldn’t handle debt. Anyway, somewhere in this process, in the middle of my soul crushing confusion I tweeted:

Someone replied with a gif of Woody saying “You’ll be fine, Partner”. This is someone that I am pretty sure I have never met in person, just on social media. As I looked at the tweet and thought, “She doesn’t know me”, I then thought of the 80 people who formed a human chain to save 9 people caught in a rip tide and saved their lives. To those 80 people, it may not have seemed like a big deal, but it was a huge deal to the people they saved.

Just like, to the person that responded to my tweet, it might not have seemed like a big deal, just a quick search and post, but it encouraged me. It made me think, that maybe I can do this. Maybe I can start a new chapter in my life. Not life saving maybe, but certainly life changing.
 

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In a conversation with someone that doesn’t know me very well.

Her: Do you talk to your mother much?

Me: I call her every year on her anniversary.

Her: Oh that’s nice.

Me: At 4 a.m.

Her: …. Why?

Me: Because revenge is a dish best served cold and unexpectedly.

Her: … …

Me: ** smiles ** 

Suddenly a shot rang out! Yes i stole that. I’m visiting my best friend this weekend, she needs help sewing a coat so i came up today. She cut out the pattern then left to go to church with her husband leaving me with the pattern pieces and fabric. Being the careful seamstress that i am i looked at the instructions to lay out all the pieces before i began cutting. There was a front, a gusset, an upper and lower sleeve, side panel and back, i picked up the last big piece of tissue paper, it wasn’t the back. The back wasn’t there. Her daughter came over from the couch to help me look for it, in the pattern pieces, the pattern envelope. We got crumpled pieces out of the garbage, no back. I wondered if the pattern company had forgotten to put it in, then i remembered she had held the back up to her to measure it. 

At this point i became convinced i had somehow lost the pattern piece and would have to leave not just her house but the country and berated myself for not learning Portuguese before having to move to  Brazil. 

Her daughter remained optimistic, with ideas and scenarios, “Maybe it fell on the floor when mom was carrying it over here.” So we started looking under things, she picked up the couch and i checked, no pattern piece. She found another piece of crumpled  up tissue paper the cat has been playing with and started to uncrumple it. “This isn’t it, too thin.” I stood next to her as the 9 became visible, “That’s it, that’s the pattern piece. Go get the iron and ironing board.”

Piece found, ironed out, and placed on the fabric. Now we can drink banana smoothies and laugh at ourselves. 

Sliding backwards

“On Sunday, November 15, I will follow in the footsteps of the New York Yankees as part of the seventh annual Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium – a unique fundraising run/walk that uses the Stadium as its course. I’ll get to explore the concourses and ramps, climb stairs between levels, and take my own victory laps around the warning track that circles the field. – See more at: LINK

This is not a plea for money, however if you want to click on the link and donate I would appreciate it. Rather I posted this so readers would know why I am running. I don’t really like running, I do like how I feel afterwards and I like raising money for Cancer Research. It is a charity that is near and dear to my heart.

There is an app that tracks exercise and besides that I am listing them in a spreadsheet. This is how I know the last four runs I am getting slower. Each run slower than the one before. I’m still faster than when I started and not discouraged.

While I’m tempted to blame this on a variety of factors, blisters on my toes, sore legs, twisted ankle and/or worsening asthma, part of me realizes this is probably just the ups and downs of running and human physiology.

Today I did not want to run. I made a compromise, that I would only run 2 miles. My time was terrible, a friend who I admire as a runner commented on my Facebook post that a “bad run is better than no run”. Support strengthens my resolve.

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Since I eliminated some foods: soda, processed meat, coffee and cutting back on others I have noticed some changes. For one thing, I really miss coffee. And my stomach is getting better. I am starting to pinpoint some foods that should definitely be avoided and some that I probably should eat more of. Also I need to eat more regularly and eat real meals instead of just snacking. I should eat less sugar also.

All this is an attempt to avoid going to a Gastroenterologist since I did that when I thought I had an ulcer. Meaning I know what tests they are going to want to do and I am not ready for that.

In the interest of healing myself, I googled probiotics and found some sites with lists of foods high in probiotics. There is a good slide show at Livestrong.com. Briefly the list is:

  • Green peas – raw
  • Dark chocolate
  • Natto – Japanese breakfast food
  • Kefir
  • Miso
  • Kombucha tea
  • Umeboshi plums -eaten by Samurai
  • Yogurt
  • Sauerkraut – unpasturized
  • Pickles – made with fermentation
  • Cheese
  • Tempeh
  • Kimchi

Looking over this list, there are some foods I recognize, some I don’t and some I never eat. I knew about yogurt and kefir, in fact I have been having a half cup of kefir in the morning and evening. I didn’t know about green peas although eating carrots and celery seemed to help. I knew dark chocolate had some good things for you. The fact that miso contains probiotics explains why I can eat the miso ramen. 6 foods are Asian, apparently the Asian way of fermenting foods either produces probiotics or doesn’t kill them. I never eat pickles, sauerkraut and never tried Kimchi because of the vinegar allergy, also I don’t like sauerkraut. Now I can claim that my allergies are killing me.

Progress is being made. I am writing down everything I eat so when I do have an ‘attack’, which is still happening I can look at what I’ve been eating and make adjustments. If nothing else, I know what to do to get relief. The pain doesn’t go away as quickly as it I had a pill to take, but it does go away.

Another first

My friend Mary sent me an e-mail about an oyster crawl. It’s like a pub crawl, except you eat oysters instead of drinking. Rose also got the invitation and decided to come. It was at that point I realized I had to admit, after several times saying I liked oysters that, I had never had any. They never asked me why I said I liked oysters when I had never had them, I probably couldn’t have given them an answer.

We got these ‘badges’ in the email, with instructions to print them out or save to our phone/mobile devise. My printer is currently not working, and I was having fits trying to save it. I finally managed it, and then we didn’t need to show them.

My first stop was the bank. The second was the subway, I briefly considered stopping at Starbucks, then discarded the idea, only to regret it when I saw how long the wait for the train was. The first restaurant on the oyster crawl was Grey Lady down in SoHo, took me a while to find it. Rose was waiting for me, Mary was delayed by train problems. Rose has said to expect rain, so I brought my umbrella, but it was snow at this point.

We got two dozen oysters, I wrote down the names of the oysters, since I was planning on writing about it, but I can’t read my notes. It looks like we had ‘fisher plane'(Fisher’s Island) and ‘moom shoal'(Moon Shoal). I’m pretty sure that one of those is wrong, anyone reading this that knows their oyster names is probably laughing at me. I even checked my Instagram, and although I had posted this same exact photo, I didn’t note the names. (Name correction courtesy of Eating the First Oyster)

This is me eating my first ever oyster. Photo courtesy of NYC Photo.

After the oysters I had a shot of Lemon Vodka.


This is the second place we went on our NYC Oyster Crawl. True to form I wrote down the name of the oysters, “Blue Point”, and didn’t write down the name of the bar. I’m pretty sure it was Bait & Hook. There are two reasons I’m sure, one is the pictures look like the place we went, two the website says they have happy hour oysters: $1 Blue Point, and three it is one block over from Professor Thom’s. Which is where we went next. Not for oysters though, for loaded tots. Anyway these are my oysters. I only got 6, Mary got clam chowder, she wasn’t feeling the oyster love right then.

Rose got a full dozen. She apparently was still hungry for oysters. Of the three types of oysters I ate this day, these are my favorite. The oyster love continued to the next time I was at Fairway, standing at the seafood counter looking at the hunks of rock that supposedly hold oysters, thinking to myself, I wonder if I could shuck those.

From the upper west side

This weekend I am on the upper west side cat sitting. That is why I am blogging from a Mac instead of my laptop and having loads of problems. My friend (the cat’s mom) says the laptop is flakey. I think she is just being kind and it is me that is flakey. Anyway, since I can’t figure out how to get my pictures here from my phone, if you want to see the little lovelies, their blog is: Living the life of Reilly and Ryan.

Friday was my first night here, I came right from work and of course had trouble with the door. We can add that to the list of things that give me fits. Mac computers and deadbolts. Then Ryan hissed at me. No idea why, since he loves my toes, if he hisses at me they get hidden. I also told him I would drink all the beer if he continued. He soon realized I was in control of the food. I’m also cleaning your litter box Kitten Cat! I played with him for a while and I think that now, the last day I’m here, he is finally accepting me.

Both the cats like Doritos corn chips. No I was not feeding them chips! Well not intentionally. I keep trying to double space, thinking that will put a period in here.

Yesterday I had errands to run, I had to go home to get something I forgot, then I had to do some shopping. I started to worry that maybe I hadn’t fed the cats enough. After all they had gobbled up the canned food and started on the dry before I left. When I got home, there was still dry in the bowl. That is my reasoning, if there is still food, they have had enough, because if they were starving they would have eaten it all right? Then I proceeded to scare Ryan by pouring dry food in the bowl while he was eating the canned food. He ran off, and his sister promptly started eating his food. Ah siblings.

In my next post I’ll be going back in time to talk about New Year’s Eve.

Babysitting upstate

Not really babysitting since the girl is 25, she had surgery on her sinuses on Monday and so needs someone here to make sure she is o.k. I also helped her with her sinus rinse since I am somewhat of a pro at them. After she did it, her exact words: “Oh my goodness! My nose feels so good!” She is not allowed to actually blow her nose so all the blood and other gunk just sits there. The sinus rinse clears it out as well as moisturizes her mucus membranes. I can imagine it is a wonderful feeling to get all that out of there.

For a while we weren’t able to get online. I thought my old laptop, which is now hers, had the connection to the router here saved, apparently the password has been changed. Then the hotspot on my phone wouldn’t work and I couldn’t connect through her phone’s hotspot. I sent a couple of angry texts to the boy. I always blame him for everything. Now we are online through the router instead of my phone. I just reset it and we were connected and eating up my data, for some reason the hotspot want to use cellular data not the house wifi, yes my phone and iPad were working through the wifi even though I couldn’t connect through my laptop.

After all that, I couldn’t remember what I wanted to write here. It was brilliant though.

The young male cat here has been avoiding me since I got here. For some reason he is afraid of me.

I was banished to the basement, the girl was sleeping where I normally sleep when I come and so I had to sleep in her room. My biggest complaint about sleeping in her room is the mad parrot in her room that hates me. It’s not personal she hates everyone except the girl.

And that is the end of today’s updates. Talk to you soon.

While scrolling through my twitter feed I came across the following tweet.

Even though I grew up in the South I have been living in New York for almost all of my adult life, I was sure I would be familiar with most of these foods. As this list demonstrates New York and New England have some major differences at least food wise. A few of these I have eaten, some I have known of for years, some friends have talked about but most had me scratching my head and saying: “What the ….”

The link in the tweet takes you an article with only 9 of them, the following link is for the original article with all 22 items.

22 Things You’ve Definitely Eaten If You Grew Up In New England

After saying “What I missed not growing up in New England!” @eladyland said, Florida probably has a list too; hmmm no, not really. After giving it serious consideration, I could only come up with two, and one of those is southern not Florida specific. Biscuits and gravy, and strawberry shortcake.

The strawberry shortcake I am talking about it the kind you get at the Strawberry festival in Plant City. Where you get a plate with a biscuit on it, a huge biscuit, split in half, then you walk along a table with a bowl of strawberries and a bowl of whipped cream and pile them on.

Biscuits and gravy is not a Florida food. I don’t even know if you can get it there. The gravy is sausage gravy, basically a white sauce with sausage in it. The sausage is cooked before adding to the gravy so its not real greasy, but you can still feel it sticking to your arteries when you eat it. The biscuits are huge, as big as my brother’s hand. You can’t get it here in NYC, it used to be available at Denny’s or Perkins but no more. Even when they had it the biscuits were small.

Whenever I go visit my parents I make them take me to every restaurant in driving distance that serves biscuits and gravy. I just love it.

Those are the foods I remember from my childhood. Everything else, is pretty much what everybody had as a child.