Deviled Eggs

I’ve read that if you store eggs wide side up, and stir a bit while boiling them, the yolks will be centered.

By Alyssa McFarland (variation)

12 eggs

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2-4 dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce (optional)

Salt, to taste

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp. garlic powder (optional)

6 Tbsp. mayonnaise (use Hellman’s or Best Foods, “real” mayo)

Paprika for garnish

Place eggs in a pot full of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 13 minutes. Drain the eggs, rinse under cool water, and peel. Let cool in the refrigerator.

Halve the eggs lengthwise and scoop out the yolks. Put the whites on a serving plate, hollow side up. Place the yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the paprika. Mix well.

Fill the hollows of the whites with the mashed egg yolk mixture. To make it look pretty, you can fill a cake decorating tool with the egg yolk mixture, and squeeze it into the whites.

Sprinkle tops with paprika.

If serving this at a potluck or party, remember it is only safe at room temperature for 2 hours.

Quarantine Quarantune

Life was always unsafe

When you went camping and people got norovirus

When you went to a convention where the flu was spreading

When you ate burgers and fries every other day

You weren’t worried about dying then

What has changed?

Is it the news, that you can’t seem to get away from?
Is it the statistics and the word pandemic?

Is it the constant reminder when you see people in masks?

When we finally get the promised vaccine, the herd immunity,

When strangers can be together without fearing the others’ droplets of breath

When we no longer worry about the healthcare system collapsing

Will we ourselves be changed?

Anyone you meet could be contagious with anything

Including you

Life will always be unsafe, because

every life, some day,

Ends

Crocheted Edges on Blankets

Photo of a blue blanket with crocheted edges

 

Last year in the middle of lockdown I decided to take up a new hobby, crocheting edges on fleece blankets.

I collected fleece, acrylic yarn, and one of those circular blades that cuts tiny holes in the edges of fleece, watched some instructional videos, chose my crochet edge pattern, and made the blanket pictured.

Then in August I hurt my wrist, then in October, my other wrist, and literally haven’t touched a yarn project since.

I think I may be on the mend, and hope to start playing with yarn again soon.

Did you take up any new hobbies during COVID-19?

 

In all my years of having opinions about abortion, I never knew about this

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I’m not sure what I expected when I picked up the book Birth Strike, but I was pleasantly surprised when I realized a big focus of the book is about how governments use population control as a lever for the economy. Women are expected to produce (or not produce) babies at the will of those who control the government, and as you know, the government in the USA is now partly controlled by corporate interests. It is to the advantage of corporations (aka employers of those future taxpayers that women give birth to), to keep the nation in a state of partial unemployment, in order to keep wages down, as people desperate for a job will take what they can get.

How does this relate to the current situation in the USA, where there is frequent talk of overturning the Roe v Wade ruling, which legalized abortion in 1973? Roe v Wade was possible in 1973 because in the wake of the baby boom, we had too many workers, according to the powers that be. In recent decades, however, millions of workers are not earning enough to support a family, and are delaying having children.

People of working/reproductive age in America today are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Many want to have children but can’t find a way to do so. The corporate backed governing powers want women to produce more future taxpayers, so that they can keep wages low, but are more often now refusing to own up to their own role in making it realistic for a woman to sustain a pregnancy and raise a child. Without things like universal early child care, flexible working hours, a living wage, health insurance benefits for all, and parental leave, many women are forced to remain childless. Trying to take away safe, legal abortion and birth control options in this situation is like pushing someone into the snow after taking away their clothes.

This is just my attempt to summarize what stuck with me most about this book, but I encourage you to read it, because the author, Jenny Brown, has a lot more to say. She presents good arguments for why universal programs are more effective than “means-tested” or “qualification-based” programs, discusses reproduction issues as they relate to race, as well as the use of immigration as a way to bring in more workers and how the notion of a big family goes along with the notion of small government. She also surveys abortion laws throughout history in a multitude of countries, talks about women feeling compelled to produce soldiers for war (aka “cannon fodder”), and presents interviews with a number of women, as well as consciousness-raising questions. Good reading!

Finished the Kitchen!

This adventure started in June 2020 when a dishwasher leak led to damaged floor and cabinets…everything had to come out, and good riddance to Old Kitchen, too, you bad news 2020 thing, you.

You can read more about the kitchen remodel process here and here. My husband Troy did most of the work “in his spare time,” and yes, that is glow in the dark tile grout that looks like lightening…that backsplash took a month to do, so no, he can’t come over to your house some weekend and do it for you.

Cabinets from Pius, floor and counter by Seattle Style Flooring. So many decisions went into this…lighting, faucets, sink, vent hood, appliances, paint and more. I’d be happy to answer any questions, if I can.

Kitchen Backsplash

My husband likes to do things the hard way.

Most people, faced with the need to add some backsplash tile to their kitchen, would either hire a professional, or if they were an ambitions DYIer, would choose one (1) type of tile and apply and grout it and be done.

But no. We have two types of tile that are completely different shapes and made of different materials. Rather than put a straight line between them, my husband purchased a wet tile saw and made intricate cuts in order to develop this pattern.

Not content to simply grout the tiles, my man applied glow in the dark powder to some, to make it look like lightening.

Still not impressed? There’s more. Two walls contain secret messages relayed by the backsplash tile grout glow. One system uses Morse code, and the other, I have no idea. The secret messages when decoded may in fact lead you to a hidden prize.

Turning matter into light

I burst in on my daughter and said, “how do I turn matter in to light?”

She starts laughing.

I continue, “I googled it and all I can find is stuff about turning light into matter. But that’s not what I want to do. There are these Buddhist gurus who when they die turn into rainbows. Their body disappears and they become rainbow light. I want to know how to do that.”

She tells me that turning light into matter is easy. That’s what plants do when they convert sunlight into plant matter. She then proposed that since humans do the opposite of plants when they breathe oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide, that humans should be able to convert matter into light. But then she admitted that none of this made any sense scientifically.  And that when matter changes, it never just disappears.

I told her that I’m a poet not a scientist.

And then I found this video, which talks about acupuncture meridians and sound. The plot thickens!

Kitchen Chaos is winding down

 I can see the end in sight. We are maybe 1 to 2 weeks away from completion on the kitchen remodel project that has dominated our lives since June 2020. I am looking forward to it. And must give all the thanks to my handyman husband and helpful daughter.

What I learned from 8 weeks of medical leave

I am by nature a “get things done” kind of person and if I don’t watch out it breaks me. There is a balance I need to find between getting things done and pushing through pain till it’s a problem.

I can annoy people by asking them to do things I need done, and can be annoyed by people when they ignore my pleas and trigger my feelings of helplessness. Trying to figure out when and how to ask, when each person has a different communication preference/requirement, can feel like an impossible puzzle for someone like me, who doesn’t understand how a person could be standing right next to rotting food that has been sitting out for three days, complain about the smell, yet not make the connection that maybe they are the one who has the power to do something about it.

High deductible health care plans are a dumb choice for most people.

Just because I have a to-do list, doesn’t mean I have to complete it.

Given a choice between watching some sort of movie/TV/video vs reading a book I choose the book, 98% of the time.

The oven’s memoir

This year’s Christmas letter is written from the point of view of our new-ish GE profile gas oven and range.

I slid out of that cardboard box and was rolled into place in a crappy dacky kitchen, between an ancient fridge and a dishwasher that was on its last legs. The dishwasher barfed its last soon after my arrival, leaving a wet floor. The silly two-leggeds thought they could just buy a new dishwasher and slide it into place but soon realized the floor was totally warped and unlevel. This led to the discovery of stained flooring that extended in front of me, far and wide. The new boi dishwasher was put back in his box and hauled away to the laundry room. Thus began the summer of chaos.

After tearing up some of the flooring, the two-leggeds found a stinky cheese mold. A lab assessed the 1975 linoleum tile to contain asbestos. So day by day I watched the cabinets get torn out, the flooring, even the kitchen sink! The skanky old fridge was rolled into the living room. Soon, I was left by myself on an ugly linoleum floor. The asbestos abatement crew arrived one day, sealed up the room, and tore out the linoleum and hauled away a bunch of garbage. A couple of days later they painted the floor white. Then the ceiling got painted white, and the walls. So much activity around me! Even the skinniest of the two-leggeds got involved, using the power drill, painting, sealing up the wall. Heard them say it was “kitchen remodel summer camp.”

One day the kitchen was filled with boxes. There were so many boxes you could hardly move, even if you had legs. Two days later a man came and spent the entire day assembling cabinetry around me. I began to feel a crescent moon of hope. Next a new floor was put in place. Then the countertop arrived. Dishwasher came out of hiding and got installed along with a new sink. Then a new refrigerator showed up, intimidating me with its largesse. I thought we were done with all this nonsense, but a month later the counter was replaced with a different one. The two-leggeds now spend time looking at tiles for the backsplash.  I am already feeling pretty good as the royal centerpiece, the history keeper of this brand-new kitchen.