Why Be So Open?

I was rather surprised at how many people looked at my post about changing my medication and food patterns yesterday. If I were out to make money, I know what kind of stuff would work and what would not work (hint: self examination wins, plant pictures and book reports lose, unless an author tweets about your post, which did happen last week). But, I’ll just forge ahead and write about what interests me, and I’ll enjoy whoever tags along. This here blog is not intended to lead to fame and fortune, like some people’s are.

What about my PRIVACY? You ask?

I am open and honest about myself here on the ole blog, or at least I try to be. I know some folks who are not comfortable doing this, and I totally respect them. Maybe they have something they need to keep from their employers or family members, and I get that. Other people fear the nefarious spies lurking all over the internet just looking for information on them so they can do…something…with it. (I know some folks who have dealt with stalkers, and I get that, but I also know people who use some totally made-up name and obscure their location.)

I can’t resist sharing when random houseplants bloom, either.

As for me, well, my boss and family know all my stuff, and there are a couple of things I don’t talk about because THEY own their stuff, not me. So, whatever’s going on in my head won’t ruin my “career” (ha ha, I believe I have a series of avocations, some of which pay money). I do not intend to run for public office, so none of the dumb stuff I did in my twenties or forties will ruin those aspirations. And I believe in learning from mistakes, which requires a lot of introspection. I “introspect” by typing. So, here’s a blog full of that.

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Recipe: Farro and Beans

One of our readers asked for the recipe for the one-pot whole grain dish I made last night. It’s based on a package Anita bought at Central Market in Austin.

An ancient Roman grain!

Hooray. You can get it on Amazon. Farro is a type of whole grain dried wheat. It is apparently a much healthier option than rice. It’s also really tasty.

All you need to know about this stuff.

So, I made the recipe on the package (above) but added a can of white beans with the liquid. That added a hearty flavor. I also added a cup of carrots that were in the fridge. That added more nutrition and color. I added a little freeze dried onion and fancy pepper from Penzey’s. You could use red pepper or anything a little spicy. (If I had it, I would have used diced onion.)

The bean liquid added to the water in the instructions was enough to make the liquid cook down in just a couple minutes more than in the instructions.

This is the finished dish, as I showed this morning.

It was so good, and we had leftovers. I enjoy taking interesting things Anita finds at the hipster store and making them MINE.

There. I posted a recipe. By the way, one of our new succulents bloomed.

Weird, huh?

Other Habits to Change: Food and Drug Edition

TW: This is about medications and managing the types of food I eat.

The doctor I’d been going to since I moved to Texas retired recently (and somehow I missed being informed of that…guessing it went to some old email). She was a really nice, calm woman who never got excited about anything. She’d say we could try this, we could try that…what do you feel most comfortable with?

I’d been to other doctors in that practice, and all were fine, but since I have moved closer to another affiliated clinic, I decided to try one closer to home. Argh. Changing primary care physicians is NOT easy, since so few of them are taking new patients. I finally found a couple who didn’t have horrible reviews and chose the woman, just because, I guess.

My “Drug Habit”

I don’t like to take pills. Only if absolutely necessary. Photo credit @erimar via Twenty20

Yesterday at 7 am, minutes after I woke up, her office called to brightly ask what medications I need refilled and to inform me that “the doctor doesn’t do refills of alprazolam, just so you’ll know.” Well, huh. That drug is Xanax, which I’ve had as an “emergency backup” for decades. I generally take about 6 a year, maybe fewer, especially now that my panic attack issue is much better. So, I was interested in finding out more about that, perhaps when I was more awake. At least she didn’t say they were taking away my fluoxetine (Prozac), which makes me feel like a stereotype, but also makes me able to cope with stuff like a pro.

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Changing My Patterns

This is the Blue Fish brand I still wear from the 1990s.

Everyone has some patterns in their life that could be tweaked, changed, or eliminated. For me, one I’ve been thinking about a lot is clothing. The number of times I have had to clean out my closet recently tells me that a) I often buy trendy things that actually don’t work out for my body type, and b) I keep gaining and losing weight, so I can’t wear half of what is in my closet at any one time. Then, things change, and I wish I hadn’t given all the previous stuff away. Now that I am just enjoying who I am and not stressing over my size, I do hope I’m stable.

I do try to buy clothing that will last a long time. I have been reading a lot about the “fast clothing” concept, and while it does provide some jobs for people overseas, I’d just rather conserve resources by buying things that will last me a long time, or can be re-used by someone else. That’s what I do with things that are way too small or way too large (depending on my current size).

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Book Report: Unnatural Texas?

Hey from Austin! You didn’t think my holiday was all traipsing through the mosquito fields and staring at the ocean, did you? Of course not. I also read a lot. Admittedly, I read a few magazines, but I got deeply into this book, which I got at the Texas Master Naturalist Conference a couple of weeks ago. It’s whole title is Unnatural Texas? The Invasive Species Dilemma, and it was written by Robin W. Doughty and Matt Warnock Turner.

The authors didn’t want to put “invasive” in the first part of the title, because, as they frequently point out, none of the plants and animals they talk about actually invaded in the first place; someone brought them to this continent. In fact, the only animal who’s actually “invaded” that they talked about is the nine-banded armadillo, who’s been going farther and farther northward, on its own, for the past couple of hundred years. (I would add to this list the caracara/Mexican eagle and a couple of other birds that are coming northward since it’s getting warmer).

This dude invaded our neighborhood all on their own.
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Final Vacation Day: Bluffton, Then Home

I had no time to write this morning and spent all day today on planes, so I’m late. You 11 people who read these things survived, no doubt.

Trees, moss, and us.

Friday was a nice calm day, since Anita worked until noon. But then we set out to the mainland to visit the lovely town of Bluffton. It reminded me of Green Cove Springs in my youth. Lovely old h of huge trees covered in moss, with a beautiful river.

An old church. Sadly, most of my photos got messed up, so no cool house images.

We ate lunch at a wonderful spot in an old house, called The Cottage. The food was hearty and sophisticated all at once. I got oysters, crab, and shrimp in a delicious sauce, over cheese grits. Heaven. Anita had a pot pie that she raved about.

The Cottage

After that joy, we found a marvelous boutique and I got an amazing poncho kind of top with sleeves. I can’t wait to wear it all winter.

The town has been beautifully preserved, with more work going on. All the new developments are out of the historical area.

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We Invade the Plantation

Yesterday was a bit more of the same vacation stuff as the rest of the week. We have a routine where Anita works all morning (that’s why I have time to blog; otherwise I’d be doing activities) and then off we go. I made a lunch with our eggs and turkey and cheese all scrambled together, making me glad we got the grocery delivery package when we got here. That way, most days we don’t have to eat out but once.

We See Sea Pines

One of the negative things about Hilton Head Island is that lots of it is not easily accessible unless you live there. It’s divided into “plantations” (which were actual plantations with all the sadness that went with them), and they are gated, so only the well-do-do who live there can get in without a pass.

Entrance to the preserve we visited.

Luckily, for $8 they will let you into Sea Pines, so we made the most of it and drove all over the place yesterday. There’s a large forest preserve in the middle, which the developer of the property kindly deeded to the residents. We trundled through there and really enjoyed the boardwalk area with lots of labeled plants and interesting terrain.

Anita in her Halloween shirt enjoying the boardwalk.

The land was reclaimed from being a rice plantation and now actually provides drinking water. That’s a great story. We saw a couple of alligators and lots of birds, plus some huge trees that survived Hurricane Matthew.

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