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Leftovers 'orphans'

Monday, November 30, 2009
You know how you used to hear about people who would decide they did not want to be pet owners, and take puppies when they got grown and past 'cute' out and dump them? Or cats when they would reproduce excessively and just leave a litter of kittens by the roadside to face certain death? Folks who leave unwanted domesticated animals out in the country, to fend for themselves: That's Not me, but I do have a confession to make...

When I went to Florida on Friday, I took the pumpkin pie I knew No One here needed to eat, and left it. Not exactly abandoned alongside the road, but hopefully found a 'good home' with a caring family. I did not precisely open the door and shove it out, drive off in a cloud of dust, saying 'good riddance', but admit to somewhat drastic measures to try to whittle down the temptations of Remains of the Day. And am sure that the adoptive family will be very caring and compassionate. (Thanks: D, R, S, W & P for hospitality, and kindness by 'taking in' orphaned pie.)

The recipe is not necessairily what might be considered nutritious, but is so close to 'healthy eating' I took a copy to share with the group when I went to WW on Sunday aft. If you are careful with your shopping, it is mostly air, and does have quite a bit of 'fiber'. Should you want more info., available upon request! Or just come by at Christmas, when I am sure I will be repeating by request.

Leftover Leftovers...

The turkey story is pretty funny:

I had purchased a small, white-meat breast/turkey roast weeks ago, when they were on sale, and put it in the freezer, awaiting a holiday. So I got it out last Sunday afternoon, thinking if it sits in the fridge several days, it will be thawed and ready to cook for us to enjoy on Thanksviving. Sounds like a great plan, right?...Turkey, cornbread dressing, gravy (without body parts), casseroles: squash, sweet potato, traditional-always-on-the-table items like apple salad and celery sticks stuffed with olives-creamcheese.

Then I got a call Monday morning before I was due to be at Publix for a short shift of grocery bagging: "You Won The Turkey!" I had put my name in a box for a raffle drawing several weeks ago, not even knowing what the 'prize' would be, at the Red Cross office, after I gave a pint of blood. I thought: whatever it is (usually a trip someplace!), I surely deserve to win after saving someone's life! But did not know what they were actually giving away for the month of November. When the receptionist called and told me the 14 pound turkey was waiting, I am sad to report that I said a bad word. Then asked her to go ahead and take it out of the freezer so it would start thawing. Paul went to pick it up, and left it in the sink for me to deal with, so I put it in the fridge when I got home from Publix in the afternoon.

Though nobody actually wanted to be 'in charge' (and us in the presence of a Trained Professional!) and take responsibility for the roasting of the bird, it was consumed. Mostly. I made vegetable soup with the stock from the carcass on Sunday, and Paul made a truckload of turkey salad on Saturday. (I think he is already tired of eating so he obviously over-estimated how much he could consume!)

Hindsight made me realize I could have donated that bird, but I was so stunned it never occured to me at the time. In the unlikely event this should ever occur again, I hope I will have the presence of mind to think of the 'less fortunate' and be willing to actually look this particular gift horse in the mouth! (Or back end of the bird where all the extra parts are located, but who wants to dig around in there to find something you will just throw away?)

My mom's neighbor had a sort-of recipe she told me about, something she had kinda invented, aapted, to use up leftover turkey when they family is getting tired of looking at the Remains of the Day. I don't recall if it is something you serve over toast/rice, or a casserole with enough additions to disguise the fact that the bird is back on the table again.I have been thinking about it, and hope I can find it in my recipe box. She called it "Goodbye Turkey". That's most appropriate!

11-27-09 Leftover Thankfulness

Friday, November 27, 2009
So: thankful for what?
All that stuff that goes along with citzenship and the constitution.
People in the military who have served in the past, for well over two hundred years, and the ones who serve today.
Really thankful for American history.

Being Cheerfully Unemployed: Though I worked a big eight hours at Publix this week, as a bagger-geezer doing carry-out two mornings. When they called to ask if I could work, I thought it would be nice to make some pocket change, but said 'four or five hours on my feet is all I can tolerate', so I got 2 four-hour shifts - and it was just about all my feet could tolerate!

Thankful for a holiday that celebrates Thankfulness: I had invited a number of singles to come and have lunch... and was pleasantly surprised to have two accept. Aa couple of friends responded with interest, calling to say they would like to come and have turkey with us: so...

Thankful for friends too! It was good to see you and enjoy eating and visiting Ann and Linda.

Thankful for all the ones who were invited and did not come, since they obviously had other people, family close by to enjoy visiting and eating with. So to all those who did not show up: we missed seeing you, and I am appreciative of the gift of friendship.

Thankful for a full fridge: Do you want to stop by for leftovers? (just a joke - I have already 'farmed' most of it out!)

11-17-09 If it hurts so much, why do you keep doing it to yourself?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I have been working as a substitute 'para-pro'/teacher's aide for past two days, in elementary schools on opposite sides of town. I am astounded at the difference between the two.

The class on Monday was almost as far north as a five-year-old can go and still be in the school system. I was so impressed with how organzied and professional that young woman was. She is a great teacher, has the classroom under control and really seems to know what to do/how to to manage two dozen children.

The class room today was the most chaotic, disorganized experience I have had since I started back in the 'monkey herding' work just over a year ago. Part of the problem is that the teacher is a long -term sub., replacing someone who is out on maternity leave till January. The other part is she can't manage - in no small part, due to the environment the children are coming from and the lack of discipline and experience the four year olds have had thus far. I predict she won't make it till Dec. 17, and might have a complete breakdown if her aide is out again before then.

I have another job tomorrow at the Only high school in town I would consider going into. And fully expect it will be a good day, with students who will not give me any problems, likely with so much work assigned they won't get finished, and therefore won't have time to be trouble...

All this to say how thankful I am the people I was personally responsible for turned into functioning adults. And even more thankful that they are not trying to muddle their way through the public schools in the situation they are in now. I can't imagine how that young woman I was with today must feel: thinking that she has to 'tough it out' because she needs the money. I know that filling in as a 'long-term' subsititue pays better than the 'day labor' I have been doing in a haphazard fashion, but not at the risk of mental stability.

The stars are shining, the world is turning, God is Good.

11-09-09...more Thankfulness...

Monday, November 9, 2009
I usually get calls several days a week with 'offers' to substitute teach. I am apparently in such great demand that Paul reported I got a call on Saturday afternoon... which has never happened before. In reality, they are more likely just desperate for people to come in and 'hold the fort'.
The computer generated 'sub.finder' system starts calling at 6 in the afternoon, till 9 p.m., then again at 6 a.m. till all the slots get filled, or 9 o'clock.

Most days I don't respond to the requests, having something else already on my schedule: I don't quite know what it is that keeps me so busy I do not seem to have time for a 'job' or working, but I have only actually taken three sub. teaching assignments since schools started back in August.

I got two or three calls on Friday, all of which I refused. But then I started thinking: I don't have anything else going on, I think I will call and see if I can find some 'day labor' work. So I called the computer and got one of the jobs I had turned down earlier.

The recorded message said it was work in an 'early intervention' classroom, which I assumed to be something like a head-start program that would assist disadvantaged kids to get up to speed. I went to an elementary school in a low income area of town. When I got there, the secretary said that there were already two aides in the classroom... which was 'odd'.

Then as she walked me down the hall, she commented 'all these kids are autistic'. I thought: have I bit off more than I can chew? The children were four to six years all, mostly all non-verbal, with other problems as well, like ADHD, behavior issues, anger problems, one was deaf and learning to 'sign'. Wow.

One of the para.pros sat at the computer all day, or had the ipod plugged into his ears, I assume because the teacher was out and not there to keep them all busy/supervised. But the other para. was very involved, interacting, attempting to instruct, though much of the time is devoted to intervention and behavior management.

It was not a bad day: interesting and educational.

What I really learned is that I am very Thankful for healthy children. Appreciating the blessing of having kids that matured into independent, fully-functioning adults. I cannot imagine the heartache a mother must feel to gradually realize that a child will always, always need assistance.

11-03-09 a little thankfulness...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Paul's surgery on Monday, the 2nd went well. He was orginally scheduled to have the pacemaker (that is apparently also a mini-version of defilibrator, somehow micro-chipped and programable to give him a little 'shock' when needed) for Tuesday, the 2nd, but the surgeon, a very small, pleasant Indian woman, found it more convenient to do on Monday...

It was done under local anesthetic (but not if it were me), and apparently he was cheerfully offering all the OR staff hockey ticket discounts the whole time. It took a little longer than expected, and they got started a couple of hours later than we had originally been told, so it was mid-afternoon before he was finally in a room, and visit-able. He was in good spirits, and continues to be, though is of course very sore where the little device (they say about the size of two silver dollars) is in a 'pocket' under the skin on his upper left chest. Before he was discharged midafternoon on Tues., the dr. said she could tell his heart was already doing better, so I guess the device is doing what it created/designed to accomplish. He declined even having the Rx for darvocet filled, so apparently can define the pain as 'discomfort' rather than misery.

Now snoozing in his recliner, I don't really expect he will, as instructed, wait till after next Tuesday (when he has followup dr. appt. scheduled) to: take a shower, start driving, return to work. But apparently came through the surgery well, and feeling good. So he is hopeful that this will give him a bit more energy and stamina to do the things he wants to do.

Francina cooked him a cholesterol laden meal (just exactly what he 'ordered') last night before heading back to Decaturas she had to be at work around noon today. Paula will have lunch here, then leave for Chattanooga, home, hubby, work on Thursday. Always good to have them back 'in the nest', even though temporary.

I know lots of people have been thinking of and offering up prayers on little wings, so Thanks! to all those folks who have had us on your minds and in your hearts.