Saturday, January 26, 2019

Manly Crockpotting (Now With Update)

Update:  I use Twitter in an effort to broaden my readership here. One response, from a friend:
I always thought the header pic on my Twitter profile was a dead giveway.  Huh.

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Once again, an e-mail to friends turns into a post:

I stumbled upon the Art of Manliness site a while back, and have subscribed to their weekly news letter.  I also have a link to their site in the blogs.  Anyway, they put out some (dare I say it?) good, old-fashioned advice on all sorts of things, from survival tips to tying neckties.

So, today, I found their advice on crockpots.  Since cooking and eating are required by everyone, not just men, I thought I'd pass it along.  Only problem I see (as a single guy) is the copious quantities of stuff it makes, but that can be frozen.

I just finished a batch my white chicken chili, and thought I'd pass it on with the article:

(Notes are in parenthises. I don't generally measure too much, as you will see, so the measurements are approximate where noted. Yes. I open the pot whilst cooking to check on taste and doneness, so I can tweak the flavors to my taste.)

Lee's White Chicken Chili  

2 can of navy beans (I only had one can, so I used a can of black beans)

One of those chicken-turkey hybrid skinless breasts

(I tossed in a thigh w/ skin for the flavor. Thumper approved highly.)

1 small can of diced ortega chiles

1 medium onion, chopped or diced

Teaspoon cummin

Teaspoon dried oregano

1 - 2 cups chicken broth

A splash of Tapatio hot sauce (more or less, to taste)

(Tapatio just adjusts the 'picante' of a dish without extraneous flavor, which is why I recommend it for general purpose cooking. Although I see it in a lot of gerocery stores, I usually buy it a Walmart, because their price is usually about $3.00 for the quart bottle. But use whatever you want.)

Cut the chicken breast into chunks.

Drain the beans.

Toss everything into the pot, add broth till you can see it peeking thru the ingredients.

(Sigh. OK, I was thawing a jar of frozen broth on the stove while prepping, adding it from the jar as I went, so the volume used is a bit hazy. And use the whole can of chiles, juice and all.)

Set it to high. After about 4 hours, it should be close to done. When the chicken chunks fall apart easily, you're there.

(I will try doing an 8 - hour version on low to see how that cooks. Science experiment!!)

(One more note: I added about 1/4 cup of Salsa Lizano, which is a condiment/sauce I discovered in Costa Rica. It gave the chili a bit of a curry flavor, which is what I like it for. I use it when I make Arroz Amirillo con Pollo, too. You can, of course, get it from Amazon.)


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Buy A Nun A Book Day approaching once again - September 17.  Once again, I will be sending books to the good Holy Names Sisters who taught me in my callow youth.

It's a nice way to say "Thanks"!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Ranty Nurse Amy

Update: We reached the goal for Amy!!  Thanks to everyone who donated!!

I didn't realize what a horribly rough patch @RantyAmyCurtis is going thru. Her story popped up in my Twitter timeline, and I got myself involved in the conversation about it. It got a tad heated (not between Amy & me), I was behind a couple of really nice chocolate stouts, and thought to myself, "Self, we gotta do something about this."

Amy wants to get her marriage annulled, and the Church's ecclesiastical court fee to process it is $500.00, which she does not have.  That, plus other debt I know nothing about, have her in a tight bind.

Did I mention she is raising three boys?  By herself?? While she went to nursing school, graduated, passed her boards, and went on to qualify for a specialization as well.  All of this reminds me of Martha, and what she went through to adopt and raise me.  (Story here, if you're interested.)

So. I said to myself, "Self, I can stay online here and try to talk my ginger friend down."  That, as you might expect with a ginger,  didn't exactly happen, but it at least stopped. I knew that there was really nothing I could say to Amy that would make it all better, so what could I do? "Self, I said, let's go set up a gofundme for her. She can get the annulment, and have a life free from the ton of spiritual baggage of not having it."

So, I did.

From about midnight last night until just before I posted this, the fund is at $200.00.  Wouldn't it be great to have the $500.00 funded by tomorrow night? Once that happens, I'll ask her if she wants to continue to raise money to help w/ her debts or not.

So, click the link, and make a donation so Amy can freely get on with her life!

P.S. To my ginger friend:  I have a great deal of respect for you as a person of faith, a successful business woman, and as a person.  I have found that, without intending to, I manage to step on your toes from time to time. In our conversations, it is never my intention to cast things in concrete. Last night, all I was trying to do is describe what Amy is up against, not defend it to you. I am sorry that I didn't make that clear to you.  I can describe a bunch of things about the Church petty well, even though I disagree with some of them.

Again, I am sorry for the misunderstanding.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Update! Thumper and Me

Update: So, off we went to the vet last week.  Thumper was knocked out, blood drawn, and X-rays taken.  X-rays came back clean.  Initial bloood word showed that, yes, his thyroid numbers are low.  Vet wanted to do a more specific test, which I ok'd.  There was enough blood from the draw to do it, which was good.

Bottom line: his thyroid is low, so he is now on a thyroid med.  After a month, the vet wants do do another test to see what's happening.

Started them med last Friday (7/20). He seems to be a bit calmer.  He's hopped into my lap a few times, letting me pet and scratch him. He also comes up to me for attention. If he's focussed on something not me, I can get his lead off without lighting him up.  It's very clear that he is uncomfortable if I bend down and reach for him. Potentially hazardous to me. He sems to improve a tad every day, so patience and caution are the most important thiings for me to bring to the game.


About a month ago, the day after my second cataract surgery, Thumper decided that he didn't want me touching him. I've talked with two dogtrainers, who have done some informd speculating, and the concensus is, get him a physical.

So tomorrow, we are of to the vet. "How", you may ask, "can he get a physical when no one can touch him?"  The answer is, anesthesia. He will be knocked out, poked, prodded, x-rayed, and assesed.

And then we'll know if he is salvagable. By which I mean, 1) can he and I somehow get along btter, being a happy, fun dog; 2) do I take my loss and return him to the shelter; or 3) is he so far gone physically that the only answer is putting him to sleep.

To recap, I lost Baxteer, Benny, and Griffin last year. I've been depressed since Thanksgiving.  (I'm just figuring that out, and yes I have a Dr's appointment scheduled).

This truly and deeply sucks.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Welcome, Thumper!

Meet the newest resident of Casa Chaos, Thumper:

Thumper's Petfinder bio page:

Meet Thumper

Thumper is a 6 yr old Shiba Inu mix who was tied outside most of his life. He was surrendered with his canine son who was also previously tied out. His son has been adopted and Thumper is awaiting his forever family.
Thumper has made a lot of progress since being at our shelter since early January. He learned that toys are cool, fetch is a fun game, and that belly rubs are priceless! Thumper needs a patient person who is willing to visit him a few times to earn his trust. Treats and fetch are the highway to his heart! Thumper would do best in a mature home with a dog experienced family as he is still learning to be a "inside" family member. If you are patient and knowledgeable on how to slowly acclimate a scared dog into home life, he may be just what you need!

He's been here since about noon today, and, all in all, is doing pretty well. He was nervous at first - trembling with a bit of marking. Once he got water and food, and was introduced to his new bed, he calmed down considerably. He is essentially a six year old puppy, given that his only constant contact with people started when he arrived at the shelter. He knows sit, will let my sit and old him in a hug without struggling, and will actually come when he hears his name! Plus, he follows me around constantly, barks at people walking past house outside, and is good aboout watching/avoiding me when I'm moving.

And he really wants to chase Missy! (He hasn't met Nadia yet.)

Right now. I'm in bed with the cats, and he is in one of the crates that we used to get Suzu and Dakota back here ten years ago.

My sense is this is going to work out. He seems to really want to be 'good'; he's intelligent, and willing to learn.

More as this develops. And `two more picturs:

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

National Sibling Day

Two things.

Lane, Martha, and me...

Me, Martha, Lane. I was second, by about 20 minutes.
 ...and, siblings. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

Monday, March 12, 2018

"Where The **** You Been?!" - Yen, The 'Grease Man', Ocean's 11

So, no, I really haven't been around much since June, just a couple of posts on the two blogs.

I was self-medicating over on Twitter.  Since it's Lent, that came to a stop.

Last year pretty much sucked.  If you follow Leelu's Place, you know I lost Baxter in February, and Benny in July. What you don't know is that I lost Griffin in November.

He had taken to going down about half the way on the stairs, and then leaping to the bottom. On his last try, he managed to cripple himself. We did the same kind of steriod treatment that we did for Benny.

In his attempts to get up, he bruised his shoulder badly.  When I finally discovered it, it was about the size of my hand. I managed to drain it, but it was, I think, sceptic. He passed away on November 27. I'd put him on the bed, and started to read. After a bit, I looked over, and he was gone.

That was the proverbial last straw for me. He had started to become more friendly since his teeth were pulled, coming up to me for scratches when I was sitting and reading or watching a movie. It felt like we were beginning to bond, and I was really looking forward to seeing that develop.

So, I started to mourn them all. I didn't realize that was what I was doing until just before my birthday. In the time between losing Grif and my realization, I pretty much did nothing, except self-medicate with Twitter. OK, my alcohol consumption ticked up a bit. And I put on a couple of extra pounds (about ten). I mostly blame the two full batches of Ike's eggnog for that. And the chocolate peanut butter bars. But mostly, the alcohol.

I'm pretty much back now. Doing Lent has helped a great deal. No meat, just fish, eggs, cheese and such. No Twitter. Read the Daily Readings (Epistle and Gospel for the daily Mass) from the USCCB.  Didn't make 'no drinking' past the first week, but I have cut down to less than what I was drinking before the Black Dog came for his stay. And my weight has been dropping. This I know from being weighed each on the many times I been to the doctors in the last couple of months.

(That is another post.)

Work has been done to the house. I finished bracing the joists, and tightened up  the rods to (hopefully) keep the wall from sagging any more. Lots of Romex has been pulled the back bedroom. The 220 V line to  my old third floor bedroom has been split into two 110 V lines, one for the old bedroom, and one for the closet.

The next trick is to get the beam between the living and dining rooms reinforced to correct the sag. After that, I want to make the place able to pass inspection for homeowner's insurance. That will, I'm pretty sure, reduce the mortgage payment. As I understand it, it has to pass the 'looks right' test from the outside, and have no active knob and tube electrical wiring.

(That is yet another post.)

Most importantly, I'm looking for a new (senior) dog.