Tag Archive | Food

1,2,3,4 long days without my computer….



In spite of my admiration for Catherine the Great and Empress

knight in shining armor

My knight in shining armor

Wu, right now my friend/neighbor Wayne is my new hero. My computer collapsed. Poor thing had to be hospitalized and have surgery. Wayne carried it gently down to his car and drove it to the Apple hospital, where they deemed it too old to bother with. (Apple must be hard up for cash and needs us to purchase new ones. Make a donation if you can.)

better sick comp

My ailing old computer

Undaunted, gallant Wayne found somewhere else to take my ailing computer, drove it there and after a few harrowing days, brought it back to me. I was more than willing to shell out the $392 required for a new video processor chip, whatever that is.

Meanwhile, I had fretted and lost sleep over the possibility of losing everything on it. Worrying, as you know, is something I excel in. However, I also learned how much time I spend on this electronic contraption. I now must admit I’m addicted and I missed it terribly.

red brook and duster

Without my computer I had no excuses

This monster takes up so much of my time, there are dozens of obvious tasks-to-do I pass by each day and think I must take care of ‘one of these days’. Well, these four days ended up being those days. I couldn’t produce any other delaying tactics not to do them.

Instead of checking my email and seeing how many visited my blog first thing in the day, I made my often neglected bed every morning. Then, although I attend Tai Chi every Monday, plus exercise classes on Wednesdays and Fridays, I managed — in addition to get on my Exercycle Ladyonbikeand Stepper three times during the four days without electronic distractions. (The last time I’d managed time for that was March 8th!) I also managed to daily do the physio-recommended arm exercises for my torn tendons.


My desk is now neater…

I have oodles of paper left over from my old printer which require detaching before I can use them in my new one. I now have a respectable stack ready and prepared. My desk is also somewhat neater. I filed many papers which had sat there for months. Papers and documents awaiting shredding got shredded and properly recycled. At last, my 2016 phone book/calendar got disposed of, with all your names and phone numbers safely shredded as well. Long neglected, shocked loved ones and friends received phone calls out of the blue. I feel so noble!

My kitchen received attention as well. I neatened up my ‘plastic bag’ drawer, piling various bags high on my counter, after which I diligently separated them by size. I carefully weighed the separated stacks down in the drawer with paperweights. (I did this in spite of son Rafi’s warning that this madness would indicate to visitors that I’m neat, thus making them uncomfortable in my home.) After that, I attacked my wealth of plastic containers, matching tops and bottoms, and discarding all those I couldn’t fix up with anyone. Then, because I;d rather not go out when it snows, I’d accumulated extra ‘just in case’ food supplies during winter, I pulled everything down from those crowded cabinets and put things in order. Can you imagine?

drawing blacl:white w:broom

I cleaned up the winter debris

Nor did my balcony get overlooked in this frenzy. On a rain-less day, I got out there and cleared up the debris left over from winter. My outdoor pots are now ‘almost’ pristine and ready for spring planting. You’ve got to be impressed!

Well, now I have my computer back and this ain’t gonna happen again for (hopefully) a very long time. I’m back. Thank goodness for small favors! I was even driving myself crazy…..


My mother-in-law’s wartime experience with potatoes

When I was young I read many a diet book and tried many a diet. For years I avoided potatoes, pasta and breads, believing a real weight-loss diet had to be high-protein, low-carbohydrate. Anyway, that’s what they used to tell us.

Nature's gift -- potatoes

Nature’s gift — potatoes

My late mother-in-law, Annette, knew better. On one of her visits from Paris, as our family sat down to dinner, she asked why I was not having any potatoes, which I had served to everyone else. I explained I was trying (as usual) to lose weight. Annette suggested that by excluding potatoes, I was making a mistake.

She told me about her experience with potatoes during WWII. As a French citizen who happened to be Jewish, she had been arrested by a French policeman for not wearing her yellow star while she chatted with a neighbor outside her apartment building. (She lived in the Maurais district in Paris, which I have since learned was a Jewish neighborhood at the time.)

Subsequently, Annette was interned in a German concentration camp where she, as well as all the other inmates were starving. When the Americans liberated the camp, she said they were shocked at and didn’t know how to deal with the horror they encountered. They also, apparently, didn’t have enough food with them to provide for the emaciated prisoners they had to deal with. (Nor did they have enough doctors or medicines to immediately care fo the sick and dying.) The Americans could not bring themselves to allow the miserable survivors to remain in the camp where the conditions were far from suitable for human habitation. So it was that Annette was one of nine weak, hungry women who were billeted in a small nearby cabin, which belonged to local Germans who fled as the Americans advanced.

Naturally, the first thing these women did was search for food. In the cellar, they discovered potatoes and onions. A cabinet held some oil. There was nothing else to be found. Still, they were delirious with joy. Annette’s eyes lit up years later when she remembered how excited they had been.

“We boiled them, we fried them, we baked them, and oh, I shall never forget how wonderful those potatoes tasted!”

The womens’ legs had been swollen, their stomachs were distended. All nine were suffering from severe malnutrion.

“Within a few days,” Annette continued, “Just from the vitamins in those potatoes, the swelling in my legs started to subside. We all began to feel better, even though we had nothing else to eat. The potatoes and onions did wonders for us all. Potatoes are very healthy. You should never eliminate them from your diet, they are very good for you.

Even now, I think of Annette whenever I bite into a potato….and I no longer do so with any guilt.

The late beloved Canadian singer Stompin’ Tom Connors also knew a thing or two about potatoes. He praised them in his song “Bud the Spud”.

“It’s Bud the Spud from the bright red mud

Rollin’ down the Highway smiling

The Spuds are big on the back of Bud’s rig

And they’re from Prince Edward Island

They’re from Prince Edward Island.”