Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ultimate Dominoes???

Were they bored? Did their employers know that this was going on? Did they do this on paid time or their own time? Now that it has been broadcast on the internet, do they still have their jobs? Is this why more stores are going to 24 hours instead of closing overnight?

These and more questions could be asked after you watch the video below. If you are like me and like to watch the stacked dominoes fall, you will enjoy this video.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Couple of Pics

Top picture was made especially for me by Granddaughter who will be 6 next month. Isn't it pretty?
Bottom picture is the chicken curry I made tonight. I got started late cooking and was going to wait until tomorrow, but I really wanted it tonight, so, I was cooking later than usual.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Check My Photography Blog!

Finally I have some photos on my photography blog! It's certainly about time. What was I thinking making a photography blog before I was ready to put photos on it? Oh like I am in so many other ways, I tend to get ahead of the game sometimes. But now there are some photos. So go check it out when you have a moment. Be sure to post a comment to let me know what you think. That's just the start. I have a lot more to get scanned and get on the blog. Then of course, there will always be more pictures to be taken.

Today is youngest Grandson's first birthday. Sunday was oldest Granddaughter's seventh birthday. Where does time go? This weekend is birthday party central. One party on Sunday and another one on Monday. This just starts the season for grandchildren birthdays that will last through July.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Make Chicken Curry Video

I have been looking online for more Indian recipes and Indian recipe blogs. Look at this cool video I found on making spicey chicken curry. Now I want to make this just as soon as I try to make my own makhani chicken. Why is it that after getting to eat at Taj Mahal I am still wanting more of this stuff? This video was found at
Show Me The Curry

Monday, April 21, 2008

Finally Got To The Taj Mahal!!!

My Favorite Restaurant and the favorite lunch spot after my doctor appointments.

The buffet here offers so many good things, but I only picked three today. Oh how I wanted to go back to get some of the other things, but I was too full after this. On this plate is at 1--2 o'clock a spicey cabbage and potato dish. This was the first time I have seen this on their buffet. At 6 o'clock is a vegetable korma. And at 11 0'clock is my newest favorite dish, chicken makhani. There is also a slice of their homemade naan. I also had a vegetable samosa that I ate before I remembered to take the pictures.

Daughter decided to have a cup of chai. Almost looks like hot chocolate.

After the meal, Daughter went into the grocery for me and got me a few things that I am out of. One of these days we will have to make another trip over just to get the rest of the things I would like to stock up on. Luckily I still have enough to last for awhile yet.

Good news from the doctor's office today. I have been successful at losing some a good safe rate too. I have lost almost 9 pounds in the last 4 weeks. It is a good thing I already know this is going to take a long time instead of trying to race through it.
The doctor talked to me about some options in continuing to try to control my heart rhythm since the medicine I was on wasn't working for me anymore. He gave me the option of trying one of two other rhythm meds and neither of them sounds very appealing, or continuing to live with the on again/off again a-fib episodes. Since the episodes are much shorter than they used to be before it had been chronic for a year, I have opted for continuing with things as they are for now. That may change down the road, but there are some definite risks with the other two meds that I don't want to take right now. As for the ultimate "fix" that might not even be a good option, the pulmonary vein ablation, the doctor is not wanting to go that route unless there is no other option. In his words, he "wants to stay away from ablation for now." After all I have read about it, I am very agreeable to staying away from ablation. Last year I was almost desperate enough to go through with it because I was so sick. But I have read more since then and I really don't want to ever have to have that surgery if I don't need it. For now, I have lived with a-fib for 15 years...I can live with it longer as long as it doesn't go chronic again.
All-in-all, it was a good day.

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's Official--Or A Picture Is Worth???

Yep. You got it. Dandelions. Other than robins being back from their southern homes, is there any other sure sign that spring has arrived than dandelions? Not the best pictures but aside from the warm weather that is permeating my home and making it already almost too hot to stand, the dandelions make it official. If that wasn't enough, the sound of the lawn mower as the landlord came by and attempted to cut these "beauties" down filled the air and gave Grandson a new scarey sound to check out. He settled down once he could see the lawn tractor out the window. He doesn't like the sound of the neighbor's motorcycle either, but he hasn't been able to see it yet.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

All Better Now...For The Moment

Any other a-fibbers out there who are following this blog? Fun ain't it? LOL

Well, anyway, I was back in what is called normal sinus rhythm or NSR last night finally. I was wondering it it would happen since I was off the rhythm med even though I am sure there must still be some residue of it in my system still. It's good to feel good. That's all I have to say on that.

It's warm today. And inside it is WARM! Too warm already and the real warm hasn't arrived yet. Hopefully, God willing, there will be some major changes in living conditions around here before the end of May at the latest. I am hoping much sooner than that, but who knows?

Just a bit of rambling here today. I am not really focused on anything much right now. This isn't my "normal" time to be creative or to write...still too early in the afternoon/evening. Right now is the time that my creative juices are wanting a nap. They don't really come alive until much later in the evening. I am a night owl and have been all my life, but life makes changes in things like that. Funny how I can't get to sleep very often before midnight, or if I do, I wake up in the middle of the night like I was just taking a nap. But because of my job I am up early in the mornings like people are for most daytime jobs. Oh how I look forward to those days off when I can "sleep in". What is "sleeping in" to you? To me it means not getting out of bed before 10 a.m. and preferrably sleeping til noon. My body apparently thinks anything more than 15 minutes longer than usual is "sleeping in" and an hour longer is being extravagant! Granted, when I do manage to sleep later, I don't really feel like I have had a day off because the sleeping takes up the same amount of time as the job....and I didn't accomplish a single thing during that free time...or did I?
Isn't it now being found out that the lack of a good night's sleep is one of the major factors in weight gain? Doesn't lack of a good night's sleep cause an decrease in the ability to handle stress? There in a nutshell you have two of my major health issues...being overweight and being unable to physically handle stress. Is it because I don't get enough sleep? They are saying 7-8 hours uninterrupted sleep a night. I get usually around 4-6 uninterrupted hours of sleep, then after a trip to the powder room, maybe another 1-2 hours. Okay, but wait. When I was younger, if I slept anywhere less than 10 hours a night, I did not feel right physically. Ha! That was way before having kids! So, that's what I am looking for here...10 hours a night. I am a grandma now. I earned it. Right? Tell that to this body of mine. I want to stay up late at night. Like I said, that is when the creative juices start flowing. That is when I start getting interested in the blogs, the squidoo lenses, and all the other income increasing activities I am getting involved in begin...oh say, around 9 pm until 1 am. And if I find something really interesting, like I did when I found those animusic videos last week, and that happens later in the evening, I could be up until 4 am without even blinking an eye! I try to limit that to when I do have a day off the next day. So what does happen the next day? My normal wake up time is around 7:30 am. When I end up forgetting to go to bed or just too wired with the interesting stuff to go to bed before 3 am...I end up sleeping guessed it...8:30 and if I am lucky, maybe 9:00. Come on body, give granny a break wouldya?

I know, it's my fault. I need to retrain my body to go to bed earlier rather than to sleep later. That way I can get a good night sleep when I have to get up the next morning for work. That WOULD be the smart thing to do now wouldn't it? I think it is that teenager in me. I am a grandma for goodness sakes. I am old enough to stay up as late as I want to and no one is going to make me go to bed if I don't want to. Oh is that what I know is bouncing around in my head some nights. I work. I pay my bills. I raised my kids. I can do what I want. Oh but doth my body protest. "Granny," says body, "use some common sense and go to bed. NOW!"

Time for a short snooze.....zzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, April 14, 2008

One Year Ago Today

Has it been a year already? Or has it been ten years?

One year ago today I was fired from a job I really liked. Not because I wasn't doing a good job. In fact, the boss said my work was fantastic. So, why would they fire someone who was doing such good work? Because I was sick--too sick to continue and be a liability to their company if something should happen to me on the job. I wasn't a permanent employee, but a long term temp worker, having been there 15 months.

Is it the anniversary that has me in an a-fib episode today? Or is it just one of those regular occurances after having a busy day the day before? Actually I had a busy, full weekend starting on Friday with the day spent at Daughter's house. Saturday I spent all day going through all my photographs and sorting them into three categories. Yesterday I actually made it back to church for the first time in many months. If I remember right, the last time I was in church was last June. I think I had been managing to get there about once every other month since I had stopped going weekly because of this a-fib. I was so happy about getting back to church that I took my own picture after I got in the car. Even my arthritis was cooperating, allowing me to walk without pain, not just yesterday, but Saturday as well. It could be that subconsciously I am thinking of the way I felt a year ago today. Maybe it is just the combination of everything.

The doctor's office called earlier. They apparently just got the results of the monitor recordings when I had to wear it for those two weeks awhile back. The doctor has decided to take me off the flecainide as it isn't working for me anymore. I won't know what he will replace it with until next Monday at my next appointment. And he is having me go back on the coumadin. Darn. I hate that stuff. But if you want to talk money, it is MUCH cheaper than the by $100.

All I have done today other than my usual call center job is rest. That is how it always is right after an episode starts. This one started during the first few minutes of working today. I particularly hate when it starts that way because at first it just knocks the wind out of me and that makes it hard to talk much. Not good for a call center employee whose job relies on talking. Oh my, that just made me think that my mother would have said that call center work is perfect for me because I have always been one who talks a lot. In fact she used to say I was vaccinated with a phonograph needle. Are any of my readers old enough to remember what those are? Well, in a-fib, talking is minimal...breathing is priority, rest is mandatory. It is the days like today that remind me where I was and how I felt a year ago today. I was on that day just 10 days away from a scheduled cardioversion. (Two scheduled cardiversions never happened because I apparently "scared myself" back into normal rhythm just before time for the proceedure.) Also just 10 days away from the birth of youngest Grandson.

So, this past year has been filled with all kinds of emotion, as well as all kinds of events. Getting fired, winning a battle against the company for wrongful termination with unemployment, but not being awarded benefits because, in their words, I was too sick to work, so until I was able to work full time, I could not get the benefits. I also went through the process of applying to Social Security for SSI and SSDI, having the support of the congressman for our district, and the long wait while they made their determination on my eligibility. In addition to all this, there was the dealing with Mrs. Landlady concerning keeping my home. With the help of two churches, and the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, I kept my home, got medicine for a month, and got set up with everything I needed to be able to do this call center job. When it all came together it happened almost simultaneously within a two month period in which I got SSI, then got SSDI and started working in the call center. The rest of the year has been spent in settling into the job, getting accustomed to being disabled, and working to get better. This weekend seems to me to have been a wonderful ending for this past year even if today is not. To have had three perfect days in a row, well that hasn't happened in a long time. Yesterday was the closest to normal that I have felt in probably two years since I got sick almost two years ago.

So what do I have to say to anyone out there going through this kind of deal? Don't give up. Hang on, get the help you need, pray, have faith in God. If the ones you always thought would be there for you disappear, don't be angry with them. They don't know how to respond. Forgive them, love them, and pray for them. Rejoice in the ones who do show up for you. You are going to make it and get through this even if it seems like it is taking forever and you can't see the light at the end of this particular tunnel.

What do I have to say about still being sick, just not as bad as I was? I take this all as a reminder of where I once was, and how God has brought me through it all, and that He is the One in control, not me. He is the one who owns each and every breath and heartbeat. I have no control over either. And God is Good All The Time! (I Peter 5:12)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tasty Meal

Here we go with a picture of the Kheema that Daughter and I cooked today. She actually did the cooking. I just did the prep work and washed the dishes. Today's Kheema was made with ground beef and ground turkey. We also saved out a bit of the ground turkey and made Kabob's, which we flattened into little patties since we didn't have enough to mess with deep frying them. That's one of the Kabob patties there on the plate with the Kheema. There is cachoombar made with vinegar and sliced onions on the "side". I brought some home to have later.

Daughter said I couldn't post the recipes on here. She said she doesn't want to hear about any other non-Indian cooking it better than she does. I told her that kind of puts a kink in my ever wanting to publish a cookbook. Well, the recipe stays. She will just have to live with it if any of you cooks it better than she does. Just how would we find that out!!!

Busy Day Ahead

Life in the call center was brief was very very slow so I got a call to tell me I could get off early. This happens occassionally and today it was at a most perfect time. Daughter and I had plans for tomorrow which got changed to today. Had I had to stay full shift I would still be working for three more hours which would make a very late start for our escapades today. Daughter's hubby is going on a weekend trip and daughter is having a weekend to play. First activity on the agenda is time with me coming to her house to cook a big Indian meal. We haven't decided yet what to cook...whether it might be chicken curry, beef curry, or kheema, which is a curry made with hamburger...only ground turkey may be added this time. Son-in-law is not a rice fan and curry isn't one of his favorites either. So Daughter is looking forward to a weekend of Indian food that she doesn't have to worry about what her husband will eat. She is also ready to give Grandson a taste and see how he likes it. Luckily we don't make it spicy hot. This will be an interesting day.
It is also way past time for my hair to get a trim. Daughter is my hair stylist. My hair these days looks more like a fuzzy mop. I think it was just yesterday I told her that when I got out of bed I realized Bozo had a sister! ME! That is how far out my hair just wasn't red. So, after the cooking, I am going to have her trim the fuzziness off my hair. Hopefully, after all that I will be on my way back home to relax. I have the weekend off from the call center as well, and want to take advantage of the nicer weather, my digital camera maybe, get some shopping done maybe, and get back to church.
Due to my health situation this past year, I have not been in church for a long time and I miss it. So, hopefully I am going to go this Sunday. Surely I will be shocking everyone when I walk through that door. It is good that my health is improving somewhat. I feel better and can do a little more these days. I really am looking forward to enjoying this spring and summer this year. Last year all I did was stay home and try to keep cool. It was the hottest summer I remember in a long long time. I sure hope it is a friendlier summer this year.

I am so glad to be making this Indian food with Daughter today. I have been wanting to make something and have put it off. It is more fun cooking it together anyway.

How about if I add a recipe this time? This is how we do it...not necessarily how someone from India would. This is a variation of how my mother-in-law taught me. As I said earlier, I don't make it hot. Most of the ingredients you can get now at regular supermarkets. It used to be that we had to get them all in Chicago or other large cities where there were Oriental groceries. I still have to go once in awhile to the Indian grocery close to where my electrophysiologist office is. That is where Daughter and I go to the Indian restaurant, too. That trip is coming up again a week from Monday. Maybe I can get the pictures then and add them to the blog.

Okay, recipe time: Be prepared, this isn't written like our "normal" recipes usually are. It is good to have the spices ready ahead of time until you get used to how long it takes to get the onions done.

Meat curry Beef, Chicken, or Kheema:--read through before starting to cook to make sure you have everything.

Start with 1 or 2 large onions finely chopped or slivered. Fry the onions in veg. oil in a large dutch oven or kettle until browned to a dark golden brown. Once they start browning they must be stirred regularly and often or they will burn quickly.

Have a large glass of hot water waiting by the stove and pour the water into the browned onions slowly so they don't spatter. Cook the onions and water until boiling hard and the water has become dark reddish brown.

While the water is boiling, or beforehand, mix the following spices. I generally do not "measure" is by how it looks and by taste preferences.

Mix these powdered spices in a bowl and when the onion water is thoroughly boiled, pour the spice mix into the water and stir well.

2 very heaped tsp corriander powder
2 very heaped tsp cumin powder (or a little less if you used cumin seeds fried with the onions, which is also good)
1/3 tsp turmeric
1/3-1/2 tsp red pepper (chili powder) more or less depending on how hot you want this dish.
1/3 tsp cinnamon or a few sticks
1/3 tsp cardamom powder or a few cardamom seeds
salt to taste
1/3-1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook the spices until you can no longer "feel" the graininess with the spoon against the bottom of the pan. Do not allow the water to cook out totally but you can allow it to become a thin paste.

If you have these green spices listed below already made up...use the following at this point...if you don't have these spices, add 1/2 tsp ginger powder and 1/2 tsp garlic powder to the previous powdered spice mix.

Green spices are made from pureeing in the blender the following

whole garlic cloves
whole ginger cut to be blended
corriander leaves
tiny green chilis or jalepeno's

(We make a large batch of these and divide into how much we use for each time we cook, and freeze in sandwich zipper bags...lasts longer that way. We get maybe about 10 whole garlics, and about 5 or 6 large pieces of ginger root, 3-4 bunches of the corriander leaves, and green chili's depending on how hot you really want your curries to be...then clean, chop, and puree all these, pour into a large bowl and using a dipper spoon, we dip one spoonful into each sandwich bag, squeeze the air out and freeze.)

If you have just made it fresh, use one dipper full to each kettleful of curry. Stir this into the cooking spice mixture and continue cooking until boiling another 5 -10 minutes.

Add 1 can chopped tomatoes, diced tomatoes, etc...unspiced...check ingredients; or 1 small can tomato sauce, or 1 small can tomato paste.

Stir and cook until boiling again, then add 3 pounds chopped meat...beef, hamburger, or chicken breast...or 1-2 whole chickens cut up in small pieces by the joint...leave bone in.

When meat has had a chance to cook partially through, add cut potatoes...I use 8 medium potatoes cut into quarters.

Cover and cook until potatoes are done. If you make chicken curry, at this point you may also add 8 -12 boiled eggs, peeled, whole and stir carefully into the curry. This is optional. Also optional, but our family likes it this way...when cooking time is completed, in a small saucepan with a lid, add a little vegetable oil and get it hot, then add 1/4 cup black mustard seed and cover quickly. Keep covered, shake slightly to spread the seed through the oil, and fry until popping slows...removed from heat immediately to prevent burning the seeds, and pour the seeds and oil from the pan into the curry and stir through. This adds a unique flavor that we love.

Allow the curry to sit for a few minutes...maybe 10 or so...and then skim the oil from the top that has accumulated through the cooking process. Serve on top of cooked Basmati Rice, or with roti, or both.

I hope you have a good time trying this recipe. Let me know how it turns out.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How Much Will Survive?

My little tree is not looking so good today. It had fallen over in the strong breezes of the last couple days and when I sat it back up today so it could get watered by the rain we are having, I noticed many of the dried green needles are now turning brown. What I have read is that once they get brown there is no getting green again. Even the growth tips at the top are getting brown. But the healthy? green parts in the center are still green and soft. I will give it a little longer so the green parts that are going to get green have more time to do so. Then I think it is going to need some pruning. I wonder how much of it will be left after the pruning.

Do you ever feel like that about life? Like you are being or have been pruned? Been there and done that myself. It isn't fun and it isn't easy. My little green tree will have scars from all of this if it does survive. It won't be the same as it was when I first got it. It might be really lopsided. Well, I am lopsided, so it will be a good match. It is getting rained on right now. Rain is necessary for it to live. Don't we just hate it when we get "rained" on in life? I think that is a necessary part of life for us too. At least for me. It keeps me humble. The scars keep my humble. Pride is an issue for me so maybe the Lord in His infinite wisdom knows I need pruning and rained on now and then to help me keep life in proper persective. The sun always comes out eventually.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Amazing Music Machine Videos

Just found this and had to add it to this blog! This is soooo cool. If you enjoy drum solos, you won't believe this one!

After I found the drum machine, I checked out some of the other videos listed there. It's called "Animusic". I am adding some of them here. These are amazing...just how do they do this one? I sure would like to know. The music is soothing and beautiful.

There are a lot more of these on YouTube. These are so interesting. And so creative. I am having a lot of fun just finding more of these to watch.

You can go to and to for more information.

Another Squidoo Lens Has Arrived!

Well, actually two new Squidoo lenses have been posted on . I made the first of the two the other day, and today I just finished the second one. Making the lenses is really easy. Just pick a topic...any topic that interests you. Go to the Squidoo website and click on create a lens and go for it. The templates are already there for you to do your thing. You can put your own bit of text in the text box. You can add as many text boxes as you want to. You can put pictures on. You can then add more modules to sell stuff on your lens. They have Amazon, Ebay, Netflix and more. You can put a poll or more than one on your lens. Get your readers voting. Make sure to add your guestbook at the bottom so when your readers have visited all those things you want to sell, they can sign in. They will be looking for the guestbook. Keep it close to the bottom. That was a tip I read last night on one of the message boards. But I had already done that. Just seemed like the right place for a guestbook.
So what's so great about Squidoo? Well...these guys who created this site are smart. They realize that without people like you and me making these lenses, they have no website...and they make no money. So they have made it a kind of partnership between themselves and everyone who has lenses. Whenever someone clicks on a link to something on your lens and buys the product, Squidoo gets a cut. Since the purchase came from a link on your lens, you get a whopping 50% of that cut. Not some tiny percentage...50%. The more lenses you make, the more opportunities you have to be selling stuff. You can choose to have whatever earnings you make sent to you or to your favorite charity or charities, or both.
So, okay, making the lenses is the easy part. How do you get people to visit your lens so that they will buy stuff? That is the harder part. You have to get the word out that you have made the lens. Tell your friends and family. Join groups on Squidoo and visit other lenses. Sign the guestbooks of those you visited...they will most likely visit your lens in return. And they will want to find your guestbook too. If they are interested in your topic, they will be interested in your products and might, just might buy something. takes a lot of time to build up an audience. If you are a blogger, you already know that. And you already know it is lots of fun.

Oh, and if you are a have to check this out.

Blogging and doing Squidoo lenses are fun activities. And they can make you money once you get going. Just don't get so caught up in the money making and the pressure of the job...yes it is a job for many people...that you let it take away your health. Once it gets to be more pressure than it is have lost something. I mean...didn't you go into this to find work you could do that you enjoy and that could give you the opportunity to work from home so you can spend more time with your family? You have defeated your purpose once you step over the line of making the work the number one priority. Take care of yourself.

Here are all my lenses so far:

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bent and Broken, but ALIVE!

Here are the promised pictures of my poor bent and broken potted Christmas tree. You can see the darkened and drab color of the needles and the way the branches are curling inward. This is NOT the pretty lime-green tree I bought back in December. The close-ups are blurry, probably because I am not used to this new camera. But even blurred the color differences are visible. I was amazed to find the soft green needles in the center. It has been rainy for several days so it has gotten a lot of good water. Today it is bright, sunny, and warm out, so the tree is getting a good dose of health.

You can also see in the picture of the ground, the many broken limbs. They are all over the yard from the different places where the tree was placed and wind blew it over. Maybe the birds will take them and use them for their nests. It would be nice to know that they have some use left in them.

Now, here is a picture of what my tree should be looking like, although mine was a bit fuller with more center stalks--if that is what you call them. Also I had the wrong name for it in my previous post. It is a Norfolk Pine, not a Norwegian Pine. Makes a difference, right? LOL

In searching for pictures of what the tree should be looking like, I found pictures of it full grown. It is a beautiful tree. I don't understand why the stores in this area sell these trees other than for their obvious beauty. They are not able to be grown outside in our climate, according to the information that came with the tree. But if I can keep it alive, I will keep it potted and have a beautiful indoor tree, assuming it continues to get healthy again. Even if it never gets its original shape back after all the damage, it will still be beautiful. It will be a reminder of how life can be a challenge to each of us and how we can survive even after the damage, and be beautiful again even with the scars.

Photo compliments of Wikipedia.

Isn't this a beautiful pine tree? Its branches look like palm trees. I would love having a tree like this.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wanted: Very Simple Vegetarian Recipes

As much as I have always loved cooking, cooking isn't much fun for me right now. I get in the mood occassionally and if I am feeling physically up to it I will cook a full course meal that can be used for leftovers as well so I don't have to cook later on in the week, or can be frozen for the same reason. Right now I am looking for really simple vegetarian recipes. By simple, I mean things that require little or no preparation, can be put in the oven, such as casseroles, or in the microwave just to be heated up. Or even better, eaten raw, like salads. I love vegetables, but I don't always like all the ingredients that get added to vegetarian recipes. But I do know that I feel better in general when I am sticking to veggies over other heavier foods. If the recipes I find can be prepared in just a few minutes without a lot of hassle, I would be happy. I wish there were some way to taste test all the recipes I find online without having to actually buy the ingredients. Wouldn't that be fun?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It's Still Alive!!!

Checked on the little potted Christmas tree today. It was tipped over and really sad looking with it's brittle curled up needles and branches. But when I picked it up, thinking it was probably done for, there in the center....the branches and needles were softened and bright green! It's Alive!!! Amazing!!!! Maybe tomorrow I can get some pictures of it. It is supposed to warm up and rain some more. It surely needs the watering.