Saturday, January 30, 2016

Tomato free spaghetti sauce recipe

This is for Judy who asked me to post the tomato free spaghetti sauce recipe.

saute 1 chopped onion with 3 cloves of minced garlic until transluscent

In a bowl put
2 cans of sliced carrots drained
1 can of beets (rinsed and drained)
(and mix  together in a blender or I use an immersion blender until it is smooth)

Pour the carrots & beets mixture into a sauce pan and then add the onions and garlic.  Also add 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning, 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar and 1 bay leaf.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for up to 4 hours or at least 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf.  (I usually only simmer 30 minutes)

You can also add cooked crumbled hamburger or cooked crumbled Italian sausage to the sauce if you like.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

I still get a kick out of making Mike's "spaghetti" sauce.  I can't believe carrots and beets can be substituted for tomato sauce.  Of course it also has red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, garlic, onions and bay leaves in it but it actually tastes like spaghetti sauce.  I make a big pot of it and then dish it into single servings I can freeze.  I made 12 servings of it over the weekend.  Some of it I added ground hamburger and some Italian sausage.  I also made 12 servings of ham & beans and 6 servings of hamburger soup.  I put all of it in Mike's freezer because I ran out of room in mine.  I buy deli freezer containers from Amazon and they work great.  Mike has a tendency to throw away anything I put food in after he eats it so I just get these and then I don't care if he throws them away.

I hung a magnetic dry erase board on Mike's refrigerator that has the 7 days of the week on it with spaces for breakfast - lunch - dinner.  I use it to do a weekly menu planner. He's able to take meals from his freezer and thaw them and then heat in his microwave.  So far it is working out well and he is getting a more varied diet.  He had been eating the same thing over and over.  If he can see what to fix and what vegetables to include it helps him have a better diet.  

I look for as many simple things that he can make such as mashed potatoes in a cup.  He loves this and can fix it himself.  I also purchase toaster waffles, pancakes on a stick, pre-cooked bacon (all things he put in the microwave)

Usually when I cook for Ron and I, I cook extra so that I can freeze it for Mike.  His freezer is packed with hamburger patties, pork chops, ham steaks and a variety of soups and stews.  I have to make things that he isn't allergic to and that he can then reheat in the microwave.  I've been able to do so much more now that I'm retired.  We even canceled the med nurse that took care of filling his medication planners.  We are doing it ourselves.  That's saving us a lot of money but it sure was great when we needed her help.  She said she would fill in for us anytime we need a break.

Overall Mike is doing pretty well.  He has good days and not so good days.  I was worried about him transitioning to a new psychiatrist but it handled it very well.  We met with his new doctor about a week ago and it went well.  He's younger and had previous experience at a VA hospital.  I think it's going to go just fine.

Keeping him as independent as possible is our goal and so far we are succeeding.  I sure have to stay creative though and constantly look for ways to compensate for his cognitive disability.  But I love him and want him to be happy!  That's my purpose! 

Oh the best news of all is Ron's latest CT scan was great.  No sign of cancer.  He will take another one in 3 months and if no change we will go to every six months!  Oh how blessed are we?  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Just another "old gal"

Today I helped my daughter in her pre-k classroom.  I was working with some of the kids at the art center while another "older" woman was doing some assessments with some of the kids.  My little buddy "Jace" the little redhead I've mentioned before, was working with me when he suddenly stated, "There's another old gal over there " he said while pointing to the lady doing the assessments.  I about fell out of my chair.  I stifled my laughter but he's just so darn funny!  Again, it's a good thing my ego is intact.  Her Spanish speaking student kept calling me Grandma.......which I didn't mind a bit.  I just love helping out at school!

Monday, January 11, 2016

The worst govenor in America lives here!

Well today completes the last of the construction projects for awhile.  The electrician has been here all day installing a new vented heater w/light in our main bathroom.  Had no idea it was such a complicated project.  He had to get in the attic to vent it etc.  Almost done!

I read yesterday where Oklahoma's governor has been rated the worst governor in America.  Now doesn't that just make a person proud?  And to think my state didn't elect her once they elected her twice!  We already have the lowest paid teachers in the country and she is gutting the education budget again.  The state has a nearly billion dollar deficit in the budget partly due to the oil revenue being down and also because of her refusal to expand Medicaid in the state.  

Here are a few highlights of her time in office:
   She signed a bill that bans cities in Oklahoma from individually raising the minimum wage to a livable level, and from requiring businesses to provide time off and sick leave to employees.
• Education spending in Oklahoma is down 23% per student from 2008, the largest reduction to education spending of any state in America - despite an increase of 40,000 students.

• Because of increased oil drilling, Oklahoma is seeing a high level of revenue - but the state has so many tax breaks for the rich and special interest earmarks, it's currently dealing with a major budget crisis.

• Despite that budget crisis and related deficit problems, Fallin actually wants to CUT the income tax level by one-quarter percent. In 2012, she released a plan that would eliminate income taxes entirely (there are no credible economists who consider a plan like this feasible).

 • Oklahoma botched the execution of an inmate earlier this month, resulting in him being tortured to death due to experimental lethal injection chemicals. Fallin pushed for this execution despite ethics questions raised by lawyers and human rights' groups, and when asked about the execution, she replied that there was "no blood on [her] hands".

 • Oklahoma is also second only to Texas, in the total number of executions per year - despite the fact that an overwhelming number of criminologists do not believe that the death penalty is an effective deterrent of crime.

• Not only did Fallin refuse to expand access to health care through Medicaid (despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act covers 100% of a state's expenses for Medicaid expansion, and the fact that the expansion would provide health care to more than 155,000 Oklahomans) - she's also pushed for cuts to Medicaid.

• Because she was politically bribed by the oil, coal, and natural gas industries, Fallin signed a bill that actually taxes Oklahomans who install their own solar panels and wind generators (because they compete with those fossil fuels). 

• Fracking for natural gas in Oklahoma has seen a huge increase under Fallin, and science is indicating that this fracking could be the cause behind the fact that the rate of earthquakes has increased by 50% since October 2013.

• And finally: as a last-ditch, desperate attempt to prevent homosexual equality and gay marriage from coming to Oklahoma, Fallin's legislature is considered a ban on not just gay marriage, but on all forms of state-recognized marriage entirely.

What's scary is that it would be remarkably simple to keep this list going until it's two or three times as long, by including other items like Fallin's war on women's reproductive rights, her cuts to welfare and food stamps, and the high crime rate and gang activity of certain parts of Oklahoma.  My fear is that people haven't learned anything and they will just elect someone as bad or God forbid, worse the next time.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

As the world turns

I feel like I've been living in an episode of The Outer Limits lately.  My daughters 1/2 brother was here for almost 2 1/2 weeks.  His maternal grandmother was dying and he came to be with her.  After her death he planned the funeral and stayed until it was over.  During the entire time he stayed with my daughter Jamie.  This was the longest period of time he and my daughters have spent together since they found him 3 years ago.  It was a very bonding experience for all of them.

I've been fine with all of this except it has brought up some old feelings that we've all been dealing with.  My daughters haven't seen their father in almost 38 years.  He was only in their lives briefly after our divorce and it wasn't pleasant for the girls even then.  Their brother James is 13 years younger than my daughters and he only lived with their dad for about 5 years.  Anyway they have all experienced a lot of hurt from their dad but James still has a guarded relationship with him.

Anyway, the funeral for James' grandmother was last Friday.  My daughters went in support of their brother as he was very close to his grandmother.  However, James' mother hadn't seen or spoken to her mother in over 25 years.  James had not seen his mother since he was 13 years old.  She came to the funeral, my daughter's father came with his current wife as well.  I fortunately had to take Mike to the psychiatrist so I wasn't there.  My daughter's father never even looked at the them.  The girls said they wouldn't have known who he was if James hadn't told them.  They said he bolted out of the church as soon as the funeral was over.  His wife however introduced herself to my daughters.

I'm not kidding this whole thing seems surreal.  I think James is fantastic.  I'm so happy he is in the girls lives but it has really brought up a lot of old hurt and pain.  James would like for his father to reconcile with the girls but I don't think it will ever happen.  My girls said he would have to acknowledge what he did and apologize.  I just don't see that ever happening.

Who needs a Soap Opera when you have lived one?