Checking in

I got sucked into watching the rest of the Ken Burns series on The War yesterday and then followed up with the gathering on the Mall for Memorial Day. It is such a sad occasion for me and made more sad by the stories of some of the wounded warriors.  When Diane Weist does her bit (always a mother’s story) I break down. I think war must be much worse for women and children.

Like most people, I am sickened by the sight of body bags containing small corpses such as those viewed yesterday concerning a massacre in Syria.  Obviously, UN peace keepers are long overdue, but the powers that could support such an operation have all given excuses for why they won’t. 

Our presidents have faced one outrage after another demanding US attention, and sometimes helped and sometimes not helped.  They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Clinton finally did something about Bosnia, but when G. W. Bush tried to do something about Iraq, and its mad dictator, he was condemned by the left. Hillary was pilloried for her support of the Iraq invasion.  Those doing the cricizing forget that Sadam was murdering his own people (the Kurds and others), and sending Scud missles into Israel.  He was also supporting terrorists trying to destroy Israel.  How soon we forget. You can’t have it both ways. Either you support intervention in places like Rwanda or you don’t.  Its all well and good to say, I am a pacifist and I hate war.  Unfortunately, the bully on the block doesn’t mind punching you or other people in the face. 


Okay, the good news for me is that I am losing weight via Weight Watchers.  The key has been keeping track of everything I put in my mouth. The nutritionist I worked with years ago told me the most important things were 1/ keep track of what you eat, and 2/ eschew eating out, especially fast food and prepare more home cooked meals.  The latter is hard to do if you hate cooking.  However, I once prided myself on my cooking skills, and see meal preparation a challenge. I certainly have more time for cooking these days.

I was not born a good cook, but I have always had a sweet tooth which inspired me to become a better cook. My job when I was younger was to make the family dessert.  I was especially good at making cakes.

Lately, I have been adapting the recipes I have had for many years like my Mom’s egg custard recipe or Aunt Marge’s sugar cookie recipe. In addition to the WW cookbook, I found several other excellent cook books.  The Low-Carb Comfort Cookbook by Michael and Mary Eades is one of my favorites. The Eades cookbook contains many wonderful recipes. The Eades desserts rely on Spenda, but I have used other substances too like Agave and Guava syrups. I can make anything sweet as I want without refined sugar.

My repertoire is not limited to vegetable soup (photo above is a WW recipe modified by me).  Yesterday, I fixed skirt steak with Chimichurra sauce.  Chimichurra is a lovely blend of peppers and herbs and other green things.  I marinated the steak in the sauce and then made a pilaf with barley, peas, and other ingredients as a side dish.  The skirt steak recipe comes from a fitness magazine which I pilfered in the doctor’s office. (Sounds better than “Like my fellow patients, I ripped out a page or two and took it home.”)

I made strawberry shortcakes for dessert yesterday.  The shortcake recipe came from the WW cookbook. The shortcakes came up short because I haven’t made biscuits or cakes in a while. Got to rebuild my rusty skills it seems.  I did discover I could put Splenda in plain Greek yogurt (made from Sheep’s milk) and get a topping as good as whipped cream with far less fat and more protein.


Like everything else, when I had a stroke it damaged my small motor skills.  Slowly, slowly, I have climbed back out of that black hole.  My little finger on my left hand was the last to revive. 

The good news, as I said above is that WW is working (I joined online).  I have lost 10 pounds and have about 50 to go to reach my ideal weight.  One day at a time works, it seems.  And I didn’t have to give up drinking Latte either (homemade of course).    


13 thoughts on “Checking in

  1. Your soup looks good! Good that WW is working so well for you, or should I say you’re working WW well? Glad you’ve kept developing functions using those small motor skills — important for stroke patients if they want to regain abilities. The brain is so much more able recoup than was thought for so many years.


  2. You can’t have it both ways, a truth to remember. Your culinary determination, gardening, blogging, weight loss and stroke recovery are so encouraging to me. Bravo Dianne!


  3. Yay, to you! Go, go. So happy you are making beneficial choices to improve your well being. Soup looks yummy; now I’m hungry! I just lost 10 pounds. 10 more to go…. 🙂 Sam


  4. Excellent WW progress, Dianne. You are so thoughtful and creative (thinking of the cooking adaptations here) that I wait for you to realize that those of us on “the left” are also mothers who feel the pain of other mothers’ losses. And the awfulness for our grandchildrens’ future from what seems to be endless war by the U.S. Fought by a disenfranchised class of Americans unknown by us.


    • When there was a draft, many people went into service. Those in college like Bill Clinton could get a deferment. No draft today and the folks who enter the service are predominantly from the lower strata and the South. Also predominantly people of color. Most of them are not on the “left.” My EX was a career Marine.


  5. That is so wonderful, Dianne. I, too, have decided to lose weight (50 lbs). I can eat whatever I want, but just 1/2 of what I normally eat — caloric reduction, in other words. I also have begun walking in the neighborhood. More about all of this in my post tomorrow.


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