A Much-Needed Break

Life has gotten out of control here over the last two weeks, and I have been struggling to find a way to get things back under control. Thankfully, these problems aren’t related to the COVID-19 pandemic, both Hal (person) and I are well. OK, not completely true for Hal since he is undergoing some extensive dental work, but that wasn’t totally unexpected.

Hal has been understandably cranky at times as he waits for new dentures to be fitted because he isn’t able to eat solid food and I’m making anything and everything that he thinks he can comfortably eat with extracted teeth and a sore mouth. Hopefully this will all be over with in a week, two weeks at the most. This must be awful for him, and I want everything else to be as perfect as possible for him.

This whole situation has worn me out. My yoga has lapsed, and I feel terrible about that. I am working several projects on the job, so I’m busier than normal there, but there aren’t enough hours in the day right now to get everything done and still have enough time to rest. The holiday weekend couldn’t have come at a better time for me, I have tried to deliberately detach myself from the distractions, my success rate is almost 50% I suppose.

We did get an air fryer this weekend, something we’ve wanted for awhile and now we have the room in our kitchen for it.

Because the air fryer made by the Instant Pot company, it should be very high quality and last for a long time.

Monday is dreary and cool. Exactly the type of day that matches staying at home. Only a trip to the grocery store will get me out today. My sinuses are giving me fits again today, with a severe headache. Hal (person) is resting and still recovering from dental surgery last Friday. I want to rest as much as possible today and try to start a productive short week tomorrow.

DDP Yoga Day 5

Day 5 on the DDP Yoga plan introduced me to the next set of exercises. I could really feel a difference as I got in the shower afterwards. It is amazing that a 15-minute workout can make me feel so different. 
I took more care with my breathing during this workout and I believe that also made a difference in how I felt. The irony is that yesterday was a planned day off, and tomorrow is another planned day off. I think this is designed to keep me from getting discouraged or from getting too tired and losing motivation for either reason. This second set of exercises will carry me into next week and gradually build me up. 
On the negative side, I got almost no sleep last night because my sinuses were so congested. I couldn’t breathe through my nose, and breathing through my mouth resulted in my mouth getting so dry that it was ridiculous. I got my DDP Yoga workout in early because I didn’t want to skip it. I know that if I can get my sinuses under control that I will probably fall asleep at some point during the day.
I will cook during my breaks on the job and that should keep me busy and my mind occupied to stave off exhaustion until the afternoon. I also changed out all of the bed linens this morning to get whatever was irritating my sinuses away from me as much as possible tonight. A nice long hot shower should help things as well this evening.
The main thing is that as tired as I am, I do feel better overall than I have in a while. I will keep up with the DDP Yoga training because I truly believe that it will help me.

Things I’m Grateful For

For some strange reason, I was actually almost missing the days when I was on Twitter. I know, I’ve railed against the boring predictability of social media over and over, but for some weird reason, there I was feeling like I was missing something. The feeling eventually passed, and a nice relaxing shower took my mind off of the subject.

I know that I won’t go back to Twitter, just like I’ll never go back to FaceBook. This blog is my outlet to the world now, and the peace I’ve found away from the incessant arguing and flaming, and sniping is priceless. I decided that I would blow past 144 characters and write about the things I’m grateful for.

I’m grateful for Hal and The Stooges being part of my life for more than 20 years. I’m grateful for our home. I’m grateful for my love of cooking, and for my Instant Pot because it makes cooking even easier. I’m grateful for the spaghetti dinner I made for us this evening.

I’m grateful for this salad with bits of walnuts and raisins and apple that we had with the spaghetti. I’m grateful for the wonderful wine that made dinner special.

I’m grateful for my love of writing. I’m grateful for my decision to leave Twitter and Facebook years ago. I’m grateful for this blog. I’m grateful for those who read these words. I’m grateful that I can maintain the perspective to wish that everyone should be kind to everyone else.

Cooking To Pass The Time

Sunday was the day when I finally stepped into the kitchen, determined to cook something that I hadn’t tried before. I prepared pork chops with asparagus and mushrooms and egg noodles in cream of mushroom sauce. Here is how I went about it.

First, I cut up some asparagus and set I aside. Then I opened a package of mushrooms to have them ready as well.

Next, I drained four center-cut pork chops and coated them with my seasoning, which consists of:

  1. 1/2 tbsp salt
  2. 1/2 tbsp pepper
  3. 1/2 tbsp rosemary
  4. 1/2 tbsp onion powder

The next step was to prepare the Instant Pot by coating the bottom with a thin layer of avocado oil (you can use olive oil if preferred). Then I started the Instant Pot and set it to “Sauté”.

Once the Instant Pot heated up, I put the four pork chops in and let them cook for two minutes on each side.

After the pork chops were finished with the “Sauté” setting, I turned the Instant Pot off to get things ready.

I put the asparagus over the pork chops, followed by the mushrooms. Then I put in a bag of egg noodles, followed by 4 cans of cream of condensed mushroom soup, and about 2-2 1/2 soup cans of water.

The beauty of the Instant Pot is that the egg noodles go in right out of the bag without cooking them first.
I set the Instant Pot to cook “Meat/Stew” for 20 minutes, closed and secured the lid, making sure that the pressure release was closed.

That was it. It takes the Instant Pot a few minutes to pressure up and then start the countdown timer. Once it completed, I waited about 12 minutes before releasing the pressure. The timer counts up after the cooking cycle completes. This is called “slow release”.

After bleeding off the remaining pressure by opening the release on top of the Instant Pot, I stirred the awesome meal before putting it into a serving/storage container.

Et voila, it was finished. It came out delicious. And the best part was very little cleanup afterward.