Its been over a week since I lost my buddy. At least I was holding him when he died.
It really affected me. The depression didn’t really hit me until I came home and he wasn’t there to greet me. Since then all I did was wander around the house with audio novels playing on my laptop. My home is small and has a very open plan so I can hear it from anywhere in the house.
I know the last eight years of his eighteen-year life were filled with love. He was a rescue so I don’t know about his first years. But he did have a long life so I guess I did something right.
I got up each morning and cooked him breakfast. He liked bacon and soft scrambled eggs with cheese.
I have a young fox family living under my back deck. As you can see I can’t even get close to the window. If I even move around to get a better angle Mommy spots me and runs off. I don’t want to scare her because she might move the babies and I enjoy watching them. I’ve only seen foxes on television and I’m surprised how big she is. She is twice as big as I thought foxes were.
Here is one of the babies. There are three. I apologize for the quality of the picture. I had to make it through a window with a screen.
So you can see how small the babies are here is one with Mommy.
One thing I love about living where I do is the chance to see wild animals close up like this. I get to see deer every day. The deer are so used to people I saw another mamma laying down nursing her new fawn in my back yard.
I haven’t been out on my back deck since the foxes moved in. Luckily, I can walk dog Boogie off the front deck.
Well Spring has officially started. I have to blow the pollen off my back deck daily or track it into the house. 😦
An occasional fast food about once a month never bothered me. UNTIL Tuesday when needed a fast lunch. I couldn’t even eat more than a few bites then threw most of it away. I still tasted it all afternoon! 😦
I get up before him letting him sleep while I go in the kitchen and and get ready to cook our breakfast. Mine is usually coffee and some of what I fix him. He has gotten very finicky. I have to cook his steak rare or at most medium rare then feed it to him bit size pieces by hand or he will drop it on the floor. I have to admit it is hard to smell his meat cooking and not sneak a piece of it myself. (I grew up in a culture that had meat every meal so I’m indoctrinated. 😦 )
BTW After the hard work of eating breakfast you do need a nap. I think my buddy has conned me well!
WARING WARNING! Avoid Facebook! My Facebook account was actually in the name of my fictional virtual world avatar. After I saw how Facebook let Analytics scam them and steal my friends list I had even less trust it in their privacy and honesty. So, I canceled even that character’s account. Let me warn you Facebook will invade your computer. I still get junk from them. I’m spending a lot of time hunting down the malicious junk they put on my computer because I still get notifications from Facebook that one of my Facebook friends wants me to friend someone. So I haven’t found everything and I doubt I ever will.
I’ve been trying to publish this post since early March but I keep getting sidetracked by real life. But maybe today March 24. YES, I finished the writing. Now to publish it on my blog site! So, WELCOME to my new kitchen! Please leave comments and let me know what you think.
Since I now enjoy cooking and spend three days a week cooking Blue Apron meals it made sense to modify it to better fit my needs. Here is a tour of my new kitchen.
I’m beginning to accumulate quite a few pots and pans so I made a hanging rod for them. Unlike most pot racks in other kitchens this one is close to the floor and made so I can get under it to use it.
When I did the original planning, I had supports running straight down to the floor. My contractor (Daniel’s Home Services) has done things for me for me for me for a long time. So, he knows my needs and built it with angled supports to the wall. Now I can get under its full length and to use it.
The oven is both higher and lower than those in standard kitchens. It is too risky to reach over the open oven door.
I thought of getting an oven that opens to the side or up. But I have to wear a wig and one of the risks is the heat from an oven can quickly melt the acrylics that used in them. That is sure something you don’t want to risk happening. So, I chose go use a standard front and down opening oven.
Safety is a big consideration when you try to use an oven from a wheelchair. I don’t have a lot of upper body strength so I can’t carry a hot pan of food across the room. That is why I chose real granite counter tops. I need to be able to set a pan down right away and not worry about melting the counter top. In the past I’ve tried just setting pans on a piece of ceramic tile on a plastic counter. Sadly, that doesn’t work too well the tile is always slipping and a four-hundred-degree pan of food in your lap is not a pleasant happening.
I also added some more counter space and a way under it so I could get closer to the oven. That is another safety consideration so I don’t have to reach too far from my chair.
Since I do a lot of cooking I installed a real hood vented to the outside.
A problem I foresaw was how to reach the hood controls. Daniel (Daniel’s Home Services) contracted the manufacture got another set of controls and installed them on the side of the oven enclosure for me. This helps a lot since I don’t reach above my head as well. I got a pleasant surprise when I started using the hood. One of the buttons is a timer that will turn off the lights or the fan after delaying a minute.
I know, I know most serious cooks use a gas stove top. While I would like the control, gas gives you I am not the neatest person stirring a pot on the cooktop. I didn’t want to spend hours trying to clean pasta sauce out of all the nooks and crannies of a gas cooktop. Cooking is fun but cleaning up isn’t!
I made the counter tops even lower than they are in many adapted kitchens because of safety concerns gained through experience. A few months ago I was sauteing some chicken and hot greese poped on my face. I couldn’t lower the counters much but I learned my lesson. Every little bit helps.
After seventeen years my old white plastic sink was getting rather stained and shabby so I went with a stainless steel under mount. I am sure glad I did. The under mount design gives me enough counter space to to keep things like detergent and sponges in easy reach. Something you can’t see is the new heavy-duty garbage disposer I have. The old one would have worn out soon so I replaced it. I can hardly hear the new one!
I added a shelf next to the sink to keep my water filter on. It is lower than the sink because I need to dump it out once a week so I can use the sink counter as a fulcrum to bear against and not have to pick up the heavy filter when it is full of water.
Most of my time is spent in the preparation area. Here the extra low counters came in very handy. I don’t have a lot of upper body strength but it helps to be able to bear down more.
Hint: Use a pair of clothing scissors instead of kitchen shears. The light weight of much of the plastic used on many ingredients is too fine for many kitchen shears.
My old pantry was just too small so I added a storage area in what was originally intended for the dining area.
Now I even have enough space to put out my wooden carved dog band.
I still store most of my food in boxes along the living room wall. I need a lot of space to get to things and it is just too convenient to spread things out. Plus, I order my stapes food from the Amazon Prime Pantry so I don’t have to move it far when UPS or FedEx delivers it.
Lighting in my old kitchen was so dim at times I could hardly read recipes. So, I added a LOT more light. Now I have enough and even the hood has lights. Yes, that is Santa on the half wall. I like him so he guards my sink all year.
Power Power Power
A modern kitchen really needs many power outlets. I was going to put power strips in several places around the counters. They use a lot of space, didn’t look particularly good, and would have been in the way. My contractor found these popup power strips. If you’ve never seen these before I recommend them.
Simply press on the silver button it pops up then just pull the power strip out of the counter top. Plug your mixer, juicer, or other electrical appliance in. Then when you are finished unplug it and the power strip disappears back into the counter. As a bonus it also includes two USB ports so you can plug your phone in. I’ve found this very useful since I like to listen to podcasts while copping vegetables and I still come away with a fully charged phone.
A kitchen is for cooking so I the first meal prepared was my version of Blue Apron’s Spicy Fettuccini and Beef Bolognese with Zucchini.
Since it took me so long to post this I’ve cooked a lot in my new kitchen. Its wonderful to have a kitchen that finally fits me.
I think I’ve been conned! Lately it is a challenge to get my kid to eat. To get him I have to actually cook his meat put it on a plate take it over to the prep area of my kitchen where I cut it up and feed it piece by piece by hand.
This morning is typical. I cooked him a steak yesterday he ate half then I put it in the refrigerator. When I took it out this morning cut off a piece of the cold steak and tried to feed to him he sniffed at it and gave me a dirty look that said, “Come on Mom” as he turned up his nose.
To get him to eat it I had to partly cook three pieces of bacon then put that steak into the bacon grease warm it up then put the steak and bacon on a plate. Take that plate over to the prep area of my kitchen cut steak into bite size piece off and feed it to him BY HAND. He likes the bacon too. Then he goes over to his new bed and goes back to sleep.
That is really hard when my own breakfast is a cup of coffee with some breakfast crackers and I smell that meat cooking. I THINK I’VE BEEN CONNED!
Boogie sure knows how to get me to spoil him. I think I’ll soft scramble an egg for him tomorrow.
Alison Hartson inspires me the way President John F. Kennedy did. ( https://www.alisonhartson.com/ )
More details later in this post.
When I first became aware of politics John F. Kennedy was running for president of the United States. While I didn’t always agree with all politicians you could respect them and they had integrity. In the era of Trump this respect and integrity is largely gone. After examining Alison’s legislative positions on issues and seeing her story I do feel that respect again. I even feel inspired by Alison Hartson.
Saddest of all is now it is clear that the corporate Democrats have betrayed the values of the progressive Democratic Party and joined the Republican Party in selling their votes to the highest bribing corporate donor. Of course, I feel deceived. You don’t vote for and support one party for forty-seven years and then have them ignore their own values in the name of greed and not feel the treachery of the corporate Democrats. I remember the words of President Harry Truman, “You can’t get rich in politics unless you’re a crook.” It seems corporate Democrats have forgotten that and are only concerned taking bribes and selling their votes to their corporate donors while increasing their net worth.
With few exceptions like Alison Hartson and the Justice Democrats I say the Democratic party has left me. Now when I go in the voting booth if I see a D after a candidate’s name I probably won’t vote for them just like I haven’t been likely to vote for someone with an R after their name for years.
Like all other aspects of life in the United States something that has really changed things is the internet. ( BTW corporate Democrats I’d worry I live in one of those dark green states. ) In many ways a Senator from California is really my Senator. I use the internet to find out about, work for, and support a US Senate candidate like Alison Hartson.
Be warned corporate Democrats the internet is a two-edged sword. We can also find out how crooks like Dianne Feinstine are cheating us and betraying our values because they don’t think we can find out. You can use trusted news sources like the Young Turks ( https://tytnetwork.com/ ), Secular Talk with Kyle Kulinski, Tim Black ( http://timblacktv.com/ ), or my favorite The Humanist Report with Mike Figueredo ( http://www.humanistreport.com/ ) Trusted news is not enough so I do my own research while sitting on my couch with my little dog.
Food for thought. You don’t live fifty years and have successful career in a wheelchair and not know how get things done. Also, don’t be deceived millennial’s do vote. BTW I’m 70 and I vote, support, and work for inspirational candidates like Alison Hartson.
Help Alison to keep the corporate Democrats from doing this.