Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Seventeen weeks...

Seventeen weeks... and counting.  That is how long I have been basically quarantined in my home.  Been to the grocery store just three times.  And two trips were to small markets with relatively few customers.  I have yet to enter my neighborhood Kroger grocery.  One trip to the pharmacy to get allergy drops for my eyes.  Two trips to Costco. 

Back on March 10 I had a friend over for lunch.  She is returning tomorrow.  We've talked on the phone but not seen each other in person.  I told her we could sit at opposite ends of the dining room table. 

On March 11 I went to the grocery and to Costco.  Folks were going bat-shit crazy.  Really?  You need 20 rolls of paper towels?  And a cart full of bagged spinach?  (you didn't look like Popeye)

I came home and decided to stay here.  I get meals from Blue Apron.  I decided I would just get them every week versus every other.  And then they started having supply problems because of demand.  Thankfully, things seem to be back to normal.  Whatever normal is anymore.

I have watched three programs on Frontline about the virus.  I have learned that if we had closed our borders to  back on January 1 and only allowed American citizens to arrive home from abroad, and found a way to segregate them from the population, we might not be in this mess.  Cities with international airports seem to be hardest hit:  New York, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles....

I railed at our Governor for shutting everything down.  I did not realize how stupid so many people were.  While some were overly cautious, like driving with the windows up, alone in a car, wearing a mask and plastic gloves, others were completely careless about their behavior...and still are.  So, in hindsight, Governors had not much choice about shutting down to protect the majority.  Because the idiot in the WH had not a clue about what to do.

I learned that a scientist in New York said that hospitals would be overwhelmed with patients if we didn't shut down the economy to prevent the spread.  That makes sense.  Certificates of need for new hospitals pretty much prohibit new construction.  Add to that the fact that today, patients are dismissed from hospitals as rapidly as possible.  Even staying one night after surgery is not always possible.  I know from personal experience.  So, fewer beds are available.  There are some very interesting articles online about the problem and what we should have done to prepare for the virus.  And this study from 2007 poses a real warning of being unprepared. 

BTW, I did try to find out how many hospital beds we had in 1968 during the Hong Kong Flu pandemic, but had no luck.  But in 1975, there were 1,465,828 beds.  Population in 1975 - 216 million.  By 2018 - 328 million and there were only 924,100 beds.  We just must be much healthier and not in need of hospitals.  Rather, we kick you out as quick as we can.

So, today, I sit here and marvel at how this got so f---ed up.  And how so much is still not known.

First it doesn't spread from human to human - which made no sense since all those infected folks in Wuhan couldn't all have gone to the market and got infected.  So, wrong.

The virus dies on the surface.  Now it lives for 72 hours. 

It is not in the air.  Oh, it is in the air.  Which means we have like no chance of avoiding it.

With the increase in our population, it only makes sense that more folks will die in 2020 than did in 1968.  Plus, the virus is more deadly - or so they say. 

I am still wondering why it is important to get tested if you have no symptoms.  If you are positive, then what?  And if you are negative today, you could be positive tomorrow.  And? 

So, I make trips out only when necessary.  I wear a mask.  I give the stink-eye (in my mind only) to folks who do not.  I am not sure when we will ever get back to 'normal'.  And I hope that the majority of Americans wake up and do something about the man who allowed this mess to happen.  You know who I mean.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Portobello Mushrooms Recipe

First it was my cousin talking about portobello mushrooms.  Then it was my blog friend Jo.  So now I am thinking I need to go to the store and look for some mushrooms.  So, here is my favorite way to cook them.  And sorry, no picture.

Portobello Mushrooms stuffed with Corn, Spinach and Sausage


1/2 pound Italian bulk sausage, mild or sweet
Olive oil as needed
1 cup diced onions
2 cups sweet corn kernels
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup Madeira wine
1 bag of spinach (5-8 oz)
1 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese cut in cubes
1 cup toasted bread crumbs
salt and pepper

1 cup fresh bread crumbs, toasted
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt to taste
sliced tomatoes
4-5 large Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and gills removed

1. Combine all ingredients for the topping except the tomatoes

For the stuffing:
1. Sauté the sausage in the olive oil over high heat until nearly cooked. Lower the heat to medium high.
2. Add the onions and garlic, soften then add the corn and sauté for another five minutes.
3. Deglaze with the wine. Add the spinach and wilt.
4. Remove from the heat and fold in the cheese and bread crumbs. Season as needed.
5. Oil the tops of the mushrooms then turn over and place the stuffing in the cleaned mushrooms.
6. Top with sliced tomatoes and topping.
7. Place in 375 f. oven for about 15 minutes until mushrooms are tender.
8. Cut mushrooms into wedges and serve.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Trap and Kill

What is it with folks who think predatory animals should be stopped from hunting?  I have read more than one comment on blogs about nature shows where someone is saying they think the photographer should discourage the lion, tiger, whatever that is hunting.  And do what?  Offer them a carrot???

So, I am back again complaining about the deer and the rabbits.  And the red squirrels.  And chipmunks.  All very destructive animals.  Not just to your yard, but to your home.  Just ask me or anyone who has had these destructive squirrels and chipmunks find their way into your home.  They actually chewed through the cement foundation wall!

The deer were not supposed to eat sedums.  So I planted them in the front yard.  Now, they love sedum.  And they even left a huge pile of deer poop next to them.  Disgusting, to say the least.  Last year I cut down the hedge in the back of my fence after they destroyed everything below four feet - the browse line.

My backyard is fenced to keep them out.  Unfortunately, the rabbits have found a way to tunnel under the fence.  So, I closed it up.  I go outside the other day to see some hostas literally torn to pieces.  By what?  So, yesterday, while standing in my kitchen, I see a rabbit in the yard.  I go to chase him out and I see him jump through the shadowbox fence.  How is that possible?

Well, here is how.

They chewed the wooden fence boards.  So, now I have ordered more rolls of chicken wire and will have to attach it all the way around on the outside of the fence to keep them from chewing.

My trapper guy says that it is next to impossible to get them into a live trap, you have to use a leg trap, which he will not use.  Where is Katniss Everdeen when I need her?  The other idea is to get a dog.  But a terrier would likely do nearly as much damage running through the plants to get the rabbit.  I know.  I have owned several dogs.

Another problem is voles.  They destroy the crowns of plants.  I read online that in some states it is illegal to kill voles.  Really?  They serve what purpose?  And one pair can produce 100 offspring in one year? 

And I am not the only one suffering.  I saw a garter snake in the flower bed - minus the end of his tail.  I wonder who did that to him?  Actually, snakes I do not mind.  And I have toads all over the place.

I love my yard.  But I am just about ready to move into a condo and let someone else deal with the animals.  This is getting beyond ridiculous.