Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Squash Soup and Bettas

It's windier here today and I do hope that means some cooler, wetter, more Fall-ish weather. My garden is almost done and it's hard to keep enough water on it for the straggling zukes and carrots. There are three surprise cantaloupe growing, too. We have no idea how they got there because we've never grown cantaloupe in this high altitude garden. Gift cantaloupe. The seed must have come in with the butternut squash.

Jerry's bringing up some corn stalks and pumpkins this evening for porch decoration. Just to get into the autumnal spirit. And I've got butternut squash soup on the menu. It's a luscious, creamy concoction that is totally satisfying. I've thought of the creation of it from time to time today at work and it makes me happy. Kind of goofy, I know. But small delights make up a life, don't they? It's a fairly simple little recipe and adapts to however you like it. My daughter, Madeline, gets the credit for this version:

Squash Soup

2 cups of cooked squash

1 onion, chopped fine

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

Marjoram, red pepper, nutmeg to taste

Salt and pepper, as you like

Saute the onion and garlic in a heavy pan. Add squash, broth, seasonings. Simmer gently for 15 or so minutes. Use food processor to puree'. Return to heavy pot and simmer for 10 more minutes. Add cream and more broth to get the consistency you prefer. Easy peasy! (It's especially good with cinnamon raisin toast on the side)

The little betta fish that I keep in my office is dying. It's his Time and now he is just languishing on the bottom of the tank. His brilliant blue body is faded to gray and he has been gasping a bit. Oh, the stories he has heard in his life here at the mental health clinic. My coworkers have been stopping in all day to pay their respects to Tick Tock. He has become a part of this passing harvest season, I think.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Full Sleeves for the Aged

So lately I've been having trouble with my forearms. They bruise and tear with the slightest of stress on them. Fishing on Hardscrabble Creek this past summer with all the attending willow brush has just been really hard on them. I've been going to work with bandaids on the rips and people are always focusing on the rather large, bright purple bruises. I keep assuring them that I do not have a blood disorder. Doc told me that it's common among older folks and that it is the result of years of sun damage. Well, these poor old forearms have really been nice to me all these years - and have I thanked them at all? I have tried to keep them covered in sunscreen for my adult life - but when I was a kid it hadn't been invented yet. All those sunburns playing in Lake Huron. Tsk, tsk.

Last Sunday night I looked around the 'Net for a solution. I googled "arm protectors" and found that they are called "Geri-Sleeves" - you know, like for the "geriatric" crowd? I have to admit that I was quite stunned. It floored me, knocked me for a loop...whatever. That Monday at work I felt like I was running, running from something quite horrible until the thought of those Geri-Sleeves popped into my awareness. Now I realize that there are parts of me that at 56 don't work as well as they used to and I'm getting quite comfortable with losing my waistline, my hair color, my teeth (on occasion I have dreams that I've lost them all and the last time this occurred it was all right by golly). But.....good God! How much of this degradation can a person tolerate??? Somehow I think the forearm thing is just the beginning.

So....I checked out and found an artist who makes "arm warmers" . I ordered the "Namaste" pair and a turquoise pair. Very cool, not at all geriatric. I might even go for the full sleeve tattoo look. I'm not running, I'm adapting.