Archives for: December 2014
I hope that you had a joyful Christmas Day. For my husband and me, Christmas was quiet and peaceful. In the 38 years of our marriage, this was the first Christmas that we have been alone.
We had all of the family except SIL at our house the Sunday before Christmas. SIL was off on a retreat with some of the high school students from his church. BC had taken his first steps the night before they came to our house. One day I was on the floor playing with him and he walked to me and gave me a hug. That was the best Christmas present ever.
But on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, our children were with other families - and that is a good thing. HH and I discovered that we love Hallmark Christmas movies. They are sweet stories with no bad words, no sex, no violence. They all have happy endings, even when they make us cry. We watched several during December including one on Christmas Eve and two on Christmas Day.
We ate simply; pretty much the way we always do. So there are no extra pounds to lose or false guilt feelings to deal with. On Christmas Eve, my husband read the account of Jesus’ birth from the Bible, just as his father did every Christmas Eve.
I promised you a great recipe for leftover Christmas turkey. Here it is,
Turkey with Bell Peppers & Onions.
Put enough light olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet to coat it - no more than 1/4 inch deep.
Slice 1 red bell peppers, 1 green bell peppers, and 1 onion. Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic. Put those vegetables in the skillet and cook until they just start to turn soft. Add cubed cooked turkey. Season with 1/2 tsp paprika and 1/2 tsp dried oregano. Salt to taste.
You may add a little water or broth if anything begins to stick to the bottom of the skillet.
Reduce the heat and simmer together for 5 minutes until the flavors have blended.
You can serve it over rice or Tinkyada pasta. Or serve it just like it is with a green salad.
Our Strong Son is just back from a medical mission trip to a Central American country. We had dinner with him this week and got to see his pictures and hear his tales. He was one of a team of 11 that included family practice doctors, a radiologist, a pediatrician, a local doctor, several nurses and several translators. SS was the physical therapist.
He worked in a mountainous region near the coast. The team did clinics in four farming villages and two fishing villages. He loved the culture, loved the people, and loved the food. The pictures he showed us were incredible. It is a beautiful country.
His description of locally available health care was interesting. Officially, everyone in the country has full health care coverage. It is a single payer system, and on paper it looks fabulous. So why was a team of American volunteers going there on a medical mission trip?
There are no doctors in any of the villages in the area where they worked. The nearest doctor is an hour away; the nearest hospital is 2 hours away. The people are poor and many do not have transportation. If they get to a doctor and need to see a specialist, an appointment is made in the capitol city. The wait for an appointment is about six months. Often when they made their way from their village to the doctor’s office in the capitol, they were told, “We’re sorry, your appointment has been cancelled. We have another opening in six months.”
Women and children can get this limited medical care, but working aged men cannot get a doctor’s appointment at all. If they are injured on the job and can get to the hospital, 2 hours away, they must go to the emergency room. There is no follow up care for young and middle aged men. The men who survive to senior adult status, can get the same type care as women and children.
This is why volunteer doctors from the United States team up with local pastors and missionaries to do medical clinics in rural areas in this country. SS said that there is a private medical care system that operates side by side with the government system. All of the wealthy people in the cities go to the private doctors where they get immediate care.
Our son saw patients with back, shoulder, knee, hip and ankle injuries. He evaluated the patients and gave them exercise sheets in their native language to show them how to do exercises that would improve their condition. The pastors promised to follow up on some needs that went beyond exercise. For instance SS saw a child whose legs were different lengths. Because of that she walked on her toes on the shorter leg. That put strain on her hips and back. Her problem would be easily solved with a shoe that was built up on the bottom.
The local diet sounded like the Type O diet. The people eat lots of fish with rice. They eat a good variety of vegetables with delicious seasonings. They have plenty of fruit. They get meat sometimes instead of fish. Local women prepared the food that the team ate.
SS told one interesting story of the unintended consequences of government policy. There was very little crime in the farming villages. The people were happy and the team felt safe. However, some time ago the government needed to raise revenue. They hired commercial fisherman to take in a huge catch of fish for export. Virtually all of the fish near the two villages where the team worked were caught. There were no more fish for the local fishermen to catch for their families or to sell for cash. Poverty increased. The drug lords saw an opportunity and moved into these villages. I’m sure the bureaucrats in the capitol never imagined what the end result would be of their money raising scheme.
Our son is back at work now. He gets a sense of fulfilment helping people at his clinic in Texas. He plans to save his money and his vacation days so he can do another medical mission trip soon.
Commercials for computer backup services always remind people that sooner or later they will have a hard drive crash. It’s been more than a decade since we went through a computer crash, but a week before Thanksgiving, the signs were unmistakable. The lifespan for our desktop computer was short. We wanted another Windows 7 computer, so we ordered online. Always thorough about backups, we became obsessive as we waited for the new computer to arrive.
If there is a BTD connection to my computer problems it is this - I protect my physical health by consistently maximizing beneficials, avoiding avoids and exercising daily. So when a “crash” comes my body is as well prepared to handle it as possible. A “crash” might be a virus, a physical injury, or a bacterial infection. Always be prepared, and during cold and flu season, it’s ok to be a little obsessive.
The computer arrived the same day our kids arrived for Thanksgiving. So for a few more days we limped along with a computer that took longer and longer to boot. After the holiday we began to move into the new computer - a process that is finally complete. That’s not a good excuse for neglecting my blog, but it’s the only excuse I have!
We had planned to have our big family dinner on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. This was our wedding anniversary. I fixed red snapper almandine - what we ate at our rehearsal dinner 38 years ago. With the fish, we had a relish tray, fresh green beans, sweet potato puffs, and rice. All of the dishes and serving pieces were wedding gifts.
However, we got a call from DD about mid afternoon. They had been in an auto accident as they traveled to our house. All three of them were fine, but their car was not drivable. By the time they had the car towed to a body shop, rented a car and finished the drive, it was 10:00.
We didn’t get to all have dinner together, but I’m thankful to God that everyone was safe.
Thanksgiving morning our neighborhood had a 5K Turkey Trot. SS, DD, and I ran. My two kids were first and second place. I finished respectably in the middle of the pack. HH bought Baby Cakes to the finish line in his stroller, so we were greeted with precious smiles as we completed the race.
I’m thankful that my children are all living healthy, active lives.
Because SIL does not like celery, and there would only be 5 of us eating dinner on Thanksgiving Day, DD and I decided to cook a turkey breast with millet. We had two big pans of roasted vegetables on the side. While it wasn’t a traditional meal, it suited us just fine. BC had his vegetables pureed!
The Pilgrims thanked God for His protection over their little colony at the First Thanksgiving. We thanked God for His protection over our country this year. Ebola has been contained; protests did not become widespread riots; terrorism has been thwarted. I take none of that for granted.
It was DD’s turn for a recipe in the Picky Eater Challenge. It was almost too easy!
She cooked a Butterball turkey roast in the crock pot for 8 hours on low.
The turkey was tender, juicy, and delicious.
I have a recipe for turkey leftovers that I prepared the day after Thanksgiving. I’ll post it next time. It will be equally good for Christmas Turkey leftovers.