To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Either a flu-like virus or a light case of flu this week. So here is my comment on one of the newsworthy events of the week:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Personal maintenance weekend.

Friday I had a mammogram, which, as somebody (Linda Ellerbee?) pointed out sounds like you put your breast in an envelope and mail it off somewhere.

Yesterday morning I hit Curves, b/c I was only able to go twice during the week.

Today I got a haircut.

The woman who cuts my hair always kind of bugs me to let her color it or add highlights, and I always tell her no. I told her today that I'll be 49 years old next week, and I'm kind of pleased that I have no more gray than I do. She then whispered to me that she thinks my hair color is very nice, that she has to push the color, but that if her hair looked like mine she wouldn't color it either.
: )

Saturday, October 10, 2009



As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner (quote):

"This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality."

Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall, for it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.

Thank you, President Reagan.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A whole lot of stuff has happened since I talked to you last, dear diary.

We had massive layoffs at work yesterday, and pay cuts for those left standing. I got about a 25% pay cut. Not pretty but we'll be all right. Other people's pay cuts were much deeper and some, of course, were cut to zero. Among them were Kelly, and her husband, who worked with us too.

Adding insult to injury, Kelly is sick with flu this week. I made a pot of chicken soup for her last night. Kelly called today to tell me that that was the best soup in the universe, and to ask me to email her the recipe. Well, I don't have a recipe, I just threw some stuff in the Dutch oven. But I wrote one for Kelly, in the format I am accustomed to using. Here it is.

Production of Chicken Soup

1 Purpose
   The purpose of this work instruction is to describe the production of chicken soup.
2 Scope
   The procedure includes instructions for preparing the ingredients, cooking them, serving them, storing extra production, and cleanup. It is intended for family use, not for commercial soup production.
3 Safety
   3.1    General kitchen safety procedures regarding hot cookware and sharp knives are to be followed.
   3.2    Because raw chicken is used, care must be taken to clean the cutting board, cutlery, and any other objects that contact the meat.
4 Apparatus
   4.1    Kitchen stove.
   4.2    Dutch oven with lid, 4 or 5-quart capacity. A stock pot may be used.
   4.3    Cutting board.
   4.4    Knives suitable for cutting meat and for chopping vegetables.
5 Reagents
   5.1    Chicken.
      5.1.1    Three or four breasts. If boneless and skinless, cut into small pieces. If not boneless and skinless, remove the skin. Wash with tap water.
      5.1.2    Four or five thighs. Remove skins. Wash with tap water.
   5.2    One jar of hot salsa.
   5.3    Onion, about a 1-inch slice, chopped.
   5.4    Celery, two stalks, chopped.
   5.5    Bell pepper, one half, chopped. Yellow and red bell peppers should be considered for the addition of color.
   5.6    Rice, one handful.
   5.7    Frozen corn, one handful.
   5.8    Carrots, two, chopped.
NOTE: Vegetable amounts may be altered, or other vegetables added or substituted, if desired. Hard vegetables like potatoes should be processed with the carrots. Soft vegetables like tomatoes should be processed with the corn.
   5.9    Optional garnish: Avocado, peeled and cut into bits.
   5.10    Cornbread muffins.
6 Procedure
   6.1    Place the chicken in the Dutch oven with enough water to cover. Add contents of the jar of salsa and stir.
   6.2    Place the Dutch oven on the stove and adjust the burner to medium high.
   6.3    Add onion, celery, bell pepper, carrot. Stir occasionally as mixture comes to a boil.
   6.4    When mixture is boiling vigorously, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Do not leave unattended.
NOTE: Heat must be adjusted so that simmer is maintained, but material does not boil over.
   6.5    After 45 minutes, remove meat and place on a large dish to cool slightly.
   6.6    Add rice and frozen corn to the Dutch oven. Stir.
   6.7    When meat is cool enough to work with, pull the meat from the bones, taking care to remove all bony material from meat. Cut or pull the meat into pieces of desired size.
   6.8    Return deboned meat to Dutch oven. Stir.
   6.9    Once mixture has returned to boil, remove from heat.
   6.10    Prepare an ice bath in the kitchen sink. Place Dutch oven in it for rapid cooling.
   6.11    Soup may be served immediately.
      6.11.1    Dip into individual bowls.
      6.11.2    Serve with cornbread muffin, and a garnish of avocado pieces if desired.
   6.12    Soup that is not served immediately must be refrigerated or frozen.
      6.12.1    The Dutch oven, once cool to the touch, may be placed in the refrigerator with the cover on. This material is good for up to a week and a half, individual servings to be warmed in the microwave as needed.
      6.12.2    Alternatively, individual servings may be placed in freezer bags and stored in the freezer for up to six months.
7 Cleanup
   7.1    Scraps left over from the chicken, containing skin, bones, and meat that was not separated from the bones or not used, should be taken out of the house immediately so that it does not begin to smell.
   7.2    Vegetable waste is not hazardous and may be disposed of or composted.
   7.3    Each family member should return his or her own bowl, spoon, and other dishes to the kitchen after use. The designated family member shall wash the dishes.