Amazing Goose

I seem duty-bound to follow the maxim, “It never rains but it pours.”  About ten days ago I came down with vomiting, violent diarrhea, and headache, and went to see my doctor, who ordered some tests.  One evening a few days later I got a call from a nice woman in the Health Department wanting to know what restaurants I’d been to and what milk, chicken, and vegetables I’d been eating. She got in ahead of my doctor’s office telling me I’d been diagnosed with salmonella. Apparently there is a “cluster” of cases in the area, and Hennepin County wants to know what we’ve eaten in common. I called my doctor the next day. She confirmed the diagnosis and prescribed an antibiotic, which took several days to work, but I’m just about over it at this point. Whew!

But please, please, let this be the end of this series of miseries, which began back in early March and kept piling on and on.

We are now at the start of autumn, the trees are beginning to show some color, and we are awash in apples. There are only two of us in this apartment, so an apple pie would be too much, I needed something smaller. I found a recipe on the Internet and adapted it just a little and it works wonderfully. Buy a container of Pillsbury Grands Crescent Rolls and lay them out on a baking sheet. At the wide end of each triangle, place a thick slice of apple, unpeeled. Put a dab of butter on the slice. Make a spice mix of a tablespoon each of allspice and cinnamon and a teaspoon of nutmeg. Strew this along the triangles. (You won’t use it all; put the remainder in an airtight container and make another batch later in the week.) Take a teaspoon of sugar (more or less, depending on how sweet you like your pie) and scatter that along each slice. Crumble walnut halves (or buy chopped walnuts – but I like the bigger chunks) and scatter them along each slice, not too many, just enough to make the occasional pleasant surprise in your mouth. Roll the triangles up and bake at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes. Serve warm. Yum!

One of the ways I know I’m better is that I had the energy to prepare these and the appetite to eat two of them.

Another sign of autumn is the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels, which is the 29th. I’m getting the goose today and we’ll feast indeed this Thursday at a big pot luck.  I’ll stuff the goose with a mix of garlic cloves, chopped apple, onion, and fresh parsley and roast him in a hot oven, basting frequently.  We’ll sing “Amazing Goose” (Amazing goose/How sweet the flesh/That saved a wretch like me./I once was broke/But now am flush/I’m saved from penury). Who eats goose at Michaelmas will not want for money for a year. It’s worked for us for over thirty years. It doesn’t make you rich, it just puts an end to fiscal emergencies.

I’d had to cancel the Shawano appearance when I got sick, but now it’s on again for this Saturday. I’ll be at the Beans and Books Coffee House in Shawano, Wisconsin, from 1 pm on Saturday till no one is interested anymore (maybe an hour).

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Fore Again!

I just can’t help but add this report:  I played a round of par-three, nine-hole golf yesterday in Burnsville at the Birnamwood course.  We used an electric cart, but I did a fair amount of walking.  And I played better than I thought I would.  Some solid drives – got on the green in one stroke one time, played over a massive sand trap (instead of dropping my ball into it, which I halfway expected) another.  My putting wasn’t very good – but my putting is usually not very good.  And summer isn’t over until tomorrow, so I made my goal of playing a round before the end of summer!

Life is sweet.

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I went to an Episcopal Church in Minnesota convention this past weekend.  Interesting and helpful.  Maybe I’ll write more on it later.  Don’t want to be preachy.

Now I’m off to – finally – play that round of par-three, nine-hole golf I’ve been promising myself since I started healing.  Maybe more on that later, too.

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Talking Crow

Well, so much for the Oreo cookie sharing in Shawano. I stayed sick, very sick, all weekend and now into this week I’m still sick. Didn’t eat anything substantial – or anything much at all until yesterday and lost it by mid afternoon. Already had an appointment with my rheumatologist Monday and so kept that. And he said this is worrisome and if it’s not better by Tuesday, go see your GP. Which I am going to do (I’m writing this Monday evening). I don’t feel really sick, like you do with flu, but I can’t eat and have no control at the other end. I’ve taken anti-diarrhea meds, probiotics, I even found an unused bottle of oxycodone from when I was truly ill in a nursing home and have taken one two nights in a row – and as soon as they wear off, we’re back to square one. God, I sound like a hypochondriac, complain, complain, complain! But I’m truly sick of being sick and want it fixed.

On the other hand, I think we have at least the beginnings of a breakthrough on the muse front. Got a pair of big ideas on the plot and I think she’s starting to breathe. Yay!

Had a pleasant but curious experience a week or so ago. I was standing out on our balcony, which I call a “porch,” because it looks more like a porch than a balcony. A friendly crow who has come around before came back and perched high in a tree across the street. He began making soft, gurgling “remarks” to me. I tried to reply in kind and he responded. We had a kind of conversation that lasted at least five minutes. This was not the call-and-respond caw-caw-caw exchange I’ve had with several other crows; they call twice, I call twice, they caw three times, I caw three times. I think they get it, it’s a kind of game with exclamation points. This was gentle, almost tender. I wonder what it was about. I almost expected him (her?) to fly across and land on the porch railing – which probably would have scared me into dashing into the apartment. Crows are large birds with sharp beaks and claws. Or maybe not. I’ve been looking for my friend since but – see above – I’ve been sick and not going out very often. I don’t understand these intelligent, impertinent, bold creatures. But they fascinate me. Especially when they turn gentle.

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Sorry about this …

Due to illness, the signing in Shawano, Wisconsin, on September 10, 2016 is either cancelled or postponed. Watch this space for further information.

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Summer’s Over

Well, the carpets got cleaned, as scheduled, and so the last remnants of our cat Snaps are gone (ground-in cat hair, urp stains – so we’re not all that sorrowful about it).   And Wednesday went as scheduled: Bible study, lunch, stitching, pizza night sleepover.

But Thursday morning, during the hasty wash and dress part, I had a dizzy spell so big I actually fell down. It scared all of us, and I elected to stay home from the State Fair. Bummer. The other three had a great time: perfect weather, good food, interesting exhibits. I, on the other hand, was unsteady on my feet the rest of the morning – but fine in the afternoon and thereafter. I think the dizziness is the result of a med I’m taking. There is a warning of dizziness on the label, though it seems now it was a one-off, I haven’t had another “spell.”

As expected, I didn’t win a ribbon for my Christmas stocking – but amazingly, Tanya did, for her needlepoint of thirteen colorful lizards. She came in fourth, and a pink ribbon draped her entry. Wonderful surprise to her, though IMO she deserved it, and I’m only a little jealous.

The weather has turned cool, there are trees just starting to show color.  It’s been an eventful spring and summer.  I’ve been to the driving range but have sprained my ankle and so not met my goal (yet!) of going a round of par-three, nine-hole golf.  But it hasn’t snowed yet, nor have we had frost, so there’s still a chance I’ll make it.

This Saturday at one in the afternoon I’ll be doing an appearance and signing at Books and Beans, a coffeehouse in Shawano, Wisconsin. Address: 1235 E. Green Bay Street. My brother and his wife live in Shawano, and we’ll be staying with them. Come on by, I’ll have a package of Oreo cookies to share!

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Nothing much has happened since my last entry, but quite a bit is going to happen.

Thursday four of us are going to the State Fair. Two of us have bad knees and one of us had surgery on her foot, so three of us are going to rent electric carts and one unfortunate is going to walk – though we are, I am sure, going to arrange for her to ride at least some of the time. The rental will run from seven to three, if we last that long. Tanya and I each entered a needlework project in a competition, so it will be interesting to see how we did. (We’re not anticipating a ribbon, it was more for the experience, because next year we’re both entering something more elaborate.) The carts are rented first come-first served, and they tend to go fast, so we have to get there very early in the morning. So my friends are coming over Wednesday to spend the night.

Wednesday is my busiest day of the week. I have Bible study in the morning, then lunch with my stitching group, then the group does a stitch-and-bitch in a needlework shop till four. Two of my State Fair buddies are in the group.

I am a member of the Northwest Coin Club, I joined because one of the running characters in the Betsy Devonshire series collects coins. And somehow one of the members, who is elderly and getting frail, persuaded me to take over the newsletter. We meet the second Thursday of the month. And somehow I failed to see that day after tomorrow is the first of September – and the first Thursday. The newsletter, which I have been shilly-shallying over, is due to go in the mail that day. Which means, because we are not going to be home Thursday, I have to get it out by tomorrow. So I have a LOT on my plate today.

And today we are scheduled to have our carpets cleaned.

I better get to it.

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