Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Assisted Living...

(imported from FB)

5:40pm Tuesday, Jun 26

I had lunch with my mom today she gave me the update on grandma, among other things.

Apparently my grandmother is going into an assisted living facility. She thought that she had Alzheimer's Disease but we think that it may be more of a generalized forgetfulness than that. She has left the door open several times, left the gas burner on stove, gets out of cars and walks away as if the door will close itself.

The icing on the cake was probably her drier. She called my mom last week and said that her drier was broken. She had washed and dried one load and when she put the second one in, it malfunctioned. She called the repairman. My mother offered to go over and take a look and my grandmother said that she had it under control, the appointment had been made and so on. Well, the repairman came a week latter. As you can probably guess, she had not turned it on.

After that, she started to say that she had Alzheimer's. She has made some indications that she would like to move to one of the two assisted living facilities in her neighborhood. This is good news in a way. A year ago, after she broke her foot and refused to do the rehabilitation exercises that they wanted her to do, she was wailing,"You're just going to put me in a home."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Peanut Butter Carrot Cakes for Dogs

(imported from FB)

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded carrots (about 1 ½)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup honey
1 egg

4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs peanut butter

Spray four jumbo muffin cups with nonstick spray.

Mix flour and baking soda. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into prepared muffin tin and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Let cool.

For the frosting, place cream cheese and one tablespoon each of peanut butter and honey into a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until fully combined. Spread on cooled muffins. Chill muffins until serving.

Servings: 4
Yield: 4 cakes

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Made in China

(imported from FB)
6:12pm Thursday, Jun 14

Recently, I read something about the true cost of offshoring. This commentary said that offshoring is costing America more than previously thought, US economic growth is overstated and any economic slowdown understated.

Clearly this made an impression on me since I started to think about it as I was changing from workout to work mode this morning. That brought me the question: Is this important to buy American? I probably know more about where my food was grown than I know about what's in my closet. I started to check the assembled in and made in labels on my gear. It turns out that my Japanese car (assembled in Indiana), the book in my bag (printed in USA) and the water bottle on my desk at work (made in USA) are the only things in my quick inventory that were not imported.

The commentary that I saw earlier in the week, referred to an article in BusinessWeek, The Real Cost Of Offshoring discusses the flaws in the Federal Reserve's economic statistics, the obsolesce of our nation-centric view of the economy during a time of rapid globalization and the precariousness of U.S. competitiveness.

Workout gear

Trek bike shorts - Mexico
Izod workout Top - Macau
Jogbar sports bra - China
Champion underwear - Turkey
Target Towel 1 - China
Target Towel 2-Thailand
Pearl Izumi Bike shoes - China
Polar HRM- China

Work Gear

Van Huesen linen shirt - China
Columbia pants - El Salvador
Hanes underwear - El Salvador
Maidenform bra - Indonesia
Merrell shoes - China

Also used

Apple computer- China
Kensington optical mouse - China
Apple keyboard - Malaysia
Samsung monitor - Mexico
Palm PDA- China
Subaru car - Indiana!
Harper Collins book - USA
Apple MP3 Player- China
Timbuk2 bag - China
Eddie Bauer lunch box - Vietnam
Eddie Bauer purse - Vietnam
Reusable Bags grocery bag - India
Timex watch - No country of info
Kyrocera cell phone - Mexico
Nalgene / REI water botter - USA
Starbucks stainless steel mug - Korea

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

An Early Father's Day

(imported from FB)

9:41pm Wednesday, Jun 13

I will be out of town this Sunday so we had an early Father's Day gifting event tonight. I met my parents for coffee and surprised my dad by giving him his gift this evening.

I heard all about the big trip to Napa and Monterey. They mentioned the tour and lunch at Domain Chandon. The sailing trip from Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Jelly Belly tour (and bag of Belly Flops), and the penny slots at Lake Tahoe. Both of my parents looked happy and relaxed.

They also said that my brother, who is stationed on the Monterey area at the moment, is doing well. Dan seems to have found a good niche for himself.

I ended up getting my dad a bottle of Domaine Chandon Pinot Noir, a bottle of Chandon Blanc de Noirs and a box of Tar Heel Chocolate Terrapins.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tour de Cure

(imported from FB)

This weekend I participated in my second Tour de Cure to benefit the American Diabetes Association. On Saturday, several hundred cyclists rode a 75-mile route from Cary, NC to Oxford, NC where we had an overnight stop at the Masonic Home for Children and on Sunday, we cycled back to Cary.

On Saturday, I rode with a team of varying abilities and conditioning. This -- along with 95 degree heat -- presented some challenges. I got really frustrated with some folks on the team but in the end we all finished together in Oxford.

Many of the people on the team had elected to participate on Saturday only. As a result I did not ride with the team on Sunday. That presented its own challenges but the cooler weather on Sunday helped to make it a pleasant ride. For the return trip on Sunday I made awesome time -- 18.1 average which is great for me -- and that was good too.

In this area, the MS150 is the big ride and this is just a tiny baby one but I'll continue to support it. I'd like to see the Tour de Cure grow into a larger event and I would encourage any local cyclist to participate in future rides. The route is very nice and the volunteer and other riders help to make it a fun event.

I was the only member of the team to complete the route on both days.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Meat Loaf

(imported from FB)

8:08am Thursday, Jun 7

The morning spin class at my gym usually has a contingent of early arrivals. We bring our own music and get going before the official start time. Ruth got there before me today and she had one of her better CDs with her -- Meat Loaf's Paradise by the Dashboard Light came on it brought back memories.

I remember the summer that it came out. We lived in Wappingers Falls, NY and, like the song, we listened to the Yankees. We were very familiar with Phil Rizzuto's broadcasting.

I think that was the summer of the NYC blackout as well. It was really weird because we were pretty far from the city and never lost power but our local TV was from NYC. They broadcast the news using flashlights.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Canine Cranberry Muffins recipe

(imported from FB)

9:39pm Tuesday, Jun 5

2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 egg (beaten)
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

6 oz low fat whipped cream cheese and
2 Tbs honey

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease muffin tins or use silicon bakeware. Combine moist ingredients (excluding frosting mix) in a bowl. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to moist ingredients. Fold cranberries into mix. Fill muffin tins with batter.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes for mini muffins or 25 minutes for regular size muffins. Let cool.

When muffins have cooled, make the frosting by combining the low fat cream cheese and honey, mixing to a smooth consistency. Lightly ice the muffins. Refrigerate.

Servings: 18
Yield: 18 muffins or 36 mini muffins

Cooking Tips
These stuck to the mini muffin cups like crazy. It made 24 mini muffins and 7 regular muffins. I did the regular muffins in silicone baking cups and baked them for 25 minutes. The bottoms were a tiny bit brown but they did come out of the cups just fine. Next time, do 18 muffins instead of 36 mini muffins.

Source: Outer Barks newsletter

Monday, June 4, 2007

Cycling across the country

(imported from FB)

On Sunday I needed to get a three hour bike ride in as part of my training for the Tour de Cure. Tropical Storm Barry was in the area and we had the associated rain throughout the day. I decided that there was not going to be a dry three hour window so I left the house at about 9:15 for my ride. As I got to Wilsonville and pulled into the gas station there, two cyclists pulled in behind me. They were each pulling trailers. We chatted for a bit:

"How are you? "


"Do you know if there are any hotels in Pittsboro?"

She said that they were from Houston and had ridden from Clayton the day before. I asked about their final destination. "Oh, I'm leaving him in Kentucky and meeting up with another group there. My final destination is Oregon." She said that she was picking up the TransAmerica Trail in Kentucky.

Now that's a bike ride!

Speaking of Father's Day, I have a Mother's Day story to share

This falls under the category of "Shoot me if I ever get this way..."

My mother shared a story about my grandmother with me. My grandmother has four children, Aunt Patty in France, Uncle Joe in NJ, Uncle Phil in Atlanta and, of course, my mom.

My mom called and asked my grandmother how her week had been going.

"Well, it has been just awful. First I got a package of handmade cards from Atlanta. Who would give an old woman cards?! What I am going to do with them. And there was some home made card signed by the kids (yes, the kids would be her three grandchildren in Atlanta).

"Then, I got my Harry and David. But it was the wrong one. I cannot believe that they ordered me the wrong one. It was supposed to have sausage and cheese in it. (from Joe)

"The next day, I got some tulips in a round vase. The flowers are half dead and who would put tulips in a round vase? I had to go all around my apartment to find a vase to put them in. (from my aunt)

(my mom asked my grandmother what she wanted earlier and they went to the farmer's market to get some geraniums for grandma's deck as a

My grandmother then said something to the effect of "I guess I
shouldn't be like that."

My mom took that as an opening and replied that maybe people shouldn't send her gifts anymore since it was clearly upsetting her. I think that my grandmother was in a bit of a snit for a while after that.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

I need Father's Day ideas

I need some Father's Day ideas. I hate to say it but I think that Dad may be getting a shirt. I wanted to get him something more creative like the face jug that I got him for his birthday but I am coming up empty. I asked my mom for some ideas and I asked her to keep things secret. She said, "I finally pinned down Dad. He would like a subscription to Wine Spectator magazine." Of course it's tres expensive and he never ever buys anything mentioned in the magazine because they only recommend expensive wines. (I think that maybe they haven't heard of California and the Pacific Northwest!)