Ode to the crockpot

So, here it is May and I am blogging about my damn crock pot. Normally, this would be a perfect post for Autumn. Considering my timing has always been a bit off, I’m right on schedule. Hell, I grill in January – why wouldn’t I use my crock pot in the summer?

the history

The slow cooker was developed from an electrical bean pot invented in the 1960s to steep dry beans. In 1971 the Crock-Pot, a slow cooker that could produce full meals in one pot, was released. Immediately, the Crock-Pot took off  –  the brand became as ubiquitous as Kleenex.* 

random tidbit of nonsense – crockpot, crock pot, and crock-pot are all acceptable 

the concept

The appliance cooks based on a combination of wattage and time. When turned on, the electrical coils heat up and transfer heat indirectly from the outer casing to the space between the base wall and the stoneware container. As the food cooks, it releases steam, which the lid traps. The condensation creates a vacuum seal between the lid and the rim of the crock, which adds moisture to the food while helping the cooking process. There are three temperature settings.

  • Low: 200 degrees Fahrenheit
  • High: 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Warm: 165 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit

the rules of thumb

  • Cut up large meats and brown them beforehand –I always cut up my meat, baby. But that browning shit just ain’t gonna happen. Defeats the whole purpose behind the concept. Just don’t cut your actual thumb!
  • Submerge your meats completely – very important
  • Use broth instead of water – good idea

the go-to’s

Chicken chili – a staple that has never failed me yet!

pulled pork  – this is a two-part recipe. I slow cook the cubed meat,  ‘pull’ it into another dish, add the sauce, and throw it in the over to finish up.

broth – beef/bone or vegetable – always delicious and super easy

side note – I have made a pot roast that was quite sexy. Unfortunately my pot is too small to accommodate a large roast. It’s a personal problem I’ve come to terms with. Actually, that’s not true. I still have issues with that – it’s a total crock!

(that was a bit dramatic, but I so wanted to use that phrase)

the never go there’s

  • lasagna – My favorite part of lasagna is the crispy brown mozzarella cheese topping.  Granted, I have never had crock pot lasagna, but I fear my favorite part would be … limp.  I’m 56 – things go flaccid unintentionally. Why would I want my lasagna to follow suit?
  • dessert – of any kind – Gross– end of story. Once again, I am all about firmness. Crock pot recipes tend to be very moist, but when a dessert is concerned I need texture, too. Lastly, I usually associate bread pudding with crock pot dessert. So NOT a bread pudding fan. Just to come full circle – Gross

And, some things I have tried and will never go ‘there’ again –

  • whole chicken – it tasted like chicken soup. I love chicken soup. But if I wanted to have it, I would’ve made soup.
  • beef stew – this is, like, the staple of slow cooking recipes. I am NOT a staple of any kind, I’ve tried two different recipes and both were a complete fail. In this case, the third time will NOT be the charm.

Well, that’s about it.  It felt really good to Ode; it’s been a minute. Moreover, this idea has been on the back burner for a while. Better yet, it’s been slow-cooked!

patience is a virtue!

*there is nothing special about this phrase. I just bold-faced because I like the word ubiquitous!

265 Linn

I have a title for my latest project – 265 Linn – I am so excited!

Actually, it wasn’t me that thought of it. I suck at titles – always have, always will. Thankfully, I have friends who don’t suck. I’ve surrounded myself with amazing people that do way more than get me through the day. They think of wonderful titles for my works of fiction.

Over my years of blogging, I have had some really good blog topics AND, yes, titles for those posts. Thinking of those ideas was easy. However, when it comes to major projects, I completely block. Could it be that I’m too close to the project and can’t detach myself? Will people buy my book with such a lame name? Maybe I really do suck?

Regardless of the reason, titles are very daunting. Hell, I can write a 416 page novel, but thinking of a singular phrase that will convey essence of what I’ve written throughs me for a damn loop.

 But none of that matters – I have one now. And, it’s a really, really good title.

I am working on the one page synopsis and a proofreader is putting the final tweaks on my grammar. Apparently, I like the work countless – who knew? And, I overuse semi-colons. Most writers have problems with commas. Me, I abuse my semi-colon privileges. Go figure?! I blame auto correct. When I was writing, that dreaded line would highlight my comma calamities. When I hovered over the error, the Microsoft powers that grammatically be told me I should use a semi-colon instead. After a few blue squiggles, I just started adding semi-colons instead. Auto-correct never corrected me. (pun intended) My proof-reader deems otherwise.

Now, that my book to do list is finally getting done, I need to figure out what the hell I’m going to do with the damn thing once its actually to  done. Yikes!

And, I thought thinking of a title was daunting.

For now, I am overcome with joy that I have a title.

Welcome to 265 Linn. The walls don’t talk, but they really do listen.

(the tagline is all mine, by the way. I think it has a nice hook.)

SURPRISE!

I have never been one for surprises.  For those that know me, this comes as no … surprise.  (pun intended). BUT that does not stop me from surprising those that I thought like to be surprised.

Until now.

Let’s just say, I AM done with surprises. Oh, I may bestow a donut or bakery treat on those that I know appreciate the gesture, but as far as out-right, planned surprises – NEVER AGAIN.

My first unfortunate surprise surprise was fifteen years ago – almost to the day. Ugh! My wife was turning forty. Over the years as a couple, an understanding about gift giving was established. Nothing elaborate was ever purchased – she is way too cheap for that. Normally, we purchase our own gifts and call it good. Furthermore, these really weren’t ‘gifts’. A gift is a splurge = something that is neither a necessity nor needed. Cheap people don’t really do gifts. Instead, you receive a step-up from something needed and consider yourself fortunate.

Since a lot of her friends were turning forty and in the throws of parenthood, she casually mentioned husbands that whisked their ‘birthday girl’ off to a fabulous destination. I wondered whether this was a statement or subtle hint. Knowing my wife, I questioned my indecision. So, I asked numerous friends for input – her friends. They all agreed favorably. What girl wouldn’t want to be jetted off to a warm destination in the middle of a Northern Michigan winter?

two words – my wife.

Since we had three kids, a lot of planning had to be done. I am a planner – so had that covered. And, just to be safe, I didn’t even surprise my wife with bags packed hours before leaving. In fact, I think I told her two weeks before take-off. Wow! I was very wrong. It was crazy stressful. I had contemplated cancelling numerous times. When the damn trip was actually over, I said those fatal words – I will never surprise you again.

Fast forward to current day.

My son was going through a rough patch. A comic he followed was coming to Michigan. I thought it would be fun to surprise him with tickets. Since we lived a few hours apart, we would meet there, see the show, and depart the next morning. Unfortunately, my reality inhibited my attendance. However, I told my son he could have the tickets to bring a comic friend. I WOULD EVEN PAY FOR A HOTEL ROOM if needed. It was only two hours away. But if there was drinking involved, a room is warranted. Whenever I brought up the show, the subject was always changed. Kids do this often – so I didn’t  question that fact. Then, a few days before the show, he admitted he had no desire to go. Thankfully, a hotel room wasn’t booked. But my tickets, much to my dismay, were non-refundable AND non-transferable.

Surprise!

Ugh!

Of course, he’s my boy. I forgave him immediately. Kinda’. Though, I am still holding onto some hostile angst from that first incident. So, the same can’t be said for my wife.

Donut anyone?!

1 – 5 – 1

My recovery is going quite well. I have graduated from the walker to a cane. The transition took a bit longer than anticipated due to that whole ice/swelling issue. Although I remain a tad swollen, I am assured that will subside soon. I struggled with the cane option.  Let’s just call it retail PTSD. Usually, people with canes are especially demanding. Thus, I have a strong desire to beat the person over the head with their cane because they just don’t want to listen.

Breathe – I’m better now.

Moreover, canes are not the sturdiest. But I did find a quad-foot cane – it is proving to be very useful. I can guarantee that the transition away from it will be much faster.

Now, I will address that obscure post title. It’s a ‘breakdown’ of my disability.

The first week was a wash because my surgery was pushed back due to insurance parameters. Then, I had five wonderful weeks of recovery; a much needed, and well-deserved, reprieve from the constraints of the Daily Grind. Hence, one week to go until my Life starts again. Reality has trickled in slowly. Unfortunately. However, I am going to make this final week count. Before I do, I want to share my random list of To Dones crossed off thus far.

  1. I actually (pauses intended) used frozen, pre-prepared foods. Usually, I pawn off such food on my son. However, I decided with the immobility in the first few weeks, I needed to hit the deep freeze myself.
  2. I purged through quite a lot of old files. Fun fact – I have a ‘vanities’ file – pictures of items I’ve torn from magazines before they all became digital. Good news – I still like the majority of the items saved. Bad news – I still can’t afford them.
  3. I began re-assessing my recipes. Over the years, I have saved an over-abundance of recipes torn from, yes, magazines.  This intention was two-fold; inspired by my latest project. First, I have always wanted to provide a cook book for my children. Secondly, I had so many recipes I knew I would never make. It hindered me from finding the recipe I needed. Oh, and that inspiration I referenced – read the book when it becomes available.
  4. I decided to join the local YMCA to swim. I’ve been wanting to change up my exercise routine for some time. What better way to rehab them hips than swimming?
  5. I read a book at home. Without falling asleep after two pages.
  6. I reconnected with friends I’ve been wanting to do so with for some time. Scheduling becomes so much easier when one party – me – has absolutely no commitments.
  7. Last, but certainly not least, I did nothing. One day, I watched the fucking snow – it was really nice.

Well, there are a few more things, but  that about sums it up. This last week will be riddled with a more hectic To Do list of things that fall in line to cope with reality – so not looking forward to that.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/news/shakira-hips-don-t-lie-official-music-video-ft-wyclef-jean/vi-BBRsPaM

Even though I AM officially titanium and my doctor was amazing, my hips will NEVER be that agile.

And, I don’t lie!

Loveuary triFREEta

Novembeard has come and gone. Unfortunately, us men only get one month for such annual novelties. Women, on the other hand, get the remaining eleven. Give or take a few, okay?!

Case in point – February

According to the Hallmark Channel*, it is now referred to as Loveuary. There’s even a Sweepstakes! I would cut and paste the link, but I chose to refrain. (snide guttural noise of disgust implied)

Instead – I have decided to embrace the occasion and offer my own giveaway.

Today – Thursday February 03, 2022 only

All three titles are FREE

Yep, just click the book jacket icon of one or all three and download, It is that easy. And, since two of the selections are love stories,  they are wonderful gift ideas for that upcoming Loveuary holiday – even if my titles aren’t Hallmark approved. Although, I believe A Promise to Love would make an exceptional adaptation to the screen, Granted, it is probs more mainstream. However, In Your Eyes has Hallmark written all over it!

*P.S. – Some of the movies are actually well done. The Wedding Veil Trilogy is a trifecta of pure enjoyment!

n-Ice!

Recently, I had a total hip replacement. Like, five days ago recently. Well, it was five days when I started penning this post. It needed to be done for some time; a familial problem. At least two, if not three, of my siblings already had the surgery. Also, retail pharmacy has its consequences; being on your feet for twelve hour days doesn’t help. Fortunately, circumstances provided the opportunity and I decided to comply.

Hip replacement has come a long way over the years. Yeah, baby! My procedure was done anteriorly rather than posteriorly. Translation – the doctor went in through the front/side of the hip instead of the back. Therefore, less large muscle groups were involved. I have a nice ass. So, salvaging that was a necessity. Still, I had a total hip replacement. Beating the shit out of the lower half of the body will definitely yield pain and … swelling.

Yikes!

My discharge instructions were lengthy. And, I read them all. No lie, okay. This was important. I needed to be prepared to ensure proper recovery. Since I am a medical professional and quite active, the majority of the instructions were routine. I haven’t had a major surgery in some time, but I’ve had my share of injuries. So, I knew what worked for me. Unfortunately, I have never been an icer. Translation – I rarely use ice. To me, it seemed pointless and messy; one of those details I decided to forgo. My lack of patience never warranted the concept.

Ice and post-surgery swelling

  • cold compresses or ice packs can be helpful  when dealing with post-surgery swelling
  • swelling occurring after surgery is going to disappear within days or weeks
  • the application of cold or heat compresses is beneficial in speeding up the swelling healing process

Ah, hindsight! Ugh!

How ice packs work

The application of ice onto the post-surgery bruises –

  • lowers the temperature of injured tissues
  • constricts the blood vessels
  • inhibits supply to injured site

Hence, applying cold compress or ice pack onto the post-surgical swelling is beneficial in speeding up the healing process.

the best time to use ice with swelling

  • maximum benefits for non-numb swelling if applied for the first 24 to 48 hours. This is the period when the resulted swelling is still severe and large.
  • after the first 48 hours, the compresses can be alternated between warm and ice compresses.
  • compresses can be applied 4 to 5 times a day, but be alert not to get the skin burnt.

If the swelling turns into bruises, heat pack or warm compress should be applied, rather than the cold one. Heat pack is going to promote sufficient blood supply to the bruises, bringing more oxygen to reduce the bruising appearance.

The ice ship for me has long sailed. Needless to say, I swelled a-l-o-t. Fuck! So much so, it felt like my foot was ready to explode. The Hunan Body and it’s intricacies never cease to amaze me. It was crazy ass shit watching my foot swell to that capacity. That night, I think I went to the bathroom, like, seven times – ugh! The next morning my swelling was reduced. No sure if icing would’ve prevented that debacle, but I have learned my lesson.

n-Ice!

I just better mot get stretch marks.

Good Intentions

So, I mentioned before I was blogging again. Or, intended to start. Thankfully, I did not commit to doing so on a regular basis.  Wow! Glad I gave myself that out, eh!? While I do think about wanting to blog, the actually task of doing it has become a complete  farce. It’s boggling to me how little time I have to do anything, let alone blog. And, my kids are away from home. How does that happen? Granted the last few months have been riddled with too much drama – none of which is my doing, by the way.

No, I’m not delusional. I own my self-induced dysfunctionality when it’s warranted. Right now, it’s not. I am in punt mode at the moment.  My mindset is the here and now – getting from day to day.

I’m just thankful I was able to complete my last project. Though, I still have no fucking clue how I was able to write and edit over 400 pages. Good for me!

Anyway, I am hoping things calm down a bit so I can post my musings. The escapism is both fun and necessary.

Until I get a brain cell to complete a thought to embrace my Random Nonsense, enjoy this offering.

Please be patient. Honestly, I had to post something even this rambling mess. My adamthomas.com tradition was so December.

The adamthomasrph.com Christmas Tradition

“It’s that time of year, when … .

… I post about challenged AND struggling. Christmas Carols. If this was about people that would be an everyday occurrence, of course. But I’m not. Instead, I am highlighting those treasured classics that will always be a blog tradition.

  1. Schizophrenia — Do You Hear What I Hear?
  2. Multiple Personality Disorder — We Three Kings Disoriented Are
  3. Dementia —I Think I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  4. Narcissistic — Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me
  5. Manic — Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and . . .
  6. Paranoid — Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me
  7. Borderline Personality Disorder — Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire
  8. Personality Disorder — You Better Watch Out, I’m Gonna Cry, I’m Gonna Pout, Maybe I’ll Tell You Why
  9. Attention Deficit Disorder — Silent Night, Holy OOOOOOOOh look at the Froggy, can I have chocolate, why is France so far away?
  10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder — Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bell …

Ho – Ho – Ho Merry Christmas!

Cool Yule surprise

It is a known fact I send A-L-O-T of greeting cards – always have; always will. They’re fun. Besides, people love to receive something in the mail that’s not a bill. Ironically, I do not send Christmas cards. I’s got every other holiday handled – so sending an annual Christmas card is so passé’ in my opinion. A few times, I was sucked into the season and decided to send New Years cards. Twice. Bad decision on my part – Twice. Ugh! Each year that followed was wrought with cluster after cluster of funness (sarcasm intended), I vowed never to do that again.

My address book is a treasured possession. I’m talking old school address book, too – handwritten and just a hot mess from scribbled notes. Lots of folks have had Life Changes that needed updating. I do purge through it on a regular basis. Well, that’s kind of a lie – I haven’t done so in a while. I’m okay with that, though. I navigate hot messes quite well. Everyone in that book appreciates the gesture and reciprocates to the best of their abilities. Since there has been lots of icky things in the world, I uped my game a bit. I have never sent so may greeting cards in my life. I would never expect the equal level of reciprocity. It’s just fun!. Besides, people really appreciate it now more than ever.

side note – if you piss me off,  your ass is lined-out, baby. With a red pen. Oh, and good luck trying to make your way back into my postal graces. (insert – manly grunting noise)

I grew up on a block where everyone knew everyone  – we were quite tight. At one time there were, like, 120 kids on a single street. Over the years, families moved on, of course. Some stayed connected; some did not. As time went on, funerals were an odd, yet advantageous meeting place to reconnect.

As the ‘hood aged, one special neighbor always remained in contact with my mother. They were never really besties when the kids were young. However, once they aged, their relationship became quite bonded. It was nice. This neighbor also had a special place in my heart. In fact, I bought my first car from her. Naturally, our greeting card exchange became more frequent than most. Yeah, she received familial updates from my mom, but I appreciated our correspondence nonetheless. When my mother passed away last year, this neighbor and I remained postally palled.

In fact, she recently sent me an early Christmas card. Inside was the following note –

Just wanted to thank you for all the greeting cards I have received all the years gone by. Must cost you a lot for stamps. Love hearing from you.

She included a book of stamps.

Cool Yule, eh!

I’m blogging again

Well, it’s decided. I’m blogging again.  During the past two years, I concentrated my energies elsewhere and ‘maintained the blog’ . Now, that has changed. My latest project is officially complete and in the hands of an editor/proof reader who will spare NO red pen. I’m quite happy with the finished product. It feels whole – no loose ends. Moreover, I love the way the concept evolved. A concept that I am keeping secret until it’s unveiling, of course.

I feel the need to write on a regular basis – blogging allows that. Besides, I still have lots of Random Nonsense to share. Few care, of course. But I need to do it, damn it! Unlike this caustic world we live in, my musings are light and harmless. I will keep a few traditions – the Ode and Mastercard moments are sure to resurface. However, Adele will NOT be back for Thanksgiving. Just too much yelling for me. Funny as all get out, but way too toxic. And, I work retail! Tis the holiday season – Xanax is not just for gay summer weddings.*

Also, I will post my nonsense randomly. The pressure to come up with ideas on a weekly basis is just too much. When the new book becomes available – in whatever capacity the next few months allow – I will be all over that shit.

Until then, enjoy the previous titles for FREE – that won’t go away. Hell, even when I make a shit ton of money from royalties, I will still be FREE booking it!

Just do as before – click one or all three titles and download – it is that simple and it is that FREE!

Well, TODAY NOVEMBER 17, 2021 that is. After that, it ain’t.

*

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