I recently found a neat place, called The Leftover Queen Forum. The subtitle for the website is “Where foodies come together to meet, greet, and share ideas.” It is a fun place, with food bloggers from literally all over the world as members. If you look over to the right on the sidebar of this blog, you will see a list of links to Foodie Blogs. There are many good food writers there, so if you’re hungry and need some ideas or recipes, check them out.
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I am still trying to create the perfect gluten free cornbread. This is the version I tried last night, and Jim gave it two thumbs up:
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup corn flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/3 cup powdered buttermilk
1 cup water
Mix all ingredients well, and pour into an iron skillet that has been heating on the stove with olive oil. Bake in 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.
This was very good served with butter, along with yet another version of bean soup.
1 bag dried baby lima beans
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 fresh tomatoes, skinned and diced
8 oz frozen shoepeg corn
1 smoked ham hock, skin removed, and meat cut up in chunks
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
Place dried beans in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes. Meanwhile, place all other ingredients in crock pot and turn on high. Pour hot beans and water into crock pot and cook for several hours.
There is a blog tag thing going around, and while she didn’t actually tag me, Karina at The Gluten Free Goddess threw down the gauntlet when she invited anyone who wanted to join in the fun to do so. So, in the spirit of fun, here are my 8 Random Things About Me:
1.I also curse like a sailor. Well, what do you expect, I grew up in a house full of truck driving men. All the male members of my family are truckers. And if they weren’t truckers, they were in the Navy. So, there ya go.
2. I used to BE a truck driver. Well, technically, I still am, because I drive a four door Ford F-250 diesel pick-up truck. But, what I mean is that I used to drive a truck delivering freight to make a living. Yes, it WAS a Dodge Ram pick-up truck with a camper shell on the back, but it WAS a TRUCK and I DID deliver freight all over the United States in it.
3. I was once frisked by the Secret Service while I was wearing a bathing suit. Just ask if you want the details.
5.I live in a travel trailer and work at campgrounds and resorts.
6. I am diabetic and gluten intolerant. My husband has a thyroid condition and can not eat beef. So between us both we lick the platter clean, hahaha.
7. I was a Girl Scout leader and Service Unit Director for 8 years while my children were growing up.
8. I am from the south and everyone knows it as soon as ah open ma mouth ta speak.
I am not tagging anyone, but if you read this and want to do it, feel free.
Back on July 18, I wrote a little bit about The Gluten Connection by Shari Lieberman. The subtitle of this book was what really grabbed my attention–How Gluten Sensitivity May Be Sabotaging Your Health and What You Can Do To Take Control Now. That is quite a mouthful. I had only read the first two chapters then, but I have now finished reading it, and want to say again, I think it should be required reading for anyone who thinks they may be gluten intolerant.
Not only did I see so much of myself in her descriptions of how gluten intolerance can present itself in various ways, but I also saw my brother, my sister, my two daughters, my two grandsons, and my father. And, I really think that a lot of my mother-in-law’s many health problems could be gluten intolerance related. If only I could have had this knowledge 35 years ago when my children were young, before they had to suffer so many years because I thought I was feeding them good nutritious food! I think I am going to send each one of my family members a copy of this book, along with a card telling them how much I love them.
Chapter 12 of The Gluten Connection is about taking dietary supplements when you go gluten free. I had already started thinking maybe I should be taking some vitamins, but this book spelled out what you should be taking in the beginning when you eliminate gluten from your diet. I took my book with me to the store and showed it to the woman who works there. So, now I have started taking a food based multi-vitamin with minerals, fish oil capsules, and co-enzyme Q10. It has only been a few days since I started taking them, but I am starting to feel better.
Just as a side note, Jim also started taking the co-enzyme Q10 and he is saying that he has a lot more energy. He has been trying out different supplements for a few months now trying to get his energy level up. He has no thyroid, and even though he takes Synthroid every day, it is hard to keep him energized.
The FabGranddaughter, Sarah, came to visit from Seattle, Washington. She flew in by her eight year old self, to visit with her Dad for two weeks. While she was at his house, they came up to Gettysburg to camp out with FabGrandma and FabGrandpa for three days. Later, we went down to spend four days at their house.
The last day we were there, I was sitting there with FabGranddaughter. She said to me, “My other grandmother is boring. All she did when she came to visit me was wear her headphones, listen to the radio, and snore.” I asked her if I was boring, and she said “No, you are the best grandmother in the world.” Now that is a compliment!
(more about our visit to come…)
Karina’s Kitchen is a great blog written by multi-allergic (Is that a word?) and gluten intolerant Karina. She creates some of the most wonderful recipes I have seen, and I say “SEEN” because she also takes some very beautiful photos of the food she creates. I am jealous of her photography talent. I hope that someday when I grow up, I will be as good at photography as she is.
Anyway, if you want to see some pretty food, take a look over there. And check out all those other gluten-free bloggers, too.
Karina’s Kitchen: Recipes from a [Gluten-Free] Goddess: Gluten-Free Bloggers
One of the few drawbacks to the lifestyle we have is that I usually have to find a new hair stylist every other time I get my hair cut. My step-daughter, Becky, cut my hair from the time she was in high school, and she did it very well. She owns a shop in the Atlanta area now. She is in such demand that it is hard for me to get an appointment with her when I am in town. I like to brag that she used to cut the hair of one of the ladies who was on the Weather Channel. If she could see what my hair looks like now, she would have a fit. Just like I did.
What I usually do when I need a haircut is to look at other people’s hair when I am in the grocery store, in a restaurant, where ever, and when I see a particularly good hair cut, I ask the woman who does her hair. Now, every woman knows that if someone asks her that question, she must look really good, so I have always gotten a “Why thank you for asking, I get it done at…” But since we are in a rural area, when I have asked that question for the last couple of weeks, it is always someone who cuts hair in her home for her friends and family only. (I guess that should have told me something about the beauty shops around here.)
Just a couple of days ago, I saw the most perfect haircut ever. The woman must have been about 65 years old, with snow-white hair. But the haircut was so modern, so trendy, so, well, just so good of a haircut. She was eating lunch with a friend of hers at a restaurant in town. So, of course, I asked her where she got her hair done. And, she proceeds to tell me it was her friend’s son, who used to work for Paul Mitchell, but he is retired from doing hair and only cuts hair for a few friends and family members now. Crap. I should have taken her picture, but I didn’t think about it until later. Much later. Too much later.
And so, since I was looking rather shaggy, and was in a real need of a haircut, I got out the phone book at the campground office and looked in the yellow pages. The first place I called could see me right away. That should have been a warning, but no, I went ahead with it. The girl who greeted me at the front desk had a nose ring. One nostril was pierced and adorned with the tiniest little stud nose ring, but still, a pierced nose.
She took me back to her lair immediately and asked me how I wanted my hair cut. I told her I usually get it cut short, with bangs, over my ears, and straight across in the back. This is what I have told every hair stylist I have ever been to, and they have managed to cut my hair in a close semblance of how Becky used to cut my hair. So she starts to cut. And she cuts, and cuts some more. When she was done, this is how it looked:
I am not a person who likes to spend a lot of time on my hair. I usually wash, blow dry, and go. I have never used any styling products. Just shampoo and conditioner, never anything else. And I have not cried about the way my hair looked since the last time my mother put a Tony Home Perm in it when I was about 12 years old. But, when I went home this time, my hair was a disaster. Jim said I needed to get a hat. Thanks a lot, big guy, that really makes me feel better.
So, today when we went to Wal-Mart, I stopped in at the hair shop there. I told the girls working there that I had gotten this hair cut yesterday, and it looks really bad to me and what could they suggest. They told me I needed something to make it “stand up”, to give it some body. So, they sold me some Molding Glue. For hair. Mess It Up Styler. Ummm, it was already messed up.
They showed me how to use it, just a dab and run my fingers through it just so, and voila! It does look a little better, so I bought the stuff. $11.00 for a little jar of it. It should last a very long time, with as little hair as I have. So, this is what it looks like now:
Note to self: Never let someone with a pierced nose cut your hair.
We were expecting it to be busy, but somehow I did not expect it to be as busy as it was. Yes, we had lots of families camping together in celebration of Father’s Day. They came out in all the usual modes of camping, from tents to 40-foot motor homes. All of them wanted the same thing—a couple of days rest and relaxation at the campground, fishing, roasting marshmallows, enjoying a campfire, and enjoying the family.
So, on Friday night, as usual, we were covered up with people checking in. We had more than 160 check-ins for the day, about 120 of them between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. Everything went pretty good until the boyz showed up. This was a really haggard looking bunch of about 5 guys who wanted to rent a tent site. Now, I am not against groups of people camping in tents, but the management here has a rule that there must be at least one person per site who is 25 years old, and we have to card them to make sure they are.
Another rule that the management has is that there are no overnight “guests” on a tent site. The tent sites can have a maximum of 2 adults per site. If there are more than 2 adults, they have to rent another site. If you have a so-called guest, that person must pay the tent rate to stay, because there is one tent per site. I really do understand what the management is trying to accomplish by doing this, and that is to cut down on the number of teen beer parties on Friday and Saturday nights.
So, as the Night Shift Supervisor, I have the most pleasant task of informing the teeny boppers that they cannot stay at this campground when they arrive to get a tent site for the night. Now, try to imagine this guy, covered with tattoos, bandana on his head, baggy shorts drooping down over his butt crack, saying, “Well, my mama is camping here and I’ll just go get her to rent the site.” And I say, “Is she going to stay on that site with you all night?” And he says, “No, she is just going to rent it.” So I say, “No, you can’t do that. What you can do is pay for camping and put a tent on her campsite.” They didn’t want to do that, so they finally left. And I get on with the rest of my job.
The rest of Friday night went by in a flash, with no other out of the ordinary occurrences. On Saturday, I had about 30 more check-ins, and loads of people with loads of money buying stuff in the store. It was a constant stream of people, which made the day go by fast. We had a retail clerk at the candy counter until 6 p.m. After she went home, there were two of us left to handle the crowd.
My co-worker was 15 years old, not old enough to sell cigarettes in the state of Pennsylvania. So, no matter whatever else I was doing, I had to stop and ring up cigarettes for our customers. Not such a hard thing, except that as the Night Shift Supervisor, I have other duties I must complete before I go home for the night, such as counting the cash drawers from the snack bar and the mini golf shack; doing the sales reports from those two places; calling people who have made reservations and who have not paid their deposits after 7 days to request payment of the deposit; filing a large stack of paperwork that was given to me with a note that said “Do Not Delegate”; and about 10 other miscellaneous tasks. I felt like I was up to my neck in alligators that night.
About 3:30 p.m., a guy comes in and want to register as a guest of his friend. I asked him his friends last name, and he did not know it. I asked if he had his friends telephone number, and he did not know that either. So I asked if he knew what site his friend was camping on. He did not know. But, if I would let him in he could just drive around and find him. I asked if his friend was camping in a tent. He said yes. So, I told the guy he would have to pay for a tent site, he could not camp as a guest on a tent site. He did not want to do that, and again asked me to let him just drive around and find his friend. I told him again that we do not allow that. He left.
So about 5 minutes later, he came in again, and went to my co-workers register. He started saying the same things to her. Since I am the Night Shift Supervisor, I asked the customer I was assisting if he could wait just a moment, and stepped over to where Tammy was working. I told this man again that he would have to pay for a tent site to get into the campground. He said, well, can I just go in and pick out a site before I pay? I said, NO, YOU CAN NOT. We will register you and assign you a site, and if you don’t like it, you can move to any other tent site that is available, but you have to pay FIRST. He finally agreed to pay, and I returned to my customer. But, I heard him saying to my 15 year old co-worker “That woman is such a bitch!” I started to call one of them maintenance workers and have him escorted out of the park, but I didn’t. If that happens again, I will do that.
Then, at about 9:30 p.m., a man came into the store and told me there was a domestic dispute going on at that group tenting area. He said that a guy had his wife on the ground, punching her and kicking her, and that some other guys who were camping nearby came to her rescue, and a big free for all ensued. So, I called the campground owner on the radio and told him he had “an incident that needed attention”. He went down there, and called me on the radio, and told me to call 911. So, I had a radio to the boss in one hand, the telephone with the police in the other hand, trying to get the cops out here to apprehend the jerk, when a woman who wanted to buy cigarettes comes up and is indignant because she can not pay for her cigarettes!!! Give me a break, lady.
So, the police arrive and go up to where the altercation is “in progress”. My husband had to go up there too to lead the police to the scene. He said that when the police arrived, someone pointed and yelled, there he goes right now. He was in a truck trying to flee the area. The police cut him off, and he jumped out of the truck and started running. Jim said it was just like on COPS on TV.
In the meantime, the woman came into the store. She had a baby about 6 months old, another one about 18 months old, and a 3 year old. She and all her children were crying, I had about 25 customers in the store trying to get checked out, and one co-worker trying to get it all done, as I was still on the phone with the 911 operator. I asked the guy on the phone if she needed to go back up to the scene, and he said if she wanted to press charges, she need to go back up there.
So, I told her that, and she started screaming that she didn’t want to go up there because he was still there. I got off the phone then, and told the girl that she either had to go back up to the scene to press charges or she would have to go outside and sit on the bench out there, but she could not stay in the store. Yes, I really felt sorry for her, but I had other work to do. If she didn’t want to go through with pressing charges against the jerk, there was nothing I could do for her.
I finally got her out of the store, and sold all those dang cigarettes. Why is it that I feel bad that I couldn’t help her? I had nothing to offer her in the store. Should there have been something else I could have done? It took us longer than usual to get the store closed, cleaned, the money counted, lock up and go home. I was glad to get there. I still had Sunday to go.
On Sunday, I arrived to find out I was scheduled to work by myself from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. I was so thrilled to learn that. What a good time I had. I still had the no deposits report, the check-ins for the coming week to check for accuracy, the confirmations batch to run, retail sales, the phones ringing off the hook, the little kids wanting to redeem their tickets from the arcade games for the little junky prizes, email reservation requests to handle, etc., etc., etc. And after the store closed at 8 p.m., I still had to sweep and mop the store, stock the bottled water in the cooler, straighten all the shelves, empty the trash cans, count all the cash drawers, do the cash report…It took me an hour to get it all done. When I got home I felt like I had run a marathon. Tell me again why I like this job?
On Monday night, Jim and I and our co-worker, Linda, had our own little Mexican fiesta. I made black bean and shrimp nachos. She made a delicious dessert that started out with gluten free tortillas. Spread with a cream cheese filling, top with fresh fruit. OMG!!! Yummy was the word for that. Oh, did I mention the margaritas? Yep, and I had three! I had forgotten how good a margarita could make you feel. I couldn’t feel my legs for about an hour or so. Linda was the one who went to the liquor store for the tequila. I have always bought Jose Cuervo tequila, but never again. She got Herra-Durra brand, and I have to say, that was the BEST tequila I have ever had. It would be dangerous for me to have a bottle of it in the house. ¡Vivo la vida loca!