Friday, April 4, 2014

National Chocolate Mousse Day!


(This was yesterday.) I love chocolate mousse! Our family sometimes jokes about it. Saying to leave the antlers out of it. Mousse in French is 'foam', so it fits pretty well. (Fits a lot of products with the word mousse in it.:iconsleepygreeceplz:) Although, to me it just tastes like a fancy form of pudding...:iconheroamericaplz:Wednesday was National Ferret Day. Ferrets are cute, but mischievous. Kind of curious about what it's really like to have one. Had a few friends who had them as pets. By their personality, they kind of sounded like mini beagles. (Our beagle was incredibly mischievous. Loved him though.) Today's World Rat Day. I love rats. They're cool and interesting.:iconchibihungaryplz:I like the ones that are raised as pets more, rather than the wild ones. But, I think there are a lot of misconceptions of rats in general.
This is my wallpaper for April. It's Mukuro from Hitman Reborn. I'm usually not too fond of wallpapers that have text on them.:icontinoplz:Usually, if it does it's either the name of the character or of a show. It goes well with the character though. I'll see if I'll keep it up for the entire month. I was thinking of one with the black mokona from xxxHolic in a cup of tea enjoying himself, but felt it was too bright. (The white mokona shows up more in Tsubasa Chronicle.) Maybe next time. This one kind of fits my mood more, too.:iconchibinitalyplz:It's more in the manga style too, rather than the anime version. 

My Italy calendar features Cinque Terre this month. Cinque terre means 'Five Lands'. It refers to 5 different villages in the region: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. This region is on the northwestern coast on the Italian Riviera. From the description, it's pretty interesting. (It's kind of long.) The main pic's of a steep cliff overlooking the water. And, apparently for yesterday's pic there's a mural on the side of some sort of shop. They had it for the day before, too. It would be interesting to look at some of the street art, I guess. Today's of people eating outside at a restaurant near another cliff. That would be interesting. 

My Jewish calendar is Passover themed. The main pic's of a Haggadah, made by Nathan ben Shimson of Meseritz, made out of leather, parchment, paper, and cardboard, from Moravia, Czechoslovakia; 1728. The 2nd pic's of a matzah cover, made by Chaim Rand and Jeroesjalajeim Chibat, made out of textile, cotton, and ink, from Berlin, Germany; 1920. And, the last pic's of a seder plate, it has an unknown maker, out of ceramic pottery, from the Netherlands; 1950-1975. Cool to see a Haggadah that was used in 1728, and from Czechoslovakia for that matter. The matzah cover looks like it has a ton of writing on it, and an intricate design. The seder plate (the plate that holds all the main symbols of the holiday) looks unusual. Normally, there are little spaces designated to put the specific things on it, like the roasted egg might have a spot saying what it symbolizes in Hebrew above it. But, this one doesn't have that. It has some writing along the rim and a little on the inside of the plate. And, there's a similar scene as the Haggadah in 1728. In fact, it looks like the same exact designs of the 2 characters in it. Interesting, I wonder why that is? The plate isn't nearly as old. Maybe it's a popular illustration?:iconchibiaustriaplz:

The month-long holidays are: National Garlic Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, Frog Month, International Guitar Month, Jazz Appreciation Month, National Decorating Month, National Garden Month, National Kite Month, National Pet Month. Some are important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun. Awesome stuff this month! I love garlic!:iconchibispainplz:The more the better! Soft pretzels are great too. Better than the hard kind. Yay for frogs, guitars, Jazz, decorating, gardens, kites, and pets! Sounds very spring-ish. 

Managed to finally go to bed and get up at a decent time today and yesterday. Monday night, I stayed up until around 1am.:iconusaplz:I know I did that to myself, but I kind of lost track of time. The next night, I went to bed pretty late as well. Not as late, but close. For that, it took forever to get what I ordered at a restaurant and by the time we got home it was pretty late.:iconlietplz:Wednesday night I was good and made myself go to bed earlier. Hoping to get back into going to bed early, and getting up early. It feels good when I do that. I just feel very 'off' the way I've been with it lately.:iconhongkongplz:

Went to the support group meeting Tuesday night. Lots of new people (some were allies) this time. Which is great. There was a topic that was brought up, and when they got to me I felt like all eyes were watching me intensely.:iconchibichinaplz:Felt kind of on the spot, and hope it didn't come out odd...A lot of people apparently wanted to hear my take on it. 

We had a very large group this time go with us to Shari's. Actually filled up 2 of their big table areas. The food took forever to get. I ordered the lunch trio. It says on the menu that you'll get it all in 15 minutes. It took a lot longer than that.:icongermanyplz:With the lunch trio you can choose from 3 of these categories: half a sandwich, soup of the day, quiche, salad, and pie. I got their caprese half sandwich, Caesar salad, and a slice of Key Lime pie. They almost forgot about my pie.:iconohboyamericaplz:I think we were there until around 11pm. It might have been the worst amount of time for that restaurant. The sandwich and salad were good. It was so late, I just told them to box it up for me. Ended up dropping the pie on the floor when we got home.:iconwtfromanoplz:It was ok, and still in its container. The filling part just flattened out because of the force. I also had eaten only half of what I got from the restaurant, so I was juggling that and the pie, plus being pretty tired...:iconwtfukplz:

The next day, I got a call as a reminder for my doctor's appointment. Normally that's ok and I don't have a problem with it. In fact, it can be nice. But, this time was weird. This person had read what I put down to go over for the appointment. She proceeded to argue with me, there was slight ageism, and told me some incorrect info.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:I almost feel like maybe she was not connected somehow, and just wanted my info. I don't know. Usually they're super nice to me. Maybe too nice. The ageism part was basically: "But, you're so young you don't need a physical once a year." As if everyone my age is the same.:iconromanoplz:Also, showed that she hadn't looked at my records. Another side of that 'ageism' was acting like I didn't know what I was talking about. I'm sorry that I'm actually pretty well informed about how things go, and about my own health...:iconbraginskiplz:It's not like I'm 10 or younger. It doesn't help that some days my voice sounds much younger than I am. I also look younger. So, people don't take me as seriously as they would of someone who looks and sounds my age. It's kind of creepy. She told me things like there wouldn't be enough 'time' for everything as well. Physicals are about your overall well-being. You're supposed to go over general concerns, be poked and prodded, have blood work done, etc. So, I don't know what she was on.:iconkikuplz:

After being slightly worked up from the conversation, it made me feel even worse when the power went out later.:iconchibijapanplz:There was a loud boom, so I'm assuming a transformer blew. It was out for a good chunk of the day. While it was out, I decided to go through the Passover stuff that we have currently. The matzah was expired (didn't realize there was an expiration date), a few things had been opened before and therefore needed to be tossed as well, and the matzah ball soup mixes had expired as well. The things that were still good were: some matzah meal (pulverized matzah used in a lot of cooking), Passover Angel Food Cake mix (that would be very interesting. A little weary of it, though), Passover couscous (again, not sure if we had any last time. Sounds interesting), some farfel (Farfel is small crumbled up pieces of matzah also used in cooking. We have enough I won't need to get more to make Passover granola), Passover stuffing (I think we've had it before, and it was pretty good), and one unopened box of Passover marble flavored mandel cuts or really mandelbrodt (they're like mini biscotti). 

Since the power still wasn't on yet, I looked at the recipes we usually use. I might actually make the almond and cream torte Mom occasionally made for our seders. It looked like it'd be difficult to make (I even refused to do it the last couple of years, thinking it'd be too difficult:iconpolandplz:), and then I looked at the recipe. It looks doable, even for me. It has lots of eggs, almonds, sugar, and vanilla and almond extract. The icing is whipped cream based, also with the same extracts. Not much to it. It's also decorated with almond slices around the outer circle area, and a few sliced strawberries for each slice and one clump in the middle. Looks fancy. Might be perfect for our seder.:iconthailandplz:I'll try to make the Passover granola again. It's also relatively easy. The only problem I have with it is usually since they say to use a cookie sheet, the stuff goes everywhere as you mix it. I might put it in a baking pan instead. They have walls, and some of them can be pretty shallow, so it could probably still cook evenly. It'll at least keep it in, and will be less likely to fly as I mix it. It might help with it, in fact. I might make matzah toffee (matzah with a layer of caramel, then a layer of chocolate, and some chopped walnuts sprinkled on top. It's amazing!), as well. It also says to use a cookie sheet, but the 'goo' (caramel) tends to travel over time before it's entirely hardened which makes a mess. If I use a baking dish it might help as well. I'll just have to rework the matzah. And, of course I'll make Passover popovers. (They're kind of like dense rolls. They don't 'rise', but the egg helps it puff a bit.) It isn't Passover without them. They're so good, and very popular. I've actually been the one to make them for the last few years. They're very simple, they don't take much time to make, and they cool very quickly. 

The day before I had read about how some Sephardic Jews were essentially trash talking kitiniyot. Kitiniyot is the additional stuff Ashkenazic Jews avoid on Passover. It felt like it was so hateful.:iconraivisplz:They said things like it was stupid, no sense in keeping the custom in modern times, etc. Some claimed that they wouldn't be able to follow it because they're vegan. There's actually a rift in Israel between the 2 ethnicities on Passover. It's kind of sad. Eventually, I did read an article on why it's more than ok to follow it still. It kind of connects us to our ancestors. Also, traditions and customs are very important in Jewish communities. Some might not make any sense now. I think there might still be things for vegans, so I'm not so sure about that argument. It would be more limited, though. Even with Sephardic Jews they have to be careful about things like the rice they might have during the holiday. (Read it in the same article.) In that article, they said there are some things that are exempt from the laws of kitiniyot. Simply because that food may not have been around in that area at the time people started to avoid kitiniyot on Passover. Like peanuts. (Although, some communities are iffy about it.) So, we can still have things like peanut butter. I thought it was in that category, and occasionally felt weird having a peanut butter and jelly matzah sandwich for lunch. Mom would eat it, and make it for me when I was little. Turns out it's all good. Very interesting. 

Anyways, after that the power came back on just before dinnertime. So, we decided to eat out and went to Red Lobster. I ordered their 4-course meal like I have in the past. It's a lot of food, which makes some leftover lunches for me, and is relatively cheap for the amount of food. I got their Caesar salad, chicken tortilla soup, tilapia entree, and substituted their regular dessert options for the seasonal cake in a jar. There are only 3 choices for a dessert on the 4-course meal section. One doesn't sound good to me. So, I'm left with 2. To replace it, it's a dollar something more. Not too bad. The tilapia entree had mashed potatoes, broccoli, and the fish was grilled. Simple and good. I think I had it one other time. I used to get the Cajun chicken linguine, but it's full of calories, heavy, and I was getting tired of it. The seasonal cake in a jar was red velvet cake. Someone from the group that went to Shari's was craving it. We should have gone to Red Lobster instead, then. Or, if we knew already we could have told her. Oh well. It was really good.

I'm trying to get back to my calorie thing where I only have 1200 to 1600 calories. A friend of ours who went to Shari's with us said she's cut it down to 1000 calories. That's actually verging on being dangerous. It's below the low end of 'normal' or what might be close to still being considered healthy. It's good to know how much calories things have beforehand, and Red Lobster's great about that. Their site actually breaks down how much salt, cholesterol, fats, etc. are in it as well. I've always been somewhat aware of salt, but never had a problem with it. I also have a very sensitive sense of taste, so if something has too much of a certain thing (like salt) I can usually taste it and it can become overwhelming. So, I'm doing good for myself naturally by being aware of that. Made lots more leftovers from that night, too.

Yesterday, I had that doctor's appointment. It was my first time meeting her. I was probably there for around 80 minutes.:iconchibiswedenplz:I was with the doctor for about an hour and the nurses the rest of the time. So, that was plenty of time...Although, I think they thought it'd only be for 20 minutes, because it said '20 minutes' next to the appointment online. I got my flu shot finally!:iconyayhanatamagoplz:My arm hurt throughout most of the night yesterday...I was getting a bit worried, because I had gotten sick more often lately. Usually, I don't get sick often. So, this kind of safeguards me. 

Also, talked about my IUD. Apparently, it's very easy to take out, but not so much putting a new one in.:iconsighingplz:They can't put a new one in unless they know in advance, so they can have it on hand. So, I made another appointment for taking out the old one, and putting in a new one. I'm going to try and get the new one put in while I'm awake. Last time they knocked me out. It was very painful when I woke up, but it's better than hemorrhaging to death. They said they can 'relax' the area a bit before they insert it with a shot in there, if it's too much for me. Scary, but it has to be done. She suggested they could have a similar thing implanted in my arm. The only problem with that is it's noticeable. You can feel it in your arm, and it does have a tendency to occasionally 'pop' out.:iconhanatamagoplz:I'd rather have something in a place where I won't be able to see it, feel it much, and won't 'pop' out like that. And, my old brand does that. So, I'm sticking to it. Oh, and she told me the old one that I still have, apparently doesn't have anymore hormones in it to help regulate my body. So, it's essentially just a piece of plastic now. Interesting, yet kind of disturbing that there's nothing really there anymore.:iconseychelles-plz:

We also talked about genetic testing. She's worried about it, because of all the stuff my family has or had. Heart problems, being Ashkenazic (there are some genetic mutations that can be problematic that only affect people who are. Usually it's blood related, like bruising horribly. Can't remember the name for it...It's because in the past Ashkenazim were told to intermarry within the community for various reasons. But, their descendants can have problems because of this. Sephardim weren't told to, so they don't have as much of an issue with it), diabetes, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, etc. My mom was tested a while ago, and told me since she didn't have very many of these things come up (especially problems that come up for Ashkenazim) that I didn't need to. Well, for one thing I have another side to the family that she didn't have, apparently some of this can skip generations, etc. It'd be interesting, though. The first 'appointment' is over the phone with a geneticist. The next one is for the testing part. 

She agreed to help me with filling out refills for me until I can find a psychiatrist. So, that was good. I think I like her. She seems very thorough. I told some of this stuff to my previous doctor, and he wasn't as aggressive about it. I like that. Health is very important to me. Also, since I hadn't had a blood test in a while she ordered one. She said it's the regular basic metabolic panel, testing my thyroid, and testing for diabetes (simply because there's a family history of it). I also wanted the basic panel to check things like my liver, because of my meds. I'm supposed to do that once a year, but apparently it's been 2. I hate getting a blood draw, but it went quickly. They were able to find a vein right away this time, and it stayed in place. Usually they have a hard time with me. Not nearly as difficult as what my mom's veins were like, though. I was able to glance at the vial after and didn't pass out. Wow, that's crazy! I got the results back already, and everything looks fine. In fact, for the testing for diabetes it was at the very low range of normal. If it's above the normal range, than you have diabetes. So, I'm definitely good right now. I don't have to worry about it. Although, it was really low. Like .3 away from the lowest point. 

Today, I'm going to Seattle for a therapy appointment. Going to QFC to look at their Passover stuff afterwards. Hopefully, it'd be a good session. I'll also see if I want to keep her as my therapist or not.:iconthinkinghkplz:I'll be walking from the ferry there, which should be interesting. Last time I did it, I had planned to take the buses instead, but they were held up with the construction. It's not a bad walk though. Especially, if I know where to go. I've got more detailed instructions on getting there, so it should be good. Plus, last time I hadn't planned to walk there in the first place. (Only for part of it.) Going to that QFC is kind of fun, and they have a great selection of Passover stuff. So, it should be an interesting day. 

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