I've come down with a dreadful sort of flu that simply doesn't want to let go. And it's very odd...a lot of head and chest congestion but no aches or pains otherwise. The usual sore throat is replaced with nausea. I can't quite put my finger on it. But I've been down for the count since Tuesday, only just crawling out of bed this afternoon to join the land of the living but for a brief (and best forgotten spurt of energy on Wednesday). As you can see from the photo above, I had two loyal friends. I truly felt bad that we weren't enjoying the milder temps outdoors as I lay restless in my bed most of the day. I tried keeping them amused with way too many raw hide bones and the windows open wide with the breeze blowing the curtains and fresh air swirling. This perks up all their senses and they spend a huge amount of time staring out the windows and barking at anything that moves.
My front porch October 2014
As of yet I am pumpkinless and mumless. My neighbors are probably stumped...I usually have a lot of fun playing in the fall with pumpkins, gourds, pansies and the occasional haystacks. One thing after another and this past week has been one, "I don't care about anything" state of mind.
Ever the planner, I began stocking up on sweet treats for the trick or treater's a few weeks ago. I added the usual pencils, erasers, crayons, spider rings and fangs. I have over 100 little scary bags to fill with these goodies and I'm afraid to touch them for fear of spreading my germs! But I'm confident I'll be ready next Saturday. Milo will have his orange kerchief with black bats around his neck, ready on the porch with me while I pass out the treats from the big old with scary ghosts bowl that I've had forever. I may have a carved pumpkin or two by then. :)
For the record, Layla wears a little jester collar with beads but huddles in my bedroom not quite so thrilled with the giddy kids dressed unlike anything she's seen.
I mentioned that I actually had a little reprieve from this blasted cold/flu/virus/hell that I've had. It was on Wednesday afternoon. After a day and 1/2 in bed I threw off the blankets, took a long shower, dressed and actually put on some make up. And off to the store I went to replenish my cold meds and Diet Pepsi. Once home I still felt pretty good so I watered the lawn and started making a red sauce for some pasta as I'd been falling way behind in the Feed Your Man department. I also scoured the countertops and sink with bleach so no one would catch my evil germs. While the sauce bubbled away and a pumpkin candle burned cozily on the island, I flicked on the garbage disposal only to have that big 'ol "bubbling crude" come spouting up from both sides of the sink. Putrid black water. Gawd, It was downhill from there.
Dinner was delicious but what we couldn't fit in the dishwasher was stacked on the stove. Nothing much could be done as far as clean up without the use of the sink. I called the Sexy Irish Plumbers (I know you must remember my boys from previous posts) and they were set to arrive midday on Thursday. And Thursday arrived with me feeling as badly as ever, the stench from the kitchen making me sicker to my stomach as I seemed to wait an eternity for the S.I.P. Once they came it seemed to take forever to find the problem and then I found out that I had to take everything out from the cabinet under the sink. I'm not sure what your cabinet looks like but mine is one big mess of cleaning supplies, buckets, watering cans, plant food, air fresheners, old used sponges, mouse traps and at minimum, 15 bottles of silver cleaner. So there I was, head pounding and feeling like I could throw up, on my hands and knees half in this dark, dank cabinet removing everything for the S.I.P. And after all was repaired and the water running like Niagra Falls, I had no choice but to scour everything down with disinfectant until I felt faint. The Husband walked in as I was sweating bullets and with a big smile said, "Hon! You must be feeling better!" Oh, what a creep. I might have thrown a sponge at him.
I've clocked a lot of hours in bed. I can read in spurts. I have to stop when the congestion in my head makes my eyes hurt and head ache. Then I start reading again when I only lie there and think of the pain. Am I a baby or what? Anyway, the mind wanders and I was probably in a Nyquil haze when I thought about the granola I made last week, the remainder still filling half a jar in the kitchen. I started to think and one thing led to another and I managed to get up and throw this together. I know, it sounds crazy but sometimes distraction is the best thing when you are feeling like crap. And I needed to pop some Tylenol anyway. This is one of the fastest little desserts you will ever make and you can use up that granola I gave you the recipe for in my last post. It looks pretty bad but so do the ripe bananas you use for baking. Ha!
Blondies Baked Bananas
2 ripe bananas
2 T honey
1/4 c. granola
1/2 c of warmed heavy cream or half & half
Place bananas on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 oven and bake for 25 minutes or until very dark and soft. Remove and place on individual plates. Carefully cut off ends and slit down middle. Mush right in the middle much like a baked potato. Drizzle honey over each banana, sprinkle granola on and pour a bit of the cream over each letting it spill over on to plate. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on each one and add a little more granola if desired. Serves 2.
This would be delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream. Caramel can be substituted for the honey. I seriously contemplated more ideas once I fell back into bed. Sweet happy dreams.
My reading has been all over the past few weeks. I've been plowing through what I have when I can and especially in the last week. I read The Fairy Tale Girl by Susan Branch in one afternoon. I know she has a huge following with her cookbooks, blog and all sorts of merchandise.. and she's quite engaging. She writes in such a friendly way, I really enjoyed it although at times it really did seem a bit 'fairytale-ish'. And I gleaned the idea of baked bananas from her but totally hallucinated the rest.
I picked up the two books on the left (I don't like using Internet pics unless I have to) at a used book store a few blocks away. I can read American Cookery a little at a time as each chapter is a bit of story in its own, and I thought Gilchrist's book of short stories would satisfy my short attention span. She's a fantastic writer, anyone familiar? And the last book, The Artist's Way came to me in a surprising way. We were in Gatlinburg (last month) and I wandered into a shop where a woman about my age was sitting at an easel painting in watercolors, her art and prints all around her for sale. She was friendly and talkative and although I'm sure she has this rapport with many customers, I really felt a sort of bond as we talked of creativity: finding it and using it. She had been a professional photographer for many many years but yearned to paint. She happened to come upon this book, The Artist's Way, about ten years ago and it changed her life. She jotted down the name of the book along with her personal wishes for me and I didn't hesitate to order it on my cell phone once in the car. It's an amazing book for anyone who wants to explore and unleash their creative side, whether it's creating art, poetry or writing a book. Established writers and artists attribute this book to their success as noted in the reviews. It's a push I need for some of the endeavors I'm pursuing.
So that's all I have for now. Crazy little post I know. I'm grateful for actually sitting up with my laptop instead of flat on my back reading your posts with my iPad which you know is so aggravating to type on, thus no comments. I hope this bug is on the way out. I was just at my doctor to check my vitamin D level last month and no fault of hers, we never thought of doing the flu shot as my yearly exam is in December and that's when I get it.
I hope you are all having a great weekend. Sounds like there is rain everywhere. Maybe that means next weekend will be warm and sunny for those little monsters! We can hope, right? :)