♦ Living My Life

Dear Shaina,

I would never take down your glow-in-the-dark stars! I won’t even throw out your Fruit of the Loom underwear from third grade without your permission. And I take full ownership of my feelings! I think you’re projecting! Although, I do appreciate your attempt at psychological interpretation. Of course, it’s my problem! I thought we were supposed to share our feelings in these letters. Feelings aren’t always rational, orderly or predictable and I know you know that! Not to worry…I am proceeding full steam ahead with my own life and quite proud and satisfied to be a supportive observer of yours. I am quite OK and as far as I can tell, so are you.

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In the meantime, the years-months-days-hours-minutes keep flying by! In the last few months, I’ve immersed myself in at least three radically different lifestyles…urban hoofing it, accompanied by backpack or grocery cart everywhere for everything we need and do – to suburban car commuting, accompanied by NPR on the radio everywhere for everything I need and do – to barefoot days of walking the white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast with nowhere to go and nothing to do. It’s disorienting and refreshing. Then there’s the mail…hold, transfer, deliver, stop-hold, deliver, hold, stop-hold…never-ending paper to shuffle through.

My days (and nights) are filled with obsessively watching the news (I am horrified by the undercurrent of racism, divisiveness and fear in our country), walking, going to yoga, playing mahjong, doing volunteer tasks and catching up with neglected house chores. I laminated my newly minted Medicare card and signed up for a Medigap and prescription drug plan. I renewed the expired car tags, the ones both Dad and I swore we had just renewed… Where did a whole year go?

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I bought a PC laptop so I could install my newly purchased financial management program to make my bookkeeping life more manageable. What was I thinking? Talk about a learning curve…the software and the hardware! My eyeballs have computer-rot (there must be such a term)! You know, when your eyes go out of focus and you feel like there are teeny protruding nodules embedded in your eyeballs. I am challenged and determined and have talked to more tech people in Bangalore than I care to admit.

And I am still trying to wrap my head around how it is that 65 years have fast-forwarded into this moment. My brain and my body seem to be holding up, despite over 51 years of Type 1 Diabetes . To say, “I am filled with gratitude” is an understatement. I would not have chosen a life with diabetes at its core, but for all its challenges, it forced me to commit to living my life consciously, with a full heart and with appreciation for every single day. For that, I am also grateful!

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I will miss celebrating my birthday with you. I do plan on capitalizing on this momentous occasion for at least a month (if not the whole year), so don’t hesitate to call me anytime to make my day.

I definitely have been neglecting my cooking duties, so don’t expect much in the recipe department. Is this really a cooking blog anyway?!

I love you and miss you! As always, call your mother!

Love,
Mom
xoxoxoxooxxooxoxoox

Easy Chicken Dinner for Two

Who has time for cooking? I am beginning to understand why people stop cooking when they are only cooking for two. Most nights, it’s salad and vegetables and sometimes a veggie burger or a tuna fish or grilled cheese sandwich. Every once in a while, I buy a piece of fresh fish or take out a couple of chicken breasts.

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Easy Chicken Dinner for Two

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut in strips
  • salt and pepper and any other spices if *desired(basil, oregano, tarragon) to taste
  • 1 whole onion, sliced in wedges
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4-1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1/2-3/4 cups raw cashews (or any other nuts you have around)

* I used salt, pepper, garlic and a little oregano

Sprinkle cut-up chicken with salt, pepper and any other spices you lie and let sit while preparing onions.

Sauté sliced onions in olive oil in a 10” sauté pan until they are translucent.

Add the chopped garlic to the onions and continue cooking until onions are caramelized but not deeply browned.

Add the chicken strips to the onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until cooked through, turning over as needed.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes before the chicken is fully cooked and continue sautéing until the chicken and the tomatoes are browned together. Add the cashews and cook until nuts are lightly browned. It should take about 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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I couldn’t resist buying this beautiful branch of brussels sprouts, but it made a whole lot of brussels sprouts. After one night of eating  just roasted brussels sprouts and salad for dinner, I decided to add some chicken. I had leftover tomatoes and cucumbers (no lettuce left) and found some sun-dried tomatoes and raw cashews in the frig.  The next thing I knew I had a very easy and tasty 20 minute meal. Perfect for busy retirees!

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I  cut up the tomatoes, cucumbers and a little onion and dressed this salad with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. I cut the brussels sprouts in halves and quarters and roasted them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

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It was one of the tastiest meals I’ve cooked in a long time…and super easy!

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