Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Lack of Creativity is Astounding

"When you have nothing to say, don't say anything at all."

I should probably heed those words but it's time for a post. (You can also check out a couple of books at Chopsticks and String.)

So, some random thoughts (and photos) on a cold and snowy January day.

1) Tupperwear and Storage Containers -- what is it with those lids? I know I don't throw them out, but having just done an exhaustive survey of my cupboard in a nearly futile effort to find one that would fit the chicken stock container, I am at a loss. No matter how I stack or organize, it is always the same.

2) New use for a tea strainer -- If you are like me and on occasion drink loose tea (though for me it's rarely), you may have a wonderful, very finely meshed strainer that fits over your cup, so when you pour it catches stray tea leaves. In my recent foray into chicken stock preparation, I was trying to remove fat from the chilled stock. (That it had precious little I could scrape off with a spoon was a good sign.)

After trying the regular strainer and still seeing bits, I poured the stock through the tea strainer, back and forth several times. It was amazing how many little bits came out. I recommend it.

3) Winter Weather Lifesaver -- I have recently discovered these rubber things that fit over your shoes like a little sling with studs in the bottom -- front, middle and back. When you walk in snow or ice (though I think on ice it may not be the best thing), you get good grip and so far, I haven't fallen once this winter. A caution -- be very careful after coming inside to a store or someplace with a linoleum floor. That's when you start to skate! (Will spring ever arrive?)

4) Television -- I have been following "Downton Abbey" on PBS' Masterpiece. It's amazing and I will sorely miss it after tomorrow's conclusion. (Though there's plenty of room for a sequel, but I've not heard of one yet.) If you haven't caught this wonderful period piece set in the early 1900s, right after the sinking of the Titanic, you can view online at our website or PBS'. Just click on the "programs" tab and choose "Masterpiece" from the list.

5) Valentine's Day -- it's only two weeks away. I've been at work on Rick's present and hope to make at least one creative "art thing" that says "Happy Day." (Some folks have been hard at work -- on a wretched day this past week, a lovely Valentine arrived from Joanne. Thank you! I don't know how you manage to find the time to do so much.

What are you planning for your Sweet Baboo?

6) Cold Season Is Here -- and flu, I suppose. I thought pneumonia would be the last of it for me this winter, but maybe my resistance was down -- last week I got the devil of all colds. It started a week ago with what I thought was food poisoning, but now I'm not so sure. But it has lodged in with all the sneezing and blowing and stuffiness and exhaustion every cold has. I think I may have cornered the citrus market in an effort to pump vitamin C into me!

You may wonder why this isn't terribly upsetting to me. Yes, I've missed some work -- fortunately, I was able to work some from home during energy bursts, and it was one of our quieter weeks. Still, hate missing that and using my sick time.

But that said, this cold is exactly the kind of thing -- well, not the kind of thing I want -- who does? But the kind of thing I am grateful to have. Which means nothing worse.

Those of you who live with chronic illness know how distressing and debilitating it can be, physically and emotionally. One feels as though they are putting others out (in my case, it is incessant coughing that most offends); you feel like you never look good; you're often tired, because getting to sleep (and then a full night's after that) can be so hard; everyone worries about you -- and even worse, think's you're fragile (which I am not, thank you very much); well-meaning friends question your medical care and the collection of meds and inhalers is not easy to conceal.

You know or at least hope you may improve, but you're not at all sure you'll ever get better. When you have seen people you love die from lung problems, every story about a famous person who died from "complications from pneumonia" seems to be warning you that this, too, could be your fate at one time or another.

So, why am I telling you all this? And why doesn't my cold bother me more? It's not for sympathy, because right now I'm pretty grateful.

I tell you so you'll know how at least some in your world who may have chronic challenges may feel. But more to the point, I'm telling you that I'm excited my cold is something normal people have. Everyone gets them -- lots of people in the office, others I've heard about. It's a fact of life. A normal thing. My cold hasn't gone into my lungs like usual, and it feels as though it's running its usual normal course -- which means lots of Kleenex, chapstick, liquids, sleeping, and blowing -- but less and less every day.

(Add that to the gratitude journal!) And also add that I've read some great books this week, too -- but you'll have to wait and check those out on Chopsticks in a few days!


  1. Jeanie, I sure hope you feel better soon. Plus I hope you get some warm, sunny weather to cheer you up, too.

    I love the photo of the white tulips and the one of all the citrus.

  2. Nice blog post.
    Great photos.
    I also got a terrible cold which lasted for a month. I can't help but feel with my heart for those people who have chronic pain/illness.
    Have a nice weekend.

  3. Well, I am relieved to hear that you don't have another round of pneumonia or bronchitis, but ... let's hope this latest virus makes a hasty exit. Sounds like nothing that could stand up to a little sunshine, or maybe the purring of a warm orange cat?

  4. Those pesky old colds (and coughs!) can last way too long. I know you're on it. Hope it all goes away soon along with winter's yucky blahs. xo

  5. jeanie, I know exactly where your lids are. They're in my cupboard. They must be, because I have about two dozen lids with no containers to go with them. Aren't they a pain?

    No disease or condition ever is exactly like another, but I have a cousin who lives with asthma and bronchitis and a whole variety of associated symptoms, and it is hard - for her and everyone around her. When she begins her uncontrollable coughing, we all want to DO something for her - and we can't. But like you, she's in the midst of a winter cold right now - and that's all it is. I hope you heal up as rapidly as she seems to be - more citrus, girl!

    And I love those white tulips!

  6. I am glad you cold is just a cold and I hope it exits soon.
    I think I may have a few of your lids here also. Those things multiply like crazy and never seem to fit anything.

  7. You set a very high standard for gratitude: being grateful because a cold is "normal." One can learn a lot from your view!

    mae at

  8. Yea, me! I got back here to read BEFORE you had a new post! I'm doing better at one of my resolutions than I realized! Happy Sunday!

  9. Hope you feel better very soon. I've been pushing a lot of vitamin C this winter and I think it's really helping.

  10. fun post Jeanie...hope you are feeling much much better VERY soon

    I adore Downton Abbey and have followed it with bated breath!

    p.s.HOW can it almost be FEBRUARY already!!!

  11. Hello Jeanie, Since my Twin Grandchildren turn 8 Feb 12, a suitable gift for each of them looms larger than Valentine Day for me. Glad you had only a garden variety of cold. Take care and drink more of that C.

  12. I sure hope you're feeling better. I've had those years when one illness followed another, and it seemed as if I'd never be well again. You're right, it IS debilitating, and gives one a new appreciation for the gift of normal good health.

    I love Downton Abbey too - will be sorry to see it end.

  13. Oh Jeanie. You deserve a long healthy spell! Colds are beastly. I have avoided colds so far this winter, knock on wood, but last weekend my daughter was kind enough to share the stomach flu with me. Yikes and yuck! Don't need to visit that again.

    And half of your lids are in Linda's pantry and the other half are in mine. Someone needs to invent something!!!

    I am waiting for the big storm predicted to blow in, Tuesday. I can't wait! There is nothing like extreme weather for excitement. I love the sound of the wind, the crystals hitting the windows, and the quiet afterward, when the snow muffles all sounds and cars can't get down the streets. And the best part of all, school is canceled!

    haha. Don't worry, those tulips are just around the corner! <3

  14. Interesing about those lids, isn't it!? I periodically go through and match bowls to lids, inevitably find one or the other without a match, discard it, and then the cycle will repeat itself. Makes you wonder if the Borrowers get them along with the socks!

    Your cold/flu sounds very similar to what I had a few weeks ago. Started out with a bad stomack flu and then progressed to cold symptoms with chest congestion and cough. Unfortunately, the cough was the last thing to go, just this week.

    Hope you are feeling better!

  15. I have those winter shoe life savers too. I've used them for years and they are especially great for walking the dog in this weather. I did slip on some ice while using them this morning however. The straight ice is tricky no matter what kind of shoe!

    Also - on colds, I try to take two tsp. of elderberry syrup throughout winter (though I don't always keep up with this). It really helps with knocking colds out before they become full blown.


  16. I love reading your random thoughts. I, too, have a problem with those lids. And I have lids that don't have matching bowls too. I had been keeping some for years, thinking the match would show up, but I forced myself to throw them away - actually I put them in the recycling bin. That cold sounds like the same bug Warren and I have had - a virus that not only gives cold symptoms but upsets your digestive tract as well. It's going on 3 weeks, and I'm still not completely over it. I haven't been able to find any gratitude for it, but I do understand what you are saying. Hope yours doesn't last so long. The cold, that is, not the gratitude!

  17. ditto ditto ditto on the part about the cold - I have a rotten cold/flu and remarkably have turned to books and writing and reading during it. That is not to say I'm not restless, anxious, but exactly as you say, I"m grateful that it's a passing thing. (this cough, too? please? ugh)

    I'm gonna go see what you read. Hey this is one way to whittle the TBR stack, as long as we don't go out and buy stuff to replace what we've finished!


  18. You had a day today, just like me - Lots of nothing in particular that added up to a whole lot of something. Those are very satisfying days.

  19. I have been trying to figure out those Tupperware containers and lids lately too. I even have been looking for a container that could hold them all in one place. They seem to migrate all over the cupboard. So sorry you have had a cold. I hope you are feeling better. Also sorry you have a chronic illness, I wish I could take that away for good.

  20. I know I commented on this post yesterday, but I don't see it here. So here I am again.

    I wrote something clever about the Tupperware lids. I'm sure of it.

    Hope you're feeling better very soon.

  21. you crack me up, lack of creativity - ha

    you are so wonderfully prolific in so many creative ways:)


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