Sunday, November 22, 2009

More random musings

I hate being sick. When my daughter was a baby, my doctor had me undergo a pulmonary function test to determine whether or not I had asthma. The test ruled asthma out, so her conclusion was that I just happen to be very susceptible to respiratory infections. And once more, my daughter was sick for only a week, and I, three weeks later, am still coughing!

It's a pain in the keister, because sometimes I cough so much it induces vomiting or stress incontinence. I also was hoping to serve at my town's Thanksgiving dinner, but I waited until this week to call so that I felt more confident I would be well by Thanksgiving, and they already had enough volunteers.* And my great plans to do more walking and use of public transportation rather than driving are shot--neither is a good idea until I am fully healed.

I think I just have to remember a revelation I had during that really bad, three-month long respiratory infection I had when my daughter was a baby. As I wrote earlier, she caught it from me and was sick for a month. When I found myself in the emergency room of Boston Children's Hospital for the third time in as many weeks when her fever spiked above 101, I was feeling rather depressed about it. I picked up a copy of the hospital's magazine to read while we waited. The magazine described the many efforts they were making to treat children with cancer... sickle cell anemia... cystic fibrosis... spinal bifida... etc. Meanwhile, my otherwise healthy daughter had merely a fever and a bad cough. How could I then feel sorry for myself?

Anyway, on to some happier thoughts. This week I was able to share some of my hair care product recipes with a friend who is white but has biracial grandchildren. She is struggling, as I used to, with finding good products to use on her grandkid's hair. I talked about the fact that so many products designed for black hair have petroleum jelly or mineral oil (a byproduct of petroleum) as their base, and in addition to not being good for anyone's hair, is much too heavy for children's hair. I look forward to hearing about how some of my products work for her grandchildren.

Last night I cooked salmon, mashed potatoes and kale for dinner. All local foods, including potatoes that my husband dug up from our farmer friend's farm, and kale he picked from the garden planted by Johnny and Michelle and the local teens. For the first time, I tried a water-saving idea I've read about: the same water I used to cook the potatoes, I reused to steam the kale, and then reused again to cook spaghetti for later in the week.

The best part about last night's dinner is my daughter. She wanted to help make a sauce for the salmon, and since I hadn't decided what I wanted to top it with, I let her have at it. She gathered a bunch of ingredients from the pantry and mixed them together, tasting as she went along. She made the most phenomenal sauce for the salmon! It included water, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, lentils, dried parsley, dried rosemary, bay leaves, a little canola oil, and parmesan cheese. Most amazing? My child is four years old. When we told my brother-in-law this story today, he's predicting she'll have her own cooking show in a few years!


* One of the reflections of No Impact Week I didn't discuss is "giving back." We did do some of that on Saturday of that week. My husband and daughter joined a group of about 60 teens from a local high school, who went with Johnny and Michelle to our friend's farm to help him harvest his crops. Meanwhile, I was cleaning our yard and house (collecting yard waste and hazardous waste) for my town's annual Cleanup and Recycling Day, and also canned goods for the local food bank. At the event, I received a flyer of local volunteer opportunities and that's where I learned they were looking for volunteers for Thanksgiving. Oh, well. When I'm better, I will explore other ways to get more involved in our community.

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