Morning Babble

Our dinner last night met and exceeded our expectations. My dozen oysters on the half shell were enormous and very tasty. Janine’s dozen fried oysters were at least as good. The conversation with our friends was delightful and my Neulasta device did not intervene in any way. The New Orleans menu prompted me to suggest to Janine that we return next Tuesday so I can try some of the other items on the menu or, perhaps, the sampler plate that offers a little bit of everything (but not the oysters, if memory service me).

Learning a bit more about our friends through conversation caused me to recall an idea I had a while ago. That is, I’d like each member and friend of the church who’s willing to write and share a brief biography about themselves—where they grew up, what they did in their work lives, what made them decide to move to Hot Springs Village, what religious backgrounds they escaped from grew up with, how they define their political views (both from a social and a fiscal perspective), and any other interesting tidbits they think others might find interesting. I’m interested in this simply because I would find it intriguing to learn how people with quite different backgrounds happened to find themselves as part of a pocket of liberal and progressive people in the midst of the sea of rabid conservatives that is Hot Springs Village. I envision this collected biography to be available only to members and friends and, in some fashion that I’ve yet to clarify in my head, made private so that the identities of the writers would not be readily available if it were to be circulated outside the sphere of members and friends. That might be tough. I’ll have to give it some more thought.

I got up very early again this morning, even earlier than yesterday when I got up around 4:30. Today I sprang out of bed at 4:00, after having gone to be early, around 10:00 or just a bit thereafter. I’m not quite sure what’s  responsible for these earlier-than-usual arisings, but I rather like to be up and have leisurely time to explore the web, write a bit, collect my thoughts, and reheat the cooled coffee over and over again. I really should drink it while it’s hot, but the burning sensation in my esophagus is still with me so I let it cool, and then it’s too cool. But I’m up and thinking. That’s not always good, but today it is. Today’s thoughts are generally positive.

Shortly after I got up, I read that an Israeli company claims to be completing development of a cure for cancer that should be completed within a year. It sounds quite promising, but it also sounds like its availability in the general marketplace (if it’s really as claimed) will be years off. Oh well, if it’s real, in the years to come, many hundreds of thousands (or millions) of people my well live without cancer that they otherwise would have had to faced.

Last night, I watched several more episodes of Fauda, the Israeli-made drama depicting the two militaristic sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I’m addicted to it and, with every episode, I’m more comfortable that I’m watching a foreign language (Hebrew and Arabic) film that’s dubbed in English. Being able to watch multiple episodes, connected via Roku without interruption, is evidence that the problems I’ve had all along are, in fact, attributable to the Suddenlink-branded TiVo device. I’ll have that replaced in the near future (when I no longer have to deal with radiation treatment every weekday).  Oddly, I don’t recall what I had been watching before Fauda that, eventually, I just gave up on. I’ll have to probe my mind to recall it; I got so frustrated with Netflix stuttering and stopping that I limited my television viewing to news programs with Lester Holt and Judy Woodruff, supplemented by mindless home purchasing/improvement shows on HGTV. With Roku, I think I can return to some real variety, even before the TiVo device is replaced.

No long after I got up this morning, I whipped up a couple of servings of steel-cut oats that, I hope, will be ready, only needing to be warmed up, by the time Janine awakes sometime after 7:30 (my guess). It’s been ages since I made steel-cut oats for breakfast and I miss them, as does Janine. She’s the one who suggested it. I make mine with a mixture of water and almond milk (it does influence the flavor), along with a tad of olive oil in which to flavor and warm the oats, and dried cherries for flavor. I added a pinch of salt and about an equal amount of brown sugar, then brought the mix to a full boil, when I turned off the stove and covered it. Normally, I would do this the night before and let the oats “cook” overnight, but this time I didn’t, so they may not be truly cooked by the time Janine arises. No worries; I’ll just simmer them for 30 minutes or so and they will be ready. She’ll be happy with that.

Personally, when I cooked steel-cut oats more frequently, I enjoyed a savory and meaty version of my own design even more than the slightly sweet one. In the savory one, I omitted the almond milk in favor of water alone and did not use sugar or dried fruit. Instead, I used crumbled sausage (just a bit) and, sometimes, diced veggies (e.g., carrots, potatoes, whatever). When the oats and accompaniments were finished, I dressed my bowl with a bit of soy sauce and sambal ooleek. I guess it’s a riff on congee, using steel-cut oats in place of rice that’s cooked until it dissolves.

After today, I will have only ten more radiation therapy sessions to go, assuming the doctor makes no adjustments, which I have not reason to believe he will. Two-thirds of the way through! My chemo session day before yesterday has not yet had any significant ill-effects (save, perhaps, for the extended sleep time that afternoon and evening). Knocking on wood that it will have none. We shall see. Only two more chemo treatments left. I’ll be done with them by mid-March. But there will be immediate follow-ups with blood tests, etc. By late March, perhaps, I’ll be free of this stuff and, with good fortune, will be able to start recovering my strength and abilities to do things more physical, like stripping and painting my deck. If the boards have not rotted by then.

I’m tired of writing meaningless drivel this morning. I’d rather write riveting fiction or non-fiction that a reader simply could not even consider putting down once he or she started reading it. But I’ll write neither. Instead, I’ll go check on the oats and will sneak in to take a shower before my wife awakes, hoping the light and the noise in the bathroom don’t waken her.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Morning Babble

  1. The oats were, of course, devine!

  2. Hungry Reader says:

    Well?!?!? How were the oats?!?!? Were they divine? You can’t leave your readers hanging like this!!!

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