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Showing posts from March, 2014

Other People's Property

I've often imagined I'd hate being a landlord or owning a vacation home. I know myself well. I'm in the middle of insulating my parents' attic. It's not like a spacious TV attic full of cherry antiques, it's a big, dark, low, dusty area made of trusses, each with a big wooden W in the middle. Wires run the length of the house. The yoga classes, where we build strength through striking odd poses, have paid off for this project. So has my sinus infection from a few years back. While I was lying in bed last night coughing up a lung from the dust I inhaled while putting down insulation, I remembered someone telling me that congestion is worse at night because the mucus settles in your throat when you lie down. With that in mind, I propped myself up on pillows and returned to normal. Last Saturday, I ran errands while my nephew hauled the insulation up to the attic and fixed the fan and screens. He hasn't been back. A bunch of contractors came to the house t

Denver's Food Deserts: A Tour

A fellow commentor (Exceptionally Brash) looked up food deserts in her city, and it piqued my curiosity about food deserts in my hometown of Denver. The gray areas are "urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food." The cartographers of the project evidently didn't think about taking the bus to the grocery store or that people who move to places without public transportation nearby know that they're going to need a car. Nor do they consider that some supermarkets deliver groceries. See the L-shaped desert in the lower left corner? I see the vertical part of it every day from a bus that runs from early morning until past midnight. The area is mostly retail and industrial, along with a major highway, a river, an animal shelter, and a golf course--perfect places for a grocery store, right? Nevertheless, there are two supermarkets, several convenience stores, a bunch of modest-looking restaurants and a WalMart tha

Hollandaise Sauce: It Finally Worked!

A piece of toast, creamed spinach, a poached egg, and what have you got? Egg on spinach. But take a big spoonful of hollandaise and mask that egg and you have oeufs poch├ęs florentine. -Julia Child After a number of failed attempts over the years to make hollandaise sauce, I finally looked up Julia Child on Youtube and copied her method. Result: instead of bits of cooked egg, the eggs, butter and lemon juice turned into smooth, creamy, delicious hollandaise sauce. If you want Eggs Florentine or Eggs Benedict, there's an excellent low carb, grain-free bread recipe in The Fat Fast Cookbook by Dana Carpender. Toast a piece of bread (I broil mine for three minutes on each side 4" from the flame), serve with creamed spinach, smoked salmon, ham or bacon (I broil the bacon along with the bread), and you have a breakfast worthy of a gourmet.

Other People's Money

They say it isn't easy getting old. Neither is being the child of someone who is. Back in November, someone walked into a branch of US Bank, where my parents have an account, and opened a credit card in my father's name. After dealing with some confused and unhelpful employees, we got the credit card canceled. Last week, a better US Bank employee cancelled and reversed several charges made by a well-known scam company, and the other day, Mom got another call from Lifelock saying that someone was taking money from her US Bank account. Enough. As much trouble as it was, on Saturday I took Mom to my credit union, where they're buggo on security, to open a new checking account. I knew it would be a hassle to change all the bill pay info and direct deposits, but just getting there and opening an account was a lot of trouble. Good thing I decided to start at 9 AM. I put Mom's wheelchair in the trunk of her car. It wouldn't start. I moved the wheelchair to my car, d