Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Migraine Sufferer



I get migraines. I had a few migraines during my college years but they became more prevalent as I aged. The usual culprits like stress, lack of sleep, and head colds, are all sources of my migraines, but most often my migraines are caused by foods. Additives and artificial flavors found in foods are sure to send me holding my head in pain. Unfortunately I often don’t know the source until it is too late!

I have read some historical recounts of migraines and find it fascinating. From thoughts of being possessed to being an oracle, the migraine sufferer suffered various roles.

Also interesting are some of the remedies for migraines found in historical records. Skulls were found with holes drilled through thought to relieve pressure, pain or evil spirits. Eyes were removed for some of the same reasons. Institutionalization, and shock treatments were also popular ways to treat migraine sufferers.

Recently I had a full morning of meetings planned.  I woke up with a headache. I took my drug. I followed with 3 Advil, breakfast and a shot of espresso. I showered, dressed, and got ready for my day. The headache was a migraine and it was not responding right away. From experience this indicates time to nap in a dark room.

Last year I had a migraine that I ignored and pushed through to a planned meeting. I cut the meeting short. The meeting was at a hospital and I knew of an interfaith meditation room opposite the surgery waiting room that was hardly used. I knew I could not drive home so I stretched out on the floor of the room and turned off the lights. Sure enough some surgeons in full scrubs entered and discovered me. I assured them I was fine, just a migraine and waiting for the drugs to take hold. Of course being doctors and at a hospital and discovering a middle-aged woman on the floor, they felt obligated to help!

I did learn my lesson from that incident and stayed home this time. I napped for 2 hours and woke up feeling cold feet, not aching head and knew I was OK. My cat who feels she must babysit was relieved too.


Are you a migraine sufferer? What works for you? Have you ever found yourself on the floor someplace waiting for your drugs to kick in?



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Comfort Foods, What I learned from Carmella Soprano



Lasagna is a wonderful comfort food, gooey, cheesy, warm, filling. It is also a great dish to take when you need to bring a casserole or to feed a crowd.

After watching the Sopranos, the episode when they are eating lasagna, Carmella and Tony are saying how good it is with a layer of spinach, I now add spinach to my lasagna. Who knew Carmella Soprano could give recipe tips?

The spinach gives it a nice color layer so it is visually appealing. I will use ground beef and sometimes ground pork together. I always add onions and mushrooms. Since I have a huge garden and make tomato sauce and tomato paste, I use them into my sauce for the lasagna. I layer with Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and Mozzarella cheese and it all smells wonderful while it is cooking.


I usually make 2 medium lasagnas at the same time so I use all the noodles at once. If I don’t have to give one away, the spare casserole goes into the freezer for future use.
Do you have a favorite comfort food to make, share or eat?


Carmella Soprano Lasagna
1-2 pounds ground beef or combination of beef and pork, 5% fat on the beef
1 large onion sliced thinly
½ pound mushrooms sliced
Pan fry all together with salt, pepper, basil and parsley

In a separate pot heat tomato sauce and paste to make at least 3 cups

Add salt, pepper, garlic, basil and parsley

Mix 16 ounces Ricotta cheese with 2 eggs
Grate 16 ounces Mozzarella cheese
Measure ½ cup Parmesan cheese
8 ounces baby spinach

Boil or use no boil 16 ounces lasagna noodles

Spray 2 lasagna pans and start layering starting with and ending with sauce.

Bake 350 for 45 minutes.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Will You Write Your Own Obituary?



I read obituaries. I know I am not alone. I don’t know when I started but I do remember the first time I recognized someone I knew from his obituary.

One of my Mother’s friends, who recently died of pneumonia at the age of 92, had prepared her obit. She had outlived her husbands and children and wrote it because she felt no one was still alive who knew her story. I thought that a brilliant idea.

Here are portions of obits I question whether something else could be said if the deceased wrote it:
“She was a hard worker”
“She was ridiculously honest”
“He overcame many troubles”



I like attempts to capture a person’s personality rather than the resume approach or genealogical account of a person in an obituary.

Here are a few:
“If you feel sad or blue because you lost a good friend, be assured he is laughing and telling stories”.
“She is in the hearts of all those she touched”
“She was an acquired taste”



I like to know what was the cause of death in an obituary.
Here are popular phrases that elude the cause of death:
“Fought a courageous fight”
“Died unexpectedly”
“Called home by the Lord”
“Died peacefully”
“Died Suddenly”
“Went to be with the Lord”

A memorable obituary I read does not have the cause of death, but it read:
“1982-2014, Kind of young don’t you think?”

Are you writing your obituary? Are you making your wishes known for your obituary? Have you embraced the high costs of publishing your obituary?

(Photos courtesy of my friend Deirdre,  at shuttershaman)









Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Un-Invites



I think I have uncovered a trend. Un-Inviting people. Friends invite you for dinner and then they call and cancel because …… Maybe it is just cancelling or postponing, but it feels more like un-inviting to me.

I realize everyone leads busy lives but it is dinner, not attempting to cure cancer! The un-invites have become so frequent I have become very aggressive by saying I am putting it on my calendar now and I will be at your door at this date and time! Or I am not putting it on my calendar because you will cancel so firm up with me as the date nears!

When I ask people over for a dinner party I give the date and the time. I think about the guests I am inviting so everyone gets along. If some one can’t make it I don’t cancel the dinner party, it just becomes a smaller group.

If a significant other is not available I do not welcome a plus one unknown stand-in because I think about the dynamics of the group of guests I invited.  Now maybe I know your friend or sister or neighbor that you want to bring as your plus one because your significant other is out of town, but please ask me, don’t just show up at the door. I may have prepared something special for your significant other and had I known I would not have gone to the trouble!

Let’s face it sometimes you have a lousy few days going and you realize you have a dinner party scheduled. It is something to look forward to and helps getting past the crummy days. Then, WHAM, you are uninvited. You didn’t prepare anything for dinner and the party was going to be your highlight of the week!  Grrr.


Am I the only one experiencing this un-inviting trend? Vent here and tell me how you handle it!