Friday, September 20, 2019

What's healthy feel like?

Last winter, I had a couple-few very bad months, in which I couldn't actually tell how bad my health was getting, because judgement is one of the first things that gets affected when your brain isn't working right.

I could tell that the writing was getting slower, worse, more fitful, and stuttering - and I could tell that I was skating on the event horizon of an emotional black hole, and spending a fair amount of time and energy staying out of that. And then the writing shut down.

And then I couldn't even manage to coherently blurb other people's work.

And then I couldn't even think my way through critiquing and editing other people's blurbs.

Yeah, hypoxia from asthma and general issues with lots of allergens is very like being drunk: have one drink, and you're questioning if you're okay or should wait longer. Meanwhile, the guy who can't get off the couch is the one who thinks they're fine to drive, because when they asked themselves if anything's wrong, the brain just couldn't even answer.

Just as my darling husband is finding out that recovery from injury at sixty-plus is a whole lot slower than when he was 20, I'm finding... recovery from "It's not that bad" is closing in on a year from when the problems became unignorable, and while I keep thinking "I'm good now!", I keep finding the body and brain are slowly getting better and better, and reaching levels of good I didn't know I'd lost.

This makes me more paranoid about getting back in the air, not less - because my lovely old plane is a wonderful dear, sweet and gentle for her kind... which, being as she's 70+ years old, means she's a heck of a handful if you're not on your game and on top of all her quirks and the vagaries of wind and weather.

On the other hand, I did just manage to write my first blurb from scratch in... I don't want to think how long. And the stories are coming back, in fits and starts. And I just got to Amarillo and was able to walk around the fair until the little muscles in my hips yelled at me (I'd squatted 120 pounds the day before. They were irritated with all the walking on asphalt and concrete), without having tightness in my chest and the exhaustion from pushing my lungs to move enough air being the limiting factor.

Here's to life getting better! I'm not sure I'll know when I've reached healthy, but I'll keep trying for it. And I'll be getting back in the air when I get there!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Raspberry and pear trifle

My darling husband volunteered to make a trifle for group dinner, but he was having a day where just standing was a challenge. So I made a trifle. Well, two, really, because it's only a tiny bit more work to make two trifles than one, and plenty of guests.

For the cake:
1 boxed devil food cake mix
1/3 cup oil (I used coconut & light olive)
1 cup water
2 eggs
1 Tbsp cocoa powder

For the custard:
2 Tablespoons Bird's Custard Powder
3 cups milk
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp raspberry jelly
1-2 cups frozen raspberries

For the fruit:
4 cans of sliced pears, drained

For the cream:
1 quart whipping cream
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp fine sugar

First, make the cake according to box mix directions. (Although I threw in an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder, because it didn't seem very chocolately to me.) This makes enough for two trifles.

While the cake is baking, mix the custard powder and jelly in a large microwaveable bowl. Add the milk and spices, stir well until no clumps. Microwave for 6 minutes, stopping at least halfway to pull it out and stir it. Cool it down by dumping the frozen raspberries in, and stirring well. Let sit.

When the cake has cooled, cut it into chunks about 1/2" to 1" square. Divide in 4 parts.

Layer the trifle dishes with the cake, drizzle 1/4 of the custard on top, and put one can of pears as a layer. They don't have to be anywhere close to drained dry, just not sopping and soaking the cake.

Put half the cream ingredients in a bowl, whip it up, and spread half on each trifle. Repeat cake, pudding, pears, make a second batch of cream, and put that on top.

Cover and store in fridge until time to be eaten.