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  • Best Laid Plans

    Okay, so I have my routine six month checkup coming up next Monday. No biggie, except this time the doctor is going to have to tell me how much better I'm doing (25 pounds lighter than the last time he saw me). So the week before I am all primed to get my labs done for the checkup.

    Fasting labs. Nothing by mouth for 12 hours before they draw your blood. So I began to fast at 9 pm last night and went to bed determined to get a good night's sleep. Which I did. Work up at 7:45 this morning and surprisingly was not “starving”, and the only thing I really missed was coffee. But I showered and got dressed after attending to the needs of the animals and left the house at about 8:45.

    Checked in at the front desk of the hospital and as the nice lady was processing my paperwork we discovered my Doctor's office had failed to submit the order for the labs. Sigh. Thank goodness I brought a copy of Poetry Magazine and a pad of writing paper. I was asked to take seat while she contacted the Doctor's office to have the order faxed. That was at 9:10.

    At 10:40, the nice lady came to me and said “You can go back now”. Upon arrival, the receptionist took my lab sheet and asked me to take a seat. A few minutes later, the technician came out to fetch me back for the needle.

    Now the last time I had labs, they also took a urine sample. I noticed she was taking me directly to the seat with the arm extension and asked if she needed to do that. She did not. “Oh, okay, then do you mind if I use your restroom first?”. It was rhetorical, actually. I had been waiting with a full bladder since I left the house.

    Properly relieved, and I do mean relieved, I sat in the chair while the young lady drew two vials of blood and pleasantly added the “Have a nice day” comment we all expect from the medical profession.

    Amazingly, I did not rush off to some fast food emporium to stuff my face. In fact, my first stop was at the local Starbucks for a Grande Dark Roast, which I sipped slowly on my way to the Peoria public library. Once there, I returned my current reading and chose a few books for some light reading: Selections from Descartes, “Who on Earth was Jesus” by David Boulton (probably not related to Michael), and “The Jesus Papers” by Michael Baigent. Okay, so I think it's light reading.

    Got back to the house around noon, let Olivia out in the back yard to run around a bit and work off her excitement that I was back home, and changed out of my slacks and dress shirt and into my workout clothes.

    Waste Not, Want Not

    A very wise old German woman (my maternal grandmother) used to use that old cliché quite often, and it took. I am the kind of guy who will reuse everything to the point of exhaustion if you let me. And let's not get started on the condition of my favorite old clothes. Suffice it to say I have rags in better condition at times.

    So I am looking at my vegetable bin and I have about 7 pounds of tomatoes starting to go soft on me and it occurs to me I don't want to see them go bad. Yesterday, I checked out several recipes for canning tomato sauce. So right after making myself a roast beef and sharp cheddar sandwich on one of the left over buttermilk biscuits (just a bite to hold body and soul together), I start boiling water to blanch the tomatoes and fill my canning pot and a couple of Mason jars with water to begin sterilizing them. While the pot with water is heating, I core the tomatoes, and get them ready to be blanched. In a bucket I put ice and water to drop the tomatoes in after they come out of the boiling water (believe me, you do not want to try to peel a tomato until it has been cooled).

    Long story short, I prepped the tomatoes, put them in the blender in batches until they were liquified, and poured the contents into the same pot I had boiled them in previously. Yes, I had cleaned it in between. Once they were in the pot, I added about a half cup of lemon juice to raise the acidity to a safe level for canning (something I didn't know about until I read it on line) and about a cup of fresh basil, coarsely chopped, and about 2 tablespoons of garlic.

    When the tomatoes had boiled down to a nice consistency, I removed the jars from the canning pot, emptied them of water, then ladled the tomato sauce in to the jars. For 7 pounds of tomatoes, the yield was 2 quarts and about 20 ounces. So I have three jars of freshly canned tomato sauce sitting between two towels on the kitchen counter. Tomorrow morning, after I do a final check on the seals, I'll transfer them to the basement shelf where I am keeping my home canned products.

    Ready, Set, Go!

    All that done and my kitchen cleaned, I proceeded to the weight bench and set up the preacher bench for my bicep curls today. For those who are unfamiliar, a preacher bench is an inclined platform to hold your arms away from your body at a slightly downward angle. This makes the curls more intense, since you can't use your shoulders or other body parts to “cheat” up your last reps. I used dumbbells, since I do not have a spotter, but this is traditionally a barbell exercise. Still, the desired effect was achieved.

    After removing the preacher bench, I proceeded to the first set of rows, then my bench press, then the second set of rows, then the leg extensions, then the calf raises and finally the shoulder flyes. By then, my body was starting to feel it, and I was perspiring up a storm.

    Moved out to the exercise ball and performed 100 situps and 100 side twists, then moved to the Gazelle for a brisk 12 minute run. I originally planned on 10 minutes, but decided to finish the song. AC/DC has a way of keeping you moving.

    Fruit juice again and a nice leisurely walk finished off the session, and here I am at the computer telling you all about it.

    Thoughts of the moment

    Started reading The Jesus Papers while I was waiting for the tomato sauce to cook out and find it to be a very interesting book, although I am sure I will have some problems with the theology. The author is finding a correlation between the Knights Templar and the lineage of David, and trying to show this as proof the biblical Jesus was actually married to Mary Magdalene. Supposedly, some of his findings were used as background in the Tom Hanks movie “The DaVinci Code”. Well, it will be interesting reading.

    The Descartes is really a review for me. I've studied Kant and Spinoza and Aristotle in college and read Plato and a few others on my own. Philosophy is an interesting mental exercise, the search for truth that will never be achieved. In actuality, I am more of a Vulcan in practice. Live long and Prosper.

    As to the remainder of the day, well, there isn't a lot more left to tell. Going to have a couple if Cheese Brats with sauerkraut and onions on some nice dark rye for dinner and probably veg out a bit in front of the tube before making my nightly appearance on IMVU. Definitely will use my massage pad in the recliner tonight for a while, as my back is telling me it will need it.

    Hope you are all having a blessed day.

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