My Little Pink Pill

About a year and a half ago I had a bunch of tests done on my stomach and throat. Last January, The Doctor prescribed some pills for me. I have been taking them daily every morning- religiously. I never missed a day. The entire time, my stomach issues were non-existent. I was a happy man. Until last Wednesday when I ran out of the pills.

I had called up the pharmacy to get a refill because I had five of them remaining. But because it has been over a year since I first put in the original prescription- they refused to fill it. So I had to get them to contact the doctor in order for him to fax the refill request. No big deal. Except the pharmacy never contacted me to tell me that my prescription was refilled for three days. It was going to be two more days before I had a chance to come get the pills.

I was thinking to myself- maybe I don’t need these pills anymore. I have been taking them for over a year now and feel great. Perhaps it was time to stop taking them and look at correcting my eating habits a bit more. After all, it’s now been a few days and no issues. Boy was I wrong.

By the third day of no pills, my acid reflux was back- but only in a minor way. I figured I could still look at my diet and try weening off foods to find what irritates my innards. Maybe just eat a Tums or two when needed. Again- No such luck. The next day got even worse, I was unable to swallow again. I needed to get back on my meds to feel normal inside. It’s now day six since I ran out and I have just taken my first pill. I don’t think it will be super effective right away, but I’ll be back on my daily regiment and be sure to not let them run out in the future.

Funny how a little pink pill can make all the difference in my health. Thank goodness for modern science.

Sinatra as a Mentor?

Today I feel as if Frank Sinatra was an unbeknownst mentor. Not because I can sing- in fact far from it. But his lifestyle of sorts. I decided to do some quick research on him. Turns out some of his quotes resonate with me.

Having an intelligent woman in my life makes me feel like there is more substance in my relationship. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not just smart but pretty as well. I can make her light up the room when I get her to smile. We also have in-depth conversations where I often learn from her knowledge of various subjects.

The other side of Sinatra is his attitude towards drinking. He makes it seem refined and elegant. As if to be suave one needs to have a drink in hand.

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t look at him as a mentor. I enjoy my alcohol; perhaps a bit more than the next person. Drinking has been a part of my adult life for as long as I can remember. Which is hitting nearly a quarter century now. Not every day, but nearly every day off I enjoy a drink. It has become a part of my lifestyle. Sometimes in a negative way. A way that makes me unimpressed with myself.

Sinatra lived to be 83. That’s about forty years further than I am at this moment. I don’t know if I want to do forty more years of having alcohol as a vice. That’s a long time to keep putting booze into me.

But if Ol’ Blue Eyes could do it…

Childish Humor

No matter what the circumstances, farts are funny. I’d say most people agree.

I’ve written about farts numerous times. Here are a few examples:

Farts Are Funny

Laughter Language

Cabin Adventures: Day 4

My family, friends and coworkers generally find farts amusing as well. The first time I let out some gas in front of my wife- when we were first dating- I was incredibly embarrassed. Now, she out shines me and puts my farts to shame. Both in sound and odor.

Farting around coworkers or friends is kind of the same. It takes a bit to open up around each other. There is a comfort level that you need to get to with one another prior to the first fart. Once that Pandora’s box is open, there’s no putting it back. It can turn into an all-out gas war. Each trying to out do the other. Or not warning one another and letting the smell do the rest.

When I let one rip in the car with my family, I lock the windows. Trap them inside with an obnoxious gas cloud. But if anyone in my family let’s one rip- all the windows go down even in the winter– to air out the car. Hey, I like to breathe. Plus it’s my car and I can do what I like, right?

Besides getting over the initial embarrassment of breaking wind, farts are the funniest thing ever. We all do it. So why hide it?

Why Didn’t I just Talk It Out?

I was being a big baby for a couple of days towards my wife. I was all bitter and angry towards her and it turns out it was mostly just in my head.

I should’ve just talked to her when I had the chance. Instead, I came home after work and kind of blew up at her. Once it was out, I realized I was being kinda dumb.

In hindsight, I should’ve just expressed myself when I was starting to be bothered. I’m lucky that my wife is understanding and we are a really good team. We almost always talk things out. This last time was my bad. I take full responsibility.

Things are back to normal and great again. Silly Josef…

Today is Cancelled

Last night I was trying to finish season one of American Gods when the power went out. So off to bed I went instead. I brought the Nintendo Switch upstairs with a couple pro controllers and my wife and I played four rounds of Mario Kart in bed. That was fun.

About two hours after going to sleep, the power kicked on. Unfortunately we had some lights on in the bedroom, so it woke us up. After turning lights off, I lay in bed trying to get back to sleep. Nothing worse than feeling like it’s too late to sleep but too soon to get up. I finally fell asleep only to wake up a short time later because of the heavy winds. Thus creating another struggle to fall asleep.

I had many plans for my day today. I am far too exhausted to do the fun activities. I have resorted to staying in bed until noon. During which time, I expect my lower back to begin hurting and my energy level to diminish even more. Sometimes life just gets cancelled. Today feels like one of those days.

I need some motivation. A “kick in the butt” so to speak. Hopefully I’ll find it soon enough and get back on with my day. Maybe a pot of coffee will do the trick.

Meal Prep For Five

Meal Prep isn’t a part of my lifestyle.

However, I took a few hours yesterday to work on some dinner prep for the family. Our 12 year old son helped out last night and really enjoyed it. I don’t usually prepare foods in advance unless we are going on a road trip or camping. But I figured I’d give it a try.

We bought 6 pounds of ground beef earlier in the week. So I divided it into meatloaf, seasoned fried beef for burritos and an amazing recipe for cabbage roll casserole. The meatloaf got eaten last night and the cabbage roll casserole is for tonight. The fried beef will be mixed with refried beans and rice for another family favorite. This was all made last night within an hour.

Today I went shopping at the grocery store because they were having a “Caselot Sale“. Besides canned soups, tuna and toilet paper, I also stocked up on about 18 pounds of pork loin. We now have a couple dinners of schnitzel, pork kebobs, and thin sliced Japanese bbq style pork. I divided it into six different meals and tossed those into our big freezer. Labeled and packed away, I’m glad that I did it now instead of trying to thaw a large pork loin later on.

Over the Christmas break, our dinners weren’t planned out. There was a lot of what we call “Fend For Yourself” nights. Where the kids would eat bowls of cereal, Mr. Noodles or toast and sometimes leftovers. It took this week for my wife and I to realize we need to get back to a routine of planning dinners and buying the appropriate groceries ahead of time. I have gone through the freezer in order to use some of our older meats first. All the pork I bought today will go to the back and get used in the upcoming weeks. Having a family of five with three teens is expensive when it comes to foods.

Buying processed or prepackaged foods may be easier, but it is not the healthiest of options. The time it takes to prepare meals or divide up large quantities of meat is minimal. Plus it messes the kitchen up really bad only once.

Here’s to healthy choices! And here’s the Cabbage Roll Casserole recipe if you want to try it:

Cabbage Roll Casserole

1.5 lbs Ground Beef

2 medium onions

1 clove minced garlic

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 – 14oz can of tomato sauce

1 – 14oz can of water

1/2 cup of uncooked long grain rice

4 cups of shredded cabbage (1 head)

Sour cream

Directions:

Brown beef, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil. Then stir in the rice. Cover and simmer for about 20 mins stirring occasionally.

Place 1/2 of the shredded cabbage on a greased baking dish. Cover with 1/2 the beef and rice mixture. Repeat layers. Cover and bake in 350° oven for one hour.

Serve with sour cream. Casserole may be refrigerated before baking.

Serves 6.

Enjoy!

Ironing

Ironing your clothes.

Kind of like flossing your teeth. Sure, you brush your teeth and maybe even use some mouthwash. Flossing? Only if there’s food stuck. AmIright?

Washing and drying clothes are the basics- like brushing your teeth. But to iron dress clothes? Like me, it’s not very likely that you do it.

On Saturday I taught my son how to iron clothes. Ironing is something I enjoy doing, but tend to not have the time to do it. I love the look of a freshly pressed shirt and dress pants. Since I don’t wear suits to work- I don’t own a lot of dress clothes that require this sort of attention to detail.

Because my wife and I were going out for dinner, I wanted to look my best for her. A t-shirt and jeans just wasn’t going to cut it. So out came the old ironing board and iron. In the past I have done one of those “Life Hacks” where you throw a damp cloth into the dryer on a low heat to get rid of wrinkles.

My father never ironed his clothes. My mother used to do it for him. Teaching my son how to iron is important to me. One day he may want to look slick and professional. Other lessons I will teach him, that I had to learn on my own, are things like shaving, cooking or basic automotive maintenance.

Do you like to iron? Is there anything you wish was passed on to you from your parents? Please share.

Screen Time Stats

My iPhone updates me every week about my “Screen Time”. I didn’t pay much attention to it until this morning. Curiosity had me examining it more closely.

These are my stats for this week. 29+ hours staring at my phone. More than one entire day this week. “Social Networking” took half of this. Granted, I’d like to think that it’s because of Christmas and New Year’s and my desire to see how friends are doing. But I fear that number may be closer to reality than I want to admit. I spend more time watching videos and reading memes than seeing how my friends are really doing. On average I spent two hours per day on various social media.

Four and a half hours were spent on “Productivity”. WordPress took up a little over two hours. While calculator, email, and banking took up the rest. What surprised me was “Creativity” was so low. Meaning I wasn’t taking or editing photos very much this week.

Since I have now seen some of these stats and paid more attention to them, I think it’s time to adjust my focus. The iPhone allows me to set daily limits on everything. For now, I am slashing my social media time in half. Perhaps this will make me focus more on “Creativity”.

Putting down the phone is something my wife would like us to do as a family more often. We tend to eat meals without the phone, but once that’s done- out come the devices. Same when we are watching tv or movies. Not a lot of interaction with one another. I’d like to see what my wife’s and daughter’s stats are this week. Maybe as a family we can work together to knock down our screen time usage.

Have you ever looked at your device stats? Does it make you want to change?

Never Too Busy To Pause For Life’s Moments

Life can get pretty hectic. Especially towards the holiday season. Kids concerts, last minute gift shopping, year end work deadlines… Throughout it all, you need to remember to pause for a bit and just enjoy life.

It’s also tough to not want to compare your life with someone else’s. All those fun photos and memorable moments they’re having. Kinda wish I was doing the same sometimes. But my life is pretty darn good when I look at it. I just need to focus on what matters most to me:

My family.

They’re really good people who have stories to share with me. I need to remember to give them the attention that I give my social media feed. Sometimes I need to be an ear for them to talk to. Other times I just admire them without their knowledge. Catching those “Ah-Ha” moments when something clicks. Or seeing the kindness they can show others without being prompted.

Those are the moments I don’t want to miss. I just need to hit pause once in a while and enjoy.

Sick Joe Isn’t A Happy Man

Sick Joe isn’t always a Happy Joe. I’ve been doing my best to keep up my fluids by drinking lots of water and eating soup. I’ve had to forgo my beers and deep fried treats for the time being in hopes to get better.

Besides more fluids, I have been taking some other supplements and cold remedies. My wife introduced me to Ricola. I used to take Halls when my throat was sore, but these “herbs” seem gentler.

Time to get back to my self pity party. I also don’t like that I’m not as cheery as I usually am. I’m feeling green lately and wonder if my skin tone looks the same. Heading into a week away from Christmas- I don’t want to be the Grinch.

What do you take to feel better?