Tag Archives: Wine

Birthday Boy

I’m still having a hard time keeping up with additions here right now, although I haven’t forgotten it! My absence is mostly due to work commitments, combined with being away from home for best part of 3 days each week. And also partly due to my ability to procrastinate and maybe feel that I should “plan” my musings rather than just run with a new post by simply putting pen to paper.

But anyway, I thought I’d drop in and at least wish a very Happy Birthday to M for today! 

The Birthday Boy!

We had a fun weekend in NY, especially since the weather stayed unexpectedly dry for the most part. It’s been so horrendously wet here in New England this month, and across the northeast in general. Actually across many parts of the country, to be honest. I’ve heard lots of folk talking about how strangely wet their spring has been. It does all look beautifully green here though, I must admit. And I shouldn’t complain, because I fear we’ll go from this to “90 and humid” pretty much overnight sometime soon. And I dread that more than anything. The rain I can cope with.

Sunday afternoon was all about baking. I’d asked M: “Oreos or peanut butter?”, and I was given a long answer to a short question. Or actually, I really wasn’t given an answer at all! So I decided to hedge my bets and go for both. So I made a combination birthday cheesecake – half “chocolate and peanut butter”, and half “oreos”.

I’m not religious, but I did say a quiet prayer for my waistline upon completion of this creation! Later I cut it into the tiniest chunks for freezing too – that way we’re more likely to just grab a small piece for a treat, rather than be tempted to cut off and devour a slab the size of Rhode Island……..

Hope you are not too submerged this spring!

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The Acid Test

A week ago I met up with a friend for lunch during the workday. We hit Legal Seafoods in Cambridge – one of my favorite places to eat. Even though I have a shellfish allergy, I love their fish dishes, & thankfully I can eat fish (just as long as they are not the shelled variety!). Bizarrely though, one of my favorite meals there is one of their salads – apple, avocado, tortilla & cheese. And I always ask for chicken with it. Anyway, the point is, I typically get this if I’m there for lunch, since it’s a light-ish meal to eat, & doesn’t tend to put me asleep for the rest of the day. So I’ve eaten this salad dozens of times, with no problems.

So imagine my surprise when about an hour later, I was sitting at my desk & was suddenly hit by a quite severe pain, right in the middle of my chest, behind my sternum. Since I’ve never suffered heartburn in my life, my first thought, seriously, was: “Am I having a heart attack?”. Somehow I managed to stay rational though, & decided that no, I probably wasn’t, and that since it was soon after eating, it was probably heartburn.

It took about an hour to completely disappear, although it did dissipate gradually, thankfully. Then later that evening, after dinner, I experienced some more discomfort. Bummer. Looks like it wasn’t just a one-off. Same thing happened again the following day, mostly after feeding. So it was time to bust out the antacid medication.

Strangely though, a few days worth of antacids didn’t really help. Then a friend told me that she’d had a similar experience years ago, and it had turned out to be her gall bladder.

Next evening, I did get woken up overnight by some burning-type pain, so did a bit of research & it seemed that gall bladder issues were probably more likely than acid issues. Quite interesting. I’m not exactly a text-book candidate for gall bladder issues either, since they typically are people eating poor diets –  high cholesterol/high fat diets – and are often overweight, 40s/50s age group, fair-skinned, Europeans……my lipid panel is consistently just about perfect, and I eat a low-fat/high fiber diet, and I’m not overweight. But I guess I fit the “40s, fair, & European” bits! So I shouldn’t grumble, and also, as a veterinarian, I’m aware that not every patient reads the textbooks!

So, I stopped the antacids & started some painkillers instead. And when I hit the supermarket, I went for an even lower fat party than usual. I’m not a big fan of totally “fat free”, especially for my dairy stuff, since I find much of the foods tasteless when they are zero-fat. But I have to do whatever I have to do.

So the good news is, that after the painkillers and “multiple small meals of minimal fat” feeding habits all week, I’ve been much more comfortable, and I’m now off painkillers. I know a few folk who’ve had their gallbladder removed, and although they are fine, I do know that these days, surgeons prefer not to remove gallbladders because this carries a subsequent increased risk of colon cancer development. This fact, combined with me being a veterinarian, pretty much means that my gastrointestinal tract will probably have to be jumping out of my abdomen before I venture to see a doctor. So in the meantime, I’ll do the self-medicating thing that doctors hate their vets doing!  Hehe!

The good news too though, is that I even managed to enjoy my Easter package from England 🙂

                 White Toblerone – my favorite chocolate!

Hope you had a fun Easter weekend too!

And please do chime in if you’ve ever had any gallbladder issues! Or any other problems where you wondered if you were having a heart attack!

The NZ Lowdown 5: Fiordland (Part I)

After breakfast next morning, we said a sad goodbye to the lovely Queenstown scenery & drove southwest to spend a couple of days in the Fiordland National Park region.

Te Anau Was Our First Port Of Call

The weather was beautiful yet again all day – I think this was actually the warmest day of our trip, it was 80 degrees Farenheit, with an amazingly blue sky – just perfect.  We checked into our hotel – a few hours early again, but once more without any hassle from the reception desk – and then we took off into the town to explore a little.

Lunch was followed by a drive around the lake & a little walk around town. And there may have been an ice cream stop at some point too! We’d also decided to take a tour of some Glowworm Caves in the region, so that trip pretty much occupied our afternoon. The trip began with a cruise across to the western shore of Lake Te Anau. This is the 2nd largest lake in NZ by surface area, & it is beautiful, especially on a bright, sunny day like we were lucky enough to experience. It was so peaceful cruising across & enjoying the scenery aroundabout, as well as seeing all the jet-skiers in action as they’d rush into the wake of the ship to catch some great waves.

The beautiful Lake Te Anau
The tour company took us to their Cavern House when we disembarked on the shore – that’s the only thing there, except for the underground cave world that we visited next! They had a really informative & interesting set of displays there for tourists to see while waiting to take one of the small boats into the caves. Plenty of information about the life cycle of glowworms, as well as the history of the caves. And they had the obligatory coffee & snacks that never fail to make me happy!

The shore in front of the Cavern House
Small groups of about 14 of us at a time would then go off on a small boat with a guide to travel a little distance in the limestone caves. It’s quite a spectacle – the cave labyrinth is amazing to experience as you walk through a small part of it to reach the boat. There’s a fair bit of stooping & bending necessary in order to navigate the caves along the way, & the roar of the rushing water around you is phenomenal to hear. Very powerful. Photography isn’t allowed in the caves since the flash would compete with the light from the glowworms, and therefore prevent us seeing what we’d gone there to see! The glowworm lights are such simple things, but quite special to witness. At least for me anyway. And especially with the roaring water to boot. It all seemed so paradoxical in some ways – the water was so fierce & loud, and yet the glowworm lights were so tiny, delicate & peaceful. Very magical.

More beautiful scenery around Lake Te Anau
Once we returned to Te Anau we went off in search of goodies. Since it was such a gorgeous day we’d decided to make full use of it, as well as our surroundings, & so a picnic was in order. We’d scoped out a quiet spot on the lake earlier on our drive, so once we were armed with paper plates, glasses from the hotel room, wine, cheese, meats & crackers, we drove out there again. Once the wine was being chilled (in the lake!), we started snacking!

Lakeside snacking

Afterwards we decided to catch an early night back at the hotel – the next day was due to be an early start for us as we headed north to Milford Sound. 

We’d had a perfect day though.