HOME DELIGHTS: Deli-Style Beef Barley Soup

Beef barley soup is one of our favorite meals.  Though the price of beef has risen considerably over the last two years, the recipe we use allows for the cheaper, tougher cuts of meat.

The recipe originally came from Mr. Food Test Kitchen.

"Our recipe for Deli-Style Beef Barley Soup is so authentic-tasting, it'll have you wondering whether someone swapped yours with one from your favorite deli. This nutritious and hearty soup is great for cold winter nights, 'cause it'll warm your heart and your tummy." Deli Style Beef Barley Soup The simplicity appeals to me.  It takes very little time to prepare, contains only a few ingredients, and isn't weighed down by heavy spices and salt.

I've toyed a bit with their recipe, mainly because the menfolk in this family don't know the meaning of "normal portion" when it comes to this meal. I generally get 8 servings out of this recipe, though it's considerably less if my father grabs a mass…


Too tired to blog, so here's some food for thought:
Natura nihil frustra facit
When you look outside, you see the sun shining which enables us to see when we’re outside, you see trees invisibly producing oxygen so we can continue to exist. Natura nihil frustra facit: “Nature does nothing in vain.” It means that – and this is going to sound cliché – everything happens for a reason. Everything happens of necessity. It reminds me that, even though I should enjoy life and enjoy as many fun activities as possible, I should also make sure that every task I undertake has some meaning or is somewhat significant. Which brings us to the next one…

Quam bene vivas refert non quam diu “It is how well you live that matters, not how long.” Most of us are somewhat afraid of the inevitable that is part of being human: death. However, that fear is probably not associated with actually dying, but more with how you’ve lived your life. Did you accomplish all your goals and dreams before it w…


"Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. Pi Day is an annual opportunity for math enthusiasts to recite the infinite digits of Pi, talk to their friends about math, and to eat Pie." - PiDay.Org

And then there are those that take infinite digits to new levels.

However you celebrate - be it in a STEM-based activity in your classroom or just eating pie - may your Pi Day be a happy one.


Trinity East has exasperated us, per the norm, once again.  Mum complained of feeling "weird" at 1 am.  She had an extremely low pulse.  The night nurse told her that nothing was wrong, and she was "bringing it upon herself", ie her panic attacks are annoying.

The problem with that statement is that panic attacks increase blood pressure and pulse. They don't drop a heart rate down to 39 beats a minute.

The morning nurse took vitals once she came on shift, and properly raced to alert the doctors. Mum was loaded into an ambulance and taken to Trinity West. 

When I arrived, she was in a small bay - the larger occupied by another cardiac patient - and hooked up to the happy red crash cart. Her heart rate was in the 50s, but her O2 was dismal at the 78-88% range.  They put her through a battery of tests before moving her upstairs to a room.

I headed home without any answers as to what was causing this condition. It wasn't until the next day that I learned she ha…


Music is powerful.  It awakens our senses, lifting us to heights we never dreamed possible, or else giving us reason to gird our loins and grit our teeth.  It sways the masses. It lulls the infant.  It serves as a tool when in love.  It is the secondary heat beat for so many individuals.

My go-to song when shit gets real is the old Sinatra tune, "My Way". Sung in a minor key, it serves no other purpose than to harness my determination to assert myself.

For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught  To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels  The record shows I took the blows and did it my way...
Such was the case all during February. My mother is still in the hospital.

Mum is a stubborn individual. She holds on to everything, and frequently buys junk through Publishers Clearing House.  The result was clutter and everyday items left out because cupboards, shelves, drawers, and other storage areas were filled with that junk.  The…


Does anyone remember the Publishers Clearing House of yesteryear?  The envelope would arrive with little stickers tucked inside.  You could order popular magazines at a nice discount.  They'd also enter you in their sweepstakes.

Nostalgia be damned.  They now swindle people via phone apps and through their website, should your parents be computer savvy.

PCH has gone too far with their bullshit, as I recently discovered.

With my mother in the hospital, I have spent over two months dealing with DAILY mailings from this organization.  Our mailbox is also inundated with a metric crapton of adverts from other companies. And, to make matters worse, my parents receive far too many telephone solicitations.

The culprit?  Considering I registered my parents' landline as a "do not call" number, the only way telemarketers could get the number is if someone in the house gave permission to an agency.  Publisher's Clearing House, to be exact.

PCH is infamous for selling your …

WINTER: An Adventure Every Day

...aka Ermahgerd wernder!

The roads were insane today.  The city plow hadn't returned by time I left for my appointment. Though in the truck and using 4-wheel drive, I fishtailed down the alley, into the turn, down the main street, and up the road to the state highway.  There the road was plowed, but only one lane.  It was clear enough to do about 50mph in a sedan.  The problem was all the motorists doing 20mph.  This forced the rest of us to drive in the deep slush in order to pass them.  The result was a spin-out for most, or smacking the barrier between both sides of the highway.
Total car and truck graveyard. Way too many pissed off, stranded motorists.
Seriously, if you are not comfortable driving during inclement weather, do us all a favor and stay the hell home. Going slow is safe but not when your speed is so slow that it impairs all traffic behind you, including semis trying to get enough momentum to make it up hills.
I had very little difficultly.  Yes, I fishtailed. Yes…