Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Reflections from the Backcounter

Motherhood, Mono and Madness...yup that's right...we have mono in the house...the kissing has begun...I suppose that I should be happy that this has happened in high school and not college but what a seventeen year old is out of class, out of cross country and basically out of luck....he has hit the sidelines and has to wait out the acute phase of this disease....A few facts: those of you who know me know that I am qualified to comment!!!!!

  • Contagious but only with exchange of bodily secretions....kissing etc.....
  • The virus is shed for up to 18 months after the initial infection! (yikes)
  • The triad of lymphadenopathy, pharyngitis, and fever is the hallmark of the disease...and did I mention that the lymph nodes on my sons neck are the size of golf balls and are visible from across the street!!!!
  • The incubation period is very lenghty up to 30-50 days so sometimes it is impossible to determine who gave you the disease

So.... we are soldiering on...the good news is...this is a lesson in contagion and perhaps the lessons learned will be translated into "safe" behavior in other arenas later on (if you catch my drift)

Please post a get well message for Jeffrey...he could use some cheering up.

Peace and pathogens,


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Scorpion Wars

Reflections from the Backcounter

It is definitely a war....for some reason...this has been a season of high scorpion activity. I have shared my scorpion terror stories before and have provided pictures of the creepy creatures but this picture is a real world picture of the scorpion who had set up housekeeping under our garbage can. He is headless as we had to take immediate action and by the time I got my camera out, the battle was over....He is sizeable....CC the scorpion killing hunter cat is expressing his opinion of it!
Scorpion rules of engagement
  1. Shake out your shoes
  2. Never walk barefoot in the dark
  3. Control cricket population
  4. Live with free ranging cats in the house
  5. Keep clutter to a minimun
  6. Keep things off the bedroom floors
  7. Get the house sealed

Luckily, we had not been stung this year. Scorpion stings are very painful and create a feeling of ascending numbness in the area that has been hit. The numbness can last up to six weeks. A very small percentage of people who are stung develop neurological symptoms (confusion, drooling, visual changes) and these are the ones who need urgent medical care. Children under two should all be taken to the ER. The rest of us poor victims just need ice, advil and a long time to recover...

Keep your eyes open



Shake out your shoes!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday wanderings

Menu: Armenian Noodles


1 package thin or medium egg noodles
1 pound Monterey jack cheese grated
½ stick butter
1 bunch finely chopped parsley (without stems)Lawry’s salt, pepper

Butter a 9x13 Pyrex dish
Cook noodles in boiling, salted water until tender.
Drain noodles and layer half in the Pyrex dish. Mix parsley and jack cheese. Layer cheese mixture on top of noodles and cover with remaining noodles. Dot with butter salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees until browned on top usually about 30-35 minutes. This is a delicious casserole that can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for 1-2 days or in the freezer. Serve with a salad and bread and your family is very happy.
This is also a great casserole to bring to a potluck.

Reflections from the Backcounter
This is one of my husband's absolute favorites. He grew up on these and he considers them a staple meal. We usually have one of these casseroles in the freezer for evenings that are short on time or energy. Tonight there was a cross country meet and two of my little darlings did not return home until 8 p.m. A perfect night for noodles...Try these will love them...I always like a little extra salt sprinkled on top ( Hypertension city!!!)

I have a few random thoughts on the election that I need to share. Forget your political affiliation. Think in broader and more humorous terms and I am sure that you will never look at the election in the same way again.. Think back to the days of the epic Hollywood production....
Charlton Heston at his best...parting the red sea, casts of thousands populating the big screen all in Technicolor!!!.. I am confident that the executives from central casting on those epic Hollywood movies have found a new calling...casting the presidential elections. Consider this...nothing short of a Hollywood casting director could have provided us with a better cast. We have: An African American man, a woman, a war hero, a husband of Eskimo descent, a Roman Catholic, a pregnant teen, a baby with Downs, a daughter of a beer baron, two darling little girls with perfect hair and patent leather shoes, a blogger, and an adopted child from none other that Mother Teresa's orphanage!!!
I think we are almost ready for the burning bush or at the very least a chariot race!

On to Thursday...try the noodles...your family will clamor for more


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back to Blogging

Sunday night dinner:
Chicken on the Rotisserie
Fire Roasted Tomatoes
Armenian green salad

Reflections from the Backcounter
It has been a week without blogging and I truly missed it. My daughter and I traveled to Minnesota and enjoyed the respite from the routine of the week. The fall weather in Minnesota had taken a decidedly crisp turn and the fields were still full of corn stalks and the last blooms of the summer flowers. I am sure that after a few cold nights, the leaves will be falling and the Minnesota winter will be quickly carried in on the shoulders of the beautiful fall days.
So much has happened this week. Hurricane Ike has given cause for reflection. I am cannot help but remember the nuns and children who perished in the 1900 hurricane and for whom a memorial is placed near the sea in Galveston. Clearly, the urgent evacuation of the citizens of the gulf coast and the island of Galveston saved lives this time. My prayers are with those who remain displaced and who have suffered losses. Prayers and heartfelt sympathy to the families who lost loved ones on the train in California. Life is so short and precious.
Last night we had the chance to catch up with some dear friends who had us over for a get together. Some women just have a knack for entertaining. My dear friend Stephanie put out a spread worthy of Martha Stewart but with a warm and inviting Greek twist! I should have taken pictures. It is so comforting to be in the company of lifelong friends, especially when one considers the frailty of life so emphasized by the recent disasters.
I am looking forward to a rich and fun week of blogging.
More great creature stories coming up this week...I swear...I think I live on the Discovery channel

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Run like the wind

Running has become a therapeutic outlet in our house for both young and old. The young are experiencing the joy and challenge of competition while the old are learning to ignore pain, creaks, stiffness and an embarrasingly slow cadence that seems to engender a long gawk from drivers slowly passing any event it is a healthy endeavor as long as we stay out of potholes. The blog will probably be quiet this week as I travel to the northern territories, Minnesota for work. More later



Monday, September 1, 2008

Blog awards

Rebecca at Freaky Frugalite has kindly bestowed this blog award on the Backcounter Buffet. Thank you Rebecca for your interest in my postings from the Sonoran Desert! Desert life is more than a little different from your beautiful New York garden life!

With this blog award comes blogging responsibility! These are the rules:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog
2. Link the person you received your award from
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4. Put links of those blogs on yours
5. Leave a message on the blogs that you’ve nominated

So here goes: I bestow this blogging award on the following wonderful bloggers:

1. Random Ramblings: Polly is an amazing observer of the world around her. Her postings are interesting and informative. She is also a kind and generous person. Thanks Polly!

2. Reginas Family Seasons: Regina has a beautiful spirit and encouraging posts. Not to mention her darling granddaughter.

3.The Junk Drawer Check out these great posts from a writer with a terrific sense of humor and view of the world.

4.Smitten Kitchen: Amazing photos of incredible food. A delicious visit!

5. Not Martha more power to those of us who are not Martha!!!
Out of time and energy...I reserve the right to send the award to two other bloggers...I wonder who you are?