When a friend knows you well enough to buy you a vibrator (something of use)

OK, it is a vibrating roller – but it still falls in the vibration causes pleasure category!

dievca should explain…
she is a huge fan of the Power Plate Machine at her gym. It’s helped her strengthen her body.

More importantly, it helped her loosen her insanely tight quads, glutes, calves, feet, and hamstring muscles.

(Note the roller…)

When COVID-19 hit, dievca was out-of-luck with using the Power Plate machine at her gym.  she had to depend on her heating pad, foam roller and heavy-duty time consuming traditional stretching. Not a worry when you have time to spare, but the results were not as euphoric as using the vibrating plate with a roller.

NYC is expecting COVID-19 to hit, again.

dievca’s access to the Power Plate will disappear.

But, it is not a problem anymore. dievca’s friend bought her a vibrator.
In the form of a Vibrating Foam Roller:

Next Roller vibrating foam roller $99 from Amazon (click photo for link) 

  • Three speeds of vibration
  • Portable
  • Rechargeable
  • One Year Warranty

Looks like a good solution for tight muscles in quarantine or any other time.
It works well, dievca used it immediately.

An amazing birthday gift, right?😍


Masked and ready

dievca’s schedule has shifted and at this moment she is back to work on Saturdays – masked and ready.
Here’s hoping that others are masked and regaining employment, too.
Thinking of everyone with positive wishes.
d.

Comic: Gary Varvel 2020

Pearls of Wisdom – a quest

dievca’s Mom had a lovely little Tahitian pearl ring for years that she wore on her pinky. She had gotten it from dievca’s Dad when they went on a trip to Hawaii and left the kids with their Slovak Grandparents. Umm, it was a moment when Grandma made cow’s brains and tried to pass them off as scrambled eggs….dievca was 5 years old and still remembers ~

Anyways,
dievca’s Mom lost the lovely green pearl ring.

So, dievca has randomly looked for a replacement on and off throughout the years.
Her latest search started here:

Round! the shape of the pearl should be round.

That knocked this beauty out of contention.

And this one has an asymmetrical setting – nope. 

The color of the pearl Mom lost was black-green:

On this one the setting is too high, the pearl is too grey:

dievca was concerned with the quality of the pearl, but not too worried about it.

The green of this pearl is nice and the 14K white gold pops, but that setting is very intricate.

dievca loved this ring, but it was very expensive- from Denmark and not a good replacement for the lost ring.

Again, an interesting setting – but rose gold? Limiting.

So, as dievca was looking at various rings on eBay, the RealReal, Jewelers, etc – she realized that it is hard to find a smaller Tahitian pearl. They run more consistently in the 11 and 12 mm range. dievca was aiming for 8 or 9 mm.

 

So, the criteria  loosely became:

  • Round Pearl
  • 8mm
  • Green color
  • Lower profile setting
  • Silver-colored band
  • Symmetrical band

Voila!

David Yurman Petite Tahitian Ring Sterling Silver 18K gold Neiman Marcus $495

There are a number of this David Yurman ring out there on the web, but the pearls run from grey to blue and settings are holding a larger pearl. dievca found hers on eBay with an 8mm dark green pearl – it came from a southern Jewelry store.

Not quite Mom’s ring, but Master loves it.

Pearls are organic gemstones that are vulnerable to acid, alkaline and extremes of humidity. To preserve your pearls’ radiance, avoid letting them come into contact with cosmetics, hair spray, or perfume. Always put on your jewelry as a final touch, after applying make-up and styling hair.
The pearl’s lustre can also be harmed by perspiration. To prevent this, before returning your pearls to the jewelry box, wipe them gently with a soft cloth.


before it sold out~ VOTE

Nili Lotan Muscle Tee
100% to NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund

dievca was able to get one,
it arrived yesterday.
she will be wearing the tank – today.
dievca is normally apolitical

adjective
not interested or involved in politics.

But this election is too important for the health of the USA.

The next federal election will be Tuesday, November 3, 2020. It will include voting for president and vice-president, 1/3 of the Senate, and all of the House of Representatives. State and local races will also be on the ballot in many areas.

Please click here to register to Vote.

 


Understanding a friend’s behavior – after years of friendship.

In France, there are several words for “to complain”: there’s se plaindre”, used for regular old complaining; there’s porter plainte”, for complaining more officially. And then there’s râler”complaining just for the fun of it. A curmudgeonly grumble.

Aha!

In France, a complaint is an appropriate – and frequent – conversation starter. “To Americans, saying something negative sounds like you’re closing the conversation”, in France, such comments are perceived as “a way to invite other people’s opinions”. North Americans, she said, are not as comfortable with confrontation – or with criticism – as the French are. Râler, then, “comes across as something that’s more intelligent than being too starry-eyed and optimistic about things”. (Julie Barlow – Canadian Journalist)

dievca’s friend is half-French, but it is a large half of her Life.  That consistent grumbling is an invitation to an intelligent conversation….and dievca has missed the boat a number of times. XOXO

BBC Article: Why the French Love to Complain

An additional note from dievca – when Americans hear a complaint, they think they need to fix the issue. Apparently, the “râler” creates no such obligation. Good to know!


Iced Coffee for a Friend

When you have a guest over for coffee, you want everything thing to be “just so”.

Brew your coffee the night before using good-quality coffee beans, and make it very strong as it’ll be diluted with ice and milk. That way, it can come to room temperature by the time the morning comes around. As always, add cream (milk), sugar, simple syrup to your taste!

dievca’s friend likes to add simple syrup to her brew, so dievca will be making her own syrup – directions below.

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coffee, at room temperature
2 tablespoons half and half*, or more, to taste

DIRECTIONS:
To make the simple syrup, combine sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool completely and stir in vanilla extract; set aside.
Serve coffee over ice with half & half and simple syrup, to taste.


This lapsed Catholic wonders~

Photo: dievca E. 90th Street NYC

Is there such a thing as an “Our Lady of Bad Counsel”?

A lapsed Catholic is a baptized Catholic who is non-practicing.
Such a person may still identify as a Catholic and remains a Catholic according to canon law.
Wikipedia


sheen

 

 

 

the river slides by
silky, sexy

much like the sweat
enveloping my body

moisture rise
denied

leaving a sheen

Photo: dievca, Delaware River 07/2020

I may miss my Dad…but these made me smile.

Something for the NEW Dad~

Happy Father’s Day to my favorite Men.

It takes a lot to be a good Dad.


And then something brings absolute Sparkle to your day~

Like everyone, dievca has her worries.  They add up to create fatigue. Then there is evidence that one of the worries is bucking the trend and involved with something you know brings them shear Joy. dievca started crying when her Mom’s caregivers sent photos of something beautiful:

Mom looks like the Goddess she is…


I love my Mother, I love my Mother…

Give me the damn coffee!

~You get by with a little help from your friend~


Mists in the Silence

New York, New York, 1955©Elliott Erwitt / Magnum Photos

It’s a misty morning here in NYC.
That and the silence of the relatively empty city
make for strange bedfellows
A surreal and beautiful moment

I am really going to miss the silence


On the Road, again.


Actually, the rental car is new and running very well.

Travel across was very easy.
Packing food was a good idea and I’d like to give a “shout” out to Ohio for the best rest stops.
Clean, spacious — amazing.
BTW – gasoline prices ranged from $1.99 to $1.15 per gallon – east to west.

Something interesting to note – the further away from NYC, the more lax people are about COVID-19.
Yes, it makes sense when your area has 180 deaths versus the 13,168 in NYC.
But seeing 65+-year-olds without masks and gloves in a Wal-Mart really stressed me out.

BTW – it was confirmed post-mortem that Dad’s death was not COVID-19.
Why do the test?
So, the Hospice nurses who neglected Dad would come back for Mom’s appointments.
still salty bout that

As for my Mom?
My Mom has blown through the stages of Grief and is getting ready to blow through them, again.
She is eating and sleeping well, for me at least.
Yesterday would have been Mom and Dad’s 66th Wedding Anniversary.

OK – as you read this, I am back in the car – starting Day 2 of the return trip.
Drive Safe!
Ciao~
XO


My hands look like his…a story that ends well in death

My Dad died.
I could hear the death rattle while video chatting with my Mother – trying to think of every humorous or lovely moment with Dad and other family members to distract her. Dad was gasping for air. 99% sure it wasn’t COVID-19, the Speech Therapist said that as Dad lost swallowing capabilities – food/water would go down the wrong pipe, and pneumonia would set in. It did. Hospice wouldn’t come unless Dad was tested…Dad wasn’t going anywhere to get tested.

It didn’t end ugly.
I can Thank our amazing careworkers, morphine, my brother, and the great-grandkids for that. I wouldn’t have called the kids in time to say, ‘good-bye’ – they are all under 7 years old – Dad was such a mess I thought it would terrify their dreams. My brother called and they all trooped over (6+ of them) to see Dad with little masks and gloves.

Dad rallied.
He passed out Tootsie Pops.
Turned over and died in the chaos with Mom on his shoulder and holding hands with the chain of kids.

That thought sustains me more than the painful video call earlier. Dad would do anything for a kid. Kill himself for a kid. Works for me. Thank Goodness my brother called in the troops. A better way to go.

So, will the kids have bad dreams? I don’t know.
I just know that as I look at my hands which are the same shape as my Dad’s,
I am really craving a red Tootsie Pop.

Painting by Mick McGinty


Happy Secretary Administrative Assistant Day!


To those who work through the challenges of others.

Keep the World running
and look sexy to boot!

Many fantasies have been developed over the job title.

The Secretary: Kate Slyvester 2002 Fashion


Diner Coffee


Having a little Sunday Breakfast before the noon NY Rangers Ice Hockey game,
dievca witnessed Philadelphia Flyers fans and Rangers fans being cordial.
Must have needed some coffee before getting fired up for the game.


Flyers won, 5-3


Maybe only people with Elderly Parents understand

It was a day before 10 am.
Dad hadn’t a movement in 8 days….with softners, prunes and trying to get him to drink as much water as possible, etc..

It took an Army.
Daughter, Caregiver, Nurse, Home Aid – suppository, prune juice & butter, manipulations, tummy rubbing, squat positioning being held up.

All while two people maneuvered Mom into the bathtub. 
Then the arguing about taking a shower began – 5 weeks of Sponge Baths in a row doesn’t cut it.

It was a hell of a Birthday for Dad – but he’s loose and clean!

We ALL needed a drink by Noon.

Mom and Dad just took a nap~


Dancing in Air: for Family

Big February Birthdays!
Dad, he’s still hanging on.
Brother? It’s a big one.
(But in all honesty…dievca is dreading the trip.)


Star sign = Sexual Play

Aquarius (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

You’re into rubber play. You love rubber in the bedroom so much that it feels like a second skin.

Best of all, it can help you have another identity when getting down to business. If you haven’t tried it before, best to start small and work your way up.

 

Pisces (Feb 18 – Mar 20)

With the imagination you’ve got, you’re into role play. Because of this, you can delve into any fantasy.

It makes sure that things are never boring in the bedroom, and you can tap into anyone’s desire.

 

 

Aries (Mar 20 – Apr 20)

Authority turns you on. That’s why you’re so into rough play. Think Fifty Shades of Grey in reality.

Things are intense, animalistic and you’ll have a deeper connection than your average sex session. Kinky.

 

Taurus (Apr 20 – May 21)

You’re all about the physical, and that’s why you’re into body play. You don’t need toys or gadgets to stimulate you, it’s all about the touch, taste, feel and smell.

You also know how to build up to things, and you know exactly where the most sensitive parts are.

 

Gemini (May 21 – Jun 21)

While Pisces have the imagination, Gemini is into one specific thing. Uniform play. With you, it’s about authority without the pain.

Or you also like it playful and exciting. So much choice.

 

 

Cancer (Jun 21 – Jul 23)

This cheeky star sign is into one simple thing – mouth play. While it might not necessarily be a fetish, it’s definitely something they love.

It’s not just about one simple thing either, they’re into anything to do with the mouth and they have plenty of fun doing it.

 

Leo (Jul 23 – Aug 23)

A fiery star sign that likes to dominate, Leo’s are into power play. They like to be submissive to their partner, and also like to take control.

It’s all about having that power over someone else, very appropriate for the lion.

 

Virgo (Aug 23 – Sep 23)

They’re all about the excitement, so it’s no surprise that they love toy play. Why not surprise them with your skills with tools?

Virgo’s most likely have a collection of things to play with, so you can be sure they’re never out of new ideas for sex.

 

Libra (Sep 23 – Oct 23)

It’s all about the response with this star sign, so no prizes for guessing they enjoy sensation play.

For this silky sign, it’s all about the different materials used. Feathers, silk, and fur will all go down a treat.

 

Scorpio (Oct 23 – Nov 22)

Intensity is the name of the game with a Scorpio, and they’re very into temperature play.

In a world of extremes, Scorpio’s like it either really hot or really cold – there’s no middle ground with these guys. Just don’t play with fire!

 

 

Sagittarius (Nov 22 – Dec 22)

Daring situations are the thing, and with that in mind, it’s all about outdoor play. With the chance of being caught, this only brings more excitement.

Senses are heightened and things are more immediate. So fun.

 

 

Capricorn (Dec 23 – Jan 20)

Are you a climber, or are you just a Capricorn? Because they’re really into rope play.

Whether that means being tied up or being suspended from a height – or something even kinkier – it’s all about the skill with this one.

 

So, are the suggestions correct for your or your partner’s sign?

A “Thank You” Cosmo and to Laura Lyne of the Mirror.


Let’s talk about Sex, Baby – actually Arousal~

What is happening between your legs as well as between your ears during arousal?

Desire usually refers to emotionally wanting to have sex, while arousal refers to the physiological changes in your body that happen when you are sexually excited.

During arousal, your brain is welling up with powerful hormones: dopamine and oxytocin. Dopamine, which comes first, triggers feelings of motivation. I really want to get this person naked. Oxytocin, the ‘Cuddle Hormone’, kicks in later and makes you feel bonded with your partner.

As a pair, the two neurotransmitters explain why we feel instantly — if momentarily — bonded to our partner when we start to feel turned on. During arousal, certain geography of the brain lights up like fireworks. Half a dozen parts of the brain become activated, including the amygdala (associated with emotions), the hippocampus (associated with memory management), and the anterior insula (helps process physical feelings).

Men and women’s brains don’t always respond the same way to arousing stimuli. In a study published in 2015, men and women watched a series of erotic videos while researchers examined their brains using an fMRI. Both men and women reported feelings of arousal while watching the videos, but researchers noticed that men showed more brain activity in the amygdala while women showed hardly any.

More so than men, women tend to be aroused by stimuli that they can “imagine themselves into” — like an erotic story, or an imagined fantasy. Another study that tracked eye movement as people watched pornography, found that both men and women’s eyes were locked on the woman in the film — regardless of their sexual orientation. The theory? Women need to imagine their way “into” the scene, while men are satisfied by focusing on the visual imagery alone.

Researchers also noticed that women’s stimulation of the vagina, clitoris, and nipples all correspond to the same precise area of the sensory cortex — meaning that all of those areas register as erogenous. Yes, confirming the obvious, but arousal has been difficult to measure as there is often a disconnect between what is happening in your genitals, your brain, and your consciousness.

John Bancroft, Ph.D., senior researcher and former director of the Kinsey Institute, has studied how arousal develops, and his research pinpoints something important:

We need to be aware of our own arousal before we can really feel aroused.

Photo: Shutterstock B-D-S Piotr Marcinski

“In the male, sexual arousal is typically associated with some degree of penile erection. The man will become aware of this, and focus his attention on the idea of his penis being stimulated,” explains Dr. Bancroft. But, in women, the equivalent — the stiffening of the clitoris — isn’t nearly as noticeable, and “typically the woman is less aware of her genital response unless her genitals are touched.”

Cognitive components of arousal are especially important for women. Just like sensual touching can jumpstart arousal, so too can sensual thought. Reading erotica, watching pornography, fantasizing about an erotic scenario, or even just thinking about sex all trigger a response in the brain — which, in turn, contributes to feelings of arousal. The biggest sex organ in the body is the brain, talking with a lover in a loving, sexy way can cause a man to become erect, or a woman to become wet.

The mechanics of sexual arousal are well-known, but are there things that can take our arousal to the next level? There are all kinds of supposed ‘sexual aids’ in the form of herbs, supplements, and exercise methods that claim to improve libido. e.g. eating oysters, taking ginseng, using THC lube. No conclusive evidence has been found that these items do not work, but there is no good evidence that they do work either.

What is recommended and proven is communication. The sharing of one’s desires is a great arousal jump-starter. Working to shed inhibitions and opening yourself emotionally can help you get into the right headspace to feel turned on. Don’t think of ‘foreplay’  as something completed to get to a conclusive event (orgasm). Think ‘sex play’ — a menu of different activities to create pleasure between partners, sometimes with a formal conclusion, sometimes without.


And sometimes you just want a cookie~

Tea Party circa 1910

When discussing Hospice and a DNR-order becomes too much,
just do what dievca’s Mom did to stop the conversation –
ask for an Apricot Cookie.

dievca’s brother isn’t sure how much Mom absorbed,
but the cookie went down well with tea.

A tactic dievca plans on using in the future when facing something unpleasant.

do-not-resuscitate order, or DNR order, is a medical order written by a doctor. It instructs health care providers not to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if a patient’s breathing stops or if the patient’s heart stops beating.


a side note – sweet treats

So, dievca’s cousin said she didn’t think the Church had orechovnik (nut roll) available, but another cousin said he knew a bakery in Ohio which does mail-order and is quite good.

Note: dievca is the youngest of a SLEW of older cousins with an 8-year gap between her and the nearest in age – you know those Catholics, no birth control. 🙄

click photo for website link

Hungarian Apricot Kolaches

dievca ordered a bunch of orechovnik and koláče for her parents and her one brother who is celebrating his birthday. Everything arrived on time and in excellent condition. The koláče went over very well with dievca’s brother and her Mother. Dad prefers his orchnovnik. They froze two extra nut rolls for when dievca arrives in February.

If you read the bakery’s history, it tells about when they decided to focus on one location and online presence – they trimmed their offerings to the most popular items. That ended up being mostly eastern European baked goods.

Apparently a good choice.


étoile du matin

The planet Venus above Otter Lake from Goddard Bay in the morning.

One of the nicknames of the planet Venus is “the Morning Star”. It’s also known as the Evening Star. Of course, Venus isn’t a star at all, so why does Venus have these nicknames?

The orbit of Venus is inside the orbit of Earth. Unlike the outer planets, Venus is always relatively close to the Sun in the sky. When Venus is on one side of the Sun, it’s trailing the Sun in the sky and brightens into view shortly after the Sun sets, when the sky is dark enough for it to be visible. When Venus is at its brightest, it becomes visible just minutes after the Sun goes down. This is when Venus is seen as the Evening Star.

When Venus is on the other side of the Sun, it leads the Sun as it travels across the sky. Venus will rise in the morning a few hours before the Sun. Then as the Sun rises, the sky brightens and Venus fades away in the daytime sky. This is Venus the Morning Star.

Lucifer ‘light-bringer’, corresponding to the Greek name, Ἑωσφόρος. ‘dawn-bringer’ is a Latin name for the planet Venus in its morning appearances and is often used for mythological and religious figures associated with the planet. Due to the unique movements and discontinuous appearances of Venus in the sky, the mythology surrounding these figures often involved a fall from the heavens to earth or the underworld.

Interpretations of a similar term in the Hebrew Bible, translated in the King James Version as “Lucifer”, led to a Christian tradition of applying the name Lucifer, and its associated stories of a fall from heaven, to Satan.

Lucifer the ‘light-bringer’.

So are you feeling the light?  Channeling Venus or Lucifer?

What’s in a name?

Thank you to UniverseToday and Wikipedia

Understanding Hospice

dievca’s Dad will receive Hospice Care – a UTI, a round with Pneumonia and having trouble getting all the nutrients put him into the suggested category. But the true determinate is Dad’s not trying. dievca gets it – he’s tired.

The only problem is that dievca had a two-week timeframe in her mind for death. Her past experiences with “Hospice” were a quick end. Her good friend didn’t make it home the day she was to leave the hospital for Hospice and her Aunt died the 1st night back at home.

she was incorrect.

Hospice Care is a shifting of focus:

Healing and getting someone up and running.
vs.
Helping someone be comfortable if they cannot handle (or don’t want to handle) the push to recover from all ailments.

To qualify for Hospice assistance, the person needs to be seen as passing within 6 months. There are target criteria for various health issues.

That doesn’t mean that they cannot have care beyond 6 months and that doesn’t mean that if they feel better they cannot move into a recovery mode. It just means that they take care of issues with Nurses at home, rather than staying in a hospital or rehab program. No one insisting on Speech therapy, an MRI or a prescription of statins, etc.

dievca’s Dad is tired of hospitals and has gone through 6 recoveries. He’s not feeling the juice of Life, right now. Again, got it.

Dad has been living with a non-reparable hole in his heart for years. Amazing.

Look, she knows he may go tomorrow, but she’s seen him bounce back.
To be honest, she’s getting a bit tired, too. Dad and Mom’s health is a rollercoaster ride.

What Is Palliative Care?

This program aims to ease pain and help with other problems if your illness is serious but not considered to be life-threatening for now.

It helps people live with the symptoms of long-running things such as cancer, kidney disease or AIDS, or with the side effects of the treatments.

Palliative medicine doesn’t replace other treatments. It’s an addition that helps you and your family deal with things such as nausea, nerve pain, or shortness of breath.

What Is Hospice Care?

Sometimes called, “Comfort Care”. This is for people who have learned from doctors that they are not expected to recover from their condition. It’s about easing pain and helping families prepare for the end of life. Palliative care is part of that, but it’s just one part.

People in hospice care generally are expected to have less than 6 months to live. They’re often at home, where family members and professional caregivers look after them. But you could also choose a specialized center for hospice care. It’s also offered at many nursing homes and hospitals.

Every Medicare-certified hospice provider must provide these four levels of care:
  • Level 1: Routine Home Care.
      • Nursing services
      • Physician participation
      • Social services
      • Home health aide services
      • Counseling services (pastoral, spiritual, bereavement, dietary, and others)
      • Medications
      • Medical equipment
      • Medical supplies
      • Lab and diagnostic studies related to a terminal diagnosis
      • Therapy services
  • Level 2: Continuous Home Care.
      • Some examples of symptoms requiring continuous care would be:
        • Unrelieved pain
        • Severe nausea and vomiting
        • Severe shortness of breath
        • Anxiety or panic attacks
        • A breakdown in the primary caregiver support system
  • Level 3: General Inpatient Care.
      • A free-standing facility owned and operated by a hospice company
      • An inpatient hospice unit within a hospital
      • A hospice unit in a skilled nursing facility (nursing home)
  • Level 4: Respite Care.
      • Respite care services are more for the family than for the patient. If the patient does not meet the criteria to qualify them for continuous care or inpatient care, but the family is having a difficult time
      • If a patient’s family is the primary source of care and cannot meet their loved one’s needs due to caregiver stress or other extenuating circumstances, a patient may temporarily be admitted to an inpatient environment to give the family a needed break or respite.
      • There is a five-day limit on respite care. Once that period expires, the patient is discharged and returns home.

dievca’s Parents have assistance at home. That hasn’t changed.  dievca’s Dad will have a Nurse visit three times a week in addition to the caregiver’s help and will be keeping the urinary catheter from the UTI unless he starts to stand up effectively or the Nurse says it needs to be taken out. That is a battle that dievca is glad she is not involved with~

OK, she needs to make a “Mix Tape” for her Parents.  They haven’t had enough music in their life lately. Thanks for letting her hash it out.

XO

A "Thank you" to WebMD and VeryWellHeath.

Finding peace over an orechovník (nut roll) – 02/09/2018

dievca found this post in her drafts from 2 year ago. Its from a tough time, but the source of Joy still makes her smille.

dievca’s last Aunt (both sides) passed away in Spring 2017. She was batshit crazy. Her Dad’s sister was bound and determined to live longer than dievca’s Dad – making the act of breathing a competition.

dievca’s Dad is in the hospital with bleeding on the brain – it will go either way. We have no control and dievca has been going home as much as possible, knowing each visit might be the last. she’ll be upset down the line, but right now she is at peace with herself and planning to get a flight after she hears from her brother.

After packing, dievca was digging in the freezer and she found an orechovník that her Aunt sent to her right before her death. It was made in one of the local Pittsburgh area Catholic church kitchens. dievca added the frozen orechovník to her bag. It would survive the flight.

Dad didn’t have a stroke, he was having seizures and the hospital was able to get them under control.

At her parent’s house, dievca pulled out the orechovník and her Mom asked where it came from.  When dievca told her it was from the challenging Aunt who passed, her Mom laughed and sat with dievca to have tea and a buttered piece.  The frozen orechovník traveled well.

Orechovník is a piece of childhood memories for dievca: staying with a favorite Aunt or visiting any family member. A piece would be eaten with ham, butter, or nothing.  Rolls would be packed into the car for the return trip to the Midwest. Kept frozen in a cooler to appear at Christmas and Easter. Rolls would be brought when cousins, Uncles, and Aunts visited the Midwestern outpost of the family.

In the hospital, dievca told her Dad about the orechovník. The news elicited a reaction. An eye-roll for his deceased pain-in-the-a** sister, as Dad had just broken her record for years of being alive.

For all her drama and headaches – dievca’s Aunt left a piece of Joy to share and that turned out to be a moment of peace and humor after chaos.

2020 – dievca’s Dad is still kicking after this episode. He is still on the seizure meds, but has weaned himself off of the feeding tube. Finding this unpublished post and thinking about that damn orechovník made dievca smile.  she just might have to beg her cousins to send her one~ and send her parents one, too.

 

What is an orechovník (nut roll)?

A nut roll is a pastry consisting of sweet yeast dough (usually using milk) that is rolled out very thin, spread with a nut paste made from groundnuts and a sweetener like honey, then rolled up into a log shape. This ‘log’ is either left long and straight or is often bent into a horseshoe shape, egg washed, baked, and then sliced crosswise. Nut rolls resemble a jelly roll (Swiss roll) but usually with more layers of dough and filling, and resemble strudels but with fewer and less delicate dough layers. Fillings commonly have as their main ingredient ground walnuts or poppy seeds.

Nut rolls can be found in the United States and in Central European cuisines. In the United States, “nut roll” is a more or less generic name for pastries of this type, no matter where they originate. Nut rolls are known also by many specific regional names, including gubana, guban’ca, or potica in Slovene; orechovník in Slovak; makowiec in Polish; povitica, gibanica, orahnjača/orehnjača in Croatian and Serbian (walnut variant, makovnjača for variant with poppy seed, in Croatia can also be made with carob); kalács and bejgli in Hungarian; and pastiç (pastiche) or nokul in Turkish.

Regional variations on nut rolls are part of weddings, for Easter and Christmas, as well as other celebrations and holidays.


“No man is a failure who has friends.”

dievca is worried about this happening at Christmas dinner:

But she has fantastic friends, so dinner should be more elegant:
It doesn’t matter as long as everyone feels welcome and enjoys themselves.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!
from dievca’s home to yours

XO🎄

Quote from 'It's a Wonderful Life'

A little love from NYC

Photo: dievca NYC 12/2018

Sometimes we are a small speck in the wide World.
But Joy can still shine through.
Love to you in this challenging time of the Year.


Velvet Lingerie – A Holiday Offering

Madalynne Intimates Noelle custom velvet lingerie

Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed, with a short dense pile, giving it a distinctive soft feel. By extension, the word velvety means “smooth like velvet.” Velvet can be made from either synthetic or natural fibers.

Velour or velours is a plush, knitted fabric or textile similar to velvet or velveteen. It is usually made from cotton, but can also be made from synthetic materials such as polyester. Velour is used in a wide variety of applications, including clothing and upholstery.

Click on the photos for brands of the items:


Traveling with a Foodie

Traveling with a “foodie” can be a complete challenge.

Every meal analyzed, every type of food must be explored, on a mission to find certain foods or tools to make the local foods. Insistence upon their way for all food choices – even snacks. FOMO – food-wise.
It gets old, but one tends to go with the flow if said one has no real food-driven desires – only insisting that the complaints of an unchosen meal be limited before the said person goes meltdown on the foodie’s a**.

dievca is not the foodie.

she did not insist that they take a 45+ minute tram to Jerónimos Monastery for an egg custard tart. Packed in like a sardine with people yelling a conversation over her head.
No – that was the foodie who insisted that Pastéis de Belém was reputed to have the best tarts in Lisbon – fresh from the oven… which entailed another 1-hour wait in chaos for the treat to arrive.

The egg custard tarts are not one of dievca’s favorites, but the foodie was in HEAVEN!
So much, in fact, a quest was commenced to scour the city for places to buy the tart tins for the egg custards to be made at home.

An Australian Food blog saved the day, giving three locations to buy the tart tins in Lisbon — one shop was relatively nearby. Then the damn foodie was miffed that the price went up to a Euro for each tin when the 4-year-old blog post said 83 cents per tin….eyeroll.
dievca did send the blogger a message, thanking her for the help.

Anyways, back in Belém, after eating the tarts it was found that the monastery was packed with Asian tourists and the line to wait was insane. The crew just wandered the surrounding park, river walk, and hopped a packed bus back to Lisbon. It was faster than the tram and offered the bonus of watching a European street busker hit on an All-American slice of sunshine~

So, that long intro explains why dievca’s eye was caught with this
NYT Article: The Chocolate Cake that Saved My Vacation

dievca wasn’t too interested in the egg custard tarts – but she could have really gone into a “foodie mode” for Chocolate Cake. Plus, she had great empathy for the writer’s experiences on the #28 Tram after her own tram ride.
BTW, dievca took that #28 tram to transverse Lisbon, but she started before 8 am on a Sunday — no one was on it.

Here’s what dievca wants to make:

Lisbon Chocolate Cake

  • YIELD: One 9-inch cake (about 10 servings)
  • TIME: About 1 hour, plus cooling

Lisbon Chocolate Cake

Sarah Anne Ward for The New York Times. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Amy Elise Wilson.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE:

  • ½ cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into chunks, plus more for greasing the pan
  •  cup/30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 5 ounces/140 grams dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, chilled

FOR THE GANACHE:

  • 1 ¾ cups/420 milliliters heavy cream
  • 6 ounces/170 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

FOR THE TOPPING:

    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

PREPARATION

  1. Make the cake: Center a rack in the oven, and heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch cake pan, line with parchment paper and butter the paper.
  2. Sift together the cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend.
  3. Put the 1/2 cup butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Scatter dark chocolate on top, and heat, stirring often, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Remove the bowl from the pan, and stir in the sugar. One by one, energetically stir in the eggs, beating for 1 minute after the last egg is added. The mixture will look like pudding. Stir in the dry ingredients. Scrape the mixture into the cake pan, and give the pan a couple of good raps against the counter to settle the batter.
  4. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean (or with only a tiny streak of chocolate). Transfer to a rack, cool for 5 minutes, then unmold the cake. Peel off the paper, invert the cake and cool to room temperature. Wash and dry the cake pan.
  5. Make the ganache: Pour 1 1/4 cups cream into a small saucepan; refrigerate the rest. Scald the cream over medium heat, turn off the heat and stir in the semisweet or bittersweet chocolate until fully incorporated. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Refrigerate the ganache for 10 minutes, whisk it, then refrigerate again for 10 minutes. Repeat chilling and whisking steps until the ganache is thick enough to make tracks when you stir, 50 to 60 minutes.
  6. Cut two 3-by-16-inch pieces of parchment or foil, and crisscross them in the cake pan. Carefully return the cake to the pan.
  7. Whip the remaining 1/2 cup cream until it holds medium peaks.
  8. Using a whisk, gently beat the ganache until it’s soft and spreadable. With a spatula, fold in the whipped cream. Spread over the cake, and refrigerate for 2 hours (or cover and keep for up to 2 days). The cake is best served cool or at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge about 20 minutes before serving.
  9. To finish, put the cocoa powder in a fine-mesh strainer, and shake it over the top of the cake. Run a table knife along the sides of the pan. Using the parchment or foil handles, carefully lift the cake out of the pan and onto a serving plate. Discard the strips. Cut the cake using a long knife that has been run under hot water and wiped dry between each cut.

Can we head back to Lisbon for coffee?


Remind dievca that she loves her parents dearly, ok?

she had to lay down the law with her Dad that she’s not in town just to jump and do his bidding. she’s going to sit down and have dinner like a normal human being. If there is a wet ring on the table from condensation on a glass? Well, that will just have to wait until she’s finished eating and chatting with her Mother.

dievca offered her Dad two options:

  1. Wait patiently until everyone is finished eating and have faith it will be cleaned up.
  2. Get up with the walker, go and get a towel and wipe the ring.

I understand with age you feel like you lose control and your memory is short…

But, a water ring on a melamine table is not an emergency, nor is buying extra pads for Mom, nor is folding the towels from a load that just finished in the dryer, nor is adjusting the peepee pad so it hangs off the side of the bed, nor is putting your applesauce container in the fridge when we haven’t finished eating, nor is putting Mom to bed just because you want to go to bed.

I only have two hands for removing dishes from the dining table. Some of the dishes will have to stay on the table until I can walk back and get them. 

If I haven’t left the house in a car, then I haven’t picked up Mom’s pee pads.

Yes, I got the mail and the newspapers. You’ve asked me four times already. Why don’t you sit on the sofa and read them, so you don’t have to ask me again?

I am really trying to remember that I am going to be the same way in about 40 years.
Let us hope I’ll be the easy-going elderly person holding a glass of wine. ~doubt it~