So Hot, You’re Cool – a recipe

 

It’s called the TRPV1 receptor. So when you eat or drink something hot, these receptors get that heat signal, and that tells the nerve to let the brain know what’s going on. When the brain gets the message “It’s hot in here,” it turns on the mechanism we have to cool ourselves off: sweating.

dievca has exchanged recipes with friends and family during the COVID-19 quarantine and this is a recipe she tried and enjoyed: Cajun Shrimp Pasta
Warning – dievca didn’t have any Cajun Spice mix so she made the offering from the same blog (recipe below)
It’s got a serious kick.

And her cooling system works efficiently. Hello, sweaty upper lip!
Maybe this is something for Temperature Play?!?!?

 

Photo: dievca Cajun Shrimp Pasta

CAJUN SHRIMP PASTA

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 429 kcal
Author: Krissy Allori – recipe found on the Self Proclaimed Foodie Blog

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 pound raw shrimp deveined, cleaned, tail removed
  • 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning *see note below
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Add salt to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente doneness. Before draining, scoop out at least 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain pasta and set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, cook the shrimp and sauce. Combine shrimp with cajun seasoning and olive oil in a bowl. Toss to combine.
  • Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and melt. Add shrimp in a single layer and cook until golden brown on each side, turning only once. You may have to cook shrimp in two batches to allow enough room. Once done cooking, transfer cooked shrimp to a clean plate and reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Add heavy cream to pan and scrape bottoms to release any food that is stuck to the bottom. Allow the cream to bubble. Reduce heat to low and stir in parmesan cheese to melt. Add cooked pasta and shrimp and stir to coat. If the sauce needs to be thinned, add pasta water, one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.

Photo: dievca Cajun Spices 06/2020

Cajun Spices (if needed)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Combine all spices in a small bowl. Use as a dry rub on poultry, beef, shrimp, etc. You can also add to sauces and soups. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

Makes 1/4 cup
Equal portions of onion powder and kosher salt can be used in place of onion salt


ergoErgo: Something of Use


Remember that dievca told you that her back will always be a work-in-progress?
Working from home was taking its toll.

Until the ergoErgo seat arrived at her doorstep. In ORANGE.
Active sitting has strengthened her core and worked on her back flexibility.

dievca’s back is moving pretty freely these days.

There are three sizes: Regular, Extra and Kids

How it works:

RIT design school article about the development of the ergoErgo chair.

Click here to purchase.


Reaping the benefits of a Quarantine

Have you gained anything positive from the Quarantine?

We know the bad news:
People have died. People have been very ill, lost jobs, been furloughed.
Businesses closed, economies collapsing.

Loneliness. Depression.

Has anything positive happened?
CO2 emissions dropped.
Wildlife came back to heavily used and populated spaces. One can hear the birds chirping at 4:30 am in NYC.
Some businesses which were on the verge of collapse received a reprieve with Federal Aid or were able to file for bankruptcy in a less messy manner.
In NYC, Animal Shelters had most of their animals adopted.
Some Family and Friends grew closer than they ever expected.

dievca’s body has been healing.
Yes, there are age issues and lurking injuries that won’t disappear, but their impact has lessened – immensely.
dievca has been able to assess, have the time to fix and strengthen her body.
The time in quarantine has been a godsend to dievca and she feels a bit guilty about it. Catholic guilt.

Well – with dievca’s healing – she’s dusted off her road bike and has started cycling Central Park with Master. 

Joyce Barry Australian Cyclist

dievca’s bike was in storage, but the other ‘bits and bobs’ had to be bought
(click photos for brands):

If you want to know why dievca bought certain items – just ask.


1st foray as a human in the heat

FORAY

noun

2: an initial and often tentative attempt to do something in a new or different field or area of activity,
A brief excursion or attempt especially outside one’s accustomed sphere.

dievca decided to look like a human rather than a slouch when making a foray to the Eastside. she figured out a way to beat the heat, too:

Loup Charmant Dayo Cotton Dress

Jack Gomme Light Lami Cerise

Boss Orange Olive leather flip flops

Elizabeth and James Horatio Sun Glasses

Ippolita Cherish 18-karat gold ring

Melissa Joy Manning Earrings

Rebecca Minkoff Chevron Stacking Rings

Woldford Nude Tulle Bra

Wolford Nude Tulle Panties

Zazzle red orange turquoise blue Indian floral paisley cloth face mask


You can’t cancel PRIDE – it’s in you.

The NYC Gay Pride March scheduled for June 28, 2020, was canceled due to COVID-19.  The march was inaugurated on June 28, 1970 – it would have been the 50th Year.  There will be virtual celebrations and WABC in New York will be broadcasting NYC Pride programming the month of June.

“We are a community that thrives when we are united,” added Correa. “We may not fill the streets of New York City this year, but LGBTQIA+ people carry pride with them all year long.
I have no doubt that we will be together again soon.”
~ David A. Correa, Interim Executive Director Heritage of Pride

dievca has found her dress for this year’s celebration:

Banana Republic Gay Pride Dress $129.99 (click photo to buy)


…and the results of the COVID-19 test are….

A quick recap:
dievca tried to get a COVID-19 antibody test the morning after the riots started in NYC. she walked to three midtown urgent care centers and they were all closed. Apparently, the decision to close was made that morning for workers’ safety – it wasn’t known to dievca at 8 am. Then she drove 2000 miles, roundtrip to her Mother.

dievca was finally was able to get an antibody test last week and play detective when she scheduled an appointment at the NY.gov temporary tent medical center in her neighborhood. On her walk to have blood drawn she ran into some new park artwork:


The COVID-19 antibody test came back negative. That means that her co-worker who ended up with a positive test did not get sick at work, they picked up the virus in Queens.

PS. she’s not planning on kissing the Frog Prince with COVID-19 lurking about~

Photos: dievca NYC Hudson Yards 06/2020

A chance for coffee in the City…


NYC starts Phase Two.


How are you holding up? What’s your stress? Do you know? Can masturbation help?

Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline.

Emotional symptoms of stress include:

  • Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
  • Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
  • Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
  • Avoiding others

Physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Low energy
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
  • Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
  • Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
  • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth

Cognitive symptoms of stress include:

  • Constant worrying
  • Racing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness and disorganization
  • Inability to focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side

Behavioral symptoms of stress include:

  • Changes in appetite — either not eating or eating too much
  • Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
  • Exhibiting more nervous behaviors, such as nail-biting, fidgeting, and pacing

Blood tests can be used to estimate how much stress one is experiencing. A cortisol blood test is one of the most commonly used blood tests. Cortisol is a hormone that is released by the adrenal glands when one is under stress. Higher levels of cortisol would indicate higher levels of stress.

Explore stress management strategies, such as:

  • Getting regular physical activity
  • Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or massage
  • Keeping a sense of humor
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music
  • Self-Care

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF MASTURBATION?
Little scientific research has been conducted to examine the benefits of masturbation. However, many experts have weighed in to say it can help combat anxiety, depression, and stress. Psychologist Dr. Becky Spelman, based in London, said endorphins secreted by the body during climax boost mental health.

Dr. Spelman, a relationship expert for We-Vibe, said masturbation can have physical benefits, too. In older women, it can maintain vaginal health and prevent vaginal atrophy – which often strikes at that stage in life. Endorphins, which give the same natural high as exercise can, can reduce pain.

Writing for The Conversation, two researchers at the University of Sydney said self-pleasuring can ward off a host of illnesses. These include cystitis and diabetes, while insomnia can be reduced through hormonal and tension release, the pair said.

Aim to find active ways to manage your stress. Inactive ways to manage stress — such as watching television, surfing the internet, or playing video games — may seem relaxing, but they may increase your stress over the long term.

Be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy, balanced diet. Avoid tobacco use, excess caffeine and alcohol, and the use of illegal substances.


(NOT) leaving on a jet plane

dievca was able to get her tickets to Europe refunded.
It was a relief to get the money back rather than receiving vouchers.
Now there is $5000 sitting on an Amex card.
she will just have to pay her rent with the Amex card…
or maybe she should splurge and buy this espresso maker to remind her of traveling.

Aviatore-Veloce coffee maker – price upon request

Designer and engineer Paolo Mastrogiuseppe developed the Aviatore Veloce Espresso machine. It is intentionally designed to resemble a military jet engine and can prepare a refreshing dose of espresso and tea with the help of high-pressure brewing. The hand-made, limited edition design isn’t just a visual delight but gets as authentic as one could be. It is built from a combining aviation-grade aluminum alloy, stainless steel, and aluminum bronze.


Desperate for a Dress

And the Sun…

It’s hard to wear a dress when biking up to Master’s place,
but dievca is getting sick of practical athletic shorts and pants.

she did a little summer splurging on the MatchesFashion.com sales pages:

Rhode Jasmine Floral shirred cotton mini dress

Merlette Tuileries white cotton drawstring Dress

Etro Fantasy Print red side-tie Bikini

Should work out with the RE/done upcycled Levi’s denim mask:


On the Road, Again

dievca is behind the wheel and singing Willy Nelson while heading West.
she is wondering with people avoiding flying, will road trips come into fashion?
Is there a call for the vintage places of interest maps?

(click on the map to purchase a reprint)

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
Author: General Drafting Company
Date: 1962
Short Title: Trip Planning Map Of The United States
Publisher: General Drafting Co.
Publisher Location: Convent Station, N.J.

The widest State on dievca’s trip is:


It might be worth it to stop and see something!


Playing Detective

(click photo for purchase $69.99)

So….everyone at work had tremendous sicks around the February timeframe, dievca included.
Weird sick
For dievca it was brutal headaches and exhaustion, others it was hacking coughs and exhaustion.

One co-worker recently got tested for the COVID-19 antibodies and they tested positive.
They and their family had gotten sick during the quarantine – bad. Their upstairs neighbor passed away. (duplex)

dievca is getting tested today for the antibodies out of curiosity.
Positive (+) result = she can confirm that the virus came from work. she hasn’t been sick in quarantine.
Negative (-) result = her coworker got the virus somewhere in Queens.

Its interesting being able to follow the trail.


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


Find the Sun and avoiding ‘scolds’

 

Several groups of researchers from different countries have found that the sickest patients often have the lowest levels of vitamin D and that countries with higher death rates had larger numbers of people with vitamin D deficiency than countries with lower death rates.

Note: The early research is not yet peer-reviewed, and other experts say the scientific proof is lacking that vitamin D could prevent COVID-19 or make the infection milder.

dievca is getting her Vitamin D early and away from as many humans as possible for the following reason:

scold

/skōld
verb
remonstrate with or rebuke (someone) angrily.

noun ARCHAIC•US
a person, in particular a woman, who nags or grumbles constantly.

Two women in full PPE suits and masks, power-walking in the middle of the road at Central Park scold the biker (15 feet away) for not wearing a mask.

Warning – the scolds are out, do not respond, and move away quickly. It could turn dangerous in more ways than one.

Photos: dievca, Hudson River NYC 05/2020

Good Advice from the Fortune Cookie

Photo: dievca fortune from cookie 05/2020

dievca had to run out to a smaller town in New Jersey for work.
BTW, groceries are cheaper.
And two Chinese Food Restaurants were open for delivery/pick-up.
(there are none open by dievca in NYC)

The monosodium glutamate (MSG) might kill you but
the taste of change and fortune is coming in a timely manner.

How are you holding up?

 

Positive Attitude Improves Your Mental Health

Approximately one in five Americans suffers from a mental health issue like anxiety or depression at any given time. While a positive outlook can’t prevent all mental health conditions, it can reduce your risk of developing depression and anxiety.


The way to look professional in a Mask.

President of Slovakia, Zuzana Caputova – rocking her new color-coordinated accessory, the COVID-19 mask.

dievca didn’t follow the matching vision from Slovakia….
she just bought a black mask for Master and the checkered for herself:

Maybe she’ll collect her sewing machine at her Mother’s and start color coordinating.

VIDA masks – click photo to purchase
10% of profits from the masks will be donated to SF-Marin Food Bank and Food Bank NYC.

This Protective Mask is made of 2 layers of 100% cotton, easily adapts to different sizes with adjustable straps, and features an integrated metal nose-piece to ensure a snug fit. Each mask comes with a multi-layer PM2.5 Filter featuring 2 layers of Meltblown Filter and 1 layer of Carbon Activated Fabric. Filters should be replaced every 7 days.
You can buy a 5 pack of the filters, designed to effectively block airborne contaminants.
Fits adults and kids ages 5 and up.

dievca also bought some simple spare masks from Nili Lotan:

Nili Lotan Face Masks – click photo to purchase
100% of proceeds go to NYU Langone.
All purchases of NL Face Masks help keep their employees working while contributing to the well-being of some of New York’s most vital essential workers.


Dreaming of a different Mask


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


It’s been a long time…


and dievca is out of practice.

 


Found car – will drive (Walt Whitman)


POEM of the ROAD – Walt Whitman (excerpt)

To take to your use out of the compact cities as
you pass through!
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward
wherever you go!
To gather the minds of men out of their brains as
you encounter them! to gather the love out
of their hearts!
To take your own lovers on the road with
you, for all that you leave them behind
you!
To know the universe itself as a road—as many
roads—as roads for traveling souls!

The soul travels,
The body does not travel as much as the soul,
The body has just as great a work as the soul,
and parts away at last for the journeys of the
soul.

All parts away for the progress of souls,
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments —
all that was or is apparent upon this globe or
any globe, falls into niches and corners before
the processions of souls along the grand roads
of the universe,
Of the progress of the souls of men and women
along the grand roads of the universe, all
other progress is the needed emblem and
sustenance.

Full poem HERE

New Yorker Cartoon

dievca found a rental car and is making her way to her Mom. If there’s no hotel – sleeping in the car will do. Food is packed for along the way. Always an interesting first 30 miles when she hasn’t driven in a while – but it will be dievca and the trucks most of the way. Wish her “good luck”! XO


Finding Sexy, again.


WFH – takes a chunk out of your sexiness factor.

dievca’s digging through her closet for a great dress.
Master might be surprised after her biking attire.

Have you dressed up lately? Just to get the fires going?
Might be time to try it.
XO


Dreaming of Coffee made well by someone else~

Photo: Coffee in all forms Getty Images

The bodega downstairs’ attempts at a cappuccino just don’t cut it…

bodega is a small corner store or market that sells groceries and wine. … If you visit New York City, you’ll see bodegas, little shops where people buy groceries and small items. A bodega is kind of like a convenience store such as 7-11 — it’s small and more convenient than a supermarket.  http://www.vocabulary.com


The Silver Lining

of Staying Home.

You can play YOUR own music at almost any moment.


Your personal productivity increases with limited distractions.

The alarm doesn’t ring at 4 am.

You get a chance to work on unused skills.

You can attend dance or workout classes at any time.


You hear or connect to people you haven’t seen or heard from in years.


You have a chance to just “be”.


April Showers in COVID-19 NYC

Seen on the way:

  • One sad male young adult in cotton shorts and t-shirt soaked
  • One fit female runner in matching bra and leggings with pink Beat headphones
  • One millennial dog owner with a Husky mix the female runner kept admiring
  • Four soaked Navy Corpsmen in shorts and masks running back to the USNS Comfort
  • One dievca always prepared in a huge raincoat.

Vetements Libra Raincoat

Photos: dievca Hudson River 04/2020

Take a breath, savor the day, know you live.

Photo: dievca – Sunset on the Hudson 04/2020

If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.

~Gilbert K. Chesterton


What is helping EVERYONE get through…

Click photo to purchase

dievca’s good friend in Europe has found a similar solution as to how many New Yorkers are getting through ‘social distancing”…
Looks like her friend has found a really good bottle of wine. 😉

XO


Stop and smell the flowers – update.


A pretty sight, right? The pink flowers match the lingerie from yesterday. dievca didn’t get a photo of the flowers before the post. Here’s the order of activities:

  1. A two-CD mix made for dievca’s Mother took a full day to source and collect songs, then find a burner for the CD’s. Her Dad is failing badly, so she asked the Caregivers to play the music from “Carmen Jones” and “Das Boot” via YouTube on the tablet for expedience. The CD’s are for the stereo – both of dievca’s parents are going deaf.
  2. The next day after work, dievca took a 1.5-hour walk around the City – to get out of the apartment. The wind was brutal-you can see the birds fighting the chop on the Hudson River. she found one place to walk up to buy coffee – it was a treat tasting a different flavor than her coffee.
  3. The 3rd day, dievca biked up the Hudson River Park trail in the rain to get to Master. Master’s windows offered an elegant view of two Magnolia trees in bloom.
    And she shared dinner and wine with Master after a little D/s play.

If dievca’s Dad dies – she won’t be able to get to her mother for the funeral. There is a two-week quarantine for New Yorkers heading out of State via air travel. dievca hasn’t been sick, but she would prefer to be careful. Understandably, as dievca’s Mom wouldn’t make it through a bout of COVID-19 under Hospice care.

Photos: dievca 04/2020 NYC - graphic from a good friend.

What do the numbers look like?

Local gyms are offering free online classes, Peloton is offering a free 90-day subscription (including classes that don’t need bike), people are doing classes via youtube, etc. dievca sees her neighbors working out in their apartments (Remember, she lives in a fishbowl). she’s been doing personal workouts and online workouts, too.

So…how many weekend warriors are getting injured?
Where do they go if the injury is more severe and cannot be taken care of at a clinic?
The hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19.

Maybe at the USNS Comfort:

The Comfort’s 1,000 beds and 12 operating rooms will largely be used for non-coronavirus patients, freeing up much-needed space at the city’s overtaxed hospitals. The ship is typically used to support military campaigns and humanitarian crises abroad, along with earthquake and hurricane relief. Most recently, it was deployed to Latin America, helping countries with inadequate health care systems. It was last stationed in New York City after the 9/11 terrorist attacks where it helped treat hundreds of first responders.
~ the Verge

During the conversation dievca had with the Millenials who gave blood there was a discussion about how they were so astounded at the amount of time, effort and clean-up involved with cooking at home.😳 Maybe the USNS Comfort will be dealing with kitchen knife incidents or burn issues for these newly minted cooks.

What are the numbers?

At least no one is really driving the city – so auto accident numbers should be down.


Fade Into You – where do you go?

Where do you go when the World gets a little crazy?
What habits, activities, processes happen?
dievca is still working, but when she has a chunk of open time after wiping down the refrigerator….three things may occur:

    1. The vintage 1990’s Champion Sweats appear, cosy and worn in
    2. Alexa plays Classic Cassette Era Rock, 1970’s Pop, 1980’s New Wave, 1990’s Alternative
    3. dievca’s nose gets stuck in a Sci-Fi / Fantasy novel

Master just laughs at His dievca when she hides from the World – He knows she’ll come back to Reality with Him.


But Master isn’t here and dievca has slipped into her 90’s Alternative Universe with Mazzy Star.  Yes, she has her Champion Reverseweave Sweatshirt on:

What do you do to slip away?

 

Mazzy Star – Fade Into You – 10/2/1994 – Shoreline Amphitheatre (Official)


Fade Into You
Mazzy Star
I wanna hold the hand inside you
I wanna take the breath that’s true
I look to you and I see nothing
I look to you to see the truth
You live your life, you go in shadow
You’ll come upon and you’ll go black
Some kind of night into your darkness
Close your eyes with what’s not there
Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it’s strange you never knew
The strange light comes on slowly
A stranger’s heart is out of home
You put your hands into your head
And your smiles cover your heart

Songwriters: David Roback / Hope Sandoval


Searching for extras and the ways to share


dievca spent the day calling Midwestern small town ACE hardware stores and Farm/Fleet stores, she contacted both her Alma Maters Nursing and Biology programs, work maintenance group and friends. Searching for masks.

Not the ones people are so generously sewing. The heavier duty ones that can be used for a swamped ER in a local hospital. A personal friend who runs the ER has severe asthma – reusing a mask is unsafe.

Everyone dievca called/emailed were very kind in replying and searching their facilities or stores. The Nursing departments and Biology departments already donated. Work needed their masks. The ACE hardware stores were out but took their time to look properly. Farm/Fleet came through with a small amount. Better than nothing and dievca had the time to search. she’s still trying to figure out how to get in touch with the closed NYC nail salons.

dievca was doing this for a specific individual and could have them shipped directly.

But, if you have some spare masks or other supplies and are willing to share, here are suggestions where to share the items safely: https://thecity.nyc/2020/03/how-can-i-donate-supplies-to-new-york-hospitals-in-need.html