Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Raindrops, Rainbows, Rants and Galettes

Wellness, seems to have come back and it is appreciated more than ever!!

Today was a day of true extremes. The weather has been the most bizarre I have seen in years. The sky has been so dramatic all day. We've had wild downpours, followed by brilliant sunshine, all whipped up by very high winds, and interspersed have been the brightest rainbows. It has been captivating me all day. Tonight as I left work, the clouds and sky were those beautiful golden and pink hues seen in the works of famous artists and most reminding me of the seascapes of Fitz Hugh Lane. It is most unusual for me NOT to have my camera but today was one of those rare days and I am so sorry not to be able to share the evening sky.

This has been a day of high feeling.....a company meeting was scheduled, and in light of the world and local economic crises we were all a bit on edge as we waited to see what the company executives would have to say. True to form, they shared a positive message with us, while acknowledging that no one really knows where this current crisis will end. We received a lot of praise for being part of a team which has positioned the company to be in a good place to survive, although there still may be more necessary adjustments. Recently there have been many changes, layoffs and even the closure of one of our small divisions, but today we were all better able to understand how necessary it all was to insure fiscal positioning. They were able to assure us that we are currently fiscally sound. I can say I walked away with newfound respect and appreciation for the wonderful people I work for and the ways in which they are preparing to move forward. We were all encouraged to not react in these times but to act, and also to come forward and offer any suggestions for ways in which the company can run more efficiently, particularly where clients are involved, we must raise the bar as high as possible regarding our attention to the details of assuring each client a positive experience in designing and building their new home. Best of all, we were all reminded that the offices and minds of all management are always open to talk out issues, ideas, etc. Questions were encouraged and interesting discussion followed. As I left the meeting, I turned to look back on the room full of my co-workers and felt very proud to be a part of the team. This all may sound like pep rally, on the contrary, it was presented in a sincerely caring and sometimes humorous way.

Moving along to rants.....I know I have mentioned here before that LM has a mentally disabled daughter, my dear Kristi. She is on Social Security Disability and for the past 8-9 months she has been receiving dunning and threatening notices, including the intent to jail her, from the Social Security Administration, stating that she owes 10's of thousands of dollars to the government because she has supposedly been earning large amounts of money while collecting SSI. Kristi works 4 hours a week 3 times a month bagging groceries for a very small amount !! No matter how many times LM has met with them, mailed in all the proper hearing request forms, etc, they have not stopped dunning Kristi.....but the really bizarre fact is that during this period of time she has been receiving almost daily threats on paper, she has also received several HUGE checks from the SSA....one for over $14,000 and then another, just yesterday, for $7,000. The checks are followed by very nasty letters stating that the checks must be returned ASAP or jail is imminent. It is all computer generated forms which would be hard for even a lawyer to understand. No matter what course we have taken to rectify this, the problem persists. Today, LM just about lost it....he picked up Kristi and the new check and went to our state representatives office. They were no help. No one can offer any help. I am so fearful that the stress of this is going to cause him to have another heart attack. Early this evening we found out that the local SS office has decided to meet with LM and Kristi next Thursday. (There have been many meetings before this which ended in promises of a solution) The mountain of paperwork generated by our government in harrassment of this sweet girl is beyond belief....we could heat a small home for a month! Stay tuned.

Anyway, the fact that I am feeling better means that cooking is on my mind. On Sunday, as I cruised around my favorite food blogs, I found this post by Deb of Smitten Kitchen about making a galette and I knew I had to attempt it myself. Tonight was the night and it is heavenly. I used brussels sprouts instead of cabbage, as they are in peak season right now and so yummy, and I used spinach for the greens. To speed things up, I made the dough last night and placed it in the refrigerator until I was ready to roll it out.
I also splurged on fresh herbs and they really made a difference, although, I think the dried herbs would work, too. Best of all, I was able to mush it up enough to eat with my still sore post-operative mouth. A dramatically delicious end to a very dramatic day. I really would love to just cook and bake all the time.....ahhhhh, what a nice dream.
Smitten Kitchen's Cabbage and Mushroom Galette a la Cape Cod. I have cut a nice slice to take to my friend, Nick, at work tomorrow. He is a true foodie and his opinion WILL matter!


Rachel said...

That looks totally yummy! I'd love to cook (and fix up the house) full time too. Alas real life intrudes. LOL

barbara said...

Ooh, does that galette look yummy! I think I will stop on the way home from work and get some brussels sprouts and roast them in the oven for dinner. Not as good as a galette, but more in keeping with the Weight Watchers regime I need to follow right now.

I am so sorry that Kristi and LM are being harrassed by the Social Security Administration. I have a 44 year old brother with a mental disability who also receives a Social Security Disability check. He would be very frightened by such a situation. I suppose the difficulty in getting resolution is determining how to correct the information in some database in the Social Security computers. I hope the Social Security people figure it out soon.

It's good to hear that you are feeling better after the oral surgery. May you feel stronger and better every day.
Take care,

Cape Cod Kitty said...

Nice to hear from you....what a luxury it would be to be able to cook, especially bake everyday. Tonight I am cruising around looking for something to make with pumpkin. I am incorrigible. Come back again!

Cape Cod Kitty said...

Oh it was yummy. I shared some at work and they loved it, too.
I adore roasted brussels sprouts, too. I also like to roast cauliflower slices. They carmelize beautifully.
Hopefully, there will be progress with the SS issues next week. It is scary and if I hadn't seen the evidence of all this I might not have believed it could happen. Stay tuned!
So nice to hear form you, as always.

Jeff- in the Berkshires said...

Sorry to hear of all the SS problems. Have you been in touch with Senator Kennedy's office? State Reps can't do much but in my experience US Senators have a way of getting their attention, especially when it comes to someone with a disability.

Good luck