Schrodinger’s Cockroach and a Jake Update.

While in Los Angeles we stayed at this upscale high rise hotel. Actually it was Newport Beach. Anyway… You all know the story of Schrodinger’s Cat, right?

In a nutshell:

So Sunday morning I hopped out of bed only to step right next to a giant cockroach, or as my grandmother used to say, cock-a-roach. I screamed and jumped back on the bed.



My husband grabbed a shoe and tried with all his might to kill it, but the cockroach slid under a loose piece of carpet which my husband then beat on like a fiend. We were afraid to lift up the piece of carpet so we decided to treat the cockroach like Schrodinger’s Cat. Until that piece of carpet is lifted up the cockroach is both alive and dead and we didn’t want to see it in either state of being.

Now onto happier tidings~

Jake goes for a rebound.

Jake goes for a rebound.

My dog is a basketball idiot savant. I swear it. Last week he began practicing a new skill– throwing the basketball with his forearms.

Jake understands rebounding. For several years now he’s been able to stand on his hind legs and grab the rebound with his front legs, bring the ball to the ground and dribble away.

Last week I watched him stand on his hind legs, catch the ball, and then attempt to throw it out of bounds before his front legs came down to the ground. I did a double-take. No. Way. He could not be doing what he appeared to be doing.

But he was. He practiced all week and now he’s got it nailed. He’s taught himself a new skill. He can now stand on his hind legs, catch the ball between his forearms and then throw the ball over the out-of-bounds barrier before he has to drop down onto his front legs.

Jake is one scary German shepherd dude. Scary. Scary. Scary. I’ll do my best to catch a picture of him doing it. Promise I’ll try. Julia

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One Foot In Heaven, Journey of a Hospice Nurse.

one foot in heaven

People die everyday. While most people in America die in a hospital, many families choose hospice for end of life care. Death, as experienced by hospice nurses, can be beautiful, peaceful, humorous, touching, tragic, disturbing, and even otherworldly. Hospice nurses act as midwives to dying people every day. Death transforms not just the patient and family, but the hospice nurse as well. The stories in this book are presented with the hope that their transformation extends to you, too.

I received some excellent news – a review for One Foot In Heaven will appear in the October edition of San Francisco Book Review. Here’s a preview:

Star Rating: 5 out of 5

Heidi Telpner is a nurse with years of experience, primarily in hospice care. In One Foot in Heaven, she provides readers with a brief but powerful look at the work of hospice and shares how she has witnessed many individuals and their families deal with death. Using a number of examples of people she worked with as they went through the end-of-life process, she tells readers about “good deaths” and “bad deaths” and reminds us all that while our society tends to push the notion aside, we all will one day experience death ourselves, and most of us will have to deal with family members’ or friends’ deaths in some way or another.

More to come!

Buy Link – One Foot In Heaven, by Heidi Telpner, R.N.

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Busting nutrition misinformation – Peanuts are not nuts.

So my sister says to me, “I’m allergic to nuts.”

So I says, “Oh? In what way are you allergic to nuts?”

So she says, “Nuts give me vertigo.”

So I rolls my eyes because vertigo is not what happens when people are allergic to nuts and EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN GIVES HER VERTIGO, but I’m willing to play along so I says, “Which nuts?”

And she says, “Cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanuts…”

So I says, “Peanuts?”

So she says, “Yeah, nuts like peanuts. Peanuts give me real bad vertigo.”

So I says, “Peanuts ain’t nuts. They’re legumes.”

So she says, “Oh…” And proceeds to eat a spoon of peanut butter. No vertigo.

Peas, peas, peas, peas, eating goober peas. Goodness how delicious! Eating goober peas.

So sang the Confederate army when they were forced to eat nothing but boiled peanuts.

Yes, indeed, peanuts are legumes. They grow underground, a little like potatoes. Here’s a picture:

Digging up peanuts.

Digging up peanuts.

I’m not saying one can’t be allergic to peanuts. A true nut allergy and a true peanut allergy can be life-threatening. I’m simply saying peanuts are not nuts, but they are nutritious, especially if you stick with stirry peanut butter as opposed to hydrogenated peanut butter– a food substance which I would avoid outside of the apocalypse when all other food substances have been destroyed.

I'm totally in love with Laura Scudder's Nutty!

I’m totally in love with Laura Scudder’s Nutty!

(Most commercial brands of peanut butter are hydrogenated. Which means, basically, a chemical conversion whereby extra hydrogen atoms are added to keep the peanut butter from separating into fats and solids. Hydrogenation in foods means transfats. Plus most commercial brands of peanut butter contain sugar and high amounts of sodium.)

So, what’s in a peanut and in peanut butter? For starters- vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber. Peanuts are also loaded with antioxidants sch as arginine, an amino acid that is a precursor to nitric oxide, which helps expand blood vessels and can decrease blood pressure. Peanuts contain resveratrol, also found in grapes and wine, which may increase longevity, enhance athletic performance, and reduce inflammation.

Peanuts have significant levels of phytosterols.  Phytosterols are well known for their ability to reduce cholesterol (although I’m not sure which type of cholesterol peanuts reduce). New research indicates that peanuts may prevent cancer. Flavonoids, a class of compounds also found in peanuts, reduce inflammation and inhibit platelets from sticking to arteries.

But none of that matters. Peanuts and peanut butter taste good. And unless you’re allergic, peanuts are good for you. So I says… enjoy your peanuts!

But they’re not nuts…



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Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose…

And most times you choose between the two. Carole King.

We will be traveling and some family needs tending to. Pardon my absence but family is all. Will miss you! I’ll be back to blogging as soon as the seas are calm. Much love, Julia

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Holy Cheese Plate, Batman!

What if you could eat as much cheese as you wanted to eat? How much could you actually eat?

As it turns out, not all that much.

A small selection of cheese.

A small selection of cheese.

We met our son in Sacramento at the 2014 ACS Judging and Competition Awards Celebrating the American Cheese Plate. There were over 1600 entries in this cheese tasting. Oh. My. Gawd. Two and a half hours spent tasting cheeses and nibbling on charcuterie.

Speaking of charcuterie – Cured meats isn’t my thing. At least it wasn’t my thing until I tasted Dehesa Cordobesa Dry-Cured Acorn-Fed Ibericos from 100% Purebred Pigs. This stuff changed my mind. Charcuterie is now my thing provided it’s produced by Dehesa Cordobesa Dry-Cured Acorn-Fed Ibericos from 100% Purebred Pigs. No, I don’t work for them…

You know, you think you can eat quite a bit of cheese, but after nibbling on about ten pieces you quickly become cheesed out, even if you love cheese like I do. We managed to taste several entries on the Italian table. Hit the cheddars and the Fetas and the soft ripened cheeses and lord only knows what else. The samples were enormous so the three of us shared.

This felt like a glorious infinity of cheese– gloriously overwhelming. Out of thousands and thousands of pounds of cheese I bet the three of us managed to eat a mere 12-14 ounces, if that.

Through my cheese buzz I did shoot some pics. Believe me when I say they do not capture the enormity of this cheese tasting. Enjoy!







Blue Cheese.

Blue Cheese.



More Cheese.

More Cheese.



And Cheese.

And Cheese.

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