Chilly With a Chance of Chili

Brrrrr! It’s getting chilly here. I’m now waking up with a cat plastered to my side. It’s bad enough in the mornings, but especially annoying when I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Whichever cat it is digs his claws into my jammies in an effort to keep me from dislodging him. It’s like peeling off Velcro. Very vocal Velcro. That fights back.


Can’t say that I blame the cat. I don’t like leaving the warmth, either. Sometimes, however, putting up with a little short-term discomfort beats experiencing longer-term consequences. Like checking our blood glucose and using the information to keep our diabetes in control beats dealing with complications down the road. (Or, making a quick trip to the bathroom beats having to stay up longer to change the sheets. And my clothes.)

Cooler weather means it’s time to tear down the garden. Time to pull up all of the dead and dying plants, chop them up and throw them in the composter. You chop them up by running a lawnmower over them a few times, which the lawn-mowing dude can do.

Weather changes also can make your blood glucose begin running higher or lower. Be sure to check yours with that in mind to make sure you adjust food, oral meds and/or insulin, and exercise to make sure you go with whatever your flow is.

Gardening was pretty much on the back burner for me last summer. The planting season began with a lot of rain. That doesn’t bother me for planting, but it makes driving a mobility scooter across a wet yard to get to the garden difficult. Without telling me, my husband bought seeds and planted the garden.

There went my ownership. I don’t know about you, but I need to take ownership of something to have it pique my interest. I want the strains of vegetables I want — for example, Kentucky Wonder pole beans — and not just any ol’ beans. I want the tastes of my childhood. I want foods that have been unaltered.

My husband is from Brooklyn — not that there’s anything wrong with that. However, he didn’t exactly grow up with a garden in the backyard. I don’t think there was a backyard, anyway.

He was 30 when he first experienced gardening. We were dating at the time and the city where we lived rented garden plots in an unused part of the cemetery. One person thought we’d bought our burial plots and were using them as garden plots while awaiting their real use. (As an aside, we bought our burial plots last week. I don’t know how I feel about that.)

At any rate, I kept wanting to pick some green tomatoes and he kept telling me to wait until they were ripe. I finally just picked a couple and fried them up. After that, I had to stop him from picking all of the green tomatoes so some of them would ripen.

I honestly don’t know where the summer went. About the only thing that sticks in my mind is being in the hospital, the road trip home with my husband, and getting back into shape to transfer to and from my scooter. I had to use a transfer board again, and couldn’t get into the van. Then, not long after I regained my strength and all was well again, I missed the car during a transfer and wrenched a knee. It’s still uncomfortable.

Coming up appears to be…cooking season. I’m not just talking about Thanksgiving. This weekend is “Dinner and a Movie” at the synagogue, at which we serve up a homemade meal and show a movie. When I say “we,” I mean the Sisterhood president and me, who seem to be the cooks in the crowd. Those events are kind of sporadic.

But a friend of mine told me the other day about “Soup’s On,” which she’s doing once a month over the next four months at her church. It’s homemade soup, with maybe some cheese and crackers and a dessert. Her church, like our synagogue, is small and heavily populated with older people.

Madam President liked that idea, so we’ll be doing “Soup’s On” here, too, starting in December. We’ve decided on chili, vegetable-beef soup, and beef and barley soup. I’ll be making a vegetarian alternate to each.

I need to learn to keep my mouth shut.

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  • Sheri

    Whenever I see a title that actually sounds interesting I hope it’s you writing and click on the box. Sure enough, I guessed right! (alas, the Google app is going away, then what will I do?).
    This article of course was as interesting as the title suggested- sorry to hear about the injuries. My husband is the Type 1 diabetic- only got the diabetes at age 48. Such a huge, really cataclysmic change to our lives! We’d already been married 20 plus years and had our neat little patterns. The diabetes upended the apple cart! The amount of adjustment that the disease requires of us sifts me spiritually. Will I love when he’s being cranky cuz his bs is too high? Will I serve him when his bs is dropping and he needs to eat NOW? Will I rearrange my own needs and desires to make sure that the meal I agreed to cook for him is ready at a reasonable time? These circumstances reveal my heart attitudes and often I don’t like what I see. ugh.
    Anyway, thanks for your writing. While your physical state is worse than his, seeing your life and attitude encourages me.

  • Jan Chait

    Sheri, you’ve given me an idea for a blog: My thoughts about how my husband feels about dealing with my diabetes.

    Is your husband’s diagnosis a recent thing for you? If so, things will settle down and get to be more of a routine. Right now, you may be a little anxious because you’re dealing with something new. He’s still the same dude you fell in love with: He just has a medical condition that needs to be taken care of. Sometimes we need some help and I’m certain you’ll have the strength to do what needs to be done, just from the fact that you’re thinking about it.

    As far as my physical state being worse, I was diagnosed in 1986 at the age of 38. As a Type 2, I’d had diabetes for a few years. Nobody knows how many, but it is known I’ve had it 27 (actually, almost 28) years since then. Almost 40 years, maybe? For all that, my complications consist of one tiny spot of background retinopathy in each eye, along with some minor neuropathy.


  • Linda Martin

    I laughed myself silly reading about your garden plots(burial plots). You know that might not be a bad idea where people have no space for gardens–if the cemetery permitted it. I’m sorry your summer was sort of crummy, to lay the least. Hope your plans for “Soups On” works well and everyone enjoys it. Sounds like fun. And wishing you a GREAT Autumn and Winter season. You always lift my spirits and I know many others feel the same way.