Mack's Corner

This Week

Hot Water

One of the weird things that happens at my house is that when it rains the water heater quits. I never have figured that out. It's a tankless water heater, so there's no tank of water all heated up waiting to go. When you turn on the hot water it flames on and super heats the water as it passes through. The good thing about it is that there is no end to the hot water, you can stand in the shower for a week if you want. The bad thing is if the pilot goes out there's no hot water. I think the wind must blow the flame out, but I don't see how. So I'm getting in the shower at 5am standing there feeling the water. I think it's getting hotter,  but not really… wait a little longer, maybe I'll turn it off and back on … still no hot water .. I know what's wrong, its one of those standard things that you learn to live with in a house … but I've got to go up in the attic, bare foot, to light it and I'm thinking "how bad would it be to take a cold shower?" … sure wish it would warm up… maybe a miracle will happen and the water heater will light itself. So I take a cold shower, really quick. I still have to light it before I leave or my wife takes a cold shower too.. If that happens, then I might have to take a shower in the back yard with the hose. Should have just put my shoes on and gone up there and lighted it and taken a nice hot shower? I was just waiting for it to get better even though I knew it never would ……..

A funny thing has started happening after a years of writing these stories. People lock their keys in their car, sometimes their whole family is stuck inside, and I come break in and let everybody out and they say "I guess this will be in 'This week' ?" It happens when I have to jump start a car, or when they do something weird. They ask that question, as if they did it on purpose so that I would write about them. I'm starting to think it's a conspiracy. I want to tell them "I've got enough strange things happening to me, I don't really need any help". But don't worry or feel bad if you lock your keys in your car, I'll still come get them out. Just don't ask that question  ……

God's like that: He doesn't really need any help looking good or making miracles happen. You don't really need to mess your life up so bad that God has to step in and pull you out. Usually we know exactly what we
need to do to fix things. We need to go talk to somebody, ask forgiveness, make something right. Things that we can do ourselves.  God expects us to do that. If he didn't, he wouldn't have given us the ability. Usually we don't need a miracle, we just need to put our shoes on and climb up in the attic and light the water heater. What are you waiting for? …

Maybe I could get some of those shower footies? People tell me I look good in red ….


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:

Mediterranean Diet:

It's amazing how much just a few drops of lemon juice can change the flavor of olive oil. A table spoon of olive oil and 10 drips of lemon juice is a great salad dressing. This is a little more than 10 drops. Here's a different kind of salad which is mostly rice.

Chicken and Rice Salad with Pine Nuts and Lemon

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)


Fresh-ground black pepper

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups frozen petite peas (green peas)

2 cups long-grain rice (Keto - use riced cauliflower)

1 1/3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 4)

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons golden raisins

6 scallions including green tops, chopped

3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley (optional)

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

In a small frying pan, toast the pine nuts over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Or toast the pine nuts in a 350° oven for about 8 minutes. Watch! Watch! Watch!.. These will burn easy.. keep the heat more low than high and take your time.

In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the oil slowly, whisking.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the peas; cook until just barely tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a strainer, transfer to a large bowl.

Add the rice to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm. (Keto - cook the cauliflower in the bag)

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, bring 1/4 inch of water to a simmer over moderately high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer, turning once, until cooked through, about 12 minutes.

Remove the chicken, let cool slightly, and then cut into approximately 1/2-inch chunks.

Add the pine nuts, rice, chicken, raisins, scallions, parsley, lemon zest, and dressing to the large bowl holding the peas and stir gently to mix. Don't bust up the peas.

That's it!!! .. If you can boil water, you can do this…


How about saving a kid's life!!

When you give Platelets it's like giving St Jude $700 - $1000. If we don't give them, they have to buy them.

Giving Platelets is like giving blood, it just takes longer (1 1/2 hours) and you get all of your blood back (so you can do it every week if you want) . I know it's a long trip to go all the way down to St Jude, but you may be saving a kid's life . plus you get to watch a movie while you're there. Call Kim at 901.595.2024 and she'll setup an appointment and treat you like family. Just tell her you're from Hope.

Directions: From Poplar, turn north on Third Street, then right on Lauderdale/Jackson Ave (first right after you go under the expressway). Enter through the north guard gate (you'll see the Danny Thomas Pavilion. Gold top).

Tell the guard at the gate that you are here to donate blood. The guard will instruct you where to park. You will then enter the hospital by the red side door closest to the blood donor parking lot. The Blood Donor Center is in the southwest corner of the hospital on the ground floor.

Appointment times are generally available Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Except on Tuesdays they start at 9:15am.

See you this weekend. Bring a friend. It's going to be great!!!


Posted by Mack Oates at 9:25 AM