Archive for October, 2015

Peanut Butter Spice Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

Our daughter and son-in-law live in Jacksonville, Florida. He sent me this recipe, which he found in a local food magazine. What caught his attention was that it calls for NO flour. Flourless chocolate cake I have made but, other than macaroons, I think these are the first cookies I have made with no flour. They are dense and the spice is quite subtle. Dr. Alvarez said these were his favorites, so far, after the ube cookies I made at his recommendation.



Adapted from


1¼ cups white sugar
2¼ cups brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
3½ cups peanut butter
4 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla


1. In a bowl, mix together sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and clove. Set aside.

2. In a standing mixer, beat peanut butter and sugar mixture on low speed until just combined.

3. Combine eggs and vanilla. Mix into peanut butter mixture until just combined, about 15 seconds. Do not over mix. If oils start to leak from the peanut butter, the cookies will not bake properly.

4. Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, form dough into balls. Flatten balls to ½-inch-thick and place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Freeze the cookies for at least 45 minutes before baking.* SEE NOTES

5. Bake at 325° for about 16–20 minutes, until golden brown but still slightly shiny in middle.** SEE NOTES


* I baked them frozen and not frozen and I don’t understand why they said you need to freeze them. I thought they were good both ways.

** I baked them for at least 20 minutes, especially if they were frozen.


Another Backpack

Written by Tad. Posted in Trauma Strap Bags

One of the hardest things I have done as a bag sewer is to convert a Goodwill backpack into a Tad’s Bags backpack. Here is my latest effort. The last time I did this, I swore I would never do it again. I feel that way again now. I like the way it turned out but it was really a pain. I sure hope Carlo enjoys it.


Norm, Meet the Kids

Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

Norm was a “regular” in our emergency department for many years. He was recently found down on the sidewalk in front of a liquor store and couldn’t be resuscitated.

Hearing he was dead reminded me of an interaction I had with him years ago.

Before our kids were in school, Shari volunteered for the local food bank. Every Wednesday, she and the kids delivered bags of donated groceries to shut-in elderly people in need. When my schedule allowed, I went with them. One day, as we made our deliveries, we ran into Norm. He provided my young children with an insight into life that they never would have had in our home.

We pulled our Camry up in front of the next house on our delivery route. It was in an older area of town with rundown businesses next to old houses inhabited by a less fortunate swath of society.

Following their normal pattern, Shari and the kids grabbed the bag of groceries and went to the door. While I waited for them, I looked over and was somewhat surprised to see Norm sitting on the ground leaning up against the building. He was drinking with another man I didn’t recognize.

We happened to have an extra bag of groceries so I called out to Norm, addressing him by name. He got up and staggered over to the car. He stuck his head through my open window and leaned his forearms on the door. He was not at all threatening, but he pressed a bit too far into my personal space and forced me to lean back farther in my seat.

It was about then that Shari and the kids returned from making their delivery.  Their conversation stopped and they, somewhat warily, climbed back in the car. The kids listened quietly and watched closely as their dad had a conversation with a dirty, scroungy, drunk man.

I offered Norm the bag of free groceries. He declined it. Then hit me up for money. I told him I was really glad to give him food but that I would not give him money because I knew he would use it to buy booze. That irritated him, so I started the car and told him we were leaving.

As we pulled away, the silence in the car broke. My kids were amazed that I knew Norm and could even call him by name. They wanted to know what he and his companion were doing there on the street. They were surprised he had no interest in food. Our son asked why his hands were so swollen.

I was able to explain that Norm drank too much alcohol. I pointed out other ways he looked and acted differently than people they were used to seeing. It painted a pretty graphic picture that I think was a good lesson for my kids.


Two on the Floor

Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

The other night, the paramedics brought in a patient that was nervous and paranoid. He was a schizophrenic and admitted to being off of his psychiatric medications for some time. He said he was hearing voices and having thoughts of suicide. I explained someone would soon take him over to the emergency psychiatric ward for help. He agreed to wait. I did his paper work and went to see my next patient just around the corner.

She, too, was a schizophrenic, off her medicines and talking of suicide. Unlike the first gentleman, however, she had behaved so aggressively towards the police and paramedics that they had to restrain her. They did this by putting leather straps on her wrists and ankles and tying her to the gurney. We call this “four points,” meaning four points of restraint, one on each extremity.

By the time I went to see her, she was a lot calmer. I asked if she would behave if we took her restraints off. She assured me she would. As I started to release the restraints, one of the paramedics gave me a look like, “You’ll be sorry!” I released her restraints, reminded her or her agreement to cooperate and left while staff took her vital signs and got her registered.

Very soon, I heard screaming and detected agitation coming from her room. When I got there, she was face down on the floor. The nurse said she had refused to stay in bed and, as soon as she stood up, purposely went to the floor without hurting herself.

Let me help you picture what I saw as I looked down at her on the floor. She was a large woman. She had no clothes on under her hospital gown so her entire backside was visible as she lay sprawled out on the floor at the entrance to the exam room.

She pretended to be unconscious but I knew she could hear me as I told her she had violated our agreement and would now have to be put back in restraints. Hearing this, she immediately jerked herself onto her back. At the same time, she pulled the hospital gown away so her entire naked front side was now visible for the world to see. It appeared she tried to use her nakedness as some sort of a weapon when she was not happy with what was going on.

By this time, at least eight people were at the bedside including two police officers that happened to be in the department. Since the patient refused to get up, I instructed everyone to grab an arm or leg so we could safely get her back on the bed and into restraints.

That is when she really went off. She screamed at the top of her lungs and swung and kicked at us. Unable to get her arm loose from me, she grabbed my pants and tried to pinch my leg. As she flopped on the floor, she tried to pull her gown completely off.

When everyone had a secure hold of her, I called out, “One, two, three…” to coordinate lifting her back on the bed. We maintained our grip while someone went to get the restraints.

Suddenly, I looked over my shoulder to see that the first patient I told you about was now in the room. He was hollering as loudly as the lady was. Having heard her distress, he decided she was in trouble and needed his help. “I’m Federal! I’m Federal!” he repeatedly hollered as he grabbed some of those still trying to restrain the lady. “Let go of her! I’m Federal!”

Unfortunately for him, one of the people he grabbed was a police officer. In a flash, the officer released his hold on the female patient, turned, took the man down, and pinned him face down to the floor.

“Why are you doing this to me? Get your knee out of my back! Let go of me! I’m Federal!” the patient loudly protested. The police officer hollered back at him to shut up.

All of a sudden, I started to laugh. I couldn’t help it. It was too bizarre to even believe. One naked woman screaming and fighting in front of me on the gurney. One man screaming and fighting on the floor right behind me. It was just too crazy.

The woman, who now had her feet in restraints, turned to me and asked, “Why are you laughing?”

“I’m sorry, but it’s just funny,” I said.

“You are the shittiest doctor I ever had in my life,” she said as I was finally able to release her arm, which was now restrained at the wrist.

Soon, both patients were in four point leather restraints and sedated. I hope they were able to get the help they needed when they got to psychiatry.



Written by Tad. Posted in Trauma Strap Bags

I recently learned about an organization that really shares my motivation to keep perfectly good stuff out of the landfill. FabMo. Whereas I focus only on trauma straps, FabMo collects tons of cast off fabrics and other materials. They make them available to artsy people to use in their various creative endeavors. I recently sent them 1700 trauma straps. Here is a bulletin board they put together showing off some of the straps and one of my bags. I am really impressed by what a great job they are going and am excited to be apart of it. Check them out at:


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