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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Mommy's Little 'Helper'

My assistant, Maddy, asleep on the job

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meet me on Monday

Questions:

1.  What is your favorite kind of fudge?

Milk or dark chocolate with nuts.  I'll eat it plain but prefer nuts in it so that it's not overly sweet.


2.  Is there snow outside your window?

Thankfully, no.  Normally I would not say this because I love it, but our last snowstorm was more of an ice storn and paralyzed our area for days.


3.  What is your favorite meal of the day?

Any meal that I do not have to cook is my favorite (mostly dinner!) 


4.  Do you text on your cell phone?

Yes.  If this were not so, I would rarely hear from my sister!  I didn't so much before I got a phone with a flip down keyboard - so much easier now.


5.  Waffles or pancakes?

I like them both, but would pick pancakes especially if they are made by IHOP and have blueberry compote on top.  Waffle House waffles run a close second.


Friday, January 21, 2011

American Idol

I said I wasn't going to watch it.  "It just won't be the same without Simon", I said "and I'm not a fan of Jennifer Lopez".

Okay, my hub said, we'll just flip over for a moment to see what it's like.

Um, I'm hooked...again.

First of all, I love the auditions.  The background stories on some are inspiring, and the ones who can't sing but think they can, well, it's sad for some but a good dose of reality for most.

Best of all, the judges get along, which is nice.  It's a kinder, gentler Idol.  I didn't think I would like Steven Tyler but he's very sweet and honest, and so in Jennifer Lopez.  She's very connected to people the way Paula was.  And Randy just seems to be having a much better time with this group.

And as usual, the talent is amazing.  There is a lot of young (15 and 16 year old) talent this year.

It's my fourth day of lower caffeine intake and I'm still upright!  Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Doctor, doctor, can't you see...

I just got back from a visit with my new female doctor.  I don't know exactly what I expected but for some reason I feel a little disappointed (hence a lunch that included a McDonald's apple pie - argghhh).

I suppose I feel that no one is taking me seriously.  You would think that with all the advances of medicine that there would be many doctors out there who would specialize in women like me - perimenopausally challenged.  There are a lot of us out here.  I mean, it is such a complex conglomeration of symptoms that are different in all of us - worthy of more research if you ask me. 

I was listened to intently, which I appreciated.  She explained to me that she treats symptoms rather than depending on hormonal blood work to give her answers (ok, for now).  In a way this makes sense to me because from what I read, your hormones one day may not be the same as the next, and what they treat you for based on those results may not work consistently.  She wants me to start taking a list of vitamins - vitamins! - to help control my symptoms.  If this doesn't work, then we can move on and try something else.  This is what was recommended:

500 mg Magnesium citrate 2-3 times a day to start, to give my body the boost it needs.  Evidently she feels based on my symptoms that my body is definitely lacking in this. 

Arginine - I've never heard of this but evidently it will help lower my blood pressure.  I'm all for this.  It bothers me a great deal to be on HBP meds every day.

5 HTP - This includes triptophan (like in turkey) so it should help with sleep. 

Fish oil - She said this is a base for everything else.  I used to take this but stopped for some reason. 

Progesterone cream - which I currently use.

She also recommended a protein shake in the morning, which sounds like a great idea and may help wean me off caffeine first thing in the morning.  Also, I need to find time for myself everyday - to read, meditate, whatever.  How come we always put ourselves last?

So as I write this, I am feeling better about this plan of action.  I suppose I didn't think things through clearly at first...or maybe I just wanted that apple pie.

Learning to Hear

When we closed our business, all I wanted to do was run away.  The prospect of moving to another state was looking really good, and we started thinking about when we would sell our house.

"Lord, please help us to know if we are doing the right thing". 

At Christmastime, we were invited to my hub's company party.  (A little history - my hub works from home, and his company is actually one state away from us, about a 3.5 hour drive).  This was the first party in a few years due to the economy and we really wanted to go - not just for the party, but to look at houses around the city.  You know, scope it out...just in case.  In addition, we were invited to breakfast the morning after the party at the home of one of the company managers.  We were starting to feel things falling into place.

The party was wonderful, and breakfast the next day was, let's just say, informative.  The company is privately owned, and there is currently a lot of family drama.  We knew about some of it through the grapevine, but not being local we were unaware of the depth of the issues at hand. 

All of a sudden, thoughts turned from 'what if we were to move here' to 'what if there's no job to move here for?'

"God, is that you?"

For the past nine months or so, I've been filling in periodically for one of the media team at our church.  We have big screens in our worship center on which we project graphics, song lyrics, and message notes.  Learning the program, Media Shout, has helped me find my place to volunteer in our church.  I'm a behind the scenes kind of girl anyway, so this works well for me. 

Two weeks ago I was approached about taking over Media Shout on a permanent basis.  As it turns out, the person who runs it now is leaving the church.  And in addition, my hub was asked to take on more volunteer projects that are right up his alley.

Just coincidence?

And all the while, I walk around confused, wondering what God has for us next.

Sometimes we go blind and deaf when our eyes are fixed on what WE want.  Remember...all I wanted was to run away.

All of this month, the message series at church has been 'Life's GPS'.  Funny how it always seems to line up with our circumstances. 

I believe God gives us the opportunity to hear what we need to hear when we need to hear it, and he guides us to where we are needed the most.  All we need to do is listen, and trust.  

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recipes for a winter day

Well, this is day three of being 'snowed in'.  Well, more like iced in, actually.  I work from home so other than work being extremely slow (I transcribe for a big hospital - did all the patients go home?) the weather hasn't affected my routine too much.  But, of all weeks, this was the week I did have a massage scheduled (for my aching neck) as well as an appointment to get my roots done (already a week late and looking really bad now - glad I'm stuck inside).  Hopefully we will thaw by tomorrow and I can go and get some things done. 

In the meantime, I thought I would share some wonderful recipes.  I made a fantastic Chicken Tortilla Soup yesterday that is oh so good in this freezing cold weather:

Two large boneless chicken breasts (sauteed in olive oil and cut up or shredded)
1 cup chopped onion, sauteed in olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can red kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen corn, or canned
1 cup water
To taste:
chili pepper
cilantro
salt

Simmer for several hours if possible.  Add tortilla chips, salsa, cheese and serve with cornbread.

Also, here is the prize winning recipe I mentioned the other day...Four-Layer Caramel Pumpkin cake:

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice, divided
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tub Cool Whip
1/4 cup caramel topping
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour two 9 in. cake pans.  Beat cake mix, 1 cup of pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs, and 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice in mixer on medium speed until well blended and pour evenly into pans.

Bake approx. 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on wire racks.  Then beat cream cheese in a small bowl with mixer until creamy.  Add powdered sugar, remaining pumpkin, and remaining 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, mix well.  Stir in whipped topping.

Cut cake layers horizontally in half with a serrated knife.  Stack the layers on a serving plate, spreading the cream cheese mixture between the layers.  Do not frost the top layer.  Drizzle with caramel sauce and pecans.  Store in fridge.

If you like pumpkin (but not overwhelmingly so, which makes it so good), this cake is fabulous!

Enjoy!  Wishing everyone a blessed day!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Meet Me On Monday, snowy day edition!


Snow in the south is usually not common so we get excited when it comes!  We did have a white Christmas for the first time in over 100 years so I had a feeling this year was going to be different.  Just north of here, they got over 8 inches.  That is huge for Georgia!  Unfortunately, where I live we we received just a little snow and a lot of sleet and freezing rain, so we have a layer of snow covered in ice.  As my hub said, "we got CHEATED!"  Maybe the sled will still slide?


Questions:

1.  Have you (only you..not a group) ever won first place in anything?

Yes, I won first place at church last year for my caramel pumpkin cake.  Also, when I was about 6 years old, I won a Fishers of Men contest (also at church) and they gave me my first fishing pole!  
 
2.  Are your toes always painted (sorry guys...this question for girls only)?

In the summer, yes.  In the wintertime when the toes are covered, I let them 'rest'. 

3.  What color eyes do you have?

I'm a brown-eyed girl.

4.  Look to your left....what do you see?

A light lavender wall in my office, with pretty scrolled sculpture hanging on it.

5.  Soft cookies or crunchy cookies?

Both!  I love crunchy edges when they are home baked, especially chocolate chip or peanut butter.  I like big, soft oatmeal raisin cookies too.  Unlike a lot of people, I will not eat cookie dough!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Vet: Mission Accomplished

We had a successful vet visit today! ^..^  I am so proud of my sweet Mason.  Instead of a scratching, screaming, shrieking devil kitty as before, he was actually very calm and sweet.  I was amazed!  (My sweet hub was there with us this time so he takes the credit!)

Look at what a good boy I am!

The staff at Cat Care (www.catcareoffayette.com) was wonderful.  They wrapped him in a 'kitty burrito' to keep him calm during the exam.  He did well even with the blood draw and was not unhappy until they started checking his ears -- and as it turns out, he has an ear infection.

All of his blood work came back GREAT!  To be almost 14 years old, the dr. was so pleased with how he is doing. 

Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I Love Technology

Now, normally you would not hear me say such a thing.  I am always the last one to get an up to date computer, phone, or anything else 'techy' all the kids are getting. 

So, I was wary when I received a Wii Fit Plus for Christmas.  Yes, I wanted it because I want to get in shape without having to go to a gym.  BUT...it may sound lazy, but if the technology is too complicated I will put it away rather than try to figure it out.  I just don't have the patience.

No chance of this with the Wii.  This thing is FABULOUS!  First of all, it is easy.  You just follow along with the instructions or with the trainer on the screen.  It teaches you how to balance with games, so it is fun.  I crack up laughing when I am exercising!  There are games like skiing, soccer, hula hoop, and step aerobics, along with strength training and yoga.  It tracks your progress and tells you every day how many calories you've burned.  You can go at your own pace.  It is perfect for anyone who hasn't exercised in a while and is completely out of shape (moi!)



With yoga, if you're like me you're never sure if you're doing the poses correctly.  The Wii board can tell how balanced you are and how much weight you are distributing on your legs and will correct you if you are out of balance.  I have back and neck issues and the stretches are really helping. 

The best part is, it is so much fun!  It makes me WANT to exercise.  My hub and I are actually now jockeying for space in the living room.  He also got the EA Sports kit where you put the sensors on your body and it tracks your movements.  All of a sudden, he's turned into a jock!

This concludes my highly recommended product review!  Happy exercising!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Meet Me On Monday, New Years' style


Questions and Answers:

1.  Do you have any New Year's resolutions?

Yes - to feel better overall.  To exercise my mind and body more.  To get off blood pressure meds.  To find a compassionate female doctor who will listen and understand.

2.  What food item are you craving right now?

A McDonald's egg biscuit, no cheese. 

3.  When is your birthday?

March 19, 1962, a Pisces, and I fit the mold!

4.  What were you doing an hour ago?

Feeding the kitties.

5.  Last thing you cooked?

Hoppin' John (black eyed peas, spicy tomatoes and rice!)

Must work now, I will post more later...have a blessed day!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Movie Review, and I Agree with the Masses

It's not often that we indulge ourselves with a movie, especially IN a theatre (with rocking seats and popcorn!), but we had some complimentary tickets so we 'treated' ourselves last night. 

Ack...I was SO disappointed! 

I had already read the poor reviews but still wanted to see "How Do You Know" with Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd.  With that lineup, how could you lose, right?

Wrong.

Let me preface this by saying I am one who normally likes movies that get so-so reviews so I was prepared to like it no matter what.

I would say from the first 20 minutes in we just couldn't grasp it.  Maybe we're slow but then so are many (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1341188/) other people who slammed the movie.  The writers/producers/directors just got it wrong this time.  It was so bad all the way to the end that my hub and I were walking out of the theatre shaking our heads and trying to make sense of what we had just seen, and why these wonderful actors would subject themselves to such a convoluted story line.

I won't ruin it for you should you still want to go see it, but you have been warned!