Advil

I take part in a “daily challenge” that is sponsored by the hospital at which my mom works.  They send daily challenges to my email such as, eat fruit today, do this specific stretch, think about your life this past year – if you wrote a book about it, what would the title be?.  Stuff like that.  I get points for completing the task, posting how I did it, commenting on others, etc.  I’m not sure what the points add up to, but I sure hope it is a giant cake at the end of the year! 

Oh, the point you ask?  Today’s challenge was to “bite your tongue”.  Pledge not to say anything bad about anybody today.  My boss is out sick with the flu.  He has worked part time most of the week, but last night he texted me that it really was the flu and he felt worst than he’s ever felt in his life.  Sigh.  Of all the days for that to be my challenge.  I will admit that I broke it once today. And, it was really stressful to focus that hard on biting my tongue.  

I hit the Advil bottle.  I had 4 pills left out of a 500 count bottle.  I got to thinking, I bought that bottle 6 months ago – I know this because I stopped on the way to the hospital to visit my brother, Lee, (who was admitted, he doesn’t work there like mom does – just to be clear).  Anyway, I was entirely out of meds, and stopped in at the CVS on the way and bought the jumbo size bottle.  I did the math.  This means that I’ve taken approximately 2.5 pills a day for the last 180 days.  The remainder is covered by the pills that Mr. T or visitors took.  

So, at Wal-Mart today I bought another jumbo bottle.  Then mom called.  Yes, normally this could lead me right back to the Advil bottle, but alas, it wasn’t the case today.  Well, not really.  

As I mentioned, 6 months ago I was going to visit my brother in the hospital.  Beginning of July it was discovered that what had been treated as an upper respiratory infection was really congestive heart failure.  It was discovered that it was not something he was born with, but was viral.  Cardiomyopathy is the clinical name.  It means that his heart muscle is deteriorating.  The reality is that his heart can’t pump enough blood to keep his body going.   Just to give you a perspective: if our heart took in 100 cups per day, most of us pump out about 70-80 cups to our body.  Lee’s heart only pumps out about 16 cups. So, he’s on blood thinners and blood pressure meds and diuretics (water pills) to help make it easier for his body to pump blood and to reduce the pressure and strain on his heart.  He’s also on heart failure meds and a couple others.  The heart failure meds are a step up drug, meaning they had to increase the dosage little by little.  He’s been at a full dose for a bit now.  He has to monitor his fluid intake, weigh every day (too much gain in a few days time is a sign he’s retaining water and has to get in to the doctor immediately) and we all watch his salt intake.  Did you know that on In and Out Burger’s secret menu you can order salt free?  And they take it seriously.  Did you know that at Applebee’s you can order a steak without salt; however, it comes pre-seasoned, so you still can’t eat it.  Yup, I know this about several different places! 

Today was Lee’s 6 month check up.  There is no change.  The fact that he is still alive means that the meds he is on are considered successful.  They will not put him on a different heart failure drug.   He has an appointment 3 months from now and they will implant a defribrillator.  Unlike a pacemaker, which regulates the beat of the heart, the defribrillator only kicks in if Lee’s heart stops, and just like you see on TV with an external defribrillator, the internal one will deliver a shot of electricity to try and jump start the heart.  

We go with this until it doesn’t work any more and then he will be put on a transplant list.  

So, I had to go buy more Advil today cause today was not the day to make a pledge not to say anything bad about anybody.  But, it’s 5 o’clock and my last employee just checked in, so I’m free to close my laptop.  I won’t of course, but it’s nice to know that I can! 

Rice with dinner

There is a lot of great cooking advice out there, specifically on how to make rice more flavorful.  Rachael Ray says replace some water with chicken broth, or coconut milk.  Paula Deen makes a great mexican rice, with butter (naturally) and onions, peppers, tomatoes and more.  

Who doesn’t like more flavor?? When it comes to rice, ME! Tonight I’m making the poor man’s chicken cacciatore (which means I dumped a jar of spaghetti sauce over my chicken tenderloins into the crock pot this morning.  Oh, I also had 1/4 bag of frozen peas and carrots, so, I threw that in, too.  Hey, we need our veggies!)

Anyway… I like my rice plain.  Nothing added at all.  I also always make a double helping when I make rice.  Now, let me tell you why.  

Breakfast rice!  It takes me back to childhood when mom would make this for us (I assume you made it mom, but correct me if I’m wrong).  It’s cheap, easy and oh so yummy!  So, I know that anytime I make a dish with rice, I will make double and the next morning I will have warm, buttery, sugary rice for breakfast.  

It’s good to take time to appreciate the little things in life! 

Oh, and it snowed this morning.  Apparently about 5 am.  It was not suppose to snow.  Not only did it snow, but we had a Thunder Snow Storm.  Tons of thunder… and snow.  We got about 1″ in total on my side of town.  Enough to cover the ground and cause some serious wrecks all around the metroplex.  Let me repeat, it was not suppose to snow.  Even the weathermen mentioned it.  Sigh… I hate the winter.  

Maybe I don’t always do well at appreciating the little things in life, but in my defense, snow is not a “little thing” in my world.  

Fluff

I’m totally new to the blogosphere.  I have followed a few friends who blogged, but I never went out and sought blogs.  I’m not entirely sure why I started one of my own, I just felt compelled and I did.  That’s how much of my life is run, I feel compelled and so I do.  Which is probably why I end up asking myself “did that just happen?” on a frequent basis!

Even though I had no goal in mind when I began, I have been surfing and reading other blogs, doing my due diligence, and exploring the topics that others are discussing.

Boy oh boy.  Nothing like breaking my goal of not comparing myself to others!! If I was comparing myself to other blogs, then I have been found lacking! I’m not particularly witty or smart.  I’m not telling a story of recovery.  I definitely am not the one making up wonderful dishes and photographing each phase of cooking.  I don’t have a journey to share of faith, hope or dealing with blended families or the evil ex (which apparently, when it comes to dealing with the evil ex, and sometimes step-kids, you need a lot of faith and hope.  And wine, apparently wine is fundamental!)

What I do have, though, is fluff.  You know that wonderful marshmallow fluff that comes in jars?  It makes peanut butter sandwiches taste so good, and it you can make those snap, crackle and pop treats so much easier when you use it.  I’m that stuff.

Here are some traits that Fluff and I share:

  • No nutritional value, we both exist just to make life sweeter
  • Fluff has less sugar than jam or jelly… and I’m not near as sweet as I appear, either
  • We both come in short, squat containers
  • 14 year old boys are fans of both of us.  Now, as they get older, that might change, but right now, it’s a fact I’m thankful for!
  • October is our month – Oct 8 is National Fluff Day, and October 31 is my favorite holiday!

So, if you are looking for an inspirational blog, this isn’t it.  This is a blog about every day happenings in an ordinary and every day life.  My life is small, but full, and I am happy to share it with you.  I will share all of my “did that just happen” moments, and hopefully, like Fluff, I will leave you with a smile on your face, and sometimes, even sticky fingers!

Okay, that didn’t sound right…

To-Do List

I’m a list maker, I love a good list.  Even more than a good list, I love crossing things off my list.  Sometimes, when I do something that isn’t on my list, I write it on there just to cross it off.  It feels so good!

Let me tell you about items that I had to put on my list yesterday…

  • Finish painting the bathroom, including the ceiling – Check
  • Treat Mr. T and I to dinner, cause after 2 days of painting after work, I deserve a break.  – Check
  • Get pulled over by a cop and be given a warning – Check
  • Almost having to have the cop that pulled you over call you a tow truck because you are stuck in the mud on the side of the road – Check

Mr. T posted this on Facebook “Mom just got pulled over by “sneaky” cop after getting dinner. Now it is cold.”

So, after I was blessed and was only given a warning I had visions in my head of not having to pay for a ticket, but having to shell out a couple hundred for a tow truck.  Fortunately, after slipping and sliding and my car turning directions it shouldn’t have, I managed to get back on the road.

Wondering what I was pulled over for? Speeding.  Technically, 11 over… my speedometer must be busted cause I would have sworn I was only going 10 over!

Yup, that happened last night.

I am the master of the to-do list!

I am the master of the to-do list!

I’m a Sucker

I’m a big sucker.

Did you know that there is a pair of sunglasses out there, HD Vision Fold-a-ways, which are like magic sunglasses with high definition lenses? They give you clear, HD vision, and they fold like five times in order to fit in your pocket or in that tiny purse??  They look way cool!  And, since I’m forever just dropping my glasses in my purse and scratching the lenses, maybe I’d use the cute little bag that comes with them… Maybe.  I haven’t bitten the bullet on those yet.

Okay, exchanged a gift at Target and bought this.  I love it!  It's awesome!

Okay, exchanged a gift at Target and bought this. I love it! It’s awesome!

Have you seen this OrGreenic Non-Stick frying pan?  The coating won’t chip or flake, it had a convenient stay cool handle and you can cook without oil, butter or grease!  And nothing sticks to it!!  You can burn a slice of cheese, and it comes right up.  You can even crack an egg and then slide it all over the pan and it really doesn’t stick – it just slides!!  I must have one of these!!!

I bought this a few weeks ago, $15, to replace the $150 real one that Mr. T broke.  We installed it, and it does serve it's purpose.

I bought this a few weeks ago, $15, to replace the $150 real one that Mr. T broke. We installed it, and it does serve it’s purpose.

There is even this frying pan out there that has a hinge and another frying pan on the other side, so you pour pancake mix into the bottom, hinge it closed and then you can flip the frying pan to the other side! No more messy messes made while trying to flip pancakes! Oh – I bet omelets become a breeze in that pan!  I’m pretty sure I can resist this one though.

Okay, these were in our stockings a few years ago.  They are awesome!  Always take camping with us.

Okay, these were in our stockings a few years ago. They are awesome! Always take camping with us.

I will admit that Wal-Mart had this as-seen-on-TV bra on sale, half price, during the holidays.  It was supposed to lift and separate and be so very comfortable.  And, yeah, I bought it.  I am such a sucker!! Fortunately, I accidentally bought the wrong size, so I could take it back and not feel guilty!

Ha! I bought these years ago when we lived in an apt.  They were perfect! I hung everything with them!

Ha! I bought these years ago when we lived in an apt. They were perfect! I hung everything with them!

I will tell you, though, that the Magic Bullet was worth every penny.  I used mine to death, and my sister bought me a replacement a few years ago.  I’ve about worn it out, too.  It’s the perfect size for me.  It does everything that I could want it to do from salsa to chocolate mousse to traveling with me when I go camping with the girls and making excellent margaritas!

So, while I may be a sucker, and I may have an account with QVC and while my family and friends may have received gifts that I’ve bought off the TV, some of them have totally been worth it!

Give from Santa this year.  It works really well!

Give from Santa this year. It works really well!

As I was sitting here typing this blog, I realized that I come by this obsession honestly, as a commercial for The Olde Brooklyn Lantern just came on.  Santa brought all of us one of these this year.  Call now and they will double your order!! Just pay separate processing.

Steve

I have two names.  Well, technically, I’m sure I have more.  There are 3 names on my birth certificate – and a totally different one on my social security card.  If I ever have to get a passport, I may be in trouble there, but until it presents a problem, I have no desire to fix it.  (Okay, I’ll tell you, I know you are dying to know.  My dad told my mom that she could name me anything she wanted, but he got to pick my nickname.  My mom gave me a great name and my middle name is my Grandmother’s.  So, my formal name is on my birth certificate; however, when dad got social security cards for all of us, he filled mine out with my nickname instead of my full name!)

Squirrel!!

If you’ve read anything on my blog, then I’m sure you know that I’m a single parent.  The bio father isn’t involved at all, but when I’m lucky, I do get child support.  That’s another long, and at this point, boring story.

I’ve read several blogs lately that deal directly and indirectly with this subject.  One was about how any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.  I truly believe this. (Check out Smirking Cat: http://smirkingcat.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/a-real-father/)  Yesterday I read a blog that listed 10 reasons why being a single parent rocks.  I cracked up; it was all so very true!  There are so many very reasons why this is a blessing and it’s easy to overlook that fact when mired in the day to day life.  (Check out Prego and The Loon: http://pregoandtheloon.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/ten-reasons-single-mommyhood-rocks/) Nothing against those of you that have a more traditional life as I totally respect that.  My parents have been married to each other, and only each other, for 40 years now.  That is just not the path that I have, my journey is different.

I am very fortunate that my son has wonderful men in his life.  My father and my brother have always been there for him.  More than a few years ago, I signed up for the Big Brother Big Sister program – and after a few years on the waiting list, we were paired with Rowland, who was amazing.  Sadly, in less than a year he had to move back to New Jersey to help his parents.  He still stays in touch, and he has been a great resource for Mr. T.  I also have a great friend, BA, who I had lunch with yesterday, and as we were leaving, he said that it had been awhile, so he’d swing by to hang out and see Mr. T.  He’s been a good resource, too.  Mr. T will text him and even invited BA and his daughter to his last birthday party. Mr. T’s babysitter for years and years is now as close as family, and she and her husband are a second home for Mr. T.  It’s just a given that he will spend Spring Break with them and spend several weeks during the summer with them.  He is former military and a strong, calm presence.  So, I am very blessed to have wonderful people in my life to help and be there for my son.

Some days I do feel that he is missing something.  The fact that I would get out in the yard to hit the ball with him, or toss a football, didn’t always seem to be enough.  Until the day that Mr. T gave me a new name.  He called me Steve.  I died laughing and asked what on earth was he talking about?? He goes “you are both my mom and dad, so I figured you needed a ‘dad’ name.”

My heart was overflowing.  I have a dad name.  And I answer to it, too.

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I’m giving myself this award today, I’ve earned it!

Winter… Ugh…

To those of you who wished for a real winter down here in Texas, go suck it. I hate you all. I live in Texas for a reason, and the snow and cold isn’t it. I could go back to Nevada if that was what I wanted. It’s been below 50 degrees for weeks now. I can handle the bit of rain we’ve had, and the more rain we have coming, but once the temps get below 50, it’s freezing! I only own 4 pairs of long pants!! And that includes one pair of black pajama pants that, yes, I’ve been known to wear out in public. Seriously, they look like real pants, unless my shirt lifts up and you see the flap. Yes, they are men’s pj pants. That’s not the point. The point is, it’s cold. I’ve actually had to wear snow boots and tennis shoes. For a girl who lives in a variety of sandals and flip-flops, my toes don’t like to be squished! I’m tired of jackets, tired of sneakers, tired of the runny nose and cold toes.

I am thankful that we’ve had minimal tornadoes and the couple of hurricanes have not impacted us greatly. We’ve been very blessed in that aspect and yes, by the end of the week we should be back up to the sixties; however, it was 29 degrees this morning. 29. Seriously.

So, you know who you are, and right now, I don’t like you one little bit!!

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Okay, this isn’t from this years snow, but I don’t have a picture of this years snow – it was too freaking cold!!