DAY 12 ~ BLOGMAS 2017 ~ WINTER TAG


Top 2 Winter Beauty Essentials

  • A NICE HOT SHOWER to relax and clean out the pores.
  • A super moisturizer to keep away dry skin!

Top 2 Winter Fashion Essentials

  • I wait ALL year for it to be cold enough to bring out the boots! I can’t wait until we move – I HATE the  lack of winter living here!
  • Scarves and gloves.  I have color combos to match anything.

Favorite Winter Accessory

  • HATS & SCARVES!!!!

Favorite Winter Nail Polish

  • Red for Christmas, but normally a pinky mauve. I just have too much red in my complexion to pull off many colors though this year I am wearing TEAL for Ovarian cancer awareness.

Hot Cocoa or Apple Cider?

  • Homemade hot cocoa and MUST have marshmallows!

Favorite Winter Candle?

  • Apple and Cinnamon

Does it snow where you live?

  • Not here at all. I can’t wait to be back somewhere it does though.

Have you ever made a snowman?

  • Absolutely! And a snow woman and snow kids!

What is Your Favorite Holiday Movie?

  • Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street and they never get old.  

What is Your Favorite Christmas Color?

  • Red and silver. 

Stay in Your PJs Or Dress Up For Christmas?

  • I always dress up.

If You Could Only Buy One Person a Present This Year Who Would It Be?

  • WOW, can “one” person just be one age group, all the kids in my life? This is a hard one.  I love buying presents for everyone. 

Do You Open Your Present Christmas Eve Or Christmas Morning?

  • It used to be Christmas Eve when I was a kid though we saved the Santa presents for Christmas morning. Now we open them Christmas morning.

What Do You Like To Do On Your Christmas Break?

  • Wait, there’s a Christmas Break? I don’t seem to get an actual break, but I do allow myself a holiday movie or two throughout my day as I’m working.

Any Christmas Wishes?

  • To have my house done so we can actually enjoy it for awhile before we sell it.  Safe travels for everyone over the holidays and world peace.  Was that too Miss America?  I really do want peace for EVERYONE!

Favorite Christmas Smell?

  • A fresh cut tree, baking cookies full of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves)

Favorite Christmas Meal Or Treat?

  • Prime Rib
  • Fudge
  • Corn flake wreaths

What are you doing for the holidays this year?

  • Staying home and recuperating

What’s your favorite holiday drink?

  • Coffee
  • Hot Cocoa
  • Hot toddies

Candy cane or Gingerbread men?

  • I like the chalk style peppermint, but I’m not real keen on actual candy canes and I like soft gingerbread men.

What’s your favorite holiday/Christmas song?

  • That’s a tough call – depends on my mood… White Christmas, Silent Night and I’ll Be Home for Christmas

What is most important to you about the holidays? 

  • That it is genuine and homemade for the most part.  It is not a commercial holiday for me.  I believe in trying to remember the real reason for the season and keep the Christmas spirit in my heart and life ALL year long.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 50 of 2017 DAY 5 of RECOVERY

I hope everyone had a wonderful week and are having a wonderful holiday season. I’m home from the hospital, but will address that in the Things On My Mind section.  The weekend was quiet and VERY uneventful thankfully.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

Temperatures are FINALLY down into the tolerable range. We even had to turn the heat on when we got home from the hospital on Friday. Friday was an ironic day here in southeast Texas.  7 years ago when I had my cancer surgery, we had a rare ice storm in the area.  Then we moved away for several years, but came back to work on my grandparent’s house and are here again for this surgery.  Ironically, we had SNOW last Thursday and Friday. yep I said snow! What a shock that was to wake up to in the middle of the night! I don’t get to go outside for another week give or take so am not yet enjoying the change in temperatures though.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

3 ounces of peach high protein drink.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

Unfortunately for the next 90-120 days this is hubby’s category. I am not allowed to do anything or lift anything heavier than a bag of flour.  Hubby is being a GREAT sport though and tending to my every need. Because of the risk of infection we are still having to wash every day.  He’s just not used to doing it, the vacuuming, cleaning up after the cat and dog, etc…

  • LAUNDRY... quite a few loads this week, towels, bedding and clothing
  • LIVING AREAS... I did a serious deep clean just before surgery so am hoping this will get hubby through until March LOL NOT
  • KITCHEN… pretty clean
  • STUDIO… is mainly storage these days so nothing going on there
  • YARD… nothing much
  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning and holiday post planning

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

I haven’t done any reading since last Tuesday, but am hoping to do some later today and get back into a routine. I’m still trying to finish Ava Miles book #9 Calendar of New Beginnings.

  • BIG BANG THEORY and YOUNG SHELDON
  • NCIS, NCIS NEW ORLEANS and NCIS LA, CRIMINAL MINDS, S.W.A.T.
  • MADAM SECRETARY, SCANDAL, DESIGNATED SURVIVOR
  • CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO PD, CHICAGO MED later this season
  • BRAVE, VALOR, SEAL TEAM
  • LAW & ORDER SVU, BLUE BLOODS, HAWAII 5-0
  • MACGYVER, SCORPION, BLINDSPOT, ORVILLE, WISDOM OF THE CROWD
  • Z NATION, WALKING DEAD, FLASH, DC LEGENDS, INHUMANS
  • THE GOOD PLACE, AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, SPEECHLESS, GREAT NEWS
  • THIS IS US, ONCE UPON A TIME, THE GOOD DOCTOR
  • GUY’S GROCERY GAMES, BEAT BOBBY FLAY, BOBBY AND DAMARIS

CRAFTS / PROJECTS

Probably nothing this week, but am hoping to start sketching the door series and tree of life next week.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

This category is a sad and sore subject for me until about March.  My surgery did not go as planned which is changing so much about food, but sure beats the alternative of being 6 foot under. Hubby is loving being able to eat what he calls bachelor food – S.O.S., chili, hot dogs, hamburger helper, etc… I told him NOT to get used to it though, as soon as I can cook again we will be eating healthier than ever.

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
2 times a day
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
3 ounces PROTEIN drink and GREEN Tea
2-4 times a day
4 ounces strained pureed soup
4 ounces strained pureed soup
4 ounces strained pureed soup
4 ounces strained pureed soup
4 ounces strained pureed soup
4 ounces strained pureed soup
4 ounces strained pureed soup
2 times a day
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
4 ounces vanilla yogurt
2 times a day  4 ounces jell-o 4 ounces jell-o 4 ounces jell-o 4 ounces jell-o 4 ounces jell-o 4 ounces jell-o  4 ounces jell-o

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

These are recipes that have been waiting in cue to post, I’m definitely NOT back to cooking yet.

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

You know the old Yiddish proverb, Man Plans, God Laughs? If not, you should learn it just to keep yourself sane.

So, as many of you know I have been suffering from some health issues the past few years, especially this last year. To give you a quick background when I was 24 I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus and not doing well. Several months into the disease I went to my rhuematlogist, held out my hand with 32 pills in it and said “I can’t live this way”. She agreed and we moved into treating the disease and it side affects like Fibromyalgia with diet or better said, lack of diet.  I immediately gave up ALL steroids, preservatives, splendas, aspartames, diet food of any kind, non GMO food, canned “food”, boxed “food”fast food as a whole and started perimeter shopping and scratch cooking with “REAL” foods. My life immediately improved.

Fast forward many years to 2011 and my oncologist claiming this change in food prep and eating for all those years saved my life when she was able to lift out a twice torsioned (wrapped around the ovary 2 times) volleyball sized ovarian tumor from my body intact and I have been NED (no evidence of disease) for almost 7 years since.  She decided it was because the cancer had nothing else to feed on in my body except itself. I knew I was extremely blessed when after 6 more months of testing everything and everywhere to make sure it was the only tumor, that they found none.

Fast forward another year and I’m having problems with the hiatal hernia that my cancer doctor found, but left alone. Enter a new gastroenterologist who was able to fix the hiatal hernia and shredded esophogaus with a Nissen Fundoplication (2012). This didn’t alter what I ate except in the beginning 2 months, but did alter how much and how often I ate.  I also gave up 90% of bread – just filled me up too fast.

Fast forward 9 months (2013) and the mesh from the Nissen Fundoplication failed requiring a revision surgery and another period of liquid food adjustment.

Fast forward to 2016 and the E.Coli bacterial infection that landed me in the hospital with a concussion because I lost consciousness and fell after becoming violently ill.  For the next 13 months I was tested by neurology and cardiology for my symptoms before they finally handed me off to gastroenterology which had a HUGE wait time so my wonderful primary doctor got tired of waiting and began doing logical testing on her own. She was the one who found the hiatal hernia (again) and referred me to the surgeon.  His testing was further delayed another 6 weeks past their normal backlog by Hurricane Harvey.  I love my surgeon and his immediate staff as well as my hospital nurses Ericah and Lexi.  Other than that the hospital will be getting a not so favorable review from me.  The recovery nurse should NEVER have contact with human beings and the respiratory therapist is negligent with he lack of follow through and the nurse’s aides need to be trained in patient care and helping.

We went into last Wednesday believing he was going to be able to fix the fix on the revision surgery.  Unfortunately this is where the Yiddish proverb enters.  I had planned food and EVERYTHING on the fix of the fix, but he was unable to correct the issue and had to make a drastic decision to do a bypass. This is a HUGE DRASTIC LIFE CHANGE for anybody, but for me there is very little information written on it for someone who isn’t doing it for weight loss.  I mean EVERYTHING written about the subject is for people who need to lose significant amounts of weight. The diet is strict and I can live with that, but the recovery time has now doubled!  Once recovery time is over I can live with the longterm lifetime diet and special vitamins as it is high protein, lowfat and REALLY healthy which is right up my alley anyway.

So here we are on day 5 of 90-120 days of nothingness except keeping a food and medicine journal.  I cannot tell you how much ALL of your thoughts and prayers have meant to me and are seeing seen me through this ordeal. There is 1 good thing. I did want to lose about 15 pounds and now that is going to be a given. 😀

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

I was able to get most of my elf on the shelf photos taken before surgery and definitely have a few favorites. 😀

INSPIRATION

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday, Terri at Darling Downs Diaries and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

DAY 10 – BLOGMAS 2017 – HANDMADE GIFTS

HANDMADE CHRISTMAS FAVORITES

Over the years I have made everything, and I do mean everything at one time or another to create a handmade Christmas. I’ve made rolls and rolls of butcher paper into wrapping paper, cut grocery bags into handmade tags, made enough fudge, candies and cookies to feed a small country, as well as jams, jellies, soup mixes and Snowman soup!

My award winning jams were requested one year at the Church Christmas Boutique and I ended up selling them every year for another 10 years before we moved.  Now I make just enough for gifts for neighbors and family.  I started making Snowman Soup about 20 years ago for the girl scouts and it was a HUGE seller at our gift wrap days and later for the Church Boutique.

For the things I didn’t make myself, I at least bought from local crafters.
As for receiving, I love ANYTHING handmade.  I’m a BIG believer that it’s the thought that counts and that caring action ALWAYS touches my heart though I’m partial to cotton crocheted dishcloths, my brothers photographs, my mom’s quilted totes and ANYTHING food.

DAY 9 ~ BLOGMAS 2017 ~ WINTER WONDERLAND MEMORY PICTURES

I can’t actually get to the disks with pictures from some of our more favorite Christmases so will share these 2013 ones with you.  This was a great year as we actually had lots of snow in Oregon. We loved living so close to the Christmas tree farm also.  Beautiful trees for reasonable costs unlike here.

The year had been VERY wet which is the normal, but an arctic storm blew in and all of a sudden everything turned white. This was our first snowstorm of the season, just before Christmas.
Hubby made this heart for me to wake up to in the back yard before the snow got too bad.

The house across the street usually looks REALLY horrible, but NOT when it’s under a blanket of snow.

Unfortunately, being in a cul-de-sac, delivery tracks leave MANY tire tracks at this time of year to mar the beautiful snow cover.
Even Rudolph was shivering!
Even Rudolph was shivering!
The first day after he storm was absolutely gorgeous though! This is one of my favorite pictures. The duck pond behind the neighborhood was truly a work of art.
Obviously we hadn’t gone anywhere – no tire tracks!
The fish ladder was like glass with the cold and ice.

DAY 8 – BLOGMAS 2017 – FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY

WOW there are so many! My very first personal is when I was 9, my aunt coming to visit from Texas around that same time and sitting on the floor in a leather dress playing Barrel of Monkeys with the younger kids or maybe the year I got my first bike, whoops wait maybe that was the birthday before Christmas.

My grandfather worked for General Electric as an X-ray technician of sorts (he oversaw the installation and calibration of X-ray equipment) and one year he brought home a GE Snow tree and ornaments (I still don’t know the correlation between between being an X-ray technician and Christmas trees). Anyway this tree had a HUGE decorated cardboard base and once the tree was up and decorated you filled this base with thousands of tiny Styrofoam balls and when you turned the switch on the tree would make it’s own snow.  As a kid I thought it was pretty cool, but as an adult I look back and realize what a MESS it made!! Especially when the wind was blowing and static electricity was high – those damn balls stuck to EVERYTHING!

But wait, that is not my favorite memory.  It turns out that my favorite memory is of trying to stump my dad each year with his gift – it became a mission of sorts to be the first to stump him.  I swear the man was Carnac when it came to knowing what was inside a box. We tried EVERY year to stump him and I don’t remember ever being able to do it.  We tried adding bricks, taping a silver dollar with duct tape to the bottom so it would flip back and forth to make noise when you shook it, adding a pair of shoes… but he ALWAYS guessed!  I don’t know how he did it.

REINDEER NIBBLES

REINDEER NIBBLES
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
4 cups regular oats (uncooked)
1 cup unsalted peanuts, slightly chopped
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups melted CandyQuick

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Whisk together the honey, peanut butter and cinnamon in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until thoroughly heated through. DO NOT BOIL.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • In a large bowl pour peanut butter mixture over the oatmeal, stir to combine.
  • Spread oats in a jelly roll pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Return oats to large mixing bowl and stir in peanuts, chocolate chips and raisins.
  • Spread oat mixture back into jelly roll pan and return to oven.
  • Turn oven off and let cool in oven for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally and keeping the door closed.
  • Remove from oven.
  • Melt CandyQuick in 30 second increments until pourable.  Stir after each 30 seconds.
  • Pour CandQuick over oat mixture and freeze for 1 hour.
  • Break apart into pieces.
  • Store in an airtight container.

NOTE: The pieces that are at the bottom make a great granola!