HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 13 of 2017

Did everyone have a good weekend?  Ours started out with a violent thunderstorm and tornado warnings, but we woke up Saturday to beautiful skies and warm temperatures.  I’ve been doing a lot of ebaying and organizing while I continue the minimizing and donating so wasn’t too bothered by the warm weather.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

After a beautiful, but warm weekend we are slated for more thunderstorms, warmer temperatures and high humidity as the week progresses – good thing I have a lot of inside activities this week.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

I’m having blueberry yogurt with granola and coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE

The house is in good order despite the activities I have going on.

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

  • A couple doctor appointments – hoping to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • EBAY pictures and descriptions
  • Trip to surprise a friend for her significant birthday.

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

Still reading Jan Deleon novels trying to get caught up on all her series books.  This week is Book #3 of the Family Inheritance series.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & FRUIT
SCRAMBLED EGGS & CHEESE
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
YOGURT & FRUIT
MAPLE OATMEAL & RAISINS
TOASTED FRENCH TOAST
CREAMED CHICKEN ON TOAST
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP & CRACKERS
SANDWICH
OUT
MEAT & CHEESE
LEFTOVERS
SANDWICHES
DINNER
CREAMED CHICKEN ON TOAST  and SALAD
CAMPFIRE CHICKEN and POTATOES in foil and SALAD
GRILLED TAMARIND CHICKEN SKEWERS with MORITA CHILE SAUCE
C.O.R.N.
C.O.R.N.
GRILLED STEAKS and ASPARAGUS
TAVERN CHICKEN and NOODLES
DESSERT

SUCCESSFUL RECIPES and their links FROM LAST WEEK

RECIPE FINDS TO TRY LATER

  • ASIAN PEAR and GRAPE CABBAGE SALAD
  • RED, WHITE & BLEU MEATBALLS
  • PAN SEARED CHICKEN with HERBED WINE SAUCE
  • SESAME CHICKEN
  • LEMON CURD CHEESECAKE
  • CHICKEN BOG
  • CHICKEN and SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA
  • CREAMY CRAB DIP
  • NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN DIP
  • CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY and ALMOND RUGELACH
  • MOLTEN RED VELVET CAKES
  • BRAISED TOMATO MUSHROOM CHICKEN
  • TAVERN CHICKEN

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

ON MY MIND

2017 has been a rough year so far.  My MIL passed away on the 7th and it has taken me a couple weeks to process this. Mom was 4 days shy of her 97th birthday.  Can you believe she was almost 90 in this picture taken at a family camp out several years ago? She lived a VERY FULL and mostly happy life leaving behind a long legacy of love and family.  While at that age you know it’s natural causes and inevitable, it never lessens the severity of the impact. She had been saying for years that she was ready to go, but I just never wanted it to happen. Just knowing I’ll never be able to hear her sweet voice again leaves me with a heavy heart.

Then on the 21st my favorite BIL, Ray,  entered hospice as his cancer continued to eat away at his body.  He passed quietly surrounded by family on the 25th.  Ray was one of the best men I have EVER known in my entire life. I LOVED talking to him for hours – we have so many beliefs and ideals in common, almost like we shared the same thought process despite the HUGE age difference (hubby is almost 20 years older than me and his sister is 7 years older than him and my BIL was 3 years older than her – you get the picture). He lived a VERY FULL and happy life also leaving behind a long legacy of love and family.

His death is hitting me the hardest I think as we were both diagnosed with reproductive cancers within weeks of each other. He did everything right, just a bit too late for when his was diagnosed. I have had to struggle with moving past the Survivor’s Guilt of a high mortality cancer for the past 6 years and 99% of the time I’m doing well with it, I just wish he was walking that same path with me!

I REALLY MISS THEM BOTH!

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

My violets are REALLY going to town in this window!

We had a visitor pop into our yard last Wednesday and couldn’t convince him he wasn’t ours. He had a collar, but no tags.  I tried calling rescues and local shelters and walking him through the neighborhood asking everyone I saw if they knew him.  As for the shelters they were NO help at all, at least by phone. Everyone said I was not in their jurisdiction and were actually quite rude! The last woman told me to just let him go, someone else would take care of him.  Can you believe that? So, we took him to our vet to see if maybe he was microchipped (he wasn’t) or they had any info on him.  They sent us to the nicest no kill shelter where he was immediately welcomed and seemed happy to be there. Bye Jake (that’s what we called him).  I pray you are adopted by a really nice family with 2 little boys and a HUGE yard.

INSPIRATION

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

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CANCERVERSARY Year 6 and Counting

Six years ago today my life was forever changed when I woke up after my “Cancer” surgery. I will NEVER forget that day or all the support and love that my family and friends provided during my journey. The doctors, nurses and fellow cancer patients I met and have bonded with has been an amazing gift. I will always worry about my cancer coming back but right now I am so thankful and blessed to be here today. Thank you everyone for your love and support!!!
2192 days ago they told me they got it all.  Well to be honest I was out of it for the first 3 days after a being cut open from stem to stern and a lengthy surgery so I didn’t hear them until 2189 days ago.  But, my family knew and was relieved.   I am always waiting for the other shoe to fall and the elephant is ALWAYS in the room.  They learn new nuances about cancer every day, but no one knows for sure why one person gets cancer and another doesn’t when there is no direct link nor when or if it will come back.

Every bite of food I take, every prescription, every breath of air, every time I’m around fertilizer, clean the bathroom or use kitchen spray cleaner remind me that I don’t know how I got this horrible cancer and that there is is still the risk of it repeating itself.  My oncologist tells me that having Systemic Lupus may have saved my life because it changed my lifestyle all those years ago forcing me to eat “cleaner” with no boxed or canned products for the most part, give up “regular” junk food and just be more aware and vigilant in day to day life.

After surgery I was poked, prodded and put through every possible test to double check their findings because they couldn’t believe they got it all.  The tumor was large (volleyball size) but contained – unheard of for this type of cancer so I got a new label – rare and uncommon gynecological tumor which sparked a new round of tests. Even with complete vigilance I ended up with a secondary condition, Lymphedema, that requires daily maintenance.

I dread the waiting between check-ups, but the dread is lessening with every passing check up, but NOT the vigilance!  I’m always afraid that I might not get a clean bill of health with every blood test or check up.  While I can now claim complete remission and have been moved to the “survivor’s clinic”, but even then there are no guarantees.  While I know I am one really lucky girl, I am always vigilant.

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HOUSE FROM HELL day 458 update

I’m still under the weather, but trying to get some things done none the less so I try to pick an inside project each day that I can come close to accomplishing.  Unfortunately I’ve entered the “Full Flare” phase of Systemic Lupus and Fibromyalgia.  These are two really horrible diseases to have to begin with, but together they equal complete misery – every joint and nerve ending are on fire between shooting pains.  The SLE makes you beg for death some days with aching joints and the shooting pain and at the very least think about staying in or going back to bed.  Then the Fibro has you crawling the walls with pain, but ironically that pain feels better if you get up and move.  My motto since I was diagnosed all those years ago has been “GET UP & GET GOING” no matter what!  Eventually I feel better as the day goes on even I do crash by 8PM. I’m doing pretty well for someone who is supposed to be living a stress free life and still dealing with this house the past 14 months.

Last year I did the “turn your hangers around and anything not worn during the year you donate” challenge.  Well, I used to have an office job – the kind that actually required nice dresses and heels. I’ve moved those clothes around with us the last several years thinking they’d be good for church and nice nights out, BUT I don’t need so many of them.  So, I went through them all today (my project for the day) as well as my skirts, blouses and slacks and was able to seriously clean out my closet by 52 gallons, four 13 gallon bags full to be exact. Since I’m continuing the minimizing challenge this year, logging everything has helped A LOT!

Tomorrow I’m thinking about doing the spice cabinet or the desk.

Hubby on the other hand worked outside and  has taken over my digging on the stump trying to get all the small roots out of the way.  It took him several hours, but he made good headway today.

We’re still looking for someone to at least chainsaw off as much as possible though we’d prefer to find someone to grind it out!

 

ALWAYS WEAR CLEAN UNDERWEAR

cleanunderwearDid your mom always tell you to wear clean underwear? You know in case you were in an accident or had to go to the hospital. Well, I’m hear to tell you she was wrong.  It’s clean socks you need to wear!

I wasn’t ready to talk about this when it happened, but now thinking about the clean underwear makes me laugh, so it’s time to talk about it.

I was feeling quite warm while we were out to dinner with my brother and his girlfriend one evening early last month. I excused myself and stepped outside for a breath of fresh air. Next thing I know I’m in my husband’s arms with an EMT standing over me. As it is told to me I was out with no pulse and not breathing and my brother’s girlfriend, quick thinker she is called 911.

This event was laced with good AND bad. We ate at our favorite tavern and I had an ice tea and tuna sandwich, they are famous for their sandwiches. Now picture this, I’m laying on the sidewalk just outside the back door of this tavern and the EMT keeps trying to get me to sign off on the event so he can leave me on the curb. I’m so out of it and beginning to violently toss my cookies and here’s this EMT who has already made up his mind that I’m drunk or a drug user. Every other sentence was “come on, tell me how much you had to drink?” I DON’T DRINK! Hubs has already told the other EMT that we are going to the hospital and this guy keeps working on me to sign this form and say I drank too much.

We take the 20 minute trip to the hospital with hubby riding up front and this same EMT in the back peppering me with questions about having too much to drink, illegal drugs, etc… He keeps trying to put an IV in me, misses 4 times and there’s blood everywhere. Long story short on the EMT is that I did file a formal complaint when I was out of the hospital. I knew that degree in health education/patient advocacy would pay off some day. Thank god I was handed off to Nurse Gus and his team! Though, his phlebotomist was a bit none too gentle and in a super sour mood!  Why don’t these people listen to the patients that know there own bodies?  After 150 blood draws the past few years with the cancer and all, I can tell you exactly which vein is best.

Gus though made my night. Once I was stabilized, I was asked to change into a hospital gown and take off everything except my socks to keep my feet warm. Oh no, herein lies the problem. When I got out of the shower that morning I put on clean underwear and clean socks, but I noticed a small hole in my big toe of my favorite socks with wild stripes. I had just gotten a pedicure and my polish matched the socks so I thought no big deal and the socks were the perfect “weight” for the shoes I was wearing. I just figured I would toss them when I took them off that night. Fortunately for me Gus had a sense of humor and said I could stay in his ER because he liked my socks.

Turns out I now have Long QT Syndrome brought on by one of these drugs prescribed for my Fibromyalgia that interacted with a diuretic I was on from the cancer. Check this list! I was surprised to find many “common” medications on this list. The SADS FOUNDATION has more information if you’re interested. Scary thing is that my doctor was well aware of all my medications as was the pharmacy and NO ONE (doctor or pharmacist) ever said that this combination could create a perfect storm that would drain me of potassium to a critical level that prevented my heart from beating.  And by the way, if you ever have to have a potassium IV, WATCH OUT – they hurt SOOOOOOO bad!  And if they ever pescribe a diuretic, make sure to ask for a corresponding potassium prescription!

One of the scariest things in today’s world – a medication for everything!  I, for one, am trying to get off as many medications as humanly possible.  I plan on liviing with the pain these days, and I refuse to go back on anything I can avoid!

HEALTHY EATING

With my upcoming forced diet for Hiatal Hernia surgery and the wonderful weight loss that will be a happy by product, I will be adhering to strict portions in the future. I have also been informed that I MUST give up ALL carbonated drinks and straws as well as change to 5-6 smaller meals per day. The weight I had gained was a side effect of several medications that I’ve been on for SLE and Fibromyalgia as well as the hernia, so I’m happy it will be gone, but I’ve decided to adhere to a strict portion control anyway.  Here’s the Harvard School of Public Health’s guideline:
I’m also going to buy a scale and follow the following portion sizes:
DAIRY 2-3 servings
1 cup milk or yogurt
1 1/2 ounces cheese
PROTEIN 2-3 servings
2-3 ounces cooked meat
1 egg or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter count as 1 ounce of meat
VEGETABLES 3-5 servings
1 cup raw leafy vegetables
1/2 cup other vegetables
3/4 cup vegetable juice
FRUITS 2-4 servings
1 medium app, orange or banana
1/2 cup other fruits
3/4 cup fruit juice
GRAINS 6-11 servings
1 slice bread
1 ounce cereal
1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta
Use oils sparingly
Everyone has super sized for so long that we have become on own worst enemies when it comes to dieting.  I refuse to be one of those people and am not going to waste this chance to stay slim and healthy.  Here’s my new sample menu for when I can begin to eat “real” food again.

DATE MEAL#1 MEAL#2 MEAL#3 MEAL#4 SNACK SNACK SNACK
Monday 7/30 Activia Peach Yogurt
1/2 TUNA SALAD SANDWICH and FRUIT
SALAD
 BLACK BEAN BURRITOS with SLICED KIWI
 APPLE
GLASS OF MILK

HARD BOILED EGG
Tuesday 7/31

CHERRIOS with BANANAS
1/2 EGG SALAD SANDWICH and FRUIT
SALAD
VEGETABLE STIR FRY and RICE with SLICED KIWI
BANANA
GLASS OF MILK
CHEESE STICK
Wednesday 8/1

Activia Peach Yogurt
1/2 PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH and FRUIT
SALAD
GRILLED CHICKEN and MASHED POTATOES with SLICED TOMATOES
ORANGE
GLASS OF MILK
CARROT STICKS
Thursday 8/2

OATMEAL with RAISINS
1/2 TURKEY SANDWICH and FRUIT
SALAD
GRILLED FISH and MASHED POTATOES with STEAMED CARROTS
 APPLE
GLASS OF MILK
CHEESE STICK
Friday 8/3

Activia Peach Yogurt
1/2 EGG SALAD SANDWICH
SALAD
TURKEY MEATLOAF, BAKED POTATOES and BROCCOLI
 BANANA
GLASS OF MILK
BERRIES
Saturday 8/4

Activia Peach Yogurt
1/2 PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH
SALAD
TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE with SLICED CUCUMBERS
 ORANGE
GLASS OF MILK
SNAP PEAS
Sunday 8/5

PANCAKES OUT SALAD
BEEF STEW (LOTS OF VEGGIES) with SLICED TOMATOES

 APPLE
GLASS OF MILK
CHEESE STICK 

 HAPPY HEALTHY EATING!

Pretty Bowls and Crystal Glasses



When I asked Am to unload the dishwasher today, she told me how pretty a glass she was unloading was. I told her it was a Princess House Heritage Crystal Glass and she immediately put it down and backed away from it like it was Uranium or something. I asked her what was wrong and she said she was afraid she’d break it, so she better not touch it. I laughed and said don’t worry about it, we use them every day. We even break them now and again. Then I asked her to put the beans in the oven and she looked at the bowl and said, “You really want this pretty bowl in the oven”? Again I laughed and said yes. Then I asked her if she had ever heard of Erma Bombeck and she said no. I had to share this with her. See many, no, most of you know me as just a fellow blogger with a positive attitude and generally friendly demeanor. What you don’t know is that I too suffer from a terrible debilitating disease that requires constant maintenance, positive attitude and a stress free life as well as a preservative free diet to stay even close to healthy. To look at me you would never know I was sick, but for that all I can say is thank you as I have worked hard to maintain that appearance and attitude, because it wasn’t always that way and it was hard work to get this healthy. I also know though how tenuous life is and how quickly it can change so for that reason I post this tribute to Erma Bombeck as a reminder to us all to burn the pink candle, use the pretty bowl and crystal glasses for everyday.

If I Had My Life To Live Over by Erma Bombeck

The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck after she found out she had a fatal disease.

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s”.. More “I’m sorrys” …

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it … live it…and never give it back.

final blog signature.