My promise

As it turns out, I’m allergic to one of my chemo drugs.  We’re working around it by using a similar drug that metabolizes differently, so hopefully no allergic reaction.  I can tell even after today’s treatment that I’m feeling better than last time, praise God.  And, bloodwork shows the current chemo regime is working, so all good news today.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season.  I capped mine off by falling asleep New Year’s Eve at 11 pm.  What???  I’m a mom, I have an excuse.  One of my resolutions for this year was to take a beach trip – and I’m not wasting any time.  I’m in the midst of planning a June trip to Cozumel, so I’ll be antsy waiting for our trip to come for the next 5 months.

We’re packing up our Christmas stuff, and I took a moment to promise myself (and pray to God) that I’ll be around when it’s time to take them out again in December.  Do it for youself too.  I want all of you around when the next holiday season rolls around.  I love you all….

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Crickets Chirping….

Been awful quiet around here lately.  Oh, but I guess since I maintain this blog, that would be my fault.  Sorry ’bout that.

Christmas Season is in full swing here.  I think in the last week I singlehandedly kept the dairy farmers in business with all the butter I’ve purchased for baking.  I’ve also managed to kill off my sweet tooth so feel free to FedEx me a salt lick for Christmas. 

Sooo, let’s get the not so cool news outta the way.  Put my cat to sleep right after Thanksgiving.  That sucked.  I miss him.  Blane contends that he’s going to grow up to be Iron Man, rocket into Heaven, and steal Isaac away from God.  I guess he misses him too. 

New chemo isn’t much fun.  But I complained to my oncologist and he will be giving me even more souped up drugs to counter nausea.  Also, I think I had a weird reaction last time (my mouth felt like it was filled with marbles), so I’ll get doped with Benadryl tomorrow.  Bring a dolly ’round and wheel her home, folks.

Ok, now the good stuff.  I had this really cool experience this week – a lot of people would chalk it up to a coincidence, but I know better.  Last year the church identified some  families at a local school that were in need for the Christmas Season.  I volunteered to help Tina, a recently divorced mother of three who was unemployed and living with a friend until she could afford housing on her own.  I got gifts for her children and something for her, supplemented it with food collected from the church, and delivered it to her right before Christmas.  It was then I learned her ex was an aggressive man who was violent with her.  She left him, but there was a fear that he may be hostile towards the kids when they were with him.  I advised her to contact CPS and consult with them for an investigation.  And then I walked out of her life.  Over the last year, I’ve felt such guilt over that.  I should’ve done more.  I should’ve checked in on her, provided some support.  In the last month, I’ve been praying a lot about her, and also asking for guidance.  I asked God to help me find her again, and then help me do the right thing. 

I went to a client’s office the other day for a Christmas lunch.  SHE WAS THERE.  She knew she remembered me from somewhere and when I told her, it was like this flood between us.  What a wonderful connection!  I asked God to help me find her, and He put her there right in front of me!!  I’m happy to say that things are MUCH better in her life, on all fronts.  She told me God stayed with her the whole time and has provided for her.  We exchanged info and we’ll be going to dinner soon to catch up.  I’m still in a state of awe.  Coincidence, schmoincidence.

Also of note, I want to introduce a new member of our “family.”  Recently, I decided that with all the good in our life, it was the right time to share our resources and love with someone in need.  So Amner is now my family’s sponsored child, through Compassion International.  Amner is 7 years old and lives in Guatamala; I’m so looking forward to getting to know him and his family as he progresses through the program.  Compassion will be providing educational, spiritual and medical support to Amner as he attends a Student Center in his town.  It’s a wonderful way to help a child and family in need in such a poor area of the world.  I hope we can make a difference in his life.

So that’s the goods!  I’m off to wrap the last of the Christmas gifts and then enjoy the rest of this blessed season.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas, anyone??

What is this sensation???

My hands…they’re icy.  My skin…it’s goosebumpy.  What is this mess?

Winter.  The internets declares it’s 53 degrees outside.  I need to move to a warmer climate or something.  Usually those come with sand and palm trees.  No coat required. 

How, how do people live in North Dakota?  I would light my house on fire and use it to stay warm while waiting for a taxi to take me to the airport, where I would be on the next plane southbound.

Christmas ambition

I confess, for years I’ve made fun of people and stores that begin rolling out Christmas stuff in November.  And now, Bertha help me, I’m one of ’em.  I have one undecorated Christmas tree in my living room, waiting for Blane and I to decorate today, one week before Thanksgiving.  I can’t help it – I am so psyched about the holidays this year.  I’m doing my Thanksgiving shopping today and I’m getting antsy waiting to start the cooking.

I’m famous at work for “the box.”  Every year I buy one Christmas themed box for each employee and then fill it with a variety of baked stuff.  I love coming in to work on Christmas Eve morning (or the day before) before everyone else arrives, and leaving a box at each person’s desk.  This year begins the box overhaul.  I’ve been baking some of the same stuff for years, and while they’re delicious, I’m ready to mix it up a bit.  I’ve got some really great ideas; I’ll let you know how it turns out.

No joke, I’m done shopping for both Blane and Lee for Christmas.  I can’t wait for family to get together and enjoy company, good food, and flying wrapping paper as the children lay waste to the tree.

So yes, go ahead, make fun of me…Santa hat and all.

An American Tradition

I’ve noticed that there are so many families that don’t make it a habit of eating together in the evening.  Sometimes we have so much going on that we don’t have time to sit, talk and share a nice meal.  Ergo, we have too many families eating food out and not getting proper nutrition, not to mention the connection that you get when you share that time together, talking about your day and what’s going on in your lives.

So, I’m bringing it back!  We usually eat dinner together anyway, but there’s a special dinner that I want to celebrate – Sunday dinner.  I like the idea that no matter what’s going on, we get together on Sunday evening for a comforting, family meal.  As big B grows up, I think this tradition will keep us close and connected.  We’ve been doing this for the last few weeks, and I love it!  I get to spend some quality time cooking  in the kitchen, and my family gets a special dinner.  This week – white beans n rice!  We splurge and have an actual dessert at the end, which is usually planned by me.  Apple crisp (which also happens to be my favorite dessert  – like EVER!!).

Anyone else do something like this?

Can you feel the love??

Ever have one of those days when things just seem so clear?  Take today, for instance.  I truly believe that God gives everyone a gift.  Some people are natural musicians, or artists.  Some folks can write really good prose; other people are just really good at robbing banks.  Me, I like to cook and bake.  I think I’m pretty decent at it.  Not in a professional chef kind of way.  I said I was a good cook – I never said I was all that innovative, culinarily speaking.  I like to think that I cook in a way that makes people happy when they eat. 

So, I was thinking about cooking today, and realized that if I can do something well, I should put it to best use.  I issued myself an edict:  Cook to love people.  I love my peeps:  my family, my friends, the ladies I work with (girls rule), and it makes me feel really good to feed them, so that’s pretty much my mission in life.  I’m gonna cook for the people I love, and I’m gonna do it a lot.  If you know me, you’re gonna be fed, and know that in everything I make for you, there’s love behind it.  It may not be the best thing for your waistline, but it’ll be the best thing for your soul.

I have a soul too, though.  No point in making mama unhappy.  So, tonight I made some really great chicken tortilla soup.  Full of good stuff like onions, fresh tomato, cilantro, and spices.  I didn’t want the soup to get lonely, so I made some truly yummy corn muffins.  There was some butter involved.  My bowl looked lovely with the soup.  Still, it was missing something.  So, with joy in my heart, I added sour cream.

And extra sharp white cheddar. 

I guess I really do love myself.

Weird Kid Stuff….

Surely my child cannot be the only weird one around.  Some of his funky little quirks I can understand.  For instance, the youngster has now declared that it’s not good enough to tell someone you’re 4 years old.  No, no.  It’s now 4 and a half years old.  The little runt is practically a high-schooler now, according to him.

Food stuff:  I’ll admit, when big B was an infant, I made his baby food.  I steamed, pureed and prepackaged all kinds of healthy food for him, so he’d grow up accepting veggies and such.  I’m pretty proud of that – he’ll eat piles of raw spinach leaves instead of salad, and will consume steamed broccoli no problem (provided you give him a nice glop of caesar dressing for dipping).  The boy loves sweet potatoes, far more than regular white potatoes (including fries, tater tots, and mashed potatoes).  But then, he gets a bit weird after that.  The munchkin doesn’t care for rice all that much.  Give him a pile of couscous and tell him that’s what it is, and he’ll tear it up.  Couscous everywhere!  He loves the stuff.  I fibbed a bit last night though – I made him shrimp etoufee for the first time last night and served it over brown rice.  Only way he’d eat the rice is if I told him it was couscous….and then sprinkled hot sauce on top of it.  Steeeerange.

Blane fell out of his bed for the first time ever the other night.  Heard a crash from his room, but it took him a couple of seconds to come out of sleep enough to cry about it.  He was plunked back into bed, no problem.  The next morning we asked him about falling out of bed, and we got two different stories.  He told his dad that something weird pushed him out of bed.  He told me it was just a mistake. 

Costumes:  Blane has recently decided that costumes are awesome and he wears them all the time.  It’s Saturday morning, and I’m about to make pumpkin waffles.  What is the monster wearing?  Captain America underoos, a blue batman costume, and the matching mask.  This is a new development – he wasn’t into costumes 6 months ago.  Now he lives in them.  Methinks a pirate costume is next….

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