Sunday, April 30, 2006

Some more pictures of the birthday party from last week!!
Caden is enjoying his drink!

Kaleb finding comfort in Mommy's arms.
He was sick that night with a double ear infection and it was very obvious he didn't feel very good! Although he did manage to eat some cake and beg for more.

Alan and Kael having some fun!!

Rhebeca gave specific instructions on how to take this picture. No cars in it and not much of the parking lot, etc. I think it turned out pretty good.

I have tried three times to post one more picture but it's not working. I'll try it tomorrow night.

Wayne and I are giving this diet a good try. I have either been sick or it's been hard on me to cut back so far on what I'm eating. I have been a little dizzy and nauseated. When I look back at my diet...I was eating more than I realized every day and craving a LOT of sugar. I'm doing better all ready with the sugar cravings. It was a rough 2 days to begin with.

We are both enjoying the good food. We get two big salads a day and I put everything in them you could think of....yellow, red, orange and green peppers, avacados, pablano peppers, apple, celery, tomato, cucumber, beets, and more. I can't eat carrots, raisins, nuts or cheese yet. It really tastes good!!

Not much else has happened here over the weekend except for trying to stick to this diet and running to the bathroom from all the water..ha ha!!

Friday, April 28, 2006

I am so disappointed with myself because I had Wayne deliver Rhebeca's scrapbook pages to her and forgot to scan them first. They ended up very girly looking in colors of pink, blue, yellow and purple...lots of flowers, etc. Maybe after they're done with them at her school I can get them to scan.

I talked to Rhebeca last night and she's so excited about next week. She will be "student of the week" and I guess that's why she needed the information about her coming here from Brazil. I wonder if she might be taking her whole scrapbook that I made for her?

I went to the "diet lady"....for lack of knowing what to call her and she went over the whole plan with me. I have 4 medifast shakes a day, 2 salads and a piece of meat. Well, after my appointment with her I went to the grocery store for all my salad ingredients. An older man bagged my items and told me I had the healthiest looking groceries of anyone he'd seen:) I told him I was starting a new diet and he thought it should make me feel pretty good. I got home and by the time I carried everything in I was getting dizzy and nauseated. I had to hurry and get things in the refrigerator and then rest. I have been extremely nauseated ever since then and woke up even worse. I think I have a cold with a lot of drainage...that's one idea or else sometimes it seems with the pump I get a little nauseated...I may be getting a little too much or not quite enough. I have just learned it's something I have to deal with. So I'm kind of holding off on these salads till I feel better. The last thing I want to eat when I'm nauseated is salad...yuck!!

I was wondering when we'd hear about a CD coming out of this years American Idol contestants. I just started hearing about it today. Last year I was able to get all the songs online and didn't have to buy it. I don't know where to find it this year again but will try. Here is a list I saw posted on another blog that is a tentative list of the songs the top 12 will be doing on the CD:

Tentative Track Listing: (Subject to change - sequence TBD)
1. Kevin Covais - "When I Fall In Love"
2. Melissa McGhee - "What About Love"
3. Lisa Tucker - "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)
4. Mandisa - "I'm Every Woman"
5. Bucky Covington - "Superstition"
6. Paris Bennett - "Midnight Train To Georgia"
7. Ace Young - "Father Figure"
8. Katherine McPhee - "Think"
9. Kellie Pickler - "Walkin' After Midnight"
10. Chris Daughtry - "Wanted Dead Or Alive"
11. Taylor Hicks - "Takin’ It To The Streets"
12. Elliott Yamin - "Moody’s Mood For Love"

Most other years the track was in order of how the contestants left....if that is true this year that means they are expecting a final between Taylor and Elliot...interesting:)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Rhebeca, Kael and Kaleb
April 2006

April 2006

These are the newest pictures of Alan and Eutemia's family. I thought they were so good. Eutemia gave them to me at the birthday party Monday and what Grandma isn't thrilled with pictures like this? Especially a Grandma that is a scrapbooker.

I have been working on two scrapbook pages for Rhebeca all day. First of all it takes a while to decide how to scrapbook the pictures and then it takes even longer to put it all together just perfect. She said she needed pictures of when she came from Brazil to America scrapbooked for a project for school. Since they were going to her school I wanted them to be extra special. I will post those tomorrow because tonight not everything is glued on yet.

I have had a rough day physically. I started having chest pains last night when I was ready for bed. I got them to go away by eating something and drinking some water and then they came today all day off and on. It is not my is acid reflux but it still hurts!! I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow. What would we as humans do without hope?

According to the Dial Idol website Paris will be getting voted off tonight. It doesn't seem fair because she is so much better than a couple of the others but that's the way the judges "pimp" them! Katharine is very close in points to Paris so it could easily be her too. I thought she did such a good job last night and the judges just ripped her to pieces. It's getting quite obvious that they want a final between Chris and Elliott.

I will be seeing the dietician tomorrow and will be getting started on a new "lifestyle" and a different way of eating. I have no idea yet what type of food it will be so it will be quite interesting. I have been trying to let everything run out and haven't gone to the store yet waiting for this information. Tonight I made a very good casserole. It is quite, easy and very good!!


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 (28 ounce ) can whole peeled tomatoes (recommended: San Marzano)

1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, (recommended: San Marzano) If San Marzanos are not available, add a teaspoon of super to your sauce, optional.

Course/Kosher Salt

A handful fresh basil leaves, torn

1 pound ziti rigate, (rigate means with ridges....the ridges give the sauce something to stick to)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

Freshly ground black pepper

A generous grating of nutmeg

2 cups whole milk ( I used the fat free half & half)

1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese

1/2 cup shredded parmigiano-reggiano cheese

1 cup sliced fresh mozzarella cheese

Put pasta water on to boil.

In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, saute garlic in extra-virgin olive oil. Chop whole tomatoes and add them to the pan. Add crushed tomatoes and salt and simmer 10 minutes. (I also added about 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste to thicken up the sauce a little bit).

I like to add the basil after the sauce simmers about 5-7 minutes so it doesn't overcook.

Add salt and pasta to boiling water and cook 6 minutes, leaving pasta a little chewy.

While pasta cooks, melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour, then cook 1 minute, adding salt and pepper and nutmeg to flour. Add milk (or half & half) and bring sauce to bubble, reduce 5 minutes until it thickens.

Drain pasta and transfer to a large casserole dish (9x13 inch pan). Pour the tomato and basil sauce over the pasta and turn to coat the pasta. Pour the bechamel (white sauce) over the already coated pasta. Cover the top of the pasta with Asiago, Parmesan and mozzarella. Place the casserole under a hot broiler and melt the 3 cheeses until brown and bubbly.

Monday, April 24, 2006

I am having problems getting this to break up into paragraphs tonight. I apologize for it being a little hard to read...I'll work on it again tomorrow..(Tuesday)
Today is my Mom's birthday and I decided that from now on we would try to get the family together to celebrate rather than do it in a smaller group. I felt so bad when Tyler felt left out of my birthday celebration and that's why from now on it will be a "family group" celebration. It means a lot to these kids to have these parties. It got quite loud tonight but they all had such a good time.
Rhebeca and Tyler have become such good friends and we can see it happening now with Kael and Caden. They are becoming really good friends. They get a little carried away with each other at times and have to be separated but it's wonderful to see these little friendships develop.
From the time Rhebeca was really little and we were at a restaurant she and I would go for walks outside or sometimes inside the restaurant. She still loves to do that and Tyler has started joining us the last few times. We walked outside several times tonight and we all 3 have the nicest talks. Nothing could be more precious to me than talking to my grandchildren about whatever they are interested in at the time.
I am thankful to have another birthday to celebrate in my Mom's life. She
had cancer when I was 10 and we could have lost her to that. I'm sure there are many other close calls that we never know about but I feel blessed to have had her presence all these years later. Life is so uncertain and the constant of the love of a mother has been just what I have needed so many times...especially through being so sick the past few years.
One more bit of thankfulness to add tonight and that is I can see a huge change in my health from today compared to a year ago. I was not going to any restaurants a year ago because there was too much pain to sit that long. I also had absolutely zero energy to do anything even with my family. I felt tonight like I am on a real upswing in my health. The pump has been the best thing I could have done. I still have pain but I am completely out of pain when sitting down...almost 90% of the time. I never even dreamed it would be this good. I am also just starting to see a very slight increase in my stamina. It has been a lot slower than I had hoped but at least it's happening a tiny little bit:) I hope I can say the same thing again this time next year!!
Rhebeca wanted to walk me to my car tonight and then we were waiting for her Daddy and Wayne to stop talking. I told her she could sit in the drivers seat and pretend to take me somewhere. When Grandpa Wayne came he let her steer the car while he used the pedals and she drove over to her car. She just squealed with delight. I remember my Grandpa letting me drive like that and then I also remember Wayne letting our kids drive sitting on his lap on the back roads. It's so much fun to pass the tradition on along to the next generation.
I did not go off the prednisone...advice from "nurse daughter" who lives in Memphis. She said it's very important to take the dose as written so I did what she said and appreciate her advice.
I hope you enjoy the pictures from the party!!
Grandma Marilyn gets lots of help serving the birthday cake!

Rhebeca, Tyler and Kael helping Grandma Marilyn blow out the can just barely see Rhebeca!

Kaleb enjoying the party even though he has a bad ear infection in both ears....poor little guy!!

Caden enjoying some birthday cake

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Rhebeca came over here today to give a little style show. She had some new summer clothes that needed to be tried on so while she was at it she gave a little show. She looks so cute in everything she puts on!!

Rhebeca has a school project she's been working on and needed a picture from the day she flew to the USA for the first time and met her new family. The only pictures that really turned out were the ones of me holding Rhebeca. The others have faded real badly.

We had taken a Teletubbies LaLa doll that talked and since she didn't know us it kind of helped to break the ice a little bit. She would come to whichever one of us had the doll. What an exciting night that was...meeting our first and at the time our only grandchild. She was 9 months old when she came to the USA and we have loved her and loved getting to know her!! She's a very special person.

I have been on prednisone now for 4 days and it's driving me crazy. I could eat everything in this house and haven't slept more than a couple hours a night. We're watching Katie & Steve's dog while they're gone and I'm just glad she didn't start to look appetizing...ha ha!! I think I'll go off of the prednisone a couple of days early. I can't stand the side effects another day. I am also nervous and depressed on this medicine. The swelling in my legs and feet have gone down quite a bit. I will just take my blood pressure several times during the day to make sure going off of the prednisone so fast won't bother my heart. If it does I guess I'll finish up the dose like it says.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I had to go to the doctor again yesterday. My feet swelled up almost double the size and the calves of my legs were beet red. I had little bumps that itched really bad on the inside of my elbows. The doctor walked in the room and said what's going on with you now? I told him that I have the weirdest problems and he had to agree. He thinks it's an allergic reaction to something and I told him I'd been using a new cream on my legs. My friend, Andrea, that visited me a couple weeks ago brought the lotion to me and I loved it mostly because she picked it out for me. He said to stop using it and go back to the Aveena. No lotions at all for the next week until it clears up a little bit.

He put me on prednisone (steroids) and now I'm starving all the time and can't sleep more than a couple of hours. It is helping the itching a little bit all ready and the swelling is starting to go down just a little. I could tell because my shoes went on a little easier today.

Tyler went with me to the doctor. He played in the waiting room at the little toy area. He got so noisy and wouldn't quiet down so I had to think quick on how to distract him. He said he was a steam engine train and they can't be quiet. I saw a Highlights magazine on the table and remembered they have a page of real thought provoking questions in it. His Mom loved it when I used to ask them to her. He acted uninterested at first but before long he was standing by me begging for the next question.

We went to the pharmacy to pick up my prednisone after the doctor's and it's one that has a drive-up outside but he wanted to go inside and see what was in there that would interest him. When we got in there he saw a Hostess cupcake and wanted it so I gave him a dollar to take it up to the cash register himself. I heard him tell the lady at the counter that..."This cupcake sure looks yummy so I just had to buy it." I could tell she thought he was pretty cute.

American Idol news...There is a rumor going around that Katharine McPhee will be the one voted off this week. They said the 6th person in the last few years has been a real shocker. I don't know how people think it will be Katharine....I sure hope it isn't!!

One last thing. ....I met with the dietician this week. I really liked her and this week was all history taking and I had to decide which diet I wanted to go on. She has two choices. I could choose either to calorie count completely or go with the medfast program. The shakes with the medfast are full of vitimins and minerals that the body needs whether dieting or eating a well balanced meal. I chose the Medfast option where I drink 4 shakes a day and eat 2 regular meals. I decided on the Medfast plan for several reasons and they are

#1-- the shakes are sweet and I crave sweets often
#2--when I'm not feeling well Wayne can make a shake for me but he'd never try to cook
#3--there is a little faster weight loss with the medfast choice

Since it will not be completely shakes and I can eat 2 regular meals a day I think it will be a good diet and I'm really excited about starting. I meet with her again this Thursday when she will go over the food plan and explain the shakes. It will feel so good emotionally to get some weight off and since I'll be paying for this I think it will make me accountable to keep on it. Wayne even said he'd like to try it with me. Just think...before long people won't even know who we are:)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The pictures are from the Easter egg hunt. The Picture 1 is Kael hunting for eggs. It's hard being the youngest one in the hunt...the older ones had all ready run around and found all the eggs. Picture 2 is Rhebeca and Tyler ready to hunt eggs. And picture three... Rhebeca wanted me to be sure and put the picture of her Mom in the ears and sunglasses in my blog. You can see, she's also holding an American Idol microphone!

The last three days I have been having an allergic reaction to somthing. The only thing I have done different is to go to the park with Tyler, Caden and my Mom. Tyler had to go to the bathroom and the doors were still padlocked from winter so we walked into the woods for him to go behind a tree. I am wondering if I could have gotten something from one of the weeds. My feet are also swollen almost double the size. And, it makes me feel pretty awful!!

I go to see my family doctor for the 2nd time this week because whatever I have is not going away.

There was no big shock on American Idol last night when Ace Young was sent home. He started out on his American Idol journey with people singing his praises and after a couple of poor performances many people turned on him and disliked him. He did get the publicity he needed and will probably make it in either singing, acting or many people think he should model. It's always interesting to see what kind of offers they start getting.

A few days after Mandisa got voted off she got a call from Steven Spielburg. Don't know if he had an offer but that's the kind of publicity these kids get on that show. I wouldn't be surprised if she can make it in the Christian music business.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I have trouble getting captions with the pictures. So here is the order and names of the grandchildren in the pictures.
Top-- Kaleb, 2nd-- Rhebeca and Tyler
3rd-- Kael
4th-- Caden

A good portion of the family was able to get together for lunch on Easter. The only ones missing were Kristi, Eric and Jacob and my brother Jeff , his wife Andrea and their son Connor due to the chemo treatments she is receiving. We missed those that weren't there and enjoyed the ones that were there!!

The kids all looked so cute in their Easter outfits. I remember how special it was to have a new dress and shoes for Easter. It's been a few years but I can still remember feeling so proud of how I looked!! We met at Swan Lake Golf Academy for lunch and there was a huge and delicious buffet. The favorite food for the kids was a chocolate fountain with all kinds of things to put the chocolate on. The older two were taking orders and getting us all anything chocolate we wanted. We all went to my Mom & Dad's house afterwards for an Easter egg hunt. They all ran so fast looking for eggs that it was hard to get their picture:)

I get so frustrated with overheating. Dr. Grove said it is not the morphine but I talked to my family doctor today and he said it couldn't be anything but the morphine. It was so warm in the restaurant yesterday and it made me miserable. I could hardly even enjoy my food. I think I'm going to look for one of those little fans for times like yesterday. I can cool off if there is air movement. I can imagine how popular the fan would be with the grandkids:)

I saw the family doctor today for a recheck on my blood pressure. It is doing fine...although the heart rate is still elevated. He doesn't want to change it now since I'm doing well at the moment. He said the stomach problems are all from acid reflux. That was much better news that something majorly wrong.

I went to the park today with my Mom and Tyler and Caden. The boys had so much fun running, climbing, sliding and playing. It is so much fun to watch them play and enjoy themselves. Children have such a sense of freedom about them when they are playing like that.

American Idol should be good tomorrow night. They will be singing the songs on Rod Stewart's newest CD. They are all old classic songs. There are 4 CD's they can choose their songs from. They are not allowed to rearrange the songs at all. (Hear that Chris??) He won't be able to make one into a rock song this week. I really think Chris would do well on a ballad...much better than the screaming he usually does....I sound old complaining about the rock singer:) !!

Word is that Taylor Hicks is going to sing "It Had To Be You". Should be an interesting night!!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Tyler and Rhebeca spent a few hours with me this afternoon. I feel like a real Grandma tonight after trying to keep up with them all afternoon. The kind of Grandma that walks with a cane and sits in a rocking chair:)

First we went to the grocery store. I didn't need much so thought I could take them with me. They both wanted to ride on the electric cart with me so they both sat on my lap and both tried to steer:) They sometimes act just like brother & sister with the way they try to keep things even. I needed two rolls of paper towel from the top shelf...Beca could reach it and Tyler couldn't so he cried for a while...refused to get back on the cart. He finally gave in and walked the rest of the way beside us.

Then we came to my house and they played outside. I have a lot of water balloons and Beca filled them with water...Tyler carried them to me...and I tied the top. They had a great time trying to hit everything they could think of with a water balloon. In the picture here they are on their way out to the mailbox to throw a water balloon at it.

Steve and Katie had me over to their house for steaks done on the grill. I had a beautiful and very delicious t-bone. We sat out on their deck overlooking the lake. It was just a perfect day to be outside today. Not too hot and not too cold. I felt so special that they would have me come over by myself.

My pain is a little bit better with the increase in meds. I just have to resign myself to knowing that I won't ever be completely out of pain. Where I am as far as pain goes is so much better than before the pump but it doesn't take long for it to shoot up to a 9.5 on a scale of 0-10.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I made some Easter cookies this evening. Steve, Katie, Tyler & Caden are having me over for lunch on Saturday (tomorrow) and I wanted to bring something the boys would like. The little eyes are candies and the fluffy tails are cotton candy...and now I have LOTS of cotton candy left !!

I had a pump refill today and talked to the pain doctor about my pain and what I can expect as far as pain control. He said my pain is reactive pain in that it's the same as if you would hit your finger with a hammer. When I stand or walk it puts all the load on my lower spine and crushes the nerves and the spine is unstable also and moves...and that's what is causing the pain. He went ahead and increased the amount of meds I get in the pump again this visit. I was at 6 mgs a day of morphine and now I'm at 8 mgs a day of morphine. He never mentioned what the other doctor said about the pain being muscles instead of mechanical pain but from what he said to me today I could tell he totally disagreed. I didn't want to put him in the spot of bad-mouthing the other doctor so didn't mention it. To refill the pump which is under the skin in my abdomen they put a template on top of the pump and it tells them where to put the needle. Some people like to be numbed up and some don't...I am one of the ones that DO want to be numbed. That way there is no discomfort at all.

The doctor also said that I should not be sweating like I am with the morphine. So, now the question is transferred over to my primary care doctor.

Wayne took off work today to take me to the doctor. I think he enjoys going with me and we always go out to lunch. We ate at a huge Chinese buffet in Elkhart. He's been wanting to take me there for a long time and I told him that today was a good time since I'm seeing the dietician on Tuesday and I'm sure Chinese buffets will be out of the new diet. I'm really looking forward to seeing her and getting a plan started. I needed help before when I lost weight and went to Weight Watchers and lost 40 pounds and I need help this time too!!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The oral surgery went very well. I got along so much better than I thought I would and have virtually had no pain from where he pulled the two teeth. I'm just thrilled to be rid of the one tooth that has caused so much pain and problems. I am eating just fine without those teeth. I was pretty confident that I would be all right without them because I had 3 different dentists tell me I didn't really need them.

I have had two very good days in a row with minimal back pain and a little more energy. I don't know what to attribute it to unless the pain meds they gave me in the IV for the oral surgery has covered some of the back pain....but I wouldn't think it would last nearly this long. I am having a lot more neck and arm pain and at time electrical shocks down my left arm. I have an appointment a week from Friday (the 14th) to get another epidural injection in my neck. Not that I enjoy getting them but I think the first one really did help my neck.

We had rented a Pontiac Vibe for about 10 days and I had to take it back tonight. I felt so sad when I left it there...Wayne had to remind me the car belongs to Enterprise...not Becky:) The last few years I have had to give up one thing after another...singing, piano playing, good health, my house, my car and the list goes on and on. It seems if there is a lesson in this for me I would have learned it by now. I am trying to be mature about my life and its limitations but I don't always rise to the occasion.

Tomorrow is another pump refill. It will be interesting to see if Dr. Grove agrees with Dr. Freidman about the cause of the pain I get from standing and walking. He's given me an increase every other time I've gotten a refill and don't know where his stopping point will be.

Wishing you all a Good Friday of remembrance of our Saviour and His sacrifice for us. It's a verse that we all know so well and one that most of us memorized as children-- but one that tells the story of the Gospel of Jesus so well. Here is John 3:16 in two versions that may be a little different from what we usually read....

John 3:16
"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. " ( The Message)

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Whoever puts his trust in God's Son will not be lost but will have life that lasts forever. " (New Life Version)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Tyler came here this afternoon and we got to do our Easter eggs together. As you can see he really got into it. His favorite color is green and we ended up with a lot of different shades of green. He liked trying to make the eggs 2 color. He would put two tablets in the same glass and we wouldn't mix them and they did turn out 2 tone.

I am getting 2 teeth pulled tomorrow afternoon at 3:30. Please say a prayer that I won't get so nervous about it like I did getting the morphine pump. It is no fun to get that scared and I don't know why I do or how I can keep from it. I do have a valium to take before I go so hopefully that will help to settle me down. I'll be so thrilled to have this behind me!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Today was the kind of day I really am beginning to cherish. Wayne and I were both home all day and got dressed only to take a bike ride around the neighborhood. I am so thankful for my bike...we bought it several years ago when we had a little extra money. It has a small motor on it and I can turn it on with my hand while riding when I'm getting tired. I usually turn it on and off and on and off. I want to get some of the exercise without the pain that accompanies it. I figure that I can ride my bike most of the summer and fall and hopefully by then we will have an indoor therapy pool here in Plymouth. Those are the only two things I'm able to do as far as exercise and I'm thankful for that. I can't do much of either one but a little is better than none.

Tyler is coming over after nursery school tomorrow. I just HAVE to have a good day tomorrow. He knows we are going to decorate easter eggs and would be so disappointed if I wasn't feeling well enough. I will push myself though and sometimes no one has any idea how hard I have to push to just live a halfway normal life.

Then, on Tuesday I have my two teeth pulled. I lost another little chunk off of one of them yesterday and can feel the whole top of the tooth is loose and ready to fall off. I've been so fortunate that this tooth has never hurt in the two years I've been nursing it and being careful of it. I won't know what it's like to brush my teeth w/o warm water and will be able to brush that side much better. I'm so fearful of causing a toothache.

That's my news for the weekend! It was beautiful weather here over the weekend. Warm, yet a cool breeze and sunshine!! Unusual for Indiana to have as much sunshine as we've had lately. I can still open the windows when I get too warm and cool off with the breeze that comes in.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Thanks to any one of you that prayed like I asked last night. When I woke up this morning I didn't think there was any way I could do easter eggs but by afternoon I felt quite a bit better and Rhebeca and I had a good time together. I would love it if we could make this a yearly thing that we do together. I've missed coloring eggs since our kids have been grown. I'm hoping Tyler will want to come and do some eggs maybe Monday after his school.

Rhebeca's favorite (or one of her favorite) eggs is the one she is holding with the butterfly wings. It came in handy to have some of the scrapbooking glues because the kits I bought had some really cute decorations to glue on the eggs. I have to give Rhebeca a compliment here....she is such a sweet girl and so enthusiastic about what she loves. She is a real pleasure to be with and I feel like the luckiest Grandma around to have a granddaughter like her!!!

I wanted to have the eggs all ready boiled when Rhebeca came here. It is so time consuming and not a very fun part of the process. I looked on the internet for the best way to make hard boiled eggs. In the past my eggs always cracked so bad and I knew there had to be a better way to boil an egg. Here is the recipe I decided on...First put the eggs into a pan with cold water...a single layer of eggs. Then bring it to a boil. Do not add salt until the water is boiling or it will cause pits in your pan. Then take the eggs off the heat and put on the lid to the pan and let the eggs sit for half an hour. They were perfect. Out of 30 eggs I only had 1 of them crack. After they sat in the boiling water for 30 minutes I cooled them off by putting the eggs in cold water.

We had some shrimp that we needed to use up today because I bought them fresh at the store on Wednesday. We had them for lunch with a homemade salsa and rice. It was so delicious...we both loved it! I think it was pretty lowfat also. Here are the recipes.....

1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 T olive oil
3 T cup red wine vinegar
3-4 T brown sugar-- depending on how sweet you want it
Put the deveined and shelled shrimp in the marinade and refrigerate for 1/2 hour or more.

2 (4 ounce) tropical fruit cups, drained (about 1 cup)
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
1 small jalapeno, ribs removed, seeded and minced
Kosher salt

24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (8 ounce) bag shredded coconut
Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or heat outdoor grill.

For the mango salsa: Chop drained fruit into small pieces. Combine the fruit and remaining salsa ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate till chilled.
(I wanted mine chopped a little finer than hand chopped so put everything in a mini food processor...just chop long enough to get the ingredients in little don't want mush)

For the shrimp: Place coconut on baking sheet Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until coconut turns light brown. Set aside.

Spear 3 shrimp on each bamboo skewer.

Heat a ridged grill pan over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Place shrimp skewers on grill pan. Cook shrimp for 2 minutes per side or until shrimp turns pink. Place shredded coconut on serving plate. Remove shrimp from skewers and place on top of coconut.

Place salsa in a decorative bowl and serve with shrimp skewers immediately.

My changes: I used a bed of rice instead of the coconut. And, we did the shrimp on a grill instead of in a pan. Either way would be good but we loved the shrimp done on the outdoor grill!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

This is Dr. Freidman and as luck would have it I got to see him today. He is a pain specialist that is in partnership with my doctor, Dr. Grove. He is "young" for a pain doctor and looks it too. I called the doctor's office and told them I'm having increased pain and he had a cancellation today. He was very nice but totally wrong in his assessment of my back. He thinks I'm having muscle spasms. I have had muscle spasms in the past and know how they's knock you to the ground pain. He didn't want to do anything to ruffle my doctor who will be back from vacation next week. So, if I want to take them, I now have muscle relaxers to add to the mix of drugs and another drug that would make me very sleepy. I think I'll get 2-3 pills and try them so I don't waste getting a whole months supply.

The nurse did check the pump and it is working just fine...which is a relief. She held a portable device up to the pump and it could read the programming on the pump and what has/and is happening.

I kept reading the word pwn or pwned and thought is was miss-spelled. It's not and I finally found out what it means. Here is a quote from a website that I thought explained it well....

" The slang term pwn (past tense pwned, pwnd or pwnt) as used by the Internet gaming culture, means to dominate an opponent. In this context, to be pwned can be defined as “to be defeated,” with the strong connotation of also having been “made a fool of.” It is generally used for “friendly taunting” of a player’s in-game enemies, and gently “rubbing in” any victories, no matter how fleeting. While the term probably originated as a typographical error of the word own [1], it is now used intentionally by many members of the culture. The term has become so ubiquitous in Internet circles that it is often used outside of gaming contexts."

Anyone reading this I would ask for your prayers. I want to have Rhebeca, Tyler, Kael and Caden over one day this weekend to color Easter eggs. It probably means more to me that we do this than it does to the kids. I have had such an increase in pain that I don't know how I can possibly do this but I also think that with prayer I could have a time out of the day to have less pain and be able to have fun with our grandkids!! I won't have them all four at once....I couldn't do that if I was well!!....but will try to have them two at a time on different days!!

The pictures are Rhebeca and her Mommy and Jacob.

Rhebeca is just crazy about her Mommy and loves spending any time together that they can find. It's got to be hard at times with two little brothers demanding attention. Her "grandma's" try to fill in and spend special alone times whenever possible. I am hoping to feel like coloring Easter eggs with her this week. Please say a prayer for me that the pain will let up enough to do that with Rhebeca. It probably means as much to me to be able to do that than it does to Rhebeca.

The other picture is another one of Jacob at 18 months. He's such a little sweetheart. He is talking to me on the phone more all the time...It's mostly gibberish but he's sure trying hard to communicate and every once in a while I recognize a word.

I just can't believe how bad the back pain has been. I can't even walk into another room without unbearable "tears in your eyes" pain. I needed to get groceries today so I gave in and used a motorized cart....I don't really like doing it because it's kind of embarrassing but the embarrassment goes away when the pain starts up. I got along so much better with the motorized cart than I do when I push a regular cart. None of the sweating that I usually get. The sweating must be from the pain.

I called and moved the appointment with the pain doctor up a week. So, I see him on Good Friday now. He better have some tricks up his sleeve to help with the pain. I am hoping there is nothing wrong with the pump or catheter. That would mean more surgery is there is something wrong with either of them.

Just a couple of tidbits about American Idol that I've read this week. Kellie Pickler (the naive little country girl...Or at least a good act portraying a naive little country girl) flew in her regular hair stylist to do her hair this week. Here is a quote from a blog that I read daily that is basically about American Idol...
"Carmen Cutrona, one of the Q.C.'s most sought-after hair designers, left this morning to help Pickler, his most famous celebrity client, a representative for Cutrona confirmed. Cutrona -- who charges $300 for a consultation, cut and styling -- is the owner of Carmen! Carmen! Salon & Spas. Pickler, who lives in Albemarle, has been a client of Cutrona's for a few years, the hair designer's rep says.
Whoa, $300 bucks and she never et no spinachh salad! Hee. Actually, I think Kellie's hair always looks good...."

Lisa Tucker...the girl who got voted off last week....will be a guest star on the TV show "The O. C." She will be on the show on April 27th at 9:00pm. I'm not sure what network that is on but my guess would be Fox.

Watch Elliot next time you see him sing and he always pulls at his ear as a signal to his girlfriend. I thought that was so sweet:)

The relatives that you see in the audience every week do not get any help with expenses from Fox. They all pay their own way and usually have to stay in discount hotels!

Just a couple cute things that Tyler said in the last couple of days. My Mom has a wall where she has measured the grandkids since they were pretty little. Tyler loves to stand by his latest mark and see if he's grown except he gets mixed up and says..."How much do I weigh?" And, yesterday when he spent the afternoon with me we went to Starbucks for an afternoon pick me up. He walked right up to the counter and said.."We'll take a strawberry drink for me and Wayne and Becky want coffee." I know that doesn't sound really funny but when you see a 5 year old that can barely see over the counter say was pretty funny:)

Monday, April 03, 2006

This is Tyler (on the left) and he spent several hours here today. We had a great time as usual. I like this picture because it's about how much of his attention I get when he's playing a game. He said cheese for the picture but I didn't quite get eye contact:)

On the way to our house today he noticed how black the clouds were and how windy it was. He started getting really worried about a tornado. I told him we would check the computer as soon as we got home. I had the opportunity to try to explain insurance to him because he wondered what we/or his parents would do if the beds blew away. Then he started talking real excitedly and decided that if we saw that a tornado was headed for us he'd build a rocket ship and we would get in it and announce to the whole world that there was a tornado coming....oh to be a child and think like that again.

I did get into the doctor today. He was surprised the Toprol was causing problems but looked it up and sure enough it can cause gasto-intestinal problems. So, he put me on Lotrel. I think I will wait to take it till these stomach problems let up a bit so I can give it a fair try. He also prescribed Scopoderm Patches (don't know if I spelled it right) because I told him that a lot of people on the pump are having the sweating problems like I am and this patch has helped them.

We are renting a Pontiac Vibe this week because all 3 of our cars are in the shop. It is really a nice little car and one that I wish we could buy. The mini-van that I drive is starting to get very uncomfortable because the seats are worn down. These seats in the Vibe just cushion my back without hurting it. I wish so much that we could buy it but we can't....can't afford it. It's hard to believe we can't even afford that car because through the years we've bought so many nice vehicles. Life changes and some changes are tough to handle. I never thought I'd be driving a car with 210,000 miles on it:)

One of the blogs I read that is basically about American Idol had some interesting information from someone that just got fired from American Idol so they could hire someone's niece. Here is what they said about 2 of the contestants. See if you can figure out who they are:

More Gossip from Informant:
That a certain blonde contestant is not as nice as she puts off. Having an attitude with assistants.
A certain bald man will have all the crew crying if he leaves, that's how nice he is.
Paula was almost fired.

I wonder if Paula almost got fired over what she said to the contestants the night some of them were ready to be kicked off the show. She made some comment about one eating salad and one eating pizza. There were a lot of complaints about that on the American Idol forum.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

It's not been a very good weekend for me physically. I haven't done much of anything. I have had extra back pain compared to normal and been kind of sick to my stomach from the blood pressure medicine. I just hope and pray that I can get in to my doctor tomorrow. Since he's been on vacation for a week it will be harder to get in to see him. I may also try to move up the date of my next pump refill. What the doctor needs to know before giving me another increase is that the pain is interfering with my daily activities. I can't hardly take a shower without the pain making me cut it short. I also am having more trouble getting through the grocery store....all normal aspects of living. I'm not trying to ask to run a marathon:)

American Idol news? There's a real big deal right now that made it to the national papers about Mandisa. She said..."This song goes out to everybody who wants to be free. Your addiction, lifestyle and situation may be big, but God is bigger." So, many people are reading into the fact that she mentioned lifestyle and that she was referring to gays. I guess if this is true she will lose a lot of voters. I just don't see how they can read that much into her statement myself....but this is a big deal over on the American Idol forums. I don't go there much anymore because there is always some type of controversy going on!!

Not much else has happened. I did fix some really good chicken and rice Friday night. I like things that are a little sweet and the lemon curd in the sauce that goes over the chicken is sweet. It is good heated up too. I will finish by posting those recipes today!

1 quart buttermiklk
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, tenders removed and cut in strips
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cornstarch
vegetable oil, for frying ( I used canola...supposed to be better for you)

1 (11 ounce) jar lemon curd
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large frying pan by 1/4 to 1/2 inch depth. Heat oil to 365 degrees F.

Meanwhile, whisk butter milk and zest together in a medium bowl. Add chicken and set aside. Sift together flour and cornstarch into a shallow dish. (This is the first time I've ever sifted anything:) Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture and dredge in flour mixture. Fry chicken strips until golden brown. Carefully flip chicken and continue cooking another 3-4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

While chicken is frying, make the sauce. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt lemon curd, stirring constantly. Add remaining ingredients and heat through. Drizzle sauce over chicken and serve


1 tablespoon butter
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/4 golden delicious apple, finely chopped
2 cups apple juice
2 cups enriched long-grain instant rice
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and saute onion and apples over medium heat until soft. Add apple juice, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Remove cover and stir in toasted almonds. Serve.