Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Never give up. Never surrender.

It's been a while since I've posted.  I guess I was waiting for the right time or until I found the right words.  They haven't come to me, so I am just going to babble on.

I found out recently that I am no longer in remission.  Last week I went in for another bone marrow biopsy and a needle biopsy to my neck to confirm my worst fear.  Starting in November I will receive a more toxic chemotherapy to put me into remission once again before undergoing a stem cell transplant.  

When I initially found out I was angry.  Maybe it was the emotional roller coaster my oncologist was taking me on over a period of 2 weeks, "there's no way it can be cancer.  there's a 50% chance it's cancer.  there's no way it's not cancer."  Maybe it was because he said I could be cured, "again".  Either way, out of my anger I found the motivation to look death in the face--again, and started preparing myself for battle.  

That's really all I know for now, I will update when I can.  You can find my original post from when I was diagnosed last year here.


You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

When something bad happens you have three choices.  You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you. ~Unknown

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. ~Unknown


But sometimes it is necessary to do that which is too much. 
- Pope John Paul II



If you're going through hell, keep going. 
- Winston Churchill


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Seaside Summer Mantel

Since summer is soon coming to an end, I thought I better post pictures of my seaside mantel.  I incorporated shells and coral from our honeymoon.  The shells in the ball jars were found on the beaches of North Carolina decades ago by my Great Aunt "Boo".  I never got a picture made for the shell frame,  so that may have to wait until next year.  









Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend.  I'm ready for pumpkins and sweaters!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

Our heat wave has finally let up a bit, and we've been airing out the house all weekend.  The cooler temperatures have left me craving fall comfort foods, so I threw together a batch of chili in the crock pot, and made these super easy pumpkin muffins.


Ingredients:
1 18 oz box of yellow cake mix
1 can of pumpkin puree
1.5 tsp of pumpkin pie spice


Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350, and line muffin tin.
2. Combine ingredients until well blended.
3. Spoon even amounts of mixture into each cupcake liner.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.


I was tempted to throw in a handful of chocolate chips, but I resisted.  I did sprinkle the muffins with powdered sugar, though.

Do you see how much my lettuce is growing in the background?



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Bread


Ingredients:
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced into small pieces
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons ground flax meal
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
2. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, flax, and baking soda in large bowl and mix well.
3. Beat the eggs into the oil, then add the strawberries and mix well.
4. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, mix together until the batter is even.
5. Stir in chocolate chips.
6. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
8. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. 




I found this recipe online, and it's a great way to use up strawberries.  The texture is kind of crumbly, and it didn't slice well for me.  But it did taste good!  I may have added a little more chocolate chips than called for.  :)  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Extending the life of your lettuce: A Pinterest success.



I originally saw this idea on Pinterest, and gave it a try earlier this year.  I have had success with romaine and artisan varieties.  


1. After removing the edible portion of the lettuce, do not discard the root end. 


2. Fill a shallow container with about one inch of water.


3. Place root ends right side up in container and place in sunlight.


4.  Change the water every couple of days.  



This won't reproduce enough for a big salad, and once the growing comes to a halt, you can't reuse the same root end.  I usually use my little leaves for a sandwich or to mix into a side salad.  




Saturday, July 28, 2012

How I spent my Saturday morning...

I haven't been to a garage or estate sale since last year, so since I didn't have to work, my mom and I decided to brave the heat.  We had to battle road work and dig through dozens of unmarked boxes, but I think I found some good stuff.  I only spent $8 on everything I've included here.




Hope you have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tomatoes

I finally ate my first home grown tomato of the season.  These are some of the tomatoes my grandparents shared with me, they make gardening look so easy!  I love eating them sliced with salt and pepper, but my favorite way to eat them is here.


 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pinterest FAIL: Cleaning Old Bottles with Alka Seltzer

I saw on pinterest (and a few other sources) that Alka Seltzer can be used as a cleaning agent.  One pin specifically, claimed that it could be used to clean the gunk out of a narrow vase.  Hmm, vase..old bottles..similar right?  I had a few old glass bottles that my dad found on our property in "the country", and a box of Alka Seltzer that I couldn't stomach, so I thought I'd give it a try.  



1. Fill bottle/vase half full with warm water.
2. Drop in 2 Alka Seltzer tablets.  These are the kind I had:


I had to break the tablets into pieces to fit into the opening.  


3. Cover the opening and give the bottle/vase a good shake.
*Use caution.  My shirt looked like this after shaking:



According to the internet, you just rinse and voila, it's miraculously clean.  Since these bottles have been sitting on the side of Highway P for Godonlyknowshowlong, I let them soak for about 30 minutes.  After changing my shirt, I went back to my bottles and repeated steps 1-3.  Round 1 had loosened a little bit of the gunk, but nothing noticeable.  After round 2, I decided to use a q-tip to wipe out what I could reach.  This helped, but still no miracle was happening.  I squirted dishwashing soap and hot water in each bottle and let that sit for another 30 minutes.  Looks like I'll be buying a bottle brush.  :)



This may work better on a freshly used vase, and maybe it was the type of Alka Seltzer that I used.  I also found a pin that said it could be used to clean your toilet.  Guess what I'll be trying next!  And no, I will not be sharing those before pics.








Monday, July 9, 2012

Power Outage



After several weeks of triple digit temps and no rain, we finally got the storm we've been waiting for.  The lights were flickering and then it went dark.  For hours.  Why does the power go out at the most pivotal moment of a TV show.  Seriously?  Every time...


Josh was at band practice and I got to play Pioneer Woman (and I don't mean Ree).  Alright, I did have my cell phone to entertain me for a couple of hours, and half of my candles were battery operated, but it was HOT.  I attempted to entertain myself by reading magazines, shining a rinky dink flashlight onto the pages until my arm got tired.  


I ventured into the dungeon with said flashlight to retrieve my sheets from the dryer.  What else was there to do in the dark of night with no TV or internet, but sleep?  If you were a ghost in my house, you would have seen me racing up the stairs like Freddie Cougar was chasing me.  


I put out all of the real candles (a house fire is the last thing I need), and lined up the battery ones so that I wouldn't go stubbing my toes in the middle of the night.  My phone only had 20% battery life and the flashlight app would be lost to me!




In the dark (without flash) my house looked like a miniature airplane runway.  I flopped around in bed for a few minutes, bored out of my mind and wishing my fan worked.  What can I do in the dark....ROLL COINS.  So I sat like Scrooge with my candle and my coins.  With the help of glasses and stereognosis, I rolled $52.  And then I was so bored that I passed out.  THE END.


Power is back on and phone is now charged!  Hope no one has any significant damage to their property.  I know part of my parents' fence is down.

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