Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nice Relaxing Day

I cancelled my table at the craft show today.  To be honest, I really didnt want to do it, but having an arm that is ozzing out uncontrollable and having to take it easy was a good enough excuse for me not to go.  Today, I am going to catch up with the animals.  I havent spent much time with the kittens in the past day because of the pain and being busy.  I'm sure Tux will come running up and jump right into my arms.  She is such a lover. 

I am affraid to bring Lana in because she hasnt seen me since yesterday morning.  Todd fed the animals last night and this morning for me.  Lana jumped up and hit my sore yesterday morning and it nearly brought me to tears.  I'm affraid she will be so excited, that she wants to jump all over me again today.

I plan on taking it easy, maybe finishing up the book I got from Sophia Institute Press (it's a great book!) and eating.  I am starving.  I didnt have much to eat yesterday.  I had breakfast (homemade Ham, Egg & Cheese McMuffin), lunch (leftover rice and salmon from Wednesday's lunch at Bennihana's, and then I had 2 bites of Burger King (1 bite of a spicy chicken sandwich, 1 bite of a Whopper Jr.) at the hospital when Todd got there.  But the good part is that I lost another pound. :-)  I am now down 12 lbs.

So, that's the agenda.
My arm is feeling better, with twinges of pain once in a while but not nearly bad enough to take a vicadin.
It is draining - and it's disgusting, but I'm glad it is taken care of.  Todd will have to help me tonight to rebandage it up.

That's my day.
I need to catch up on the blogs from everyone. 

Have a great one!


I come from a split family.  My father has remarried (Trina), and my mother has remarried (Doc.)  I have a total of 1 blood brother (Derek, the Marine who is currently in Afghanistan,) 3 step-brothers and 1 step-sister.  My step-sister (Trina’s daughter) is named Tosh.  She lives with my father and his wife along with my niece, Natalie (Tosh’s daughter.)

If I remember correctly, Tosh is one or two years younger than I am.  She was always really bright.  Always had her nose in a book and just very smart.  She has a great sense of humor and is always making us laugh.

When she had my niece, Natalie, in April of 2006, she was married to a man that really didn’t suit her.  He was not a very good provider (actually, he was a leach,) and was not worth much, in our opinion.  When Natalie was born, Tosh was having a hard time remembering the last time she fed Natalie or changed Natalie.  The nurse noticed this, and talked to a doctor about it.

Shortly after, Tosh was sent for an MRI and CAT scan.  It was realized that Tosh had a brain tumor wrapped around her optic nerve the size of a grapefruit.  When talking to her ex-husband, he had mentioned that she was getting forgetful, but didn’t think anything of it.  When Trina went to their apartment, she was blown away.  There was a sea of post-it notes EVERYWHERE reminding Tosh to brush her teeth, take a bath, eat breakfast, etc.  Who knows how long she was this way!!

It was decided that Natalie would go to my dad and his wife while Tosh’s ex-husband stayed with Tosh and took care of her.  Tosh had brain surgery, twice.  She was not expected to live more than 12 months.

Now…nearly 5 years later, she’s still with us and making us laugh!  The Cleveland Clinic was not able to take out the entire tumor because it was wrapped around her optic nerve.  Tosh is legally blind, and able to see out of only one eye, and has very limited vision out of that eye.  Her ex-husband was taking advantage of her against her will knowing that she may or may not remember what he did to her.  Luckily, she remembered some of it, and decided to get a divorce.  Her ex-husband wasn’t really taking care of her anyways, so it was decided that she’d go live with my father and his wife.

The tumor is still growing, and every couple of years, she has to get it drained to relieve the pressure from her brain.  Because of the steroids, she has gained a lot of weight, become diabetic, and is not very mobile.  But she is with us…and I am so happy for that.  Her memory is not what it was in the past.  She has to be reminded to take her dozens of pills every day.  There are times she is sitting at the dining room table and is on her way to her bedroom, but she says, “I want to go to my bedroom, but I don’t know how to get there.”  She knows what she wants to do, but she doesn’t know how to do it. Like put one foot in front of the other and go to the end of the hall and turn right.  Through all of this, she gave us Natalie, the sweetest, funniest little princess (Diva!) you would ever meet.  She has such a personality!  And to think, if it weren’t for her, Tosh may not be here today.  No one would have ever known about her tumor. 

We fear that Tosh may not get to see her daughter graduate from High School or even walk her down the isle.  But we will all deal with that when the time comes.  Right now, Natalie is so in love with her grandpa, grandma, mom, Auntie M (me,) Uncle Derek, Uncle Todd, and Uncle Kenny (my stepbrother.)  All children are blessings, but this one has a very special place in my heart.  I love her to the moon and back.

Her father has not seen her since the divorce.  Not due to us not letting him; to his lack of interest.  He hasn’t called to talk to his daughter in years.  Both Tosh & Natalie are doing so much better off without him in their lives.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Please Pray

I am currently in the ER. That pain in my armpit is so bad that urgent care couldnt take care of it. Please pray that the ER gets me in quickly and that I don't bleed out (cumadin.) thanks!!

Weekly Weigh-In: November 12th

I cant believe it, but this week, I lost 3 lbs!  I'm not sure how!
I was looking at my numbers on the LiveStrong app and I was really close to my number of calories pretty much every day.  I wonder if being in pain makes the body burn more.  Yes, I am still in pain with that thing on my armpit.  I cant wait for Monday to get here so I can find out what it is and hopefully to figure out how to get rid of it!

So, these are my weight-loss stats:

Weight loss so far: 11 lbs
Only 9 lbs to lose to meet my goal of 20 lbs by Thanksgiving.  Is this doable?  We'll see.

I have been thinking about lowering my calorie intake to 1250/day.  Right now, it is about 1400-1500/day.  I took Lana for a walk only once this week (yesterday.) I would like to take her out for a walk at least 3 days this upcoming week.

Lottery / Gambling

When I listen to the Dave Ramsey podcasts on my way into work, I am surprised to hear about people winning the lottery.  There have been at least two people that I can remember that have won a sum of money over $100,000.  This has always bothered me.  I’m glad for the people who won, but I don’t see the sense in spending money on the lottery.  From what I’ve heard, I have never heard Dave talk about NOT buying lottery tickets.  These people may have won, but how much did they spend over a lifetime getting these lottery tickets?

I don’t know how you feel about the lottery, but I think it’s a waste of money.  When the jackpot gets over $50M, people around work come around asking if I want to “get in” on the tickets.  Never have I contributed.  They always say, “You’ll be sorry when we win…”  My response is: “You love me so much, you’ll give me a portion of your winnings.  I know you will. What’s $100,000 when you win $4M?” I feel that the money spent on these tickets could be used for better things (like paying off debt!)

I will admit, I have gone to a hand-full of casinos.  I know this is just as bad as the lottery.  I have a limit of $20 when I go.  And a lot of times, I come out a little bit ahead.  One time, my mom took me to the casino for my birthday and gave me $100.  She insisted I use the money she gave me on the slots.  I’m glad she made me, because I went home with over $250!  These trips are few and far between. 

This may make me a hypocrite, but I still think it’s a waste of money.  Whether you blow your money on the lottery OR casino, it’s the same difference in my eyes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Garage Sale Find

A few months ago, Todd and I went garage saling in our area.  I found a pair of brown shoes that looked comfy, new, and the right price ($1.)  I bought them.
I wore them for the first time today and they are SO COMFORTABLE!!!  I went online to see if I could find some information about the shoe.  It is the brand, “Born.”  I found the shoe part number, and these shoes are $74.99 new!!!

I really don’t think they were worn once – because I broke them in today!  They were a lot tighter this morning than they are now. 

So…I think I may have gotten the deal of the year. 
I don’t care the brand or how much they cost – they are comfortable, and I like them.  They are definitely keepers.  Let’s see how long they last.  I have shoes I bought over 2 years ago from the thrift store for $2, and even though they are starting to fall apart, they are still really comfortable and I wore them the entire Summer.  I definitely get my money’s worth.


We broke down several weeks ago and turned on the heat in our house.  There were a couple of nights that got below 40 degrees, taking our house down to about 60.

Our home is heated with propane gas.  We have a 500 gallon tank in the back that we have to fill twice a year.  I am always thinking of new ways to reserve of resources (and save money!)  We have a fireplace in our Family Room.  I love wood fireplaces; however, Todd is completely convinced that they are not efficient.  He states that most of the heat goes straight up the chimney and out of the house.  So…to try something different, we bought a pot-bellied stove.  Todd installed it in the fireplace.  We found out that the bricks in the fireplace soaked up too much of the heat and left the room chilled.

We went to Lancaster County, PA (Amish Country) and stayed in a Menonite Cottage a year or so after having the failed pot-bellied stove.  The cottage had a propane fireplace that we used almost every night and just adored.  It looked so much like a real fireplace with wood burning!   Todd went online to take a look to see how much they cost.  He was always under the impression that they were $500+.  He found out that Home Depot had them available for less than $250! We ordered one right away.  Since then, we have been in warm bliss.

Todd installed the propane logs in the fireplace and put a heat-deflecting shield in the flew (spelling?  It sounds like “flu) of the fireplace.  This keeps the heat in the Family Room, which is our most-used room in the house.  Todd also installed a ceiling fan that we turn on as soon as the propane logs are turned on to circulate the warm air.  Within minutes of turning on the propane logs, the room is heated up to a comfortable temperature!

In the past, we tried to have our house heated with the furnace solely.  We went through 500 gallons of propane in ONE MONTH (Mind you, each fill up is over $600!) I am so glad we have come up with another source to heat our home more efficiently, and mainly in the room we use the most.

Our house was built as a small home.  Well, the previous owners put on several additions, and our home is an “L-shaped” home.  To heat up the one “wing” of the house, we use the propane logs.  The other side of the house, we use a pot-bellied stove that we stoke with wood in the Winter-time in the Living Room.  This keeps both sides of the house nice and toasty.  Our bedroom is located behind the Living Room.  Because the Living Room has vaulted ceilings, we didn’t get much heat into our bedroom.  This year, Todd rigged up a fan in the wall as well as a vent that will blow the hot air into our bedroom!

I call hubby “Super-Todd” because he can do pretty much anything.  I am so blessed to have a man that cooks, cleans, mends clothing (yes ladies, he is the one that sews in our house), decorates, works on the house, cuts wood and works on the car…just to name a few!  Our home would not be livable if it weren’t for his many talents.  And it wouldn’t look nearly as nice as it does today.  I am one lucky gal.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rough Day

As I write this, it is Wednesday, November 10th.  Todd texted me yesterday while I was at work about how much he loves and appreciates everything I do.  He also mentioned that he wishes he could shower me with gifts and take me on exotic vacations.  When I read this, I thought it was sweet, but then I wondered if he really knew me.  I am not the type of girl who likes to be showered with gifts or expensive vacations.  When he cooks for us, and helps out with the house, THAT is how I feel appreciated and loved. 

Then this morning, Wednesday, Todd woke up and was a complete bear (which is a nice term to describe Todd this morning.)  He kept asking me questions about his social security card (random!), and his passport, and being organized, etc.  I was taking offense to some of what he was saying because I felt like he was accusing me of not being organized enough for him.  I still bit my tongue (I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut when he’s on a “rant.”)  I knew something was bothering him and he wouldn’t tell me.  I tried on several occasions.  He kept saying it was because he was tired and he had such a bad day at work yesterday (he has off today and tomorrow.)  It is days like today that I feel that I NEED a job to get away from the negativity.  I was HAPPILY leaving the house to go to work.  I gave him a kiss good-bye and was on my way.

On my way to work, I was praying in the car.  I prayed for a lot of things, but Todd came up.  After I was done, I was listening to Dave Ramsey’s podcast, and I got a call from none other than Todd.  I was surprised, because when he is grumpy and I call him on it, it could be hours before I hear from him.  When I picked up the phone, I was a bit on edge because I didn’t know what he would be like.  He then explained WHY he was in such a foul mood.

Apparently, my husband has been looking into making additional money by donating plasma or getting extra jobs on his days off so that he could buy me gifts.  Apparently, when you donate plasma, you have to provide your social security card (which he does not have – he lost it over 4 years ago, and his SSN is not on our passport.)  He was completely freaking out because he couldn’t find a way to do nice things for me.

After he explained all of this to me, I felt like such a fool. He was this way because of ME.  Because he feels that he needs to show his affection and appreciation towards me with “things.”  Because I handle the finances, he has felt that he cannot ask for money to purchase things for me …and he mentioned it was because I don’t buy things for myself.  What types of things was he going to buy for me? Panties, bras, a pair of comfortable shoes that I didn’t get for $2 at the thrift store.  Yes…silly little things like this!  Have I neglected myself on these items?  Not necessarily.  I bought myself all new panties last year when I got out of the hospital, but we got this cute little adorable pup that LOVES to gnaw on them, so they now have holes in them.  Bras – I refuse to find out what size I am, so I wear ill-fitting bras.  I’m guilty of that, and Todd has wanted me to buy some that fit for the past 5 years we’ve been together, but I just don’t see the sense.  What I am wearing is fine.  Shoes – I have enough shoes.  A couple pairs of sneaks, 2 pair of black shoes, 2 pairs of brown shoes…I’m good to go. 

So, I informed him that what helps me to see his appreciation is when he cooks dinners for us or plans nice day-trips for us to experience things for the first time together.  When he cooks, he always goes all out.  Candles, glass of wine, fancy dinner…everything.  Also, when he helps to care of the critters and the house.  I asked him to take today off from doing any work around the house and to take a day for himself.  He works hard enough as it is, I don’t want him to worry or find any other jobs to make more money.  We are doing just fine.  But it means a lot to me that he has thought about all of this.  And it means even more to me that he opened up and told me what was going on.

Wordless Wednesday

RIP Uncle Pete...

I found out last night that my dad's Uncle Pete passed away yesterday morning.  Uncle Pete was always the life of the party.  We all have so many great memories of him.  He got alzheimers (spelling?) and was put into a nursing home.  Ever since, he was never the same.  He had the glassy-eye look, and he wasnt mobile any longer.  This picture was taken last month at my cousin's wedding.  We will all miss Uncle Pete, but we have the great memories. 

Uncle Pete, I know you're in a better place now.  I know you are with Aunt Beth right now and probably drinking with your buddies.  We love you, and will always miss you.  No party will ever be the same.  Thank you for coming to every event the Guest Family has ever had no matter what your schedule had on it.  As crazy as you were, we knew you were there to support us.  I'm so glad we all got to see each other this year.

Morning Person or Night Owl?

I will admit it.  I am a morning person.  People have commented how I wake up happy.  It’s true.  I DO wake up happy in the morning.  What is there NOT to be happy about?  It’s a new day!

When the alarm goes off (at 5:30,) I am up and my day starts.  However, because I get up so early, I tend to get tired around 1 or 2.  Once I get my second wind, I’m good.  Or, on the weekends, when I get my nap, I’m good. Gotta love naps.

That being said, I am not very fun to go out with at night.  I never have been.  I am usually dead tired around 10:00.  My normal bedtime is 9:30.  I am one of those people who can lay their heads down on the pillow and be out cold until the alarm goes off.  I don’t require much.  I could sleep on a cement floor as long as I have a blanket covering me.
I also tend to be more productive in the morning.  On the weekdays that Todd is already at work, I can get up, throw a load of laundry in the wash, take Lana for a walk around the block, feed the piggy as soon as we get home, hang the clothes on the line, prepare dinner for that evening (so that all I have to do when I get home is nuke it) and get ready for work.  Yes, I leave for work around 8, so that gives me 2 ½ hours to do all of that.  In the evenings when I get home from work (around 6:30,) I am good for NOTHING.  We eat dinner, I go outside and play with the animals, put Lana to bed, check my emails, spend a little bit of time with Todd and then go to bed. 

Luckily, Todd is a morning person too.  This helps when we both want to get up early and go someplace together.  It would be rough if he was a night owl and me be a morning person.

So…what are you?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Since Friday, I have had a lump in my armpit.  This has happened before in the other armpit (is there a more feminine word for armpit? It sounds gross.) and has gone away within a week.  The one I have now is horrible.  I talked to my mom this weekend, and she said it is either a clogged gland or my lymphnode.  Whatever it is, it kills.  It is so large, it is protruding from my under-arm.  When I shift into 2nd gear in my car, I get a shocking pain.  Every time I move my arm, it hurts.  Heck, Todd had to help me out of my shirt tonight.

I know I should have it looked at.  It aches all day long. 

So I dont know what to do.  Should I try to get a rush appointment with any doctor who will take me within the next few days or suck it up until Monday when I have my Internal Medicine appointment?  In the past when this has happened, by the time I got to the appointment, it was gone (and the doctor said that sometimes this happens around that time of the month.)  But as I mentioned, this one is the worst one I've ever had. 

I dont normally complain about pain unless it's REAL BAD.  I havent taken anything for the pain which Todd keeps telling me I should.  I dont know what to do...but it hurts.

((My apologies in advance for sounding like a whining baby.))

A la Natural

I don’t wear makeup.  I never have.
My mom never showed me how to apply makeup.  I remember using her foundation once in middle school and her catching me.  She always said, “You don’t need makeup! You’re naturally beautiful!”

I wore makeup on my wedding day.  Todd said he didn’t even recognize me.  I barely even recognized myself!  I don’t like the way I look with makeup on.  I don’t like the feeling of foundation.  I like the way my eyes look with mascara and eye liner on the bottom, but that’s about it. I still don’t wear it though. My brother was the one blessed with the thick eyelashes that naturally curl.

Let me tell you, my morning routine is a lot easier in the morning because of this! 
Call me lazy…but I like it keep it simple.  What you see is what you get.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Release DVD's on the Cheap

Every Tuesday, new releases come out on DVD.  Every Tuesday morning, I log into our local library’s website as well as go to the following website:   I then place a hold on every new release DVD from the library and wait for them to come in. On popular movies, I may be #34 in line for the movie which means it may take a month or so for me to get the movie from the library.  But mostly, I am #5-10, which means I get the movie within the first couple of weeks of it being released. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Recipe: BlackBean Chili

I love chili...thick, meaty chili.  No one makes it better than my mom!  There is nothing like mama's cookin'!

I have made my own chili, but now that I am trying really hard to lose weight, I am trying to stay away from high-calorie, meaty meals.

I have made this chili several times and LOVE IT!  It calls for ground turkey, but I leave it out and it tastes just as good!  Why spend the money on ground turkey if it doesnt really add anything to the recipe?

BlackBean Chili (Vegetarian)

3 cans black beans (undrained)
1 can crushed tomatoes (from Aldi's with the chile's in it to add spice!)
1 diced onion
2 cloves of garlic (I used minced)
1 1/2 Tbsp chili
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Basil

I throw this into a crockpot on low before work (takes less than 5 minutes) and then by the time I get home, it is ready to serve.  Yum!

If you plan on making it on the stovetop, it should simmer on low for at least an hour.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be RETIRED!

But if we had extra money, I want to own a pet sanctuary.  On the Husband Quiz,  Todd was right; I love all animals.  OK, I just lied.  I like all animals EXCEPT reptiles!  I can do without snakes, lizards, iguanas, etc. 

But cats, dogs, pigs, goats, cows, horses, deer, ducks, chickens…I love ‘em all. When I see one, I always give them kisses (gee, I have no idea how I got so sick last year!)  When I see kittle-cattle (yes, that’s what I call cows,) they get a big smack-a-roo on the moist nose!  They say cows are the dumbest animals, but I don’t care.  Dumb or not, they are oh so cute and they deserve love like everyone and everything else.  

Seeing as a sanctuary would have to be on more than the acre we have, I’d want a farm with a lot of land.  Maybe 20+ acres.  This way, I could plant an orchard with apples, pears, peaches, plums, rows of grape vines, red raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and then my usual garden (time 5!)  We have two pear trees at home that we planted this year when they were on sale from Lowe’s around Father’s Day, 1 dwarf plum tree and an apricot tree.  I cannot wait until these trees produce fruit.  I had so much fun making apple pie filling, applesauce and apple crisp that I wouldn’t mind getting a few apple trees for the yard.  Todd calls me his little farmer girl.  I don’t know where it came from, because I grew up in the suburbs. At any rate, he has been reaping the rewards of our crop and doesn’t mind at all!