Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A New Cookbook

I’m not sure how I found this. I hate that I’m such a scatter brain that I can’t even give someone credit for referring me to this site and book. Here’s how it happened.
Somewhere, I got a link to a cooking blog with the recipe for Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice.  I haven’t made this, but I bookmarked the page with the recipe on it.  I vaguely remember reading the post because it had a cute story about a little girl and the downside to being a princess. It made me smile. 
Then, sometime later, I was reading a magazine and, I can’t remember which one, that highlighted the cookbook The Southern Plate. Being a southern girl, the name of the book grabbed me immediately.  I knew I’d be laid up for a while so I went into the local library’s website and reserved the book to take a look at. Yesterday, my sweet husband stopped by the bookmobile and picked up this book for me.  I fell in love with it right away. It brought back so many memories of my mother and grandmother making these recipes.  I have to have it!  (I will be ordering it today)
Last night I spent hours looking through this book and reading Christy’s wonderful stories about food, cooking and family.  It is truly heart warming. The book is divided differently than most cookbooks. It’s not separated by categories but by seasons. I love it….have I mentioned that?
Today I’m making Chicken Poulet from this book.  I had two leftover chicken breasts from last night’s dinner and all the other ingredients in my pantry so I whipped it up. It takes a few minutes to put together, but the beautiful thing is this;  you put it in the fridge all day or over night, throw the last two ingredients on and bake just before supper.  I can’t wait to try this tonight. It makes me think of all the wonderful Thanksgiving flavors of turkey and dressing but with cream of mushroom soup and melted cheddar cheese on top.  I can’t think of a thing that cream of mushroom and melted cheese won’t improve!  I will definitely post a review of this recipe.
I have to get my own copy soon because I can see that I may ruin this library book by using it to make recipes. I tend to be a messy cook and splatter a bit. You can open any of my cookbooks and see right away which recipes I make most often. There will be splatters and spots all over the page.
If you want to check out Christy’s blog, which has tons of fabulous recipes and stories, check it out here.  If you’re a southern girl or have ever dreamed of being a southern cook, try this. It’s the real thing.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Surgery and Recovery Update

I haven’t written much about my actual surgery. It’s not that interesting, really.  I went to the Newport Hospital, where everyone was super professional and so nice.  I was there for less than 5 hours and it went very well.  I left with a big fat bandage on my right foot, a lovely blue Velcro boot to wear and my crutches.  As I’ve posted before, Nick has been wonderful and has taken care of me so well. 
I realized one morning when I was home alone that I could crutch around and make my own sandwich, get my own drink etc, if I just had a way of moving it.  So, I found the plastic grocery bags and threw everything in there and carried it by the handle back to my nest on the couch or chair. Nick had a brilliant idea and tied the bag to one of my crutches and calls it a saddle bag. Too funny! 

Thursday, I went for my one week follow up doctor’s appointment.  It was SO nice to have the bandage removed and let the ol’ foot breathe a bit.  The doctor said it’s healing very well and I could wear the second boot he gave me that has a very thick wedge on the heel end for walking. I tried it in his office, felt sharp pains in the foot and wimped out. I brought it home to play with later. 

This morning, Nick suggested I try the wedge boot again. I did and have been hobbling around a little without the crutches. It’s SO liberating!!  It looks ridiculous and is a good three inches higher than my other bare foot but it’s so much nicer than using the crutches. I even went into the kitchen and swept my floor. That dirty floor was driving me nuts!
So, in conclusion, I’m healing quite well, feeling good about being in my second week of recovery and thankful that I’m laid up when the weather’s been so yucky. I’m afraid if we were having nice spring weather the last week I’d have been crutching around outside, crawling on the patio so I could pull weeds in the beds. I’m so ready for spring and a little yard work.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Project 365!

I should probably re-name this “Project 52” because at the end of the year, I’ll be lucky to have posted what equals to one photo per week. 

I couldn’t resist posting this photo. It’s so symbolic of what’s going on right now. It’s technically spring, but winter is hanging on. Notice the beautiful crocuses trying to bloom but there is snow nestled among them.
I thought it was beautiful.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What a Man, What a Man, What a Mighty Good Man!!

Let me just say that my husband rocks!  Since my surgery on Thursday morning he has been there, right by my side, taking care of me. 

Nick took the day off on Thursday to go to the hospital with me. I was home around noon and all afternoon he brought me food, ice for my foot and whatever else I needed.  Friday he didn’t have class so he was home with me all day again.  I got a home cooked breakfast and lunch, not to mention the delicious dinner he made. All weekend this man has done laundry, cleaned around the house, taken care of the boy and the dogs and most especially, me.

Early Friday morning the numbness wore off my foot. I woke up around 4:30 AM to go to the bathroom and as soon as I dropped my feet over the side of the bed, my incisions started throbbing. I crutched to the bathroom and back and was crying by the time I got back to bed. Bless his heart, Nick got up, got me more ice and a pain pill.  He’s a real trooper.

Our morning routine, since he has had to go back to school has been this:

Alarm goes off, Nick gets up and hits the shower.  He gets me up and helps me down the stairs. He goes back up stairs to bring me all the stuff I might need/want during the day. My glasses, phone, book, magazine, icepack etc.

When he gets home, he makes me lunch and gets me ready for a shower.  In a few hours, after doing his studying, writing papers, picking up the boy from school, etc. he makes dinner.  Last night, he was back upstairs after dinner to finish his own homework and to help Alex with his. Around 9:30 last night, he helped me up the stairs, brought all my stuff up, drugged me and put me to bed. Afterwards he finished up shutting down the house, taking dogs out, and everything that goes along with it to finally fall into bed himself.

I feel so blessed to have a husband that loves me and wants to take care of me. 


Friday night, Nick cooked burgers on the grill (our one nice day so far) and made a delicious dinner. I took this photo before he had finished putting it all on the table. When it was done we had baked beans and corn on the cob as well as delicious burgers.


Saturday, he made some queso dip for snacking.  I caught him working in the kitchen.




Here is what the side table in the living room looks like after Nick leaves in the morning. He has brought the insulated carafe of coffee in for me, my ice water, my book, glasses, phone, calendar and kindle. Oh, and the “oh so important” pain pill, just in case I need it before he gets back home.

What a man.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Birthday Recap

I apologize for the lack of blog posts lately.  Since I returned from Texas last Monday night, it’s been a whirlwind.  I knew I was having surgery the following Thursday so I was very busy trying to get my house in order. I wanted there to be groceries (easy for a school attending dad to be able to throw together a meal) and laundry done. 

My 46th birthday was last Wednesday. Since I was scheduled to have surgery the following morning, I was under doctor’s orders to have no alcohol that night. We decided a birthday should be celebrated with a little alcohol so we went out a night early.

Tuesday evening my boys took me to one of our favorite restaurants, The Red Parrot. I so love this place. We have never had a bad meal here. I ordered a lovely chilled glass of chardonnay and we had a dozen raw oysters for our appetizer.  After a few of the oysters, I wished I had skipped the main part of the meal for more oysters. I LOVE them. Who would’ve thought?

I had the broiled stuffed shrimp and a delicious Irish coffee for dessert. I left feeling very satisfied and like a true spoiled birthday girl.

The following morning, my girlfriend Cindy, took me for a pedicure!  What a wonderful treat, especially knowing that the next day I would have my foot cut on and would wish for those lovely toenails. She also brought some beautiful tulips and a birthday cake. What a sweet friend!  My other friend and neighbor, Deb, brought over a cute birthday wine glass and a bottle of wine. She knows me well!!


Excuse the poor quality of the photo, I used my phone for this one.

That night I cooked dinner for us at home. After we ate, Nick presented me with both my birthday cakes… yes two!  He didn’t know Cindy had brought one over so he picked one up while he was out. What a guy!




Then he gave me a beautiful gift bag with my birthday present. I was really surprised because the one thing I’d asked for, he was unable to find. That’s another story! However, I opened up the  bag and found this.



An Amazon Kindle!  I have been torn about having a Kindle because I do love to read a real book, but this just makes so much more sense. Especially with all the moving around we do.


It also had this beautiful red leather cover. I love red. I think he knows this about me.

I had a wonderful birthday!  I am truly blessed to have a husband and family that loves me so much.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

iPod About Me

This is a flashback from February 2009.  Someone tagged me in their own Facebook note where you had to answer the following questions turning on your iPod and selecting shuffle.  I selected the playlist “recently played”   At that time, I had to skip the Christmas music that kept popping up.

You’ll have to keep in mind, that when I did this, I was living in Hawaii, my husband was commanding a battalion and was deployed, I had dealt with one Soldier’s death and numerous crazy Army spouses/family members and was needing something lighthearted. Hopefully, you’ll find a little humor in this and maybe offer up your own “About Me” post.  Here it is.. exactly as it appeared 2 years ago.


If you got tagged for this note, you need to copy/paste this into your own facebook note, delete my answers, and answer the questions using your own ipod, iTunes or whatever it is that you use... I would not recommend a turntable or eight track for this exercise!
1. Turn on the iPod and select shuffle
2. Use the title of the song for the answer to the 1st question
3. Hit “next” and repeat process until you have answered them all
4. Don't cheat!
5. Tag some of your friends so they'll do the same

1. How am I feeling today?
Super Trouper-Mamma Mia Soundtrack
2. How far will I get in life?
Wild Night-Van Morrison
3. What is my best friend’s theme song?
Take a Chance on Me-Mamma Mia Soundtrack
4. What was high school like?
Mamma Mia-Soundtrack again
5. How will today be?
Warm Love-Van Morrison
6. What is in store for me this weekend?
Fins-Jimmy Buffett
7. What is the best thing about me?
Does Your Mother Know?-Mamma Mia Soundtrack
8. What song describes my parents?
How do I say the words? Bryan Adams
9. How is my life going?
The Bitch is Back-Elton John
10. What song will they play at my funeral?
Angel-Jack Johnson
11. How does the world see me?
Livin' For You-Boston
12. What do my friends think of me?
Lay All Your Love on Me-Mamma Mia Soundtrack
13. Do people secretly think I’m good looking?
Mama Can't Buy You Love-Elton John
14. How can I make myself happy?
Keep On Lovin' You-REO Speedwagon
15. What should I do with my life?
If I Could - Jack Johnson
16. What is some good advice?
Roll With the Changes - REO Speedwagon (how fitting)
17. Will I get married?
Can't Fight This Feeling-REO Speedwagon
18. Where will I go in life?
Staple It Together - Jack Johnson
19. Will I Have Kids?
Live A Little - Hawaiian Style Band
20. What is my current theme song?
Cheeseburger in Paradise - Jimmy Buffett (I had to laugh at this one!)

Maybe, very soon, I will do this again and see how my songs have changed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pre-Op Appointment and Goodies

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the clinic for my pre-op appointment. At this time, my doctor sat down with me (and Nick) to tell us exactly what to expect and to give me everything I’d need for my surgery.
We filled out forms, medical history, medications I’m taking and allergies, etc.  Then he gave us instructions. This is why I brought Nick. I wanted him to hear the Doc say “no weight on that foot for three weeks”   (this includes driving since it’s my right foot)  I wanted Nick to be aware of just how much he was going to have to do to take care of me and to keep the household running.
After about two hours, I left there with several “goodies” 
He gave me these two scrubby sponges/brushes. They are wrapped in silver below. I am to scrub my foot really well with one of these the night before and the morning of my surgery.  I think that’s just lazy. Why can’t they scrub my foot when I get there?  I really feel like it’s going to need another scrub before they cut into it!
I also got three bottles of medication. One is a pain medicine and the other two are “just in case you have reactions to the pain medication”  Apparently the side affects of this medication are constipation (I got a pill for that ) and itchy skin (I got a pill for that too)  The lady at the pharmacy knew who my doctor was by this combination of medicine. She said “Oh, you must have “Dr. M”  this is his cocktail” 
Then we headed over to physical therapy where they fitted me with crutches.  Let me just say, I’m clumsy at my best. I can’t imagine trying to maneuver on crutches and having a few pain pills in me. It could be a problem. Notice the lovely footwear I’ll be sporting.  I am to take that blue boot with me to the hospital so they can slip it over my bandage when I’m ready to come home.
Do you think anyone will be wearing this on the spring fashion show runways?  It’s lovely, is it not?
I’m home from my trip to Texas and I have to say, it was a wonderful visit. I saw so many old friends and really had a good time. I got home very late last night and have tried to get a few things done around the house today. I’m a little behind and feeling overwhelmed because in another two days, I know I’ll be out of commission. I guess Nick will have to handle it all.
Tomorrow is my birthday and since I’ve been instructed that I can have no alcohol the night before my surgery (which is the following morning) we went out for my birthday dinner tonight. We went to a local restaurant that we love. I had a wonderful glass of chardonnay, raw oysters and stuffed shrimp. I ended my meal with an Irish coffee. YUM!  I’m feeling very full, very satisfied with my meal and ready to go to bed at 8:00. 
My good friend Cindy is taking me for a pedicure tomorrow for my birthday. What a doll she is. I really wanted to have my feet and toes done before the surgery and now I will!  I may have an ugly bandage on my foot for a while, but there will be beautiful toes under there!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mothering a Boy

As I was flying to Texas for my oldest child’s wedding shower and to plan for their rehearsal dinner, I was reading a book about a woman facing the empty nest. How ironic. In this story, the woman is watching her youngest son play in his senior year of high school football. She makes the comment that she loved that he still kisses her check at football games. This reminded me of the day my oldest child was born. JD was born two days after Thanksgiving in 1983. I was a mere 18 years old. Way too young to be married and having babies, but that’s another story.

The nurse brought him to me for the first time after I’d settled into my room and said “Boys are so special” I looked at her with my wide eyed innocence and wondered why she would think boys were more special than girls. I know now, that she was trying to make me feel comfortable in my new role as the mother of a boy. She said “Boys always love their mommas. After a football game my son kisses his girlfriend then he kisses me.” Those words stuck with me for the last 27 years. I remember those high school football games when JD would hug his girlfriend then hug me. I was so proud. Today¸ as I was reading about this woman whose heart was breaking at the thought of her baby leaving home, I remembered very clearly that nurse handing me my first born.

He’s a man now. He has a college degree, a great job that he loves, and he is about to marry a girl that I absolutely love. I guess it’s ok to take a little credit for how well he’s turned out. I have laughed, worried, cried and prayed over that child. I can’t wait to watch him start his own family with beautiful Meghan and see what an amazing father he’ll be.

Here is a photo I took at the shower today. Forgive the quality of the picture, I took it with my phone. My camera is still at home!

Friday, March 11, 2011


I am finally at a computer with internet and can post an update on Callie's trip.  Thanks to everyone who voiced concern, support etc.
After arriving in Phoenix yesterday, she called me and I told her I had done a little digging and her airline had ONE more flight to Hawaii but it was to Maui. I had no idea if they would even entertain the idea of sending her to Maui instead of Honolulu, but it was worth a shot. She found the gate, and sweet talked them into re-routing her to Maui where she could buy an inter island ticket and get on over to Honolulu.
I spoke to her as she was awaiting her last flight in the Maui airport. She said she was exhausted but glad to be almost there. She was so sweet and apologized for causing me so much stress. I told her it was ok, that I just felt as her mom, I should be able to take care of everything and how helpless I felt. I then told her I was proud of her and Zach for taking care of it and getting everything done. I guess I raised her right!
Then, of course, I got up this morning to the news that there was a tsunami warning for the state of Hawaii. Oy! I knew that she was staying in an area that was very high and that large waves wouldn't affect her, but I knew the potential of losing power for days and having some serious dampers put on her vacation was very high.
I've heard from her several times today and all is well.
I'm thankful to watch her become a responsible young woman and to see her make wise decisions. 
I am having a great visit with some old friends here in Texas and am looking forward to my mom and aunt arriving tomorrow. The shower is on Sunday and should be a great time.
I have a girls' night out planned for this evening and I do believe margaritas are in my future. It will be so nice to hang out and not worry about anything for a while (is that even possible?)
I apologize for the lack of photos in my posts, but like a doofus, I left my camera in Rhode Island.  JD will bring his tomorrow and I can take photos with mom, auntie, kids etc not to mention the bridal shower.
Thanks again for your sweet comments on my stress yesterday. It helps to know that my mom guilt/stress is all normal.
Happy Friday and have a good weekend!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mamma Guilt

Why is it that moms carry the weight of everything that goes wrong?  I am having a terrible feeling about leaving Callie at the airport this morning and so helpless that I can't help her get on to Hawaii for her spring break.
Let me start from the beginning.
Callie had a 6:10 AM flight to Hawaii this morning on US Airways. We were running just barely on time and hit construction and a detour. Still got her there with 40 minutes. She goes inside to check in and they won't even take her at the counter. They have a rule about being 45 minutes or so before flight time or you can't even check in.
Get this,..even with this delay, checking bags and getting a standby ticket, she STILL made it through security in time to board that flight, had they let her. But no, she has to wait and is told that all remaining flights are full. She was on standby for an 8:00 flight but it was a no go. She got standby for a 12:15 flight and just called to let me know she's on. This flight goes to Phoenix and she will take her chances from there to get on into Honolulu.
Her fiance', who booked the flight originally, is bound and determined to get her out to Hawaii for a week, so I feel like they will work it out even if it means a night in the Phoenix airport.
I am feeling terrible about this. She doesn't blame me for missing the flight but I feel responsible. She knows she should've gotten up earlier and been proactive about being at the airport early but once again, I have mom guilt. It is making me almost physically ill.  I can't help her and I need to let her be an adult (she is 20 years old, after all) but this is hard!
Anyone else know about helpless, guilty mom syndrome? 
I'm waiting around in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and postponing my trip to central Texas until I know she doen't need me to get her at the airport. I'm  little stressed!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekend Movie

We made a commitment a while back to do one family thing every weekend. Since the weather has been so cold/nasty/yucky..whatever you want to call it, our options have been limited on activities.  So, we’ve turned to Netflix and pay per view movies to fill our time.  Saturday night, we chose the movie “Grown Ups” to watch.

I have to admit, when I saw the cast, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James,  Rob Schneider and the like, I figured it would be goofy, at best.  I was mistaken.  This was a great family movie. It was funny, it had real meaning, and still had enough..um… shall we say, “hot girls and sexual hints” for a 15 year old boy without making me shudder.  I really loved Adam Sandler’s character and the lesson he gave his children toward the end of the movie.  We all enjoyed the movie and I do recommend it if you want a family friendly movie, which I’m finding harder and harder to find.
Oh, and let me add that Grown Ups had a rockin' sound track! I'm seriously thinking of downloading it to my iPod. Nick and I both made several comments during the movie about how good the music was.
Speaking of Netflix, so far, I’ve only subscribed to the online/wireless version and I’m a little disappointed at the selection.  I realize that for a  mere $2.00 more per month, I could have DVDs delivered to my house and have way more options. I’m thinking seriously of doing this, especially since I’ll be homebound for a few weeks after my foot surgery.  Anybody have Netflix? What do you think? Do you use it often enough for it to pay for itself?
I have a busy week ahead. Tomorrow is the last day home before flying to Texas. Sunday is my future daughter-in-law Meghan’s bridal shower in my old home town. She’s not from that town so these are my friends and JD’s buddies’ moms who are giving this shower. I’m very excited to see some people I haven’t seen in around five years. I’m also excited to see Callie for one night before she flies off to Hawaii to spend spring break with her love and her sister. (they are both there now)  I return to Rhode Island on Monday, one week from today, then am facing my surgery a few days later. I’ll admit, I’m a little apprehensive about the surgery. I know it’s the thing to do, nothing else has worked, but I am apprehensive none the less. I’ll be glad when it’s over and I am recovered. I have a feeling that three weeks with no weight on my right foot may be enough to send me right over the edge. I’ll be needing some entertainment!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Project 365

I realize I’ve not kept up with this well. In an attempt to redeem myself, I am posting a few photos from the last week.

This is the first sign I’ve seen of spring. These little sprigs are sprouting just outside my back door. I have no clue what they are but I love seeing a little color. I promptly covered them back up with the leaves  because we were expecting snow that night.
This little critter likes to hang out in our back yard. This photo is terrible, I know, but you get the idea of the shock I get sometimes when I go to let the dogs out.
I took this the other morning just after I got out of bed. I so love watching the sunrise over the water.
This is the Italian bread that I made using Michelle’s recipe. It was wonderful!! Check out her recipe here.
The snow I spoke of earlier. Yes, we’ve had two different evenings with some flurries. We actually got up Sunday morning to about an inch of snow on the ground. It had almost all melted by that night. I have to admit, I do still love to watch it fall. After that, you can have it.


The morning after the snow from inside my car. Like I said, it’s getting old.
Our boy wearing his new ACU’s.  He was issued these this week in his high school JROTC class. He loves these so much more than the class A uniform.. who can blame him?