fresh flowers

Giving Thanks

 

Cooking Up Memories

Wow! Where did the year go? I would like to apologize for the hiatus in posts.
It was not planned that’s for sure. As many of you know I have been taking physical therapy since my spinal surgery two years ago, however as I prepared to leave for my weekly appointment I started experiencing shortness of breath. As I attempted to get in my wheelchair, I started not being able to breathe. I asked my husband to call 911. I awoke 5 days later having never met the paramedics who came and transported me to hospital. I was in respiratory distress, a breathing tube was inserted and kept in a medically induced coma while testing and stabalizing treatment was given. Luckily the drugs they gave means I remember nothing about this obviously scary time I spent in ICU.

Ten days in step down care before release to a skilled nursing facility. After another twenty days ton make sure prescribed therapy worked I was released to go home on October 30th. As a result I combined my homecoming dinner with my birthday celebration also the 30th. With Thanksgiving fast approaching the stress of the holidays starts creeping in. My answer is to remember just how lucky I am. The main thing I would tell anyone is to cherish the time the we have with family and friends. Instead of coveting toys, gadgets,clothing, or other material items take a brake from the hustle; look around and see all the blessing in your life you have to be thankful for. Friends, family, pets, even a kind word from strangers.

One event that I will never forget ; I think I met my guardian angel during my stay in hospital. After friends, family, visited I have to admit I was feeling really down with fears creeping in. I went to bed that night to shut off my brain from all those stupid thoughts. So 3am comes around and they collect blood for laboratory testing. The room was freezing, this beautiful young girl felt how cold my hand was she was encouraging me to get warm. I’m not proud of it but I was feeling pretty low and I just did not care which way it ended. She stayed with me. Held and rubbed my hand to warm it. She only left long enough to get some heated blankets. The rest of the time she held my hand and sought to reassure me that I would be deeply missed in this world. This girl didn’t know me at all. I’ve never had someone touch my life so profoundly. I try to make it a point to leave nothing unsaid. When I told her how mush her gestures and caring touched me she replied that she was just glad that she could help. After making me feel better she collected her sample, encouraged me to get some more rest because the sun was gonna come up soon enough. When my door closed the biggest thought was this bright light in this world just left me and I didn’t even know her name.

I’m happy to say I related this to my wonderful nurse and she agreed that it was in deed special. She helped me find out her name and since patients do not talk directly to their supervisor I could mention her in glowing terms in the follow-up survey following my stay. Wherever you are Whitney I want you to know how special you are. I hope this holiday season is indeed magical. If by some chance you get to read this please know how special you are and I hope you continue being a light in this sometimes dark world.

As we move into the holiday season I hope the world benefits from many more just like her.  I have many people who are special to me and I have seen evidence of how simple gestures  can touch the lives of others but this is probably the first time I have been so profoundly touched by a stranger.  I hope there are many more like her and they continue sharing that special gift with the world.

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Hurricanes!  What you need to know.

Most media forget to tell people that you have to be prepared to take care of yourself and family without government help for at least three days after a major hurricane.  I grew up in Florida so we are very accustomed to hurricanes every summer.  First off the media likes to fuel hystaria!  Most category 1 and 2 should only concern low lunging areas and people who live in manufactured homes.  Unless you are hit by spinoff tornado, our regular storms are worse than these storms.  At 3, 4, and 5 long term locals start paying attention to local weather stations.  National new services are not able to give details and help to locals especially our smaller towns.  A great resource is a place called crownweather.com oddly enough they hail from Maine.  With a little preparation they are easy to deal with and you can reduce stress with hurricane party.  I’ve prepared an emergency list that you can print for easy planning to keep your family safe.  Three to five days is the minimum you should be able to survive on your own.

  It will take agencies like FEMA, or Red Cross to get into the area to help provide things like ice, water, and MRE’s, or medical help.     You may choose as we have after touring a medically needy shelter to take advantage of the electricity guarantee, or with adequate preparation we stayin home.  Our home generator and ample supplies made taking care of our selves the better choice.  My hubby is diabetic and cannot wait 3 hours for a bologna sandwich. We weathered Ivan at home quite comfortably.  The shelter had several difficulties procuring supplies. 

 Remember these must be multiplied for all family members sheltering with you.  Pets, children and the elderly have more specialized needs. For children make it a camping trip.  Add fun camping supplies to keep children occupied.  Camp songs and games keep little ones happy and on fun adventure until normalcy returns.          
Poncho with hood for rain
Emergency survival sleeping bag
Swiss Army knife (with can opener)
FM radio w/Batteries
Pen and paper for notes
60 feet Nylon Rope
Pliers~ to turn off utilities
Duck tape to shelter in place
Dust mask (N95)
Leather palm working gloves
Rolls of toiletpaper paper in Ziploc bag
Hygiene kit-tooth brush paste, wet wipes & femine items
Mini hand sanitizer
Garbage bags and ties for sanitation
Complete First Aid kit with Prescription medication for all. You need emergency supply to last 1 week without refill.
Shovel – to dig sanitation holes
Several flashlights with extra batteries  I also add several lanterns both battery and oil to illuminate lager areas.  Candles, lighters and matches serve well in dinning room and living room to provide light for meals after dark or old fashion board games.  
24 hour light stick
Waterproof matches
Food hard-working high in calories and don’t need to be cooked
Backpacks if needed to move or carry supplies
Solar charger for electronics
Generator with reserve fuel
Manual charger bank for cell phone
Car charger plugin for phones
Car converter to plug in laptops or other small appliances
1 gallon water per person per day
Clothing for 3 – 5 days per person both hot and cold

                      I. Important documents (I keep ours in 3 ring binder)  contains birth certificates, marriage license, copies of driver licenses, and social security cards on all.   Insurance documents both policy and deeds.  Bank account information, Usernames and passwords, list of credit cards, and numbers.  Account numbers for all utilities and services. Tax returns, and anything else I would find important if starting over again.  Don’t go crazy but, I keep all in one binder so if fire or flood I can grab it and go.  I try to update several times throughout the year. Irreplaceable family photo’s should have a book of their own…consider making scans stored on non destructible DVD Rom disks.
Florida in particular the gulf coast has 1 more essential hurricane party must have…

Make mine a double!

Plan early, be prepared and stay safe friends and enjoy your summer!

It’s already August!

Stay tuned for great recipes mine and hopefully some of yours as we pick our favorites for a special project.

What’s for dinner??

As the dog days of summer are upon us I am sure looking forward to a break in the heat.  Our a/c is working hard to keep us cool.  The idea of going near a stove or heat from a bbq makes me sweat even more just thinking about it.  How do you answer that nagging question, ” Whats for dinner?”  while the suns still shinning?  During summer I could happily eat vegetarian, but hubby needs a certain part protien to keep the numbers right. I hate diabetes!  At least he’s an adult.  I know quite a few parents who struggle with this disease in a child and I wonder where they find the fortitude and patience. I guess thats true any time your child is sick.  I know I loose sleep when a niece, or nephew, is not feeling well.  Much less one of my fur babies.  

Fuzzy. RIP. I miss you

Back to the temperature.  It has firmly reached the point that I do not want to stand over a hot stove.  What to do???  Pizza? Our homemade recipe featured last month really takes commercial places out of the running.  Okay my first thought after that was sandwicheshambugersChick-fil-a? Arby‘s? Subway?  Firehouse? We just had Panera, mom just discovered them.  So they are all pricey for food that lets face it isn’t very good for us and not very appetizing.  Several years ago I had an amazing Turkey Chipotle panni, that I’ve tried to re-create as a wrap.  I can get close but have not matched The Cheesecake Factory.  When I called mom to suggest this and check ingredients she suggested hoagies.  French bread, salami, provolone, sharp cheddar, Turkey, ham, roast beef, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onion, green bell peppers, homemade tazziki and a little mustard gives you the masterpiece you see here.  Mom said she checked the deli at Wal-Mart thinking of the premade, but for the same price we got two of these gems!

The Ultimate Family Sandwhich

Best of all they are customized to taste.  Pepperoni, corned beef, chicken, tuna, change the meats, cheese, bread and veggies.  Make it your own and I bet it tastes better fresh than from a sandwich shop.  We cut it three ways and made two meals so dinner and lunch tomorrow. These were so good! I admit it freely tasted better than most sandwich shops.  If you know of one that is better than any of deli places mentioned above I would love to know about it.  How do you beat the heat and feed your family?  

The Ultimate Family Sandwhich

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Fathers Day…. in society today that term is special.  Anybody can be a father,  but Daddy is a big job!!!  Growing up I can remember meeting my dad when he came home from work.  Blue collar all the way,  bear hugs, and tickles came with him.  He smelled of coffee, engine grease, and Brut aftershave.  He worked hard everyday, sometimes two jobs and had  very definate ideas that some find old fashioned.  For all our differences of opinion as an adult I can honestly say i’m greatful for being raised this way.  We learned the value of a dollar, manners, and respect.

.                          Daddy’s  chase away monsters under the bed or in the closet.  He worked hard for our family and spent time with us growing up.  He took imaginary phone calls, drank tea at tea parties, and helped mom make the coolest blanket forts.  Daddy’s  are mysterious creatures and I’ll explain what I mean.  Mine was a real ‘guy’.  He didn’t do things in the kitchen unless it was a Saturday or Sunday.  He did not wear blue jeans.  Button up shirts, flannel in winter.  Dad made the waffles or pancakes. (Mom had to make the eggs and bacon… He didn’t do that).  Electronic toys are great but, I learned how I should be treated by my future husband, by watching  his example.  Mine wasn’t perfect but he was perfect for me.

I remember having one of those moments in time where you realize how lucky you are.  At my younger brothers wedding I watched his bride dance with her father, of all my siblings I was fortunate enough to have a father daughter dance.  I miss the whit and gentle teasing.  I would meet him for breakfast, at a really early hour.  That was one of his quirks, if he had to be up extra early he thought we should too.  This sucked growing up on Saturday mornings.  Unless he was making bbq, he spent years perfecting that.

I carry him with me everyday, as I passed on to others he lives on in my heart.  I see his example shine through when my brothers play with their children.  Even when they don’t want to admit it.  My dad lost his battle with cancer in 2011.  I vividly remember in coming to terms with his death how lucky we were to grow up in a world where more and more families fathers are absent.   I wish they had visiting hours in heaven, but until they do, Daddy I Love You.  To all the dads out there I hope you become the hero in your family.  Daddy’s help us see ourselves like this. 

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To all the dads especially if you grew up without one and know find yourself in the role.  Spend as much time together as you can.  To my half siblings I hope you got to spend time with the same father I grew up with.  Children have no owners manuals and parents genrally do the best parenting they are able.  I hope both children and adults remember that word of wisdom mine left with me.


Are you green? Emerald that is!

Wether its the Emerald isles or the Emerald Coast, they both get their names from May’s beautiful birthstone….you guessed it Emeralds.  These precious stones have been coveted by humanity throughout history and its easy to see why.  If you have a May birthday this is your stone.  If not the allure and beauty of the stones gives all the reason needed to add these to your wardrobe.

Colors range from light Columbian to deep Emerald.  Most are determined by mine location.  The fewer inclusions the more valuable the stone.  In times gone by these stones were thought to have powers beyond matching a gown.  Some are rumored to be cursed, while some held curative powers if ingested.  Emeralds are so coveted they even have a shape of diamonds and gems named after them.

A symbol of unending love and honesty have encouraged favoritism as wedding stones of choice.  The Regency era in particular Irish and English girls received many.  Long seen as a symbol of hope and prophecy made them very popular.  Unlike the red ruby, a statement of passionate love, an emerald conveys a complex symbolism and emotions.  Cleopatra draped herself in Emerards.  Rich luscious green color beautifully played off the violet of Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes in the 1960’s 
While being most calming color green it  reflexes growth, peace,balance, and reflection.  Healing and fertility are also attributed to these very rare gemstone.  Verdant tones and inside are tempered by cool blue within the stone symbolize a steadfast bond.

Giving an emerald, you showing a dash of humanity.  You’re considered “green” or a bit naive when you don’t have everything figured out in life.  This should be seen as a positive when you consider your new life as a couple is defined by many unforseen obstacles to confront and solve together and learn lessons from.

Emeralds are often associated with strong sexuality and fertility, it was historically believed to help with difficult births or the problems bearing children.  Linked to healing and balance within the nervous, respiratory and even aid digestion.     Ancient Romans, for example, felt that the very soul of an individual was restored when they wore emerald jewelry.
So whether they are for your Birthday, or you just love the color I wish you any luck they may contain.

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