Monday, April 29, 2013

jalapeno dip

Garsh, but I do love trying out new things on other people!
I only meant food.
I promise not to subject them to my new cleaning compound
or a new scrub brush.
Food ... oh, yea, that I'll try.

Last weekend it was Jalapeno Dip.
In case you didn't know, I don't eat Mexican food.
I cook some things because my tribe likes them.
9 times out of 10 ... I eat something else ... like an omelet.
Do you see now?
I have a perfectly valid reason for trying out things on other folks!

Maybe this should be a whole new motto for my kitchen.
Guest tasted and approved. 
Thanks Jenny!

Jalapeno Dip

2 - 8 oz packages cream cheese
1/2 c mayonnaise
2 - 4 oz cans of diced jalapenos (undrained)
1 - 4 oz can of diced green chilies (undrained)
1 c parmesan cheese, shredded and divided
1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded

Soften cream cheese in the microwave. (I just left mine out on the counter.) Add mayo and mix until smooth. Add jalapenos and green chilies and mix. Add 1/2 c of parmesan cheese, the cheddar cheese and mix. Pour into microwave safe dish. Top with the other 1/2 c of parmesan cheese.

Microwave for 4 or 5 minutes. To brown cheese, pop in the oven on broil for about 5 minutes.

** I skipped all microwave instructions. This recipe went into the fridge and sat until the next day when I plunked it into the oven to warm it up. Forgot all about the broiling at the end and they inhaled it anyway.
If you have those tender Northern Minnesota Finnish taste buds like mine .... play around with the amount of hot stuff!

Friday, April 26, 2013

17:52 red

This week's Project 52 brings us to red.

I do love the color red.
Red walls.
Red doors.
Red splashes everywhere.

I like the fact that you can return the book you've read ....
right into the slot in that red wall.

Once again this week you're heading over to see Leann ... have fun!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

one month ago today

Jari and I were tootling around Safford Arizona taking in the sights.
I had missed a cemetery tour in Phoenix the Saturday morning we left because
I had my nose in a paper writing experience rather than behind the camera lens.
Safford had  terrific opportunity for walking an ever so old cemetery.

Today, a month later, I would much rather be out with a camera flung over my shoulder.
Alas, there are things I must do today.
School seriously cuts into a life. Seriously.
Before I started this bachelor's program, I had asked someone how many hours a week they were spending in their program at a different institution of learning.
Ten hours.
Okay. I could do ten hours. I couldn't do 20. I could do ten.
I don't tend to waste too many minutes of a day and now I know that ten hours includes many minutes.
Like, my oatmeal cooks for 2 minutes in the microwave in the morning while I hit my hair with a curling iron.
Ten hours in a week (if that is what I'm actually spending) takes the place of a lot of things.
I'm not telling you that I won't be glad when it's done.
I certainly will be ... and I'll even be glad I did it.
And in the next few weeks I am going to get very good at writing a APA format paper really fast.
Just so I can take this camera of mine out of the house, fill the gas tank with gas, and snap some photos.
In the meantime, my stomach is growling for oatmeal and ....
I have some discussion posts to write on the levels of management in the place I work.

On the bright side, I called about Brock's follow up appointment on Monday.
He has been at home and going stir crazy.
I had no clue who this doctor was that he was suppose to follow up with and found out that it was the first trauma doctor who saw him.
Me: "What do you do when you see him in the office?"
Office: "Look at him."
Me: "I'm a nurse. I'm looking at him and he is doing great. Are you going to do lab work or another CT scan?"
Office: "Not unless he is having problems."
Me: "Then do we need to come in?"
A day and several phone calls later, they assured me that he didn't need to be seen.
So ... we established that he could go back to work next week.
Then, pulling the little ol' mom card, I told him he couldn't play sports for 2 months.
Hah! That went over like a lead balloon!
Tell a 19 year old active person that they can't play sports and see what kind of reply you get!
I caved and told him not to play anything where he is going to get slammed in the gut.
And then I told him what to watch for so he doesn't bleed out on the volleyball court.
I'm thinking he'll behave ... for the most part.
And when July 1st comes around and he hasn't been readmitted, I'll breathe a little easier.

I've inhaled my oatmeal. Off to practice writing skills. With complete sentences.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday nite

I've run like a hoodlum all day long. To the point where the body aches and needs to just head for bed!

I added a new app to my phone that works like a job list. Hold the item (like vacuum or pay bills) and move it over to the done place. I'm not sure I like it but it was free and worth a shot. All the items on my To Do List got moved today. Yippee!!

And then I went looking for chocolate ... and found only this before I headed to the recliner with my heating pad and crochet hook.

Hope your Saturday was a good one!

Friday, April 19, 2013

16:52 drink up

project 52

my shiny red cup 
that goes with me everywhere
filled with coffee
just waiting for me to
drink up

leann probably has some fun flavor added to her drink this week!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

life is a gift

Most days I wake up and don't remember to be thankful.
I forget to thank God that He has given me another day.
I forget to thank Him for the ability to see the sunshine.
The ability to hear the breeze as it rustles the trees.
I forget to be thankful that my children and husband are safe.
I forget to thank Him for so many things.

Last Saturday evening, while I was relaxing in a rocking chair at my crafting weekend,
Brock was in a car accident with his friend Jake.
A car plowed into them and threw them into a light pole.
Both young men are okay.
Jake was discharged from the hospital on Monday with a broken ankle that will keep him out of work for several months.
Brock was discharged on Tuesday with instructions to lay low for several weeks.
He had a bleeding spleen that they were keeping an eye on.
The laying low is going to be painfully boring for him.
He'd much rather be working.
In fact, his words to me from the ER on Saturday night were, "I need to be at work on Monday!"

Once I was assured that the boys were doing okay, and Jari assured me that he had it all under control, I stayed in Flagstaff until Sunday.
Today I saw pictures of the car that were taken in daylight and am simply amazed that these two guys were able to be at Bible Class tonite.

I'm amazed they're alive and aren't in a million pieces.
Because this looks downright nasty.

And tonite, I'm thankful that Brock ate dinner at the table with us.
I'm thankful that he's sitting in Dad's recliner right now.
Tomorrow morning, if I awake, I'll remember to be thankful.
For everything.

Especially thankful for the fact that I get to see my son's beautiful smile for yet another day.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

It's Saturday

and I'm off playing for the weekend.

Other than going away for the Annual Mother's Camp weekend, I don't think I've ever gone away like this. I know I'm going to have a blast and can't wait to share some pictures with you when I get home!

Life just keeps on happening over here.

I finished my second 8 week class before I left for the weekend.
That means I can completely relax and not think about it. At. All.
A package arrived from Amazon the other day and I sort of got excited for a bit.
Another one of those things I hadn't ordered and you just never know.
I ripped it open like it was Christmas morning and found ....
Leadership and Management in Nursing.
Yeah. Talk about a downer.
I'm looking at this degree program as being one week long.
I just finished Monday.

I upgraded my phone this past week.
Hubby did something with changing our phone plans to save some monthly bucks.
I was due for an upgrade and I have speedy gonzales now!
I've been spending a moment here and there deleting photos.
I transferred over 1,900 photos down from icloud back onto my phone.
If I need to spend a moment or two in my greenhouse, I just flip through my phone.
Believe it or not, I even have a video of chickens running to Jari's calling them.
It is just a bit beyond ridiculous.

The girls are working and schooling.
Graduation day is coming up around the corner.
Hard to believe that even if Jari's goal was to have all our children stay in the same school once they started going to school, this will be the 4th one graduating from yet a different school. Different school with every child.
That was not the plan.
As long as we stay parked .... maybe we will manage at least 2 from the same place!

Summer is around the corner, although this past week has been heavenly!
Cool breezes mixed with some nasty dusty wind and mud falling from the sky.
Car washes causing traffic congestion in Phoenix.
I've liked some of the comments on FB about that one.
Especially from you northerners who really understand what a dirty car looks like.
I get it.
It is quite funny.
I do remember having quite a yearning for the ability to drive up to one and jump out.
Have them do all the cleaning instead of me lugging a shopvac and extension cords out to the yard.
Now when I have them everywhere ... I enjoy doing my own.

That's all for this week folks.
I just got feeling a little like all I do lately is share a bit of food, photo and craft.
I finally cooked dinner for the first time this week on Thursday.
I probably don't even have the right to share recipes right now.
Crafting I manage between discussion posts, pages of paper writing and the endless research and reading that goes along with it.
15 minutes in the crafting corner in the midst of all that and my mind is ready to go again.

See you sometime this week after I figure out how this next class is going to roll.
Have a great weekend ... and I hope it doesn't involve too much shoveling of the white stuff!

Friday, April 12, 2013

15:52 Reflection

Reflecting is one of the privileges and rights of motherhood ...
especially when it is reflecting back on your child 
searching for fish through his own reflection
on a lazy summer day at a lake in Northern Minnesota.

Brock circa 2004

Those little bare feet standing on the dock have certainly grown in the passing years.
Today she checks out her reflection as she readies herself for work ...

and  shares with me the beauty of  sunsets playing in our mirrors as we all head out to play for an evening.
And, yes, the mirrors needed a serious bath!

Reflecting is a fine thing. For with age our reflections are focused on all the good things in life.
We filter out the negative that we no longer need to remember and that weighs us down.
We choose instead to reflect on joy.

Next up again this week in our Project 52 circle is Leann!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Baked macaroni & cheese

I hope I haven't shared this recipe with you, but if I did it may have been on another blog.
This should probably be a reward for a visit to the doctor where you're told that
your cholesterol is well under control.
If that hasn't happened and you're needing a good dose of comfort food ....
this just might do the trick!

I didn't take any photos while making this treat, rather all of a sudden my mind did
a little "oh ... hurry take a picture before you eat" jig as I sat down at the table.
I do have the recipe and it has followed me around for a few years ....

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

3 c cooked, drained macaroni
1/2 c butter
3 T flour
3 C milk
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz cubed cream cheese
1 C Each cubed or shredded cheddar, Swiss and brick cheese
3/4 C crushed potato chips
1 T melted butter

Preheat oven to 325F. Melt 1/2 C butter in a large saucepan on the stove; stir in flour and continue stirring until it's smooth. Add milk, salt and cream cheese. Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce is thick. Mix this with cooked macaroni and 3 remaining cheeses. Spoon into a deep 9x13 pan or a 3-qt casserole. Sprinkle with crushed potato chips combined with 1 T melted butter.

Bake about 30 min. or until gold brown on top.

** I added leftover ham from Easter, but have also added a mix of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots just to change things up a bit.

Monday, April 8, 2013

the postman is amazing

Friday morning I was still in my pajamas busily paying bills and attacking the mail pile.
Jari was still home so I sent him out to collect the mail and he came in with an armful.
You'd think we'd been on vacation or something!
In one arm he carried a large flat rate box.
I haven't ordered anything lately, nor was I expecting anything.
Totally befuddled, I looked at the return address on the box 
and my curiosity skipped into serious overdrive.
Inside the cover of the box was a package wrapped in a country style 
looking tissue paper and ribbon and a beautiful handmade card.
Under that layer of tissue paper was the most beautiful quilt.

It was a moment where I felt so undeserving of this hard work.
So unworthy of this labor of love.

Amber has shared my dreamy walks though magazine quilt pictures,
wishing we could get this and that done. Oohing and aahing over this design or that fabric.
She caught them well in this quilt.

My love of the color red.
My love of stars.
My love of the homespun fabrics.
She caught it all.
She said it is the largest quilt she has ever machine quilted.
I can't imagine twirling all that fabric around the presser foot, but she did!

For now it is gracing my living room chair so I can gaze at it every trip I make through the living room.
I do know that I don't ever tire of things hand made and it may someday be covering
sleepy grandkids on sleepovers. I'll tell them stories about my kummi girl Amber and how
her children were little when she made this for me.
Over time we will add many more memories to the stitches in this quilt.

Thanks so much Amber!

Friday, April 5, 2013

14:52 at play

 A Daddy and his Daughters

A daddy and his daughters,
Walking hand in hand;
Though he isn't always with them,
They say they understand.

When he's away at work or play,
The memory of him lingers;
The three girls smile because they know,
He's wrapped around their fingers.

A slight tilt of their sweet heads,
A smile, a lowered glance;
A hug and kiss and, "Daddy please?"
He doesn't stand a chance!

In later years he will recall,
With tenderness and love;
Three charming girls, with hands in his,
Three blessings from above.

Author unknown with adaptations by Anita

This week Project 52 brings you At Play as our theme.

I've thought about these pictures many times since I took them early this week.
They sort of make my eyes want to water
and my heart swell with love to nearly bursting ...
for the relationships my daughters have with their father
and the relationships he has with each of them.
While they all know that he would walk through fire for them,
it is moments such as this one on a weekday afternoon
when all the girls are at home with their dad
and can enjoy moments at play that make my heart swell.

Next around the circle is Leann. I'm looking forward to seeing what 
kind of play is happening in Colorado this week!

Monday, April 1, 2013

duke and i have a problem

The Schwan's man. He's a really good guy. A really nice guy. He's a great salesman.
The problem is that he shows up at the door every other Thursday.
I really don't know how to say no to someone who shows up at the door.
It is a serious disease that probably needs a diagnosis.
I'm a pure sucker for anyone at the door.
I've taken to hiding when he comes around.
Two weeks ago I was on the back patio when he came by and I relayed messages through Anna.
This week I was taking a nap when he came. Thank goodness.
I think I might start scheduling my naps for Thursday afternoon.

Take for instance the young man who came by selling magazines one day awhile back.
He was hilarious!
Hilarious enough that I felt too dumb to say no and ended up ordering a magazine that I've never opened.
They show up in the mail religiously and someday when I'm not researching something like the Affordable Care Act or writing a paper on diabetes in the Native American/Alaska Native population, perhaps I'll even get around to reading one. I might even glean something from an issue or two.

So, our dear Duke has a problem. He has been with us for many years and celebrated his 11th birthday on March 14th. In dog years (as long as those aren't a myth) he is 77 years old. He still has some miles left in him, but he had what I thought was a growth on his bottom and a serious case of hobbling going on. Some mornings he wouldn't even get up to go outside with me at 4:30. Bad sign. He always follows me outside and lays down with his back to me. He's my fierce protector. If a cat is running along the top of the fence, he's sure I'm about to be eaten or something. We're not talking bobcat or anything like that. We're talking the house cat variety. I'm safe. Guaranteed. The poor old thing was just getting quite gimpy and I was getting worried about him. I have a name for a pet communicator in Virginia Beach that I was going to call. I was really going to call her and probably will at some point. Instead of calling the pet communicator, I called a mobile vet. I didn't think I could get Duke into the car ... it's that bad.

I should have just tried the car. Calling the mobile vet meant that they came to the door. Just like the magazine sales kid and the Schwan's man. I was the only one home which didn't help. No one around to be my middle man. The collar (he never ever wears one) and the leash are enough to get him hopping. He's always ready for an explore. He walked for the doctor, laid down for the good doctor and gladly took his shots from the good doctor. And I was busy making him comfortable. Not asking how much these little things were costing me.

Grandpa says he's worth it and I agree. The problem is that my air conditioner in my car isn't going to make it through the summer. Tia needs wisdom teeth pulled. Jari needs a root canal and crown. I gave up any one of those things that day out on the street. By the end of the day, his step was lighter and his limp was nearly gone. That medication did wonders for him. It was worth it. My dear hubby nearly had a stroke, but he got over it.

He did good for about a week. His hobble is back. I guess the bright side is that we know he doesn't have sepsis from his gingivitis. We do know that he has hypothyroidism. Apparently that could be the reason he's a little overweight. That's a relief. I thought it was the pulla I've fed him for years!

For you dog lovers out there who spend oodles of money on your pets ... I get it. That's fine. That's great. I've seen conversations on Facebook about people who can't afford treatment for their pets. They've said that those people shouldn't have pets. Pets are kind of like kids who need wisdom teeth pulled. Just because you maybe had some extra cash in the bank when the kid was teething doesn't mean it is still there when the teeth need pulling. Life happens sometimes. Sometimes it involves the checkbook.

Then there is the issue of palliative care. The equivalent of 77 years old and I am made to feel guilty (well .. no one made me feel guilty ... I did it myself)  for not treating his hypothyroidism. All I really wanted was a diagnostic visit, but how do you do that when it's a doctor whose job is to cure the sick animal. I can say no when I go to the dentist. I have no problem sitting there and telling them I want to hear my options and then I make the choice I can afford to make. I can't say no when they come to me. It's that door thing.

The worst part is that he now has more pills on the counter than anyone in this house has ever taken at one time and he's back to limping like an old man who needs a new joint, just like he was before that mobile van came into my driveway. At least what I thought was a growth is just fat and thank goodness it is his wacked out thyroid and not my pulla causing it. I really should just go defrost a piece or two for him right about now. 

Double and triple ugh! I should have called the pet communicator. So, on my next trip to Costco, I'll add some glucosamine chondroitin to the cart. Maybe that will do the trick.

In the meantime, you might want to call before you ring my doorbell.
I'm going to just quit answering the door.