Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rainy Sunday

My list of things to do is growing.  Its rainy out, Frank is not happy about it one bit, and I haven't blogged or wrote anything for quite some time.

That is all ending today.  I have a ton of stuff to do, and I need to get my butt in gear!  No fooling, this time, either.

This past summer (yes, summer is almost over) has taught me a few things about life, including a need to work, a need to be healthy, and a serious want for a vacation back to vegas.  Hoping BD can make it happen for this fall, we really need it.
I also am on a quest to lose 20 more pounds by then.  Think I can do it?  I'm trying.  Here's to a great attempt-- lets see if I can make it work!  Runkeeper and My Fitness Pal apps are my best friend...and walking Frank is good for it, too.

Now, on to other things like cleaning and organizing my desk today.  Tomorrow is Monday-- a day I plan to be busy.  I am going to make this week a great work week, take my career seriously and make it great.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Ahh the end of the month! Craziness Ensues

Yep, you got me two days in a row.  Not that anyone is reading (seriously, if you read this, please leave me a comment and let me know!)

Trying to grow my business, I have started a postcard mailing featuring some of my best recipes.  I bought some extras, too, to send to ones I want to add or to leave when I door knock.  Yes, I door knock.  I am a proud door knocker and I will be doing it today, and soon.

August's postcard is a recipe for my gingerbread cookies.  August's enewsletter is a recipe for Cherry Walnut coffee cake.  September's postcard will be for Cherry-Walnut Coffee cake and the enewsletter I haven't decided yet.  I need to coordinate them to be the same...will do that for October.

Man, I have a lot to do today, but I really wanted to share a few pictures I took this morning of our lovely fairgrounds---

Sometimes (even when its crazy) you need to stop and appreciate the finer, simpler things in life.  I had to include the pic of Frank from the other day, too.  That was also taken at the fairgrounds...he's always looking for something there!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wow I've forgotten to blog all summer

I'm sorry about that.
I've been busy, and it hasn't been easy.
Back at work, with a great company, and I have been hitting the pavement (literally), trying to find clients interested in buying/selling real estate.

Real estate is filled with highs and lows, for all parties involved.  I feel sometimes like I am on a roller coaster of a ride, yesterday I was worried, today the worry got worse, but now I'm at a point that we had some small happy bumps and that it will work out.  The feelings as an agent are ridiculous.  I know I shouldn't take it to heart, but I can't.  I work so hard and want my clients to get their best deal/home/sale that it becomes too emotional for me.  Maybe men have it easier in real estate in that aspect, I don't know.  I am so emotional for my clients it really isn't good for me.
However, typing this and getting my feelings out is helping.  This five minutes today of venting that I'm worried and want everything to go smoothly and that I need more clients is actually helping me get through the rest of the day.  Gosh, I love real estate, but when you were forced to take a break, you kinda forget the highs and lows that come with the job.  I need to keep it a bit less emotional, though.

I can work on that, I think.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Trying to get back to living

Yep, I'm trying to get back to the grind of blogging about living again.  I've been so depressed, hateful and resentful about food and the ridiculous allergies and itchy skin that yesterday I realized its not helping.  The attitude has got to go, because I am alive, working, and I have my family, dog, and the love of my life with me.  I won't give up on wheat totally, though.  I decided to indulge a small amount once a week until I am no longer allergic!  I will train my body to resist the release of histamines after wheat!  (big smile here).

Life is too short, right?  I'm just happy to be alive and share my world with anyone that wants to read it.  I have big plans and I'm not going to let another illness or health issue get in my way.  I will heal and I will be better soon.  God has big plans for me.

Today is a day I have been looking forward to all week.  I get to have lunch with an old dear friend, Sonda.  We both worked at the same real estate office many years back.  She is just who I need to help give me strength today.  I can't wait to see her, and I even have a lunch meal plan in place on what to order! 
Then, this afternoon, my sister K and I are meeting with some people at our church about forming a cancer support group/ministry.  I feel like this is part of the plan.  I know I say this a lot to people and probably on here, but I promised God the day I found out I had leukemia that I would make a difference.  I made a promise and I plan to keep it.  I've been trying, but sometimes I let lazy get in the way, and I cannot do that anymore.  Today, K and I make a difference together!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The trouble with allergies

Last week, I had another allergy test at the allergist's office.  We went over both tests, as I had one the week before.  These are the no so comfortable tests where hey poke your back 60 time with different allergens--- I had it done twice, once for environmental items and another for food allergies.

The bad news:  I tested positive for dust mites and mold.  Our yard is wooded, so both of these might be in the air/house.  Who isn't allergic to dust mites and mold?  That's what I want to know.

The badder news:  I tested allergic to the following foods:  wheat, chocolate, almonds, peanuts (the smallest reaction), carrots, spinach, cauliflower, tuna, lamb, and pork. Oh- and potatoes and sweet potatoes, too! I make bread and/or some baked good almost daily.  I eat chocolate, bread, almonds, peanuts, carrots, potatoes, and pork almost daily, too.  I eat spinach, tuna, cauliflower a few times a week.  This sucks! 

What's worse: The past 7 days I have eliminated (at the advice of the allergist) all the items I am allergic to.  It has been really rough, and I am not happy. 
Before you say, "There is a lot of stuff that they make gluten free now", beware my wrath:  Most gluten free items contain potato (starch) and/or almond/nut flour, both of which I can't have. 

Going through withdrawal is awful.  I am having a hard time typing, as I am noticing now.  I have a sudden sinus issue that popped up a few days ago, complete with a gross, clumpy brown mucus.  I am constipated, but sometimes I have to go quite often.  I'm tired.  We are in day 7 and I still have some of my rash on my arms, near my shoulders and on my chest.  I know my skin is dry and flaky, so I am cutting some slack on that, but everything is so weird right now. I believe this all stemmed as a result of all the chemo and drugs, as it started about 6 weeks after I finished taking all my chemo pills.  I am not surprised if it takes longer to go through withdrawal, as my immune system is a bit slow and over sensitive lately. 

I am praying this is temporary and at some point I can go back to my favorites.  Poor BD is getting tired of our new diet.  He is also working hard to eat the rest of the offending products in the fridge so I'm not tempted.   I think he is sick of ham and all the shredded cheese (yes, potato starch a plenty) he has to eat. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Update on Frank the Dog

Most of you know how much I love animals and especially my best friend, Frank the Dog.  Frank had pancreatitis in March, and I thought I post a quick update on him.
Frank has been doing better.  He is off meds, and now he eats a prescription dog food. 
I've limited his treats to just Milk Bones.  I break them in half, he really doesn't need a whole treat 3xs a day.  Once a week I make him some rice with chicken or chicken broth...which he loves.  It lasts most of the week, as I add it to his food for a special treat.
Frank is still enjoying carrots, both raw and cooked.  He gets a baby carrot almost every day...he loves them so much!

We've also been walking more with the better weather.  Walking is so good for the dogs-- great exercise.  However, there has been an outbreak with the doggie flu lately in our area, so I haven't been taking him to the dog park, just to be on the safe side.  Even though you have to provide vaccinations to get entry, you never know when people are bringing other pets or if their records have expired and their card is still working to get in the park.  I am not ready to deal with another illness for frank, especially with hay fever season coming soon.  Last summer, Frank was on Benedryl most of the summer and some days had to stay inside.  His little puggle nose just couldn't take it!
Well, that's the update on Frank.  He's doing better and I'm so happy about it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Frank is sick

I've been a bit of a wreck the past few days.  Frank the dog is sick.  He started burping at night about a month ago, and I didn't think much of it, figured it was him eating too much too late.  He seems to hold off on eating his own food to wait until we are done.  I think he's thinking he might get some of ours...why fill up on kibble first?  Anyways, the last few days he has been waking up in the middle of the night very uncomfortable, making moaning noises and burping more.  After about an hour, he falls back asleep and that's it.
Yesterday, I took him to the vet.  It was bugging me. No fever, his tummy felt fine to the doctor.  But, he did some bloodwork and his pancreas levels were abnormal.  Doc said he obviously had a sour stomach, but wasn't expecting his pancreas to be out of whack.  Frank is a picky eater and he also eats well.  I make him rice, ground beef or chicken, and veggies to supplement his dry food.  Other nights, he was getting a scoop of wet benefuls food, too.  The best of both worlds for him. 
He got a shot, and now he is on sucralate (sp?) for his pancreas.  He is on a restricted diet of boiled chicken, low fat cottage cheese and rice.  I made a batch today, but he didn't want to eat too much of it.  I had a hard time getting him to down his pill, too.  I broke it in two pieces and stuffed each piece in a bit of chicken.  The first piece went down just fine, but the second didn't.  I mixed it in his food, but I think he caught on and stopped eating.
I haven't seen him drink any water today yet, but I know where I filled the bowl up to this morning, so I'm hoping he has some soon. 
He's been laying around all morning, I'm a bit worried.  Oh, Lord, I love this little guy so much.  Please help him get better.  I hate seeing him in pain and not himself.
Please pray for Frankie if you have a moment today. He needs all the help he can get.  I just want him to be healthy.  I love this little guy so much, he is my best friend.  He helped me get through cancer, the least I can do is help him get through his illnesses.
Thank you,

Monday, February 23, 2015

I can take no more SNOW and Frigid Temperatures! That's it, I'm done with winter!

That’s it, winter is over!  I can take NO MORE!

I am determined to will spring here soon!  I know I am early, but the negative temps today clashed with the extreme brightness and sunny factor out in Crown Point, Indiana today. 

I’m just fed up with winter--- isn’t anyone else?  I am happy to have experienced it, but I am so ready for spring, its not funny.  I want to feel the warmth, smell the flowers and even can’t wait for fresh cut grass! (gasp).

I’m looking forward to not wearing long johns under my clothes for all showings, making sure my extra handwarmers and all emergency packs are in the car I have--- the water in my bottle is not frozen.  Although I love an excuse to get a hot tea at Speedway or even splurge on a Hot Chocolate at Starbucks, I am finding my warm drink middle of the day excuse to become a bit pricey at this point, because I am driving by homes for bpos or meeting clients at showings almost daily.  Hey, its my job, but I just want it warmer.  I’m not picky—maybe start with a 30 degree day?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Don't take for granted the power of a vaccine...or the Virus!

It has been all over the news and web:  There is a measles outbreak in the US.  Over 100 confirmed cases (spread out over the country). 
Today, I had a doctors appointment.  Of course, the first question I had was, "Do I need to get a measles vaccine?"  Having leukemia, I know my cells were wiped.  She relaxed me and told me because I did not get a transplant, I am not at risk for measles.  Whoo! 

Should we have a measles outbreak in today's America?  No.  It should be almost non existent in my opinion.  However, when people lax and ignore getting vaccinated, this should not surprise us.  It really shouldn't.  Because of vaccines, our mortality rate is very different than what it was in the 1800s, 1900s, 1930s, and even 1950s.  If I understand it correctly (and I'm just a non medical person here...selling real estate and writing, not a nurse, MD, etc) vaccines help our bodies learn to fight off diseases that otherwise could impair, spread rampant, or even kill us.  Listen, I had shingles.  It sucks.  Who would have thought a 36 year old would have shingles?  I didn't even have it bad.  I was already on meds to treat it while undergoing chemo.  I had a small, burning rash that lasted 2 weeks.  Others have it much worse...and I never want it again.  I will be getting a shingles vaccine as soon as I can! 

Should you get your children vaccinated?  That's currently a personal decision you as an educated, adult parent need to make for your children.  I don't have children, and I don't want to be around children that aren't vaccinated.  Its too much of a risk for me as an immune suppressed cancer patient.  Before vaccines, a child got polio and it was not only a financial burden, it was hell for the child, the parents, and family.  Don't take for granted the power of the vaccine.  Don't take for granted the power of the virus, either.

Measles can be spread very easily in the air with as little as one cough.  An outbreak could mean potential deaths to newborns and toddlers who are too young to get the vaccination.  This scares me greatly.  I have a beautiful one year old niece that likes to go with her mommy to the mall and other public places.  Should she be careful and avoid these places now until the fear of an outbreak is over? 

I'm just confused.  And Stunned.  I'm in awe that we are going to have an outbreak of measles in a country where you should not go to work or public places if you are sick.  There are too many people that depend on their jobs, and when threatened to be "written up" (whatever that means), come in sick and then serve people in the food/hospitality industry and spread infectious disease.  This happens all the time (I know, I used to be a bartender and waitress), and it should not happen at all.  Nowadays, I would feel such remorse knowing a baby got the flu because my manager needed me to come into work when I was sick.  The store or restaurant just couldn't survive without me...Bologna!

People, please go out there and gain some common sense.  Make sure you are healthy if your are going to work, traveling or just even going to the store.  Please get your children vaccinated.  Please don't send them to school sick. 

And that is my public service announcement for the day.   Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Recipe: Easy Magic Bars

I couldn’t think of anything better to do yesterday, while watching the snow fall (heavily at that!) than to make some fresh bread and good ol’ fashioned magic bars.
Magic Bars are easy, and there are variations on every can of sweetened condensed milk and box of graham crackers out there.  Easily search on or your favorite recipe site, or just look here.  You can mix and match practically any ingredients your heart desires…I used butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, crushed pretzels, leftover cashew pieces and sweetened coconut.

Magic Bars (adapted from Eagle Brand Condensed Milk Recipe)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Recipe: Easy Cream of Potato Soup

This recipe is super easy, and really perfect for winter weather.  It uses stuff you probably have lying around your house so you don't have to go to the store when its cold and nasty and wet outside!  Enjoy!

Easy Cream of Potato Soup

  • 3 Tablespoons Butter (or bacon grease)
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 small yellow or sweet onion, diced small
  • 1-2 russet potatoes or 3-4 small red potatoes, cooked and cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 can reduced sodium chicken broth, homemade broth or veg. broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste.
Total Time: about 30 minutes
Melt butter (or bacon grease) in medium sauce pan over low heat.  Add onions and sauté until translucent.
Add a pinch of salt and the 3 T flour.  Combine and mix well.  Cook about 2 minutes to really cook the flour.  The color should be a golden hue. Don't let it get too brown.
Add broth slowly, turn heat up to achieve a simmer, and constantly stir to incorporate the broth into the flour/butter/onion mixture.  As it starts to bubble and simmer, it will begin to thicken.  Add milk, stir, and let it continue to cook until a simmer is reached.  Add cooked potatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.  Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes. You don't want to boil the soup after adding the milk.  After you get that initial simmer--reduce the heat to just help warm the potatoes.  Soup will thicken as it cooks.
Variations:  try adding cooked carrots or cooked crumbled bacon with potatoes for different flavors.  Also, you can add 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese with potatoes for a cheesy potato soup!  Possibilities are endless.  Enjoy!