Friday, September 26, 2008

north and south

Val has headed south to be with a friend, I am in Minnesota to take care of some stuff around the house. The plants need some major care. Otherwise some cleaning and light decorating.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thinking and praying...

Please be in prayer for my dear friend, Melissa. Her 8 month old baby just died of SIDS. I'm going to visit her in Texas this weekend.

The following poem was on my grandmother's fridge for many years. Hope it inspires someone out there, even when things get tough.

Delight In Simple Things

Learn to like what does not cost much.
Learn to like reading, conversation, music.
Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking.
Learn to like people, even those who may be very different from you.
Learn to shelter your family with love, comfort and peace.
Learn to keep your wants simple.
Refuse to be owned and anchored by things and opinions of others.
Learn to like the sunrise and the sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, the gentle fall of snow in winter.
Learn to hold heaven near and dear.
Learn to love God for He surely loves you.

~ Anonymous

half way there

So today I had my last blood draw for Phase 1.

I get to do the whole thing one more time and I am done.

We had told Cooper about me going to do the medical study and I told him I was doing it to have money for Christmas. Well Cooper really wants a Wii. We had looked at the price before when he was wondering how much they would cost so he had an idea what a Wii cost.

When I came home he asked how much I would be getting paid. I told him that when it's done it pays a thousand dollars to which he said, "You can keep some of it dad, a Wii doesn't cost that much."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

on the final leg

5 more blood draws left for the day. That means 20 down. Now they are spread out to every hour compared to every 20 minutes. I'll have a couple of draws Monday-Wednesday, but that will feel like a day at the spa compared to this. Then one more time in October.


Wake up call was 4am. Changed and brushed teeth. Now waiting for the 4:30 draws to start. I am #64, so my draw will be @ 5:34.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

waiting for the fun to begin

so I am here at my medical study. I am trying to blog on my iPod, so they will be short. So far just sitting around. Lost some weight so my BMI qualifies and I am officially not obese. Anyway, the real fin starts tomorrow. Taking drugs and 25 blood draws. They better like their Christmas presents.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Holidays

I know it is only September, but for several reasons I have Christmas on the Brain.

  • I have a major present from Grandma and Grandpa hiding in my closet

  • I am hopefully going to start a medical study tomorrow to earn money for Christmas

  • Cooper has had some rough points in his transition (as have I) and is really looking forward to Christmas

  • I'm already looking forward to the Christmas break with family

I know there are quite a few things to get through first; Halloween, we are going to elect someone president, Cooper's Birthday, Thanksgiving. But with all of that I still have Christmas on the Brain.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fruit and Nut filled phyllo triangles

With my sister-in-law in town, she helped me make these. I had copied the recipe out of a book I had checked out from the library, because it looked good. Cooper also helped butter some phyllo dough.

The hardest part is working with the delicate phyllo dough, but they are worth it. We will enjoy them tonight with some wine while we watch SNL.

Hope you enjoy!


1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup dried fruit bits
3 tablespoons rum or apple juice (we used rum)
3 tablespoons honey
12 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
2/3 cups butter, melted

For filling place walnuts and sugar in a food processor. Cover and process or blend until walnuts are finely ground, but dry. In a small bowl combine walnut mixture, lemon peel, cinnamon, and nutmeg

In a small saucepan combine fruit bits, rum or apple juice, and honey. Bring to boiling over medium heat; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 8 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add fruit mixture to walnut mixture; stir just until combined.

Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a cutting board. Lightly brush the sheet with some melted butter. Place another phyllo sheet on top, brush with butter. Repeat with 2 more phyllo sheets. Cut layered sheets crosswise into 8 equal strips (we cut into 4). Place about 2 teaspoons of filling 1 inch from end of each dough strip. Continue folding strip in a triangle shape. Repeat process with remaining phyllo sheets.

Place filled triangles on a lightly greased baking sheet; brush tops with remaining melted butter. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until triangles are golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool slightly.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

So we have some special visitors (more on that later) so I broke out a new recipe for dinner. This one came from Cooking Light (trying to watch what I eat).

It wasn't the easiest recipe, but wasn't the hardest either.

I used pepper jack cheese (I had to buy a block and shred it myself. I used diced tomatoes with green chilies for the rice and brown rice.

Happy Cooking, and if you make it let me know how it turns out.

1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (7-ounce) bottle salsa verde (such as Herdez brand)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Cooking spray
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled queso fresco (or jack cheese)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
4 lime wedges
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Combine chicken and cream cheese in a large bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup salsa mixture. Reserve remaining salsa mixture.

Bring broth to a simmer in a medium skillet. Working with one tortilla at a time, add tortilla to pan; cook 20 seconds or until moist, turning once. Remove tortilla; drain on paper towels. Spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of tortilla; roll up. Place tortilla, seam-side down, in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, broth, and chicken mixture.

Pour remaining salsa mixture over enchiladas; sprinkle evenly with queso fresco and chili powder. Bake at 425° for 18 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve with lime wedges. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Spanish rice
Cook 2 slices bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup rice; 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth; and 1 (14.5-ounce) can drained diced tomatoes. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in crumbled bacon and 1/3 cup sliced green onions just before serving.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Everybody's working for the weekend

I know, some people can't remember how many houses they own. We own two, I wish it was one. With that in mind I have been thinking about some kind of temp or seasonal work I could do to help supplement Christmas this year.

Enter an ad for Medical Research. Really I think it plays into my talents and God given abilities to take drugs and sit on my butt for a weekend. (Just joking about the drug thing Mom and Dad) And there are some blood draws and diet restrictions, but hey no job is perfect.

Alright, it's not the same as getting paid to eat like some friends, or even the quick ten I made from letting people at the UofM tell Lincoln a car was a bear, but today I started the process of signing up.

If everything works out I will have a chance to live blog from the research center. The study I want to participate in has a weight restriction which I should be under, but is another incentive to try to drop some pounds.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fun in the End of Summer

Went to a "Safety Festival" this morning with the boys. Lots of fun and free prizes! This family thought it would be a great place to bring their pit bull:

Nice doggy! (Actually, he was fine with people.)

We stood in line quite a while to get balloon animals for the kids. They were worth the wait! Cooper's was a crazy alien with a light saber that sits on your head. Lincoln got a penguin. Then, we all went and got free hot dogs and chips.

One of the inflatable jumping houses deflated for some reason...with kids still inside! Fortunately, no one was hurt, and the structure re-inflated easily. It also made for a good laugh and was picture-worthy, if you have a sense of humor like mine.

A very good time was had by all.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Oh, the political pundits: UPDATED

UPDATE: Viacom doesn't like Youtube, so they pulled the video. I added the one directly from The Daily Show website. There was one little bit edited out of the others that is in this, so the easily offended probably shouldn't watch.

I was on the treadmill last night watching Tivoed episodes of The Daily Show when I saw this clip. It is one of the funniest things I have seen in a while.