Wednesday, December 30, 2015

End of the year....already???

First off- my youngest nephew does not have melanoma which was without a doubt the best Christmas gift I've ever received!  There are some questions about why his body is reacting to things the way that it is but bottom line is he's ok! 

Christmas here was rather low key with the usual dash of family drama.  The Monday before Christmas Princess Bear (PB) was diagnosed with walking pneumonia.  Not exactly fun but not the worst that she's encountered.  She's still on antibiotics and breathing treatments every 4 hours but doing a lot better.  What it did do is put a serious monkey wrench in her plans for Christmas vacation.  She had been planning a trip to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa.  That didn't happen.  She also missed the white elephant gift exchange with her youth group.  It also means that I don't have to be the mean mom and say there is no way in hell she is attending the lock in on New Years Eve with her youth group.  An unintentional benefit to this illness.  I'm not even a fan of sleep overs let alone lock ins.  I think that even when the kids are good kids (and as far as I can tell from the youth group kids I've met they are good kids) it just is an invitation for trouble.  Christmas Eve was at our house for about 18 people.  Not too many but enough to be completely tired when it was over.  My mom got sick in the middle of the evening.  Since she wasn't feeling well she wasn't on her best behavior.  Things got interesting.  My uncle at one point was being his usual asshole self and my mom called him on the carpet.  Something she never does.  It was kind of interesting.  PB got most of the big ticket items she had been asking for.  Her 2 favorite gifts are StarLily and the entire series of the Brady Bunch on DVD.  She completely adores the unicorn and I will say it is pretty interactive.  She also received several board games and an easy bake oven.  Consequently we've been playing a lot of board games.  I figure it's better bonding time and it's technology free time.  I'll try to post some Christmas pics in a couple of days.

We had a pretty bad winter storm go through the area on Tuesday.  HERE is a photo gallery of some of the damage here in town.  There are still a lot of people including our neighbors out of power.  2.5 days of no power in winter kind of sucks.  As I am sitting here typing this our power went out.  Not sure why since there is no bad weather.  So I'm going to wrap this up for now and sit on hold with Ameren since it's an estimated 23 minute wait to report a power outage. 

I hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


I think I'm finished with my Christmas shopping.  I still have to buy some cards so that Princess Bear (PB) can put the gift cards she selected for her grandparents and aunt/uncle in them.  Other than that I'm done.  I went to Michaels tonight and grabbed a ton of the activity kits that were on sale.  Actually, I did so well that some of them are going to be stored away until PBs birthday.  I also got some clearanced Christmas crafts that PB and her cousins can work on when sitting at the dinner table just gets too boring for them.  I had wondered over to the Freedom Farms website thinking I could do some damage over there.  For the 2nd time in roughly a month I went to that website with the intention of dropping some money and walking away having spent nothing.  Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch.  Actually some of the shirts that I looked at last time are still sold out (never replenished?) and then I went to check out the 2016 calendar.  They've been doing a great job on social media trying to say if they sell enough calendars it might help them get back on TV.  PB would be ecstatic.  So there I go to take a look at the calendar.  It's $20.  A bit pricey for any calendar.  Ok... it's autographed.  Still a bit pricey.  Let's top it off with the fact that there are no sample calendar pages.  Nothing.  For all you know you could be getting pictures of Freedom Farms piglets and John Deere.  Now I'm guessing that some of the pictures are the guys but I'm sure as hell not going to drop $20 without knowing.  Whoever is in charge of both marketing and ordering needs to be fired. 

So here I am waiting for PB to fall asleep enough that I can start wrapping her gifts. She's still sick and not sleeping very well so I'm wondering if this is a lost cause for tonight.   In a rare bout of efficiency I have my nephews gifts already wrapped and ready to go.  That's usually what my parents and I are rushing around to do 45 minutes before they get here on Christmas Eve.  Not sure if I'll get back here before, in case I don't, Merry Christmas to you & yours!  May you have a beautiful Christmas with those you love.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

20 Questions

1)    Do you like blue cheese?
Love it.  Just have to be careful since it can trigger migraines.
2)  Have you ever smoked?
Yes unfortunately.  In high school one of my best friends & I could time it perfectly to be out door at last bell, have a cigarette and be back inside in time for detention. Pretty much quit after that except when I was very drunk or stressed.  I will admit that if I smell someone smoking a clove cigarette I want one!!!
3)  Do you own a gun?  
No.  Need to get my FOID and then let’s talk. 
4)  What flavor of Kool Aid is your favorite?
Blastin’ Berry Cherry the way it used to be. 
5)  Do you get nervous before dental appointments?
6)  What do you think of hot dogs?
As long as it’s kosher I’m cool with it.  Love a traditional Chicago dog!
7)  What's your favorite Christmas movie?
Don’t really have one.  My Dad makes us gather around and watch It’s a Wonderful Life when it’s on cable every year.  It doesn’t matter that he owns it.  He says it’s not the same without commercial breaks. Now ask me about Christmas music and we can talk!
8)  What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
1 can of Pepsi made with real sugar.
9)  Can you do push-ups?

10)  What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
Toss up between the sapphire ring my parents got me as a college graduation gift and a ring of my grandmothers that has our name in Hebrew on it.
11)  What's your favorite hobby?
12)  Do you have A.D.D.?
13)  Do you wear glasses or contacts?
14)  What's your middle name?
15)  What are your thoughts at this moment?
That I’m too bloody tired to do my nails before Church in the morning. 

16)  Name 3 drinks you regularly consume.
Pepsi with real sugar, hot tea, water

17)  What is a current worry of yours?
How much Christmas stuff I still need to get down and wondering how it’s going to happen since I’m still sick and now PB is down for the count.
18)  What do you currently hate?
The sorry state of affairs in our Country.  I hate that people are trying to change a nation that is already incredible.
19)  Where is your favorite place to be?
With my daughter and/or my nephews.  Curled up with a good book and a cup of tea is a close second if we’re talking in general.  If we’re discussing places to go I’ll always be a Disney fan. 

20)  What do you plan on doing on New Year's Eve this year?
Once I got out of my 20’s a hatred of New Year’s Eve that my parents had suddenly manifested itself in me.  It’s amateurs night and its dangerous.  I’d rather be at home knowing I’m safe with a couple of good movies.  Ever since PB has been little we make it a girls night in and do a hodge podge dinner of appetizers and she loves to get dressed up. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

They came!

They came! They came!  They came!

Our Luke Bryan tickets arrived today.  61 days.  Not that anyone in this house is counting or anything!  

They came! They came!  They came!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dad's Retirement Party

My Dad's retirement party was today.  It was such a bittersweet moment for him.  He truly had no intentions of retiring yet.  Unfortunately with the atmosphere at Caterpillar these days when he was offered the buyout that had been extended to everyone 55 and older (Dad is 69) it just seemed like the best of the available crappy options.  He is considering doing some part time work and as my Mom says she has a honey do list that could choke a horse.  The party went remarkably well.  There was approximately 75 people in attendance.  The most important thing is that Dad was pleased with it. 

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Run and wait. Go and sit.

Today my youngest nephew had the growth on his leg removed.  What a little trooper.  The Dr said the pathology report will take about a week.  Keeping our fingers crossed and saying lots of prayers.

I finally took my temperature running, hacking up a lung butt to the Doctor.  I'm not on a 12 day taper of predinsone, a new antibiotic and increased nebs.  This thing is kicking my butt.  Unfortunately I'm coughing so hard that I can't catch any real sleep.  Very soon a very shots of Jack Daniels are going to be in order!

Our Disney vacation was a year ago this week as Facebook has been reminding me.  It's so much fun to show Princess Bear (PB) what we were doing a year ago.  Today was a reminder pic I took from the balcony of our room at Animal Kingdom Lodge. That place really is magnificent.  I'd most definitely put the night safari in the top 3 experiences of my life.  This is a pic I took on my phone from the balcony.

 photo Blog Animal Kingdom Lodge_zps5pmzhljn.jpg

I went to Walmart to pick up PBs Christmas gifts that had been on layaway.  Going first thing in the morning is SOOOOOOOO much smoother and faster than in the afternoon!  So I had the gifts on the landing to our basement.  PB and my mom came home early so I told her not to go into that side of the house until I'd given her the go ahead.  I went to the bathroom and then into the kitchen to take the stuff and hide it in my Dad's workroom.  There in the kitchen is my mom and PB with the gifts in plain view.  I about lost it.  I asked PB why she was in there and she said "because Boaby said I had to come right now".  UGH!  So not a happy camper.

My Dads retirement party at work is this Wednesday.  My Dad is super excited that the grand kids will be there and he plans on showing them around.  (My dad is an accountant  at Caterpillar which has its world headquarters here).  Cat does some very cool Christmas displays so I'm looking forward to getting some cool pics of the kids!

I'm off to watch last weeks Criminal Minds episode and hopefully the cough medicine I took will knock my butt out for awhile!  As I mentioned in my last post any prayers for my youngest nephew would be greatly appreciated it. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

The good, the bad and the sick.

Let's start with the good.  Remember awhile ago I was discussing Luke Bryan coming to Peoria?  Now Peoria is actually where Luke Bryan came to practice before starting this most recent tour and perhaps he decided it really did play in Peoria.  We get tons of concerts here but if you wanted to see a concert like this you were most likely hauling butt to Chicago or St. Louis.  Now I love Chicago and the Lou isn't bad either.
There were just serious down sides to taking Princess Bear (PB) to her very first concert in either location.  I'd also been stressing the cost of the tickets.  My sister who is a big fan of giving experiences rather than gifts decided she was going to gift them to PB and myself as our Christmas and birthday gifts.  Today was the day that tickets went on sale.  There was online presale yesterday but the tickets I could have grabbed weren't the best and Ticketmaster assured me better seats were going to be released this morning.  I was all set to stand in line and get me my Luke Bryan tickets.  Btw....why is it that if mom's are standing in line for something it's either darn cold or darn hot?  It reminded me of when PB wanted, no needed, a Zhum zhum for Christmas several years ago.  My butt sat outside Toys R Us in the freezing cold and she got her zhum zhum. I digress.  The game plan was for me to head downtown and wait in line as soon as I took PB to school.  PB wasn't feeling great last night and about midnight I had oh my gosh body aches.  I just figured I was going to dose myself with Dayquil and stuff some hand warmers in my pockets.  Yeah under the category of the best laid plans and all that I woke up this morning to a very sick PB.  She didn't have a bad temp but she did have a horrible headache and bad body aches.  I gave her some Advil and sent her back to bed.  The child actually slept until 9:30am!  That never happens.  Well I was obviously not schlepping a sick kid downtown to stand in line for tickets so then it was a question of was it better to go online or try
the phone.  Or just try both which is what I did.  $454 later this little beauty was on my screen:

 photo Luke20Bryan20tickets_zpsbgyca0wd.jpg

Woot woot! PB is over the top excited to be going to her first concert and I must admit I'm pretty stoked too.  This also blows U2 out of the water as my most expensive concert.  All things considered it worked out better that PB was sick because I wouldn't have had that much cash on me.  So we
wound up with great seats and I'm sure it's going to be a great event!

The bad.   I had a Dr's appointment last week.  My PA thought that perhaps my Hashimoto's isn't the only thing making it so I'm in pretty constant pain and chronically fatigued so she sent me to the Rheumatologist.  All the test results are not back yet, still waiting on Celiac and Wegener's granulomatosis, but I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and joint hypermobility.  As dumb as it sounds I almost broke down in the Doctors office.  I certainly didn't want another diagnosis to be sure.  On the other hand knowledge is power and there are things I can do to start alleviating my symptoms.  It would be so nice to not feel so dang sick and tired all the freaking time!  I've started the medication they recommend starting with and it has helped some of the widespread pain.  That in and of itself is awesome.  

The really bad.  My youngest nephew, Luke, has a growth on his leg.   My sister had been treating it with essential oils for awhile.  It got to the point that he was getting upset every time she would try to apply
oils and she kept on saying if he wouldn't let her apply the oils shewas going to have to take him to Dr. Tom (the pediatrician for PB and my nephews) so Dr. Tom could cut it off.  There are times I really could shoot my sister.  This is one of them.  For a few reasons.  While I completely believe that essential oils can be very useful when there are no results or it causes pain it's time to try a different route.  I got a text message from my sister today that Dr. Tom thinks the growth is suspicious and wants it removed immediately.  There is a chance that it could be melanoma.  WHAT???????????????????????????????????????  They are trying to get him an appointment with a surgeon for Monday but still haven't heard anything.  To say that there is a serious amount of praying going on would not even be an understatement.  If prayer is something you believe in I'd surely appreciate it if you could say a few for Luke.  

Now I don't want to wrap up my post on a downer note so the last note worthy event this week was PBs school Winter Concert.  She's in chorus as an elective this year and loves it.  I mean like LOOOOOOVES it.  She was inviting everyone to come see her perform.  She and Julie the floral manager at our local HyVee have an awesome relationship.  We shop predominately at HyVee just so PB can visit with Julie.  Remember when Julie sent PB flowers and balloons for her birthday?  Julie as also promised that as soon as PB is 16 she has a job with her in the floral department.  So Julie and her daughter Amy had to be invited as well as my sister.  PB is also very close to one of the leaders in her youth group and she invited Jessie.  Jessie's mom, Sue also came.  She used to be PBs art therapist.   All in all PB had an 8 person entourage at her concert.  Below is a link to one of the songs they performed.  PB is wearing the red t shirt and black skirt in the first row. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Well Dang!

Where did November go???  I knew I hadn't blogged in a bit but didn't realize it was for almost an entire month!  Some of it has been because of my mood.  At times blogging really helps and at other times its just more than I want to deal with.

So what's been going on?  Well- we all survived Thanksgiving.  There was only one threat made to call the police and for the most part things went well.  I was still pissed at me sister for deciding that she couldn't deal with Thanksgiving.  Personally I think it was pretty crappy of her.  Then in addition to not being able to host she decided that no one wanted turkey and a ham was necessary.  Of course my mom wasn't going to tell her to shut her pie hole and catered to her and my traditionalist dad by serving both turkey and ham.  I really do miss when we had an extra oven in the basement.  It made cooking for the holidays a lot easier! There was minimal personal drama at the dinner so that was a lovely change.

On Saturday we all gathered to celebrate my oldest nephews birthday.  Man where have the last 8 years gone????  He's such a caring, smart boy and I'm so proud of him.  It was the birthday of Pokemon.  I was the person writing the list of who gave what so proper thank you notes could be sent.  I should have just written Pokemon, Pokemon and more Pokemon!  Unfortunately on his actual birthday when he was going to lunch and the Children's Museum with a friend he started running a high temp.  Poor kiddo has a double ear infection.  That's usually his brothers territory!

Earlier in the month Princess Bear (PB) had a repeat sleep study.  She hadn't had one in a few years and they were trying to determine whether or not she needed to try a cPap machine again.  These tests never are easy for her since she is very allergic to adhesive and there is a lot used in this test.  They did let me give her some Benadryl before the test so at least she wasn't up itching and scratching all night.  That said the next few days were very rough in that every place they had attached the leads she had a rash and blistering.  It was a few days of Benadryl and a seriously unhappy kid.  Today we met with her pediatrician to discuss the test results and  a few other things.  The good news is that she no longer has apnea so a repeat test and cPap is not needed.  She was so excited to hear that news it was very cute to watch her.  The Dr. then measured her scoliosis.  More good news!!!  Yes it is an increase of 4* but since she is hopefully done growing and its relatively minor she won't need any treatment for it.  Yea!!!!  There was some discussion about another genetic connective tissue diagnosis but I'm still trying to wrap my head around that and get some answers before I share any more.

As for me I'm just trying to recover from the cleaning and cooking of Thanksgiving and get ready for Christmas.  I've got 48 of my Christmas cards done, about half done.  Part of today was spent up in the attic hauling down decorations.  While I hate climbing ladders (and I really, really do!) it sure is nice to see the house and outside decked out!

Oh and for fun stuff I got a new toy!  My old cell phone never, ever worked very well.  Yesterday I got a Galaxy s6.  So far I'm having a grand time playing on it.  So that's the short version of what has been happening around here lately.  I hope that you had a lovely Thanksgiving and are having a wonderful time getting ready for Christmas!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Has the holiday crazy already started?

Last weekend Princess Bear (PB) and I hosted a Halloween potluck.  Some of the preparations involved serious deep cleaning like this house hasn't seen in a loooooooooooong time.  While I do love the smell of Murphy's Oil Soap I'm willing to hold off on smelling it for awhile!  It also seemed like I was just feeling seriously blah.  I've been running low grade temps on and off for a couple of weeks.  So by the time the potluck arrived I'm sorry to say that I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have.  I'll just have to try harder for next year.  On Halloween itself PBs plans went sideways.  Every since my nephews were born we've spent Halloween with them.  My sisters family lives in a really nice subdivision where they know the vast majority of their neighbors.  The game plan is I usually show up with dinner and feed the kids while my sister is finishing up getting ready for the trick or treaters.  Then my sister and bil take the kids trick or treating while I stay at their house and dole out the goodies.  It's one of the few things we have down pat.   Well, on Friday I received a text from my sister saying that she and Luke wouldn't be attending the potluck.  By Saturday I got a call saying my sister was sick and it would probably be a good idea to keep PB away since she's so prone to getting sick.  Her poor little face looked so sad when I told her.  I told her that we could go to White Rose, the church that she attends youth group and bible study.  White Rose has such a neat set up for the kids!  It's all inside but spread out throughout the building so it's not too noisy.  They have tons of games and PB really enjoyed herself.  PB then asked if she could attend her best friends church festival.  You have no idea what it took for me to agree to that.  So we head over to visit with Shay.  Now PB has a Frozen bag with flashing lights in blue and dark pink as her treat bag.  The  main road to get back into town is a very, very (did I mention VERY) dark and sometimes desolate road.  We're in the car listening to music and I see lights in the car.  I look down and I'm not speeding.  I look for the police car and see nothing.  I'm beginning to think that I'm losing my mind until I realize it's PBs freaking bag flashing but the added darkness amped it up a bit. 

On Monday morning I received the first of 2 calls from my Drs office.  I'd had a follow up appointment for my sinus infection and UTI.  The PA decided it had been long enough since my steroid shot that they could run the blood work to look for some answers to why I'm having almost constant joint pain.  I also thought I needed another round of antibiotics because I had a kidney infection.  Well, the first phone call was saying that my sed rate, which is what measures inflammation in the body, was almost double what the high side of normal is considered.  The nurse said that at this point I need to see a rheumatologist.  Yippee!  Another specialist to add to the collection.  A few hours later another nurse calls and asked if I had my results.  I told her I had my sed rate.  She's like no the rest of your blood work and xray results are in.  To add to the fun my vitamin D level has gone down and my kidney stone has tripled in size and is now in a position that it can be moved through my system.  This is my first kidney stone and I did a bit of research online but I had to stop since everyone talked about it being the worse pain ever.  I'm drinking butt loads of water with lemon essential oil in it as well as fresh lemonade with lemon essential oil in it.  My brother in law almost completely dissolved his kidney stone by doing that some I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

Now that Novembers here I'm feeling the "Oh my gosh the holidays are coming and there's so much to do!".  My mom swears that she's keeping Thanksgiving very low key and down to a bare minimum of people.  I'm not going to believe it until I see how many to set the table for.  PB had so much fun at the Halloween potluck she asked if we could do a Christmas one.  That was a bit of a pain with people not letting me know what they were bringing so I proposed a cookie exchange and appetizer party.  That way I'm not going to be cooking a ton of stuff hoping to have all the bases of a meal covered.  I've also got to get my rear in gear and start figuring out Christmas cards.  Maybe if I break things into small tasks the holidays will run a bit more smoothly!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Is fighting the school going to be my lot in life?

Things have been going fairly well at school with a couple of glitches.  Unfortunately the glitches are not of the tiny variety.  The biggest one being an issue with Princess Bears (PB) adaptive PE teacher.  I really do like the lady.  It just seems as though any time there is any sort of issue and PB cannot participate in PE, even with a Doctors note, the teacher gets pissy.  Sorry there is no other way to put it.  2 years ago PB severely sprained her ankle and was on crutches for a couple of weeks.  During that time and a week after her Dr. didn't want her participating in PE.  I think that's pretty reasonable.  Nope, this woman tried every day to get PB it participate in some manner.  I finally had to have her homeroom teacher just send her to the library while the rest of the class went to PE.  The issue we're having now is with dodgeball.  A few weeks ago PB was hit hard enough in the face during dodgeball that her glasses came off and she had bruising.  It is very clearly presented in PBs IEP that she must be very, very careful of her eyes at all times.  Her left eye doesn't focus until her right eye does.  So, if anything happens to and damages her right eye she will essentially be blind.  This is a very serious matter.  After the whole dodgeball incident a few weeks ago I talked with PB's opthamologist and he decided anytime there is any kind of balls in the air PB should not be playing.  It just isn't worth the risk.  He wrote a lovely letter explaining (again) the issue PB has with her eyes and why the parameters need  to be followed.  Last week PB's class was back to playing dodge ball.  I about completely lost my shit.  Her home room teacher acknowledged receiving the Drs note and giving it to the PE teacher.  I tried to call PBs coordinator on Monday and today.  This evening I received the following letter from PBs PE teacher:

Hi Sarah,  I understand you have concerns about PB playing dodgeball in PE class.  I also got a letter form the Doctor.  
I want you to be assured student safety is always my number 1 consideration when planning activities for Adapted Physical Activities.  I do not feel dodgeball is any more dangerous than the any other activities and I believe it is safe for PB.  She loves to play and is very good at it as well.  In fact she is one of the more physically capable students in the class. 
 We use soft foam balls and students throw from a good distance.  It incorporates many skills, one of which is how to avoid getting hit by the ball. This involves paying attention and moving out of the way., keeping yourself safe.   Catching, throwing, teamwork and fitness are also involved.
With that being said, I will not allow her to play as you request. We don't play very often so she will not miss much of PE time. 
If you ever have concerns about PE please contact me. The classroom teachers can relay messages but may not be able to respond on specific matters.

Thanks,  Sue

Ok- let's go over what's not ok about this.

1) if foam balls are being used how did my daughter get hit hard enough in the face to have her glasses knocked off and have bruising?  
2) you received a letter from a students Dr. explaining why they couldn't participate in something and then you still had them participate.  That is not indicative of someone who is worried about my daughters safety.

Her email was very nice and she did a good job CYA.  I get that she has to do that.  I also get that if she continues to disregard a Drs note or not insure my daughters safety that the shit is really going to hit the fan.  

So am I overreacting or not?  What do you think? 

Monday, October 26, 2015

You don't get to pick your siblings

Things have been crazy busy around here.  Princess Bear (PB) had Parent Teacher conferences last Thursday and had the day off on Friday.  Friday morning we dropped my mom off at a conference that she was attending and proceeded to spend the next 4.5 hours running errands.  We ordered a backup pair of glasses for PB.  She’s doing much better about putting them in the case and taking care of them but I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a back up.  She had a Dr appointment that day and then it was errands getting ready for all the Halloween stuff going on lately.  She’s part of a local group that provides social activities for people with developmental and physical disabilities.  This group does an awesome making sure that everyone has a great time.  This month it was a Halloween themed dinner and trick or treating in the building.  She walked out with a boatload of candy.  She did share it with her grandparents and her cousins.  I did have to make a couple of dozen cupcakes for that.  I decided to stay with the Halloween theme and bought some Wilson icing decorations.  Oh my goodness!  They were way, way, way hard.  Like break your teeth hard.  So not happy with Wilson decorating at the moment!   We’re having a Halloween potluck at our house on Friday.  I’m making more cupcakes for that as well as PB’s class party.  Sure not planning on using any Wilton decorations!  Actually the ones for her school party will be orange icing and Halloween sprinkles.  The ones for the potluck will be decorated as mummies. 

This whole potluck thing is driving me nuts.  I invited several families.  One person gave me a definite RSVP without my asking and another friend of mine isn’t sure since her kids have dentist appointments that day.  I get that you won’t know until you’re done at the appointment.  Everyone else I’ve had to track down and ask and no one can tell me what they’re bringing.  As of right now it’s looking like 14 people with another 11 as a possibility.  I have no idea how much of what to make!  On the upside of things they house is getting a deep cleaning that it normally never gets.  I’ve even gone over all of the cabinets in the kitchen with Murphy’s Oil Soap.  I so love the smell of that stuff! 

I did almost attempt to reach through the phone and strangle my sister today.  A few days ago my mom told me that we’re doing Thanksgiving here.  That means that I’m on for all the cleaning before and after.  Have I mentioned that we don’t have a dishwasher?  My parents just aren’t able to do as much cleaning as they used to.  Add to that the fact that I’m having some severe joint pain issues on a daily basis (this is why I’m being tested for Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis in a few weeks).  When my mom told me that Thanksgiving was ours she knew how I was going to react.   My sister has managed to get out of doing absolutely all family events this year.  She thinks if she offers to pay that it’s enough.   So to the part when I wanted to strangle her.  I was standing on a chair cleaning off some of the cabinets.  My Dad had been calling all morning because of an issue he was having with his cell phone.  Umm- can’t do much to help you Dad until I can actually SEE the phone.  So all morning I’d been hopping off the stool to answer the phone.  My sister calls with this attitude of “what do you want me to bring and how many people will be there”.  I explain to her that I’m standing on a chair cleaning the cabinets and promise to call her back with the exact head count (at least what I have as of now) in a few minutes.  She then tells me that instead of cleaning the cabinets I should be doing X,Y and Z.  I literally didn’t say a word and just waited for her to shut up.  Do I tell me sister how to take care of her house?  No.  Do I tell my sister how to take care of her kids even if she’s doing something I think is not in their best interest or fair?  No.  I love my nephews more than life itself but they aren’t my kids.  Do I tell her what a complete shit she is to dump on the holidays on my parents and myself?  No.  Only because I know my mom doesn’t want to deal with my sisters crap afterwards.
 Today though I was
a)      very tired
b)      in a ton of pain (a raging sinus infection and a double kidney infection will do that!)
c)       a complete PMS hormonal mess (I really need a shirt or warning system that says “I have PMDD- do not mess with!)
d)      completely at the end of my rope with my sister. 

I just again told her that I’d get her the info she wanted in a few minutes and hung up.  When I originally started planning this potluck it was great because we were already going to be watching my nephews while my sister and brother in law ran a night race in a local cemetery.  Best of both worlds.  Spending time with the boys and not having to deal with my sister.  When my mom came home today I gave her the rundown on the conversation with my sister.  She was slightly less than pleased with my sister.  She did give me credit for not completely going off on my sister. 

Tomorrow is more errands, cleaning and general fun.  I’m just hoping that PB has as much fun at the potluck as she’s envisioning. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

There's always next year and awesome potato recipe.

Well the fat lady did indeed sing tonight at Wrigley.  While it is disappointing as a Cubs fan I'm quite used to the mantra "There's always next year!".

Princess Bear (PB) and I had a very chill day today.  Her class went on a field trip that I refuse to send her on since it proved a little dangerous last year.  Her class went to one of the local apple orchards.  It's a fun place.  I've taken her there before.  The problem is that it's about 30 minutes outside of town and we're having some unseasonably warm temperatures this week.  Last year PB overheated to the point that she became completely lethargic.  That was with me putting her in the car, stripping her down to just her t-shirt, putting cooling clothes on her head and the back of her neck, giving her cold water to drink and pour on herself as well as blasting the air conditioning.  Part of the problem is that the idiot teacher didn't pay any attention to the fact that PB was overheating.  So I decided to try to line up some appointments for today.  Seemed like a good way to have it be an excused absence.  Unfortunately one appointment was cancelled at 5:30pm yesterday and my Dad asked me to postpone the other so the garage repair guy could come.  So PB and I spent a day majorly chilling.  I've got a sinus infection that antibiotics aren't working on as well as a bladder/kidney infection.  The antibiotics seem to be doing nothing other than making me feel worse.  PB was like "Mom you sleep.  I'll finish my homework and clean my room before I watch a movie" and that's exactly what she did!

Below is a couple of different ways to cook new potatoes.  My Mom is partial to the Salt Potatoes and my Dad loves the smashed potatoes.  PB likes any kind of carb so both work for her!

1)    Wash new potatoes.  If you are planning on making smashed potatoes you can usually fit between 12 and 16 potatoes on a cookie sheet.  If you just want to make Salt Potatoes use 4 lbs new potatoes.

2)    Fill a Dutch oven with water leaving about 1.5” at the top.  Add 1 ½ cups of salt. (yes you read that correctly.  1.5 cups salt)  Stir until dissolved.  (The high amount of salt raising the boiling point so you wind up with oh my goodness creamy potatoes!)

3)    Wash the potatoes and set aside. Fill a large pot with water; stir in salt until it no longer dissolves and settles on the bottom. Place potatoes in the pot and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer.

-         For Salt potatoes simmer until tender but firm, about 15 minutes.
-         For Smashed potatoes simmer until soft.  18-25 minutes.

4)    Drain potatoes (do not rinse for either version)
-         For Salt potatoes melt 8 tablespoons of butter and toss with potatoes. 

-         For Smashed potatoes preheat oven to 450*.  Let drained potatoes sit for 5 minutes.  Prep cookie sheet(s) by coating cookie sheet with 2T of olive oil.  Place potatoes on cookie sheet and gently smash until flat.  Brush tops of potatoes with olive oil and bake for 18 minutes.  After 18 minutes turn potatoes over and lightly brush tops with more olive oil.  Return to oven for 18 more minutes.  After baking you can eat them as is or sprinkle with fresh rosemary or parmesan cheese.