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Archive for the ‘Family Matters’ Category

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Dec
17
2015

Happy Holidays!

No matter your celebration or lack there of – I hope it is the best ever.  Ours will begin today with the December birthday of middle son.  And I won’t settle in again until 2016, if then! This has been a very, wonderfully, distracted year.  Ups and downs and downs and ups.  Just like every other person’s life.  We have a new little one as you know – trying to crawl and just more joy to me than I could have ever anticipated.  Two precious grandsons one about to turn 12 and one about to be 8 months.

I am not going to make any promises, but I hope those who see this understand how life happens when you are trying to run a blog!

Much LOVE to you all.

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Oct
28
2014

Music Memories & Blueberry French Toast Casserole from Milk Cow Kitchen by MaryJaneButters

Good morning all you happy people!

What is my mantra for today?? The weather is not going to kick my hiney.  The weather is not going to kick my hiney.  The weather is not going to kick my hiney! Why? Because I have much to do! If any of you suffer with fibromyalgia or some other autoimmune disease, even migraines, you know what a change in the barometric pressure can do to you.  It can be rough.  I had one doctor tell me: You just have to work through it.  If it had been another doctor or someone else, I might have been peeved but he meant it with the best of intentions.  And the look on his face let me know he was sympathetic and just trying to be encouraging.  And he’s right sometimes you just do have to work through it.  Right on through it – until you can’t.  So my best intentions are before me today.

MaryJane’s morning post over at Raising Jane brought back some sweet memories.  Music memories.  I was not blessed with a good singing voice.  Whatever the opposite of that is, is about my level of singing ability.  Oh, never fear, it hasn’t stopped me from singing.  It has made my little grandson ask me to STOP singing LOL. See, Sam’s maternal side of his family is talented.  SO talented.   Seriously, seriously talented.  Sing like birds, plays every instrument you would ever need to play. My first introduction to Jen’s (Sam’s mom) music was Sons of William band.  They are no longer together.  And, I for one, am still sad about that.  :( This was one of my favorites: Smile She’s now a member of Identity Crisis.  Check them out here: Meet Identity Crisis.  AND Zach (our oldest and Sam’s dad) is very musically inclined as well.  Loves music and plays guitar.  And preciously a piano virtuoso as you will see by photographic evidence later in this post. Yeah, I like to brag about my peeps – what??? are you new here ??? LOL

My earliest memory of listening to music voluntarily was from when I was about 3 years old.  My dad got paid on Friday (didn’t everyone  in 1962?) and when he got home on Friday afternoon while mom was cooking, he and I went to Sears to pick out two 45’s which likely cost less than a dollar with tax but when you made maybe $500 a month that was a pretty significant splurge on a weekly basis.  I spent most of my late afternoons in my room listening to “my music” and dancing like a maniac! Those are some of my earliest childhood memories.  Oh to have those records would be amazing.  But where they wound up I will never know.  8-tracks and cassettes and later, CDs, took their place long before I had sense enough to hang onto them.

Consequently, I love all sorts of music.  Really I do.  Now, I am not a big fan of ‘crying in my beer, my woman done me wrong, took everything but my dog, and my pickup truck’s got a flat’ country nor do I like violence in some rap music or when any music is derogatory towards a particular group, especially women.  But I listen to ALL kinds of music from Bach to Bennett, rock to rap, oldies to orchestra.  I love it all – or some of all of it :) I grew up listening to old country – Merle Haggard/George Jones kind of country.   My dad loved music and was a gifted self taught string player – guitar, fiddle, flat-top and a little banjo even. I was also allowed to pick my own tastes as well.  It started young.  My mom filled my early days with big band and swing music along with a heavy dose of classical.  Yep, on a turntable.  My first real musical liking was Beatles music.  And Elvis Presley.  Who, by the way, my Mom saw at the Louisiana Hayride and went “meh, he’s okay” LOL  You would have had to know my mom.  Not easily swayed by public opinion.  They both encouraged me to like music period. We watched American Bandstand and Lawrence Welk and listened to the Grand Ole Opry.  Later came Soul Train and Austin City Limits.  Long car trips, after we had an 8-track player were filled with Henry Mancini’s Country and Alice Cooper.  The deal was we traded off – Dad’s music, then mine, then Dad’s, then mine.  He knew all the words to Billion Dollar Babies and I gained a keen appreciation of orchestra music. We both benefited LOL.

Then Jerry came into my life and he loved music as much as I did and introduced me to Bad Company, BTO (our first concert together) and KISS.  A few years down the road we had Zach – Sam’s dad and the tradition continued:

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One of Zach’s first toys :)

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Here he has graduated to more serious music.  My friend Robbin was always so great to let him bang on her piano.  He was quite the singer as well ;)

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It wasn’t long though until he too found rock n roll – I do believe Joan Jett was singing to him here. And the tradition continues…

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Sam singing along (such a sweet little guy – can’t believe he’s 10 now!)

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Early signs of amazing rhythm – and demon eyes! LOL

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His favorite thing to do at my moms! He batted his eyes with every beat but wasn’t about to stop till EVERYONE clapped!

Wait…what were we talking about??? OHH YEAH!!! Milk Cow Kitchen by MaryJane Butters!! And a recipe for today (and tomorrow).

The recipe I am sharing today is going to be a two day-er.  I am prepping it this evening but want to bring you along on the process so there will be no picture of the actual process and outcome until tomorrow.

Blueberry French Toast Casserole

  • 3 cups day old 1″ baguette cubes (I am using gluten free sourdough)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese (2 oz cut into 1″ cubes)
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries thawed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup maple syrup
    1. Generously butter an 8 x 8 clear glass baking dish. Or use and 9 x 13 and double the ingredients for 8 servings
    2. In a medium bowl, mix together baguette cubes, cream cheese cubes and blueberries; add to prepared baking dish
    3. In a small bowl, mix together eggs, milk and syrup.  Pour over bread mixture.  Using a spatula, press ingredients down into liquid.
    4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
    5. Remove Casserole from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking.  Preheat oven to 350
    6. Remove plastic wrap, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 35 minutes or 45 for 9 x 13.  Remove foil and bake until top is golden and mixture is set in the center, about 15 minutes or 25 for doubled recipe.
    7. Serve topped with maple cream syrup (recipe below)

    Maple Cream Syrup

    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 1 cup cream

    In a small saucepan, combine syrup and cream.  Stir over medium heat until thickened, approximately 15 minutes.  Drizzle over French Toast Casserole.

    Until tomorrow here are the links to the previous recipes and post for Milk Cow Kitchen:

    Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

    Sweet Corn Casserole

    Scalloped Potatoes

    Four-Cheese Macaroni

    If you haven’t read the interview with MaryJane here’s your link to that: Meet MaryJane Butters

    maryjane.b

    You can find out more about MaryJane Butters by visiting:
    RaisingJane.org
    MaryJanesFarm.org
    HeritageJersey.org

    See all you happy people tomorrow!  Make this Tuesday! a good one!

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    Aug
    25
    2014

    Not THAT kind of CaT scan or the Diary of An Abscess

    Catching you all up to the happenings in our neck of the woods.

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    Monday Morning August 1, 2014:

    This is day 3 back in the hospital for Benjamin.  As I told you he had his appendix out, tomorrow will be two weeks.  A day or so before the beginning of week two of his recovery, he began to feel that something was quite right on the inside. Not only that he was beginning to run fever.  So I called – “Oh, that’s normal – 100 isn’t really a fever.” So I call the second day “Really, I am sure he’s fine. If Tylenol brings it down there’s nothing to worry about.”  Uh huh.  Right.  This went on until day 10 post surgery when it was time to remove his staples.

    I tell the doctor whom I have only spoken with once during these last few days and then only because the office staff was tired of me calling to report that his fever was inching up, that he had run a fever again last night but didn’t wake up with one.  He has his nurse take Ben’s temp. 101.  Who knew?  Really?  That’s NOT normal 10 days out?  But it was 7 or 8 or 9?  The doctor quickly announces that he “mostly likely has an abscess in his abdomen”.  I saw red.  And as any of my kids can tell you, it is impossible for me to hide my true feelings.  So then comes the detailed explanation of how there was really probably no way we would have known before about day 10 or maybe 9 but it was really no big deal…when you are taking out a “hot swollen” appendix laparoscopically some of the “juice” (not my words) is bound to get away from you and even though you irrigate thoroughly…well like only 10% of the patients have some sort of further issue with intra-abdominal abscess or infection. It’s a shame I can’t properly share the hand gestures that went along with this.  This did not calm me to say the least.  So off to get a CT scan just to be sure.

    Another doctor (of radiology)  came and spoke with us about what was going to take place if in fact there was an abscess.  It did not sound pleasant.  So indeed there was an abscess and they threaded a tube from the middle of Ben’s left butt cheek all the way through to the abscess and attached a bag to the tube to catch the infection as it was drawn out.  That was Friday afternoon.  This is Monday morning.  There is still stuff coming out of him and into the drainage bag.  He’s been given large amounts of intravenous antibiotics as well as by mouth.  And he still ran a little fever yesterday.  We were to go back to radiology at 7:00 am for a CT scan to see how it looks and if they can pull the drain.  Personally the way things are going, I doubt it.  Since it is now 7:47 and we are still waiting.

    I guess I don’t understand inefficiency.  I went to the nurses desk to find out if it was okay for him to eat since they had just brought breakfast.  Nope.  He shouldn’t eat.  Well when might we expect radiology to pick him up?  No telling.  They probably have 10 or more people scheduled for 7 am. Reaaallly?  That many huh? Well how about you ring them and see what the ETA is?  Oh sure I can do that.  Well then let’s.  Five minutes later his nurse for the day comes in and says “sure he can eat”.  Are you really sure?  Yes.  Because I heard he couldn’t.  No, he can.  Okey dokey. The nurse at the desk who was looking at his chart said no.  Not that he is likely to eat but I was trying to make a not so subtle point that no one seems to be on the same page this morning.  And of course his doctor left for vacation today.  But his partner can handle this.  No problem.  We’ll see about that.  He’s the partner I talked to in an after office phone call who told me not to worry about a 100 degree temp 7 days after surgery.  I am pretty sure, looking back, it was worrisome.  I am trying really hard to be reasonable.  Ben, who normally has me check my reaction time lost his cool last yesterday when he called the 4th time for his nurse and supposedly/evidently she didn’t get the messages.  Things went a lot better after that – for that shift anyway.

    His nurse just reappeared with news that radiology is waiting on the Dr to arrive so IF the drain can be removed it can be done shortly after the CT.

    UPDATE 8/25/14: We did in fact go home that Monday afternoon.  The drain was removed and Benjamin was sent home with antibiotics and instructions to call if his fever returned.  Yeah, like that worked before.  Then this past week we have been battling some more tummy issues.  Seemingly gallbladder related – which is what I suspected on the initial ER visit.  But ultrasound showed nothing.  Prescribed Nexium once a day and we will wing it until something else shows up.

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