About Me

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I am a multifaceted woman, living with intention and passion. I always see the glass as half full (ok, almost always). Currently into: jewelry design, glass beadmaking (aka lampworking), visual journaling, cooking and web design everything. Things that bring me great joy: my family, friends, Scrabble, British period pieces, Shabby Chic, Austin, TX, mini art tiles, autographed cookbooks, chocolate, Chianti, pedicures and beach glass. I don't "do" and/or dig: dishonesty, guilt, intolerance, unkindness, drama and goat cheese (it's a long story, but I love all the other cheeses!) So you now have a teeny tiny little picture of me, with a few warts thrown in. Welcome to my world!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Recovery and Foodie Friday

     It is now Friday and I've been on the mend since Tuesday from my gall bladder surgery. I've been so lucky to have my mom here helping me out with everything. She is such a trooper! The little incisions were especially painful the first few days, but are just "sore" now. I'm only taking motrin, the darvocet made me feel way too woozy and loopy. Never been a fan of those narcotic type pain killers. I've spent time watching movies and sleeping, getting up to walk around several times a day as directed. I miss sleeping on my side, but won't be long I'm sure. I am itching to work on my visual journal, but the position I have to sit in just isn't conducive, same with the ATC's, so just biding my time till I can play with my stuff again too. I've been reading through a wonderful Cooking Light cookbook I have, since the gall bladder thing is what I consider a wake up call from a higher power concerned about the direction I've been taking with my diet and nutrition. So, in an effort
Honey-Pecan Crusted Chicken
to make some smarter choices in the future, I'm getting into the spirit with some great new recipes. There is a wonderful Honey-Pecan Crusted Chicken recipe I can't wait to try and another chicken pot pie recipe I know my family will love. They are pretty good about eating most of what I make, no matter what country has inspired the dish, so I'm lucky, or they are, however you choose to look at it.

     I also ordered some new spices from The Spice House, which I mentioned last Friday, I was out of tarragon and chipotle chile powder. But now that I think about it, it's Friday and that means time to mention some of my favorite foodie
places/stuffs. If you are in Traverse City, and you love to cook, don't miss Folgarelli's, Mary's Kitchen Port or Oryana, which is the local food co-op. Mary's offers some wonderful food to go, like their Ceaser Chicken Sandwich, Chicken Spaetzle soup and Maytag Bleu Cheese Slaw, all wonderful goodies. They also have some fantastic cooking equipment and great knives. And there is the chocolate case, gorgeous bon bons to give or indulge in yourself.
     Folgarelli's is another foodie landmark in Traverse City. They have the best selection of imported cheeses and Italian meats or charcuterie. They also have a great selection of olive oils and pastas and offer sandwiches to go as well, though I have never bought one myself, my hubby has and really likes them. The shop has old wooden floors and is always a fun stop, though I never get out of there without spending at least $40. But you can't keep me away.
     Oryana is the last place I'll mention. It is a huge co-op and offers lots of excellent organic and local produce as well as bulk grains, dried fruits and nuts. They have the best yogurts in town, homemade dolmas, hummus and specialty juices. I also never leave that place without spending at least $40, but I get a decent amount of food for that. Their international food stuffs are extensive too, whether I need Japanese, Indian or Mexican ingredients. And they have a lovely little cafe where you can grab a quick bite of something delicious, I love it.
     So there is my list of great foodie places for today. Hope you get a chance to check them out someday.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Scoping and Subconscious Battling

     Yesterday was filled with nothing but clear fluids and my colonoscopy prepping, so if that doesn't sound remotely interesting to you, I advise you to skip my blog for the next couple of days, since I'll be consumed by my scoping procedures and gall bladder removal. Fun stuff...
The procedure this morning, scoping top and bottom made me anxious all week, even though I heard that you don't remember it at all and feel no pain after, usually, but still, seems so invasive to me. Anyway, I was a good patient, followed the prep to the letter and arrived on time this morning at 9 a.m. They got me right in, gowned up and placed the IV port in my arm. Then I walked to the room where I would have the procedure, and was given a "shot" to knock back of anesthesia for my throat. I had to gargle with it first and then drink it. It was a clear thin liquid that tasted like anebesol, delish! Almost couldn't swallow it! There were two nurses in the room and one called the other the "bartender," the one who handed me the shot, so I told her "no tip!" Then I lay down on my side, feeling like there was a lump in my throat from the nasty anesthesia and trying to swallow anyway. When the Dr. arrived, he squirted some cherry flavored anesthesia on my vocal cords, twice, since I didn't open up wide enough the first time, and I gagged both times on that stuff...but it was at least cherry flavored right?
     Back onto my side, they hooked up the anesthesia to the IV port and I don't remember anything else about the procedure. The next thing I know, my hubby's face is close by and it is time to go home, yeah. I was sooo woozy! He had to help me big time. As soon as we got home, I went to bed and slept for at least 2-3 hours, I'm not sure. Next thing I know, my nurse is quietly knocking on my door, my mother actually, she came to take care of me this week while hubby has to work. I got up and still felt very woozy. Spent the day sitting around, trying to let the slightly drunk feeling pass, without much success. No pain whatsoever though, would never know I had the scoping done today. The results: colon is all clear (yeah!)but they found a paraesophogeal hernia and some polyps in my stomach. Of course I've never had any problems with my digestion or heart burn, save for during my pregnancies after the fourth month, so don't know what's next regarding those things.
     And now to my incredible subconscious battle. My hubby tells me that the nurse told him that because my gag reflex wasn't quite under control and that I was gagging, I was trying to get off the table! Yup, even sedated, out of my head, my body knew something wrong was being done to it and it tried to fight back. I was so glad to hear that,  you have no idea. My self knows to get itself out of a bad situation, even under sedation. I, of course, have no recollection of this insane event, me in my gown, with a plastic thing stuck in my mouth to protect my teeth, hooked up to a pressure cuff on one arm, an IV on the other, doing my best to overcome two nurses and a Dr...wish they had videotaped it. I'm so proud of me!
     Getting ready now for my 5:30 a.m. curtain call at the hospital for my gall bladder removal. Special soap I have to shower with tonight and tomorrow morning, no food or drink after midnight(I'm not a gremlin!), and then getting up with the sunrise, so that makes two from my list of four that I want to see on my list of "44 things I want to do before I turn 45." I think I'll add "have something removed from my body" too now...
     And lastly, the photo up top is the ATC card I sent to my partner this month. Created with water color, acrylics, gold leaf, collage and marker.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Berry Picking and Freezer Jam

Newly picked black caps (black raspberries)
      Still hot and humid this morning when we got up, so we were lazy about getting on the road to pick berries and got a late start. My DH and I took our youngest and headed to Putney's in Benzonia, to pick black caps, golden raspberries and red raspberries, we thought. We packed up our tray and bowls along with a cooler for our booty, so we were all set. When we got to the patch, we realized that there was only a smidge of goldens, gooseberries and almost no red raspberries left! They were so dried out, all this heat we have had just did a number on them. However, there were still a lot of good looking black caps, or black raspberries to be had, which have become my favorite type of raspberry, so lucky me! We picked till our fingers looked like we'd just murdered someone, very red and dripping with 
goldens, reds, blackberries and gooseberrie
juice because some of the berries were overripe and just burst in our fingers. My youngest made a new friend and picked a few of the other kinds of berries that were in very short supply.
     After we got home, we cooled off, because we were exhausted from the heat and humidity, and later in the evening, I made some freezer jam and then froze the rest, about 4 pints or more for later. I picked out the best goldens and made a half jar of jam in the microwave. The rest will be made into a mixed berry jam tomorrow. I love picking fruit and canning, so this would normally be a really fun day all the way around, but we were just dying by the time we finished! I hope the weather cools a bit or at least the humidity dies down a bit so we can get back out for blueberries, which are ready and black berries, which will be ready in another week or two. On my blog post with the list of "44 things to do before I turn 45," I have "can ten different" things on the list, which means that after tonight I have three down with seven more to go.
     If you are interested in picking your own fruits and veggies in Northwest Michigan, check out the pdf, Taste the Local Difference which has a great directory by county of all the U-pick farms in the area.