I Am an Optimist

 “The world of achievement has always belonged to the optimist.” ~ J. Harold Wilkins

How can this help me today and throughout my health and weight loss journey?  
I know you haven’t seen me in a long time. But I found myself in a difficult place and really didn’t know what to say … until now.  
Optimism has been there throughout my life to help me overcome huge challenges. I didn’t give up when I realized I would not be a prima ballerina. My mother wanted me to find a career while living back at home and in college. But I decided it would be too difficult to live by their rules after living virtually on my own at a boarding high school. So I joined the Women’s Army Corps to have college paid for and ‘see the World’. From dancing to the military, I’ve always been mentally and physically active so it’s never been a challenge for me. 
I became sick in 2004 and in a coma for around four months. I came home in 2006, wheelchair bound and years of therapy ahead of me. Almost two years ago, I was prescribed increased doses of Prednisone and didn’t change my eating habits. So I found myself overweight to the point being obese and using the medication as an excuse. It was a REAL scapegoat but an excuse that didn’t help me get the weight off. I wasn’t eating a lot; 1,500 to 2,000 calories a day and that allowed me to tell myself that it wasn’t me, it was the medication.  
I started logging in my calorie and water intake. I was doing my physical therapy twice a week and a great yoga practitioner was coming to our home every other week. Of course I didn’t really know because my efforts to get a wheelchair weight scale was fruitless. So I relied on what people told me about my appearance changes, my mirror image and the fit of my clothing. But nothing much changed and my weight appeared to remain about the same. Until yesterday…  
I wanted to see how other people in my circumstances worked on their weight loss. I decided to search FB using ‘wheelchair overweight’ and was shocked after reading through the mean-spirited, misinformed comments from the ‘Results’. People believe that people like me are lazy, believe physicians gave us a wheelchair because we are fat and that we want to be in this situation. They think because some people overcame their overweight situation that everyone can overcome their totally different set of circumstances. That’s like saying ‘because Mother Theresa is a good person, so everyone who has a job should be able to serve others at her level’ or worse ‘because a ninja lady in a movie can wiggle her toes and get up after years in a coma, everyone should be able to get out of their wheelchair after a few months in a coma’.  
I wrote one of my very best friends from the military and told her that I don’t want to be like this. I was shocked about the FB comments and in tears. I told her the only reason I haven’t ‘lost it’ or didn’t ‘break down’ and cry is because my severe chronic hives will make it difficult to breathe and also seeing me that angry and hurt would upset my husband; who works so hard to make me happy. I told her that am trying so hard and don’t get half the tools that people who can stand and walk are able to get. I can’t even get a stupid wheelchair weight scale, no help monitoring my body reactions nor someone to tell me what or how to eat on Prednisone. My last words were “Please help me! Help us!”
After half and hour of feeling hurt and sorry for myself, I went to work. I joined the SparkPeople app for tracking my intake, socializing with others and journaling along with the HalfSizeMe Coach app. I came up with an exercise program that I would do daily, even though I feared it would have me bedridden a lot more. I committed to drinking the total amount of water that was healthy for me daily. Last, I came up with the Reward Program below, that fit my lifestyle and keep me on track.  
Wanda’s Health Reward System
1) Remain within 1,200 calorie intake daily
 ~ each successful day I get this icon – 🍰.
 ~ Seven consecutive days getting this icon 🍰, gets me a dessert after dinner!
2) Perform exercises every day
 ~ each day exercising, I get this icon – 🌸
 ~ seven consecutive days of exercising, I get a 💐.
 ~ after getting two bouquet icons 💐, I get a bouquet of real flowers!
3). Drink eight glasses of water daily
 ~ each consecutive day of success gets me this water drop icon💧
 ~ each successful seven days drinking water, I get a 💦
 ~ four 💦s gets me a bracelet charm!
Now, I have everything to create an environment for me to lose weight and a reward system to help keep me on track and like minded ‘Internet Buddies’ to help me remain encouraged. I will continue to work on getting access to or receive a wheelchair weight scale from the VA and know that seeing the numbers will give me even more incentive to continue. There’s a reason it is a part of every weight loss program and even overweight people in wheelchairs should have scales available to them.  
I realize that exercising more will mean that I will rest a lot. That doesn’t sound too bad except that the increased rest time may very well interfere with my card making. I love taking paper and creating beautiful scenes, making sentiments for people to send out for others to feel better. Sitting there is almost therapeutic and allows me to focus on something other than my health. So, I hope that everything balances out and that my body adapts to the increased exercise. I pray that the Myositis doesn’t flair up and cause me to stop my progress.  
I am thankful that I saw all the mean spirited comments on FB because it has motivated me to lose this weight, no matter what. It has driven me to look for information everywhere and made me determined to seek knowledge from everyone. I will begin with this steadfast mindset because God’s Word from Romans 8:37 tells us “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” So, YES, I will be optimistic in this journey as in all my life’s journeys because, as I have been told by many, I am an achiever. I will pray and hope that you will pray for me as well.  

  

 

Advertisements

My French Toast

This is the absolute BEST French toast and everyone loves it! Try it and tell me what you think.

179 French Toast

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 small container of Cool Whip

Bread (Any type of bread you’d like)
1 tablespoons of butter per piece of bread (salted or unsalted, depending on your taste)

PREPARATION

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Coat bread very well on all sides, for about one minute. Melt butter in a nonstick pan on medium heat. Transfer coated bread to the pan and cook until coating is done and browned. Transfer to oven-proof dish and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.

I’m Back…With a Vengeance

I have been listening to NPR with politicians who are currently running. It is really making me feel HORRIBLE about the future American and International ‘World’ of my grandchildren BUT I thank God for the Hope in Jesus.

1. Members of our legislative branch TALK about important issues to us, the media and with groups who pay them to vote a certain way. They also have countless meetings all around the World, that are more vacation than work and and place it on their taxpayer tab. THEN they never vote on the issue because:

(A) they haven’t found a way they can benefit,
(B) they don’t want to go on record with a vote because it could have a negative affect on future elections for them,
(C) their party has taken the filibustering stance on the issue, etc.

OR

Our lawmakers do not and will not take ACTION on many of the major issues our Country or the World faces. Many times they wait on Presidential Administrations to take action, when they profess to want and use their power.

Many lawmakers SAY they want control at the state level and make countless speeches about how ‘big government’ is bad for the country. On nearly every important issue, they sit around looking to one another (like little lap dogs with empty bowls and wagging tails) waiting on the Administration to take action or make policy. It’s a FARCE and it’s sad. Then, it gets worse!!!! They pick apart the plan of action they didn’t have the courage to attempt.

WHAT? Is this what we pay them to do? Is this the campaign promise they made to us? NO! But they DO know how to get their act together long enough to pass bills that ensure they are compensated well; far above and what would be acceptable compensation for anyone else. Even CEOs of corporations aren’t compensated this way, with full retirement plans after five years, and we accept it. You don’t go your job and we compensate you better than anyone else in our country. Wow!

New Year, Many New Things

It’s been a great new year, so far. Our New Year’s Day meal was German fare; Schweinehaxe, German Red Cabbage and Potato Salad. Kenneth and I made it together, we had a great time together, and the meal was delicious. I’ve learned about many things already this year and it could not have begun better if I dreamed it myself. My family is healthy and happy, parents and siblings seem to be doing well and Kenneth’s family is well. Our congregation family is filled with God-fearing/loving brothers and sisters and encouraging us in our walk with The Lord. What more could a person ask for? I pray that I am in the state that Paul meant when he talked about his contentment in Philippians 4:11 and said, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Transitions, transitions. We deal with them all our lives, no matter how we try to minimize or prevent them. Each one of our family units are continually transitioning from and to something in some way and it seems to be a good thing. Our parents, siblings, children and their children are moving to new cities, jobs, ways of life, or life without loved ones. We learn how to deal with it all from God’s Word and one another. I pray for all of us as we move to our new situations; pray for God’s strength, His intervention and guiding Hand through it all.

It has been very cold, too cold for me to go outside because it’s been well below 32 degrees and I have had hypothermia. We haven’t been able to attend worship services in person, since December 29th and I am thankful for the ability to use the Internet to participate in worship. We have been able to stay in contact with the our local church family through phone calls and Facebook and planned a fellowship dinner I was hoping many would attend, but they didn’t go. So, Kenneth and I decided to go to Rodizio’s on Sunday because it was warm and we were already out for worship services. We had a fantastic time! So much so that I look forward to going back.

We were dealt a huge blow when our brother in Christ, Ken, departed this life. He was one of the first men to approach us when we visited Hilldale worship services, made us feel truly welcome during our visit and continued his sincere, warm approaches whether we were in the church building or at the corner Shell station. Many times I see his face whenever I have thoughts of anything related to Hilldale and I will remember him for some time. But our congregation has taught me how to deal with the passing of loved ones and I know it will help me when I have difficult family deaths in the future. I am grateful to God for helping me as only He can with something I have struggled with and for placing others in my path to help as well.

I finally selected some gifts for our son’s graduation from Georgia Regents University in December. I wanted to give him several items for different purposes; to remember the specific graduation event, to remember the purpose and/or what it can mean for him, his family and his service to the World. I hope the significance of them will hit home as I intended and in ways that will mean a lot to him. He has begun his career in great fashion with a good accounting firm that has now hired him on full-time at the same time his wife has now become a full time homemaker. Again, it seems God has insured balance because the man of the house will need to be away more and concentrate on his job, while his wife can now focus on home to take up their children’s increased needs.

It’s the first year of school for our second grandson (son of our younger twin) and he seems to be doing well. He misses his new sister and I’m sure she spent time searching the house for him when he first went to school. Their mother is spending lots of time learning about being an author in today’s automated World and how to market her book, ‘Cryptid Girl’. But it’s a wonderful body of work and I’m sure she will have continued success. I admire the way they have been able to stick to their family vision and caring for their children, while going after their individual dreams. The parents said a stay at home mother was important to their family and never wavered. Our son has provided financial stability and is now working more diligently to complete his degree, while he preaches sermons whenever asked.

Since my last post, I have prepared lots of new and different dishes and desserts using many of the cupboards full of herbs and spices we love or have found necessary to improve our health. I made the roasted cabbage that I used a one inch thick slice of cabbage to prepare. It was delicious and I believe I can knock it up a notch with a touch of bacon drippings; even though it’s not as healthy. One day we had a juicy rib eye for dinner and I made the Marinated Tomatoes, Avocado and Ricotta Cheese Spread on Sourdough bread; I added avocado and it was almost like a great salad on bread. I am working on a roasted chicken recipe that I would like to enter in competition. I made my first dinner with oxtails and it is one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever made. A couple of times I have made delicious mixed greens and we purchased a German style pork shank with the skin still on it to make Schewinehaxe. Most of the time we made Angel Cornbread when we had country meals. For desserts I made my grandmother’s Tea Cakes and different renditions of sweet potato pie; even with condensed milk. I even used condensed milk in macaroni and cheese; Chef G. Garvin’s recipe. I ate some fabulous Hoppin’ John that I got from my caregiver right after the New Year celebration. I made some myself with homemade black eyed peas and it turned out great tasting but looked different because of the pea gravy. We have made many different ice cream flavors, like these combinations:

Strawberry – Basil – Pepper Ice Cream
Vanilla – Brandy Ice Cream
Chocolate Chip – Toasted Almonds – Caramel Swirl
Pistachio – Brandy – Cheyenne Ice Cream
Brown Butter Bacon Ice Cream (everyone’s favorite so far)

My health has been good but that is to be expected because I have spent nearly every day inside, with the exception of one Sunday. Today, I am still recuperating from our 5 or 6 hour outing but it seems like I’m climbing out of it. Many of my friends are having medical challenges and I am in continuous prayer for them; trying to encourage them to know God is there no matter what. I have a friend in the hospital waiting on a procedure, a friend who will have a breast removed soon, a friend with a myriad of symptoms the physicians can’t seem to diagnose. a friend with suspected cancer in a couple of areas of here body and the list seems to grow every day. So I pray we can continue to encourage one another knowing we will be well on the other side, as the song says, with out Lord. There are a couple of things I want to ask the doctor about, when I see him next month. But the thing I most want is to get off the Prednisone and get rid of this roundness on my face and everywhere.

I am concerned about discipline for children and the long term consequences of failure to take effective disciplinary actions. I focus on that issue with our grandchildren because I don’t want them to grow up making excuses for everything and feeling that the World thinks ‘it’s all about me’. It seems as though parents don’t want to be parents anymore and want schools and every other organization to be responsible for raising their children. Children are growing up without foundation of guidance so they don’t have anything to fall back on when they make a bad decision and want to correct themselves; to get back on track. So I’m trying to guide my God-fearing sons in rearing their children, to be sure they at least eat dinner with their children, discipline them effectively and look in their eyes once each day. Children aren’t their extra electronic game playmates and their time may be better served discussing the World and their service in it; while they’re exposing the talents they can use to make a living for their families.

I also hope we figure out why we are having all these violent incidents in America and put a stop to them. It seems that a combination of raising our children better and some control on weapons is the answer because just one answer or the other doesn’t seem to be getting us anywhere. We have had everyone from a 12 year old to a senior citizen of 71 years old acting out in some way that has resulted in deaths and it is inexcusable. People are fearful of going to the most prestigious sporting events in the World, The Winter Olympic Games and the Super Bowl. Our malls, theaters etc have become battle zones, so I pray people are aware of their surroundings along with being conscious of angering people unnecessarily, over trivial incidents like texting.

I have been making some beautiful greeting cards; mostly for birthday and Valentine’s Day, but I have made a couple of get well and sympathy cards. I have had a lot of fun and most of this time I am able to work six or seven hours. I was able to make Valentine’s Day cards for one of my grandsons classmates and they are so, so cute! I pray people continue to appreciate my cards and that I continue to get card orders. I love the embellishments and techniques so it’s not all about making the extra money. I just love designing and creating greeting cards!

20140130-180717.jpg

20140130-180745.jpg

20140130-180752.jpg

20140130-180804.jpg

20140130-180811.jpg

20140130-180826.jpg

20140130-180836.jpg

20140130-180846.jpg

20140130-180853.jpg

20140130-180859.jpg

20140130-180905.jpg

20140130-180919.jpg

20140130-180933.jpg

20140130-180940.jpg

20140130-180946.jpg

The Holidays Are Here!

It has been a while since I’ve been able to post, but it really hasn’t been my fault [in my whining voice]. 😉 I have been super busy and had my hands in a lot of different projects. But one of the most important has been keeping Rock happy and excited about the dinners I prepare.

We have been unable to attend Bible services and worship services for a few Sundays but our church family has not forgotten us, has been outstandingly loving and I am so very thankful Rock decided to make this our home. No one is perfect but every person I know is doing their best to reach the goal; live as God commanded. I have a lot of little projects, like making bookmarks for the welcome packets, and I will be updating the website, as soon as it is finished. Also, my faithful friend and woman of God has wanted to start a prayer group and it has been on my heart a lot, so I helped her get it started. We had our first planning meeting and my heart is swelling with love for God and what this ladies group can mean for His Kingdom.

Kenneth, my caregivers and I have been preparing some fantastic dishes and meals. We continued making different pastas, I give them some of it to take home and everyone in our families love it. Sometimes it’s plain and other times we add herbs to bump those pasta dishes up. However we do it, it’s a hit. I made beef filet and a spinach salad with beets, pistachios and goat cheese. The inspiration came from http://www.macheesmo.com/2009/12/a-meat-and-potatoes-date/. I also watched a few episodes of The Chew and one of the guests made their Mother’s recipe for Egg Nog Sweet Potato Pie. I made a few of them and everyone loved them. I found some gems for recipes on this site, Food 52, like the yummy sounding Croissant French Toast here http://food52.com/recipes/12907-croissant-french-toast

Our oldest son brought his family here for Thanksgiving. The youngest twin was unable to bring his family this year and our youngest son couldn’t come from San Diego. We decided many years ago, that our family would meet at Thanksgiving Day every year and they would be free to stay at home or visit their in-laws at the Christmas Holiday. We went to a large hotel for our Holiday meal because we did that for many years and enjoyed the spread. But this was the first year I had thoughts of making the meal at home, ahead of time, little by little and make the meal for everyone. With the help of my daughters in law, it should be a breeze.

One daughter-in-law is resigning from her job in a medical facility and do what she really loves, genealogy work. My other daughter-in-law wrote and published her book, Cryptid Girl on Amazon and it is really, really good. It’s not expensive, so I hope people download it and give it a chance because it’s a fantastic book. I have requested that the VA give me back the GI education benefits I lost during the time I was hospitalized and in recovery so that I can finish my degree. I was less than a year from getting my Business degree and want to have it before I die. I hope and pray they approve my request. All of us are working from home now and I hope we can encourage and support each other more than ever. Our oldest son is graduating with his accounting degree on Sunday and we will be there, Lord willing. He has done a wonderful job putting God first, taking care of his family, working part-time and going to school. We are proud!

I strived to continue exercising about 10 minutes, twice a day. I did a great job on it until all the Christmas card orders started rolling in and the Holiday seemed to be running toward me. But I will pick it back up as soon as we return from our trip to Augusta, Ga. But I’ve been really good about continuing my daily Scripture reading and studying. I’m following two different Bible reading plans; one is a chronological reading of the Old and New Testament along with reading the New Testament through digging deeper this time.

Recently, I felt compelled to put my thoughts about politics on Facebook. So I put this commentary on my timeline and got some positive feedback on it “Contrary to a recent phone conversation I had, we don’t need to rewrite the Constitution to get rid of political corruption and inaction of our representatives. We just need to run the system the way it was meant to run. IMO, at a minimum, we need to – (1) get rid of the political party system. (2) ensure politicians can only run for one term every ten years. (3) give politicians a salary and no retirement; they must pay for the healthcare of their family members. (4) create clear cut, strict political financial reform. (5) create a law that says politicians must live by all the laws they pass. (6) hold politicians to at least minimum established standards of workplace accountability.”

I found a cute costume jewelry bracelet with different color pearls designating birthdays of loved ones. I selected the colors for my mother’s grand and great-grand children, purchased a bracelet and sent it to my Mom. I found this bracelet long before my Mother’s birthday but ended up sending her the bracelet in a box with her recent greeting card order and framed birthday card. She enjoyed the box even though she doesn’t like getting birthday gifts from me. I want her to think of her legacy each time she looks at this bracelet.

I designed different cards and used some Holiday pastels this year. I was happy that customers got their orders in early this year. I sent out the order forms and requests for orders in mid September. Most customers responded by mid October, which enabled me to respond easily when I received orders after that. I worked hard every day, sometimes until dinner time and midday break, to get them all out. With everyone’s help, we got everyone their orders on time this year. Now I have one personal Holiday card order to do that actually has no due date and more cards that go to the flower and convenience shop. Then it will be time to start designing Valentine’s Day cards and that’s exciting!

Through all this, I feel like my health is being propped up…………….but barely. At times I feel like I’m not going to make it out of bed the next day. But I’m able to get up when my caregiver gets here at nine. I feel badly that I have to take medication but I realize there are many people worse off than I am. There are times (like what happened a few days ago) when my food gets stuck in my throat and someone has to help me get it down. Most of the time it’s something soft am I can’t understand why I’m having a problem. Then there are mysteries like the need to stay in bed for a day after I bathe or get wet in a rain shower. Why? I understand why I cannot go out when temperatures go below freezing (32 degrees) but it is frustrating when I have to postpones important appointments. I am going to turn in a specimen early next week because I am having some problems with my stomach and I can’t figure out why. My hives are doing pretty well, even though I have to take additional medicines to keep them under control. But I will do that until I get better or until I have to take the allergy shots. I am trusting God, not giving up, just doing everything I can and doing the best I can with my health; until I cannot do it anymore.

Thank you for spending a little time here with me. Please remember that God loves you and that is why we say 🎄Merry Christmas! Also, I hope you have a happy and safe 🎉 Happy New Year!

20131109-082149.jpg

20131109-082425.jpg

20131109-090258.jpg

20131213-164209.jpg

20131213-164223.jpg

20131213-164243.jpg

20131213-164330.jpg

20131213-204859.jpg

20131213-204911.jpg

20131213-204918.jpg

20131213-204927.jpg

20131213-204933.jpg

20131213-204943.jpg

20131213-204948.jpg

20131213-204953.jpg

Being Thankful and a Veteran

Nine years ago I started getting sick and my doctor diagnosed me with the flu. By December I was in a coma and my body was dying; the prognosis was dim, very dim. I was so sick that family and friends prepared each other for the worst and prayed for the best. Through prayers, God’s mercy and the knowledge He has allowed man to develop and share, my health improved after several months. My family prayed for me, sang hymns to God asking that I be healed, rubbed me down with creams and lotions, talked and pleaded with me, laughed with me, watched me cry, encouraged me and on and on until they felt they could let me go. Friends were finally able to visit with me and told me how much I was missed. I appreciate all everyone did and thank them very, very much.

Because of God’s miracle and my determined husband (when I’m upset, I call it hard-headed), I went through that paper of letters and images that helped me communicate, learned to breathe again, months with a trake, lots of pain, occupational and physical therapy month after month and year after year, in facility after facility, until today; I can be active a quarter of a day. Yes, four or five hours a day! Over the years, I have come from being unable to hear, unable to talk, unable to move anything except my eyes on to functioning with all my body except standing and walking.

What would I have missed? I saw my husband take charge of a medical staff with far more knowledge than he possessed and felt his gentleness with me while demanding the best from my caretakers. He stood by me through the enter ordeal and is still by my side supporting me. One of only a few human beings who I can count on, no matter what. Since that time I’ve called him Rock. Not The Rock because God is faithful but Kenneth has been a more dependable husband than I have ever seen and I love him so. Although the twins were married before I became sick, all our grandchildren were born after my coma. I met some fantastic medical professionals, who are also beautiful people and we have become friends. We went back to the church of Christ and joined Hilldale here in Clarksville and it has been SUCH a blessing to be in a wonderful congregation of God’s children who strive to sin less. I have been able to see my parents in retirement together; growing closer in love and contentment. I watched my dear sister-in-law, Alice, die with dignity and full of love and longing for her Savior. I read The New Testament many times (God drawing me closer), my daughter-in-law’s first book ‘Cryptid Girl’, and one of my favorite books A Muscle and a Shovel. I travelled to several states by car, visiting many places, including Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument. One trivial item, NFL Sunday Ticket with Andrew Siciliano on The Red Zone. 😉

I should also remember and say thank you to America for living up to their promise, so far, to ensure I have medical care. Yes, I am a veteran (attached photo of, left to right, my brother, me, and my sister-in-law) who signed on the dotted line four to five times, offering to make the ultimate sacrifice (if necessary) in service to my country. I served in the military for 22 years and had an enviable career. Six years later, I became ill and the country has taken care of my medical needs, as promised. It was also a blessing that my husband worked for a company that offered great medical insurance. With an initial bill of over $800K, after just a few months, we needed all the help we could get.

Now I am thankful for family and friends, thankful to still be here on Earth, thankful for my life, thankful for the time I spent serving my country, etc etc. Now I want to use the hours I am able to function to serve God and others. I pray that when I am on my death bed and going to join my Lord, He will take me on and say “well done”.

20131108-161620.jpg

Love Doesn’t Hurt

Hello, everyone! I’ll do the best I can to write this post, but my Raiders are playing Kansas City and making a great effort to win.

That’s about the way I feel my life is; charging on through the difficulties and have a positive attitude about winning. I suppose that’s what everyone does, I just don’t see how people do this without striving to live the way God demands we live. I have lived without daily prayer, Bible study, worship etc. and it’s more difficult and lonely. Decisions were much more difficult, I wondered why I couldn’t depend d on people or why I couldn’t depend on people to act a certain way. I felt lonely and isolated at times, even from family and friends. But with God and His Word, I turn to Him, pray to my Father and grab His Word every time. There is a book that really heightened my spiritual life lately and it is A Muscle and a Shovel by Michael Shank. It’s a great book that is a page turner, even if the reader is not a believer, but that makes it even better. There are cities I’m familiar with as well and that probably made it better for me. But the guy can just write!

The 25th was my husband’s (Kenneth) birthday and I wanted to make a special dinner; something foods I thought are his favorites, knocked up a notch. So I got a huge 2 1/2″ inch ribeye steak and marinated it (inspired by Alex G from the Food Network), made beautiful Pommes potatoes using Anne B. recipe that she made on her Food Network show and a beautiful salad using ingredients we seldom use at home. We normally use butter head lettuce but I used romaine lettuce and I used grape tomatoes (I didn’t know that type of tomato existed and actually asked for cherry tomatoes.) instead of regular larger tomatoes. Plus, I made the dressing; my own recipe that included honey and orange juice. It was delicious and I’ve attached a photo of the beautiful ribeye and potatoes.

I watch a lot of cooking shows and believe that kind of television improves my life. Shows like The Chew gives me a lot of ideas for dinner so that we don’t get bord with the same old thing. Plus, the hosts give a lot of practical and money saving meals and decorating ideas. The Iron Chef is entertaining and also gives me confidence in cooking without a recipe. I wrote one of the frequent hosts and asked if they wanted to see samples of my greeting cards and if they would be interested in purchasing some this year. They were interested and I sent them a few card designs from last year. I hope and pray they like them! Master Chef is another show I enjoy. Recently, the Junior contestants shamed me into making my own homemade pasta. So I read up on how the experts make their pasta and what the they like to use for making pasta. Then I asked my.caregiver to stop on her way in and pick up some semolina flour. That day we (because my illness has made me too weak for kneading) made some fantastic Fettuccine pasta and paired that with leftovers that had a smooth gravy. The following week I made parsley Fettuccine and we ate it with pork belly photo attached).

I’ve taken numerous tests at Vanderbilt and at my general practitioner’s clinic. I hope to get the results and have my treatment tailored soon. But, in the meantime, I’ve been able to stay up in my wheelchair making my cards, preparing dinner etc for about four hours a day. I want to increase that time and still feel good. My physicians are happy that I’ve gone as far as I have but I still want more time to do more. I am requesting that the VA gives me the time I was unable to use on my educations benefits, so I can finish my Business degree next year. I hope to submit that over the next few says and get a positive response. All this for a good quality of life.

Last week I sent out the form I would like people to follow for ordering Holiday cards. I have few couple of orders, totaling about 70 notes so far, that I am sure will be submitted. And I have already begun putting some of them together. I am looking forward to sending more cards to the shops that support me and sell my work. I feel like I’m building a business slowly that will last. I still send cards to people who are incarcerated, finish World Bible School and give their life to Christ and I hope those cards and other tidbits I include, provide the encouragement they need. I believe that the moral base in God’s Word will help them tremendously and I encourage them to continue reading the Bible, praying and to become a part of a Bible based congregation. The church of Christ has their priorities in order because they are based on the Word of God in the New Testament.

Well that’s about it for this post. I have challenges but I have great support from God, my husband, family, friends and their love doesn’t hurt. I will continue to strive for my best and I will pray for you; please pray for me.

20131013-133214.jpg

20131013-133247.jpg

20131013-133320.jpg

20131013-133351.jpg

20131013-134122.jpg