Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This is what happens . . .

. . . when you have a smarty pants cat that likes to get attention (cat in question not shown in picture).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Warning: Toxic Fumes

Just in case you missed the day in school where they tell everyone to read & follow the warning labels. Yeah, if the can says to use in a "well ventilated area" use the darn product in a WELL VENTILATED AREA. And no, in the basement directly under the intake vent IS NOT a good idea.

I just spent the last hour with all the windows and doors in the house thrown wide open so the cats and I wouldn't pass out. (Fortunately TheHusband is at class so he didn't have to suffer.) I still have the upstairs windows open and am typing this post up while wearing my winter coat.

What a girl won't do for crafts! LOL

Monday, March 28, 2011

Life as a Dinosaur: The Spoon Theory

(present time) I'm not feeling particularly creative or ambitious right now, because I used way too many "spoons" this past weekend and am still recharging from that. You're probably thinking "What the heck does using spoons have to do with needing to recharge?", and I don't blame you. Here's the best explanation I've ever found to explain what it's like to live with a chronic illness or disability. You should go read it, then come back! The author, Christine Miserandino, has lupus, but her Spoon Theory is so spot on to my own experience.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dreaming . . .

Taken at Como Conservatory on May 5, 2006

. . . of sunny days and bright colors.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tripleberry Crisp

The recent return to "winter" weather has left me feeling miserable, both physically and mentally, and I've been craving something to help lift my spirits. But, however much I'd love me some triple chocolate cake, it would just leave me feeling worse in the end. So I decided to make this yummy dessert that cured my "feeling sorry for myself" sweet tooth, but didn't leave me feeling even sorrier for myself (for caving into the mood induced craving).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Big Adventure

Last Friday I took the kids cats on a BIG ADVENTURE! And boy was it an adventure for all of us.

TheAnnabelle, looking for treats!
First, I had to get the cats in their respective carriers, which I had pulled out of the corner the night before (so they could get used to them a little). TheAnnabelle was easy, all I had to do was toss in some treats and she followed them in lickety split. But this was expected. She likes both treats and "caves" so this was almost heaven for her. Her only complaint was the treats ran out too quickly.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This is what happens . . .

. . . when I get a crazy craft idea.

Any ideas where these little Peeps are marching off to? I'll be documenting their journey and let you know next week, but in the meantime, feel free to post your guesses!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Safety Tip of the Day!

Had to share this funny. It actually did make me laugh out loud.

Since I was over in the "other" office, I decided I'd check the mail for the MIS/IT dept. & the Meal Plan Office (which is what we call my cubical - hee hee). As I came around the corner of the end cubical to the file cabinet for the "mail" slots I noticed a small green piece of paper laying in the middle of the walk way (it's slightly narrow in that two people can pass each other without touching if they are careful).

Life As a Dinosaur: Methotrexate

September-December 2008 - We had high hopes for this drug. When I first started taking it, it seemed to help, and a coworker who was also taking it (for rheumatoid arthritis) had given it two thumbs up. After a few weeks on it though, its effectiveness diminished and the rhuemie upped the dose.

Darn me and my stupid body for its ability to build up tolerance so quickly! Good thing, sort of, I learned this about myself early on in life. It's part of the reason I could never do "drugs" (you know the "recreational" ones?). Dude, first it would have been one hit, then two, then rehab. Heck, who am I kidding? I probably would have skipped right over rehab and done the big OD. Oh yeah, sounds like fun.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Rare Moment

In the year (just over really) that we have had TheDexter (on the right), TheAnnabelle (on the left) has rarely let him get this close to just sit (play time is a different story entirely). AND I have never been able to get a picture of it. Sweet!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Calming the "Storm"

“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they awoke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be Still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." - Mark 4:37-39 (ESV)

Karen was an expert multitasker who worked in a busy office area. She could often be found working on long term projects while processing data for managers who needed the information right away and taking phone orders from customers. She was able to do all those things by skillfully, and selectively, tuning out most of the noise of the other people working around her.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Just chillin'

A few weeks ago, I caught this guy just chillin' in the back of the dryer. Since then, I haven't been able to decide if it's a sad lonely sock pining for it's lost mate, an emo sock being all emo, or just a cool cat just hanging out at the back of the dryer.

I thought it was hilarious. What do you think it's up to back there?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Grilled Shrimp with Buttered Noodles & Broccoli

So if you saw my Facebook posts last weekend, you know that I tried cooking with shrimp for the first time ever. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about this. TheHusband loves seafood, but I don't really care for it all that much. Fortunately, Red Lobster makes an excellent steak (and those yummy cheddar bay biscuits) or he would never get any! I do like shrimp though, and I didn't want to screw this recipe up and end up not liking shrimp too!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Life As a Dinosaur: Shrek and Igor

July/August 2008 - My hope lasts less than a week. It is July 5, a long holiday weekend, and my toes are getting worse. Because it is a holiday weekend, I am unable to get in to see both the rheumie and my primary doctor. I settle for seeing whoever is on duty. This doctor ups my prednizone dosage and sends me on my way.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This is what happens . . .

. . . when it's SPRING BREAK!!!

Oh, I still have to work even though there's practically no one on campus, but this is bliss. I haven't had any voicemail messages so far (knock on wood) and instead of ringing 20-30 times a day the phone only rings 2-3 times a day. And while there are still PILES of filing on my desk, some of my other projects are actually getting done. Yup, I love "Spring Break"!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What is she saying/thinking?

Insert snack here!
TheAnnabelle is quite the character. I came across this picture of her and absolutely love it. What do you think she is saying or thinking? Please feel free to add your own caption. =)


Monday, March 14, 2011

Life As a Dinosaur: My Winter Woes

In this post I take a brief break from detailing the progression of my AS and address one of the overall changes that I am experiencing because of the disease. It's a bit longer than my normal posts and if you really don't want to read my whining I suggest you just skip this one. =)

I used to love winter. Growing up in West Central Minnesota meant long hard winters, but so much fun for a kid. My family lived on a small farmstead where a minimum maintenance road (basically a dirt road that the county did little to nothing to maintain, especially in the winter) jutted off from the highway. Approximately the first eighth of a mile of that road was had thick trees on both sides. In the summer we used those trees to play war games or cops & robbers, but in the winter the snow would cover the road and pile up taller than my older brothers. We would build snow forts and tunnels and have the best snowball fights.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

On Fixing Potholes

“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth to an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made.” - Mark 2:21 (ESV)

While driving to work this past week, I was thinking grouchy thoughts about all the potholes in the road.  You see, every fall the work crews patch up those potholes by filling them up with asphalt, and every spring they reappear, seemingly worse than ever. Annoying, right? Yes, but there is a reason for it. You see the initial pothole is formed when moisture creeps below the road surface through cracks caused by traffic wear and tear (and this section of road is in an industrial part of town, so there's a lot of wear and tear). When the temperatures fall to below freezing, the moisture turns to ice and causes the pavement to rise. The heat from the traffic still driving on the pavement and/or a rise in temperature causes the ice to melt and a small space is created. This cycle continues until eventually the weight of traffic forces the pavement to actually break (because there's nothing supporting the part of the pavement) and creates the pothole.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Coyote at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, MN

Oh, how I wish I could you join you, but off to do the Saturday chores & errands first!

Have a super Saturday everyone!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Turkey Chili

While it does seem to finally be warming up here in Minnesota, it's still cool enough to make and enjoy this version of one of my favorite comfort foods. I remember my mom making chili a lot when I was growing up. Probably because you can sure stretch your food dollar with this meal, and with seven kids she really needed to stretch that dollar far. Plus, it's a super simple meal that doesn't take much time to prepare and is super satisfying.

This isn't exactly her recipe though.  Honestly, how can you compete with Mom's chili when it has her special ingredient of a mother's love? You can however copy the basics and add your own special twist. This is my version.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Life As a Dinosaur: Hoping for Relief

June 2008 - My primary doctor received the results of my blood tests and referred me to see a rheumatologist. Surprisingly, I was able to get an appointment with the rheumatologist within the week (two weeks from when my toe first swelled up). It normally takes 5-6 weeks of waiting to get in to a specialist around here, so this was amazing. At this point I'm still not on any painkillers other than Aleve, but I'm hopeful that this visit will change that.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

This is what happens . . .

 . . . every time we refill the reservoir on the humidifier.

"Hmm. . . I should probably fill this." is what I think.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Life As a Dinosaur: The Awakening

On May 29, 2008 the alarm clock went off as usual and I started to get out of bed. When I put my put feet on the floor I thought "hmm, that's funny, my foot really hurts". Then I took a step and the pain that shot up my leg made me gasp.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Introducing "Life As a Dinosaur"

As most of my friends and family know, I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) almost three years ago. It is an autoimmune disease and a form of arthritis.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Every Time I Hang by a Thread

“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” - Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

After spending most of the evening in the hospital waiting room while her husband under went an emergency appendectomy, Sarah needed to go home and get some sleep. Her friends, who had graciously spent the evening with her, had gone home when Eric had come out of surgery and she was allowed to join him in the recovery area. It could hardly be called a "room", as there was only a thin curtain separating them from the other recovering patients and their families.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Just because . . .

I haven't posted any cat pictures for awhile:

"I AM trying to sleep here. Can you take that camera somewhere else? Now?!"

Friday, March 04, 2011

Serving it up in style!

Stainless steel buffet server
Although we don't get to do it as often as we would like, my husband and I like to entertain. And I LOVE to cook for our guests. Only sometimes it's hard to make sure the food stays warm, especially if you are serving "finger" foods.

So a few years ago, as a Christmas present to myself (and because it was on sale), I bought one of these fancy stainless steel buffet servers. I L.O.V.E it! It works so great at keeping the food warm and moist. You can use it with the three pan inserts or take the top section off and just use the flat surface (great if you have a tray of hors d'oeuvres you want to keep warm). Plus with the adjustable temperature, you just can't go wrong.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

I'm a Gadget Girl!

That's right, I'm a gadget girl. I love technology in just about all its forms. I find it fascinating how things work  (or don't) and am constantly amazed at the brain power of those individuals who not only have the ideas for these things, but then actually figure out how to make them happen. I mean how many people thought "Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could put my dirty dishes in a box and have them come out clean."? And then, how many people actually sat down and figured out how to make that happen? That's serious brain power.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

This is what happens . . .

(August 6, 2007)

. . . when I get really mad at work.

*laughs maniacally*

Seriously though, I had left my windows cracked open when I parked the car in the morning. When I went back out to the car after work I found out, the hard way, that a couple flies had taken up residence in the car.

The "hard way"? Yeah, one of the flies decided to show its displeasure at my return by flying behind the lens of my glasses and then FREAKING out in my eyeball. Of course it waited until I put the car in drive and was actually moving forward.
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