Christmas desserts 2016

December 25, 2016 - Here is my contribution to Christmas dinner at the Fesler's:  Butterscotch pie, Chocolate Pie and Cheesecake.  Not much else going on .  I haven't bought any gifts.  I just cannot get into this holiday.  That's all I have to say about it.

My last post mentioned listing a couple Pendleton Jackets on Ebay.  Well, the blue XL sold for $33 and is on its way to Washington DC. The red one did not sell but I will relist it after the holidays.

To the left is my office floor.  It is filled with packing material and various items waiting to be listed.  I am going to have to get a lot better at selling to make some of this mess worthwhile.  Shipping is like a big puzzle.  I try to find the cheapest and safest method of shipping.


Listing on Ebay

December 15, 2016: It is 5 degrees in Anderson, Indiana today.  I have been keeping myself busy on these cold days by listing things on EBay,  So far, I've had $80 in sales

Listing next are these Pendleton Wool Jackets found in the closet.  I drug out part of my massive button collection in an attempt to find a replacement leather button for one of the sleeve cuffs. Since the top red jacket is not in the best shape, I may list it with one of the others (one with missing button).   Won't that be a deal no one can refuse?

I noticed a vintage L.L. Bean jacket hanging in the barn storage.  I remember my mother wearing that one.  I never thought much of it then, but she always had a good eye for good labels and .......if I don't start wearing it myself, it may be the next item listed.


Ready for the Christmas party

 I'm going to an event on Friday in Indianapolis.  I needed something a little bit dressy.  I tried on a couple dresses and decided that with the weight I've gained I didn't need to be showing my legs. So, I ended up with this red sparkly top.  I'll wear my black skinny pants and wedge heel black suede boots.  I haven't bought a new winter dress coat in years! What I've got will have to do!


Goodwill: Shop, Donate, Shop, Donate, Shop

I dropped off some things at the Goodwill a couple of days ago.  Of course, I thought I should go in to check selling prices so I could declare the right amount for tax purposes.  While there, I ran across a skirt exactly like this one, at right,  posted on Ebay for $45.00.  The one at the store was a medium, new with tags; the one on Ebay is small, new with tags.  I passed up buying the one at Goodwill.  I am "watching" the one on Ebay. . . so far no bids received.  Click here to view it. I was proud of myself for not buying something to post when I have so much at home,

  I  did purchase a set of 4 silicone lids and discovered that these were originally quite expensive.  They are Charles Viancin Hibiscus like the set shown below.  Mine were only  $3.50; these priced at $40.95.  Top Left is a Vintage Maid divided vegetable dish, brown drip pattern.  I needed that, too!   When I was married way back around 1975, Pflatzgraf Gourmet was the dish type we had.  I am still toting those around to this day and have a cabinet full as well as a lot of pieces in the barn.  Several other companies - Hull and Vintage Maid for two - have a similar brown drip pattern.  That's it a day of shop, donate, shop, donate.


Mom's Christmas Recipes - Homemade Soft Carmels, Cheesecake

I am going to try another of Mom’s recipes today.  This one is for CARMEL CANDY.  The soft ones.  I’ve been a little hesitant to try it because it is different than most I see on the internet.  This one calls for a whole pound of butter!  Most of the recipes I researched have a little less sugar and are asking for 1 CUP of butter.  However, I doubted her on the cheesecake recipe only to find out it was right on. That one follows this candy recipe:

Mom’s Homemade Soft Carmels

1 lb butter                     3 cups sugar

½ tsp salt                      1 can Eagle Brand Milk

1 pint Karo white syrup

Bring Karo to a boil, add butter bring to a boil again.  Add sugar and salt.  Add milk slowly.  Stirring constantly.  Cook 30 minutes.   Add nuts and pour on buttered candy sheet.  This made about 3-3/4 # of candy.  As you can see the 1# of butter came out fine.

Mom’s Cheesecake – New York Style

Cream well to soften.........3(8-oz) pkg of cream cheese. 

Beat until stiff...................4 egg whites.

Blend in. . . . 1 cup sugar + 2 Tbsp flour.  Combine with cheese mixture. Add 1 tsp vanilla.

Pour into *prepared 9” springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.  Then proceed to add topping below.

* If graham crackers (about 15 squares): 1 ¼ cup crumbs, 2 Tbsp Sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter. 

I like to use other, sweeter cookies crumbled for the crust.  I omit the sugar in that case.

Topping: Mix together and spread over top:  2 cups thick sour cream, 2 Tbsp sugar, ½ tsp vanilla.  Bake 5 minutes longer at 475 degree (very hot oven). 

When removed from oven, I like to sprinkle the top with the lemon jello (pdw).

Notes on making Cheesecake:    Be sure to use a larger pan – a 9” instead of 8” springform.  Forget about making a perfect “no crack on top” cheesecake for two reasons.  First, in order to make sure it has cooked long enough - stick a knife in there and make sure it comes out clean!  Second, it won’t make any difference if there is a crack on top because this cheesecake has a wonderful sour cream/sugar topping that covers the top. Also, go ahead and splurge on some lemon jello.  Mom used to shake some of this straight from the package over the topping.  It gives just a hint of lemon flavor.  I think it is even better than lemon zest.

I really did use all 4 sticks of butter!  This makes a FULL 9 X 13 pan.


Message from Emanuel

Yesterday when I went to the mailbox, I found this CD lying in the grass.  Since some friends and I recently attended a workshop on Angels at the Playful Soul in Indianapolis, I can only assume this Angel is sending me a message.  Here is what I found on EMMANUEL:

Emmanuel is loosely translated as "God is with us." He often carries a long sword that opens multidimensional windows through which magic and miracles can travel. He is often mistaken for Metatron. Emmanuel's name is also sometimes used to identify otherwise nameless angels.

Emmanuel loves the color orange as well as fresh flowers. Butterflies often appear when you call upon him. You will feel the gentle stirring of love, hope, and joy in your heart immediately. Emmanuel reminds us that God is within everyone and everything and that magic and miracles can become a part of everyday life if we are willing to allow them.

Emmanuel will remind you to celebrate every moment and to see the sacred in the mundane. Just as a caterpillar becomes a chrysalis and then transforms into a beautiful butterfly, he will help revamp your life in miraculous ways. When you call upon Emmanuel, expect to be asked to go within and to deepen your self-understanding.

More info on 7 Guardian Angels can be found HERE.


A Golden Milk Party

According to a recent post seen on Facebook,   Golden Milk is a great cure all.  I copied that recipe and hope to soon have a little get together with my like-minded friends where we sample this magic potion.  I also did a little Googling and found Wellness Mama has a great article on the subject HERE.   Another link by Savory Lotus lists the benefits of Turmeric as follows: 

The many amazing health benefits of Turmeric include:
  • Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic
  • Powerful analgesic for inflammatory pain
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Promotes healthy digestion
  • Anti-carcinogenic
  • Liver detoxifier
  • Regulates metabolism
  • Beneficial for skin conditions
  • Promotes healthy cholesterol levels
  • Improves brain function and reduces risk of brain disease
  • May slow the progression of Alzheimer’s
  • May lower risk of heart disease
The first recipe I am posting is the one I originally saw on FB.  The three following are from Wellness Mama.  It looks like you can substitute maple syrup or raw honey for the stevia.  Also, both sources emphasized the importance of some fat (coconut oil) and pepper - for absorption.

Golden Milk Paste
1/2 c water, 1/4 cup turmeric.  Stir 7-10 minutes over gentle heat until thick.  Can be stored up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

2 c coconut milk                        1 tsp chopped ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon                      1 tsp - 1 TBsp turmeric paste
1 tsp coconut oil                      1 pinch stevia
                         4-6 peppercorns

Simmer 10 minutes on low.  Strain to rid of peppercorns and ginger.   Makes 2 cups.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Drink immediately.

_______________________Recipes from Wellness Mama_______________________________
Golden Paste: 1/2 cup organic turmeric powder
1/2 cup clean water (no fluoride)
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil
In a stainless steel pot cook together: Water, turmeric and black pepper until it forms a thick paste, stir and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add virgin coconut oil, using a whisk to fully mix in the coconut oil. Finally, transfer to a glass jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.

Golden Milk: 1 tsp. Golden Paste
2 cups Almond Milk or Coconut Milk
1/8 teaspoon Vanilla (Optional)
Molasses to taste.
Pinch cinnamon (Optional)
In a stainless steel pot-gently heat, but do not boil, milk with 1 teaspoon paste. Use whisk
Add molasses and vanilla and cinnamon to taste.

Ingredients for Turmeric Tea Golden Milk Recipe

2 cups of milk of choice (almond, pecan, coconut and dairy all work in this recipe)

  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric (where to find it)
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon (where to find it)
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup or to taste (optional)
  • Pinch of black pepper (increases absorption)
  • Tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

  • Instructions

    1. First, blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
    2. Then, Pour into a small sauce pan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
    3. Drink immediately
    How to Make a Dry Turmeric Tea Mix

    If you’d rather not mix up the spices each time, you can easily make a mixture of the spices and just add to warmed milk when ready.
    Mix up:
    • 1/2 cup turmeric powder
    • 1/4 cup cinnamon powder
    • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    • 1-2 Tablespoons ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne (optional)
    Then, just add 2 teaspoons of this mix to 2 cups of milk of choice for a faster recipe.


    Building Blocks Mystery Shawl, Stephen West

    I am knitting the 2016 Stephen West Mystery Shawl featured through Ravelry.  I have just started Section 7, Week 3's Clue.  I got a late start and many of the participants have already finished.   This link should take you to a forum post filled with photos of some of the other participants shawls.  I love looking at all the different results from the same pattern.  According to Ravelry there are a "known" 2,510 people who have signed up for this project.    The pattern calls for a lot of Stitch markers.  I finally ended up getting into my beading supplies and making several with Tiger Tail beading wire. 

    Below are a couple pictures of Stephen with two examples of his Finished Objects.


    Since the first grade........

    My family moved to this farm when I was in the first grade.  Of course, time passed and I have lived a lot of different places.  But, here I am, back at the farm. In fact, I have been back here full-time for the last 10 years.  This summer I have been staying in my old bedroom.  The main reason is because it can get TV reception. The room is small but little nooks and crannies offer lots of places for storage.   The drawersto the right contain all kinds of beading and craft supplies, as does the desk aross from it  I hung the silly orange lighted mirror picture (it plays surf sounds when lighted and turned on) in anticipation of using this room for meditation.  HA!

    The only thing I am really dissatisfied with is the darn TV.  First of all it is too big for my little room and secondly look at the visible wires used to run the thing.  I could scooch them all under the bed but every time I jiggle or move them, the picture goes out.  I've tried this same TV in my big bedroom but it only gets a few stations in there. So, until I can figure out this problem I may just continue to sleep in my old childhood bedroom.


    Farm maintenance

    Here is an example of some of the work associated with living at my place  A couple of weeks ago I put the bush hog on the tractor (not an easy job for a 70-year old woman) and mowed down the decorative grass the runs along the road in front of my house.  After mowing, it is really necessary to  burn the remaining mess. 

    I got that job accomplished this afternoon.   Last year I didn't mow it down and when the snow comes the tall grass works like a fence.  It stops the snow and makes impassable drifts. I think my neighbors with be happy when the smoke clears.


    Friends at the Light Festival

    Here are some photos taken Sunday at the Light Festival at Sharonville, Ohio on Sunday November 20, 2016.  That's me on the left wearing my Exploration Station Shawl - a Stephen West Mystery Shawl project from a couple years age. (Looks like I need to adjust that thing........ I hope I didn't walk around all day wearing it like a giant bib!) 

    Here is Debbie. In this picture she is trying out the DoTerra oils.

    There is a lot to see and do at The Victory of Light festival.  It has gotten a lot bigger over the years.  It is held in the Sharonville Convention Center.  This particular 2-day event has speakers all day long in addition to the vending area that consists of 3 large rooms.   I guess I have been attending this type of show too long because none of the topics were of much interest to me.  The couple of lectures I attended contained  very basic info I was already acquainted with.  I did win a drawing and received a free psychic reading.  Nothing in the reading I wanted to hear either  It basically ended up being a session with the man telling me to sell my farm.  It does enter my mind to put my place up for sale but that isn't any new information.  That is something I think and wrestle with every day.  I am pretty much convinced there is nothing to be learned from a psychic reading that you don't already know.  I paid for another reading and this woman spent five minutes describing my aura!   How in the heck is that helpful?  Then she got on the farm and more advise to sell................ blah, blah blah

    Besides me and Debbie another friend and neighbor, Ann, made the trip with us.  She currently has her poperty up for sale.  I'm kind of waiting to see how that goes for her.  We are both too old to be doing all the work involved in keeping up the type of  places we own.  The difference is - her family is behind her making the move.  In my case, my son would be very upset if I sold. Decisions, decisions!


    AGE 70, Still Standing November 2016 -   Just adding an updated photo to my blog.  I made it through all the (January/February 2016) cancer radiation/chemo treatments and have had a couple good reports through PET scans and PAP tests since my last radiation treatment February .  I do still have some kidney issues as a result of either the original tumor or the treatments.  I am not really clear on all of that.  Anyway, I thought this would be a good time to record all of the procedures I have been through.  It is just for my personal records since the paper I have them noted on seems to keep getting lost.  My original cancer diagnosis came in October of 2015.  Since then I have been subjected to the following hospital procedures, most of which  required anesthesia (in bold). The Nephrostomy and PIC Line were placed under a local.......

    Daily Radiation (5X week) started 1/5/2016 and ended 2/23/16)
    Chemo once a week began 1/6/2016 with last dose on 2/11/16 - I think one treatment was cancelled because of kidneys.  I also had a lot of infusions during this period, but didn't really track them.  They usually followed the radiation treatments with some extras thrown in after the external radiation ended. I think the PIC line was in until April sometime because of additional hydration treatments.

    11/19/15 - Cold Knife Biopsy
    11/23/15 - PET Scan
    12/24/15 - Left Stent
     1/05/15  - PIC Line inserted
     1/28/16 -  Internal Radiation
     2/01/16  - Bilateral Stents
     2/04/16 -  Internal Radiation
     2/12/16 -  Internal Radiation
     2/18/16  - Internal Radiation
     2/25/16  - Internal Radiation
     4/15/16  - Bilateral Stents
     7/11/16  - Bilateral Stents
     8/23/16  - PET Scan
     8/25/16  - Flat X-ray of Kidneys
     8/29/16  - Nephrostomy Tube & Bag
    10/18/16 - Bilateral Stents, Neph tube removed

    Well, that's it for now. I will be receiving a call Mid January for my next Stent Replacement surgery.

    No wonder my eyes show a little of the strain!  Not quite myself but feeling better and better.


    Panama Hat - October 21, 2016

    I have spent the better part of 2 days working on this hat only to find out it is too big.  So, I guess I will start the unraveling.  For reference, the pattern I used follows:  (This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download ).  After studying the pattern given, it is wrong.  I started round 8 with 16 (4 DC +ch+FPDC+ch) or 7 stitches X 16 repeats for a total of 112 stitches.  The child's hat was supposed to be 96 stitches, so I should have stopped at round 6 with 16 (3D
    C+ch+FPDC+ch) or 6 stitches X 16 repeats for a total of 96 stitches!  Pattern is wrong! 


    More Slow Cooker Soap - August 1, 2016

    Soapmaking August 1, 2016:  I had 4 oz of Lye left from my previous soap making.  I decided to try this recipe.  Although found in the Handmade Soap Book by Melinda Cross, the recipe below was provided by (p 27) Lori Schenkelberg:
    20 oz (567 g) vegetable fat (Crisco)
     6 oz (170 g) coconut oil
     6 oz (170 g) palm oil
    12 oz (340 g) distilled water
    4 ¼ oz (120g) lye

    My Changes:  I had some flax oil on hand and used it in place of the palm oil.  I did not have Crisco and used Vegetable Shortening from Aldi.  For color I used 1 tsp tumeric mixed with some fragrance oils I had around the house.  I even added some patchouli essential oil and some clove oil.

    Notes on this batch:  The soap began to trace at around 10 minutes.  I then put the lid on the cooker and continue to slow cook on low for a total of 60 minutes.  I did stir the mixture a couple times.  After 20 minutes it was already a thick glop.  After another 20 minutes there was some oil floating around the edges.  I stirred the mixture and finished cooking for a total of  60 minutes - mixture looked like vaseline.  After mixing in the color and essential oils,  I glopped the mixture into the molds. It took about  3 hours for the large bread pan mold to cool and harden enough to remove.  This soap is still soft so will probably need a week of drying time to harden.

    So far, : The Prairie Homestead Slow Cooker Soap is the hardest and quickest soap.


    Slow Cooker Soap

    7/26/16 - More Slow Cooker Soap:

    The recipe below is what I used for this soap.  I was well pleased with how easy it was to make.  I used my smaller 4 qt crock pot without any problems.  I did let the lye misture cool down to around 130, and also the cooled the melted oils to about 130.  When I added the lye solution it seemed like it immediately started to thicken and reached trace in around 5 minutes. this batch fit perfectly in the silicone loaf pan.  I did end up with a round bar because when it set up (that was very quick, too) I sliced off the crumbly top layer, added a little water, reheated in a saucepan then added it to a small mold.

    Homemade Hot Process Soap Recipe in a Crock Pot
    Author: The Prairie Homestead
    Recipe type: DIY - Soap

    ·                            10 oz olive oil
    ·                            20 oz coconut oil
    ·                            9 oz distilled water
    ·                            4.78 oz 100% pure lye (135 g)
    ·                            Essential oils for scent (optional)
    ·                            Other Equipment:
    ·                            Digital scale
    ·                            Safety gear (safety glasses, long sleeves, gloves)
    ·                            Stick blender
    ·                            Crock pot
    ·                            Non-metal dishes and utensils
    1.                Measure out the olive and coconut oil.
    2.                Place the coconut oil in the slow cooker, and turn it on so it begins to melt.
    3.                Measure out the other ingredients, weighing each and every one on the digital scale first.
    4.                Once the coconut oil has completely melted, add the olive oil to the crockpot and allow it to mingle and warm up.
    5.                Add the lye to the water, stirring slowly. Do this in a place with ample ventilation, while wearing your safety equipment.
    6.                Add the dissolved lye/water mixture to the melted oils in the crockpot. Stir gently.
    7.                With the stick blender, continue to mix/stir for several minutes until you reach "trace."
    8.                Place the lid on the crockpot, set the timer for 50 minutes, and allow the mixture to cook on LOW.
    9.                If the soap tries to bubble out of the crockpot, give it a stir.
    10.            Line the soap molds with parchment paper (if required)
    11.            Once the 50 minutes has elapsed, perform the "zap test": I like to do this by grabbing a small amount of the soap mixture, allowing to cool for a second, and then touching it to my tongue. If it "zaps" me, I know there is still lye remaining in the mixture and it needs to cook longer. If it just tastes like soap, we're ready for the next step.
    12.            Allow the mixture to cool slightly before adding any additives.
    13.            Press/pour the soap mixture into the mold, making sure to press it into all the corners and smooth out the top as much as possible.
    14.            Set it aside for 12-24 hours, or until it sets completely. (Usually, overnight is plenty of time).
    15.            Remove the soap from the mold, cut it into bars.
    16.            Allow it to dry for another day or so to allow it to harden up a bit.


    Hot Process Soap

    7/25/16 - My soap from Sunday 7/24 is finished and pictured here.   I am going to let it dry and hopefully  it will harden a little more.  Right now it is still a little soft for my liking.  I decided to get a bigger slow cooker because I didn't want to worry about runover while cooking and the lye was still caustic.  I think it was a good decision because at one point the foamy, cooking soap almost reached the top of my new 7 quart cooker.

    For some of the olive oil in this batch I used the olive oil from my herbal salve making.  Blog entry here.

    I already have my next recipe picked out.  It is available on the internet here.  I have posted the recipe on my blog 7/26/16.   I will use the remainder of my herbal olive oil for this batch.

    NOTE:  I have been having all kinds of computer connection problems   I also couldn't get my blog entries to save, edit or update.  Some of the links have not been working because I couldn't get them to update.I am working on getting things fixed.  Hope this entry has been edited.


    Crock Pot Soap Making - Hot Process

    7/23/16 -  I have made soap a couple different times.  It has been some time ago and I am ready for more so I spent the day gathering up all the supplies I need to make a batch of hot process slow cooker soap.  I even purchased a Crock Pot to use from the Goodwill store for only $3.99.  The last time I made hot process soap I cooked it in the oven,  It is too hot here now to run the oven and I like the idea of using a crock pot.   I would have preferred a 5 qt cooker but I think this 4 qt (128 oz) cooker will work.  The ingredients I am using total 93 oz.  Total cost for this batch around $20.  Here are the ingredients:

    32 oz lard ($3.58)
    10 oz Canola ($1.99)
      4 oz Coconut Oil ($2.00)
    10 oz Olive Oil (leftover from healing salve ???)
    21 oz Distilled Water ($ . 89)
    7.2 oz Lye (204 g on the scale) ($5.97)
    Essential Oil ($???)

    Using the .Lye Calculator at MMS Sage I came up wiith 21 ounces water and to stay in the 5% to 8% excess fat range for lye - 7.2 to 7.5 oz.  These figures are consistent with a recipe called Down Home & Broke Soap, pg 99 of Handcrafted Soap by Delores Boone.

    Original Down Home & Broke Soap
    32 ounces (909 g) lard or tallow
    24 ounces (682 g) canola,  corn, sunflower, safflower or any combination of these four vegetable oils
    21 ounces (596 g) distilled water
    7.2 ounces (204 g) lye

    Quote from the book: When using a slow cooker to make the recipes in this book, make sure it measures 5-6 quarts and has a low-heat setting.  Keep in mind that all slow cookers heat differently, and the length of time the soap cooks may differ. - I guess  I will be getting a different cooker tomorrow.  I don't want a batchful of lye active soap running over. :(


    Honor your Belly Belt

    I have made my own "Honor Your Belly Belt" based on a project featured in the book Crafts for the Spirit and created by Lisa Sarasohn.  The idea is to celebrate your belly as your body's sacred center—the site of your soul power, the abode of the Sacred Feminine as she dwells within you.  Decorate your belt with an ancient symbol, perhaps one that you've received in a dream or vision, that identifies your body's center with the universal center, the source of life.  I have used the eye of Horus.  To me it is a symbol of power as well as healing, renewal and a powerful protective amulet.   I will probably add a reiki symbol in the near future.

    Sarasohn, a veteran Kripalu yoga teacher and writer on yoga and health, writes that the life force focused in the belly "activates your physical, emotional and spiritual vitality. It's the source of your passion and creativity, your courage and confidence, your capacity to love fully. It's the starting point of your intuition, insight, and sense of purpose." In this scenario, a bloated, uncomfortable belly is the sign of something out of balance in your life. Sarasohn sees the belly as the site of women's soul power and connection to "Source Energy."  The Honor Your Belly Belt is just one part of a program Lisa has created to reclaim this sacred center of the body.

    Also, since ancient times, priests and holy men have been wearing sacred clothing to illustrate that important, soulful work is going on.  By wearing this special garment when "working", it is my hope that all the creative circuits in my soul will be operating and releasing into the ethers the best of my crativity.

    This piece has an inside pocket for placing crystals, symbols, affirmations.   I sometimes have a "bloated, uncomfortable belly" since all of my radiation treatments.  A little extra loving, healing attention focused on this area can only help.

    Here is a picture of the belt created by Lisa Sarasohn.  She is asking $250 for this piece.


    Roses from Trader Joe's

    2/21/16 - Check out these roses I received from Randy for Valentine's Day.  He got them at Trader Joe's.  Aren't they beautiful.  For the first few days I had them, I had to hide them in the back room at Randy's  because his cat, Jenny, would not leave them alone.  We were afraid they might make her sick since she just wanted to bite/eat them.  Luckily, here it is a week later and they are still beautiful. They opened so BIG!  As big as a peony!

    Not much else is new here.  Approaching my last week of treatments.  I have one more brachytherapy session on Thursday.  That knocks me down for a couple days.  I guess it is the anesthesia.  Last week my regular doctor was off and the replacement guy looked like Richard Gere!   My regular doctor who is like a big, black, cuddly Teddy Bear (I really like him) will be back.  I suppose there will be scans and a few more hydrations before I hear how successful the whole course of treatment went.  Then it will be a period of rest and recuperation.  Then it will be Spring and time to get off my lazy patoot and get some work done around this place!!!


    Goody Bag

    2/11/16 - Thursday - I am receiving hydration with Potassium today.  Four hours of that followed by another 2 hours of chemo if I pass the blood tests they took upon arrival.  I should have brought my "adult" coloring books and pens.  Yes, I received the most wonderful goody bag on Tuesday from some old school friends.  Check out the photo.  In fact, there was so much in the goody bag - which was Vera Bradley by the way, with matching change purse - I had to take 2 photos!

    Contents: Two adult coloring books, a stand with 30 Gel Pens, the Vera Bradley bag contained a nail file, fancy hair tie, hand lotions, Burts Bees lip balm, water bottle, colored bendy straws, two pair of Aloe infused footie socks from Bath & Body, Word Find book, Crossword Book, Country Garden Book, Home & Garden Book, and a Beautiful navy blue plush throw!  It was like Christmas!  Thank you, Steve and Camile!

    Since I will be at the Chemo Lounge for about 6 hours, I brought my laptop with me today.  It was needing a Microsoft Securities update.  That wasn't going through on my home connection so maybe at least I will get it done here.


    My Friend's Lime Chicken and Some Frozen Treats

    February 8, 2016 Monday - In Indianapolis, we have Trader Joe's grocery,  with innovative, hard-to-find, great-tasting foods under the “Trader Joe’s” name. For example, this package of Linguine with Pesto and Tomatoes is something I really liked. When I opened it I found these little nests with a dab of sauce and little tomatoes. Quite tasty!  I am also looking forward to trying the 5 cheese Greek Spiral shown at right.   Trader Joe's carries an interesting line of beauty products, oils, teas, soaps, etc.   Their Oatmeal Dunkers are quite popular, too.  In case I get the urge to cook, I am adding the baked chicken dish below to my blog.  It was given to me by a friend who is a very good cook. 

    Baked Lime Chicken:  person who taught me to make it used a whole cut up chicken, but I would use several similarly sized pieces. Line a 9-13 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Lay chicken pieces in the pan. Lay rings of sweet onion over chicken as well as two or three garlic cloves cut up. Depending on how many pieces of chicken, halve 2 or 3 limes and squeeze over chicken. Lay the limes in the pan among the chicken pieces. Marinate for several hours. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously dot chicken with butter. Bake for about two hours. I know that seems like a long time but it works. If you use legs you might shorten the time some.



    Coming to an end - treatments and Doodler

    2/3/16 - Wednesday, Here is my finished Doodler.  I don't think I need anymore scarves so my next project will be something different --- hat, baby item, something for charity.

    In addition to finishing  my Doodler, I am on my (I think)  last week of external radiation with one more on Friday.  Tomorrow I go for my second internal radiation treatment and will have 3 more to follow.  My chemo doctor said one more chemo next week and that may finish that off, too.  I guess I am on the downhill of treatments!  Of  course, radiation stays with you for some time after treatments so it will be a little while before I am back to my old self.   This week started off at Community Hospital where I had stents put in the kidneys.  I had a left stent put in Christmas Eve, it was replaced and a stent put in on the right side also.  That procedure on Monday, plus tomorrow's Brachytherapy (Internal radiation therapy) will make two times this week under anesthesia.  I am beginning to feel the effects!  Here is the little prayer I say when going in for treatments:

    Creator, Infinite Spirit, Mother Father God, I request the presence of the Angels and Archangels of Healing, my Reiki guides and forces, and the purest and most holy spiritual guides.  I ask that these energies gather with me at this time to allow this session to be used for the highest good and healing of __me__.  Thank you for this guidance.  Amen.


    Cold and Treatments

    1/14/16 - It has been frosty cold here with temperatures in the teens and snow, blowing and drifting!  Today has warmed up and the snow is melting but more zero weather will be here by Sunday.  I guess it can be expected in January (my least favorite month, with February a close second).  I didn't mind it so much as a retired person who could just stay home, but with these treatments EVERY day, it is a real challenge.  Randy has been great about taking me.
        I did my second chemo yesterday.  Again, no nausea.  I did stop and fill a prescription just in case.  I had to be given an extra bag of fluids and was told to drink more water.  I looked at my info and it suggests 3 quarts  (96 oz) of water a day to protect the kidneys.  I guess that is more than the extra 2 (12 oz) bottles I thought had me covered.  I've decided to just put a gallon of water in the refrigerator and drink that every day then I will know I've had enough.



    1/9/15 - I went to the casino this morning to play the last of my holiday casino money won at the Christmas Party in December.  All invited members were treated to a nice dinner and allowed to go down to the casino stage and pick a box which contained various amounts of casino cash.  I think the highest amount you could receive was $1,000 for 4 weekends.  My box contained a voucher for $250 casino cash for 4 weekends.  The last installment was today.  And, it paid off ---  I hit a Jackpot of  $2,078.28.  I got out of there a winner today.  I even stopped and bought 2 Powerball tickets hoping my luck would continue.  The Powerball is currently something like 940 million dollars!  Largest ever!

    I do have something in mind for my winnings.  My electric blanket has died on one side.  I will take the control apart tonight and see if I can fix it.  If not, I believe one of these plush heated blankets available at Carson's will do the trick.   They are predicting snow and temperatures in the teens for tomorrow morning.  I wish I had the new blanket now.


    The Doodler

    1/7/16 - At left is a picture of my WIP knitting project.  It is another Stephen West Mystery Shawl.  I waited until the others were finished with their shawls to begin mine so I would know what to expect.  I still didn't get the colors I wanted.  I thought the Zauberball would be really bright.  The colors, although bold, are more of a drab intensity.  I also wanted bright gold or a turquoise for accent colors.  Not available in the $11 yarn price range.  So, I settled for a teal blue, a red and a black.  Like I said, it is still not turning out as expected.

    This picture is my PIC line.  I must admit the nurse who put it in was wonderful.  The dangly things get in the way but I can still knit and type!  My first chemo was yesterday.  It included several other drugs; i.e. steroid, Benadryl, and the cisplatin, something to hydrate me and God knows what else, Oh, something for nausea.   The good news is, it hasn't really bothered me...... the only noticeable effect other than being sleepy is my cheeks are red and feel flushed.  The nurse said the steroid would do that.  I only do this once a week, so maybe I will make it.


    PIC in place.........

    1/5/16 - Today I had my first radiation treatment.  I went directly over to the emergency room to have my new "buddy" the PIC Line inserted.  Actually, it wasn't too bad.  In fact, the assistant named Kelli kept my mind occupied during the insertion with her love life stories. Quite interesting how she came home from work one day to find her husband of 30 years had moved out, marriage over.  It has a happy ending.  She got the 4500 square foot home and a little over 2 years later she is remarried to a man 16 years younger.  She even had pictures of their wedding on the beach!

    I was told the chemo drug irritates the smaller veins so they send the drug thru a larger artery   ------ AND STRAIGHT TO THE HEART!  I can't say this sounds like a good idea but I guess that is the way they do it.

    Below are pictures of flowers I received when in the hospital 12/24/15 for the kidney stent!  They are very pretty, still blooming and make things a little cheerier even now, days later.  The yellow and white roses are from my son.  The pretty tinted carnations and bird of paradise came from a dear friend and her daughters.

    Anyway...........I also ran into a neighbor at the store.  Seems my other neighbor's husband had a heart attack last night.  Several of his stents are blocked but evidently all  is going well now because he will probably be sent home tomorrow.