Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Catching up...


These are home health remedies that have been emailed to me or that I found on the Internet.  I have not tried them all and do NOT guarantee the effectiveness of them.  If you try one and it works, or if you have one that works for you, please email me.  Thanks.
Acne, Blackheads & Pimples
  • Dab a small amount of toothpaste (paste, not gel) on pimples before bed; this helps dry out the pimples.
  • Mix equal amounts of lemon juice and rose water, apply to face with a cotton ball, and allow to sit for 30 minutes before rinsing. 15-20 days of this application helps cure pimples and also helps to remove blemishes and scars.
  • Apply fresh lemon juice on the affected area overnight. Wash off with warm water next morning.
  • For acne that hasn't seemed to respond to anything, steep 2-3 tsp. dried basil leaves in 1 cup boiling water for 10-20 minutes, cool, and apply to affected area with a cotton ball.
  • Apply a dab of honey to the pimple, cover with a band-aid and leave on overnight. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin, sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight. * My daughter and I have tried this one and we think it works.
  • Paint Elmers glue onto face, let dry and then peel off and see the black heads and dead skin. (*Much cheaper than those strips they sell in the stores!)
I have neglected my journal this past week and I apologize for that.  However, Thanksgiving week gets pretty busy around here.  We have a total of 6 kids (his, hers and ours) that were coming for dinner.  Four of them have boyfriends or girlfriends, which brought our dinner list up to 10 people.  My mother also came and Ray's friend Dennis.  That makes a total of 13 people for dinner.  So I told everyone that we would be having dinner at 5:30pm and then we would have a sort of "dessert open house" at 7:30pm for the rest of family (mainly Ray's brothers) to come over and then probably kareoke and cards afterwards.

I decided to eat later in the day this year because the kids have their other parents, grandparents and their boy/girlfriends parents houses to  go to on the holidays.  For example, ours was the 4th place that Sammi and her boyfriend, Matt, had been that day.  Unfortunately, this year as it got darker and colder, a real nasty fog started.  So Aimee and her friend, Robert, were unable to make it down from Michigan.

David and Christopher (my sons) ended up spending the whole weekend with us.  It was a real good time.  Rylie usually doesn't get to spend a whole lot of time with her brothers and sisters because they are so much older and have a lot going on.  School, work, boy/girlfriends, etc.  So she had a blast.  She really attached herself to Chris.  LOL, the poor kid...when she wasn't making him give her piggy backs around the house she had him watching Ice Age or some other kids movie with her.

Friday night all of the kids were back here at the house.  Except for Sammi and Matt.  We ended up taking them all to the Golden Corral, one of those big buffet places.  We had never been there before.  We were fairly impressed.  Since it was Friday they had steak, and it was actually quite good.  Christopher ate 3 big steaks!  OhMahGosh!  I don't know where he put them, and then he hit the dessert bar twice, I think.  
Saturday we ended up having a bunch of people over again.  We were supposed to be playing dice, but it ended up turning into a little party and after a while the dice game was abandoned.  Chris got tired and went to bed around 11 or 12, which meant that Rylie's movie partner wasn't around and she was attached to me from that point on. 
So I spent the rest of the night with her, oh and cleaning up the mess of broken glass that apparently jumped down onto the floor all by itself.  No big deal, just the antique green glass jar that I kept the popcorn kernels in.  Of course, it had to break into teeny tiny pieces so I spent some time trying to make sure I got it all off the floor, while trying to keep Rylie from trying to help me.

I think the party pretty much broke up around 1am or so, although some of the fools, who brains seem to dissolve in alcohol, ended up at the bar.  There's a real good way to spoil a fun evening and make spouses think twice about whether or not they want to come over the next time we have a get together.   

Sunday everyone slept in.  I got up and finally went and got started on some Christmas shopping.  I found some toy kitchen pots and pans for Rylie.  Maybe she'll leave mine alone if she has her own to play with while I'm cooking.  I also found some little toy plates and a tea set.  I want to get her a little kitchen.  But I've decided I don't like those bulky plastic ones, and I ended up finding a real nice wooden one at Target.  It is real cute, but it is also $79.99.  I don't know.  This is one of those times I wish I had a wood shop, lol. 

The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning up from the night before and just hanging around watching movies and what not.  All in all, it was a pretty good weekend.
I am going to post tomorrows entry here today.  I have to get up early to get some bloodwork done and go downtown to the health department to pick up my prescriptions.  I'm not sure if I'll have time to post it tomorrow in the morning and if I don't get it done in the AM then it's not likely to get done.  Best just to do it now and be done with it.
A cleaning tip, or two, that you may find useful.  As I say on my Web page, these are tips that have been emailed to me, or that I have found on the Internet.  I have not tried all of them and do NOT guarantee their effectiveness.  If you do try one and it works, or if you have another one that works for you, please let me know.

Red Dye Stains
  • For red food dye stains on counters, like those left by drinks, use straight rubbing alcohol, enough to puddle on the stain. Leave it for several minutes and wipe away. Use a sudsy cleaner on counter after.
I hope everyone had a great holiday and made it where they were going and back home again safely. 
Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Cleaning tip, taking control and an appetizer recipe


A cleaning tip, or two, that you may find useful.  As I say on my Web page, these are tips that have been emailed to me, or that I have found on the Internet.  I have not tried all of them and do NOT guarantee their effectiveness.  If you do try one and it works, or if you have another one that works for you, please let me know.

Oven and Microwave Cleaning

Microwaves can be cleaned easily by putting a sponge soaked in white vinegar in the microwave and cooking it for 2 minutes. Don’t open the microwave for about 5 minutes. The stuck on food should slide right off.

The same procedure can work with ovens except use a shallow pan with a couple of cups of white vinegar and no sponge. Cook for 5-10 minutes and leave in the oven to cool for about 30 minutes. Food will slide right off.

Any left over lemon juice can be squeezed onto the sponge to keep it fresh but to control germs you should bleach it or run it through the dishwasher on a regular basis.


This is another inspiration email from Spark People.  You know how these things can get me rambling, lol.

"The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them." - George Bernard Shaw, playwright

Are you creating your own life?

Take a moment to look at the circumstances of your world. Is it what you want to see? What could you do differently to take one step closer to your ideal vision? We're all dealt different hands in life. That's how things are. To change things, you have to first accept that fact, then figure out where to go from here. We should all be able to count on each other for help, but in the end, we can't expect anyone to change our lives except ourselves. Nor should we want it that way. It's natural to feel powerless and give up in the face of hardships. But complaining and blaming do nothing except prevent action. Without positive action, you're giving up your power and asking for more of the same- a world you did not create. Where you start may not be your fault, but the course you run is still your choosing.

I guess I have always waited for the pendulum to begin it's swing in the other direction.  Or for the yo-yo to come back up.  But you know that yo-yo won't come back to you if you don't give it a little jerk.

On occasion I have felt the power and strength to make the changes I needed to.  My divorce, for example, was a point where I felt completely powerless and yet still found the strength within myself to do what I needed to maintain my sanity.

I won't deny that there have been many obstacles or negatives in my life to overcome.  But I think for a long time I felt like things eventually had to swing the other way if I could just wait for it.  I spent too much time waiting for it!  I should have been effecting the change.  It is my life and I should have been more in control of it.

Sometimes it's hard to know how to make "it" happen.  Lists!  LOL, my life always comes down to a list of some kind or another.  But I think its a good way to get an honest look at the situation (whatever the situation may be).  Write down the problem, or whatever, on a sheet of paper.  There it is, staring right back at ya.  Now how important is it?  Start listing the possible solutions.  Is there anyone that could help?  Write their names down too.

Talk to others about "it" too.  Maybe someone outside the situation, or distanced from the problem will have a clearer view of it.  Maybe they will think of something that you haven't.  If nothing else, it gives you a chance to get it off your chest, to have a sounding board, and feel like you're not all alone.

LMAO!  I really need to start taking some of my own advice more often.  Now, I am going to go make a list of possible ways to get the Explorer up and running. 

Oops, but I also need to finish cleaning the carpets today and making some more homemade candy and appetizers.  It's going to be a busy day.


This is one of the many appetizers I have been working on.  I hope ya like it.

Easy Appetizers

A few pkgs. of crescent rolls
Flavored cream cheese (I like the garden veggies flavor) 1 small tub does 2 pkgs of rolls
Some sliced ham, turkey or whatever

Unroll the crescents so you have 2 strips of dough.  Pinch the perforations together.  Spread the softened cream cheese over the dough.  Put 1 layer of meat over the top, you can add another thin layer of cream cheese, if you like.  (If you do add another layer of cream cheese you'll most likely need 1 container for each roll.)

Now at the short end of the strip of dough begin rolling it up.  Pinch the end together.  I use a serrated knife and slice it in the middle, and so on, until I have 8 small pinwheels.  You'll get 16 appetizers from each package of rolls.  (Although, after I "sample" theres usually only 14) Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden. 

*I do these ahead of time, let them cool, and then freeze them.  Put in the fridge the night before you need them to defrost.  Then just heat them up as you need them.

*If you like, you can buy plain cream cheese and whip it up until creamy and then add some onion soup mix to flavor it, or whatever you'd like.


Have a great day!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Some sweet potatoe recipes

Well, I just got done making about 10 dozen meatball appetizers for Thanksgiving day.  Got on and checked my email and saw the request for an easy sweet potate casserole.  I'm not sure how easy you want it to be, but if this is too much work, I think ya can probably pick up something from Boston Market or someplace like that. 
Also you could probably just as easily replace using fresh sweet potatoes with some from a can.  Just be sure to use the correct weight.  That should take some of the work out of the process.
I've included 2 recipes.  I don't particularly care for sweet potatoes, but I've heard lots of people rave about sweet potatoe pie, so I included a recipe for one of those too.  I hope they help.

Sweet Potato Casserole

2 pounds sweet potatoes
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted  


Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Cut off woody portions and ends. Cut into quarters. In a large saucepan, cook potatoes, covered, in enough boiling salted water to cover for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender; drain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Mash lightly. Stir in sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Transfer sweet potato mixture to a 2-quart casserole dish.
In a small mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans, flour, and 1 tablespoon melted butter. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.
Bake, uncovered in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Sweet Potato Pie

1 recipe Baked Pastry Shell
2 cups cooked, mashed sweet orange potatoes* or one 17.2-ounce can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk or dairy sour cream
Whipped cream (optional)  


Prepare Baked Pastry Shell; set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, for filling, in a large bowl stir together sweet potatoes, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Add eggs. Beat lightly with a fork just until combined. Gradually stir in buttermilk until thoroughly combined.

Place the Baked Pastry Shell on the oven rack. Carefully pour filling into pastry shell. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and edges are puffed. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes or until completely cool . If desired, serve with whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours.
Makes 8 slices
Sweet Potato Pie with Hazelnut Streusel Topping: Prepare Sweet Potato Pie as directed, except bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the streusel topping. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/4 chopped toasted hazelnuts or almonds. When the pie has baked for 15 minutes, sprinkle pie with topping. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes or until completely cool.

I thought these recipes would be good with the upcoming holidays.
Honey Roasted Ham
Serves: 12
Keep it sweet and simple. A favorite during the holidays, this is a heartwarming addition to dinner and leftovers.

5 pounds ready-to-eat ham (can also use pre-sliced)
1/4 cup whole cloves
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 cups honey
2/3 cup butter

1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
2. Score ham, and stud with the whole cloves. Place ham in foil lined pan.
3. In the top half of a double boiler, heat the corn syrup, honey and butter. Keep glaze warm while baking ham.
4. Brush glaze over ham, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Baste ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the honey glaze.
5. During the last 4 to 5 minutes of baking, turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze. Remove from oven, and let sit a few minutes before serving.
Kitchen Extra
For a better-tasting dish, avoid ham products that are labeled "Ham with Water Added" or "Ham and Water Products." Look for "Ham with Natural Juices" instead.
Here is a cake recipe for those watching their calorie intake during the holidays.
Pumpkin Spice Cake
Spray bundt pan with PAM.
1 Spice Cake Mix
1 can (15oz) pumkin
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
Mix all ingredients together
Bake in bundt pan following package directions.

Serve with cool whip, sugar free, fat free.
Have a great day!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I got this from this neat little website I found called "Men are Jerks".  LOL Isn't that funny?

"Dogs and Men" ...

How Dogs and Men Are the Same 

  1. Both take up too much space on the bed.

  2. Both have irrational fears about vacuum cleaning

  3. Both mark their territory

  4. Neither tells you what's bothering them

  5. The smaller ones tend to be more nervous

  6. Neither does any dishes

  7. Both fart shamelessly

  8. Neither of them notice when you get your hair cut

  9. Both like dominance games

  10. Both are suspicious of the postman

  11. Neither understands what you see in cats

  12. Both have an inordinate fascination with women's crotches

How Dogs Are Better Than Men

  1. Dogs do not have problems expressing affection in public

  2. Dogs miss you when you're gone

  3. Dogs feel guilty when they've done something wrong

  4. Dogs admit when they're jealous

  5. Dogs are very direct about wanting to go out

  6. Dogs do not play games with you, except fetch (and they never laugh at how you throw.)

  7. You can train a dog

  8. Dogs are easy to buy for

  9. The worst social disease you can get from dogs is fleas. (OK, really, the worst disease you can get from them is rabies, but there's a vaccine for it and you can kill the one that gives it to you).

  10. Dogs understand what "no" means.

  11. Dogs mean it when they kiss you

So in honor of our "dogs" I'm putting a recipe for puppy chow on here today.  Hope you like it.  It's a great one to let the little ones make.

Puppy Chow

9 cups rice chex cereal or crispix or similar cereal
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Place the chex cereal in a large bowl. Large enough to have enough room to stir things up. Melt the chocolate chips, margarine, and peanut butter in a microwave safe dish, in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy when stirred. Add the vanilla, and stir. Pour over the cereal and stir until the cereal is evenly coated. Put the powdered sugar in a large size plastic bag, add the coated cereal and shake until evenly coated with the powdered sugar. Spread over a sheet of waxed paper until cooled off. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Have a great day.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I am in a "mood" today.  Here are some things about me that I thought I would share with ya'll.
Things that make me sad...
Knowing that Sascha (my dearest friend) lives so far away.
My kids growing up and thinking about all the things we didn't do when they were little. 
The financial situation that dad left mom in when he died.
The thought that I may die before Rylie grows up.
When someone criticizes the way I try to keep our home organized.  Or my weird need to keep things clean and rearranging the furniture when I do a thorough cleaning.
When someone attacks me for doing things differently than they would.
Love songs---yes, some actually make me cry.  Today it was "Like red on a rose" by Alan Jackson.
Being isolated at home with no vehicle.
Realizing that 10 years ago I had many, many friends but since I've moved to Toledo I have very few.
Feeling alone and isolated.
Things that make me smile...
Getting a chance to drive the car, it makes me feel free for a moment.
A phone call from Sascha, even though I am so bad about calling her up out of the blue.
My momY
My kidsY
Hearing another person say "I love you" to me


My grandmother had dementia.  She came to live with us when I was a young teenager.  I'm not quite sure how that came about.  My mom was one of 5 girls, she was the youngest.  She was my grandma's "Rylie", lol.  I think Grandma was 39 when she had my mom.  Which would have made Grandma about 75 or so when I was 14 years old.

My grandma lived in Ashland, Ohio.  All my aunts lived there or within, at least, half an hour of Ashland.  My parents lived in Bowling Green, about 2 hours away.  I don't remember my grandmother ever coming to our house, we always went back to Ashland to visit.  So I don't know why it was that she came to live with us.  Perhaps, it was because my mom still had kids at home and we were to keep an eye on her when we got out of school.

Anyway, it was decided that Grandma couldn't live on her own anymore and she would move in with us.  So my parents went back to Ashland to collect Grandma and some of her things.  They thought that if she had a few pieces of her furniture and what-not it would help make the transition easier on her. 

One day after school, one of my brothers and I were sitting in the living room watching tv.  One of us went to go check on Grandma.  She wasn't there.  Uh-ohh, we were in trouble now.  We checked the whole house.  We looked around the neighborhood.  No sign of Grandma.  We had to call our parents. 

Grandma was found about a block or two away.  She was in the apartment complex, sitting next to the swimming pool.  She told the officer that she was somewhere back home in Ashland, next to the river. 

Another time someone opened the back door one night and found Grandma standing outside.  She had climbed out her bedroom window (I think) wearing only a bra and a pair of panties and pantie hose.  She kept talking about the man outside her window looking in.

Eventually we had to put Grandma in a nursing home.  She died there after I was married.  Dementia scares me.  I'm afraid of getting it when I get older.  I'm afraid I sometimes already see signs of it.  You know, those little forgetful moments as you get older.  Laying an item down, turning around and it's not there.  Forgettting names you know you know.  Forgetting things people told you just a week ago.  Not remembering if you took your medication that morning. 

Did I live this total life of joys and sorrows just to forget it all one day?  That just doesn't seem right somehow.  No wonder Grandma was so sad.  It wasn't the loss of her home and independence, it was the loss of so many memories, her entire life.


Friday, November 17, 2006

The nun and the cabbie

This is one of the email jokes.  My friend Sascha sent it to me.  Thanks for the giggle Sascha. 

The Nun and the Cabbie

A cabbie picks up a Nun. She gets into the cab, and notices that the VERY handsome cab driver won't stop staring at her.

She asks him why he is staring.

He replies: "I have a question to ask you but I don't want to offend you. "

She answers, " My son, you cannot offend me. When you're as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I'm sure that there's nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive."

"Well, I've always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me."

She responds,"Well, let's see what we can do about that: #1, you have to be single and #2, you must be Catholic."

The cab driver is very excited and says, "Yes, I'm single and Catholic!"

"OK" the nun says. "Pull into the next alley."

The nun fulfills his fantasy with a kiss that would make a hooker blush. But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.

"My dear child," said the nun, why are you crying?"

"Forgive me but I've sinned. I lied and I must confess, I'm married and I'm Jewish."

The nun says,"That's OK. My name is Kevin and I'm going to a Halloween party."

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Good news!

YEAAAAAAAAAA!  The doctor did NOT hear a heart murmur on Rylie today!  I could not possibly be any happier. 

I asked to make an appointment for myself when we got there to get refills on my scripts.  Luckily they had a cancellation and took me this morning while we were there.  Unluckily, my blood pressure is still up.  So they upped my scripts.  The doctor also ordered some blood work. y-i-p-p-e-e..blppphtt!  LOL

But the most important thing is that Rylie is fine.  Her ears look better and NO heart murmur.  He even said that it was so faint the last time that he put a question mark next to it.  Thank the Lord!  And all your prayers and well wishes.

                                       {{{happy dancing}}}

Home Remedy

In 2 weeks it will have been one year since I started this journal.  As you can see I've gone through my whole list of home remedies and am starting over with the A's.  As I begin to repost them, I go back online and see if I can track down any other remedies people use.  I hope, if you need a remedy, you will find one that works for you.


These are home health remedies that have been emailed to me or that I found on the Internet.  I have not tried them all and do NOT guarantee the effectiveness of them.  If you try one and it works, or if you have one that works for you, please email me.  Thanks.


  • Take one piece of Clove and suck on it slowly. This will give you relief from acidity and also help in reducing the onslaught of diseases arising out of acidity.
  • Eat a cup of vanilla ice cream or drink a glass of cold milk to get heartburn and acidity relief within minutes
  • Take a cardamom and a clove and powder it. Consume it like a mouth freshener after having your each meal. Not only this remedy will take care of your acidity problem, but also will keep away bad breath.


Today is Rylie's re-check appointment with the doctor.  It's at 9:45 this morning. That's usually the time she likes to get up.  So I should have fun waking her up this morning...NOT.  LOL  Whenever I have to wake that little girl up, she always opens one eye and gives me a real dirty look. 

I say "are you ready to get up now?"  She looks at me and say "nooo".  Then the whining starts.  Oh sheesh, I hate when she is in a bad mood.  And she is always in a bad mood if ya wake her up.  Hmm, maybe I'll just have to be sneaky and make her think she woke up on her own.  LOL 

How crazy is this?  Here I am, a grown woman, the mother of four...afraid to wake up an itty bitty 2 year old.  LOL  Okay, lets get this straight...I am NOT afraid to wake her up.  I just don't want to ruin our day with her waking up in a nasty, cranky mood.  Oh!  I know!  I'll have the Wiggles already on the tv and waiting for her to come sing and dance.  Yeah, I'll play to her ego super star side, lol.

Take care and have a good day.

PS~To the super sweet person who has been bullied and harassed.  I hope that information helped you out.  Just be careful, you might find that they will create other screen names you don't know to use to harass you. 

1. Keep copies of any IM's and/or emails.

2. If you don't recognize the name, forward it on to me.  I know how to trace it and we will take care of that problem too, if need be.

Love ya hun!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Look out Britney and Jessica!

Some days being a mom is such a blast!  I was standing there in the kitchen, after having swept the floor, and heard Rylie "yelling" about something or other.  I turned and looked and this is what I saw.

                         Image Hosted by

She was standing on the couch, hollering into the end of the broom handle. was just too cute!  The little wiggles guitar plays music and singing.  She would push the button and then start singing along with it. 

I love the pure joy and innocence of childhood.  She has absolutely no inhibitions and isn't shy about just singing right out.  We'll have her on that kareoke machine before you know it.  LOL

Have a good one!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Kitchen cleaning tip


A cleaning tip, or two, that you may find useful.  As I say on my Web page, these are tips that have been emailed to me, or that I have found on the Internet.  I have not tried all of them and do NOT guarantee their effectiveness.  If you do try one and it works, or if you have another one that works for you, please let me know.

Kitchen Cleaning

The kitchen is a special challenge because of the variety of cleaning needs. Grease can be absorbed while still fresh by throwing a bit of cornstarch or baking soda right on the grease then wiping away when cleaning the rest of the kitchen. The stove top can be treated every few months with car wax to keep the surface slick and easy to clean.


This is a "Healthy Reflections" message I got in the mail from Spark People

Stop living life for what's around the corner and start enjoying the walk down the street. - Grant L. Miller, motivational guru

Enjoying the road to accomplishment

It's possible to be a little too focused. With blinders on, it becomes easy to completely live in our vision of where we will be in the future, while ignoring the improvements that we have made in the present. The road to a healthy lifestyle is a long trip. While it's very important to realize what we are shooting for, we also need to make sure that we keep our heads in the present to enjoy the progress we've made. If your goal is to lose weight, instead of waiting to celebrate until you lose it all, enjoy today's small victories and take advantage of your improved health now. This approach serves as motivation for any aspiration in life. Set ambitious goals and enjoy the road to accomplishing those goals. Because life might pass you by if you are always planning for tomorrow without ever seeing today.

How true!  Doesn't it seem like the kids grow up before we know it?  Are we taking enough time to enjoy all the stages and phases they go through?  I know that the first time around I was too "uptight".  I was always worried about the messes they made, how they behaved in public and stuff like that.  Not that those things don't still concern me.  I just try to keep things in a better perspective now.

Of course, this time around with Rylie, I'm also older.  I hope a bit more patient.  I know how fast the time will go and try to enjoy the funny things she does, even if it means a mess.  This time around I know the difference between accidental spills and throwing food across the room (usually trying to hit mom who insists on serving veggies with dinner).

It's great to know most of what I need to in advance this time around.  I say most because Rylie is a bit more "strong willed" and "tempermental" than any of my other kids.  So, although it will be a similar trip with Rylie, I am sure it will be a journey all its own.  With its own ups and downs, different stops along the way, a brand new adventure.  

I've already learned that with David, Sammi and Chris I could count to three and they would stop whatever mis-deed they were involved in.  When I start counting with Rylie...OHMAHGOSH!  She will scream NOOOOOOOOOOO! at me.  If I countinue to count she will launch into a high pitched scream that sounds like bloody murder. 

Please realize, the only thing that happens when I get to the number 3 is that I pick her up and place her in a time out chair.  As I pick her up, she screams in my ear "Aghhhhhhhhhh!".  If I don't put her down and keep carrying her to the time out, she starts saying "oww, oww, owwwww!"  As if!  What a little manipulator, and remember she is only 2 and a half.  At least she quit biting me as I carried her to the chair.

Yes, this time around I am quite proud of the fact that I have more patience.  And thank you Lord, because I am really going to need it.  LOL  Where Sammi and I seemed to be great friends (except maybe from 12 to 14 years old), Rylie seems to battle me on everything I say to her.  It should be quite an interesting journey.


Next month Ray becomes a grand-pappy!  Rylie becomes an aunt, lol.  Seems kind of funny, but then my own mother was an aunt at one year old.  Steph is having a little girl and she say's she will not be having anymore kids.  LOL  How many women said that the first time around?

Well, I suppose I better go.  I've got to start some Thanksgiving day baking. 

Have a good one!


Monday, November 13, 2006

Slow Cooker recipes and IM tips

 Ray's daughter Steph, due with his first grandchild in December, was telling me how she had a new crock pot but hadn't used it yet.  So I put a bunch of slow cooker recipes, along with some other recipes, in plastic pages in a little binder for her.  Here are some of the slow cooker tips and recipes that I gave her. 

Slow Cooker Tips & Techniques

Brown meats and poultry first. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium for a minute or two. Add just enough oil such as canola or vegetable to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat the oil for a minute and add the food to be browned, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Brown the food evenly on all sides. Although this takes a few extra minutes, it helps to seal the meat, hold in the juices, adds extra flavor and makes it look delicious!
Cut foods of the same type into equal size pieces to ensure even cooking at the same time. If a recipe calls for potatoes, cut them all into, for example, 2-inch chunks. Not some into 1-inch chunks and some into 2-inch chunks. The same principle applies to meats.
Don't peek! Lifting the lid off your slow cooker can result in longer cooking time. Because slow cookers cook at such low temperatures, uncovering it for a minute or two can cause the temperature to drop and the cooking time to increase substantially. If you must peek, do so quickly! If you feel the urge to stir every once in a while, fight it! Unlike stove top or oven cooking, the slow cooker transfers heat evenly to the food without hot spots, so stirring isn't really necessary (unless your recipe happens to call for it).
The low temp and long cooking method of a slow cooker often causes pasta and rice to cook up pasty and starchy, which can be disappointing. So often you will find that recipes call for these items to be cooked separately and added to the finished dish, or added raw about 1 hour before the end of the cooking time.
Your slow cooker is a great appliance to keep hot beverages warm for a prolonged period of time.  Keep it on the low setting for the perfect temperature.

Be sure to clean food out of the cooker as soon as possible.  Fill with warm sudsy water and let soak for easy clean-up. 

Country-Style Pork Ribs
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 to 12 hours (low) or 5 to 6 hours (high) + 10 minutes
1 large onion, sliced and separated into rings
2-1/2 to 3 pounds country-style pork ribs
1-1/2 cups vegetable juice cocktail
1/2 of a 6-ounce can (1/3 cup) tomato paste
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1. Place onion in a 3-1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Place ribs on top of onion in cooker. In a medium bowl stir together remaining ingredients. Reserve 1 cup juice cocktail mixture for sauce; cover and refrigerate. Pour remaining juice cocktail mixture over ribs.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.
3. For sauce, in a small saucepan heat reserved juice cocktail mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Transfer ribs to serving platter; discard cooking liquid. Serve sauce with ribs. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Chicken with Mushroom Stuffing
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 4 to 5 hours (high)
Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons finely shredded lemon peel
1 tablespoon ground sage
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
8 small chicken legs (drumstick-thigh portion) (about 5 pounds), skinned
1/4 cup butter
4 cups quartered or sliced fresh mushrooms, such as cremini, baby portobello, shiitake, and/or button mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 cups sourdough baguette cut into 1-inch pieces (about 10 ounces)
1 cup coarsely shredded carrot (2 medium)
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3 tablespoons snipped fresh Italian parsley
1. Lightly coat the inside of a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the lemon peel. In a small bowl stir together the remaining lemon peel, the sage, seasoned salt, and pepper. Remove three-quarters of the sage mixture and rub onto chicken legs. Place chicken in slow cooker.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook mushrooms and garlic in hot butter over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until just tender. Stir in remaining sage mixture. Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl. Add baguette pieces and carrot. Drizzle with broth, tossing gently to combine. Lightly pack stuffing on top of chicken in cooker.

3. Cover and cook on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Using a slotted spoon, transfer stuffing and chicken to a serving platter; discard juices in cooker. In a small bowl combine reserved 1 teaspoon lemon peel, the walnuts and parsley. Sprinkle nut mixture over chicken and stuffing before serving. Makes 8 servings

Italian Chicken and Pasta
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 to 6 hours (low) or 2 1/2 to 3 hours (high)
1 9-ounce package frozen Italian-style green beans
1 cup fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 14-1/2-ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 6-ounce can Italian-style tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces dried fettuccine, cooked and drained
Finely shredded or grated Parmesan cheese (optional)  
1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker stir together green beans, mushrooms, and onion. Place chicken on vegetables in cooker.
2. In a small bowl stir together undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and garlic. Pour over chicken in cooker.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2- 1/2 to 3 hours. Serve chicken mixture over hot cooked fettuccine. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

4. For a 1-1/2-quart slow cooker: Prepare as above, except use 1 cup green beans, 1/2 cup mushrooms, 1 small onion, 8 ounces chicken thighs, one 8-ounce can tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 clove garlic, and 3 ounces dried fettuccine. Stir 1 chopped Roma tomato into cooker just before serving. Cover and cook as above. If cooker does not have heat settings, cook for 4 to 5 hours. Makes 2 (1-1/4 cup) servings.

Shredded-Beef Sandwiches
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 11 to 12 hours (low) or 5 1/2 to 6 hours (high)
1 3-pound beef chuck pot roast
1 large onion, cut up
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup cider vinegar
8 French rolls, split (toasted, if desired)
Spinach or lettuce leaves (optional)  
1. Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut meat to fit into a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Place meat and onion in cooker. Add bay leaves, salt, garlic powder, and cloves; pour vinegar over meat in cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 11 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5-1/2 to 6 hours. Remove meat from cooker. Discard bay leaves. Using 2 forks, pull meat apart into shreds, discarding any bones and fat. Strain juices; skim off fat.
3. If desired, line rolls with spinach leaves. Place shredded meat on rolls. Drizzle meat with some of the strained juices. Serve remaining juices with sandwiches for dipping. Makes 8 sandwiches. 

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew
Prep: 25 min.
Cook: 10 hours
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound beef or pork stew meat, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2-1/2 cups cubed potatoes
1 cup frozen cut green beans*
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn*
1 cup sliced carrot
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
2 teaspoons instant beef bouillon granules
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
2-1/2 cups vegetable juice or hot-style vegetable juice  
1. Place flour in a plastic bag. Add meat cubes and shake until meat is coated with flour. In a large skillet brown half of the meat in 1 tablespoon of the hot oil, turning to brown evenly. Brown remaining meat in remaining oil. Drain off fat.
2. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart crockery cooker layer potatoes, green beans, corn, carrot, and onion. Add meat. Add bouillon granules, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, marjoram, pepper, and bay leaf. Pour vegetable juice over all.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf. Ladle into bowls. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

*Note: If you like, substitute 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables for the beans and corn.
For a 6-quart cooker: Recipe may be doubled.

Mushroom-Sauced Pot Roast
Makes 5 or 6 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 to 12 hours (low) or 5 to 6 hours (high)
1 1-1/2-pound bone less beef chuck eye roast, chuck pot roast, eye round roast, or round rump roast
4 medium potatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds), quartered
1 16-ounce package frozen tiny whole carrots
1 4-ounce can (drained weight) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon or basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 10-3/4-ounce can condensed golden mushroom soup  
1. Trim fat from roast. If necessary, cut roast to fit into a 3-1/2- to 4-1/2-quart slow cooker. Set aside.
2. In the slow cooker combine potatoes, frozen carrots, mushrooms, tarragon or basil, and salt. Add roast. Pour mushroom soup over mixture in slow cooker.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours. Makes 5 or 6 servings.

Easy Chicken and Rice
Makes 4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 to 6 hours (low) or 2-1/2 to 3 hours (high) plus 10 minutes (high)
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 teaspoons dried dill
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds chicken thighs, skinned and fat removed
1 10-3/4-ounce can condensed cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup chicken broth
1-1/2 cups instant rice  
1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine mushrooms, celery, onion, dill, and pepper. Place chicken thighs on top of mushroom mixture. In a small bowl combine soup and chicken broth. Pour over chicken.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
3. If using low-heat setting, turn slow cooker to high-heat setting. Stir uncooked rice into the mushroom mixture. Cover and cook for 10 minutes more. Makes 4 servings.

Alfredo Chicken
Makes 6 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 6 to 7 hours (low) or 3 to 3-1/2 hours (high)
3 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks), skinned
Black pepper
1 16-ounce jar light Parmesan Alfredo pasta sauce
1 9-ounce package frozen Italian green beans, thawed
3 cups hot cooked whole wheat pasta
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)  
1. Place chicken in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Pour pasta sauce over chicken.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3-1/2 hours, adding green beans for thelast 30 minutes of cooking.
3. Remove chicken and green beans to a serving platter. Stir cooked pasta into sauce in cooker; serve with the chicken and beans. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 servings.

Easy Beef Stroganoff
Makes 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: Low 8 hours, High 4 hours
2 pounds bone less beef round, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 10-3/4-ounce cans condensed golden mushroom soup
1 medium onion, sliced
1 8-ounce container dairy sour cream chive dip
3 cups hot cooked noodles  
1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker stir together the beef, soup, and onion.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Stir in dip. Serve over hot cooked noodles. Makes 6 servings.

Beer Brisket
Makes 9 to 12 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: Low 10 hours, High 5 hours
1 3- to 4-pound fresh beef brisket
2 large onions, sliced
1 12-ounce bottle or can beer
1/2 cup bottled chili sauce
2 teaspoons dried steak seasoning
9 to 12 Kaiser rolls, split and toasted (optional)  
1. Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut brisket to fit into a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Place onions in the cooker. Top with brisket. In a medium bowl stir together beer, chili sauce, and steak seasoning. Pour over onions and meat in cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.
3. To serve, remove meat from cooking liquid. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions from the cooking liquid and place on top of the meat. Drizzle with some of the cooking liquid. If desired, serve sliced meat and onions on Kaiser rolls. Makes 9 to 12 servings.

Home style Beef and Vegetables
Makes 6 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: Low 8 hours, High 4 hours; plus 30 minutes on High
Non stick cooking spray
1 3- to 3-1/2-pound bone less beef chuck roast
1 0.6-ounce envelope Italian dry salad dressing mix
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 14-ounce can beef broth seasoned with onion
1 16-ounce package frozen loose-pack Italian vegetables (zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, lima beans, Italian beans)  
1. Lightly coat a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray; set aside. Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Trim fat from meat. Brown roast on all sides in hot skillet.
2. Place roast in the prepared cooker. Sprinkle with salad dressing mix and tapioca. Pour broth over all.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 4-1/2 hours. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Add frozen vegetables to cooker. Cover and cook about 30 minutes more or until tender. Makes 6 servings.

Cola Pot Roast
Makes 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: Low 7 hours, High 3-1/2 hours
1 2-1/2- to 3-pound bone less beef chuck pot roast
Non stick cooking spray
2 16-ounce packages frozen stew vegetables
1 12-ounce can cola
1 envelope (1-ounce) onion soup mix
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca  
1. Trim fat from meat. Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Brown roast on all sides in hot skillet.
2. Place roast in a 4-1/2 or 5-quart slow cooker. Top with frozen vegetables. In a small bowl stir together cola, soup mix, and tapioca. Pour over meat and vegetables in cooker.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4 hours. Makes 6 servings.

Home style Chicken and Stuffing
Makes 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: Low 5 hours, High 2-1/2 hours
1 10-3/4-ounce can reduced-fat and reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup water
1 16-ounce package frozen loose-pack broccoli, corn, and red sweet peppers
2-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 8-ounce package corn bread stuffing mix  
1. In a very large bowl stir together soup, butter, and water. Add frozen vegetables, chicken, and stuffing mix; stir until combined. Transfer mixture to a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Makes 6 servings.

I love using the crock pot.  I just throw everything into it in the morning and by dinner time, after very little fuss, there is a yummy meal all ready.


A tip on blocking IM's for a very dear person who is being bullied and harassed by a few people.  Hun, we all love and support you.  I'll try to keep this as simple and easy as possible. 

The first way is pretty simple.  You can wait until their name shows up on your buddy list and just right click on it.  That will show you a box divided into 4 sections.  At the bottom of the 3 section it will say Block Instant Messages, click on that and they will be blocked from IMing you with that screen name.

Or you can set up your privacy settings by doing the following.

1. Look over at your IM box.  On the lower right corner of it you will see the Setup button.  Click that.

2. That will bring up your Buddy List Setup.  At the very bottom of that you will see where it says IM Settings.  Click that.

3. That brings up your settings with a bunch or different tabs at the top.  All the way to the right you will see the Privacy and Security tab.  Click that.

4. Now there are several options for you here.  You can either click Allow only these users, Block only these users or Block All (which I know you don't want to do).

You should also be sending copies of these harassing IM's to certain people, I think you know who I mean. 

So after you have received one, right click on the conversation screen. Click Select All, then right click again and click Copy.  Now open an email and right click on it and click Paste.  Your whole conversation will now be in the IM.

You can also print out the conversation.  Just go to the left top ofthe AOL desktop, see the File button?  Click that and go down to print.

I hope this helps you.  We ALL know how your health is and that the added stress of having people bullying you is not good for your health.  I hope these tips on how to block or report them will help you.  We ALL love you and if you ever need any of us to help, please let us know.  We are absolutely disgusted by this behavior and support you completely.


Well have a great week everyone.  Thanksgiving is getting close, are ya'll ready? 

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Feeling better, Home remedy and some things to help with holiday photos

Well, both Rylie and I are feeling much better.  Thanks for the well wishes and all.  Rylie's next appointment with the doctor is next Thursday.  I guess we'll see if he hears a murmur again and find out what is going on. 

I'm still crossing my fingers that it was just a one time thing.  If not, at least, this time I know the questions to ask.  I should write them down while I have it all in my head.  You know how it goes, you have all these questions and then once your there in the office, everything you wanted to ask just flies out of your head.  Ugh, I hate that.



These are home health remedies that have been emailed to me or that I found on the Internet.  I have not tried them all and do NOT guarantee the effectiveness of them.  If you try one and it works, or if you have one that works for you, please email me.  Thanks.

 Achy muscles from the flu

  • Mix 1 Tablespoon of Horseradish in a cup of Olive Oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil, for instant relief for aching muscles.
  • Place enough rice to fill up your sock and tie it tight with a rubber band. Put it in a microwave oven for a few minutes until it is as hot as you like. Makes a wonderful heat pack for any body aches, and you can take it anywhere because you don't need to plug it in.


The following are some things I received in my e-mail from Hewlett-Packard.  I thought with the upcoming holidays these could be useful to some of you.  The first is a list of things to do to get better looking pictures.  The second is a link to some holiday decorations you can make at home using your family pictures.

Click here: Take better photos: family portraits - HP Digital Photography Center

This is my Daily OM for today.
November 9, 2006
Cosmic Support

The Universe's Plan For You

The path that speeds us toward our dreams can be a challenging and complex one, so it's easy to get bogged down in confusion and insecurities. We often hesitate at the start of that path, questioning our purpose or our capabilities. Yet we should be moving forward joyously, eager to discover what destiny has in store for us. The universe has plans for us that eclipse anything we have dreamed of thus far. Though we must work diligently to fulfill our potential and to accomplish our individual missions, the universe is aware of both the quests we chose before birth and the goals we have formulated in adulthood. If we accept that it us watching over us and believe that it will facilitate our eventual success, the universe will provide us with the assistance and opportunities that enable us to make significant progress on our journeys of ambition.

Nothing happens without a purpose. Whether we attract success or repel it depends on our willingness to stay open to a wide range of possibilities and to embrace concepts like synchronicity. The universe is always ready to care for our needs, but we must not write off its loving attention as mere circumstance or chance. Likewise, we must endeavor to ensure that our egos do not become a barrier that prevents us from recognizing that even perceived mistakes and strife can be profound lessons that smooth the progress of personal evolution. When we understand that we only need to enthusiastically try our best to realize our objectives, the universe will take care of the details, propelling us forward in its unstoppable current. We may not always immediately understand the significance of certain experiences, but our trust will help us choose wisely at each crossroads.

The universe wants to see you accomplish your goals. No matter how long you've dallied or hesitated, it will always be there to put its plan for you in motion at the first sign of your faith. You can make the most of this aid by acquiescing to it rather than fighting it-nurture your dreams but do not attempt to micromanage every detail along the way. The universe will provide you with guidance and, if you heed that guidance, you will find your formerly stressful quest for success will become a journey of great joy.

When I was a very young girl I believed that if I just let things happen, that it was God's (Universe/destiny/higher power/whatever) plan for me.  As I grew up I learned that God had a destiny for me, but I also had the ability and the right to make choices and decisions to make along the way.  It was a hard learned lesson and a very important one. 

The decisions I make are based on what I've learned (and lived) through life.  They are the decisions that are right for me, based on my life history.  They may not be the right decisions for someone else.  But that is because God has a different life plan for all of us. 

Just because someone else may make a different decision doesn't make it right or wrong.  Thats just the choice they've made based on what they've learned and lived.  I try not to sit in judgement on anyone else's choices.  That is not my job, nor anyone elses.  It's hard sometimes because some people can really infuriate me, lol. 

Wow, I really like how these Daily OM's can make me think about some things.


I hope ya'll had a great week.
Take care.

Friday, November 3, 2006

My homework...


Well, I just don't know what I would do without access to this thing known as the world wide web.  I've been busy doing my "homework" (research) on heart murmurs.  I wish I had all this information yesterday, before the doctors appointment.  Then I would have known what questions to ask.  Instead I just sat there, stunned, thinking the worse and not knowing what to ask.

This is what I found out at Kids Health.  Thank God and the kind people who create these informative web sites.  Otherwise, I would still be sitting here wondering and thinking the very worse.

Many parents fear the worst when their child is diagnosed with a heart murmur, but this diagnosis is actually extremely common. In fact, many kids are found to have a heart murmur at some point during their lives. Most murmurs are not a cause for concern and do not affect the child's health at all.

So what, exactly, is a heart murmur? By itself, the term heart murmur isn't a diagnosis of an illness or disorder; but to understand what it does mean, it's important to know how the heart works.

The heart is divided into four chambers; two are on the left side of the heart and two are on the right. The blood returning from the body is pumped to the lungs where it's oxygenated, then pumped through the arteries to the rest of the body. After the oxygen has been used, the blood returns to the heart through the veins and is pumped through the lungs again.

The word murmur describes a swishing sound made as the blood flows through any of the heart's chambers or valves or even through a hole within the heart.

How Are Heart Murmurs Diagnosed?

A murmur is heard through a stethoscope as the heart beats. Because a child's heart is very close to the chest wall, subtle noises can be heard more easily. However, sometimes a doctor won't be able to hear a heart murmur unless the child is sitting quietly. Though they can also be heard in younger infants, heart murmurs are most commonly discovered when a child is between 2 and 4 years old. Some doctors think this is because most children have had time to become familiar with their doctor and are more quiet and cooperative during the exam.

Heart murmurs are rated on a scale from 1 to 6. Grade 1 is barely audible, whereas grade 6 is very loud. Your child's doctor may also note where in the heart the murmur is, what type of noise it's making (for example, whether it's a harsh or blowing sound), where it occurs in the heartbeat cycle, and whether it changes when your child changes position. After this initial discovery, the doctor may refer your child to a pediatric cardiologist for further evaluation.

Because of the common misconception that all heart murmurs are serious, it's important for parents to understand which type of murmur their child has and if it needs further evaluation.

I found several very informative sites when I did a search on heart murmurs.  Another one I found is the Children Heart Institute.  <The link is right to the heart murmur page where you can click and listen to the different types of heart murmurs.

At this point I am trying to maintain a positive thought process on this.  I mean this is the first time that a doctor has heard a murmur.  It could just be that freaky one time episode.  Or it could be an "innocent" murmur. 

Then my mind gets to racing.  Too much thinking.  The doctor does want to do a chest x-ray and blood work.  Could it be more than her persistent cough?  Is the persistent cough connected in some way to the heart murmur?  He was asking about her playing and if she seemed to lose her breath or begin coughing when running around. 

I need to keep my mind away from this.  A mothers mind will make her sick to her stomach thinking about this kind of stuff.  It doesn't help that this is the 5th day I've woke up with this FREAKING headache.  I just want to lay down and cry, but I know that crying will make it worse, so I try not to.  My neck is so sore and the headache seems to climb up from my aching neck to the top of my head and across my forehead.  More Ibuprofen please! 

Just got off the phone with my sister-in-law.  Every now and then it's nice to have a "sounding board", someone who you can talk to.  Someone who will listen to all your biggest worries and fears and then they will talk you down from where you are.  Thanks for listening to me Cathy and for helping to aleviate some of my fears!

Well, I have got to go and get some phone calls and appointments made.  Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Home Remedy and health concerns


These are home health remedies that have been emailed to me or that I found on the Internet.  I have not tried them all and do NOT guarantee the effectiveness of them.  If you try one and it works, or if you have one that works for you, please email me.  Thanks.

Yellow Teeth

  • Mix salt with finely powdered rind of lime. Use this as toothpowder frequently.
  • Dip a toothbrush in a mashed strawberry and brush vigorously to remove yellowing and stains.
  • After brushing with your regular toothpaste, make a paste of 1 tbsp of baking soda and a few drops of lemon juice and brush again.


I made an appointment yesterday for Rylie with her regular Doctor.  So this morning I went down to the Health Department to pick up my monthly package of blood pressure medications.  I called them in on Monday, they weren't quite ready so we had to wait a bit. 

Rylie was a real character.  She stood in front of this very large man with gray hair and a full beard and just stared him down.  He and his wife kept talking to her and trying to get her to smile or say "hi".  She just continued to stare.  The people sitting there waiting asked if she went Trick-or-Treating, I told them "no" because of her having this flu or whatever.  "Ahhh, poor thing".  Then another man in a wheel chair tried to give her a piece of candy.  She just gave him a look like "what the heck?"  LOL

We finally got my meds and had to run all the way over to the other side of town for her doctor appointment.  By the way, she only weighs 31 and 1/2 pounds...not quite the 100 that it feels like when she insists that you hold her.  The doctor listen to her chest for quite awhile.  Then he had her get on the table so he could check her ears, nose and throat.  Not something that she was entirely willing to do.

I had to hold her head and the nurse held her arms down.  She has an ear infection in her left ear.  Now, this is where my heart hit the floor.  The doctor told me he heard a heart murmur.  Although he only heard it while she was sitting up, he didn't hear it when she was lying on the table.  He also doesn't like the way she looks.  She is extremely pale with dark circles under her eyes. 

He wants us to go get a chest X-ray and some blood work done.  He doesn't like the fact that it has been 2 weeks now and she can't seem to get rid of this cough.  He asked alot of questions and I think he seems to be leaning toward possible asthama.  Although he did say it could be the early stages of pneumonia. 

We have to go back in another 2 weeks.  I have a feeling this is going to be a very long winter.  Hopefully the whole murmur thing was just a freak episode.  I've heard of that, where a doctor hears a murmur in a patient and then it's never heard again.  I'm wishing and praying. 

As if my headache wasn't bad enough before.  Now I just can't shut my mind off and there are a million thoughts and possibilities causing a major traffic jam in my head. 

Take care.  I'll try to keep this information updated as I get it.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Late entries

I have caught Rylies infection.  I feel like total poo.  My head is pounding non-stop, it's hard to breath, my chest feels like its going to explode, and my throat feels like someone has been rubbing it with sandpaper.  Rylie seems to be bi-polar when it comes to being sick.  She seems fine one minute and is puking the next.  Lucky me, huh?  Unfortunately, I am unable to sleep as much as I want, like Rylie. 

As a matter of fact, yesterday I had to do 4 loads of laundry.  Rylie found a box of those mini white powdered donuts and apparently decided to take them into my bedroom.  Except she didn't eat them.  What I discovered was my bed covered in broken up bits and pieces of donuts.  There were crumbs and powdered sugar everywhere. 

So I pulled the bed apart and began doing laundry, just as the trick & treaters were arriving.  Meanwhile, Ray. being ever so helpful. sat at the computer while I re-made the bed in between ghosts, goblins and power rangers. 

Although he did help out and get Rylie a snack, a bowl of shredded cheese.  I prefer to give her slices of cheese, it's less likely to end up scattered all over the floor.  No worries though.  It did NOT end up on the floor.  No instead I found it all over the clean sheets I had just put on our bed.  Thanks Raymond!  Men can be so considerate and helpful when your feeling sick, huh?

Okay, onto the Recipe and Cleaning tip I failed to post on Monday and Tuesday.

The recipe is from Spark People.  As I've said before, I really love getting their recipe emails.  They always send such a different variety of recipes.   

Fresh Vegetable Stir-Fry
Serves: 4
Serve with a side of brown rice and you've got a tasty meal.


Ingredients for sauce:
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Ingredients for vegetables:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup carrot slices
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped red or green pepper


1. Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl.
2. In a large sauce pan or wok, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add onion, broccoli, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Add the zucchini and peppers, stir, cover the pan and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add sauce, bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, covered. Serve vegetables while hot.

Just for kicks, here is an interesting recipe (I believe it is also from Spark People) for Chocolate cake with Raspberry sauce.  It's a bit different.

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce
Serves: 8
Both chickpeas and mayonnaise keep this butter-less chocolate cake moist and nutritious.


1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups garbanzo beans (chickpeas) - cooked if fresh, drained if canned
2 eggs
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Powdered sugar


1. Place rack on middle level and pre-heat oven to 350 °F.
2. In a small bowl, melt chocolate in microwave oven on medium power for two minutes.
3. In food processor or blender, combine beans, eggs and egg substitute, blending on high for thirty seconds. Add chocolate, sugar, mayonnaise and baking powder and process until smooth.
4. Pour mixture into 9" heart-shaped non-stick baking pan or a round pan, baking for 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
5. Cool and dust with powdered sugar and serve with pureed and strained raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries as a garnish.



A cleaning tip, or two, that you may find useful.  As I say on my Web page, these are tips that have been emailed to me, or that I have found on the Internet.  I have not tried all of them and do NOT guarantee their effectiveness.  If you do try one and it works, or if you have another one that works for you, please let me know.

Zippers: To make a zipper slide up and down more smoothly, rub a bar of soap over the teeth.

Have a great week and stay healthy!