Sunday, July 31, 2011

I am the condiment queen!

I used exactly 14 different sauces, condiments, and flavors to create the ginger sauce featured in this delicious dish. It dressed some thinly sliced sirloin, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and buckwheat noodles. It was super good. I'm really not sure if it tastes similar to the aforementioned noodle dish from Noodle Express, but it was damn good. Wanting to feel authentic (certainly not because we are out of clean forks), I ate with chopsticks. I believe this food is good for you (buckwheat sounds so healthy!) And it's good for your spirits after a very productive day.
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

WFD weekend post- Date night tonight!

Behold the deliciousness planned for this evening. We're planning to add a nice horseradish sauce to the steak as well. And wine. And 10 Things I Hate About You.

It's going to be a great date.

There's deliciousness planned for the rest of this week too.  I've had a mean craving for some Noodle Express, a restaurant that I'm pretty sure only exists in the Inland Northwest.  Whatever their sauce is has been haunting my dreams lately, smothered all over some noodles with lots of veggies.  Yes, I may be going to Spokane in just a week, but for some reason I have to have it now.  Or, rather, tomorrow.  I think that's soon enough, but tonight I'm sure there will be some chicken osaka or a shrimp bowl behind my eyelids.

The chipotle pesto pasta is also a treat, and it will be getting rid of some leftover cotijia cheese.  The trout is a new recipe, I'm quite stoked to try it.  You can garnish it with cotijia as well.  Nom nom nom. Trout's one of my favorites, I'm excited about a new way to prepare it.

Friday is take-out for fewer dishes and travel prep.  My bestie, Cassie, will be coming for the night.  Then, first thing in the morning, we're all piling into my social work-mobile to go back to our hometown.  It will be a packed car- Spartacus should be excited for a backseat passenger to sit next to.

Before I sign out for the evening, here's a little treat for everyone:

Such a loss from the eye candy community... and a damn fine actor to boot.

Happy Saturday!

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

I've been busy!

Life has been busy since returning from my camping trip!  I spent a couple days recuperating... I'm old school and home girl don't sleep on no air mattress out in nature.

....until next time.... my neck freaking hurt when I got back.  Thank goodness for these guys:
El Dorado Physical Therapy- they don't mess around!
Don's my homeslice... very bottom row on the right.

Once we returned my poor baby came down with a bad case of hives.  I had to take him to the doctor as he was all whimpering and pathetic, insisting on all sorts of special treatment, waking me up at night.... it was a whole to-do. clarify, I'm talking about Spartacus.  Kevin's behavior when he's ill is quite similar though. 
I did some other stuff for the hubs, though, as he was jealous of all the attention: I went to his Ultimate Frisbee game on Tuesday night.  Not a great spectator sport, but the competitive side in me soon came out and started barking for people to hustle.  (Says the girl who isn't allowed to run.)

Today was a bit bonkers.  It started out with a crazy speeding ticket.  Initially, I was pulled over for texting (I wasn't, btw, because I don't have a death wish).  When it became clear to the officer that he's not going to use me to reach his cell phone ticket quota this month, he slapped me with an "unsafe speed for conditions" ticket.  This usually has to do with driving too fast for weather, traffic, etc.  The officer stated that the "safe" speed for pushing navigate on my GPS is 0 mpg and I was going 15 mph.  Oy.

But that's water under the bridge, since I know that won't stick in court, plus... drum roll please...

That is a very old friend of mine, Christian Pepin.  He rawks and he's one of those up and coming artists who you secretly hate because they follow their musical dreams and you didn't (mostly because you didn't have talent).  Not sure why he needs to be shirtless while he practices, but I'm sure the ladies out there can think of a reason.  Here's his YouTube channel.

...right, the drum rolling had a reason... that thing that made my crappy morning worth it...

I have a job interview tomorrow!

Cross your fingers for me!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bring on some "me time"

That enormous stack of laundry is not my "me time". Also, that's not even all of it. I'm not ashamed. Just being an authentic lupie blogger.
I spent all day looking for jobs, applying for some long-shots, then planning a baby shower, then cleaning... And then I figured it was time to do something for me.
I'm finishing this post up as I sit on my exercise bike, watching one of my favorite episodes of firefly.
Good stuff.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Wfd? Happy Meatless Monday!

Hey everyone! Here's a little bitty post to tide you over. I saw that dermatologist today and got two bigger hunks taken out of me. I just haven't felt so hot today... I'm glad that dinner tonight involves spreading cheese on a pita.
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

We're back!

...but I'm not quite up for blogging yet. It was a fantastic time, super relaxing, but I am real tuckered out. I have the day off tomorrow and lots to do but I'll at least make time for a wfd post. Hope your weekend was great!
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Here's your homework!

Okay, I'm going camping this weekend up at the beautiful French Meadows Reservoir.  So, I have a job for you all while I'm off hiding from the sun, drinking beer, and reading....

Until August 26th, any donation you make to the Lupus Foundation will be doubled!   

Please, clink on this link to donate.  Or, if you prefer, you can wait until I think up a sweet Lupus Walk 2011 team name and donate then.  Shouldn't be too long..
You can find a second link on the right side of my blog under "Relevant Links".


Any ideas for a sweet Lupus Walk team name?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A new boulder, The Count, and cardboard boxes

So, I believe I mentioned before that I went to see a certain dermatologist.  What I didn't mention in that post was that I did end up getting moles removed.  Six.  Six moles.

Ha ha ha.
Part of the reason I was really not a cheerleader for these removals was that I have a terrible time with healing, infections, and scarring.  I have a scar on my right arm from a mole removal when I was a kiddo.  They assured me that there would be little chance of scarring with these shave biopsies* and, so long as I kept the spots clean and such, very little chance of infection.

(Insert some Murphy's Law here.)

For starters... a couple of them are infected.  Shocking, I know.  But, Mr. Dermatologist is the doctor, after all.  He said it would be fine.  MD.  Plus, I've had my hubby helping me with all the upkeep.  He's a great guy.. I'm going to keep him.  Mr. Dermatologist, on the other hand...
Then, I got a call at 8:30 this morning, on my way to work.  Two of the biopsied moles came back as "abnormal".  BTW, I prefer the term "freak", but whatevs.  Now I have to have punch biopsies* done to remove a larger, deeper section of my meat.  Then, I get stitches!  That means:

  • Larger chance of scars.
  • No water therapy until I get the stitches out.
  • Stopping what healing has taken place to make bigger holes.
  • I get to figure out how to go about my life with stitches on my back... sounds unpleasant.
If you can't tell... I'm not jazzed.  After these procedures are finished I'm going to give a co-worker's dermatologist a try.  I'd prefer for my dermatologist to respect my concerns in the future, maybe I could have been spared some pain.  
That being said, we'll see what abnormal means.  I believe the general point that the person I spoke with was trying to make is that the two moles are possibly pre-cancerous.  

In the meanwhile, kiddos... here's what I need for you to do:


I was bad when I was in middle school- very little sunscreen.  I was, after all, immortal.  Lupus changed all that and I adjusted as quickly as I could (that's me in the box up there)... but sometimes it's not enough.

No questions tonight... just SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN!

*These links are to icky videos.  Because I'm mean like that and feeling snarky tonight.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Career versus Lupus

That title is a bit misleading.  I feel like it implies that I'm currently making that choice.  Thankfully, the economy is doing my choosing for me at the moment- there are zero jobs out there in the child welfare arena.  I have the option of looking to non-profits- but it wouldn't go towards my stipend debt plus the pay is kinda iffy.
My current week involves three days of volunteering per week for a CPS agency.  This is a very happy balance between working with my kiddos and working on me.  I've been squeezing in two physical therapy/water therapy appointments per week and (when I'm not flaring, as I am right now) extra exercise of yoga, walking, and my exercise bike.  Because of this, I've been getting stronger.  I've noticed, even as I'm feeling now, that my joints are more supported and my back and neck have had less pain.
This nice balance has left me wondering what my future holds-  are there part time positions with CPS?  From my browsing it would appear that I'll have to get out of the bureaucracy.   I'll have to say goodbye to the mountains of paperwork (oh, no!), but I think it may be the decision that's best for me and my family in the future.

How do you balance career versus lupus?  Do you work part-time, full-time, or not at all?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Laundry day!

Some people enjoy laundry day (Spartacus). I am not one of those people.
I came about doing the laundry after it became clear scrubbing the dishes caused the arthritis in my hands to become bitchy...therefore making me bitchy. It was a slippery slope, especially since I had much more important things to do with my hands. Like research papers. My thesis. Blogging. Anywho, laundry day isn't really a price of cake either. Luckily, I married a man who is lazier than I an on my worst lupus flare, so he's pretty okay with digging a shirt out of a very full basket of clean laundry. He's also great about lifting the hamper and baskets for me. Not long after those picture was taken this morning Kevin picked up the basket for me-dog and all-and moved it to the bedroom for me. It was pretty comical.
So, tips for the day:

  • Divide up chores with your weak areas in mind. If you have tiny humans, enlist then to help. I've been meaning to get me some of those...
  • Marry a great guy or gal who helps out when needed.
    • But, the trick is you have to be appreciative of when they offer to help without becoming that person who expects it, then becomes all passive aggressive when help isn't offered.  I think we've all been there...
  • Make sure that guy or gal is much lazier than you.  Somehow, this makes you a much more easy-going person and they won't raise an eyebrow when your dirty socks are hanging out in front of the couch.
  • And finally.... Take a hint from your fur baby and take naps in the warm laundry.  

Hope everyone had a great weekend!
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Saturday, July 16, 2011

WFDW- New Cookbooks!

This week is full of lots of new recipes from my two new cooking light cookbooks.
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dear Doctors (a helpful letter)

I just saw a dermatologist.  It was not a great experience.  Unfortunately, I'm prone to moles, and funny-looking ones at that.  I thought I would write a helpful letter to all doctors out there, as there is always room for improvement.

Right, Mr. Dermatologist?  Sheesh....

Dear Doctors,
Just a few tips:
1. Before having a patient to remove their clothes, perhaps you should meet them and introduce yourself first. I think it's just good manners.
2. Don't have the patient fill out paperwork on their existing conditions and medications if you're not going to read it anyway.  Being asked those questions will only elicit a response of "I wrote it on my paperwork" from me.
3. If your patients are waiting 45 minutes past their appointment to see you, don't continue accepting new patients (yeah, I heard you Ms. Receptionist)- you obviously can't handle the ones you have.
4. You are not the only ______  specialist in the area. Telling a patient that you're doing _______ and that you'll then see them again in six months is a bit presumptive when you've spent less than ten minutes in the room.
I believe that following these helpful tips and simply remembering that patients are human will guarantee that your patients will actually come see you a second time.

Thanks a bunch,

Working from home...

Ever notice how unproductive working from home is?  I'll be honest, when I'm sick (as I am today), and I say I'm working from home I usually get up to about 3 hours of actual work out of 8.  Because (let's be honest), there's facebook, blogger, and (my personal fave) my bed.
Since my lupus and my lady bits are giving me troubles this is going to be an easy post.

30 Things About My Invisible Illnesses You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: Lupus
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: Officially I was diagnosed in 2007 (my doc was trying to save me the pre-existing condition before) but I was basically diagnosed in 2005.
3. But I had symptoms since: Age 12.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Adjusting to seasons (No playing in the snow, hourly sunscreen applications, etc.)
5. Most people assume: I'm contagious.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Not hitting snooze.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Grey's Anatomy.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: Probably my smartphone.  It's way too convenient to have access to my email from everywhere.
9. The hardest part about nights are: Falling asleep sans opiates.
10. Each day I take: 7  pills
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: just try staying active with physical therapy.  I would love to consider doing acupuncture in the future.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Probably invisible.  I'm a social worker first, not an illness.  I like being able to hide it.
13. Regarding working and career: Right now I'm volunteering part time and looking at a contracted social work position to give me some fun money.
14. People would be surprised to know: uh...?  I did my undergrad in three years?
15. The hardest thing to accept about my lupus reality has been: That I just can't do everything.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Get my master's degree.
17. The commercials about my illness: There are commercials?
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Playing tennis...or running.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: Playing tennis.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Road cycling.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Go to the beach or play in the snow with my nephews (depends on the season).
22. My illness has taught me: More patience.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: "Oh, you look sunburned".  Sigh... no, that's how I always look (but I'm probably also sunburned, too).
24. But I love it when people: Just ask "Anything I can do to help?"
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:  "You must be the change you wish to see in the world"- Gandhi or "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: The situation is as bad as you make it, and I know it might seem hard, but there are people here for you (including me!) and ways to improve your life if you are willing to try.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: The uncertainty of the future.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Brought me lunch, probably.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week (it's in September, btw) because: I want people to know about invisible illnesses. I want them to get the same attention and research and funding that a lot of well known diseases do.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Gratitude.  Thanks, Readers!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What got me through today....

Isn't he adorable? I had no goals to get me through today, but somehow I managed pt, taking the adorableness for a walk, pseudo cleaning* one bathroom, and looking for a job. And then I took a three hour nap with my Spartacus.
I can make it through this flare so long as I have my baby to nap with.

*real cleaning involves toothbrushes, q-tips, and getting down on your hands and knees.
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What keeps me going...

One of my PT's asked me the other day about what motivates me to get off my ass.  She said it a bit nicer than that. I think she's a church-goin' lady.  I've never heard her say ass.  She's pretty positive and she calls me "gurl".  As in "Heyyyyyy gurrrl!  How are you feeling today?"  I dig it.

I digress....

Anywho, she was asking me how long my "script" for physical therapy was.  I told her my doc is just so thrilled to have a lupie want to go to PT that he makes it unlimited.  I'm apparently a freak of nature.  Many people sink into their pain, their fatigue, and their regular napping schedules.

I'm totally not knockin' napping.  I took one today after work.

Dagwood knows what's up.  Also, he's a sandwich lover.  My kind of guy.

I've been there.  After each car accident these past two years I went through a small depression-  I bit of "woe is me" and a big helping of "why the hell bother?"  Every time I built up strength something happened to tear me down again.  Frustrating to say the least.

I blame California drivers!

....digressing again....

To be honest, I had a tiny bit of that feeling coming on today.  I have a big flare coming up.  Yesterday, fatigue.  Today weakness, headaches, fever, some joint pain.  I left work early after toughing it out just to make it to an important meeting for one of my kiddos.  I had to make it to that meeting.  That's what got me through the last few hours when I had no idea what I was writing referrals for, forgetting who I was calling after I dialed their numbers, and sweating like a pig.

Anyway, so my PT had asked me if it has to do with my line of work- that somehow being in child welfare makes me want to pull myself up by my bootstraps and just do it.  I pondered aloud about some of the elderly I've worked with in the past- maybe I don't want to become them?  73 at age 23?  My PT suggested laziness may just be too much- people come to PT for two weeks and then just vanish.

No... my motivation is as follows:

Name that Inland Northwest landmark!

My nephews.  They give me just a glimmer of what I'm hopeful to have in a few years.  I'm getting stronger in water therapy, doing my stretches, and staying out of the sun... all so that I can get down on the floor to play with my own children someday.  And, in the meanwhile, get some practice in with these two monkeys.

But today, to talk down the negative Nancy within I treated myself to some store-bought garlic bread and some chocolate milk.  Looking at the bigger picture of what comfort foods usually are, I'm not too upset with myself.  I'm shocked that I also didn't purchase a Caesar alad-in-a-bag.

It's really not too shocking that so many of my comfort foods involve very little work for flarin' Karas.

What are your most non-guilt-inducing comfort foods?  
And, of course, what is your long-term motivation, and what motivation got you through today?

Monday, July 11, 2011

No excuses.

*Warning* Lady-bits related material below! *Warning*

One of my last posts was about why I haven't been posting as much.  It involved an awesome book series.  I've since finished that book series and moved onto another:
I started it on Friday.  I'm already on the third and final book.  It's ridonkulous.

But, as I said... no excuses.  The real reason is that I've been lacking energy and motivation.  This has been caused by an episode of bleeding similar to last time.  What I don't think I mentioned is that the last time finally clocked in at 19 days total.  It was somewhere around that time that I got myself a real grown-up ob-gyn to to deal with my lady bits.  The nurse practitioner I saw (after it ended, unfortunately) said it could be any number of things, and that if it happens again I should call and schedule another appointment.

Ringgggg...... riiiiiing......... riinng.......

This one is a bit more crazy than the last time because it started while I was on my active pills.  *shakes fist at the BC gods*  

So, I haven't been in the mood.  I'm aware that blogs about chronic illness should persevere even when the illness- or whatever- is active.  I think that's why I feel so badly.

If it makes you feel better, I was just probed in my NP's quest to figure out what's going on.  Ladies, you know what I'm talking about.  Men... it or ask your ladies.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Meatless monday... A day late!

Buy your own Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast: Weeknight Meals here 
Last night we were at a Fourth of July party... celebrating America and all of her glory.  That, of course, means we couldn't do Meatless Monday.  Nothing says America like a big ol' burger or a pulled pork sammich.  Hells yeah.  I managed to be good about not eating too much... until my good friend introduced me to jello shots.  Drinking = excessive eating.  It happens.  Luckily I knew that being bad was a very real possibility so I worked my butt off in the pool and cleaned like a crazy woman before the party.   Can I just say how amazing it is that I've never experienced jello shots before?  I was in college for five years (not to mention I was a bad kid in high school, too)!  Now I know to be a bit more careful.
So, Happy Meatless Monday Tuesday!  These portobello melts were delicious- even my meat-loving-America hubby liked them. The smoky red pepper mayo was a great accent to the cheese and the filling fungi.  Time to get back on track!

How did you either prepare for the Fourth or keep yourself from over-indulging?  
...and (because I'm curious)....
What was your first jello shot experience?

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

What's for dinner? Thank goodness for a short week!

I'm really looking forward to those portobella melts. It's nice to plan meals with lunches in mind as well as what workouts I'm doing throughout the week too. For example... Pasta for dinner means I need to get my booty on my bike!
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Friday, July 1, 2011

The reason I haven't been posting...

It's not my fault, I swear. I'll post this weekend about my trip, some travel tips, and my new craziness I'm dealing with.
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