Family Birthday Dinner

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kimm and her dad have the same birthday (February 1) and since my birthday is very close (January 14), her mom likes to try to get all of us together for a birthday dinner.   Tonight was the night!

We headed over at about 6 pm.  Had a WONDERFUL meal–broccoli casserole, corn, stuffing, roasted potatoes, pearl onions, bread, wine.  It was yummy.

And then there was cake for dessert–white with yellow frosting.  Mmmmm.   With mint chocolate chip ice cream.

We opened presents and watched a movie–Music and Lyrics (LOVE that movie…you really laugh out loud so many times!).

It was a nice relaxing night.  What was NOT nice was the fact that it was about ZERO degrees out with the wind chill.

On another note, I felt very accomplished today since I did some organizing.  I went through all of my clothes (in my dresser and closet) and got rid of things I haven’t been wearing and just put things in different (hopefully more user-friendly) areas.  My ONE GOAL for the next month is to keep the top of my dresser clean!  Somehow, I always clean off the top of my dresser and then it too soon becomes a dropping ground for items–clothes that I’ve worn just once and can wear again, papers that were in my pockets, loose change, and other strange, miscellaneous things.  I just want to have an uncluttered top of my dresser.  So if I can keep it that way for one month that should instill that habit, no?  I’m hoping so.  Wish me luck.

Tomorrow I’m baking a cake so that should be fun.  So off to bed I go so that I am rested enough to do it 🙂

Published in: on January 31, 2010 at 1:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Sociable

Friday, January 30. 2010

We had good friends over again tonight.  It was nice.  Lots of laughs.  Definitely feeling more sociable 🙂

We played Cranium (which we loved).  And we already made plans to see a movie coming up–The Lovely Bones.  I’ll have to re-read the book since it’s been so long.

But now I’m drunk and tired so I’m heading to bed.  So thankful I have THREE more days off.

Published in: on January 30, 2010 at 3:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Open Position

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I stayed a BIT extra at work to hit up Human Resources before I left.

Why?

Because I saw there was a 7 pm – 7 am ICU (Intensive Care Unit) RN position that is now listed for the hospital…internal applicants only.

Usually I hem and haw over decisions like this, but this time I just decided to GO FOR IT.

There’s probably a high likelihood that someone else will get this job, but you never know.  If I don’t try, I’ll always think, “what if.”  If I don’t get it, I can always try again.

But for now, I’m crossing my fingers.  It sounds like the perfect opportunity to gain some valuable knowledge in nursing and patient care 🙂

Published in: on January 28, 2010 at 10:43 am  Leave a Comment  

Week 3: Honey Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Still running behind for this challenge.  But thankfully I have another recipe ready to go for Friday or Saturday.

This recipe I found on my Sparkpeople app for my iphone.  I was looking for something relatively healthy to use up a can of pumpkin.  Why you ask did I have a can of pumpkin?   Well, I had seen some people on different healthy living blogs mix pumpkin into their yogurt to amp up the nutrition.  Well, you wanna know what I kind of forgot?  I don’t really like pumpkin that much, at least in that form.  I was using like about half a teaspoon worth in the amount of yogurt I was eating to get it to the stage of “pumpkin-y” that I liked.  So I had a whole lot of pumpkin to use up before it went bad.  I looked for a baked recipe because I know that I like pumpkin in baked goods.  The plus was that this recipe called for 1/2 cup of honey because we had a large jar of honey that had been in the cabinet for so long that it was crystallizing which Kimm did NOT like.  So I heated the honey in the microwave to make it liquid again and used a good portion of it in this recipe.  Bonus!  And the best part.  The recipe was actually really good.  I will definitely make it again.

Honey Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins

Makes 12

Ingredients:

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened (I used 1 apple chopped instead–didn’t have any applesauce)

2 eggs

1 and 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin (which equals about 1 can of Libby’s)

1/4 cup skim milk (I used whole…that’s what we use)

1 cup all-purpose whole wheat flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I used 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg since I don’t have pumpkin pie spice)

To make:

In a large mixing bowl, beat honey, applesauce, eggs, pumpkin and milk.  In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.  Add to pumpkin mixture and stir well.  Spoon into greased muffin tins, filling 3/4 full.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

If you want, you can add some chopped walnuts and a sprinkling of white granulated sugar to the tops of the muffin before they bake which is what I did.

They turned out VERY moist and flavorful considering there was all whole-wheat flour in these.

I took one to work every night to have with my coffee and Kimm had one each morning with her coffee.

It’s nice to have muffins again.  They are such a nice, grab n’ go snack.

Hope you enjoy!

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 5:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

CPR Re-Certified

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I can once again officially perform CPR if needed.  The skills portion this morning was actually not that bad.  Took ten minutes tops.  I don’t know why I get so nervous about these things.  They usually turn out to be way easier than I ever imagine.  But I guess that is my nature to over-worry.

Thankfully most of my busy month is over.  No more tests and so on.

Bad news for Kimm and thus me.  She went to go get her car inspected today and it failed.  The mechanic told her she would need to find out why her “check engine” light always stays on (like we know…shouldn’t he??), she needs a new rear spring, and she needs a new tie rod.  Huh?  I don’t even know WHAT these things mean.  But supposedly they come to over $400 in repairs.  So there’s another unexpected expense.  What to do, what to do?  Put more money into an old car?  Try to look for a used car to replace that car?  Look into a new car?  Survive with one car?  This will take some thinking.

Oh yeah.  And our garage door got fixed this morning.  Not by our doing by any means.  Nope.  Our friendly, over-protective elderly neighbor made sure to go have breakfast early at the diner this morning so he could talk with this guy he knows who does garage door repairs.  Quite a surprise to look out the window this morning and see them both by our garage.  Nice to know that a professional will take our NEIGHBOR’S (!!) word that we want our garage door fixed right now.  Well he did do a good job and for a decent price ($80 when we were quoted $140 by the company we called who never showed up).  So now it’s done and we won’t have to think about that.

Now our big concern is how to get all of our neighbors with dogs to stop them from shitting on our lawn and not picking it up.  SO ANNOYING!!!!  We always pick up Izzy’s poop so I don’t understand why other people don’t do the same.  Common sense anyone?  Not to mention there are plenty of woods around our neighborhood that their dogs could do their business in if the owners are too lazy to pick up crap.  We are thinking of putting down cayenne pepper.  That would surely do it 🙂

Ah.  Can you tell I’m in quite a mood today!

Tomorrow back to work.  Two on then FOUR (!!) off with Kimm’s birthday as well.  Lots to look forward to.

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 12:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Stupid CPR

Monday, January 25, 2010

Not that using CPR is stupid by any means.  I’m talking about the re-certification that I have to do every two years.  First there is a stupid online portion/test that I have to take.  Then I have to go and demonstrate my skills.  I just hate doing this.  Mostly because I feel slightly inadequate.  In all the time that I have been a nurse (2 and 1/2 years) I have NEVER had to utilize CPR.  You know how they say that if you don’t utilize a skill you will lose it?  Well, this is a perfect example.  I just feel stupid showing my less than stellar skills in front of other people who teach this all the time and therefore know it like the back of their hand.  Oh well.  I guess that tomorrow night at this time it will all be over (I have the skills portion test tomorrow).  Wish me luck.

Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 1:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Complete 180

Sunday, January 24, 2010

As slow as it was yesterday in the Emergency Room, it was SO busy on the med surg floor tonight!  I think I may have jinxed myself by saying that it was so slow 🙂  All I know is that I was going NON-STOP.

Crazy bed jumpers!

I was more than ready to leave this morning.  And I am exhausted.  So it’s off to bed for me so that I can come back tonight and do it all over again.

Published in: on January 24, 2010 at 9:26 am  Leave a Comment  

12 Hours in the ER

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Yup, last night I spent my entire shift in the ER.  Believe me, I wasn’t too happy when I walked in and was told that news.  I don’t think anyone wants to spend time on a unit that is not their own–without their own co-workers and not knowing where ANYTHING is!

But I made it through.  In fact it wasn’t as bad as last time.  I pretty much had my own assignment which made it a lot better.  But the thing that drives me crazy (and the reason I believe why I could never work in the ER permanently) is the misuse of hospital funds.  If you have a headache, come to the ER.  If you’re drunk, come to the ER.  If you want to kill yourself, come to the ER.  See how frustrating!

But the one good thing is that I got out ON TIME 🙂  Which was good because I needed to get home to get some gas in the car.  I was running on fumes probably 🙂

I think I just fell sleep for about 5 minutes while writing this.  The exact sign I needed to stop writing and head to bed.

I am going to put forth a tiny wish.  THAT I DON’T GET SENT TO THE ER TONIGHT!!!

Published in: on January 23, 2010 at 9:11 am  Leave a Comment  

I HATE CREDIT CARDS!

Friday, January 22, 2010

If you can go through life without using credit cards I HIGHLY suggest that you do so.

I have had such a mess using credit cards lately.  Remember the treadmill that Kimm and I were going to get?  That wouldn’t fit in the house so we returned it?  That I called the store that very day and they assured me that the charges were reversed?  Well they weren’t.  And I never got the original bill from the credit card company.  No I happen to get the bill the next month…when they say now I am late in paying so now I have a late fee and the treadmill is still on the bill.  So I call the credit card company and talk to someone and they say, oh you have to pay the amount due and set up a dispute with the billing department and then call back next month so you can get the late fee dismissed.  Ughhhh!!!

And then I went to WI and kind of forgot about all of this.  Until today when I remembered and said SHIT…I need to pay that credit card.  So I try to pay the bill online but they will only accept the minimum due because they have to VERIFY my bank account information.  And of course I’m pissed off because if I can only pay the minimum then I will be charged additional finance charges for the next month.  So I call and get a nice representative (thankfully…highly unlikely let me tell you!) and he says I can pay over the phone because he will waive the phone fee.  So I do.  It’s done.  And it’s only after I get off the phone and am looking at the amount due and doing some math and can’t figure out HOW they came up with the amount I owe (of course I figure I should owe LESS!)

Long story long…I will have to call back on Monday or Tuesday when I have off again.  To get this truly straightened out.

And I can’t wait until Kimm and I have ALL of our credit cards paid off.  If I could do it today, I would in a heartbeat.  But unfortunately that can’t happen.  But when I do, there will be a major CELEBRATION.

In good news, I paid off the last payment for UMASS for the nurse practitioner classes that I dropped out of.  Thank goodness.  That’s an extra $250/month that will definitely come in handy.

Can’t wait for February 1st to come so we can start all over with bills.

Oh yeah and I got another unexpected bill today.  My vehicle registration is due.  Another $50.  Seems like it will never end.

I really need to reverse my negative mood or else I have a feeling my night at work tonight will NOT be good.

Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 4:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Week Two: Couscous “Meatballs”

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I was in WI for Week Two of my “Recipe a Week” challenge.  So I made something new tonight.  Funny story about that too…I was going to make the recipe “Spaghetti and Spicy Rice Balls” from my Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian cookbook because I thought I had all the ingredients.  HA!  Of course I had only a small amount of the main ingredient…the rice.  So I quickly improvised and used couscous.  So this is kind of my own recipe, based on that recipe.

Couscous “Meatballs”

Makes 16 “meatballs”

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1 cup couscous

1 small onion chopped

1/8 cup Italian bread crumbs

1/4 cup quick cooking oats

1/8 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

2 shakes Mrs. Dash

1 egg white

1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs, placed in a small bowl

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cups of your favorite tomato pasta sauce

To make:

Place water in small pot over high heat until boiling.  Add vegetable bouillon cube and stir into water until dissolved.  Add one cup of couscous to water and quickly stir, then remove from heat and allow to sit for five minutes.

While that is sitting, combine the onion, oats, bread crumbs, milk, dried herbs and egg white in a bowl and stir together.  Once couscous is done, fluff with fork and add to the bowl of mixed ingredients, stirring thoroughly.

Form couscous mixture into balls with your hands and then roll each ball in the reserved bread crumbs.  The size of the balls is up to you but I made mine about the size of a golf ball and it made 16 balls.

Heat up oil in a large skillet and place the couscous balls in the pan.  Cook for 10 minutes, rotating them so that they become crispy on all sides.

While this is happening, boil some water in a pan and cook some spaghetti.

When everything is done, plate the “meatballs” and spaghetti and coat with pasta sauce–as much or as little as you like.

So…our opinion of this dish.

Well, I really loved it.  It had a great flavor and really filled me up (I ate four).

Kimm liked it okay.  She seems to have a problem with couscous–in the regard that it gives her a stomachache!  Oh no!  So I felt HORRIBLE.  But she said she liked the taste and would be more than willing to try it again with the rice.

When I make it again I think I may up the spices a bit because the balls were actually pretty mild and I think we could have had some more flavor to them.  Also next time I think I may cook the balls and then add the pasta sauce to the pan they cook in to infuse the pasta sauce around the balls (kind of like how people cook regular meatballs in pasta sauce).

I was very glad I tried this recipe since I hadn’t even planned on making it and I was able to use everything from our cupboards.  I’m trying to buy minimal groceries for the rest of the month!

Today was a WONDERFUL relaxing day.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.  We had Izzy’s class in the morning.  Which was SUPER embarrassing since she peed right in the middle of it–that’s the first time she ever did that.

Came home and had my coffee 🙂  Relaxed and read during the afternoon.  Took a shower.  Made dinner.  And now we are going to watch a movie.  A really nice day.

Tomorrow is back to work–ick.

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment