Happy Easter!…Sunday’s Letters, 2013: Week 13

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dear Co-Workers:  Thank you for a great team effort last night at work…it really makes a difference.

Dear March:  Where did you go?  The year is flying by as usual.

Dear Warm Weather:  I’m ready for a little stretch instead of a day here and there…no more teasing!

Dear Garden:  I can’t wait to plan and plant you!

Dear Wisconsin Family:  I love you so much and miss you…hope you have a wonderful Easter!

Dear Weight Loss:  It’s back on track for you…I may have slipped a little this month but that is NO EXCUSE to give up…I’m still way ahead of where I was at the beginning of the year.

Dear Easter Dinner:  I can’t wait to get you in my belly!

Dear Chocolate:  WHY do you have to taste SO GOOD??!!

H A P P Y   E A S T E R !

Published in: on March 31, 2013 at 8:46 am  Leave a Comment  

You Never Know

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A sad, mentally tough night at work last night.

My patient was a man who essentially had no medical history, had gone to the doctor for a sore throat, was given antibiotics and after two doses, had an anaphylactic reaction and went into cardiac arrest.  His airway was so swollen that they were unable to get an artificial airway until an emergency trach was done in the ER.  He was without a heartbeat and an airway for close to 30 minutes.  He was revived, but with high probability of anoxic (lack of oxygen) brain injury.

The family was, justifiably, in shock, but also very hopeful, as he was now getting oxygen, had a heartbeat, LOOKED like their husband/father/brother.

Even though the intensivist and neurologist both explained a grim prognosis, the family just couldn’t process it.

And that made my job even harder.

I didn’t want to take away their hope.  But I also wanted to be honest.  It was a fine line and I did the best I could.

I took care of the patient AND the family with all my might, always thinking, “life is just not fair” and blinking back tears on many occasions.

The heartfelt hugs I got from the family members as I left my shift made me feel as though I helped this family in one small way.

You never know what life will bring you.

And this is why it is SO important to live your life with no regret.  To do the things you dream of.  To say “I love you” to family and loved ones often.

 

 

Published in: on March 30, 2013 at 8:19 am  Comments (8)  

Friday Favorites, 2013: Week 13

Friday, March 29, 2013

A sunny Friday 🙂  Warmer temps are on their way 🙂

Enjoy my favorites from around the web…

Favorite sweetToasted Coconut Cookie Bars…what a unique flavor combination in a bar form!

Toasted Coconut Cookie Bars

Photo and recipe source : Eat, Live, Run

Favorite frugal readDealing with Money Stress (source: The Simple Dollar)

Favorite cookieButtery Sugar Wafer Sandwich Cookies…cute and tiny, melt in your mouth…they look delicious and perfect for Easter dessert!

Sugar Wafer Sandwich Cookies

Photo and recipe source: Averie Cooks

Favorite inspirational post7 Reasons You Struggle with Happiness (source: Mark and Angel Hack Life)

Favorite dipPeanut Butter Toffee Dip…the PERFECT once-in-a-while-splurge dip!

Peanut Butter Toffee Dip

Photo and recipe source:  Buns in My Oven

Favorite truth

Love and love

Favorite funny… (if you have a dog, you KNOW this is TRUE!)

Quiet dog

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Published in: on March 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm  Comments (1)  

Shopping…

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I haven’t been “shopping” in a LONG time.

Meaning, it’s been a long time since I just went out to look for something nice to wear.  Occasionally I’ll look when we go to Target, just to see what is there, but nothing more.

Yesterday I decided I wanted to get out and try to find something nice to wear for Easter AND try to find a better bra.

Well, let me tell you…shopping is NOT MUCH FUN.

I tried on a lot of bras and was unhappy with them all.  So major fail there.  I need to keep looking.

By the time I was done with that, I hardly even felt like looking for some clothes.  But we kept on going, and eventually ended up in Old Navy, which I haven’t been there in so long, they completely re-did the store.

Thankfully I was able to find two tops, and one of them I was able to get for 50% off because there was a defect with the buttons on the sleeves (which I can fix) and a VERY faint stain on the back, hardly noticeable.  But because Kimm encouraged me to ask about a discount, they gave me 50% off, final sale.  So two tops, $22.50.  Somehow, I STILL feel guilty spending money on me, but I do have two tops that will take me from spring to summer to fall.

IMG_1836

This was the discounted shirt…LOVE the blue detailing of the stitching and the cream color…

IMG_1837

LOVE the color of this top and how lightweight it is…I will be wearing this for Easter!

What else did I do today?

–found new curtains for the living room!  We have been thinking about moving the living room curtains up to the office and getting something different for the living room…we stopped off at Bed, Bath and Beyond and saw something we liked…cream curtains with the Energy Save (supposed to help keep heat out in the summer, in during the winter)–$40/panel!!  We will have to start accumulating our 20% off coupons!  So excited for a new look…the cream color will really pop on the dark brown walls and lighten everything up!

–baked another loaf of bread…went a little easier and the rising was SO much better (used the trick of rising in the oven–pre-heat oven to 200 for one minute, turn off and let rise with oven light on…plus the first rise was one and 1/2 hours, second rise, 1 hour)

IMG_1813

After the second rise, prior to going into oven…actually rose above rim of loaf pan!

IMG_1814

Out of the oven!

IMG_1816

Enjoyed with a vegetable egg scramble for lunch!

–finished reading the last of The Caroline Years (book series covering Caroline Ingalls–Laura Ingalls mother)

–watched the latest episode of Elementary

–saw another sign of spring 🙂

IMG_1817

Published in: on March 28, 2013 at 11:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Oh What a Night…

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Last night at work was a BUSY one.

A CERT call turned into a very difficult and therefore lengthy intubation.  Thankfully the patient was stable throughout the night.

I can actually say I’m very glad that the night was so full, it made it simply fly by, which is always a good thing.

After a VERY NICE sleep, I’m ready to enjoy my first night off!

Plans include…

*pizza! (a no-cook night for me and a continuation of our re-financing celebration!)

*Dancing with the Stars

*reading and Candy Crush

*an early bedtime

 

Published in: on March 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

LONG day (night)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It feels so good to finally be heading to bed!

What with re-financing yesterday afternoon, it left no time for a nap before work.

After working for 12 hours, I headed to ACE day and finished the rounds in about 1 hour and 20 minutes.  So glad to finally have that done.  I just find it ridiculous that I have to attend a yearly education seminar with information that is really not 100% necessary to be given in that format…hello, an online test would work JUST as well.  Just my opinion.  At least today it was overtime.

Anyways, I made it and now I can sleep 🙂

Published in: on March 26, 2013 at 8:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Re-financed!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Well, the long-awaited day has come and gone…we have re-financed the house 🙂

New interest rate = 3.5%

Amount saving each month in mortgage payments = ~$250

Just like last time, we had to call to find out what the closing costs were going to be specifically because we hadn’t been called one and 1/2 hours prior to closing.  They really like to cut things close.  Good news was that they were less than we originally thought (of course the number they gave us was actually MORE than what we were quoted, but at the time we didn’t realize that we didn’t have to make a mortgage payment now this month…nothing until May 1st!)  So the amount we initially thought was outrageous was actually really low…all in all we saved about $300 on just the closing costs and about $600 on our mortgage payment!

Of course it called for a mini-celebration…grinders and ice cream!

Too bad I couldn’t celebrate all night long, but the hospital calls my name.   Unfortunately I slept horrible last night so I have a feeling this is going to be a very long night…especially because I have to go to ACE day in the morning (mandatory hospital training).  I’m already looking forward to climbing into bed tomorrow morning!

 

Published in: on March 25, 2013 at 5:48 pm  Comments (1)  

Homemade Bread…and Sunday’s Letters, 2013: Week 12

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dear 3-Day Weekend:  What a nice surprise!  I will thoroughly enjoy you 🙂

Dear Warmer Weather:  I see that we are expecting low 50s Easter weekend…!!!!  Spring is on its way!

Dear Candy Crush:  SO HAPPY to finally have gotten past Level 35!   It only took a few weeks.  Please don’t let Level 38 last that long…I don’t think I can take it.

Dear Mortgage:  You are about to shrink and that makes me very happy.

Dear Homemade Bread:  SO GOOD.  And REAL ingredients that I know…I must make you a weekly tradition.

Homemade White Bread (recipe from Our Life Simplified)

Ingredients:

One and 1/2 cups hot water (110-115 degrees)–**I just run my hot water until it is steaming and measure the water out

2 Tbsps sugar (white granulated)

1 and 1/4 teaspoon yeast

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsps melted butter

4 cups all-purpose flour

To make:

Combine the hot water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl, let sit for 5 minutes (this will activate the yeast–make it foamy).

Meanwhile, in a separate large bowl, stir together 3 and 1/2 cups flour and salt.  DO NOT ADD all the flour at this time.

Once the 5 minutes is up, add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture.  Add in the melted butter.  Mix together, adding in more flour if needed until you have a thick, shaggy mass of dough (dough should still be doughy, not tough, but not sticky…there should be no extra    flour in the bowl…for me I used the 3 and 1/2 cups of flour only).

Dump a small handful of flour onto a flat surface and then dump the mass of dough on it.

Begin kneading…push dough down on to surface with the heel of your hand, pull over the part that you pushed down (about halfway into the dough), turn the dough a quarter of a turn and repeat.  Repeat, repeat, repeat until dough becomes soft and pliable.  Add additional flour to surface if dough starts to stick while kneading.  Kneading develops the gluten from the proteins in the flour.  The process should take 8-10 minutes.  Set a timer, play some music, but go by the feel of the dough…it should be soft and pliable!

Oil a large bowl lightly (or spray with non-stick spray), place dough in bowl, cover with towel and let rise for an hour until doubled in size.  Keep in a warm area…if it is cold out, pre-heat oven to 200 degrees for one minute, then turn off oven and turn on pilot light, let dough rise in oven.

Once dough has risen, punch it down to release all of the gases that have developed.  Remove dough from bowl, shape into loaf and place into an oiled loaf pan.  Let rise again for one hour, until doubled in size.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake bread for 30 minutes until top is golden and loaf sounds hollow when it is tapped.

Enjoy!!  (especially fresh out of the oven with some fresh butter!)

IMG_1810

IMG_1811

Published in: on March 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Brunch Date

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ahh what a tasty day!

We were invited to a brunch date at Hardwick Vineyard and Winery.  It was some good food!  I completely filled up on blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup, baked French bread casserole, Cheesy Hashbrown casserole, and Cheese and Egg Quiche.  I had seconds of the blueberry pancakes and hashbrown casserole…they were so tasty!

After we ate all I wanted was a nap, but first we took a little hayride out to a sugar shack.  A local man has a little shanty in his backyard where he makes and sells his own syrup…makes about 35-50 gallons of syrup a season ($60/gallon!).

It was a fun little outing.  The funniest thing is that it was located right outside of Ware where I used to live when I first moved out to Massachusetts and I recognized the area from when I used to ride my bike along the back roads!  Small world.

We didn’t taste any wine today since it was a breakfast, BUT I’m going to be sure to taste some next time I go to the package store.

By the way, I got my nap in when I got home 🙂

Published in: on March 23, 2013 at 8:06 pm  Comments (1)  

Friday Favorites 2013: Week 12

Friday, March 22, 2013

Nothing too exciting happening here…my last night at work was perfectly fine…only one patient!  In fact we had 4 patients and 3 nurses…QUITE the nurse to patient ratio…I’m seriously surprised they did not float one of us…I’m not complaining!

Enjoy my favorites from around the web this week…

Favorite chocolate fixBlack Bottom Cheesecake Brownies.  The combination of chocolate and cheesecake can never be wrong!  I love that everything is from scratch.

Black Bottom Cheesecake Brownies

Recipe and photo courtesy of Lulu the Baker

Favorite inspirational post9 Lessons I’m Glad Life Taught Me.  What have the following words taught you about life??  Here’s my thoughts…

TIME–There is only so much time in a day…choose wisely how you will spend it.  Time will heal most everything.  Time passes faster than you will ever think…remember that the next time you wish time away.

LOVE–Love is a wonderful thing, to have someone love you for just you is the safest feeling you can ever feel.  Love does not look only one way.  Love is expressed best with a hug.

MEANING–Things have different meaning to different people, focus on what things mean to you.

JUDGMENT–Don’t judge another person unless you have walked in their shoes.  It’s always easier to judge than to try and understand.

CONFUSION–Most people do not have it all “together.”  We are all learning as we go about our daily lives.  Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification!

WEALTH–There are many different kinds of wealth.  Having monetary wealth will not protect you from heartache in this world.

REGRET–Take every chance you can as regret can ruin your present moment.  It’s easy to glorify the past so choose to live in the present.

RESENTMENT–Speak the truth.  Don’t let other people take advantage of you.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  It’s all too easy to feel resentment if you don’t follow these rules.

ADVERSITY–Life is difficult, of that there is no doubt.  But you have the ability to change things you don’t like…work hard and then celebrate even harder!

Favorite kitchen techniqueSimple Microwave Jam.  I’ve never heard of this before but it seems SO simple…I can’t wait to try it this summer with fresh strawberries and blueberries!

Microwave Jam

Recipe and photo courtesy of What Megan’s Making

Favorite inspirational weight-loss postHow did I REALLY lose the weight?  Another super honest and  helpful post by Roni…

Favorite copy-cat recipeOlive Garden’s Lemon Cream Cake…oh yeah!  I’m making this for Easter so HOPEFULLY it is as good as the original!

Olive Garden's Lemon Cream Cake

Recipe and photo courtesy of Better Recipes

Favorite truth

Trying

Published in: on March 22, 2013 at 8:57 pm  Leave a Comment