Another girl, another blog

I am a cooking fool
November 24, 2008, 10:12 pm
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I spent a really relaxing weekend in Palm Springs/Palm Desert/Cathedral City with some of my USC girlfriends this past weekend. While I was sitting on the floor of my friend Sarah’s apartment, I noticed that she had a Cuisine Today magazine (or something else similarly named) and on the cover was a really delicious picture of chicken picatta (which I don’t think I’ve ever actually eaten). I stole the magazine and decided last night that I was going to make that recipe.

It was delish! I made Israeli couscous, which is a larger, sticker version of the classic couscous all of us WW’ers love. I placed the chicken and sauce over the couscous and the only thing missing off the plate was a bright green veggie. 

Tonight for dinner was beef stew. Carrots, potatoes, half an onion, beef, rosemary, italian seasoning, beef broth, salt and pepper. It was in the crock-pot all day and when I got home from work, my house smelled all wintery and welcoming. 

I think tomorrow night is going to be fish of some sort and the rest of the couscous. Wednesday I am making a pumpkin pie and making the previously mentioned pumpkin pie cupcakes with apple butter frosting.

Thursday is turkey day, and I will be making one of the turkeys going to my Grandma’s. Friday will be leftovers and then Saturday…well, to be honest I haven’t really gotten that far. 🙂 

That’s all. I don’t really have much else to talk about today. I’m sure there will be more later. There always is.


Did I mention…
November 20, 2008, 11:13 pm
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Things have been relatively mellow around here lately. Hubs had an aspiration on Monday to remove the excess fluid accumulated in his belly. This is the third (fourth? I can’t remember) that he’s had done. We figured out that the bump he’s had on the front of his belly (affectionately called “the noodle”) is actually a small hernia, but the doctors are unsure if they’re going to be able to operate on it and fix it. Which sucks. But at least we know what is going on and now we know what we’re facing in the future.

I’m doing alright. I’ve decided that I’m going to make an appointment with a psychiatrist at Kaiser and will reengaging in therapy. I’m also going to be asking about getting on an antidepressant. A mild one, but one none the less. I’m having trouble waking up in the morning. I went to bed at 10 the other night and knocked right out. At 6:30 the next morning, I could barely open my eyes. Last night I went to bed at 11 and I could barely get out of bed this morning. I’m dragging ass throughout the day, I come home from work and I’m struggling to peel myself off the couch. I love to cook and I don’t have the energy to make dinner. It’s really frustrating, and my physician doesn’t think that the fatigue is physical, he thinks it’s more psychological. I’m tending to agree with him more and more.

Okay, I need something more cheerful to talk about. 

Thanksgiving this year is going to be at my Grandma’s house. She is the only grandparent that I have, or have ever had (my great-grandmother on my mother’s side passed away a few years back, but I never had the chance to meet her), and Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because its one of the few times of year where all of my family would gather together. My dad is one of six kids, and there are 15 grandkids and great-grandkids. My sister and brother-in-law are flying in from Reno for the holiday, and I haven’t seen her since my graduation in May, so I’m stoked they will be down here. 

I’m in charge of dessert and rolls. My mother-in-law makes a really good dinner roll (the “clover” roll she calls it) using the frozen Beadford dough (that frozen dough in the three pack in the yellow bag). For dessert we’re picking up dutch apple and chocolate silk pies from Coco’s on Thanksgiving morning. I was going to buy a pumpkin pie, but I thought I’d venture and make one myself. I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie (it’s a texture thing) yet I love the spices and flavor. Because of that, I’ve decided to make pumpkin pie cupcakes with apple butter frosting.

Yeah. I know. 🙂

I found that recipe for those cupcakes and frosting on this very cool blog, The Cupcake Project. I had to travel all over town to find apple butter (finally found it at the Whole Foods in Long Beach), which I’ve never had, but I love apples and I love butter, so yeah. 🙂 Oh and yes, I realize its not apple BUTTER. 

I got my acrylics taken off yesterday, I just couldn’t handle them anymore. And I’m regretting that decision because now my nails are super brittle and and thin, which sucks. But whatever, it’s been one day. 

That’s all I’ve got for now. Time for Celebrity Rehab. Good night!

Withdrawal and Choices
November 16, 2008, 4:32 pm
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Friday was an incredibly shitty day. It started off nice enough, what with my boss being late and our normally long (and awfully boring) staff meeting was short and interesting and then it was back to intakes and clients. I had talked to hubs before the staff meeting on my crackberry and had tossed it back in my top desk drawer, which is my normal deal. 

A client called me telling me that she was feeling suicidal so I had her come into the office. While we were waiting for a bed (she has medical issues, so I had to contact *five* hospitals before I could get a bed), I went to check my phone to see if I had any text messages or emails. And I couldn’t find my phone. I looked throughout my drawer, underneath all the junk in there, and no phone. I searched my bag, no phone. I looked in various offices I had spent time in throughout the day, and no phone. It appears that my cell phone was stolen by either a client or a fellow employee. I am leaning more towards a client. I had to shell out $130 to replace my phone (thank God for the insurance coverage I decided to get; the $130 is the deductible and a new phone would have run me over $300). I should have my new phone on Tuesday, and until then I am going through crackberry withdrawals. No phone calls, no text messaging, no insta-Facebook, no brick breaker. 

Yesterday I went with hubs and my father-in-law for breakfast at Knott’s Berry Farm’s chicken restaurant. Afterwards, I came home and cleaned up the house. Around 2, my mother-in-law, father-in-law and a hospice nurse came over to discuss options and choices that we have, as we’re thinking of having hubs be certified to be on hospice. When hubs surpasses the 6 month mark, he would be able to be re-certified to continue being on hospice. It was really hard to sit there and talk about end of life issues and pain management and counseling and a chaplain without losing it. Hubs kept it together really well, and it never amazes me about how strong he really is. 

The weather here in socal sucks. There is ash all over the ground, all over the cars and the sky is an awful shade of brown. There are wildfires burning in counties all around us, and it’s awful to go outside and trying to breathe is a chore. I have kept Dodger in the house as much as possible because he’s got breathing issues as it is and he doesn’t need any other factors to compound on that. He’s on three different medications right now and has done a complete turn around from last week (it was so bad–he was coughing every couple of minutes and wheezing), so I want to make sure that he stays ok. I know he feels fine–he’s eating and drinking like a champ and is sitting here waiting for me to drop popcorn on the floor. He’ll be okay.

I’m hoping this upcoming week goes better than this last one. I’m really getting on the lowering my cholesterol diet bandwagon, combining that with the Core program. I will be hitting the gym nearly everyday, seeing one of my best friends on Thursday for a concert in Pomona and will be trying to relax and just take better care of myself. I am going to call tomorrow to make an appointment with a psychiatrist and enroll in a class on cholesterol education. Baby steps, right?

November 12, 2008, 10:36 pm
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So it’s not diabetes. And it’s not an under/overactive thyroid. It’s not mono (which I knew it wouldn’t be but the doc wanted to test for it). The pregnancy test was negative (I guess because one would need to be having sex and/or not be on their period for two months). 

My fatigue is most likely related to stress and psychosocial stressors. Gee. Hmm. Surprise. Yeah, not so much. With my life, I guess it’s kind of obvious. I am going to make an appointment to see a new therapist, get into a cancer-spouse support group, and maybe get on some sort of (super mild) anti-depressant. I will not be on medication forever, but I need something because I’m starting to have these thoughts lately (not suicide, so please don’t worry its something like that) of just running away. Packing up the car, packing up my stuff and driving east (because if I go west, I’ll hit the ocean in about 10 or 15 minutes). Obviously this is not an option (right?). Sometimes I just feel like life is passing me by and I am struggling to catch up. 

Oh yeah, and I have high cholesterol. Like, if it were one point higher, I’d probably be put on cholesterol lowering medications. Awesome. I will be contacting my doctor to figure out what I need to do, besides changing my diet (already done) and exercise (slowly but surely coming around). I’m not too worried about being put on medications, but high cholesterol and high blood pressure and heart disease run in my family so I want to make sure that I nip this in the bud now and take care of myself so I can live a long, healthy life.

You know, that same life I want to run away from.

And the winner is…
November 11, 2008, 12:07 pm
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I did a lot of research on the South Beach Diet and for me, it was just way too restrictive. One of the things I love about Weight Watchers is the freedom I have to eat anything I want, just needing to eat anything I want in moderation. I like Core because you don’t have to weigh and measure and count points. I eat healthier carbs, more protein (*completely random aside: the word “protein” does not follow the “i before e” rule), and actually end up eating less food because I’m more full at the end of the day. 

So I decided to follow the Core program this time around because I’m just really frustrated. I have one good day on “the wagon” and then the next day I totally stop doing what I need to do because I tell myself, “Well, I’ve been doing this thing for almost six years I know what I’m doing.” Um, not so much. So yeah, I’ve decided to do Core because it will make me eat better foods, it will help me lose weight and if these blood tests come back showing that I may have diabetes or some other sort of health issue (and Jess, its not my thyroid, I had that checked a few weeks back) then I will already have some healthier eating strategies in place.

Enough of that. I have to tell you a little story. On Saturday I went shopping for some new work pants because I had a little bit of money to spend and why not, you know? I went to Kohl’s and grabbed a pair of size 12 pants* which were on sale and very cute. I tried them on and checked the tag, which said that the pants were actually a size ten (*the hanger said 12, so I just assumed…). I tried them on and they fit really well, so well that I decided to buy them. I wore them to work yesterday and got a lot of complements on my cute new pants. And then I got to tell my NSV story about buying pants a size smaller than I normally wear. 

I have today off of work because of Veteran’s Day. Hubs and I are supposed to see “W.” but he’s still sleeping and not feeling very well. Maybe I’ll do some cleaning and laundry and see how he’s doing at the end of the day. I’m not really getting my hopes up one way or the other. This is just kind of the way life goes–we make plans, he gets sick, plans get changed. I’m used to it, I suppose. But if nothing else, today will be a good day of healthy eating, some exercise and relaxing. What a nice way to spend a Tuesday.

To beach or not to beach?
November 6, 2008, 11:16 pm
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I had my first regular doctor’s appointment yesterday, just to get some basic stuff looked at, and to talk about this fatigue I’ve had for the last month or so. As I was telling him about everything going on in my life (hubs, work, just finishing graduate school, and so on), he seemed to think the fatigue may be more related to psychological stressors as opposed to anything medically related. He is going to run some tests to rule out anything like diabetes or poor liver functioning. He’s also going to check cholesterol, and something else that I can’t remember right now. 

After the doctor’s visit I got a flu shot and an updated tetanus shot. My left arm has felt like it was going to fall off all day. After I got home from work tonight I felt all fluish and gross. Hubs and I went to El Torito and I got a bowl of soup which hit the spot, kind of. I wish I felt better, but I know it’s because of the flu shot and I know that I’ll feel a lot better tomorrow.

So one of the big issues I had after yesterday’s doctors appointment was what the scale said. Since June I’ve gained about six pounds, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but on top of the weight I had put on over my goal weight, I’m now only 15 pounds down from my starting weight from January 2003. I know I need to do *something* about it before I end up one of those statistics who puts all their weight and then some back on. And to top it all off its three weeks before Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday food bonanza season. 

I’m thinking of doing the South Beach Diet for a few weeks. I don’t really crave carbs, but I do find myself sitting in front of the TV munching on reduced fat Cheeze-Its, having a snack size Milky Way bar here and there at work and eating way too many carbs. When I tried the Core program on Weight Watchers before my sister’s wedding last May, I did really well and looked HAWT for the wedding (right sis?). But then I haven’t been following any sort of plan since then.

I need something that is structured, that is different–that is new. I need to shake shit up around these parts. I know that there are some fellow former WW’s out there (Kathleen, Hilly) who have had a lot of success on the South Beach Diet, so I’m hoping to try it out and follow in their footsteps.

Any thoughts? Any feedback?

November 4, 2008, 9:14 pm
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Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States of America.

I am overwhelmed with emotion, pride, elation and joy.