Photo Dump

I down loaded pictures from my old camera that I took with me over the weekend.  When I got to my Mom’s house last Thursday night, we both realized that I am her first overnight guest! 

The day after she slept over at our house the week before, she left this note for us:

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While I had blueberry muffins for her, she had the guest room set up for me!

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When we were driving back on Sunday we realized we would have time to stop at St. Joe’s for lunch.  I wish I could have planned better to meet up with one of my favorite bloggers, Nicole of Prevention RD!  She and her hubs just moved there.  She’s from my old home town, so we keep telling each other one of these days we’ll meet!

They had pirates of all kinds in the downtown area.  Not sure why?

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The beach area was beautiful!!

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We stopped to buy some wine at a vineyard shop, and asked for a recommendation for lunch.  He suggested a pizza place, but after a walk and 30 steps down, we discovered that there would have been over an hour wait.  We decided to eat at the restaurant right near where our car was parked.

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All three of us started drooling over one of the small plates:

Panko breaded tiger shrimp with sweet chili sauce.

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Six came to an order and these were outstanding.  So light, the shrimp was slightly sweet.  So good.  While I had a burger on my brain, I saw something else that I thought would be just a tiny bit better food choice for me – the seared ahi tuna salad.

Pan seared ahi tuna with fresh ginger-cucumber salad, toasted sesame drizzle and wasabi aioli.

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It was delicious – I even got my Mom to try a bit of it.  (It’s okay that I refused to try her perch and walleye though!)

When I got home Sunday night Tony had chopped up some potatoes and carrots and fresh garlic, tossed it with olive oil and salt and pepper and wrapped it in foil for the grill.  We learned a long time ago to always cut out the back of the chicken so that it’s cooked through.  Can’t tell you how many times we’ve made chicken only to cut into it and its still raw at the joints – gross.

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I cooked it in a cast iron skillet so the fat wouldn’t make the flames jump.  This 3.5 pound bird took 1 hour and 15 minutes at about 350.

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I am sure this beat the frozen pizza Tony ate while I was gone!  These potatoes were out of this world – like buttah!

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Okay, now onto Monday!   I was slow going yesterday morning.  Lately our dog, no matter how cool it is in our house, pants loudly.  He could be fast asleep and then all of a sudden he pants and doesn’t stop.  I had already taken him on a walk before we went to bed.  I ended up sleeping on the living room couch, he followed me in and I put the fan on high and then he was a happy camper. Open-mouthed smile

My first thought about what to fix for breakfast was “just pick up a breakfast burrito at McDonald’s.”  I looked at the clock, I had a good five minutes before I had to leave and quickly cooked up 2 eggs and 1 Jimmy dean breakfast sausage.  When I got to work, I made a burrito with some cheese and a flour tortilla I brought.  As luck would have it, someone from my office brought in fresh fruit – score!

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With all the walking we did over the weekend, I had no trouble getting any motivation hitting the gym.  I knew I wanted to swim!  The part of my mole they scraped off has scabbed over (hope you are eating breakfast as you read that sentence!) and I could get back to the pool.   And as luck would have it, I was the lone swimmer in the indoor pool.  Just me and my lifeguard.  It’s kind of intimidating having just one person look at you while you swim – and I am not a good swimmer either, so that’s equally embarrassing!

But I muddled through and did 40 minutes of a combined breast stroke and back stroke.  I was huffing and puffing at the end!

For lunch I grabbed a container of broccoli cheddar soup.  But I knew that wouldn’t be enough and I had no other meats or veggies to add.  So I found some leftover pasta from last week, and made a sort of broccoli cheddar cheese mac soup.  This ended up being really tasty!

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I still haven’t done a full grocery shop yet, but I knew I had frozen ground beef to make tacos.  A quick stop at my local Mexican restaurant on my way home from work, and for $5 I had accessories to our dinner.

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Tortilla chips, refried beans, Mexican rice and salsa.  We ended up having 1/3 of each of those containers, and I’ll use the rest for leftovers later in the week.  My plate:

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And guess what?  I have today off from work!  I am meeting Hannah at her college today – its new student orientation.  But for me to make it there by 8:30 in the morning, I need to take the 6:58 train from my house – an express train gets me to Chicago in 60 minutes!

They are having a welcome breakfast, meetings/orientation, a lunch and meetings with your advisors.  I am really looking forward to checking out her new school.  Seriously, if she could start tomorrow she would be so happy!

Have a great day, and if you made it down this far, thanks for reading! 

Question of the Day:  Where did you go to college?

Three Generations of Feet

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My feet are blue, Hannah’s are purple and Nana’s are orange.  And these three feet had a wonderful weekend in Michigan!  When Nana asked us to go away for the weekend it seemed so far away and it kind of snuck up on us.

How bad can your weekend be when this is your back yard?

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Once we got settled into the house, it was time for lunch.  Thanks to blog readers Esther and April who suggested Clementine’s.  Long time readers will know that Tony and I dislike onions.  A lot. The only onions we will ever eat are in the form of an onion ring.  But even then, we are super picky.  There has to be more batter to onion ratio, and the onions have to be really skinny.

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They offer a 6 inch and 12 inch spike of onion rings.  Since we were going to order lunch too, we went with the 6 inch.

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Yep, that is the short stack!  When Tony saw this picture that I posted on facebook, even he was shocked that I ate these.  But they were perfect – the batter stayed with the onion the whole time – I hate when you bite into an onion ring and then the whole thing comes out at once.  So good!

And I figured, what the hell, I am on vacation, I’ll get the Reuben!

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Holy cow was this good – the corned beef was so tender, the thousand island dressing was served on the side so the bread stayed nice and crisp.  I ate half.  My mom ordered the walleye which came with a baked potato.  The next morning I made a hash out of the remaining corned beef and her potato. Open-mouthed smile

I think we averaged about 4-5 hours of walking each day.  So many shops!

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On Saturday we went to the beach.  The water temperature was the same as the air temperature – 75!

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The beach was super clean and the water was really clear too.  Although, I don’t like to go into bodies of water much past my knees.  I got pulled into a rip tide in Nags Head, NC when I was 16 and got dragged 100 yards down shore – my actual lack of swimming skills probably saved my life because I just went with it.

We loved watching all the ships go in and out of the marina.  We decided next time we go up we will take a boat ride. Open-mouthed smile

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Our house we stayed at had a lovely patio.  Friday night we ate such a big and late lunch, that we ended up only having cheese and crackers (and wine!) for dinner.  The house also didn’t have any t.v., only a DVR.  Friday night we watched a movie and then we played Banana Grams – so fun!

The day we got to the house though, they got a DSL line in, so Hannah could use her iPad and stay in touch with the world.  My mom even checked her email – it was funny watching her use the iPad – she couldn’t get used to touching the screen.

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And you can’t have a weekend away without ice cream!  That was Hannah’s, but I got a kid scoop of no sugar added butter pecan – so good.

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We went to both South Haven, Saugatuck, and St. Joe’s and each place had a Christmas store.  I thought this ornament was a bit strange – it was “Diver Dan”

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And no trip to Michigan would be complete without blueberries!  This box cost $12.50 for 5 pounds.  This is just over half because I gave some to Hannah too.

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So leave me your favorite links to blueberry recipes!  I know I’ll be making some muffins later this week. Open-mouthed smile

I only down loaded pictures from my good camera, I am sure I’ll post some more from my phone and other camera later this week.

It was relaxing and busy all at the same time.  I think we did everything we wanted to, although Sunday came all too soon.  But to have this opportunity to spend so much time with my Mom and daughter?  Priceless!

I missed Tony though, so I was happy to hang out with him last night and watch some of the Olympics.  It was weird to be so out of the loop for so long!

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Back to the grind . . .I haven’t been to the store yet so it will be interesting to see what I can put together for breakfast and lunch.  Make it a great day!

I am Abnornmal, but I’ll be Okay!

Hey guys – just a quick post today.  I got a call yesterday from the dermatologist regarding my biopsy.  While the biopsy came back with “abnormalities” I don’t have skin cancer!  Since they aren’t exactly sure what it is, they suggest I see a plastic surgeon to remove the rest of it.  This was how it was described to me:

Sometime lesions can be atypical or unusual without being a skin cancer. Kathi recommend it be removed before it may turn into anything bad. I can sent you your pathology results but you would need to fill out a medical records request. You can either go online, fill out the form and fax it to us and we will either mail or fax your results to you. You can also come back to the office, fill out the form and we can give you your path at that time. That way you can bring the pathology with you to the plastic surgeon.

So in the next few weeks I’ll make an appointment to get the rest of my “spot” removed.  Winning!

I got to my Momma’s house last night.  We went to the grocery store to get some staples for the weekend.  You know, because everyone needs English muffins, cheese and crackers, bacon and wine when they go away for the weekend!

My mantra this weekend?

CELEBRATE LIFE!

Have a great weekend!

9:14 Mile Pace!

Wow, thanks for all your well wishes comments and emails yesterday about the biopsy of my “spot” as I am going to call it.  I am sure it will be fine, but if nothing else, hopefully my experience persuaded a few of you to get some suspicious spots of your own checked out. Open-mouthed smile

On the way to work I picked up my prescription shampoos for the psoriasis of the scalp.  One is a shampoo I use three times a week.  The other is a topical steroid oil that I use every other night, but can’t use it more than 2 weeks in a row.  Oh, and I can’t use it on my face, groin, or body folds.  Not kidding, that’s what it said on the instructions!  So with my $40 dollar co-pay and the shampoo – I spent $86.64 to get rid of an itchy scalp!

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It reminded me that I think I’ve had psoriasis probably most of my life.  I remember being a freshman in high school.  My grandma lived with us and she was kind of on the nutty side.  She used to love playing scrabble and Monopoly, but the games would go on forever because it would take her forever to make a decision.  The worst?  When she would spend 20 minutes playing a word on Scrabble and come up with CAT.  Really?

Anywho, I remember having scalp problems back then, and her remedy for everything was vitamin E.  One night she decided she was going to help me.  We sat and cut pill after pill of vitamin E and poured the oily contents into a bowl.  She then proceeded to spread this oil all over my scalp.

In 5th grade, my twin sister and I, at 5 feet 2 inches, were the tallest kids in class.  Um, turns out by high school everyone caught up with us.  I just remember walking down the hallway with this greasy mop of hair and kids looking at it like “WTF is with her hair?”   Why I listened to my grandma, I’ll never know! 

She’s the same crazy grandma that made me wear a “Jesus First” pin for one of my school pictures!  Hopefully this oily stuff won’t do the same damage it did back in the day. Open-mouthed smile

It’s Wednesday, so it was bagel Wednesday!  I did have a microwaved egg in the middle but you can’t see it.  Loves me some jalapenos first thing in the morning!

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I was set for my workout, and taking Lori’s suggestion, I lifted weights!  I did 25 minutes of lower body.  Then I decided to see how fast I could run just one mile.  It’s always mind over matter with me and running.  My feet and body tell me I can go faster, but my mind says “slow the hell down!”

But I told myself – it’s one mile!  Guess what pace I did – 6.5 mph which equates to a 9:14 mile!

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It was hard, but I did it.  Now I just need to build up my stamina to go faster and longer. Turtle

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All while sporting my Band-Aid on my face! Open-mouthed smile  I ended up running/walking another mile for 2 miles total.

I was really hungry by the time I got back to work.  Copycat Panera broccoli cheddar soup!  I prefer a smooth soup, but you could leave it chunky if you want.  You can find my recipe here.  On the side I had a cheezy Arnold thin for dipping.

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While delicious, after my workout by the time I got home I was hungry!  I defrosted some chicken breasts.  I am not sure where I saw this recently, so if it was on your blog, please let me know.  I now pound my meat in a ziploc bag – not only does it prevent germs getting on my counter, but my meat mallet stays clean.

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This was half of one chicken breast – they were huge!  Just dipped in egg whites, then seasoned bread crumbs and a couple tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.  Pan fried in 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter and lots of Pam.

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I cooked up some pasta on the side – Tony prefers not to have red sauce, I love it. Open-mouthed smile

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I ate all but about 3 pieces of the chicken – perfectly cooked, and I love the added zip of the crushed red pepper to my plate.

Oh, and here’s a really shitty picture I took of dinner, which is about what 75% of my pictures look like after I down load them.  One of these days I’ll take a photography class. Open-mouthed smile

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So this will be my last post until Monday!  My Mom, Hannah and I are going for a girls weekend in South Haven, Michigan and I have tomorrow off.  I’ve already found thrift stores, and farmers markets that I want to check out.  But if you know of any good restaurants in the area, could you let me know in the comments section?  I’ve never been to this area of Michigan before.

The house belongs to one of my Mom’s friends and she’s letting us use it for the weekend – it has a grill so I am happy about that – and it has a nearby lake – I will definitely be floating, of course while wearing a hat and 50 spf sunscreen!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and I’ll recap on Monday.  Make it a great day!

Biopsy?

When I walked into the dermatologists office yesterday morning, I would have thought I walked into a Beverly Hills spa like you see on t.v.  I wish I would have had the balls to take a picture, but the waiting room was chandeliers, leather furniture, and the staff all had monogrammed shirts with their names on them and all of them sported Rolex watches.  Not kidding.

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Since this office doesn’t have any paper files (all electronic!) I had already filled out my medical history over the phone, so once I paid my co-pay of $40, they called my name.

The tech asked me why I was there and I literally said “my Mom was concerned about a spot on my face.”  She took a look at it.  You can see it in the picture below – its just to the right of my nose in that picture.  This was taken in May, and the spot was almost twice that size yesterday.

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Long time readers have seen me get burnt – bad.  Remember Hannah’s high school graduation in 2010?

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I’ve been severely burnt in my teens and early 20’s.  It hasn’t been until the above incident that I now put an spf 50 lotion on when I get out of the shower, and I try to wear a baseball hat if I know I am going to be outside for any length of time.

The physicians assistant came in.  She starts to look at my face when she asks “does your head itch?”  Um, yes, sometimes.  I just thought I had a dry scalp or dandruff.  Nope – I have psoriasis of the scalp!  I’ve used Tea Tree shampoo for years, but she said only prescription shampoo will get rid of it.  Good to know! Open-mouthed smile

Then she looks at the “spot” and decides that she wants to shave off the top layer to biopsy.  It could be pre-skin cancer.  I’ll know in a week.  They actually numbed my cheek with lidocane (sp?) and I could feel the liquid underneath my eye and next to my nose – gross.

It didn’t hurt at all – the tech handed me some gauze and when I asked her what it was for she said “some faces bleed a lot.”  What?  But all I needed was a band aid.

I went to work and sported a lovely band aid on my face for the rest of the day – sexy!  I am sure it will be fine, but to be on the safe side, when I go back in a month for my scalp, I plan on having a full body scan. Open-mouthed smile

In my haste to get out the door, I realized I never packed a breakfast – so Subway it was.  This is their steak and cheese egg muffin – it says its 180 calories and when I say “steak” I use that word loosely – it was kind of like loose meat.

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So they gave me this after I left the doctors office:

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One of the rules: no exercise for 24 hours and no swimming until the wound is healed.  So I took this as a rest day.

More chili mac leftovers for lunch, except this time I added some water to thin it out and added Tabasco sauce to it – doesn’t look pretty but it was yummy!

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Since Tony did the grocery shopping for our dinner with his family Saturday night, I didn’t want to have him do a whole weeks worth of grocery shopping on top of that.  Plus I knew this would force me to use up some of the food we already have in the house, so I vowed no extra grocery shopping this week.

I defrosted some pork chops.  I had mashed potatoes on the side and grilled me up some broccoli.  I needed something to tie it all together so I made a lemon pepper gravy – so good!

Lemon Pepper Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups (1 can) chicken broth
  • juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • lemon zest
  • cracked pepper to taste

Melt butter in sauce pan.  Add flour and stir and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly add in the can of chicken broth.  Stir until thick, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, zest and cracked pepper.

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I took one picture inside and one outside, couldn’t decide which one to post, so you get them both, you’re welcome!

This was super yummy and really quick – perfect for a week night dinner.

So no swimming for a few days, but I am hitting the gym today – maybe even lift some weights?  Crazy!

I have my homemade Panera broccoli soup for lunch today – yum!  What are you having for lunch today?  Make it a great day!