Ending 2017

Goodbye 2017.

It has been a great year for me. I know some people have not had a good year including my sister who has had some serious health issues. I guess it’s all about how you experience the year with health, finances, family, work,  and just life.

I’m so grateful my health has been good and I think that’s the main reason this has been such a good year. I think that makes all the difference. Even money or finances take a back seat to health issues. If you’re in relatively good health, I think you can handle whatever comes your way.

We had some great camping trips and work trips too. I always love going to Santa Barbara with B when he has to see the co-ops. It’s such a treat. This year I went up to the North Coast for the first time with him too. Eureka is a bit of a depressed area but the co-ops are amazing. so that was fun. Plus we camped at new Brighton twice and that was lovely especially going to Gayles Bakery. It’s the best!! Camping at Lake Tahoe always tops my list of the best things that have happened. This coming year we may do things a little different in regards to Tahoe. And I still haven’t booked any camping trips yet.

Learning how to Lodge cook was lots of fun and I ended up with 2 Lodge camping pots. It was such fun to cook a pizza in camp and other great recipes like chili topped with corn bread and breakfast casseroles.  Such fun!!

Our finances were good and we were frugal yet got quite a bit done around the house. We even bought a wood splitter on sale for B to use. It was bought with one of his bonuses so that made it even better. We still have some big chunks of tree to deal with and I’m hoping this coming year we can take 2 more Ponderosa pines down so there will be more to split. Food and groceries in general still seem to be our biggest variable expense so I’m working on looking at working on that. I do menu plan and plan my Costco trips but food is just so expensive. I’m tracking food, non-food and pet food and this may give me a better idea of where it’s going. We ended December with just under $1000 for food, nonfood, Christmas food, alcohol, and pet stuff. Most months I run @ 600- 700 so that’s high. Although the Costco trip had gifts in it so I could reduce the amount by that and then it’s maybe $800.

I continued to declutter right up to Christmas and as a matter of fact, have a small load in the back of my VW to go into the thrift store.  I would guess this year I’ve gotten rid of 2000 things. many just small but others not so small.  For next year, I’m going to look at each room with a critical eye and see what can be improved. That should be a fun project.

Well, I’m making a whole wheat bread in the Zojirushi on the dough cycle and then I’ll bake in a pan. It’s a king Arthur WW bread recipe and so far looks good. Then I just finished baking the butternut squash for soup tonight and made a batch of mashed potatoes to freeze for when I make a shepherds pie on Monday.

So I’m off to read a bit and decide if I’m going to town.

Chrusciki and Le Creuset

IMG_1142.jpg Here’s a picture of our traditional ‘Chrusciki’. It’s a polish/European fried dough. It’s not very sweet except for the powdered sugar. My mother made these at Christmas. One of my few memories.

IMG_1148.jpg My fancy new pot. I love Le Creuset and they do last a lifetime or two. As I mentioned my other two are over 30 years old.  I got this great deal where it was on sale and then got another 20% off so still expensive but under $300.

I’ve got all the Christmas stuff down except one swag I’m leaving up for a while because I like the twinkly lights in it.

I’m going to the gym today but no leg work as I must have pulled a muscle behind my knee on Sunday. I’m not sure what really happened but my knee was pretty flipped out the other day and I even only walked one round. Even when I am sick, I try and do 2 rounds so you can tell my knee was hurting.

It’s pizza night but I’m deviating(oh the horror), and making baked ravioli. I have some that need to be used so I’ll make them. Since my daughter is not eating gluten right now, I’ll make something else for her when she gets home from work. She doesn’t get in till 7pm so I whip something easy.

 

 

 

 

Cooking That Counts 1,200 – 1,500-Calorie Meal Plans to Lose Weight DELICIOUSLY

The Editors of COOKING LIGHT sent me this beauty.  It’s a very large paperback, 288 pages loaded with glossy color photos.

As I tend to gain a few pounds over the holidays, I’ll be enjoying this.

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Cooking that Counts delivers sustainable 1,200-1,500 calorie-controlled meal plans packed with tasty food in an easy-to-use format. Unlike other weight-loss plans that rely on processed meals and preportioned snacks, the Cooking Light solution emphasizes delicious meals prepared with whole, natural foods and teaches proper portion sizes to ensure you lose weight and keep it off, for life.

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About the Author

At more than 25 years, Cooking Light is the nation’s leading epicurean brand with the largest audience, most epicurean editorial, and the most recipes. Cooking Light is the only epicurean brand positioned at the intersection of great-tasting food and healthfulness, serving an important and growing consumer need. The brand delivers innovative recipes, nutrition advice, and resources to live a healthful lifestyle via its magazine, website, and portfolio of cookbooks; across all tablets; through the highly-acclaimed Cooking Light Quick and Healthy Menu Maker app; and on social media platforms including, Facebook (Facebook.com/CookingLight), Twitter (@Cooking_Light) and Pinterest (Pinterest.com/CookingLight). Cooking Light is published by the Time Inc. Lifestyle Group, a division of Time Inc., the largest magazine media company in the U.S.

LOOK INSIDE HERE

Stable is good

The wind almost blew the Christmas lights off our house, okay not really, I took this picture years ago.

I’ve had two MRI’s since my last update. The one in September caused some concern. The Neurologists office called me the same day I had the MRI saying the doctor needed to see me as soon as possible.  I told the nice lady that sounded kind of ominous.  She replied that she’s “sure its just regular doctor stuff, but could you possibly get in there today?”

When I saw the Neurosurgeon the next day, he came into the exam room and said, “I had to see you with my own eyes!”  Did you walk in here unassisted?  Do you have pain shooting down your legs?  Tingling or numbness?  How’s your bladder control?

He explained that the MRI showed a small piece of what was left of my crushed vertebra poking quite sharply into my spine (the T8 vertebra had become a tumor from this cancer, and then it collapsed). He did some push-pull tests on my legs and said if any of those symptoms develop, or if I lose bladder control, to call him immediately.  And then he said, “No, go straight to the emergency room and have them call me.”  I knew there were a lot of people praying for me, so I asked him if my walking and having none of those symptoms might be a miracle.  He said, “I won’t say miracle, but you are VERY, VERY lucky.

September MRI

There was some talk about spinal support (surgery), but the most recent MRI showed no notable change.  The doctor determined that the vertebra had crushed as far as it would go, and since I had no symptoms from the poking bone fragment, he said the potential benefit from surgery would not outweigh the risks involved.   I can feel that poking in my back, but it is not pain. It’s more like a distraction. It’s almost always there, but entire moments do pass when I’m not aware of it. I got the distinct impression that the doctor thought it was somewhat of a medical oddity. I thank you for praying for me, and I thank God for every walking, pain-free day I get. I’ll thank him for all the other days too, but I’m pretty sure I like these better.

I recently had my 3-month Multiple Myeloma cancer test and I found the test results message from my Oncologist on our answering machine today after work, “Stable, the same as before.” That’s a message I can’t imagine getting tired of hearing.