Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Random Stuff

I enjoyed doing ICLW!  July was my first month ever doing it.  I was very happy with the number of comments I got (I think 9 total, which for me is a lot) and I found some new blogs as well.  I must admit I didn't do nearly as many comments as I should have (I think 11 total) but I mostly blame slow dial-up Internet on that one!  If you don't have a clue as to what I'm talking about, click on the link.


On Sunday Hubby and I were driving down the highway (not a busy highway - more in the country) when ahead of us we saw a small black bear run across the road!  We pulled over to look at it, and it ran through the ditch on my side and squeezed under a fence.  It then cut a corner and squeezed under another fence.  However, this pasture had cows in it.  It took a few moments for the bear and cows to notice each other.  The cows seemed curious and some took a couple steps closer.  The bear (probably only a 2 year old) hurried around the herd.  Then, we couldn't believe this, it was so hilarious.  The whole herd of cows and calves started CHASING the bear!  The bear took off as fast as he could across the pasture, with all the cows & calves chasing him in one group!  I laughed so hard!  Wished I could've taped it.  That bear was still running for all he was worth when he was out of that pasture.


It's my birthday on August 12th! (*cough*LFCA*cough*)  I know I am no longer 5, but I still love birthdays, parties, presents, and everything else that goes along with growing older...except, well, growing older.  This is the conversation I had with my hairdresser yesterday when I told her my birthday was coming up:  Stylist:  "Oh, so how old are you turning - 24? 25?"  Me:  "Umm, yes...yes...."  Stylist:  "So, which one...?"  Me, sheepishly:  "It's my 30th..."  Stylist, shocked:  "You have to throw a big party!!!"  She also told me that she did not enjoy turning 30 because she was so down about never being in her twenties again, but she is now enjoying her thirties so much.  Once upon a time, I had planned to be done having all my children by age 30!  Lol!  So much for "plans"!

Today my sister FINISHED CHEMO!!!!  I got to be there with her while she had her last treatment, and then she had her picc line removed.  The picc line has been one of the things that she had the hardest time with, so she was really looking forward to getting it out.  It was kinda crazy seeing them pull that long string out of her.  I am so glad for her that she is done.  Of course, she still has to go through the side effects of this last treatment, but then she gets August off before she has to start radiation in September.  Yay yay yay, she may not be jumping up and down for joy, but I can do enough for the two of us!

So those are my random bits of news lately.  Nothing new on the adoption front.  Right now working on subdividing and getting our house ready to sell is taking up most of our time, money, energy, and thoughts.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Future Thinking


This is something that is on my mind a lot.  Or I should say, I’ve become aware of how much Hubby & I do this.  I often hear Hubby saying “When we have a different house, when our finances are under control, when this or that.”  I myself am often thinking “When we have a baby, When we live in town, When this or that”.  I’ve realized that this way of living in the future doesn’t allow one to live in the present very much.   For those of us who have tried for children for years, or still are, or who are waiting, waiting, waiting for an adoption, I think it is important to remember there are a lot of good things right here in the present that we don’t want to miss out on or take for granted. 

I don’t try and think pessimistically and say, “Oh, such-and-such future event might never happen”, because that is a pretty discouraging way of living.  I am still trying to keep my hopes up (rest assured, that doesn’t always work) and I still dream about and plan for the future, but I am trying not to live in the future.

“Set your way of life without money-loving,
BEING SATISFIED WITH PRESENT THINGS;
for He [God] has said,
“Not I will leave you, not ever!
Nor I will not forsake you, not ever!”
Hebrews 13:5

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;
but remember that what you now have
was once among the things you only hoped for.”
Epicurus

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cancer

Cancer is not a pretty word.  I never really thought cancer would play a part in my life.  Now, before I scare you all, I don't have cancer and neither does Hubby!  But lately it seems like cancer is all around me.

My first experience with cancer, that I can remember, is when I was around 12; my best friend's younger sister had leukemia, I believe.  She passed away at, I think, age 10.  Among other things, I remember going to the funeral and I remember my friend crying at school.  Since then, until recently, I don't think I've really known anyone with cancer.  Actually, my cousin had lymphoma, I believe, but I can't remember when.  As far as I know he is fine now.

Last summer, my sis-in-law R's dad got skin cancer on his neck.  He had to have surgery, and is now fine, as far as I know.  It was a very stressful time for my sis-in-law.  Also last year, my close friend's sister was diagnosed with cancer.  My understanding is that the chemo quit helping her, and my heart breaks for my friend and her family.   I think they are trying radiation again now.

Then on February 8th of this year, my sister E found out that the lump in her breast was for sure cancer.  It was all very scary for our very close knit family who really had never had to deal with cancer before.  She had surgery on March 12th to remove the lump and to check if the lymph nodes around it were clear.  They were clear, but she still decided to have chemo as a guarantee.  Her first treatment was on May 28th, the second one on June 18th, the third one on July 9th, and THE LAST ONE WILL BE ON JULY 30TH!!!  Yes, we are all counting down the days, lol!  After that may or may not be radiation, I don't know.  I got to spend time with my sister during her second treatment.  The nurses treated her really well.  I also got to visit with a gentleman from the church I used to attend; he was there being treated for his lymphoma.

Hubby & I used to get together with 3 couples with young children from our old church every other Saturday, for years.  After Hubby's and my spiritual beliefs changed, we decided it would be best to leave the group, and sadly, I don't feel it went very well.  However, I think about these old friends a lot, and very recently found out one of their sons, only 7, has leukemia.  My heart is so sad for them and what they are going through.        

Life is not fair.  Simple and plain as that.  It makes me angry that my sister's life circumstances leave her without a husband to support her during this time.  It makes me angry that people would pressure her to make harmful choices she doesn't want to, and then make her feel bad when she finds the courage to say no.  Yet at the same time I am so extremely grateful to Christ that He would work things in such a way that she will most likely soon come out fine at the end of this, because she has two precious daughters who need their mommy so much.  But at the same time I feel bad, because why should MY sister be okay, when so many others have not been, and won't be?

Chemo is not pretty.  Well, personally, I think my sister is cute with her bald head, but seriously.  She is not doing good now.  Once upon a time I used to think chemo was only about losing your hair and being nauseous!  Ha!  I do feel pretty helpless, but I can encourage her, and I can give hugs.  And I can love on those two little girls like nobody's business.  Okay, they're 13 and 8 already, but they'll always be little in my opinion!   

I don't know if I have a conclusion here; I just needed to write about how I was feeling about all the cancer I feel is around me.  I suppose I haven't been completely open in sharing how I truly feel, because I don't know who all reads this blog from my family, and I don't want them to feel like they need to support me.  I have gone through a lot of tough, ugly things in my life when they have been there for me.  Right now, I need to be the one to support them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chicken Spinach Lasagna

9 lasagna noodles
1-300g pkg frozen chopped spinach
1 big or 2 small frozen chicken breasts
1-200g pkg goat mozza, shredded
1-500g container ricotta cheese

1.  Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain.

2.  Cook spinach according to microwave directions; drain.

3.  Put frozen chicken breast(s) in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until 160F.  Remove from water, cut into small cubes when cool enough to handle.

Sauce:
1/4 cup water
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Pour 1/4 cup water into a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic and garlic powder; boil until the water has almost evaporated.  Stir in cream, parsley and pepper.  Mix cornstarch into 1/4 cup water; stir into sauce.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Makes 2 cups.

4.  Combine cubed chicken and 1 cup of sauce.

5.  Combine ricotta and spinach.

6.  In a 9x13 glass cakepan, layer the following:

-3 noodles, edges overlapping
-chicken & sauce mixture
-half of the shredded mozza
-3 noodles
-ricotta & spinach mixture
-remaining 1 cup sauce
-3 noodles
-remaining half of mozza

7.  Bake at 350F (preheated) for about 50 minutes until top is browned & bubbly.

Enjoy!