Good-bye March.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wow…another month done.

I’m going to have to make a mental note for next year…spring doesn’t REALLY arrive until definitely past March 🙂

It felt like a busy day.

Up and breakfast…back to my beloved English muffin with peanut butter on one side, jelly on the other!  And coffee of course.  I just LOVE my breakfast time…quiet, reading, sipping on my coffee.

We had made a plan to go to Target, ideally before lunch, but then right before we were about to go, Kimm got a bloody nose.  She hasn’t had one in TWO months!  She was feeling a bit dizzy after it and truthfully I wouldn’t feel great going right after that in case she got another one while we were out, so I convinced her that we should stay home, have lunch and just see how she felt after lunch.  She agreed (with some heavy persuasion on my part…I tell you, when she has a plan in place, she doesn’t like to deviate!)

After lunch, she WAS feeling better so we headed out then.  We were buying household stuff and stuff for the Easter baskets.  It was a successful outing in my mind…we were able to get most everything for the baskets and get home by 5:30 pm.

I started the meal while Kimm put stuff away.  We were eating by 6 pm.

Then of course our maid disappeared after dinner so we were stuck doing all those after dinner chores…darn her 🙂

And now I’m catching up on writing my blogs.

Then shower and relax before work.

Another three-day stretch begins tonight.  I’m sure you can already guess what I’m about to say…I can’t wait for my next days off 🙂

Lemon Depression Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting {vegan}

Monday, March 30, 2015

Today we got together with Kimm’s parents to celebrate both her mom’s and her brother’s birthdays!

I made the cake and I’m happy to say that it was COMPLETELY dairy and egg free.  The best part…it was GOOD.

Depression cake is perfect for vegans because it eliminates many of the ingredients that were expensive/difficult to obtain during the Great Depression such as dairy and eggs.  Cooks back then had to get creative 🙂

I found the cake to be a bit denser than a regular cake, but the flavor was excellent.  The recipe was based on this Lemon Crazy/Wacky Cake recipe I found on Pinterest.

Lemon Depression Cake

Makes: one thick layer (approximately 8 slices)

Time to make: 20-30 minutes prep, 35-40 minutes bake time

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

the zest of one lemon

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 the juice from a full lemon (approximately 2 Tbsp)

5 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup water

To make:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare cake pan by spraying with non-stick spray (I used a 9 inch pan).

Mix first five ingredients well in a large bowl.

Make three depressions in the dry ingredients, one small, one medium, and one large.  Add the vinegar to the small depression, the vanilla extract and lemon juice to the medium depression, and the vegetable oil to the large depression.

Pour the water over it all and mix well.

Pour into greased pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean (mine took about 38 minutes).

Cool and frost.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Makes: enough frosting to cover one layer

Time to make: approximately 15 minutes

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 the juice of a full lemon (approximately 2 Tbsp)

2 cups powdered sugar

To make:

Add vegan butter, vanilla and lemon juice to medium bowl.

Cream until fluffy.

Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar at a time and mix each addition until smooth.

Refrigerate until 1/2 hour before using.

Frost cake and ENJOY!

(the frosting recipe is kind of my own creation…I looked at a lot of vegan frosting recipes on Pinterest and kind of morphed together what I thought sounded good from a few of them–this ended up having the taste of a cream cheese frosting–I’m thinking because of the acid from the lemon…it’s GOOD!)

As far as the birthday celebration…it was fun.  We had a busy day before it all happened.   I made the cake in the morning and then in the afternoon Kimm had her MRI (which of course was delayed…grrr).  After the MRI we stopped and picked up pizza for everyone.

It was so nice to finally be able to sit and relax 🙂  Pizza and talking.  Lots of laughing.  Eating cake and ice cream.  And OF COURSE me falling asleep.  It never fails 🙂

Sore neck persists!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I came home from work last night and was so glad to hop into bed with a Flexeril.  I really was hoping that it would work and completely take away this pinched nerve in my neck.

I woke up still groggy from the medicine and found that my neck was still sore, although a little bit better.  I HATE not being able to turn my neck properly!!!!

Maybe another Flexeril tonight??

I’m crossing my fingers that by tomorrow morning it will be even better.

SO GLAD TO HAVE TONIGHT OFF!!!! (even with a sore neck!!)

Random stuff.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

— made it through work…a few moments where people were a little lazy/crabby…hate that…why can’t people just do what they are supposed to do with a GOOD attitude???

— done with my mammogram….not so bad…thankfully I didn’t recognize the tech…that would have been *awkward* 🙂 …pretty nice to just do it after work #didnothavetowasteadayoff …nice to support my hospital

— it SNOWED today…WHAT???  Spring???

— Kimm’s brother came over today and worked on the new laptops…I haven’t used it yet because I’m just quickly getting my stuff done before showering

— Izzy has been scratching her stitches a bit, especially the one on her neck…must be itchy #poordog

— leftover enchiladas are pretty much the best thing EVER…tasty and love the fact that I can just nuke for 2 1/2 minutes and dinner is ready!!

— I yawned when I woke up and while doing so caused a pinched nerve in my neck!!!!  GREAT.

— I can’t wait for tomorrow night when I have off!

Keep on keeping on.

Friday, March 27, 2015

I can’t believe how fast this week is going.  We had so much planned and thankfully most of it is over.

It was a fairly busy day.

…we got up late (somehow we all slept in till about 8:30 and it was about 8:45 before we got out of bed)…I’m surprised Izzy let us sleep in that late!

…Izzy seems better this morning…less groggy, more alert…update…she has SEVEN individual stitches on her shoulder and a running stitch about 3 inches long

…new breakfast for both of us…oatmeal packets (maple and brown sugar)…yumm!

…finished grocery shopping (Price Rite and Stop and Shop)

…veggie sandwiches and potato chips for lunch while watching House (our latest show)

…talked to my parents to catch up

…watched Survivor

…made enchiladas for dinner

…did a little bit of French

Even though all those things don’t seem like much, boy they sure do take up time.

After dinner and dishes and shower, my plan is to relax a bit before going back to work tonight.

Tomorrow morning is my mammogram…then everything from THIS week  is done 🙂

Izzy’s Surgery

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Izzy is safe at home…her surgery is done…and boy are we happy that she is home 🙂

The day started once the alarm went off at 7:45 am.  Our plan was to drop off Izzy before we ate or fed the cats because Izzy had to stay NPO (nothing to eat).  But of course our bed was SO comfortable we ended up lazing around just talking for a bit and it was after 8 am before we finally got up.  Before we knew it we were dropping her off (of course it broke my heart when I put on her collar and leash this morning and she got all excited…she thought we were going for a walk!)

After getting home it was WAY TOO QUIET!!  There was no Izzy eating her food and drinking her water, no Izzy coming over to lick our knives after spreading our English muffin and toast with peanut butter, no Izzy nails making noise as she walked on the hard wood floors.

Her surgery was going to happen sometime between 10 am and 12 noon and we could call and check up on her after 1 pm.

How we passed the time:

— we ate breakfast

— I watched Dancing with the Stars (like the new season!)

— Kimm ordered our new freezer for the basement!!!!

— we went shopping at Stop and Shop to pick up a few things

After getting back from the store it was past 1 pm so Kimm called to check on Izzy…surgery was done and she was sleeping!  We were told we could pick her up anytime between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm.

We decided to pick her up after we ate dinner so that we could focus on her solely when we got home.

Lunch: cheese and vegetable sandwiches on fresh Italian bread with kettle potato chips

Dinner: pizza out again!

After dinner we were able to go pick her up 🙂

First the doctor talked to us.  He explained again exactly what he did — removed the cyst-like tumor from her shoulder which he said definitely looked like cyst-like tissue; he also removed the lump from her flank and said he wasn’t really sure what that was but it didn’t look like a cyst; he also aspirated the lump under her chin which was just clear fluid (he says it will probably return) and he also aspirated from the cyst in her ear.  Both the tissue from her shoulder and her flank are being sent out to be tested by the pathologist (it will take about a week to get the results).  She has stitches on her shoulder and flank (maybe about 10 on her shoulder, maybe 20 on her flank) — she needs to return in 10-14 days to get them removed.  Post-surgery instructions: no food tonight (so she does not aspirate), no running up and down the stairs fast, no rough play, only leashed walks, keep her from licking the areas.

After talking with him we FINALLY got to see our baby!  She looked SO groggy.  Her eyes were all droopy and she was walking a bit unsteady but she walked right over to us!  What a cutie!!!

We gave her a LOT of love when she got home.  The tough part is to get through tonight without giving her anything to eat…she normally gets her treats a few times at night!   But…it is only for one night.

Tomorrow hopefully she’ll be more like her old self…

We’re just both glad to have her here home with us again 🙂

Cardiac Monitor Class

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Well, thankfully last night at work was much better all due to better staffing.  I made it through the night and then pretty much immediately started getting ready for bed because I had to get up at 2 pm to get ready to go BACK to work for a training class.  We are getting all new cardiac monitors hospital-wide so it was a mandatory training and today was the only day that worked at all for me with my work schedule.

So with less than five hours sleep, I was up and showered and back at the hospital.  I was surprised that I didn’t really get too tired during the class.  Maybe it was that No-Doze that I took before hand 🙂

Another surprise when I got out of class…RAIN…which then switched to HAIL and then SLEET.  Yuck.  The only good thing…I picked up pizza and ice cream for us and then was able to stay in the rest of the night.  LOVE my cozy home 🙂

Pizza, ice cream, Downton Abby, snuggling on the couch with my loves…my idea of a great evening!

MRI approved!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A tough night at work.  Staffing very challenged, high census, acute patients, another code in the ED, a close “almost code” 1:1 patient in ICU…all makes for a very stressful night for me as I try to help everywhere that I can and listen to employees vent!  Then just as I was about to leave this morning I found out that the 3-11 supervisor had already called out sick.  A sinking feeling in my stomach as I knew that I wanted to try to help out but I had to get up early tomorrow for my class on the new telemetry monitors.  I offered to come in at 8 pm if they could not find anyone else to cover…thankfully I got a call saying that the other supervisor who works nights was able to cover…whew!!!

In other GOOD news…Kimm’s MRI was approved!!!!!  THANK GOODNESS.  So that will be happening next Monday.  I truly hope that something shows up just so that we can figure out what is causing all of these symptoms (pain, increased numbness and muscle cramping).  If it would show nothing I’m not really sure what is the next step.  Fingers crossed that it shows something, but that it is nothing TOO serious.  I guess we will find out soon enough.

One more night on!  I will be so glad to have two days off even though they will also be busy.  But these last nights at work have been CRAZY (yesterday I didn’t get a chance to sit down/take a break until 7:15 am!!)

Now for my shower, a snack, some Downton Abbey and a short nap 🙂

Doctor appointment done.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wow, what a night at work.  It started out pretty normal, and ended with a long code (close to 2 hours) in which the patient did not make it.  Draining, emotionally and physically.  Everyone did a great job, working as a team and I wish the end result could have been different.  Hug your loved ones today 🙂

Got home in time to head to bed for a quick “nap” as I was up in three hours to accompany Kimm to her appointment with the spinal surgeon.  Her new PCP recommended making an appointment with him as she is experiencing similar symptoms that she had before she had her neck fusion two years ago.   The appointment itself was short — the doctor pretty much said that he would need to see an MRI to see if there are any changes since the last post-op MRI.  If there are no changes, there is nothing he can do, surgically.  If there are any changes, we will meet back with him to discuss the plan of care.  He also ordered a back x-ray as well.  As soon as we left the building I suggested we get the x-ray taken care of right away since we were already out.  We headed over to the very close hospital and we were in and out within less than 1/2 hour.   So now we are just waiting to see if the insurance company will approve the MRI (which HOPEFULLY they will since it has been 2 years since the last one and a spinal surgeon wrote the order…fingers crossed!!!!).  If it gets approved I really hope that something will show up because otherwise it’s going to be very frustrating for Kimm as the symptoms are so bad and causing a quality of life issue…then it will be dealing with maybe a pain specialist??  I’m hoping we don’t have to go down that road.

After getting back home I actually wasn’t that tired, considering I only got a few hours sleep.  I’ve been doing French and reading blogs and organizing my bookmarks on the computer.  Soon I’ll make dinner and I’m SURE after I eat I’ll feel very sleepy 🙂

Tonight is my second night on and I hope that it is calm.

Just another winter-ish spring day…

Sunday, March 22, 2015

It was COLD and WINDY today…

Good thing I was inside, snug and warm!

Stuff that got done today:

— reading while enjoying coffee and an English muffin for breakfast

— made banana muffins (vegan!!! with coconut oil!!…recipe to come soon)

— French

— knitting

— dishes x 2

— finance meeting

— winter decorations down and new spring ones up!

— organized some of my bookmarks on the computer

— made new meal for dinner (pesto pizza…very good…recipe to come soon)

— painted my nails

— watched some Downton Abby

I’m back to work tonight…three on.

This is going to be a BUSY week…one day at a time.