Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Broccoli Casserole ...Cardiac Casserole ...whatever ...It's YUMMY! :)
I bake it in my 4 quart Longaberger casserole dish.

One of our fellow bloggers requested the Broccoli Casserole recipe after she read about it in my Thanksgiving post. So, I've decided to post in here in case anyone else would like to make it. I've been making it for years ...on holidays. OMGOSH! If I made it for regular meals would be way too tempting to eat way too much because it is that good. I always get compliments on it and people go for seconds. (Not so much with my mashed turnips and carrots. Although we love them and good for you too if you omit the butter. :) But, this ...the broccoli Casserole ...they like.

A friend had brought it over during a get together and I just loved it and so she graciously provided the recipe ...again ...and again ...and again ...until I finally put it in my word program and now it is also in my special recipe file. Thank you Kathy. :)

Anyway is the recipe - enjoy. :)

Oh and if necessary would probably be a good idea to have a dish of Lipitor served on the side. ;)
***The size of frozen vegetable bags have gone down from 20 oz to 16oz. So, I buy enough to keep the vegetables at 60 oz as in the recipe. Also, I sometimes like to use extra sharp cheese and always regular mushroom soup and not the light.

And the topping is a must - the flavor/texture completes the recipe.

Broccoli Casserole

3 - 20 oz. frozen broccoli (or 2 - 20 oz. frozen broccoli + 1 - 20 oz. frozen cauliflower)

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

cook broccoli and onions with salt in boiling water until just tender. Drain well.
add cheese to broccoli, toss lightly.

mix together:
2 beaten eggs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonaise

add to broccoli and cheese, mix gently

combine 1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs with enough butter (approx. 3 tablespoons) in a small frying
pan. Warm until butter is melted and crumbs are moist and crumbly. Put broccoli mixture in a
buttered casserole dish and top with bread crumbs.

bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Blessings and the ...STREAKER

Wrenna, trying on sunglasses. She loves my vanity in our bedroom because she can sit on the bench and see her whole body as she tries on hats, necklaces or whatever appeals to her in the moment. She likes to layer things...when not streaking that is. :) And I LOVE finding things for her. There is a pink Little Tikes vanity set in the attic and so we will bring it down for her today when we bring the Christmas decorations down. She can sit at her own little vanity and will be so surprised. :)

I have been so busy ...I have not had time to post something here. I did write, but never actually got my thoughts together the way I wanted to and so I am putting up what I put up in my Face Book. Okay I wrote there which is why not here. I have changed and added a few things to it. Now, today ...I am torn between going down to Costco to use the coupons since last day to do so ...or trim the bushes and get the Christmas tree lights up. Normally that would be a no brainer ...because I am out there Thanksgiving night getting lights up ..or that Friday, etc. But as I said ...I have been so busy ...good busty tho. I did put the fresh Christmas wreaths up after everyone left Thanksgiving night and so I suppose that was the official kickoff to the Christmas decorating. :) It may rain and so I am thinking it should be the lights.
Because you never know if it will snow and freeze and then lights are delayed. So works best when done early. Okay ...lights it is. Now I am getting into Chevy Chase - "American Christmas" mode. :)

I hope everyone (Family and Friends) had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

We sure did.

Devan Cosette (granddaughter) helped me get an early start by helping me bake our traditional Pumpkin cookies) on Monday ...which is so much nicer than the night before. I got a kick out of seeing younger son take a phone picture of the cookies while they were cooling on the counter. He had just come in from college class around 9:30pm, went to his room and came back out to take a picture. He does this every year. I never asked where he sends them ...but am amused by it. :) Even though making the cookies ahead of time was a plus ...the negative was that Mr SeaSpray, younger son and I did get into them. :) I first made those Pumpkin cookies in 1977 and only on Thanksgiving and became my holiday tradition to bake and bring over. (I know I have posted about the pumpkin cookies previously and put the recipe up)

Then during the 2o00's ..I finally shared the recipe when I brought them in for coworkers and so many people wanted the recipe. Not secret anymore. :) I still use the same orange tin for family that I began using in 77 ...also a tradition I guess.It was a fabulous day filled with many blessings, good food and fun. D-i_l ...please keep those cheesy potatoes and green beans with ham coming and I want the recipes for the pumpkin cheesecake and acorns too and if I ever do pies ...the apple pie, which was just the right balance and not too sweet. Rolling Crust intimidates me ;)

Mom D, makes the most awesome heaven pie (we call it that now because Devan said it was heaven when she was 5. A cheesecake pie with strawberries and graham cracker crust. She also brought a sweet potato pie - yum and the bean salad which I make ever since getting that recipe from her. And truffles. With guest like this ...who needs to cook? :) Also, a Butterball turkey that mom got for us. Boy ...they really ARE juicier. Even I couldn't dry it out. ;) I also made a dish of turnip and carrots, butter, parsley salt and pepper mashed together. My Aunt Janet always had that at our holiday celebrations and so I carry on the tradition. Important to have more carrots then turnip so not bitter. Stuffing - using sage from our herb garden celery and onions, homemade cran-apple sauce with cinnamon ..although this time I did go too heavy on the cinnamon. Still good tho ...if you like a lot of cinnamon. :) And also mashed potatoes, biscuits and corn. I usually do this broccoli - cauliflower cheese souffle to die for and probably is a a cardio challenge to the arteries ..but didn't get to it. even though I had cooked all the cauliflower and broccoli. (I am making that today - Sunday - um I am not. Son used the extra sharp chedder cheesein his appetizers he put together. We will be having broccoli and cauliglower today - Sunday.) And d-i-l made the gravy which was sooooo good - THANK YOU! Gravy is not my strong suit. A cup worth ..yes ..enough to feed an army and still have good flavor Okay ...I can make larger amounts of fine tasting gravy ...but sometimes ...not so fine. This is because I am not consistent with how I make it. I will do a post on it sometime and maybe someone will give me a fail proof recipe. And how do you get the grease out and still have flavor? Younger son put together a wonderful appetizer. I have to say I am forever hooked on those stuffed olives marinated in wine. And just love the stuffed peppers too. There was so much food and of course the chips and dips. And a local apple cider that was so fresh it tasted like the apples were pressed right in our kitchen. (What is it with me and apples lately? Even with all the yummy desserts and food and chips, crackers, candy and other things for leftovers, I'd eat way too much of ...I began having some and then craved an APPLE instead.)And this has n-e-v-e-r happened - I LOST 4 oz the day AFTER Thanksgiving! That is greatly encouraging because it tells me I really am making some positive lifestyle changes.

We had it at our house this year with our family (sons, d-i-l, their children and my m-i-l ...and had the additional *pleasure* of having our d-i-l's mother, brother and sister out from Ohio visiting us. It was so nice to finally have time to get to know all of them and I feel like we're gonna be good friends and of course we share some really special people in our lives ...our kids and grandchildren. Plenty of good food and good company and lot's of laughter.Then our Thanksgiving streaker!Every family has one ...right? ;)

After dinner ...out comes 2 year old Wrenna ...STREAKING through the whole house ...nekkid ...with a big smile of sheer delight. Fortunately ...none of us felt inclined to emulate her behavior. ;) Her main mission in life these days seems to be to see how many times a day she can dress and undress and seems to think less is more of a fashion statement. (I thought it was hilarious when last week ...our son came to pick the kids up and the first thing he said to me about her ...just as soon as he saw her when she walked in the door, "Did she keep her clothes on today?" "Actually, she took her clothes off twice, but just streaked through the house without her clothes on and I couldn't get her because my hands were in the meatball mixture." :) Or she goes the other way and piles clothes on ...even going into her parents or big sisters clothes ...changing them non stop. And she is very pleased with herself, regardless of choices - sans clothing or too much. She also loves hats and can be quite creative with what she puts on her head. Of course I love to give her ideas and last night, let her wear a decorative pumpkin on her head. I love to look at d-i-l's flkr pics and in fb just to see what her outfit du jour is. :) It was Myles (so darn cute and ever ready with a warm bright eyed smile that just melts my heart every time:) 1st Thanksgiving and he will be a year next month. And sweet Devan is 10 and as always a delight to have around. We are blessed for sure. I am so grateful for family, friends and so much more. I can't wait to meet d-i-l's mom and family again and they all always have an open invitation. :)

Even when tough times hit ...I am grateful for how God brings us through the tough times. I miss my friend Iris so much. We were friends since I was 4 and she was 5. It is surreal to me that she is in heaven now and all day Thursday ..I thought about things I wanted to tell her... pics I'd want to show her. I am glad she got to see our grandchildren again this past summer during a chance meeting while we were coming back from an appointment.

We missed not having Aunt Margie with us. She is ill with an upper respiratory infection. But, Mr SeaSpray thoughtfully put some plates of dinner and dessert together for her and brought them over to her. Is that sweet or what? :) And I miss all the other aunts, uncles and cousins that we always saw on holidays , but family dynamics change because families grow.

***To family reading this ...I will always remember the time I brought the kids up to the football field and then we came back to sing the Happy Thanksgiving song we made up the tune of the 12 days of Christmas and the kids were so excited to do it. :) Now they're all grown with their own families. :) And compared to my small family ...when I married Mr SeaSpray ...I felt like I married into the Waltons because your family is so large and loving.

I miss my family very much. No one in our older generation is left. My mom was the last and that has been since April 2009. She would've LOVED yesterday's celebration. :) And we used the gold flatware she gave me for a Christmas present years ago. It always makes such a pretty place setting presentation. I remember being upset with her because I knew she couldn't afford it. She said she wanted me to have something special from her. She was always happy when I used it and I am happy to use it. People always compliment the table and I always say that the gold flatware is from my mom. It's a warm feeling when I set the table, hand wash the pieces and even put them away. I make sure I am the only one that does it because I take extra care of it and make sure it is polished and not spotty when I store it back in the case. I know she would be pleased to be remembered each time at a celebration.

And I miss so many other relatives no longer with us. But, we were blessed to have all of them in our lives ...and I am very grateful for relationships ...past and present. I also look forward to the new ones that will come our way.

Family and friends ...Blessings every one. :)

God bless all of you and I hope you enjoy this Christmas season.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yak Seed

I was in the kitchen earlier fixing my dinner of my healthier concoctions I make when we have all decided to have different things. Mr SeaSpray was standing nearby as he heard me talking to myself. I was feeling quite pleased ...each time I added what I considered a tasty ingredient. "Some waln-u-t-s, some c-r-a-i-s-i-n-s and now for some .." I know he would never go near some of the things I eat ...but what must he actually think I eat???

Suddenly he exclaimed, "YAK seed? WHAT is YAK seed?"

"Oh Mr SeaSpray ... don't worry me (snicker) I don't put it in YOUR food. Also, trust me DON'T want to know what YAK Seed is or what it does. But, suffice it to know that you and I will be trekking through the Himalayas next week because I hear the fresh Tibetan Yak Seed is the most nutritional of all. If it's good enough for the Dalai Lama's good enough for me!"
And now to my readers that you can be further enlightened ...where do I begin? Well ...for starters, you should know that you don't have to be a YAK to reap the benefits of Yak Seed. Furthermore ...after ingesting said Yak Seed you will have the agility to leap Like a Yak, in the Himalayas but, only in the Himalayas ...not to mention that you will achieve Total Zen. Although should be informed that studies have shown one side effect of Yak Seed for 2% of the population is "long shaggy hair with a dense woolly undercoat over the chest, flanks, and thighs." A coveted side effect in arctic climates ...but Yak hair will block the cooling effects of a nice balmy breeze blowing your way in Miami.

O-K-A-Y-Y-Y ..the truth is ...

...I busted out laughing, and said, "WHAAAT?! YAK Seed? NOOO ...NOT YAK Seed! I added FLAX seed to my Greek yogurt! YAK SEED! EWWWW! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!"

Then ...I imagined YAK seed as I finished concocting my yogurt meal of Non fat plain Greek yogurt, FLAX seed, crasins, walnuts and a lot of cinnamon .

Suffice it to know ...that you don't want to know. I don't either.

And I am pretty sure I have never used the word "Yak" this much in my entire life ...up until this post.

I'm just saying. :)

Although ...God knows I have the gift of Yak. ;)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

5th Blogiversary!!!!! :)

Wow. It seems hard to believe I've been blogging for FIVE years. I am in such a different place now ...since November 13, 2006. But, then aren't we all? I wanted to have something up on the 13th ..began it ...but have just been so busy because I had been ill with an upper respiratory infection that really had me down for the count. And now I am making up for lost time ...things I wanted to do before Thanksgiving.

And I watched my beautiful grandbabies yesterday. Ha! They kept me so busy from morning to night ..that I lost TWO pounds since yesterday morning. I had a lot of fun with them. So ...TWO more wonderful blessings have been added to our family since I began blogging.

I've also been involved in some other things of them medical ...that scared me greatly, but thank God was a false alarm. And no was not my ureter or anything urological. I know that is healed. Again - Thank you God ...and urodoc. And amidst this false alarm was some frustration with an office process that has left me feeling like I cannot ever trust things will be followed through on as they should. I hate that feeling. Anyway ...I will be posting on that.

Sooo ...back to this 5th anniversary of blogging.

I LOVE the hobby!

I've neglected this blog and not put all my energies into it as I had done initially. I want to clean it up a bit on the sidebar - reorganize ...categorize the links. And focus more writing in here. I know I have probably been more public with identifying myself than I realize. Maybe add pictures. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I do encourage you to check out the comments and their links on the side bars if you haven't read them, but scroll down as I am not sure the links are readily apparent. And there are some especially funny posts in my "Favorite Posts" section.

My blog feels like a place to go to get away from things and just decompress. I liken it to that feeling I get after my second sip of an alcoholic drink ...where I can feel myself relax. I get that feeling once I have the mouse in my hand and see my SeaSpray blog come up. Although ...I don't get drunk from writing as I know would happen if I continued drinking. An yeah ...I know ...based on some things I've written ...some of you may beg to differ. :)

And when I have felt really afraid ...I have even put up prayer requests for people to agree with me in prayer regarding a situation. I didn't with the recent false alarm because I was still processing and hoping it was wrong and thankfully was. It is still amazing to me how we can communicate to people locally and around the world in seconds. I believe in the power of prayer. I have no doubt my friend Mel has prayed all the way from the Philippines have some others. But never know who is reading and so I put the requests out there. I believe it was for urology issues ...when I had been really scared and the night I knew mom would die ...unless she had a miracle. I have since taken the prayer request for her down because it may've seemed inappropriate. But when I got that call from the nursing home that she had a GI bleed, I understood the seriousness of it ...especially in conjunction with her overall decline in health ...and did know that was the night she would die ...without a miraculous intervention ...and prayer was all I could think to do. Actually ...I could hardly think to say my own prayers that night. That is not the norm for me. But ...the fear that rose up ...the all consuming fear clouded my thinking processes all night long. (I knew the second I saw her lying there in the ED room that she was dying and would be merciful for her to go home to God and all her loved ones there. And I knew that she had already lost all quality of life due to the multiple mini strokes she had had during her stay at the nursing home. But all I could think to do amidst my tears, was to tell her to hold on that she could fight this along with other positive things to try to get her to hold on. Truthfully ...she looked like the only thing keeping her alive was the ventilator. She was not there. I wish I had told her to go home and that we loved her and we were all alright. But eyes and my heart were having an argument that night. And I have to say the selfish part of my heart was winning that too. When you love someone let go because you WANT the best for them. And maybe in the end was just the little girl in me ...was afraid to lose her mommy and none of us can know what that is like until we walk through it. I just wish I had had more grace in the situation ...and faith. But it was what it was. And I said it before ...but, I will say it again ..the ED staff was wonderful that night compassionate and caring. They had wanted me to make a decision and for as logical as I normally am ...I was incapable of it because my emotions were running so high. Her advanced directives had been botched. I am glad they were though because it allowed time for the entire family to be there when she died. I had always prayed mom would not die alone and she did not. We were all there. And I also called some people to pray for her while Mr SeaSpray was driving us over to the hospital. But I said was not to be. God called her home. It helped to write about it all when I was going through it.

I think blogging gives a voice to our thoughts. It is therapeutic to feel heard. It is healing.

So many blogging words have been written ...more than you know. I have never felt stressed or like I had to do it. I would not if that was the case. It's been mostly fun. My favorite posts are the funny ones - the ones that make me laugh ...which is a good thing in case no one else does. And of course if you laugh makes my day. I know I've shared this in the past, but a mutual blogging friend and I had a blogging friend from Europe and her husband is a physician. She told me that sometimes when reading my posts before going to work in the morning ...that he could hardly catch his breath from laughing so hard. One of my favorite comments ever. :) (I do wonder what happened to her because she just disappeared from cyberspace. I hope she is alright.)

I appreciate the friends I have made in the blogasphere. I used to refer to my personal life as my "real" life, but now I consider the close blogging friends my real life friends too.

And I just have to say ...I was so surprised and thrilled when Ramona (Suture for a Living) sent me a baby quilt for soon to be born Wrenna. There is a picture of her on the quilt on my side bar. Fairly recently ...she also sent me a quilted post card I had admired because it reminded me of Wrenna's joie de vivre energy. I was so surprised when I came home one night, to see this package from Little Rock sittingLink on my counter and I knew instantly what it was and that it was from Ramona. And talk about perfect timing ...I had been stressed, etc., and seeing that just warmed my heart and uplifted me so much. She is always making a quilt, knitting or something for someone. This Little Rock surgeon has such a big heart and I am guessing with all the sewing she does, also the most nimble fingers in an OR. :) Thank you again Ramona. :) I am slow with getting pictures into the computer, but when I do ...I will put a picture of the postcard up. I framed it and just love it! :)

I have written some important ones ..mostly about my medical experiences ....both as a patient and a medical receptionist/Patient Access. (You can find links to them on the side bar) I have spent most of my blogging time in the medical blogasphere ...although there are some wonderful non medical blogs too. And even though I have worked in the medical profession (20 years and looking to go back now) I have written mostly from a patient perspective in here. Or maybe a patient perspective from one who also has an appreciation for the medical side of things because she worked in it for so long too. I truly appreciate what goes on from both sides of the registration area. I do believe my patient experiences and even reading the med blogs will enable me to be more enlightened and effective as a medical receptionist when I do return to work. Wouldn't it be nice if med blogging scored points for an interview? :)

Blogging has been cathartic. When I was dealing with uro ...I mostly liked to write some funny medical story. I vented with humor. Fortunately, I can almost always see humor in a situation. For awhile there seemed like I'd never be getting out of the Bajingoland position and weird when assuming the position began to feel as natural as breathing. And it is weird when you've been nekkid so much around strangers that you begin stripping even in front of the janitor just because he walked into your hospital room. I'm KIDDING! I never did that. But, I felt like I could because I got so broken in with stripping down. I'm just saying.)

When Mom began declining helped to blog about it. It helped to blog about cleaning out her apartment, transitioning into the nursing home and when she died. That period of time was one of the most difficult times in my entire life and that is saying something ...believe me. Because not only could I see that I was losing my mom ...but all the memories and things I tried to suppress came flying up within me and I had to feel things that I spent a lifetime avoiding. And realizing we had so much wasted time between us. My grief even spilled over into other blogs in comment section at the time (sorry about that), and one doc e-mailed and asked if I considered counseling and I had ...but his bringing it up was the catalyst that prompted me to act on it. The counselor truly helped me through it. She also helped me to see why I should not think it was all me. I was feeling such guilt and let me tell you ...grief is bad enough ...but if you have grief combined with guilt's toxic. I could feel it. Thank God and counselor ...I did get past the worst of that. I also want to say ...that Mom was a good person and never did anything bad or mean. And I was never mean to her ...or even swore at her or did any of the horrible things you hear kids do to their parents. But, when she sent me away ...we grew apart and never got that closeness back again (well, we had moments throughout the years) ...until she was in the nursing home for the last 6 months of her life and that was fleeting because of the exacerbating dementia ...although some important things were said. And we loved each other very much. It's sad that things had been so complicated for us.

Why does it sometimes take dying to open our eyes to things we were blinded too? If only we had that kind of vision every day.

I vented in anger about a medical office losing my medical records and what put it over the top for me was the rudeness of the office manager telling me she thought I was "being silly" worrying about my records. There was more ...but talk about being insensitive, unprofessional and just plain stupid! How would she like to wonder about her personal information and social security number being "out there" ...not to mention the loss of documentation, among other things? In the end ...the documentation really has not mattered ...but I still feel upset that I don't know where my information went or if it will still turn up in the wrong hands someday - God forbid! And for all the anger, fear and frustration I expressed in those posts ...I did not take their lawyer up on having a free for 1 year security program to track potential identity theft. I just let it go.

*** Lost medical records must occur frequently though, because I often get hits to those posts from patients looking to see what kind of action they can take regarding their lost records.

Anyway ...blogging has been a lot of things to me. Not only have I blogged, but learned so much through other blogger's posts. This post has been a bit all over the place. I don't know why I reviewed the serious stuff. Part of me is tempted to remove it, but ...I will let it be. It is what it is and just some reflections of where I've been with this thing they call blogging.

I look forward to our holiday season and hope some funny Christmas post comes to mind.

Thank you for reading and for the friendships that have grown over time. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

NOW ...I Understand the TEMPTATION! ;)




I bought the BEST apples in Costco the Thursday night!!!



Eastern Apples ...Crispier...Juicier ...Tastier.

Red Delicious...

U.S. Extra Fancy ...

NET WT. 160 oz (10 lb)

Product of U.S.A

3" MIN. DIA.

Packed on 11/03/11

Castleton, NY

Aaaand ...ONLY $9.99!

I was thirsty last night and so got a glass of water and also grabbed an apple to have for a snack.

That apple was so firm and crisp. Noticeably crisp at first bite and in a way I don't recall with any other apple I've eaten before. And soooooooooooooo JUICY that I wasn't thirsty anymore after I finished eating it and so didn't even drink my water right away. The flavor was excellent! More than excellent. Can you have more than excellent? If you can ...this apple really was ...more than excellent. What a totally satisfying snack.

And so I had another one this afternoon. Just as delicious and juicy.

And usually when you touch an apple will feel firm. But, there is just something different about these apples. Even touching them ..squeezing them a little is just a different ..crispy feel to them. They are shiny ...but they don't have that overly shined chemical preserve look to them and when I washed the apples ...they didn't get all white looking as the chemicals wash off.

I was going to make a cranberry/apple dish with them ...but these are just too good to heat up in cooking. yes I would use good apples, but I am telling you ...these particular apples are so totally raw eating worthy it would be a shame to soften them in cooking.

These apples are so good ...the best apples I remember ever having in my life. I know when people come over ...I am going to be raving about the apples and say .."Here take this apple're really gonna love it! I can't help but promote something if I love it. if I could cyber an apple to all of you ...I would. :)

The big mag of Hershey chocolates I also bought (for Mr SeaSpray and family) can get white and wormy before I forgo these apples. Interestingly ...if I have an apple ...I am completely satisfied. If I have a piece of chocolate n-e-v-e-r satisfies that chocolate urge. Instead I just want more and more and more and more. Why is that?

Anyway ...they say you don't miss what you never had ...but now ...for me the the apple standards bar has been set.

I almost wonder if they weren't somehow dropped down out of heaven know Heaven's perfect crop of apple manna ...secretly delivered by angels to the Costco warehouse? ;)

Anyway ...if Eve was tempted by apples like these ...and then Adam after she raved about them ...I totally understand. I do. (Actually, apples don't grow in the middle east and so Adam and Eve probably ate a pomegranate or some other fruit of the region ...I'm just saying.)

So, if anyone reading this is anywhere near the Wharton/Rockaway, New Jersey... Costo warehouse and you like apples ...I wholeheartedly recommend you go in and purchase these apples.

Enjoy! I know we are. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Sack Lunches

This has been around on the internet, FB and in magazines for a few years. I thought it would be a good post to put up in honor of our soldiers for Veteran's day. The story speaks for itself. Uplifting read. (Author unknown)

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. “I’m glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,” I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation.

“Where are you headed?” I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.

“Petawawa, we’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Afghanistan.”

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time …

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. “No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn’t be worth five bucks. I’ll wait till we get to base.”

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty-dollar bill. “Take a lunch to all those soldiers.” She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. “My son was a soldier in Iraq; it’s almost like you are doing it for him.”

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, “Which do you like best—beef or chicken?”

“Chicken,” I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.

“This is your thanks.”

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room.

A man stopped me. “I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.” He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked. I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, “I want to shake your hand.” Quickly unfastening my seat belt I stood and took the Captain’s hand. With a booming voice he said, “I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.” I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base.

I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. “It will take you some time to reach the base … It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.”

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.

As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little …

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount of “up to and including my life.”

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I was making dinner and the grossest ...most ...disgusting thing happened!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I still feel nauseated about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have it soaking in a cup of water and will try to get some pics. Using a magnifying was sooooooooooo gross and if THAT was in my mouth ...I'd about die!!! It's so BIG!

Thank God I stirred one more time before adding to the rest of the recipe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stomach still flip flopping.


And now dinner is ruined and wasted.

What the heck?????

Making pancakes and eggs instead. Something far far away from anything that looks like that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

So ...I Called Poison Control This Morning ...
For myself ...again.

Well it's been a few years since the last time ...I called Poison Control for myself. I never did put that post up.

Accidents are so stupid... aren't they?

And this morning's little event was no different.

I had just begun my day ...showered, dressed and brushed teeth.

I stopped to talk with younger son for a few minutes and the next think I knew was that my right eye felt like it was on FIRE! I scrambled for the bathroom sink immediately and began flushing it out with cold water ...then remembered the last time I called poison control after rinsing my eye out with cold water was the doctor's telling me ...My eye was red because I rinsed with cold water and should always use warm water.

So I switched to warm water. It didn't help very much. My mind was racing lightening fast ..about the pain ...going blind, I'm probably okay, call eye doctor call poison control it'll be faster ...they're gonna want to laugh at this has to be a first ..who does this? I remembered a show on Phil Donahue ... years ago in which a woman accidentally got mascara in her eye ...didn't think anything of it and she went blind. So, I thought all these things while simultaneously reaching for the saline wash that expired in November, 2009. I used it anyway ...then wondering if saline mixing with this substance would have a bad reaction ...or if being 2 years past the expiration date mattered? but, I kept using it and it helped. Still hurt ...but at least not on fire.

I googled the number for NJ Poison Control, called and was surprised when the physician didn't ask me if I could hold. Must've been a slow morning. I was prepared to say ...not to worry ...I have another eye. ;) Nooo ...I really wouldn't have said that. I am always polite whenever I have been put on hold for poison control. Yeah ...I used the words ..."always" and "whenever" in reference to calling NJ Poison Control. We have a little history going there. So much so that even today ...I cringed at having to give him my name and zip code again. Well at least DYFS won't be coming for the kids now. ;)

And I really was a protective mother. And baby proofed the entire house. But can be so quick and it was things I didn't think of. Thankfully ...they were always alright.

Anyway ...after he assured me that I would be alright. And told me to put my eye under a steady stream of warm water - gentle pressure ...I then asked him if this was a first for him. He said, "No ...I did it to myself."

"Have other people done this too?"


Anyone know what substance got in my eye?

... .... .... .... ..... ..... I'll give you a hint.

It sure as heck didn't whiten my eye ...although it smelled minty fresh.

Whitening Crest Pro Health TOOTHPASTE!

I figured I must've somehow gotten some on my knuckle and then rubbed it into my eye when I felt an itch to the area. YIKES! Let me tell you ..getting toothpaste in your eye will get your adrenalin going, get you hollering and running for something to help get it out of your eye.

I was also thinking ...I'm the person they write those ridiculous warnings for in the instruction manuals. "Don't immerse toaster in water when you plug it in." "This Iron is not meant to iron marshmallows." You know ..that bizarro stuff that anyone with common sense would know not to do. But ...evidently the Crest corporation has confidence in it's customers because nowhere on that toothpaste tube did it say to keep toothpaste out of eyes.

The doctor said he was using an electronic toothbrush (I LOVE mine) when some of the toothpaste splattered from the brush into his eye. Then I didn't feel so stupid. I mean if a DOCTOR could do it ...then I was in good company. :)

I'm thinking more living on the wild side anymore when I brush my teeth. Maybe I should invest in a pair of goggles to wear until all toothpaste is away from my body. I'm just saying. ;)