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Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's MeMe

Following suit of Nettiemac and Kate/Susan, here is my MeMe for the New Year:

Best Album: I have to agree with Nettie and go with the Robert Plant/Allison Krauss album, Raising Sand. I kind of raised my eyebrows at first, but was pleasantly surprised by the duo.

Best Non-Fiction: Anything non-fiction that I have read this year has probably either had something to do with cakes or baking, or gardening. Can't say which is best. :-)

Best TV Series: I've been into Kyle XY, and am usually glued to the TV for most of the CSI shows.

Best Fiction: Kate/Susan really turned me onto Janet Evanovich, I totally blew through the Stephanie Plum series and am waiting with bated breath for the next two books coming out. I still have a few of her other books to read.

Best Kids’ Music: I am a 38 year-old woman with no children, yet my TV is usually tuned to The Disney Channel more often than not. And my favorite show to watch is Hannah Montana. Yeah, it doesn't hurt that Billy Ray Cyrus also stars in it opposite his daughter, Miley. In spite of the recent scandal that Miley has found herself in - which I think is totally ridiculous and was blown way out of proportion (I mean, really, look at any teenage girl's MySpace page and you see that same stupid stuff, girls just goofing off) - I believe she's got a great future provided she does not follow the lead of several of her predecessors. Disney has been a wonderful startup vehicle for many a talented young person, how they handle the fame and fortune as the result is pretty much up to the child star/parents. Miley, I hope, has got her father's (and mother's) support and guidance in this and I am positive that he will keep her on level ground.

Best Movie: Talmadge disagrees but Tiger, Bolivar, and I all liked the movie August Rush. Yes, it's completely fantastical and the plot is a bit trite and sad, but all in all it's just a movie about a little boy whose biggest desire is to be reunited with his mother and father after living in an orphanage all of his life, and the best way he knows how to do it is through music.

Best Sign of the Apocalypse: Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears will suddenly become the models of perfect motherhood and Mama Lynn will finally get to publish her book on parenting.

Best Come Back of the Year: Britney Spears......but of course. (gag)

Best Old TV show you are just getting into: I get on a M*A*S*H* kick every now and again. But I love watching the old episodes of The Waltons and Little House On The Prairie when I am at home on a weekday.

Best grocery store: Kroger!

Best (Summer) Vacation: I have to say that this past summer was the best vacation I have had in a long time. OK, so technically it wasn't a VACATION, because I'd had surgery - but how can I complain about getting to stay out of work an entire month and having people (thanks Tal and Mom!) waiting on me hand and foot and not letting me lift a finger!

(Skipping a couple of categories here, just didn't seem to have any answers thus far.....)

Saddest moment of the year: The year was pretty great up until Dec. 1, when my uncle passed away. He is the first of my dad's siblings to leave us, and probably the uncle I was closest to, because I had shared an apartment with his youngest son for a few years while he was in college and I was getting a jump start on my life. That, among other things, kind of set the mood for the remainder of the holiday season. I for one am glad that it is over for the most part and we can start the new year on a positive note.

Happiest Moment of the Year: When we got through the End of Fiscal Year activities at work and most everything balanced up, considering how screwed up things were when I first started working there and had not much of an idea how to do many of the things. But now everything is running smooth as silk (knock on wood).

Friday, December 21, 2007

Message from Sandy Claws......


......Puddy asked me to post this for her, since she does not have her own blog:


Merry Christmas!!!!!!!
And
Happy New Year!!!!!

Love and Huggies,
Puddy

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads......

I wasn't sure if I wanted to bake any cookies for Christmas this year. In the past I have gone nuts baking this and that but for some reason I just couldn't get into it this year. Until now.......

I was actually intending to just make some peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses plunked on top of them (peanut butter blossoms is what my friend Susan calls them so I'll go with that, love the name!) and some sugar cookies. Tal bought a package of the refrigerated sugar cookie dough so I'll bake those on up.

I've put it off because I've had several other things I've been trying to get done. Tiger is coming home with us after Christmas as well as my oldest nephew, Boogie, who is 11. Just trying to get the house presentable for them. I straightened up the living room last night and have been working trying to get the kitchen clean, which will probably not last once I start baking! I've also been wanting to get out in the garage and straighten up out there because we've got some things to move out there and I need to make room for them. That will have to wait until after Christmas - maybe I can enlist Tal, Tiger, and Boogie's help for this! (hint-hint) We've got company coming mid-January and I want the house in tip-top shape for their visit! :-) It's going to be here sooner than we think - right, Susan and Nettie?!?!?!

But for now, we've got our staff Christmas thingy coming up on Friday. Technically, it's not a party - just all of us bringing in goodies to munch on all day. For that, I decided to make a big chocolate chip cookie and decorate it with buttercream, and also a batch of red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese filling and frosting using the cupcake kit (shameless Wilton plug) I got in July at our Wilton meeting.

Then I came across a recipe for Holiday Wreaths, basically a spritz cookie, and thought they looked cute and easy enough. And I also remembered I have a quart of sesame seeds in the cupboard that I got last year. I need to use those, so I am going to make up a batch of benne seed cookies. I like Paula's recipe, I made it last year and the year before and they turned out really good. Can't disappoint my cousin, Cokie Jo - she loves them and I keep telling her I'm going to send her the recipe but never get around to it! OK....I just got around to it. It should be in her hot little hands as we speak.

So, to recap the cookie list:

sugar cookies for Tal
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Giant Chocolate Chip Christmas Cookie (we'll call it the GC4)
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
Holiday Wreaths
Benne Seed Cookies

OK....I confess.....for the GC4, I *did* buy some canned chocolate frosting. Canned frosting is usually a taboo item in my house, I make my own which tastes better than the canned stuff - BUT the chocolate usually tastes better because I just can't seem to get the chocolate frosting chocolate enough for my tastes. Until I can perfect the chocolate frosting recipe, I'll humbly turn to Betty, Duncan, or the Dough Boy for help!

I forgot to mention that I baked and decorated a baby shower this past Sunday. Technically, it's not holiday baking but it's still baking nonetheless!

Yum, all this talk about cookies is making me hungry. YAY, it's lunchtime! I'm going to go eat my leftover salad from Zaxby's and think more about my baking blitz I plan to do tonight!

Until later,
Seraphim

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas MeMe.......brace yourself........

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
On the fence about this one. On one hand, wrapping paper certainly does help the mystique of a gift. It's better if you are truly wanting to surprise someone and you KNOW they will try to peek. Gift bags, on the other hand, can be cute and really dress up the gift. Best of all they can be recycled for other uses or re-used for other gifts.

2. Real tree or artificial?
We had an artificial tree for as long as I can remember. I remember what a PITA it was to put together every year. It was one of those that you had to match the color on the end of the branch to its corresponding hole on the "tree trunk". But it had a smell to it that is still ingrained in my mind.....not a bad smell, the smell of things that have been boxed and stored away for a while.

There was this one year when we decided we wanted a real tree. We went down to a Christmas tree farm not far from our house and cut our own, I took our video camera with us and captured the choosing and cutting of the tree. I also have video of Daddy standing in the back of his truck, holding up the tree and saying, "What we have here is a 12-foot tree, and an 8-foot ceiling." Yeah, we ended up hacking about 4 feet off the bottom to make it fit. That was the last and only year we had a real tree! It's a wonder we didn't end up burning the house down with that thing in our living room.

3. When do you put up the tree?
We used to put it up a week or two after Thanksgiving. I always loved to crack out the "A Very Merry Christmas" LP's, stack them on the turntable (yes, stack, Talmadge - we had one of those turntables with the stacker/changer that makes you cringe.) And be-bop decorating the tree.

These days, if I put up a tree it's a miracle. If I'm in the mood to, I'll ask Tal to drag the boxes out of the attic for me. I'm not really in the mood this year.

4. When do you take the tree down?
We always tried to get the tree down before New Years' Day, because we always felt it would be bad luck.

If I put a tree up nowadays, it comes down before Dec. 30th.

5. Do you like eggnog?
I love it! I like store-bought best, but I have to thin it some with regular milk because it's a bit thick for my taste directly from the carton.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
It's a toss-up between the really cool Barbie kitchen and town house that I got one year, and the skateboard I got another year. My mom was always good at refurbishing things from thrift stores or just so happened to find in a pile near someone's trash. She came across a perfectly good skateboard in the neighbor's yard one day and asked if she could have it. She then took it home, spray-painted it a bright yellow and put purple non-skid bathtub flowers all over it, and put new wheels on it. The money she saved on buying a skateboard at the store, she used to get me a helmet and elbow & knee pads. I loved it!

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Not currently. My parents have one that we made in Sunday school when I was little. It was a small, simple creche made from some scrap paneling that our SS teacher's husband cut out for us. We nailed the pieces together, and then the teacher gave us each a little set of white ceramic figurines in the shape of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus in a manger. I would set that up on the window ledge every year.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
Our parents......they pretty much get whatever they need during the year and what they truly want is beyond our reach financially. Gift cards work best in this case.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
All the kids - gift cards work best for them, too. Ask a kid what he/she wants for Christmas, they usually give you an answer that leaves your head spinning..."A super megatron power-changing spectra-bot battling.....what??" "What's in a Princess Brittney make-up, hairstyle, and super-model wannabe kit anyway?"

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
When I was a 13 year-old, my great-aunt Doris was apparently under the delusion that I was a perpetual 8 year-old and gave me this hot-pink plastic chain-link necklace with these huge plastic charms. I think I still have it..... IN A BOX SOMEWHERE.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail. Ours will be going out first of this week. (Sorry, Tal.....stole your answer on this one.)

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
The classics - "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Carol" in black and white only. Don't give me any of that colorized crap, Mr. Ted Fonda. Oh, and "A Christmas Story". I do like to watch it, but like Tal I cannot deal with the marathons of it. Once, maybe twice a season does it for me.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I try to start getting ideas early, but lately we've just mostly opted for gift cards. They travel easier.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Yes, I have a time or two. But I try to avoid it if I can. Except for that year I got a penis pinata as a white elephant gift. (Was a re-gift from our boss's bridal/bachelorette party earlier in the year.) I couldn't wait to get rid of that thing the next year! That's the last time I get greedy and choose the biggest gift in the stack.........

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Anything not nailed down........Christmas time is usually my "eat, drink, and be merry - for tomorrow we diet" time. Unfortunately, with me, it seems tomorrow never comes.

Seriously, things to eat at Christmas time usually meant baking Christmas cookies, and on Christmas Eve we would have an "open house" of sort. Mama would make Chex Mix, and we'd have cold cuts and cheese on crackers. She would always get some of those flavored cheese spreads from Swiss Colony. Oh, and some of that sweet hot mustard. And the Christmas hard candy mix. Sometimes we'd have a small gingerbread house from there, too. Years later, the Swiss Colony store in the mall closed down and GNC opened in there. I'm thinking somebody was trying to give me a hint......

16. Lights white or colored on the tree?
Colored, that's what we always had on my childhood tree. Yes, we lived in a trailer for a short while, what can I say? My sister and I used to lie beneath the tree and look up through the branches, and blur our eyes so we could see nothing but the greenery, lights, and the occasional twinkle of the tinsel.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
"O Holy Night", hands down. And to Tal's great dismay - "Sleigh Ride", only because my sister and I have a whole routine to accompany it, ending with us falling on the floor after the sleigh gets upset. Big fun.

18. Travel for Christmas or stay home?
Travel, rotating between Tal's parents and mine every other year. We have to travel across the state to get to both.

19. Can you name all of Santa's' reindeer?
Yes, it's one of the many useless facts that reside in my brain.

20. Angel on the treetop or a star?
Neither, actually. My childhood tree had a beautiful blown-glass spire that fit on the top of the tree. Then we had a multi-colored lit wreath with a Santa face inside of it.

When I get the notion to put up a tree as an adult, mine has a small angel holding a "candle".

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas morning. We would get to open ONE present on Christmas Eve, and that was usually new pajamas to wear.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
That the sentiment doesn't last the entire year. The world would be a whole lot better if people could act all year long the way they do around Christmas time.

And, I hope I don't offend when I say this, but we should be thankful that the worst issues we face this season is being annoyed that AC stations started playing Christmas songs in July and have about 16 different versions of "Jingle Bell Rock" OR that people are knocking themselves out to be "PC" and get their panties in a wad if someone wishes them a "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays".

We could be homeless, and thankful for the two really good meals we get each year and the old blanket that someone discarded because they got a new comforter for their bed. We could be sitting in front of the Christmas tree wondering how we are going to get through the season without a loved one who just passed away. Instead of wishing for a necklace from Kay Jeweler or that nifty leaf blower from Home Depot, we could be wishing for a visit from the Orkin man or some pest control supplies to get rid of the unwanted houseguests (non-human) that have taken up residence in your home and you can't afford what is needed to get rid of them because you are having to financially support some human houseguests.

To quote a very wise man...."Perspective, man. Perspective." Am I making any sense here?

23. What do you love most about Christmas?
Eggnog.....with lots of rum. It's the only way to make it out alive.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Seraphim's Ode To Chocolate

"All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt!" Lucy Van Pelt, Peanuts

"You can enjoy it for the both of us." Talmadge Q. Gleck


A few years ago, our office received a box from a lender rep. Inside were some square-shaped lollypops in various flavors - vanilla, butterscotch and....CHOCOLATE........I of course went for the chocolate one, skeptically, because I have tried chocolate-flavored hard candies before and, well......ecccch would be a good way to describe it. But this was different, it was as if I had taken a square of chocolate and let it slowly melt in my mouth. Now, I don't know about you guys, but I truly do have trouble letting a square of chocolate slowly melt in my mouth. I can for a tiny bit, but after a few seconds I have to chew. I can't help it! That's one thing I love about these lollypops, too hard to chew up so you can enjoy them for a long time!

Anyway, they were made by See's Candies, which has been featured before on The Food Network. Ever since we'd received the lollypops, I've been wanting to order a box of them but never really got around to it. Well, I recently learned that See's has a temporary kiosk in one of the local malls and you better bet that I hightailed it over there the first chance I got. Seraphim went home with a bakers' dozen of those wonderful chocolate confections!

Now, for the good news. Out of curiosity, I emailed See's Candies for the nutrional information on the chocolate lollys. I wanted to compare it to other chocolate treats to see the benefit of having one of these long-lasting lollys as opposed to a short-lived chocolate bar. (BTW, it usually takes me about 30 minutes to finish off one of these lollys. In the same amount of time, I could probably polish off an entire bag of Hershey's kisses!) Anyway, here are the results:

Candy

CALORIES

FAT CALORIES

FAT GRAMS

SUGAR GRAMS

See’s Chocolate Gourmet Lollypop

(1 lolly - yep just one!)

90

35

4.5

9

Hershey’s Kisses (9 kisses)

230

126

14

19

Hershey’s Bar – milk chocolate (1 regular bar)

270

140

16

31

Hershey’s Special Dark (1 regular bar)

180

110

12

20

Hershey’s Antioxidant Chocolate (1 bar)

180

100

11

19

Dove Dark Chocolate Miniatures (5 pieces)

210

120

13

19

Dove Milk Chocolate Miniatures (5 pieces)

220

110

13

22

Dove Sugar Free w/ Chocolate Crème filling (5 pieces)

190

140

15

0



So there you have it! Enjoy!

-S.G.




Friday, November 16, 2007

What Kind Of Candy Are You?

Talmadge......this should not surprise you in the least........

Gummy Bears

You may be smooshie and taste unnatural, but you're so darn cute.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What color crayon are you?

A co-worker sent this to me, and of course I did it. I'm a YELLOW. Sounds like it describes me pretty well. What do you think?

You Are a Yellow Crayon

Your world is colored with happy, warm, fun colors.
You have a thoughtful and wise way about you. Some people might even consider you a genius.
Charming and eloquent, you are able to get people to do things your way.
While you seem spontaneous and free wheeling, you are calculating to the extreme.

Your color wheel opposite is purple. You both are charismatic leaders, but purple people act like you have no depth.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Butter......It's Not! Vol. 1, Issue 2

It's random thought time once again in Seraphim's Wittle World. Lord only knows what's going to come from that mushy loaf of ground beef between my ears that some people call a brain.

*My surgery was July 17th. Although I think that most people who read my blog also read Tal's, so they know about it. It was a pretty easy procedure (at least for ME). I was in there early that morning. Was delayed for 1/2 hour due to an emergency, but they got me in the OR and it was lights out. I woke up a few hours later in recovery, upchucked a bit, then went back to sleep until they wheeled me to my room. Tal and my mom came in for a little bit, but then they left to get something to eat and go home for some rest. I was pretty out of it anyway. Drugs.....they can be a wonderful thing sometimes. They had my IV in a weird place on my right wrist because that was the only vein that would cooperate. But I kept occluding it when I would fall asleep and my wrist would bend, and an alarm would go off and wake me up. I would lie there and listen to it beep until the nurse came and turned it off then we'd try to figure out how to keep me from bending my wrist. Actually, she tried to figure it out, I just lay there in my drug induced coma and watched. We found that if we propped my arm up on a rolled-up towel, that helped a bit. They also had me hooked up to a machine that dispensed painkiller whenever I pushed a button. I called that my "happy button". Then I would lie there and watch the button, waiting for it to turn green so I could press it again. Fun times.

Next morning, they woke me up and gave me some breakfast. Then they removed the IV, catheter, and other things I care not to mention at this time, got me up and on my feet, and we took a walk down the hallway. I felt like a toddler who was still learning to walk, very unsteady on my feet. At the end of the hall, a lady in another room waved at me from her bed and asked how I was feeling. "We met each other in recovery.", she says. Sheesh, apparently I make new friends easier when I'm on drugs. (Doesn't surprise me, seems I get more social when I'm under the influence........) Apparently we carried on a short conversation too, but I have absolutely no recollection.

(LOL........I just pooted and then Classical Gas started playing on the radio. Sorry, just had to share.)

AnyHOO, back to my room and both doctors show up to discuss the surgery (separately, not at the same time). I wish Tal and my mom had been there, because I barely remember what they said. By then, I was sitting up in the chair. Mom and Tal show up, then decide to go get some lunch while I get to eat the yummy hospital food they nurse brought in for me to eat. Finally, they get me all checked out, cleaned up, and discharged and send me on my merry way with my hair sticking out all over the place.

Back home, recovery was nice. A whole month off of work, my every need being catered to, not a whole lot of pain, I was pretty spoiled. Talmadge had gotten me this contraption called the "Golden Retriever" - a mechanical grabber thingy to assist me in picking things up off the floor without bending over. Although, a much more fun use I found later was goosing Tal in the hiney as he left the room and harassing Puddy with it.

It was so tough to return to work after I was released by the doctor. Of course, I HAD to go back to work during one of the busiest times. I'm still struggling with my energy level. I have more days that I am dancing as fast as I can to keep up.

* I just got over a bout with a cold that turned to bronchitis. I still have a bit of a cough, but I'm not sure if it's the bronchitis refusing to totally let go or if it's a side effect of the blood pressure medicine my GP put me on after she found my BP was higher than usual. I'm pretty sure that it spiked because of the cold medicines I was taking. Because of all the coughing, I could not use my CPAP machine for nearly a month. Now I am trying to get used to wearing the mask again. For some reason I'm having problems with a dry nose, now, also. I swear, if it's not one thing with me, it's another.

*I'm also still trying to make myself go back to working out at the Y. It's a struggle to WANT to go. With my still-low energy level, some days I'm raring to go and other days I just feel like I am slogging through wet concrete. Most days, after working all day then nearly an hour in the car on the commute home, I barely have just enough juice left to make supper. Although, I HAVE found that on days that we DO manage to go, I feel much better after working out than I did going in. It's just the GETTING THERE that's the hard part. Have to get home, change clothes, get stuff out for supper if necessary. And - tell me if you agree - the toughest part is that once you get home, you just don't feel like leaving again!

*A couple of weeks ago, the mother of one of my co-workers was fatally attacked by an alligator. She was 82, probably just taking a stroll around one of the many lagoons in their community. It was thought that she may have collapsed from a stroke or heart attack and then the gator came along and found her. This happened on a Friday evening, she was not found until around noon on Saturday. An autopsy found that she did not have a stroke or heart attack, and had succumbed to injuries from the attack. The 9-ft gator was caught and an examination of it's stomach contents found it was indeed the one that killed her. The news stated that while there have been about 8 reported gator attacks in the state of Georgia since 1980 and she was the first fatality in as much time. Please keep this family in your prayers.

Just seems so surreal - almost as if it were an episode of CSI.

*Talmadge and The General have recently been voted the World's Most Freakin' Cute Husbands.

*I really need to get some work done. I'm not getting paid to blog. Where CAN I get a job like that??? :-)

Until later!

-Seraphim "Time Capsule" Gleck


Friday, June 22, 2007

High on the Hog

Borrowing from Kate/Susan's blog entry on her quest to find the world's best sub, I'd like to take the time to enlighten you on my quest to find a decent BBQ place in Savannah, GA.

To start out, my quest was not just for the BBQ, but also the sides that go with. Here is my idea of BBQ nirvana:

*Pulled pork or ribs with a sweet, tomato and brown sugar/molasses-based sauce. Good hickory smoke taste but not so much that if you burp an hour or two later it doesn't taste like you just licked a fireplace log. :) And please, dear God, don't use any of that imitation smoke flavor! That just ain't right.

* A chunky potato salad (fresh please - again, don't give me the crap from the bucket that you bought from Sam's or wherever with the mushy potato chunks). I love red potato salad the best, but as long as it's potato I'm happy. It's best with a bit of hard-boiled egg, mustard, green onions, diced dill pickle (not sweet), and just enough sour cream and mayo to blend it all together.

* BBQ baked beans I like, but they're a negligible part of my perfect meal. I can love 'em or leave 'em. If they came from a can, have to be doctored with some brown sugar, a little BBQ sauce, mustard, and some bacon - even better if you throw some chopped green pepper and onions in the mix. If you want to throw in a handful of chopped BBQ meat in there - well, I won't complain. And after all that, it's got to be baked for a while so that it's not all runny. I've been to places where they just open up a can of Van Camp's pork-n-beans, slap it on your plate, and say, "Enjoy." If you're lucky, you might get that little chunk of fat with your beans. Then your life will be complete.

*Brunswick Stew - This I would consider a side, but I've been known to eat it on its own as a meal with a side of garlic Texas toast. Yum. My version consists of chicken and BBQ pork, tomato sauce, corn, chunks of potatoes and tomatoes, corn, onions, lima beans, and corn. Did I mention corn? Yeah, I like corn - why do you ask??

*And it is all served with some sort of bread (roll, Texas toast, garlic bread - whatever) and a big glass of sweet iced tea.

When we lived in Savannah, my favorite place to go was a chain restaurant called "Red, Hot and Blue". They had good BBQ, I loved their ribs which I would always get with the dry rub and put their "Sufferin' Sweet" sauce on - sweet and just a hint of spice but not hot. They had excellent red potato salad, and the beans were OK - not the best I've had - but the potato salad more than made up for it. I would occasionally get the Brunswick stew there. My heart was broken the day they closed the restaurant down. I heard they wanted to make the place more of a sports bar and grill type place and the owners wouldn't hear of it so they closed it down altogether. It's now the 2nd location of a popular local upscale hamburger restaurant. I missed RH&B so much after they closed that when Tal and I went to Raleigh, NC a couple of years ago that's one place we had to eat!

A local restaurant named Carey Hilliard's has OK BBQ. The meat is pretty good. I don't care much for their sauce. It's a tomato/mustard/vinegar hybrid. The potato salad I think may be the prepackaged kind and their beans are canned. The Brunswick stew is OK, too, but kind of soupy and thin on veggies (especially corn). I do, however, love their pork club sandwich which is a few slices of their BBQ pork, bacon, cheese, lettuce, and tomato on white bread. Mmmm-MM!

Tal and I came across a BBQ restaurant in Bloomingdale, GA (just outside of Savannah) called Black Jack's. I wasn't thrilled with their BBQ. The meat tasted OK but was too finely chopped. The potato salad was not much more than potato salad flavored mashed potatoes with a few pieces of pickle and onion. The beans were directly from the can. And the Brunswick stew, well it TASTED like Brunswick stew but I suspected they must have cooked it, pureed it, then tossed in a couple of kernels of corn to give it substance. I have the feeling that the majority of their clientele live in the woods surrounding the community and specialize in banjo-playing and making people squeal like pigs.

We've also tried another restaurant in Guyton, GA not far from where we live. I can't remember the name of the place. For some reason I don't remember much about the place. I guess I was too distracted by the advertisement on the placemat for "The Cake Lady". The BBQ must not have been much, or I would have remembered it. :)

Yet another BBQ restaurant, even further out from Bloomingdale, is Baxter's BBQ. Now, their ribs are awesome. I didn't have any BBQ but I think Talmadge had some and liked it. I don't believe I had any Brunswick stew there. Potato salad and beans were also not very memorable.

Talmadge's BBQ nirvana is based in Columbia, SC at a place called "Piggy Park". Maurice's has several locations. We can be found most often and the main location in Columbia, or just up the street (I-95) from us in Santee, SC. Pretty good BBQ. The meat is good and the sauce is a mustard/apple vinegar base - otherwise known as "Carolina Gold". All the other sides are middling. A standard side in their dinners is Carolina Hash - from what I can see it's ground up BBQ pork mixed with some other things to a reddish-brown pudding consistency and served over rice. Tastes OK, if you can get past the looks. They don't have potato salad.

My BBQ nirvana of the moment is at a little shop in Pooler, GA (between Savannah and Bloomingdale). It's called L.I.P.S. - Little Italy Pizza and Subs/Hunter Mountain BBQ. The BBQ is good, if not a little heavy on the smoke, ribs are good too but sometimes not very meaty. I do like their potato salad and beans - almost perfection! But the best thing is their Brunswick Stew. It's a tad bit on the soupy side but it's loaded with chunks of potatoes, chicken, BBQ pork tomatoes, lima beans, and enough corn to make me very happy! It's also got a bit of spice to it, just enough for a tiny kick.

We've also been to Sticky Fingers in Savannah. Meh, it's OK, their BBQ and potato salad is good, kind of on the pricey side but I like it OK.

We have a BBQ place in Rincon that I haven't quite gotten up the nerve to try. G&B Rib's N' Things. I would like to try it some day, I just hope it doesn't disappoint and becomes my new BBQ nirvana. Simply because it's so much closer to home than all the others! I'll certainly give a report on that when I do try it!

Man.....now I've got a craving for some of that Brunswick Stew from L.I.P.S.! {{{sigh}}}

Saturday, June 09, 2007

And the winner is........

...........Tiger Gleck!

Yeppers, dear BIL lasted exactly 29 days at his new job. Sad, isn't it?

Don't know the details, but Dad said it was probably because BIL had three accidents in the 29 days he was there and the employer probably saw him as a risk (may have also seen his previous workers' comp claim records - I dunno). The accidents: cut his finger, welded his wedding ring to his finger, nearly got his leg cut off by a piece of steel because of some other accident-prone guy (just tore his pants, fortunately). Didn't I tell you nothing is ever his fault???

Well, Talmadge, looks like you owe Tiger $5.00!

-S.G.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Update for the month......

Yikes, I'm slacking again! So, to catch you up I'll give you a brief synopsis of what's going on with me lately.

1) Finally have my surgery scheduled. It's going to be July 17, exactly a week before my birthday. What a nice birthday present - to be recuperating from major surgery. That's about right - for Christmas I got a root canal and crown. For Valentine's Day I got Day Surgery for a hysteroscopy and D&C. For Easter I got another root canal and crown. And now, for my birthday, I get a hysterectomy. Joy! I'd rather have chocolate.........or cake decorating supplies. :)

2) I'm not taking well to being a "hosehead". Mr. CPAP and I are not getting along. More often than not, I end up taking the mask off in the middle of the night and turning off the machine. Dr. Maria prescribe me some Ambien, which puts me out like a light but gives me amnesia. Although, from what I have read about some people who take Ambien I am lucky that's all I do. Others have stated that they sleepwalk, and even sleep-eat. One lady said she kept getting up in the morning to find the kitchen a mess and would blame the kids until she found out it was HER making the mess!

But more often than not, on the nights that I take it I wake up to find that I not only took the mask off and neatly hung it up on the bedpost and turned off the machine. I never remember doing that......but at least I'm neat about it! This morning was the first time I woke up and found the mask on the floor. The machine was off, though. One of the folks on my CPAP email group suggested taping the mask on my head with surgical tape for a while. At least if I try to pull it off, it will HURT and bring me into conciousness. I haven't been brave enough to try that yet. :)

3) The Garden is doing all right. Most of the items I planted are struggling because we have had a severe lack of rain in our area. I have been trying to make sure they have a good amount of water. The weeds are thriving, however. I've been trying to keep the immediate areas around the plants cleared of the weed/grass/whatever but the garden looks pitiful. I am hoping one days the baby plants will be bigger than the weeds and I can tell which is a veggie plant and which is a weed! The only plants that have failed for me are my green onion, regular onion, and spinach plants. That's not TOO bad! I planted some cherry tomato seeds in a planter box just after I got the garden planted, and they went NUTS. I had to thin out the tomato plants and at last count I had 50 plants growing in that one pot. Needless to day, several family members, friends, and co-workers are now the proud plant-parents of some cherry tomato plants! And I still have several left that I have re-potted.

I had also planted two types of mesclun (assorted greens/lettuces, in case you didn't know) in two planter boxes and I'm proud to say I had my first successful harvest as well as an excellent grilled chicken salad this past Monday night. YUM! Wonderful thing about this mesclun is that it replenishes itself!

I think I have become addicted to gardening. I am having fun planting seeds or starter plants and watching them grow and develop. I've reached a point where I know I have an empty pot sitting on the patio - it's currently upside down supporting another plant like a stand - an I am itching to go to Lowe's, Home Depot, or Wal-Mart to see what other type of seeds I can find to plant in that empty pot. Oh, wait, I just remembered that my strawberry plants didn't make a go of it......that's ANOTHER pot with nothing growing in it!!! Hold me back!

In spite of the struggling plants, as I've told Tamadge, I don't consider my little garden a failure but rather a learning experience. I've learned that I probably should have started preparing the garden earlier, mulching, applying weedkiller, etc. in the winter time so I wouldn't have so many weeds to deal with now. I've learned that it probably would have been easier to plant many of the seeds directly into the ground rather than start them in hundred or so little newspaper pots that I made for that purpose - completely eliminating the steps of potmaking, filling w/starting medium, and then replanting in the ground. I've learned that it's harder than heck to till hard ground. (I think I'm still suffering the effects from that with tendonitis or something in my right heel!) I've learned that some of these plants would have probably been better off being planted in planter boxes or flower pots! And last but not least, I learned that Miracle Gro Potting Soil is truly the best. The items I planted in pots using this potting soil have been absolutely thriving! (No, I am not getting a kickback from Miracle-Gro - that's just my personal testimony.)

4) My BIL got a job! Anyone want to contribute to the pool as to how long he actually keeps this one before he: A) gets injured and goes on disability, B) gets fired for poor job performance and/or attitude (such as mouthing off at his superiors), C) quits without having another job lined up, D) tries to dictate to my sister how he will be using "HIS" money for frivola (like cigarettes, Mountain Dew, and video games) instead of adding it to Sis's income in order to secure housing, utilities, and other basic life necessities and she FINALLY gets fed up with his BS, files for divorce, and successfully moves on with her life as a single mother with a brighter outlook for her and her 7 and 10 year-old sons' futures. Selection D, of course, is considered the long-shot.

Talmadge has 30 days, Tiger bets 60. I've already lost, I gave him two weeks. I guess Tal and Tiger were a bit more optimistic than I. :)

That's about it for now! I actually need to go do some work before I lose MY job!! :)

Take care, and I'll try not to go nearly a month again between posts!

-Farmer Seraphim.....MOO

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Masterpiece......

Well, here it is - after two weeks of planning, baking, fussing, and cussing, here is the cake of my labours. BEHOLD, the CAR ENGINE CAKE:

Now, I don't know if this resembles any type of engine that exists in the automotive world. Being a chick, and not knowing one thing about car engines, this is my closest interpretation. I claim artistic license n this one. The engine block and filter on top are chocolate fudge cakes with chocolate buttercream. The little round knobby things - I have not idea what you may call them - are those little round dessert cakes. All is covered with fondant that I colored gray. I also colored a bit of the fondant black for some of the accent pieces.














The pulleys and "fan" on the ends are colored and molded white chocolate, as well are the tools. I have a special chocolate mold for the tools, but I had to fabricate the pulleys and fan myself. The fan was molded from the lid of a Tupperware container and the pulleys I molded from plastic margarine tub lids of different sizes then pieced them together and "glued" them with more white chocolate. They are held in place with dowel rods and more white chocolate glue. The "wires" are chocolate licorice ropes and cherry Twizzler Pull-and-Peels. Oh, and the fan belt is a length of bubble gum tape.

This was an undertaking I don't see myself doing again until well after I have recovered from this one!! But it was fun!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!

"Oleomargarine" is already taken, SOOOO.......

Random thoughts for today:

1) Do we offend??? Over the past couple of months or so, several houses on our relatively short cul-de-sac street have gone up for sale. There is one at the entrance to our street, two on either side of the house directly across the street from ours (one of which I am glad for their departure, as the guy has this truck with a loud muffler that scares the bejesus out of me every time he revs the freakin' thing up), and I just noticed today that the house directly across the street is up for sale. I'm starting to get a complex. I mean, I know that quite a few ugly words have emanated from the backyard the past couple of weeks (see previous post "Inna-Gadda-Da-(Gleckia)") but it's nothing different than they've heard on cable....

2) About 2 weeks ago, the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department began an initiative dubbed "Operation Rolling Thunder" - Motorists who were impaired, driving recklessly, not wearing seatbelts, speeding, or committing other traffic infractions that result in crashes were the focus of Operation Rolling Thunder. I sure didn't see a whole lot of police presence on my usual commuting path, which includes an interstate and a major artery into and out of town.

On the way to town today to give a cake decorating demo at the mall, I passed by an overturned pickup truck blocking 2 of the 3 northbound lanes of the Interstate 95. There was an incident just 2 days ago where a woman flipped her SUV over the guardrail at nearly the same spot. Now, I am not saying that speeding was a factor in either crash but experience makes me allege that it was. These two accidents - in conjunction with the many motorists who tailgate me and/or pass me like I am standing still when I am already going about 10 miles over the posted speed limit - prompts me to make just one statement:

Operation Rolling Thunder - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Take that any way you want it. :)

3) I just mixed and baked 10 boxes of chocolate fudge cake mix. The house smells wonderfully of chocolate cake. Talmadge would be retching by now. Good thing he is off visiting Tiger!

4) Bet you're wondering why I have 10 boxes worth of cake in my kitchen. I'm not telling.

5) OK, I'll tell you, but only because you twisted my arm. I've been assigned the task of designing a groom's cake in the shape of a hot rod engine for a wedding next weekend. Wish me luck! I'm just absolutely making myself sick over this cake, because all the pictures of hot rod engines that I have seen look so complicated. SO, this cake is going to be my artist's rendition of a hot rod engine. It may not look like any engine that exists in the automotive world, but it will look like an engine of some sort! I'll post a picture when I get it done to get feedback.

6) Puddy is lying on the floor chasing squirrels in her sleep. So darn cute. Now, everybody go "AWWWWWWWWWWWWW!".

7) It's 1:45 a.m. on Sunday. After doing a cake demo, working in the garden, cleaning out the car (YES, Talmadge, I cleaned the car today), washing dishes, cooking supper, and baking a go-zillion chocolate cakes (actually, four 9"x13" rectangular, three 8" rounds, two 6" rounds, one 9" round, and one 6" square), and writing a blog entry I am ready to go hook myself up to my magical sleep machine and zonk out!

8) I'm wondering if Kate/Susan hits it big in Vegas this weekend, she might considering investing in a little cake shop in the Coastal Empire of Georgia..........

9) You know that I had to include a Number 9. ITTEMDEEOW....and Good Night.

(Late-night blogging should really be outlawed.)

Until later.....

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Following Tal and Kate/Susan's lead.......ya'll.......

YOUR LINGUISTIC PROFILE:

YOUR LINGUISTIC PROFILE:
60% General American English
25% Dixie
5% Upper Midwestern
5% Yankee
0% Midwestern
What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

I guess that's about right. I'm a mutt. Georgia born, raised, and bred but have a Missouri/New Jersey lilt. Where the hell did that Upper Midwestern stuff come from????

I do have a tendency to emulate the "accent" of whatever particular group I may be hanging around at the time. My dad's family is deep Southwest Georgia and got that good ol' Southen accent. My mom's father was from the St. Louis area, her mom from New Jersey, and while they lived in SW GA the majority of their lives, my grandparents, aunts, and mom have a distinctly different sound. Then there was that summer in which we hosted two British girls as counselors at our Girl Scout camp. By summer's end we all had a mangled Southern/British dialect going. I got tickled at one of my campers when she asked me if Wendy and Jenny were from another country and I said yes, they came from England a couple of weeks ago to learn about America and help us out at camp. This little girl looked up at me all wide-eyed and said, "Wow, how did they learn English so fast??" I tell ya, if she had not been so cute I would have died laughing in front of her.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

If you're happy and you know it.......

.....laugh your little heart out.

I came across this video on YouTube the other day and it just made me laugh. I've decided that this is going to be my pick me up when I am feeling down or tired or just plain grumpy. So darn cute you could just turn inside out!

Now, if a singleton isn't enough for you, try this quartet!

I'm just overwhelmed with cuteness right now I just can't stand it!!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

In-a-Gadda-Da-(Gleckia)

Warning! A rather long and schizophrenic post follows:

I have had a rather ambitious project in mind for the past 3 years since we moved into our house in January of 2004. I wanted a veggie garden. Just a small one, enough to get my fill of my favorite veggies. Talmadge isn't much of a veggie eater, so I'll be enjoying this one for the both of us!

In 2004, I could barely keep the two potted plants that I had alive. I had killed off my ficus tree a year earlier while we were still living at the apartment in Savannah.

In 2005, I still had aspirations of gardening. I read a few gardening books, but still wasn't sure if I was up to the task. I did discover a wild blackberry vine that was growing in the corner of the yard and managed to get enough blackberries from that plant to make a nice blackberry cobbler.

In 2006, I tried my hand at "container gardening" on the back patio. I had a tomato, a pepper, a cucumber, and a squash plant. I found a couple more blackberry bushes. My bumper crop for the year yielded me 4-5 decent red tomatoes and, at the end of the season a bunch of small green tomatoes (good thing I adore fried green tomatoes!!), one huge cucumber and 2 smaller ones, a huge squash and couple of smaller ones, and 2 nice peppers. Not quite sure what type of pepper plant this was. I thought it was a bell pepper plant, but they took more of a tapered form but tasted like a bell pepper. It wasn't hot. Oh, and more blackberries for a couple of cobblers and just munching on.

Which brings us into 2007.........the bug has bitten. In winter, Tal and I stopped at "Beaver Bucks" which used to be a pretty big video/music store which has dwindled to part video/dvd, bargain basement music cassettes and rap cd's and part everything's a dollar store. Looking around, I came across a box full of post-season vegetable seeds, 4 for a dollar. I went nuts and left that store with about $5 worth of veggie seeds and visions of a lush green veggie garden in my head.

My brain began forming the plan - I would carve out a small section of our not so huge backyard with the reasoning that it would be less grass for Tal to mow - his favorite chore - so how could he protest?!?! Weeks ago, I started making newspaper seed starter pots based on a plan I found on the internet. I was determined to be the frugal gardener! After our West Virginia vacation in March, I bought some seed starting medium, filled my little paper pots, and planted my seeds. It was warm enough outside, that I put the seeded pots in a plastic underbed storage box that I had, put the lid on it, and put it outside on a table near the patio. It was like a mini-greenhouse! Just enough ventilation so the plants wouldn't smother, and it kept the warmth and humidity inside. To my delight, within a week I could see little green shoots peeking from amongst the newsprint! Over the next week the seedlings just went nuts! So much so that I had to take the lid off the box otherwise the plants would have pushed them off.

I had planned to get the plot ready the weekend before last, however we ended up having cold snap and I had to bring the plants into the garage so they'd be safe and sound.

This past weekend, it was time. I got up early Saturday morning (okay - around 9:30. That's early for ME on a Saturday!) with the best of intentions. I rolled my little cable-spool table out near my garden-to-be, set up the beach umbrella in the little hole in the middle of the table, got out my folding chair, and all my tools and equipment and the ever-important radio (HEY, gotta have tunes to work to, right???). Got a bowl of cereal, a huge glass of iced tea, and came outside to find that the bottom of the cable-spool table had broken, spilling the radio and the umbrella to the ground. I went and got the umbrella stand, put the umbrella in that, set the table back up, put the piece that broke back underneath to support it, put the radio back on the table, sat down, and enjoyed my soggy Lucky Charms while listening to "Car Talk" on public radio and formulating my garden game plan while Puddy helped me out by spreading a little fertilizer.

First, I would use the edger to mark the outer perimeter of the plot. OK, got the edger and extension cord - extension cord not long enough and remembered that I threw out the other extension cord because it was old and frazzled. Grr. So I stomp into the house, grab my purse, and run up to Wally World where I not only purchase an extension cord, but a variety of other items I did not intend to buy.....then back to the house where I discover the umbrella has hit the dirt again. I fold the fallen umbrella and lay it down in the yard, and move the table and my chair over to the shade beside the house, plug in the other extension cord, connect everything up and start running the edger along the areas I've marked. I complete one edge and look behind me to see - nothing. Where's my line? OK, well this idea sucked. I guess I'll just go ahead and start hoeing and raking. I got a "Garden Claw" from the store I was going to use to cultivate, aerate, pulverize, and otherwise prepare the soil to accept my tender little seedlings. You know, like it does on the commercials. HA!! I got maybe one square foot of soil done, looked at the other 127 or so square feet to go and thought, "I'll be here until Memorial Day trying to get this done!" and convinced Talmadge that I needed to go rent a tiller. So off to the rental store we go.

Tal and I return home with what we eventually ended up dubbing "The Machine From Hell". Got it unloaded and pushed it to the backyard and positioned at the corner of the plot, fiddled with the controls, and pulled the starter cord. It sputtered to life, I released the brake and let it go. We were sure we'd have this little approximately 8x16 spot done in no time and return the machine before the store closed at 5:30. As we stood there scratching our heads and watching the machine churn away slowly at the ground, we saw that was not going to happen. Then we discovered the accelerator. We turned that thing up to 11, I released the brake, and it took off across the plot dragging me behind. I managed to get my footing, engaged the brake, and dragged the machine back to the starting point. Tal and I took turns letting the machine drag us across the yard and managed to get one row of tilling done before we collapsed from sheer exhaustion and decided that the ground was too hard to till because of the lack of rain in the area. We were expecting a major storm that night and hoping it would soak and soften the ground. But to hedge, we thought maybe we'd give the soaking a head start and dragged the sprinkler out. It's one of those bow-shaped ones - you know, the ones that shoot off several streams in the shapes of a fan that we used to jump through when we were kids. The little piece that makes it sweep back and forth was broken(that should surprise you how?). Talmadge fiddled with it, trying to make the streams cover the entire plot, at one point pushing on it with his foot which only made it flip over and soak him from head to toe while I stood by and laughed my ass off. I couldn't help it, the way the day had been going so far I almost expected it!

That's how our evening ended. I straightened up the yard, putting all the equipment on the patio and doing a little trimming of branches and such. Tal called the rental place to let them know we were keeping the tiller a little longer.

The next day, the ground was much softer after the soaking. The bad storm that was supposed to hit the night before pretty much fizzled out before it got here and we got only a sprinkling of rain - running the sprinkler was a lucky bit of foresight on our part! The day had started out warm, but it soon turned gusty and cold. We finished the tilling and I raked, weeded, and leveled out the plot then dug a trench between the house and the plot for the irrigation drip line.

Because of the wind I decided to wait to put in the plants so they wouldn't get broken or blown away. So now all I have left to do is mark the rows, plant the seedlings, run the drip lines up the rows, water and fertilize the plants, and then let God take over. Hopefully by mid- to late-summer I will literally be enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of my labor!

What am I planting, you ask? I've got tomatoes, peppers, onions, okra, corn, beets, carrots, jalapeno peppers, a variety of colored bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, green beans, pole beans, zucchini, yellow squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkins, cantaloupes, watermelons, and cucumbers. I'll have a couple of hanging baskets with cherry tomatoes and strawberries, a little patch of mammoth sunflowers, two planter boxes - one with a regular mesclun mix and another with a spicy mesclun mix, and regular planter with nasturtium. Oh, and lets not forget the patch of wild blackberries in the wetlands. Think I need anything else???

Maybe I should plant some flowers, perhaps some that would attract some of the helpful insects. Like maybe some ladybugs to eat the aphids, honeybees to pollenate the plants, even perhaps an iron butterfly or two........I just hope this doesn't turn out to be a "$64 tomato"!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

A change will do you good.....

OK, so the nasal pillow wasn't working out so well for me. I'd wake up often on my side to the sound of rushing air from one or both dislodged nostrils and my eyelids flapping in the breeze. I broke down and called the respiratory company who provided me with my CPAP machine and nasal pillow and asked to try one of the nose masks that we had sampled on Monday.

I got a spiffy model with that cool blue gel stuff to cushion it - looks like THIS. And, yeah, I do look as much like a dork as the dork in the picture does. But as long as I can get some good sleep, I could look like Steve Urkel for all I care!

I look like I'm all set for chemical warfare with that thing on. And, with Talmadge's love for beans, I should count my lucky stars for this setup. LOL!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Finally......a refill!

OK, so I got the results back from my sleep study. Dr. Maria says that I have mild sleep apnea. Mild according to the reports, that is. I got a total of 4 hours of sleep - mostly light sleep that did not get to the restful, restorative REM stage at which apnea rears its ugly head. I got to that stage probably 1 1/2 hours before I was to wake up. During that 1 1/2 hour stretch of time I stopped breathing several times, at one time for a whole minute and a half! Dr. Maria said that, had I had a longer REM sleep stage, she feels that I probably would have been classified as severe apnea.

So now I am all set up with a CPAP machine. Thankfully, I do not have to wear a full face mask - I've been fitted with a less cumbersome nasal pillow. The first night, it was weird to wear something on my face. I couldn't really lay on my stomach (where I'm most comfortable without knocking it askew) even though the wonderful Dr. Maria hooked me up with some drugs. The air pressure from the machine, which is what keeps your airways open as you sleep, fills up your head and makes you feel like a balloon! As you breathe, you can hear the air moving in and out of the machine. Later that night, through my drug-and-sleep haze, I could swear I heard Talmadge utter, "Luke, I am your father......." as he crawled into bed. Oh, and I came across a support group for CPAP users on Yahoo Groups (man, they have a group for EVERYTHING!!). One of the posters signed off "Hosehead since 2002". I like that.....I'm now officially a "hosehead"! LOL!

Last night was better, I got some sleep and actually could feel a difference. I was still a bit sleepy after lunch today, though. Baby steps, time will tell!

I have to see Dr. Maria next week for some tweaking of the machine, and she wants to do another sleep study w/ the machine. Afterwards, we should be good to go for scheduling my surgery!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

One of these things is not like the other.......



I just realized this afternoon (while counting out a change drawer) that the picture that I took of Talmadge at the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia is the same that's on the back of the 2005 West Virginia quarter - almost from the same perspective! Cool, huh?
(The picture of Tal was modified NOT to protect his identity, but to prevent terrorizing any small children and/or impressionable adults who may happen by my blog.....)

I neither slept nor dreamt......

.....that I know of.

So, I did the sleep study on Monday night. The night seemed promising as I drove the 2-3 miles between our house and the sleep center. I got there at 8:25 p.m. and was met by Wanda, the sleep technician. I was given paperwork to fill in, took a little time to go potty, get a drink of water, and watched TV for a bit. Then Wanda came in and started hooking me up to all the wires while we watched "Dancing With The Stars". It was either that, or the Ohio State/Florida game on CBS. No cable. :-( After I was all wired up and connected, it was beddy-bye time. Yeah - wired was the word for it. I couldn't get comfortable. I usually sleep on my stomach, and I wasn't allowed to because of all the wires and sensors. The center was right next to Hwy. 21, and there were semi trucks going by constantly, the occasional nitwit with his BOOM BOOM BOOM, and the train that runs through Rincon what seems like every 2 hours. I had a fan running in the room, which drowned out a little bit of the noise but not much.

I tossed, I turned, I started to know what a fly caught in a spider web felt like. I was hot, I was cold. Wanda was in the next room and apparently fighting a cold, I could hear her coughing all night. Finally, after I don't know how many hours I had to get up and go to the bathroom again so I had to summon Wanda by knocking on the wall. She came in and disconnected me, I did my business, and on the way back to my room I stole into the waiting room and looked at the clock. 2:00??? It didn't seem that late. I know that I must have gone to bed no later than 10. I felt a little distressed because I only had 3 more hours before they would be waking me up and I had not gotten enough sleep for them to monitor yet. So, back to get hooked up again and try to get to sleep. Without a clock in the room, it was hard to tell how much longer I stayed awake. I just remember Wanda coming in and waking me up at 5:00. Filling in some paperwork, and leaving. I went back home and crawled into bed with Talmadge and Puddy and slept for a couple of hours, wishing that I was still hooked up to the monitors so they could have recorded that. Hmph. Fortunately, I could sleep in a little bit because I had a dentist appointment for a root canal and crown prep later that morning. No, I didn't fall asleep in the chair, but I could have!

I'm supposed to go back to Dr. Maria next Monday for the results of my sleep test. I wonder if I'll have to do it again? If so, they better give me a Valium or something to take prior to it to relax me, otherwise it will be ANOTHER long night.

Friday, March 30, 2007

To sleep, perchance to dream.

Ah, back from our glorious West Virginia Mountain Vacation! Talmadge has blogged about it on his blog, complete with pictures. It was lovely, and the snow.....the snow was just COOL (literally and figuratively). It was the first time this South Georgia girl had seen this much snow. There was the time when I was 4 years old, living in Albany, and had what we considered a blizzard for that area - about 3 inches. It looks like we got at least 4-5 inches in our little West Virginia Winter Wonderland. Gorgeous! Then we had to come back to the humid 80-degree Fahrenheit sandgnat-filled weather of the Coast Empire. Bummer.

After our return, we had Tiger with us until the end of the week. I took him back to meet his mother in Ft. Valley, GA (the usual hand-off spot) and then I went northward a few miles to Macon where I ventured downtown on a search for Nu-Way Weiners. I saw them featured on a Food Network show some time back and HAD to try them when I got the chance. I am a sucker for a good chili dog and I've had some good ones in my time. People in Albany, GA line the block for a Jimmie's Hot Dog, wrapped in deli paper and stuffed in a brown bag that is nearly transparent from the grease by the time you get to your picnic spot (no inside dining there). Star-Ways and Lil' Red Dog House in Albany were also favorites. And, of course, when they ask you "What'll ya have?" at the Varsity in Atlanta, and you answer "Hot dog all the way!", you'll get one the way I like it - chili, mustard, and onions. Yum!

Now, Nu-Way DOES have several locations, one being just blocks away from the Burger King in Ft. Valley where I left what I can only assume was Josiebelle giving instruction to Tiger before handing over the car keys to him. There are also a couple of locations in Warner Robins - within blocks of the highway I had just taken en route to Ft. Valley and could have made the return trip on. But one thing that I have learned from my dear husband is that if you're going to visit a locally renowned and historic eating establishment for the first time, you've GOT to hit the original location if you can! Which is what I did.

It was tucked in a off-street and every bit the old-fashioned lunch counter I imagined it would be. I got three chili dogs for myself, one plain dog for Puddy (who had accompanied me on this trip) and a large triple-thick chocolate malted milkshake. I was in heaven! My only mistake was that I took the chili dogs with me and ate them in the car. It's especially challenging when you're trying to fight off a dog who has already wolfed down hers and is going after yours!! The chili dogs were not the best I have had - I think the Varsity still holds top honors with me - but they were still very good. But the shake was heavenly. I should have gotten the small, as it was so thick that I had to wait for it to melt a bit to get it through the straw. They gave me a spoon, but do you think I could have handled this thing with a spoon at 75 mph on the interstate? I don't think so! It took me nearly the full 2 1/2 hours of the trip home to finish it.

After the weekend, I had a couple of doctor appointments. Monday was the lung specialist (Dr. Maria) for my sleep apnea issue. We have a sleep study scheduled for this coming Monday night (April 2), in which I will go to the clinic where they have a "motel-like room" and sleep while they monitor me. I wonder if I will be able to sleep......I mean, with people watching me??? And, OH GOODY, when I wake up the next morning (provided I go to sleep, LOL) I get to go to the dentist for a possible root canal and a buildup for a crown. JOY! Knowing me, I probably won't get any sleep at the sleep clinic, but I'll probably pass out in the dentist chair. Hehehe.

Dr. Maria was telling me about some of the problems that sleep apnea can cause. To give you an abridged version, check out this brochure. After we find the right treatment, should she find that I do indeed have sleep apnea, my world is (hopefully) going to change for the better. I can't remember a morning since I was young that I actually woke up feeling like I got a good night's rest. I don't want to feel like a zombie any more!!

Tuesday, I had an appointment with the urologist. That went OK, and he says he can fix that problem at the same time they do the LAVH. (TMI! TMI!) This procedure is called a mid-urethral sling transobturator (some rather detailed drawings on this page - don't look if you're squeamish). I'm starting to get the feeling that I will be walking like a cowboy for a few days afterward these two procedures. The horse I will be riding will be named Ice Pack......yee haw. Methinks Tal will be able to sympathize with me on that, eh Tal?

SO, I'm almost set. Once I get the results of the sleep test on April 9th, we'll be able to get the hysterectomy surgery scheduled.

OK, it's Friday night. Just got home from work and finishing this blog entry. Tal and I will be heading to the Y in a bit, then back home for some chicken and rice. (Tal's favorite - his mom's recipe: One can of white meat chicken mixed with one can of cream of chicken soup, served over rice.) So easy, one day Tal might be able to make it. (hint hint) Like maybe Thursday nights coming up. (hint hint) :) (love you!) Maybe we'll get a movie, I'd like to see "The Pursuit of Happyness" (yes, that's how it's supposed to be spelled!) with Will Smith. It just came out on DVD this week and looks to be a good movie. Then off to sleep. I've got a cake class from 1-5 tomorrow. Sunday I will probably do some rat-killing in the house. (That's what Tal calls a major house cleaning - NO, we don't have rats.....or mice......or even roaches, thanks to Jackie the Exterminator). I may do some yard work and get my garden plot dug up. We'll just see how much energy I can muster. Knowing me, I'll be lucky if I can get the dishes done and all the mess out of the living room!

Have a great weekend!

-Seraphim "Did I miss Spring????" Gleck

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

To cut or not to cut.......

.....that will be the question.

I had an appointment with Dr. Amy today. Talmadge went with me to the appointment. Scratch that - he went to the appointment and I got there late. :) Gotta love that Savannah traffic. I thought I'd try to be smart and avoid what's probably one of the worst intersections here. Then thought that I could get on the road that would lead me right to the hospital where Dr. Amy's office is. I ended up on another road, stuck behind a school bus stopping at every freakin' block, so I tried to go down another street, then another, then another until I thought I was in Dead End Hell! Finally got turned back around and to the street I SHOULD have turned down in the first place. Got stuck in a long light at the intersection there. Tal calls and says, "Where ARE you?" I told him, "I'm stuck in line at a traffic light about 1/4 mile from the hospital but I've got a lovely view of a big azalea bush in some folks' yard so I'm not bored!" Poor Tal had to go into the Dr. Amy's OB/GYN office by himself. I'll bet he was glad to see me walk in! Well, he's ALWAYS glad to see me walk in, but he was probably especially glad at that moment.

I was almost 10 minutes late getting there. Not that it really mattered, as we ended up waiting an hour and a half to see Dr. Amy. Several pregnoids came and went with their "baby daddy". I was praying that none of them would attempt a conversation with me by starting with, "So, when are YOU due?" Because I had worn a rather loose dress and with my gut I could probably pass for an 11 1/2 month pregnant woman carrying quadruplets, and I was sitting there with my husband, it could have very well been an easy assumption. However, the mood I was in after dealing with the stupid traffic and waiting for so long to see the doctor, no telling what I may have said.

So we finally got taken to a room where we waited a little while longer, then Dr. Amy came in and talked to us. Looks like sometime in May I will be scheduled for an LAVH. Dr. Amy said hopefully this will go OK and she won't have to switch mid-operation and do a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy (TAH) where the uterus is removed through a large incision in the abdomen. This is the last resort, as recovery is longer and more painful than it would be with a LAVH. Dr. Amy said that since I haven't had any children the LAVH might be a bit more difficult to do because (entering TMI zone) my vagina has not been stretched out by some big ol' melon-headed rugrat. So if she finds she can't git r' done with the LAVH, I'll be getting cut. Pray that this does not happen! She will also be removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes. I will also have to have HRT after the surgery. Basically, at age 37 1/2, I will be going through (surgically induced) menopause.

I will be seeing a lung specialist before the surgery to be tested for sleep apnea (as I believe I mentioned in the previous post). In my heart, I feel like when all is said and done I will feel so much better. Maybe my hormones will actually get straightened out, I'll be able to get better sleep if the sleep apnea is treated, and hopefully I'll get fixed so (TMI zone again) I won't pee myself when I cough, sneeze, laugh, or bend over to pick something up. (That will be yet another doctor - a urologist - I will be visiting prior to surgery.)

So.....feeling like you know much more about me than you cared to?? LOL.

In the meantime, I am working like crazy trying to get caught up and ahead in work so I won't have that hanging over me. I don't know if this is a blessing or a curse, but my boss and Dr. Amy go to church together. Hopefully, they will both respect my privacy and not discuss me more than relating our "three (two?) degrees of separation". Bosslady has had her own health issues recently and asked me not to mention that to Dr. Amy, which I wouldn't, so I am sure she would be reciprocal.

So, as of right now I am vascillating between being being scared poopless and feeling optimistic that my life is about to change for the better. One moment I want to cry, the other I feel giddy. Weird, huh? I'm truly a work of art, ain't I?

-Seraphim