Tuesday, December 30, 2008
We had quite a spread..... the centerpiece being a "TURDUCKEN". This is mostly a New Orleans thing. It's an expensive gimmick, but fun....
Picture a boneless TURkey, topped with a boneless DUCK, topped with a boneless ChickEN. Then a big layer of Green Onion Sausage. All folded up to look like a big turkey.
I think that Christine has a picture on her camera...I'll post one for you guys not familiar with the concept. Ate by candlelight and listened to The Nutcracker. Very low-key and pleasant.
Our patient had a pretty good day. We're dealing with alot of ups and downs these days. (he ended up in the Emergency Room the next day)
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Christine, Dom and I headed to Slidell to visit his mom and aunt. (I spared Ric the experience).
Dom promised me that it would be a pleasant 2 hour visit.
We arrived at noon. Let the fun begin! The girls started fighting immediately. Honestly, we hadn't even sat down yet.
After 15 or 20 minutes of it, I decided that I needed to spice up the day.......
I popped a beer and offered Aunt Lou one. Oh boy, oh boy..... She drank it with delight. Strangely, this made her get just a LITTLE bit louder, a little more crass, and alot more fun.
Lou and I had a second beer. *grinning* At this point, rather than fighting, the old gals just ignored each other and vied for attention..... even if it meant interrupting each other while they were conversing with us. This amused me. This was more fun than the sniping back and forth.
At exactly 1:58 PM, I jumped up and announced that I needed to get home and rattle the pots and pans. Off we went.
The four of us had a very pleasant time at home. My dear friend Goldie in KY sent me her annual big-ass-delicious COUNTRY HAM. As always, it was ab-fab. Had sandwiches, a cheese plate, alot of shrimp cocktail and my favorite Christmas Eve dish.... my homemade CRAB BISQUE. This stuff is so rich and flavorful, that it's sinful. It's always a big hit.
Played dominoes, drank whatever we had a taste for, (I seem to recall beer, wine, bubbly, white russians and martinis flowing throughout the afternoon and night) had a blast!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Hi gang. It's sure been a whirlwind couple of weeks.
Well, I'm pretty bummed out. Dropped my brother Ric off at the airport early this morning. Geez, time is a bizarre thing. None of can believe that he was here for 10 days.
The above pic was taken on Monday. The 5 of us booked 3 rooms at the Prince Conti in the French Quarter. Bummed around bar-hopping all day, then had a FABULOUS Reveillon Dinner at Muriel's on Jackson Square.
Earlier in the day, we were introduced to one of the waiters while in the Deja Vu. The guy's name was "CHAD", and he took excellent care of us. What a neat place.
Our "patient" is doing "OK". I had to take him to the ER yesterday. None of our medical team was in on the day after Christmas, so we dropped Christine and Ric off at a bar (for FOUR HOURS), and went to the Bogalusa LSU Hospital.
He'd been having intestinal trouble for 4 days, dehydrated, dizzy, etc. Immodium wasn't working.
So..... they ran some bloodwork. He's low on Potassium. Low on Calcium (from the MM), blood pressure was great..... did it after laying down for 2 minutes, while sitting up for 2 minutes, and then standing up. Said he wasn't dehydrated, gave him a prescription and sent us home. I'm imagining just some type of virus. The pills seem to be working, as he's out of bed sitting with Christine.
Other than that, Dom has been doing pretty well. The cancer is wearing him down, but he's keeping a good attitude. Thanks for all of the emails and good wishes.
Love to all of you-
Nan and Dom
Sunday, December 21, 2008
History Simplified with Actual Material
For those that don't know about history ... Here is a condensed version:
Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.
The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:
1. Liberals, and
Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitt ing around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.
Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.
Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the .
Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.
Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.
Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.
Conservatives drink domestic beer, mostly Bud. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservat ives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, athletes, members of the military, airline pilots and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.
Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America . They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.
Here ends today's lesson in world history:
It should be noted that a Liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above before forwarding it.
A Conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be forw arded immediately to other true believers and to more liberals just to tick them off.
And there you have it. Let your next action reveal your true self.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Spent much of the day at my 94 year old mother in law's house. Her 93 year old sister lives with her. They're polar opposites.
Aunt Lou drinks beer, hung out with Jack Keruac, Charles Bukowski, assorted poets and artists. Lived a fast life. Swears like a sailor. Horrible, horrible temper.
Dom's mom is afraid of her own shadow. No smoking, no drinking, used to be a good Catholic.
They fight like cats and dogs. Can't live with each other, yet can't live without.
They're both hard of hearing.
It's like a fucking nightmare over there.... them arguing, swearing, yelling, talking over each other,Lou's little dog yapping and snapping at us, multiple tvs blaring..... unbelievable.
As you're probably sick of hearing, the country is going DIGITAL next month. As they're too cheap to buy cable or satellite television, they had to buy converter boxes for their tvs.
Mrs. M has 3 sets. Aunt Lou has 1. Rabbit ears on all of 'em.
Today's job was to convert their televisions.
Unfortunately, Lou bought a DVD player, thinking it was a converter box. You should have
heard the yelling.
She convinced Dom's mother to give her one of her boxes.
Dom hooked Mrs. M's tvs up, then hooked up Lou's.
Went to the hardware store. Came back 20 minutes later, and Lou had yanked it out of the wall and threw it across the room.
(Mrs. M started bitching and moaning that she liked Lou's remote better than 2 that she kept for herself.... 3 different brands in all).
Straightened out the bent prong that was so forcefully yanked out of the wall, and hooked up Mrs. M's 3rd television.
Mrs M: 3
Ho Ho Fucking Ho.
Couldn't wait to get out of there.
Honestly, I don't know how he does it. *sighing and making note to self to come up with an excuse not to join Dom and Chris on XMAS Eve visit over there*
Monday, December 15, 2008
I'm happy to report that after 2 days in bed after his Aredia infusion, Dom sprung out of bed Sunday morning, and has been feeling great!
Thankfully, he doesn't "fight it" anymore, and is starting to actually enjoy a couple days per month between the sheets! Probably to get away from ME. Ha!
Brother Ric flies in on Wednesday. Thus, the cleaning frenzy. His home is immaculate- I always come back from Cincinnati feeling guilty when I compare our housekeeping skills.
Booked some rooms in the French Quarter for next Monday, when Christine flies in. Going to be joined by Dom's cousin Joe from Pensacola. We'll whoop it up a bit, then enjoy a Reveillon dinner at either Antoine's or Muriel's.
Dunno much else, gang..... our patient is doing well, and I'm dying for the sight of my brother on Wednesday!
Friday, December 12, 2008
WHAT PETS WRITE IN THEIR DIARIES.....
Excerpts from a Dog's Diary......
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk Bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
Excerpts from a Cat's Daily Diary...
Day 983 of my captivity..
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.
Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.
The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am.
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.
The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now................
Went in to the Tulane Urology Clinic on Wed. afternoon for his PROSTATE BIOPSY. It rained cats and dogs all the way there and home (during rush hour), his nurse was a bitch, Dr. Lee breezed in and out much too quickly, as a different doc did the biopsy.
His butt hurt and he got grumpy. *giggling* We'll find out the results in "a week or two". I'm going to start bugging them on Monday afternoon. I feel pretty confident that this is just a case of an enlarged prostate. *crossing my fingers*
Moving right along to Thursday:
Woke up to snow. Drove morning rush hour through snow and sleet. Jacknifed 18 wheelers, cars in ditches, bridges shut down, the works. Dom's fanny still hurt and he got grumpy. *snickering*
In theory, his 2 hour Aredia infusion was to be at 10:30 am. At some point, Dr. Safah was to swing by to visit him.
In actuality, it took THREE different gals to finally get a vein that "didn't roll", or that wasn't "too small". They finally drew the needed blood at 11am, and put an order in for the Aredia.
Now, Dom's hands, arms and butt hurt. He was really, really grumpy.
The blood lab didn't give the nurses his results until after 1:30 PM. (Couldn't do the infusion until they checked his numbers). We didn't get out of there until almost 4pm. Luckily, the roads were clear, and I drove like a madwoman on the way home.
Today, as expected, Dom has spent the day in bed. At least he doesn't fight it anymore. He realizes that this is going to be a monthly thing.....
So, today, he feels like he's been run over by a truck, his eyes hurt, his butt hurts and he's really, really, really grumpy. But, at least he's between the sheets with the curtains drawn and resting comfortably.
Here's what's in the works, medically:
Appointment with Dr. Safah on Jan. 8th, followed by his infusion that afternoon. This will be 4 months of Thalidomide treatment. She's going to test his blood to see if his plasma cell count dropped. Four months is normally when you see some action.
She'll let us know a week later.
We were both under the impression that he'd be hospitalized for the stem-cell transplant in late January. She basically told us, "Not so fast..... just keep doing what you're doing, and we'll take a look at your blood in a month.... this might be a long process".
Tonite, he's back on the Coumadin.
So, that's the scoop, kids. Thankfully, Dom has little-to-no interest in this blog. He won't see that I'm talking about his butt. That would get him REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY GRUMPY!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Woke up this morning to a BIG surprise! We haven't had a snowfall like this since the early 90's..... The last time that I remember any snow was when Ric and Christine were here for XMAS of '03.... we spent a fun morning at Al and Ada's home.... while Al fried our Christmas turkey. (Drinking beer, eating Ada's gumbo...... what fun!)
Pics above were taken around 7:30 am on Thurs. (Looks like I need to adjust my timer on the camera, ehhhhhh?)
First pic is Dom's workshop, the second is our South Valley Road (heading towards civilization, and the last is a view to the West from our porch.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
So, threw together some clothes and hit the road to Metairie.
Got to Linda's around 11 am. Watched my Crimson Tide lose, drank beer, chit chatted, had a lovely time.
Linda has a beautiful home. I was delighted for her.
Came home just in time for my Saints game. Again, Dom was feeling good, so we happily watched the game together.
Moving a little slow today.... alot of aches and pains..... for a change, I'm the one who doesn't feel so hot.
We've got a big week coming up. Prostate Biopsy on Wed., then Aredia infusion on Thursday. I've been slowly decorating the house, and looking forward to having our Christine and my brother Ric here for the holidays!
Friday, December 5, 2008
All is well in Mudville. Dom has been feeling pretty good, as he has for the past couple of days. We tore up the roads yesterday, making about a zillion stops, finishing off with 2 beers with our dear buddy, Richard Mc, in Bogalusa. Today was unpacking Christmas decorations and a little bit of internet shopping for Christmas.
If Dominic still feels good in the morning, I'm headed to Lovely Linda's house in Metairie for the night. I haven't had a chance to see her new home, and am looking forward to it. Unfortunately, Lin can't stand sports..... Yours truly has turned into a RABID Alabama Crimson Tide fan. Part of the deal with my visit is that she allows me to watch the Alabama/Florida game without chit-chat or interruption. (Hey.... what are friends for, right???????? Never mind that we didn't see each other for a good 18 months until recently.... priorities, priorities!). I've got my PJs, ALABAMA bandana and beer huggy packed. Between Dom feeling good, the game, and spending time with Lin, life can hold no more! ROLL TIDE ROLL!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
40. Oh I just couldn't. Hell, she's only sixteen.
39. I'll take Shakespeare for 1000, Alex.
38. Duct tape won't fix that.
37. Lisa Marie was lucky to catch Michael.
36. Come to think of it, I'll have a Heineken.
35. We don't keep firearms in this house.
34. Has anybody seen the sideburns trimmer?
33. You can't feed that to the dog.
32. I thought
31. No kids in the back of the pick-up, it's just not safe.
30. Wrasslin's fake.
29. Honey, did you mail that donation to Greenpeace?
28. We're vegetarians.
27. Do you think my gut is too big?
26. I'll have grapefruit and grapes instead of biscuits and gravy.
25. Honey, we don't need another dog.
24. Who's Richard Petty?
23. Give me the small bag of pork rinds.
22. Too many deer heads detract from the decor.
21. Spittin is such a nasty habit.
20. I just couldn't find a thing at Walmart today.
19. Trim the fat off that steak.
18. Cappuccino tastes better than espresso.
17. The tires on that truck are too big.
16. I'll have the arugula and radicchio salad.
15. I've got it all on the C drive.
14. Unsweetened tea tastes better.
13. Would you like your salmon poached or broiled?
12. My fiance, Bobbie Jo, is registered at Tiffany's.
11. I've got two cases of Zima for the Super Bowl.
10. Little Debbie snack cakes have too many fat grams.
08. She's too young to be wearing a bikini.
07. Does the salad bar have bean sprouts?
06. Hey, here's an episode of 'Hee Haw' that we haven't seen.
05. I don't have a favorite college team.
04. Be sure to bring my salad dressing on the side.
03. I believe you cooked those green beans too long.
02. Those shorts ought to be a little longer, Darla.
01. Nope, no more for me. I'm drivin' tonight
This Thalidomide therapy is kicking Dominic's ass. He is SO tired and lethargic. Getting occasional dizzy spells..... anemia, etc. He breezed right through the first couple months of treatment, but it's finally catching up on him.
He's been slipping between the sheets before 7 pm most nights, and staying in bed until late morning.
I'm spending the night at Linda's on Saturday, and wanted him to come along. He won't do it, as he doesn't want to go to sleep at 6:30 while visiting her. (Not that anyone would care, but nevermind...must be a pride-thing).
I spoke to his Tulane Cancer Center nurse, Amy, yesterday. She fondly refers to Dom as her "PROBLEM CHILD". (if she only knew!!!!!!!!!!) *grinning*
2 new things this week...... she had him stop his STEROIDS. It was only scheduled for the first 2 months of treatment, but they continued it to clear up the now-gone rash from the food reaction in Ft. Myers. (which I still question..... but, ours not to wonder why, ours but.....)
Secondly, she's ordering him another bone x-ray. His back is absolutely killing him. It's in a "new spot", and I'm fearing a new lesion. He'd like to wait until next week's Tulane visit, but if it gets too bad, she'll order it for a Bogalusa or Slidell hospital. 400 mg. of MOTRIN/Ibuprofin seems to help his pain.
Sooooo....... Dom's attitude remains positive, but he's a hurtin' little cowboy. Send the good vibes and prayers, friends and family!
Monday, December 1, 2008
"This is set to be the best planetary gathering of the year, simply because it involves three of the brightest objects in the sky after the sun," said Geza Gyuk, director of astronomy at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.
"As long as you have clear skies in the early part of the evening, this is one astronomical event that's hard to miss."
In fact, some historians think that a similar conjunction between Jupiter and Venus in 2 B.C. may be the source of the "star of Bethlehem" story related in the Bible.
The stellar pair would have appeared so close together, scholars think, that they might have seemed to meld into one brilliant beacon of light.
Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Gentilly Johnny
Well, the stock market and the economy has just destroyed my finances. Also, looks like the price of tea bags has gone up astronomically. Question: I drink three cups of tea each morning. I can use one tea bag three times to make three cups of tea. And I can combine two of the third-use bags for a fourth cup.
Anyone have any other easy cost-cutting ideas for food or drink?
Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Foster K
Go to the nearest convenience store/gas station, and while purchasing a cup of coffee, stuff your pockets with handfuls of sugar, sweetener, and half & halfs.
Even better, do the same at Burger King, after ordering a "senior coffee", which is appx. 1/2 the cost.
Or, order a child's burger at New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Company, and quietly fill up on all you can carry at the fixings bar.
Don't forget that many grocery stores offer complimentary coffee, and usually have tasting samples at their deli.
Chinese take-out outlets, which are becoming more widespread, usually have baskets of soy sauce, hot mustard, and....yes, TEA! for their customers to take with them.
Don't neglect to take advantage of the abundance of available straws, salt & pepper packets, ketchup packets, plastic utensils, and paper napkins.
Speaking of straws, always have one with you; in old time barbershops & hardware stores, you will occasionally find an old "ice chest" type of soft drink machine that requires you to deposit your coins, slide the choice of beverage to the hopper, and pull it up past the mechanism now unlocked by the coins.
Here's what you do.
Use your bottle opener (you DO carry one with you, I hope), and simply open your preferred soda.
Now take your straw, and have at it.
Finally, don't forget this--
There are actually LOAVES of fresh French Bread actually, well, loafing (HAHAHA) on doorsteps of closed sandwich shops EVERYWHERE.
Go early, cause this must be a well known fact; they're always gone by 10am or so.
Good God, man.
The possibilities are endless.
Re: Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Gentilly Johnny
Wow Foster K, great suggestions!
I already do the McDonalds thing, and it's even better with the cold weather and my big jacket pockets. And the "senior" thing works OK, except that I just made 60 y/o and there doesn't seem to be a standard universal policy as to what constitutes "senior." I'll check with AARP on that one.
I don't ask for child's plates; just seems too embarrassing. I do ask the wait staff what the cheapest thing on the menu is that has the most food, and take everything (including extra sugers) home in a doggie bag.
And I won't resort to taking the bags of french bread from outside of the stores- that would be dishonest.
And for under $10 (tax included!), I can get a go box at King's, the Chineese food place on Vets. I can really pack that go box (whitch I noticed has gotten a tad smaller in the last year or so).
Re: Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Foster K
Now you're getting it, Johnny!
Love the King's idea, but really, take it a step further.
Pay for TWO boxes, and ask for a large bag in which to carry them.
Now, surreptitiously flatten out the boxes and place in the bottom of the bag.
Do you know why?
Bueller? Bueller? Anyone...?
(For support of all the weight of the enormous amount of stuff you're gonna throw in the bag!)
Re: Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Gentilly Johnny
Foster K. Those Chineese folks are already weary of me when I come in there. They are very hawkish, and have admonished me for taking too many shrimp. They no longer carry lobster claws; I suspect that I am the reason.
And the bag thing would never work. Not only would they immediately be suspicious of my intentions, but the food would get all mixed up in there. I'll stick with the four or five pounds that I can sheepishly walk out with.*
*note to any of the Chineese people at Kings that might be reading this: I am a very short fat, bald guy. Be suspicious of short, fat, bald guys.
I'll continue to monitor this dialog over the next day, or so.... and will edit this post to include new stuff!
Re: Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Foster K
Clearly, Johnny, you have been around the block.
Forget the Chinese; they're too smart.
Try this instead.
Get yourself a Luzianne Tea polo shirt (or Budweiser, Coke, whatever...).
Hang out in the parking lot of your local grocery store, and I mean EARLY, like 6:30 am.
When the real delivery guys arrive, just follow behind whoever your chosen brand guy is (don't let him see you, of course), and after he stocks the shelves, just wait for him to depart, and then fill up a buggy with the same product as your shirt, and leave through the BACK DOOR, muttering about mold, or insects, or whatever.
You can even ask the gatekeeper if he'll give you some ice (they have a BEAST of an ice machine), and he'll be glad to help, cause he knows how hard you guys work.
I suggest a collection of branded shirts, sufficiently weathered & worn, as appropriate to the product desired.
Another skill is to enter a convenience store in the wee hours, wearing shorts and cowboy boots.
Announce to the staff that you're "Just DYING for a wiener!"
While they're making jokes and laughing (and they certainly will be), start dropping dogs into your boots.
Now, they will be hot, so have socks on at least as high as the boots.
You'll walk funny leaving, but they'll be expecting that.
Re: Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Gentilly Johnny
Great idea, Foster K. And I know just the right grocery store; nothin' but Catholic high school kids working there.
And you're right, never try to get away with anything "suspicious" where Asians or Middle Easterners work. The small theft-loss margin keeps them prospering and multiplying.
Off of werk now. Time for some nefrarious computer mischief at home.
Unfortunately, Dom is presently in bed. 2 pm. Felt weak, achy and dizzy around noon, so slipped between the sheets. I'm hoping that he's sleeping, but don't want to open the door to peak in on him.... he's a very light sleeper. I've got a big pot of Turkey Noodle Soup going on the stove. That'll make him happy.
Tomorrow is our 20th anniversary. We were scheduled to be in the Caribbean. In fact, today was the day that we were going to reunite in St. Lucia with our 2 favorite Caribbean men- Levi Baron and Spencer Ambrose. Got a phone call yesterday from Spencer, and a sweet email from Levi. NEXT YEAR we'll get together!
Dunno much else. Christmas is practically upon us. I need to get up into the attic and start hauling down decorations. Maybe even consider writing out some Christmas Cards.
Hope that everyone had a delightful holiday weekend. Ours was great..... mellow, but Dom felt "pretty good" all weekend.
Friday, November 28, 2008
(Makes 3 cheesecakes with a little extra)
*8 eggs separated
*1 1/2 cups sugar
*28 or 30 oz. can of solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
*4 eight oz. packs cream cheese, softened
*2 teaspoons cinnamon
*1 teaspoon ground ginger
*cloves, nutmeg, whatever I have I use......
*3 Cups Eggnog
*3 Tablespoons Corn Starch
Graham Cracker Pie Crusts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In small bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar til soft peaks form. Set
In large bowl, beat egg yolks, pumpkin, cream cheese, whatever spices you're using (mine is different every year), until well blended.
Fold egg white mixture into pumpkin mixture.
Bake in pie shells 1 hour, or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean.
While pies are cooking, mix eggnog and cornstarch in saucepan, medium heat to boiling, simmer a couple minutes on low until it thickens.
Let it cool, then spread over cooled cheesecakes.
Garnish with pecan halves if you're got 'em. Refrigerate.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
The bird is in the oven, sipping on a glass of Merlot, and all is well with us. Total Relaxation! Will be serving the following:
*Martha Stewart Turkey (Covered in cheesecloth and basted constantly with white wine/butter.
*My niece Jennifer's Corn Souffle
*Balsamic Pearl Onions
For dessert, we will pig out on a Pumpkin Cheesecake with Eggnog Topping. (I'll post the recipe tomorrow).
Will be using maw's antique turkey plates, sterling silver, candles and Strauss playing softly in the background.
Hope that this post finds YOU and YOURS having a delightful day.....we are!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I have to admit that I am NOT. He's really popular with "Foodies".... has his own show and has written some cookbooks. I recognized his name, but that was about the extent of it. Anyhow..... a local "internet buddy" of mine was at a very intimate cocktail party/dinner that Bourdain had attended. There were less than 20 people there. She had a lovely time, and really enjoyed meeting and talking to this guy. He told her "that he measures his success by the amount of time he can spend barefoot and drunk. Well, between that mantra and this picture, he's got a new fan!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
They're hanging tough while dealing with our "Big 3". I'm tickled that our Senate is not getting bullied by these Fat Cats. As far as I'm concerned..... LET 'EM FILE BANKRUPTCY AND START OVER! If these idiots can't produce vehicles that Americans want to purchase, to hell with 'em!
This piece from Perez Hilton got my blood boiling....
As we all painfully know, Detroit's "big 3" auto CEOs caused quite a stink last week when they had the audacity to fly into Washington D.C. via luxury corporate jets to beg the taxpayers for a $25 billion
Well, it looks like the public's WTF? sentiment got to at least two of the three big auto boys.
GM announced on Friday that it's going to cut their corporate jet fleet by two.
A spokesperson said the company started the year with a fleet of seven leased jets.
It gave back two in September and is preparing to shed two more.
GM said it was 'already preparing to give back the two additional jets even before last week's hearing'.
The mouthpiece went on to say, "We are very sensitive to the issues around the use of corporate planes. This is something we will be looking at closely in the future."
Also, Ford is 'considering' selling its five corporate jets.
A Ford flack said, "Our top priority is to make progress on our transformation plan. We don't want anything to distract us."
Why not DO???
There was no word about what the other auto company, Chrysler, plans to do about their corporate jet fleet.
I'm feeling a little "down" today. Thursday (Thanksgiving), we were scheduled to go on a 10 day Southern Caribbean cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale.
We were highly anticipating 3 things:
Firstly, that we'd be celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary in Barbados.
Secondly, that we'd be having a reunion with our 2 favorite tour guides during our day in St. Lucia.... Levi Baron of Dominica and Spencer Ambrose of St. Lucia had planned to pick us up at the ship and play all day with us.
Thirdly, that we'd be meeting dear Cruise Critic buddies, Robert and Rhonda C. for the first time.
Sadly, we had to cancel this cruise, but happily, Rhonda and Robert C. will be spending the day with our Spencer in St. Lucia! (I know that you guys will ADORE Spencer! Have a blast, R & R!)
So, today will be a day of football and beer. I'll be with my Dominic. Hey- Things could be worse! *smiling*
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
My dearest Southern gal, Linda, came over for the night. (Yours Truly has 2 "best friends".... Linda down here for 25 years, and Amy up in Ohio for my entire life).
Linda and I had had a horrid misunderstanding which resulted in 1 1/2 years of not seeing or speaking to each other. We'd been trying to get together for the past few weeks. The plan was for me to visit her new home and spend the night.
With all of this medical bullshit, I haven't had a chance to do anything, so Linda made it a point to come over here.
She arrived bearing gifts. A HUGE load of food from Cane's..... chicken fingers, fries, bread, cole slaw..... and my NEW FAVORITE, a bottle of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka. (More about that later).
Lin and I spent 12 hours laughing and talking, catching up on things. Honestly, we didn't miss a beat.... it's as if the past year and a half had never happened! It was really, really special.
NOW, let me tell you about this bottle of booze- WOWIE ZOWIE!!!!!!!!! We didn't crack it open until about 10 pm..... and put quite the dent in it. Gang, I don't even like Iced Tea..... or didn't think so, anyway.
You drink this on the rocks with an equal part of water. Talk about FUN! I need to find it locally. She's getting it by the case from a gal in South Carolina, where it's brewed. Keep your eyes open for it.... it's not cheap- $20 a fifth, but WAY KEWL!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I'll be following any developments, but in the meanwhile, here are some snippets:
“Obviously all of the publicity about the KKK is just the wrong type of news for Louisiana and does nothing to improve our image nationwide. It will not get any better in the weeks ahead because today it was announced that the black radical group, the New Black Panther Party, are planning a protest march for Friday December 5 in Bogalusa. The rally is in response to the KKK incident and the media attention surrounding the white supremacist group. The rally might trigger a counter rally from KKK members, so there could be chants of “white power” and “black power.” There is also the threat of violence that will be hanging over the event.”
While the KKK was founded upon white supremacy, the New Black Panther Party appears to be predicated upon hate and disdain for whites.
It would be a shame if a small town of Bogalusa Louisiana became the next Jena pitting some whites against some blacks and grabbing the headlines and attentions of the nation.
Dom and I are just too overwhelmed to "entertain". We informed family yesterday that the 2 of us just needed to be alone on Thanksgiving.
I'll still cook a nice dinner, but will enjoy our solitude.
We also canceled the tests that Dr. Culasso had ordered for him this week..... Carotid Artery Ultrasound, CT SCAN and Stress Test. It's just TOO MUCH.....especially since Dr. Safah is certain that it was an allergic reaction/shock.
Come to think of it, we need to get a refill for his "sting kit".... that would be something to carry around with us in case of another episode.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Professor of Urology, Department of Urology
Director of Robotics, Laparoscopy and Endourology
Urology, urologic oncology, Robotic Surgery, Minimally Invasive Urology, Single Port Surgery
Education and Training
Medical School: The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, 1990
Internship: The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, 1994
Residency: The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, 1996
Assistant Chief of Service: The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, 2000
We had another EXCELLENT visit to Tulane. Out of frustration, Dom dumped his Slidell, LA Urologist. Dr. Safah hooked us up with this guy.
He impressed the hell out of me. Kind, friendly, great eye contact, warm.... the guy is a doll.
Dom's PSA readings have been jumping all over the place. Since MAY' 08, it has been 4.5 (which led to a prostate biopsy and scope), up to 8.5, then 15, and now down to 12.5.
So, Dr. Lee has scheduled a prostate biopsy on DECEMBER 10th. We'll see Dr. Safah and have another Aredia infusion on the 11th.... (Dom was IN BED for TWO WHOLE DAYS last week....the Aredia really kicks his ass)
Do you know what that means, gang??????????
NO DOCTORS FOR THREE WHOLE WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! *YEAH FOR US*
Dom will go off of his Coumadin for 2 weeks prior to the biopsy. We're not certain if Thalidomide will be discontinued, or not. Safah's nurse, Amy, thinks that he'll continue taking it. This pleases us, because we were afraid that this prostate crap would put a hold on Multiple Myeloma treatments. We'll find out next week.
Dr. Lee said that this repeat biopsy will have a 35% chance of turning up Cancer.
Send the good vibes and prayers, my friends!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Aredia is one medication that fits into the class of medications called biphosphonates. Biphosphonate medications are used to slow down the osteoclast's effects on the bone. In doing this it can be useful in slowing down or preventing the complications (bone pain, fractures, or high calcium levels) of the bone breakdown.
Biphosphonates may be given while a person is receiving other chemotherapy to treat cancer, or it may be given alone to treat high calcium levels, or bone pain.
Aredia Side Effects:
Some of the more common side effects that have been reported in studies of patients taking Aredia were; fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting, anemia and skeletal pain. However it is thought that some of these reported side effects of Aredia may be due to other treatments patients were on or the cancer itself. Sometimes patients reported muscle and joint pains within 1 to 3 days after the second or third treatment of Aredia. The doctor may recommend a mild pain reliever that may help prevent or relieve these symptoms. Aredia is cleared from the body through the kidneys. Even if a person's kidneys are not working properly, studies show that changes in the dosage of Aredia should not be necessary. However, Aredia has not been studied in many patients with severe kidney problems.http://www.chemocare.com/faq/aredia__use_and_side_effects_information.asp
Now we know it's yesterday's AREDIA infusion.... was hoping to blame last months reaction on his flu shot.
Nanette is happy to slip between the sheets at a drop of the hat- I love snoozing.
Dom, on the other hand, is hating this. I told him, "Hey- you're getting through this treatment with flying colors....if you get knocked out only 1 day per month, you're lucky- Now, get in bed and relax!"
**edited to correct the name of the drug that Dom's is taking via IV on a monthly basis....it's "Aredia", not "Avidia". BTW: it's presently 4:30 pm, and he's still in bed, poor guy. **
Thursday, November 13, 2008
We had a busy, busy day again. Fought rush hour traffic into New Orleans for our Cancer Center visit.
As usual, the gals at Tulane were happy to take us early, and got the ball rolling immediately.
Dr. Safah asked about our Ft. Myers ER visit last week. We'd told her what was happening on Dr. Culasso's side (tests next week), but said that we had failed to mention to him that Dom was broken out in HIVES.
She and her assistant looked at each other and confidently told us that Dom had gone into ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK that night! Between the hives and the difficulty finding a pulse (minimal blood pressure), she's certain that it was an allergic reaction to SOMETHING HE ATE.... it's driving us crazy. Leftover pizza for breakfast, crackers, cheese and sausage at Diane and Jerry's, then 1 taco, then out like a light. It doesn't make any sense, other than the fact that his blood counts are all mixed up....maybe that caused the histamines to invade his body like that? *shrugging my shoulders*
It must have helped that his body has been full of steroids. In fact, she has continued the steroid treatment because of this.
So, off we went to the INFUSION ROOM for his monthly 2 hour drip of AVIDIA, as well as a "total blood count" and a separate PSA reading. We have an appointment with one of their Urologists on Monday to address the PROSTATE ISSUE.
It seems to be never-ending, gang.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
He spent alot of time poking, prodding, listening, wiggling his head, looking into his eyes, etc.
He's not concerned about Dom's passing out. He blames it on dehydration from all of the sun in the convertible and beer that day. Just to be safe, he's scheduling a CT SCAN, a CAROTID ARTERY ULTRASOUND, and a STRESS TEST for next week.
This guy has been our doctor for 25 years. Love him to death. Extremely thorough, as well as easy on the eyes. *grinning*
Heading to Tulane Cancer Center tomorrow for a 2 hour infusion and an appt. with Dr. Safah. Then back there on Monday to meet with one of their Prostate Cancer specialists. We're growing very weary of doctors, but hanging in there!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Imagine my horror upon seeing the bathroom FLOODED as I was draining the tub.
Those of you who know us well, are aware that we have some bad karma when it comes to WATER. Water is the root of most of our troubles.... whether it be plumbing, swimming pools, hot tubs, leaky pond.... you name it.
So.... Dom will be cussing up a storm tomorrow, trying to snake our septic tank. The last time something like this happened, he paid the Rotor Rooter man around $300 to fix it, and ended up doing it himself.
Water is now shut off in the house, and we'll be walking across the property to the Game Room to use the toilet. *pouting*
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Off to enjoy the ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE whoop on the LSU TIGERS..... remember, I'm a "dirty rotten Alabama biker chick" now! Gonna put on my do-rag and settle in for some fun. ROLL TIDE!!!!!!!!!!!
Gassed up and pulled out of Tallahasse at 8:15 am. I took over the wheel at 9 am and drove home.
Wowie Zowie- now I WANT A CORVETTE! What a delightful car to drive.
Had an uneventful trip home, and now it's back to reality.... medication refills, 3 doctor appointments this week, 1 infusion treatment this week, laundry, cooking, cleaning, ARGHHHHHHHHH.
All in all, this was a wonderful get-away. Monday night was terrifying, but the rest of the week was just great!
Had a great breakfast and said sad goodbyes to Diane and Jerry.
Man, they really are something else! Wonderful, wonderful hosts. Wonderful breakfasts and dinners each day. They carted us around for 3 days....
I didn't mention it in the “Monday Night at the Hospital” entry, but they were there for me at every moment. They drove home to get Dom's medications, and then insisted on staying. I urged them to leave, but they wouldn't hear of it. They're dear, dear friends.
Stopped at the Health Park Hospital for a copy of Dom's medical records from Monday night. That went very smoothly. Then, ventured to Aunt Ro's for 3 quick pictures and a kiss goodbye.
Drove to TALLAHASSEE for the night. Had Chinese food delivered. We had a very pleasant drive, dinner and overnight stay. Dom stomped on it coming out of a Rest Area- hit 101 mph..... This was probably the highlight of his trip. (rolling my eyes and grinning).
What a fun, fun day! Once again, Dom felt great, as he does right now. We headed to nearby Sanibel Island. Ventured into Captiva- what a beautiful area!
Stopped at Shell Beach for a little beach combing and marveled at the many dolphins that were coming right up to the beach area. Made friends with a Heron who posted for pictures. Got some pretty neat shells, then moved on to Bowman Beach.
Once again, there were dolphins all over the place. Jerry and I jumped into the water, and I managed to swim within 10 feet of a dolphin. What a neat experience!
Headed back to their place, where they put on another great spread- Boneless Buffalo Wings on the grill- same concept as Tuesday's french fries. Yummy!
Then, Jerry made a meatball pizza- again, on the grill. Nice salad and some good cookies for dessert. This was a great wrap up of our Ft. Myers visit.
Dom had a great night's sleep and woke up feeling great. No dizziness, confusion, etc..... which I was told to look for by the Tulane Cancer Center doctor that I had spoken to the night before.
We had made plans to visit my Aunt Ro who lives in North Ft. Myers. As Dom felt so good, we took the drive to her place at the Del Tura Country Club.
Aunt Ro is mom's last remaining sibling. She's the baby out of 7 children. I hadn't seen her for THIRTY YEARS.
My God, this was the highlight of my trip. What a little doll! She looks like a million bucks. I was absolutely tickled to see her.
We spent about an hour visiting. Much to my horror, I had forgotten to bring my camera! (these pictures were taken yesterday, on the way back home).
She has a beautiful home and an active lifestyle. This really pleased me.
Headed back to Ft. Myers Beach and lounged around the pool and hot tub with Diane and Jerry.
They put on quite a spread for dinner. Black Angus burgers, hot dogs, huge salad, baked beans and french fries on the grill. (I'm going to try this at home- they thawed out the frozen “fat fries” and cooked them on the grill at a low heat, turning often- you'd never know that they weren't cooked in oil!)
Watched the STUPID ELECTION RESULT on TV. Gawd help America.
The day started out perfectly. Then the shit hit the fan. (see yesterday's post)
We left OCALA at 9:15 am, and had a lovely 4 hour scenic drive to Diane and Jerry's winter home in Ft. Myers Beach.
We got off of the Interstate to cross Tampa Bay, venture to St. Petes Beach, enjoyed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and took pictures. By noon it was a lovely 87 degrees.
We had breakfast at Joe's house, then ventured to Sherry's for a couple cups of coffee. Hit the road at 10 am. Put the top down at noon- 76 degrees and sunny. Within an hour, my hair was a mass of tangles, so picked up an ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE do-rag/skull cap. It was either that or a SKULL motif, so figured, “Roll Tide”! (I looked absolutely fetching...like a dirty rotten Alabama biker chick).
Drove 5 ½ hours with stops to OCALA. Stayed at a Quality Inn that we've been to a couple of times. Picked up some beer, ordered HUNGRY HOWIE'S PIZZA and relaxed.
Road Trip to Ft. Myers Beach November 1st through 7th
Woke up to absolute CHAOS. Dom realized (at the crack of dawn), that we didn't have a brake-tag (inspection sticker) for the new Vette. This could possibly result in a $500 fine.
I suggested that we just get one on the way to the interstate in Gulfport.
1 problem- Dom couldn't find his registration. We tore the house apart for about an hour. You've never heard such swearing in your life. Finally, Dom said, “screw it- let's go”.
Loaded up the car to find that the trunk wouldn't close. There's not nearly as much room in there as we thought! More swearing as Dom rearranged our luggage. Then the car alarm went off.
What a wonderful happy start to our spur-of-the-moment vacation! (Decided to take this trip because we had no doctor or hospital appointments last week).
We hit the road at 9:30 am.
By the time we hit the end of our driveway, I found the registration- just where it should have been- in the glove box. Stopped at a Chevrolet dealership in Gulfport for a quick brake tag, and we were off!
Arrived PENSACOLA, gassed up and pulled into “cousin Joe's” driveway at 1:30 pm. Grabbed “cousin Sherry” and went to the Historical District. Joe volunteers as a historical tour guide, so gave us his tour. (He's pretty darn good at it, too!).
Went back to Joe's for some killer pasta, then Joe put on his “COOL GHOUL” outfit, whiteface and bloody lips for his “GHOST TOUR” volunteer gig that night.
He had a couple of hours to kill, so the 3 of us went to the SEVILLE QUARTER for a couple of drinks. Really, really neat place- picture a big warehouse with cobblestone walkways and about 8 separate connected bars. Each joint had a different theme- piano bar, WWII, pool room, etc. It was like a mini-French Quarter. I need to see if there's a hotel within walking distance of the place. It would make for a fun evening.
Went on Joe's GHOST TOUR- had a lovely time.