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.
Friday, November 7, 2008
We're home- safe and sound.
In general, we had a lovely time in Florida. I'll be uploading photos and such this weekend.
Monday, however, was like a nightmare. Honestly, I've never been so frightened in my life.
We arrived at Diane and Jerry's home on Monday afternoon. After a bit of unpacking, the 4 of us went to the MOOSE LODGE for "Mexican Night". $2 Margaritas and tacos. All was well.
We were taking pictures, playing a "trivial pursuit" game with the other members, having a grand old time.
Sitting at a table, Diane was seated directly opposite of Dom. Suddenly, she gave out a scream, "CALL 911".
Much to my horror, Dom's eyes had rolled into the back of his head....it looked like something out of a movie.... all you could see were the whites of his eyes. He didn't fall, just tilted his head back and lost consciousness.
There was NO WARNING. One minute he's yelling out trivia answers, eating a taco, and then NOTHING.
Luckily, there was a nurse there. She "brought him back" in about 5 minutes using a cold compress on the back of his neck....it felt like a lifetime. She had a difficult time finding his pulse. Honestly, the consensus was that he was on his way out.
After he "woke up", he was fine. We went by ambulance to Health Park Hospital. The EMT guys did bloodwork on him. In the ER, they gave him a chest xray and an EKG. Everything looked fine, so they released him. *sighing*
So, upon our return to D & J's, I was on the phone to Tulane Cancer Center. Left an emergency message, and one of their doctors called me around midnight. (These folks never cease to amaze me). As he was back to normal, the guy wasn't terribly concerned, but was shocked that the ER didn't do a CT SCAN.
Diane and I were up all night checking on our patient. He had a wonderful night's sleep.
Tuesday morning, I spoke to Dr. Safah's nurse, Amy. She called back, saying that Dr. Safah didn't think that this was cancer related at all. Wanted our PRIMARY CARE doc, Miguel Culasso, to run a total work up on him.
Sooooo......off to Slidell bright and early on Wednesday morning for "THE WORKS".
In retrospect, I believe that they'll find nothing wrong. We had the top down on the Corvette for about 14 hours.....he got very sunburned (as you can see in these pictures). These medications, especially the Thalidomide- are kicking his ass. I think that his body was just telling him to SLOW DOWN.
Will update blog later today or tomorrow, my dear friends and family!