Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans with a Brown Sugar Glaze. OMG!

These guys ROCK.  Had them a few days ago, and then again this afternoon.  A new favorite!


4 slices bacon
Handful of green beans, washed and trimmed
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
Freshly cracked black pepper


Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with heavy foil. Lay bacon strips on pan without overlapping. Bake for 10 minutes or until bacon is just starting to brown on the edges while remaining underdone and pliable. Drain bacon on a plate lined with paper towels and cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

While bacon cooks, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch green beans by plunging them into the boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer beans to a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
In a small pot, melt the butter. Mix in garlic salt and brown sugar until well blended.

To assemble bundles, lay 8 to 12 beans in a pile (or less, depending on the thickness of your beans). Take a half piece of bacon and wrap it around the top of the green bean bundle, tucking the ends underneath. Lay the bundle on a baking sheet with the bacon seam-side down. Repeat with all green beans.
Using a spoon, evenly drizzle the butter/sugar mixture over each green bean bundle. Season with freshly cracked black pepper, to taste.

Roast at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until bacon is crisp and cooked through. Allow to rest on the baking pan for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.

All is GREAT Here!

Dom woke up, took his Revlimid and Steroids (Dex), and we drove into Slidell.  Got his Velcade injection and his drip of Zometa.... very quick... in and out in no time at all.

Our patient feels better than he has for a week.  Using 2 crutches today, but getting around well.  Even his voice sounds chipper.  Thank God.  (he does the steroids on Tuesdays.... I wonder if that has something to do with it????)

We have 2 days off.  Back to Slidell Cancer Center on Friday for Velcade shot, then off of chemo for a week.

Daughter Christine is flying in on Saturday.  YAY!  Fun, fun gal!

Our A/C guy was here for about 3 1/2 hours yesterday.  The old fella that wired this house had Alzheimer's.  Apparently, he was confused with the air conditioning.  Our guy got it working and will return tomorrow to finish the job.

SERENITY NOW!  - Frank Costanza (Seinfeld)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Progress Report- E.R. Visit

Dom started his Revlimid on Monday.  His hip felt OK.... hurt, but nothing horrid.

Went in Tuesday for his first Velcade injection.... in and out in no time at all.  Also took 5 Steroids.

Wednesday morning rolled around and he couldn't walk.  Struggled with 2 canes.  Dr. Cal. told us to get to the ER in Slidell.

We were very impressed.  I've always been a fan of the "other" hospital in Slidell, but these folks were great.  Before they even got him in a room, they did x-rays and blood work.

Thank God, not a broken hip.  Cannot explain it.  Gave him a Percoset, then came back to our room to "give him a test drive".  BIG DIFFERENCE!

Going locally for Blood Work tomorrow, then back to the Cancer Center on Tuesday for Velcade and ZOMETA for the first time in years...  (bisphosphonates to heal his lesion)

Zoledronic acid belongs to a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates. It lowers high blood calcium levels by reducing the amount of calcium released from your bones into your blood. It also works by slowing the breakdown of your bones by cancer to prevent bone fractures.

Had a very pleasant weekend.  I boiled up a couple of pounds of Shrimp yesterday.  My patient stayed in bed all day.  (as well as Thursday).

Today was a celebration of Father's Day, as well as a belated birthday celebration for me.  Lobster Tails, Snow Crab, Sweet Corn and Baby Yellow Potatoes.

OH, YEAH.... OUR CENTRAL AIR WENT OUT THE OTHER DAY.  When it rains it pours!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Pasta Puttanesca

We have harvested well over 300 cherry tomatoes from just 3 plants, thus far....and they're still going strong.  (I cannot get over this Hay Bale Gardening!  What a success!)

I whipped this up yesterday.  Quick and Easy.....  DELICIOUS!

1 Sliced Onion
Small can of Black Olives
Cherry Tomatoes
3/4 cup Chablis  (or Chicken Broth)
Garlic and Garlic Scapes (which I had in the refrigerator)

Saute your veggies in Olive Oil, dump in your wine and simmer away.

Served over Angel Hair Pasta.

We topped this with fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, fresh Oregano, and fresh Thyme out of the garden.

I have to slip in one photo of Dom's tomatoes.... also Hay Bale:

And So it Begins.......

Hi gang-

We had a rough couple of weeks dealing with securing Dom's Chemo medication, but we're all set now.

He took his first dose of Revlimid this morning.

Will be getting his Velcade shots on Tuesdays and Fridays.... 2 weeks on- 1 week off.

Daughter Christine just booked a flight for our "off week".  Yippee.

Apparently, the VA is "farming out" patients to private practice doctors.  At the end of this month, we'll head to Pascagoula, MS for our VA Disability Claim.  The alternative was a doctor in NOLA.  NO THANKS!

So....it's all falling into place!  Thanks for the prayers and calls!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Italian Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers... A GREAT Pasta!

This is DELICIOUS.  I only make it once a year for 2 reasons....

1)  Our garden produces a lot of banana peppers...both Hot and Sweet.

2)  Stuffing these things are a real pain in the neck!

1 lb sweet Italian sausage
2 T olive oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
12 banana peppers, cleaned of seeds and ribs
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon crushed garlic  (this year, I used Scapes out of the garden)
½ pound Angel Hair pasta cooked
Loads of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.  (our favorite)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray your baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Stuff your banana peppers with the sausage. If the sausage is in casings, take them off to stuff the peppers. If you have left over sausage, shape into small meatball bites.
Slice the banana peppers in a few pieces and make sure the sausage is in every piece if possible.
Add your stuffed peppers, excess sausage, tomatoes, spices and olive oil to your baking dish and toss so that everything is mixed well.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the sausage is fully cooked.
In the meantime cook your pasta.
Once the peppers are baked, add to your cooked pasta and serve with grated cheese

Memorial Weekend Fun

We were very low key this year.  Wendy came over on Saturday afternoon for 2 nights, bearing a pizza and large salad.

As Dom cannot get any sleep when Wendy and I are together, we were banished to the sofa bed in the game room.  *grinning*

Played Dominoes, Monopoly, Phase 10 and Trivial Pursuit.  Big fun.

We barbecued baby back ribs on Sunday.  Also had a Greek Bean Salad.  (BEANS, BEANS, BEANS!!!!)

Daughter Ashley spent a good deal of time with us on Sat. and Sun.  (That kid can PLAY Phase 10!!!)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Beans, Beans and More Beans!

Our garden is blowing us away this year.  Especially the beans.  I planted 3 different kinds of green beans, my favorite wax beans, and purple pole beans.

I'm picking a colander a day.  We're eating beans, freezing beans, giving away beans.  Unreal.

So we don't get sick of them, I've been spending a lot of time on Pinterest and Allrecipes.

These were delicious:


green beans, parboiled
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup finely minced onion
3 cloves minced garlic or garlic scapes
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Miracle Whip (or mayo)
2 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; cook onion and garlic for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add sesame seeds; cook and stir until sesame seeds are golden brown,

Mix soy sauce, Miracle Whip, and sriracha hot sauce, into onion mixture. Add green beans and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper.

Greek Bean Salad

We have so many beans that I've had to find new ways to cook 'em.  This was delicious!


*fresh green beans, parboiled
*sweet and hot banana peppers
*snow peas, parboiled
*cherry tomatoes
*crumbled feta


*3 TBSP quality extra virgin olive oil
*1 TBSP white wine vinegar
*1 clove garlic, smashed + minced
*1/2 tsp fresh or dried parsley
*1/4 tsp dried oregano
*1/4 tsp dijon mustard
*a pinch of salt and pepper

Our Dear Richard Bearing Gifts for Dom

Our pal Richard McM really outdid himself.  When he learned that Dom's cancer returned, he came over with some politically incorrect flags to cheer Dom up.

They'll be flying high very soon.  (If it ever stops raining!)

Thanks, "Big Rich".  You're a true friend!

Many vets unaware of compensation for Agent Orange-related disabilities

By Tammy Walters
Oneida County Veterans Service Officer

Agent Orange is the name given to a blend of herbicides the U.S. military sprayed from 1961 to 1971 to remove plants and leaves from foliage in Vietnam that provided enemy cover. Agent Orange itself is not a disability and cannot be claimed as one but it can cause disabilities.

Veterans may be eligible for service-connected disability compensation for diseases the VA has recognized as associated with exposure to Agent Orange if they served in Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962–May 7, 1975; veterans who served in certain areas in Thailand between Feb. 28, 1961–May 7, 1975; veterans who served in or near the DMZ in Korea between 1968-1969, and “brown water” Navy veterans may also be eligible.

The presumed disabilities are:

•Acute and Sub-acute Peripheral Neuropathy
•B-Cell Leukemia
•Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
•Hodgkin’s disease
•Multiple Myeloma
•Parkinson’s disease
•Prostate cancer
•Soft-tissue sarcoma
•AL Amyloidosis
•Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2)
•Ischemic heart disease
•Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
•Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
•Respiratory cancers

Additionally, any secondary conditions that are caused by one of the aforementioned conditions can also be claimed as service-connected disabilities. For example, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 is a condition that has many other conditions attributed to it such as strokes, kidney disease, diabetic retinopathy, peripheral neuropathy, and erectile dysfunction. In order to claim these secondary conditions, they must be noted in your medical record and they must be diagnosed at the same time as diabetes or after that diagnosis.

There are still many Vietnam veterans who do not know this information. If you are a Vietnam veteran or know one who might have any of the above conditions, please share this information. It’s never too late to file a claim for a presumed disability.

If you are a widow of a Vietnam veteran who died of any of the conditions listed above, there may be survivor benefits for you even if the veteran wasn’t service connected at the time of his death. If in doubt, please call our office.

Tammy Walters can be reached at (715) 369-6127 or twalters@co.oneida.wi.us. Jason Dailey, Assistant CVSO, can be reached at the same number or jdailey@co.oneida.wi.us. Or you can contact us via Facebook at www.facebook.com/oneidacvso.