Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chocolate Chip-Cherry Scones

So, today I made these:

I have made these before, but I changed the recipe a little and I think I like it better this way. They are a little more 'cake-like' in the middle - not as dry. AND these are mini scones.

This round:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw this time)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup buttermilk (yes, buttermilk!)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. 

2. In a small measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla extract and then add to flour mixture. Stir just until the dough comes together (add more buttermilk or flour as necessary). Do not over mix the dough.

3. Turn dough out onto wax paper or lightly floured surface (or divide dough in half for mini scones); gently press of pat dough into a round. Cut round into 8 wedges. Place wedges 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet (or line your baking sheet with a silicone baking mat). Brush tops of wedges with milk, cream, or coffee creamer (if you have some in your fridge) just until moistened.

3. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe from Joy of Baking

Thursday, January 19, 2012

MS Education: Symptoms

Let's talk about MS. I told you what it technically is here. There are a ton of symptoms that people with MS can experience. MS is a very individualized disease. While some symptoms are very common, every person experiences the symptoms differently.

Common Symptoms include:
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness
  • Walking (Gait), Balance, and Coordination Problems
  • Bladder Dysfunction
  • Bowel Dysfunction
  • Vision Problems
  • Dizziness and Vertigo
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Pain
  • Cognitive Dysfunction
  • Emotional Changes
  • Depression
  • Spasticity

My Symptoms:
  • ~Fatigue - This is very common. About 80% of people with MS deal with fatigue.
  • ~Numbness - This is how mine started. It is frequently one of the first symptoms experienced by those who eventually are diagnosed with MS. It gets better, although I still have some numbness in my left hand from the last attack. I assume it will eventually go away, but I don't know for sure.
  • ~Bladder Dysfunction - It's nice to know that there is a medical reason that I always have to pee, but there are times when I have to pee NOW. That's sucks. I'm like an old woman! :-)
  • ~Vertigo - I didn't think about it at the time, but I had a serious bout with Vertigo in June of 2009. I didn't know that was a common symptom of MS. And I am not sure that I would've put 2 and 2 together even if I would've.
  • ~Depression - I have been on Celexa for a couple of years because of depression. Little did I know that it was related to the MS (because I didn't know I had MS)

Less common symptom:
  • ~Headaches - In the spring/summer, I dealt with constant headaches. And I still get migraines. Last Monday was the most recent. I never could figure out a trigger. I kept journals and everything. I haven't talked to my doctor about this because I just read it on the National MS Society's website, but it's nice to know I am not crazy and that studies indicate that vascular headaches/migraines and MS are related in some patients.

Other annoying things:
  • ~Over-Heating - It takes FOREVER for my body to regulate it's own temperature once I get hot. It is suggested that people with MS stay out of hot tubs, take warm showers (not super hot), and don't stay out in the sun and summer heat for extended periods of time. This is comforting to me because I HATE heat, but super annoying because I like hot tubs (but it causes me to be all tingly), I don't like to have to cool down when I get out of the shower because it takes FOREVER to get ready OR I spend the entire time sweating while I'm trying to dry my hair and do my make-up (counter productive, people). And it's super annoying because my family and Ronnie's family likes to be outside during the summer. I typically end up staying inside Boo!

It's nice to have "reasons" for some of the things I experience. It doesn't make it better or less frustrating or less annoying, but it DOES make me feel better somehow to know that there is a reason. 

I began my MS medication regimen 3 weeks ago. I took my 3rd dose of Avonex last night. Giving yourself a shot is...different. You know it's coming. And it's even different than watching someone give you a shot and it's most certainly different that giving someone ELSE the shot (that doesn't hurt you at all!). And tonight I am pretty sure I nicked something I wasn't supposed to because I bled like a stuck hog and the medicine did NOT feel good going in. Oops!

Symptoms I have experienced? Feverish, chills, aches, and needing sleep. The good news is that it only lasts about 12 hours from what I can tell. Last week I took the meds before bedtime. I think I like that better. So, I plan to take the meds on Wednesday nights because I typically have no where to be on Thursday, so I can sleep it off.

So, that's my update and a little education all wrapped up in one. I think of the MS every morning after my shower and I think of it when I take my medicine, but other than that, it's not at the forefront of my mind. I think that in itself is a blessing. Chronic illness may change your life, but it shouldn't rule your life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Midweek Confessions-January 18

- I want a J.O.B. - no, seriously, I know that I am 'lucky', 'blessed', 'insert your own word here' to get to stay home but I really want to work! So much so that I am thinking about subbing. I really want something more permanent, but something a few days a week would be better than nothing at all.

- I am so glad that it's going to snow again! It was almost 60 degrees...in January...in neOhio! What? That is just crazy and I want snow, dang it!

- I like cooking.

- I really need to get on my e-bay selling, but I HATE selling on e-bay. It's such a pain in my rear! However, I'm going to work on a few pieces at a time. That should make it more bearable, right? (Who am I kidding? It's still gonna suck!) Oh well. I may get my guest bathtub cleared out (since that's where all of that stuff that needs to go on e-bay is residing).

- I NEED to find a storage unit and start moving stuff from the guest room! I keep putting it off because...well, I'm procrastinating! I dread taking 15 loads because I only have my car to it in.

-I am excited about today. I get to start a new study at church in the morning - meet some new women AND I get to go to worship team practice tomorrow night AND it is snowing! Hooray!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Socks with Bows

So, Hubby doesn't like being called Poop Head when he is...well, a Poop Head (Joyful Noise is waiting to be seen but alas, here we sit - not watching Joyful Noise). So, I shall come up with a less offensive name for the next offense.

Today I sewed bows on socks.

I know. I know. What am I? 5? I need 'boot socks'. None of my socks are tall enough and I really didn't want to buy new socks so I just stole a pair of Ronnie's. This was apparently a problem because there is a sock shortage (totally not true - he has adequate sockage!) So, we went to Target and bought a 3-pack with the understanding that I simply need one pair of socks.  One. Uno. l'un. Ein. Moja (if you speak Swahili). However, when doing laundry, how would I know which pair was mine?

You see where I'm going with this.

You love it, don't you?  You are jealous that you don't have a pair of men's socks with bows on them, right? 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Week in Review

For someone who doesn't have an actual job, I sure can find ways to waste spend my time. Precious (who from henceforth will be referred to as Hubby or his real name, Ronnie - because it's too stressful (ha) for me to to continue try to keep his name out of the massive spotlight of my ever-so-popular blog - or Poop Head if he's made me mad) was gone on a business trip this week. Well, Monday-Thursday. I didn't have to cook. I only had one load of laundry to do. That's a LOT of time, people!

Monday I went to Zumba, showered, had lunch and a friend came over (the first person to come to our apartment since we've lived here!) and we went to see We Bought a Zoo.  Poop Head won't go to feel-good movies (and if he does he sits and tells you what is going to happen and pretty much makes fun...which is why he's a Poop Head!). It was a great movie! The end.

Then I had a migraine from the deep, dark pits of Hades, so I took a nap in a dark room. I taught voice and I went shopping for screws to hang the shelves in our spare bedroom/craft room. I came home and started drilling holes and leveling and all of that stuff you're supposed to do when hanging shelves. However, my drill bit wasn't long enough to go into the stud. Grrrr.

Tuesday, I went and bought a new drill bit from my friend Erin at Sears. (Why Sears? Because Erin works there and I had already made a fool of myself Monday night at Lowe's when shopping for screws!)  Then I came home and I hung shelves! Woot!

I also went through boxes in the living room trying to decide which pictures to hang and I rearranged boxes in the spare bedroom/craft room while I was sorting my scrapbook stuff because it makes me feel better. (A storage shed or a garage would make me feel a LOT better!) I went to get my hair cut. That's right. I finally found someone and I will totally go back. Finding a new hairdresser is scary business!

Not the greatest pic but you can see the bangs and a little of the layering.

I went to this little cafe that's on the way to church to eat dinner. When I got back in my car it wouldn't start.

This is where life gets interesting. Hubby is out of town. I am by myself at a place that I could barely describe where it is to anyone and my car refuses to start. So, I tried this cool party trick that once worked (per Uncle Jason because I couldn't remember how the cool party trick worked), but it still didn't work. I went back in the cafe (30 minutes later) and asked if anyone had jumper cables. The owner fussed at me for sitting outside the entire time. I began to explain the cool party trick thing, but decided against it. Thankfully (and this was totally a God thing!) a man who owns an automotive business was dining there. He gave me a jump and I made it to The Root where I was meeting a friend. We had a great time and I am so grateful that she's my new friend.

Then I get ready to leave.

Car won't start.


I get a guy from church to give me a jump and I promptly drive to the nearest AutoZone to purchase a battery. Even if it's close to closing time, if you play the poor, dumb woman card, the AutoZone guy will take pity, check your battery, replace your battery and even tell you to have a good night.

I went to worship team practice for the first time this week. It was nice to see the way they function as their own 'small group' of sorts. They have devotion time. They pray. They have a good time. They worship. It isn't 'the girls', but they love Jesus and they love me and I think I'll hang out with them some more. I'm getting my feet wet and trying to figure out what God would have me do and where and when He would have me it. The problem is I don't have a GPS to direct me. I feel a little lost most days as I try to develop a new normal.

I watched 2 Redbox movies, Moneyball and Sarah's Key. Moneyball was good. Brad Pitt is pretty and it was a good story. Sarah's Key was different from the book, but still good. I know. Great reviews, eh? Makes you wanna run out and find the nearest Redbox, right?

Thursday, we found mold in our spare bedroom closet.

Pretty isn't it? We reported it. We cleaned it. They know what's causing it, but it started snowing so it hasn't been fixed yet. It snowed Thursday night and Friday. I LOVE snow! Here are some pics from Friday.


The good thing about snow in Northeast Ohio? They clear the roads! Even secondary roads.

Friday night was a little eventful. Ronnie and I watched Another Earth. 3 Redbox movies in one week? What is going on here?

Today we went and finished up the crap with the Ohio BMV. Five Bagillion dollars later we have our Driver's License, Ohio Titles, and License Plates.

Then we went to see Mission Impossible 4. Hubby owes me a shoulder and back rub because that movie made me tense!

Now I'm working on my Etsy Shop. Which banner do you like best?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sacs of Life are BACK!

Sacs of Life Insulator 4 Reusable Shopping Bags

They're back!

I bought these back in the fall and they were totally worth the $10. This is a one day deal, so get on it! You will love them - I promise! (and I wasn't paid to say that...I just really love these bags)

The brown bags fold up and fit into the pocket of the insulator tote. The insulator tote folds into thirds and has a  strap that wraps around to keep it folded nice and neat. I tested the limit of these bags on Tuesday and I fit an entire cart full of groceries in them!

One brown bag is expandable. One is sectioned into thirds (the one in the pic with the Cokes - there is a panel between each bottle).

Get these bags! On the Sacs of Life site it costs $39.99 and it only comes with 2 additional bags - not 3.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"Why?" or "What Now?"

I told you in my last post that there was a reason that I need to move my rear. While I would like to lose weight, that is NOT the reason. Let's be honest - I really loathe formal exercise and I think the people who say it makes them feel better are full of it. There is nothing about sweating profusely that makes me feel good (not while said sweating is taking place, nor later). Big burst of energy? It's garbage!

Exactly one month after our wedding, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is thought to be an autoimmune disease. It affects the Central Nervous System (CNS). MS is unpredictable. It can produce many different symptoms and the disease's progress, severity, and symptoms vary from person to person. Basically, the body's immune system attacks and damages myelin on the nerves. No one knows what causes it and there are no cures. When an attack/episode occurs, lesions develop somewhere in the CNS. The location and severity of the lesions determines the symptoms.

Back in 2005 I had an attack, but at the time they wouldn't clinically diagnose you until a 2nd episode/attack. I was led to believe that I may never have a 2nd episode because it may have just been a one time thing that mimicked MS. They called it a Clinically Isolated Episode. The good news is that I went 6 years (without medication) without having a 2nd attack. In the world of MS, this is good.

However, I have been told to "move". I should exercise because it will help with the fatigue that MS causes (who knew there was a reason I was tired all the frickin' time?!) and because it will keep my body from becoming stiff and not being able to move. So, ZUMBA it is! At least it's kinda fun (I'm trying to convince myself here. The last time I went and lady quit 40 minutes in! Packed up and L.E.F.T. The truth is, I thought I might die!).

There are 4 courses of MS. I currently have remitting/relapsing MS. It is the least severe form. Basically this means that I will have down time between attacks. It was 6 years this time. I will be starting a medication regimen this month and that is supposed to keep things at bay. I have chosen the medication Avonex to try.

I will be posting more on this disease, as well as my struggles, frustrations, and accomplishments. Chronic illnesses are often overlooked and it is my hope that someone will stumble upon these posts and find the encouragement that they need to just keep going...to keep living - REALLY LIVING!

Instead of asking God "'Why?" I am choosing to ask "What now?". I figure God has a purpose in all of this and I just need to figure out what it is.

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