Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another weekend over

With all the good weather this weekend Chris spent most of his free time out in the garage tinkering on his newest automotive project while I stayed inside and scrapbooked. I thought I had more photos, but apparently I only had photos from Christmas.
I sent a new batch of photos to Wal-Fart to go pick up, I just haven't made it to that side of town yet.

The neighborhood is bursting with color from all the plum and tulip trees in bloom right now thanks to weeks of fabulous weather.
There's a ton of pink and white plum trees lining our street. I love this time of year.

Last night during our trip to CholoMaxx we treated ourselves to a little Mexican dessert of Tres Leches cake. The tres leches being sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. I chose the chocolate cake over the vanilla because who wouldn't?
And don't worry Mom, every time we said it, we said it in French like that soap/candle person thought it was. Tre Lachey.

Tonight's dinner was a team effort with very little cursing and only one broken measuring cup in the process. We made a delicious Thai chicken curry. A creamy coconut/curry sauce with zucchini, red bell peppers, basil and chicken over a pile of jasmine rice.
The Canadian gobbled it right down and rubbed his Buddha belly in delight. I think that means it's a keeper.


Since we didn't get our grocery shopping done yesterday morning when Chris woke up at 4:30 am., dinner time rolled around with nothing but an empty fridge staring at us so we decided to go to Ginger's for dinner. Ginger's is a little Chinese Restaurant in the Almond Orchard (on the end opposite Round Table) that we both really like. We ordered a combo dinner for two and ended up being served enough food for a small army.Enough for dinner last night, lunch today and still more for lunch tomorrow. Dear Ginger's, you are so tasty!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mennonite Magic

Yesterday I went in search of the legendary bakery and cafe run by Mennonites on the south side o' town. Armed with the least informative directions ever, I drove down Hegan lane (on the way to Durham) until I saw the sandwich board pointing the way. Two side streets later I was parked in front of Country Morning Bakery & Cafe, a very cute little cafe situated in an industrial park (UPS distribution center, Knudsen's distribution center, etc). When I went in I was greeted by the smell of fresh breads and baked delights. Next to their bakery counter was a stand up refrigeration unit that held all their pre-made casseroles which was the reason I made the trip. Pam had brought me two of their delicious casseroles while I was on medical leave and now I craved more. I found a chicken alfredo lasagna that sounded perfect for dinner. I bought the small size, like the ones Pam brought, because they're perfect for the two of us. And for $8.99 each, I think they're a great deal.
It was so creamy and rich. Excellent! While at the cafe, I couldn't possibly leave without one of their pastries, so I picked up a ginormous cinnamon roll for Chris and I to share for dessert with a little decaf. Mmmm....
I'd love to go there for a little Saturday morning breakfast one of these weekends. They have big round dining room style tables to sit at and there's a cute little fireplace in the corner. And you can see their prep area behind the bakery counter where numerous Mennonite women were running around making breads and meals dressed in their homemade dresses and little hair caps. I'll definitely be going back.

When Chris got home yesterday he immediately tore into the shipping box that had been delivered and greeted his new best friend.

He hasn't named it yet, but don't worry, he will. We name everything. I voted for 'tiny dancer', but he just rolled his eyeballs at me.

Today's weather is fabulous, following yesterday's rain storm. Right now it's 62 degrees and sunny. Tomorrow is rumored to be around 67 degrees. Chris is out in the garage working on Ratty, his chop-shop style motorcycle. I just hear a lot of grinding and welding going on. I think he should build the frame out of beer bottles, Lord knows we have enough. I'm spending my afternoon in my craft room finishing up my 2009 album. I'd printed a bunch of photos before my surgery with the thought that I'd be spending all my down time in there. But I was on crack, so I got nothing done. I'd really like to start 2010 quasi-caught up. Maybe have bragging rights over Jessica...??

Friday, February 26, 2010

Delicate and Lightweight

No, I'm not talking about Chris, I'm talking about the new toy that showed up at the front door today:
I'd bust it open and start making a mess of it, but I'm too busy baking peanut butter cookies right now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Paradise, circa 1947

My co-worker, Kari, brought in an old Paradise Post from 1947 that her parents found in the wall of their house over by the hospital. It was hilarious to read the articles and see what constituted news back in the day. Things like who had company over and what they did, surprise baby showers, people going on vacation, and a bunch of stuff about Germany. I jut had to take some photos to share:An old ad from the Taylor's Meats store:
What a piece of history! I might actually still read the Post if they still had funny articles like these.

Tonight was bible study at Kari's house and while I drove down her driveway I was brought to a halt by a flock of about 20 wild turkeys running across the driveway. The closer I tried to get to them, the further away they shuffled. I just wanted them to sit pretty for a picture.
Kari hates the turkeys because they're loud gobblers, but this was my first time seeing them so I was all enthralled with them. They really are ugly though.

The highlight of the evening of course was bringing home the newest six pack of deliciousness that my Mom dropped off for the Canadian. She said the workers at the liquor store all know why she buys the beers and now ask how Chris liked the last bunch. I think this new batch has some real potential so stay tuned for some of the Canadian's hop-induced reviews.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Arts & Crafts

I remembered last night at the last minute that I was going to have Chris affix my 5-yr pin to my work name tag. So he ran out to the garage and worked his epoxy magic.
It's covering up the same image underneath, just one that had been poorly etched in white. So fancy. Now I'd better not change positions until I get my 10-yr pin!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Say Yes to the Pork

After a week full of warm, sunny weather we were awakened this morning to the sound of a sizable downpour. It was so noisy Chris thought it was windy. The rainy conditions kept us in the house for most of the morning. I showered and watched TV while Chris went out to tinker in his man cave. Once the rain subsided we hopped in Reginald, our loner Ford Ranger while Big Hank is at the mechanic, and headed out to run some errands. Our first stop was at the thrift store to pick up some more cheap dresses for work. I found two dresses for a whopping total of $7.77. After a quick swing by Kohl's and Cash & Carry we headed back home in time for a little Nationwide Nascar. The only other time we got up was to get Chris more beer and to make some dinner. I picked a recipe out of my new Rachael Ray magazine, Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Greens.
Spicy sausage with wilted spinach and red pepper flakes on top of spaghetti squash seasoned with parmesan cheese and pepper. So easy and so tasty. The Canadian was in charge of the pork. It's such a delicacy around our house, there's no way he'd take a chance letting a girl prepare it.

Alright, it's time for some more Olympic magic, sponsored by the makers of spandex. Even though we already know the results of the Women's Super G thanks to the "helpful" sports ticker on ESPN while we were watching Nascar. Thumbs down to Olympic spoilers!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Irish-Mexican Musical Delights

Last night was our much anticipated Chieftains concert at Laxson Auditorium.
The Chieftains always have special guests, and last night was no different. Since their newest album is about the musical bond between Ireland and Mexico based on Irish-Americans fighting on the Mexican side during the Mexican-American war, they had a Mexican band called Los Cenzontles (Aztec for "the mockingbirds") join them. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed so we snuck a flashless one before the show started to prove we were there.
We had front row balcony which was the perfect view. We were also the only two people under 50 yrs old there. That's our kind of crowd! The music was great, and there were both Irish and Mexican dancers. The Mexican dancers had outfits just like my pollera costume. Long, full ruffled skirts and shirts with layers and layers of ruffles with brightly embroidered flowers. Chris leaned over to me and said, 'now I know why you like ruffles so much'. It's in my blood! Chris enjoyed the show too, which is good since he didn't have any choice in going. It was much better than seeing Gallagher at the same time around the corner at the El Rey. Sarah and David went and saw that instead and I mocked them endlessly for it. Watermelon smashing isn't really funny anymore after you turn 8 years old. Unless you're high. Then it's always funny.

After the concert we pooled our considerable resources together and came up with $3 to go spend at Wendy's for a little late night nibble. Some 99 cent sandwiches and a shared vanilla frosty hit the spot.
Chomp, chomp, chomp.

Fueled on fast food and sugar we stayed up past midnight watching the men's figure skating. Totally worth it to watch an American boot stomping!

This morning I played Santa to my doctor's office and the surgery center I used. I went to Great Harvest and picked up some bags of their jumbo cookies and a warm loaf of pumpkin chocolate chip bread for each of them. I dropped off a goody bag with a thank you card at each place and got some hugs and kind words. Both places were great and deserve thank you's, but I'm also going back in November, so it's always beneficial to make them remember you in a good way so they don't spit in your incisions or stick gum in your hair while you're zonked out. You know, things that all medical professionals are tempted to do!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not Paella

Now that my energy is returning I felt ready to tackle something a little more complicated than hot dogs for dinner. After searching on Food Network's website I found a recipe for Arroz con Pollo from Simply Delicioso. The green olives in it are what sold me. We are green olive junkies. After buying all the ingredients during the last shopping trip, I've repeatedly referred to the meal as paella all the way up until I was half way through preparing it. Once I corrected myself, the Canadian quit wrinkling his nose at me and started looking forward to it. It came out very tasty and there was enough to feed a small army.
It's got a red-ish hue from the large amount of ketchup in the recipe. Sounds weird, but the slight sweetness balanced out the briny olives.

Today was my first full day at work and let me tell you, it was so much nicer when I was still on drugs. That's when life was good and nobody irked me. Now that my rosy, Darvocet filled glasses are off I remember every little annoying quality about that place. Thankfully I only have to stay sober for three days this week.

Other big news you ask? I took a shower on my own tonight. Not only am I excited, but I know my co-workers will be appreciative. Now I just need to work on paring the whole process down from 45 minutes to about 20 so I can shower in the morning and still make it in to work before noon.

Alright, enough playing on the computer, I need to do my bible study for tomorrow night....right after I watch the men's figure skating.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

My valentine and I traded small tokens of affection this morning.
Cupid brought me some peanut butter and almond M&Ms while Chris was surprised with two new Sierra Nevada hop glasses (to replace the one that broke last week) filled with skittles. A lemon tart also mysteriously showed up in our fridge for our snacking delight.

Shortly after I got back from church this morning the 'rents came over so that Mum could prune our roses and they could update us on the latest news in their lives.
She assures us that the roses won't attack the cars in the driveway now. Their big news is that when their condo lease is up in April they're moving back to their house in Medford. It's ultimately not what they wanted, or planned, but they need to go up and lend a hand with their old business they sold to Mr. A.'s son and pick up some new clients for Mr. A and his illustrating. One positive thing is that once again we'll have somewhere to go visit, but I'll be sad to see them go.

Most of the rest of the day we've spent in front of the TV. The Daytona 500 was on from about 9:00 am until around 4:00 pm (because of problems with the track) and we switched back and forth with the Olympics. Since the weather was once again so nice today, in the mid 60s, we did manage to sneak in a nice long walk around the block. The longest I've been on yet. And even better, I was able to wear a pair of sweat pants Kari had bought me for some post-surgery lounging. They had a drawstring waist so I was able to keep them really, really loose around my stomach. What a special treat to wear some pants!

Since we went out to dinner last night, and had the leftovers for lunch today, we didn't do anything special for Valentine's dinner, but my sweetheart did take care of all the cooking duties and served me a tasty bowl of meaty spaghetti.

Tomorrow is a holiday for me (President's Day), but because Chris' work hates America he has to work. Government work is great if you can get it! I've got some cooking shows DVR'd and I have some errands in town to take care of - namely picking up some more itch cream. I'm sure my family remembers how sensitive my skin is and how little things like band-aids and elastic make me want to scratch myself to the bone. Well that's what's happening with the little strips of tape covering all of my stitches and with the elastic in my compression garment. I just want to cry I want to scratch so bad. Chris is going to go hoarse yelling at me to 'stop it' every time he catches me. He's such a party pooper!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Date Night

I finally talked the Mr. into letting me take him out to dinner, a rare occurrence for us. It was the least he deserved for having taken care of me for the last couple of weeks. I let him pick the restaurant and he chose Outback where he had his eye on some prime rib. We tried to be smart and beat the crowds by leaving home at 4:30 pm, but once we arrived we were informed that there were 15-20 minute waits. Our other option was to skip the wait and sit in the bar, which is exactly what we did. However, after sitting in our booth for about 10 minutes we still hadn't been approached by any of the wait staff even though they had stopped to help multiple couples who had sat down after us. Frustrated, and miffed, we got up and left. Screw them and their bloomin' onions! Weighing our options, we decided to cross the parking lot and try Logan's. It was a complete 180. Absolutely no wait, our drinks were brought immediately and we were quickly served the hot yeast rolls to tide us over until dinner was served.
A pomegranate daiquiri, which I expected to be much sweeter, to celebrate being off my pain pills. For dinner we ordered the Valentine's Day special. Two 12 oz prime ribs, loaded baked potatoes and salads.
I'd never normally order prime rib for dinner, but the meal was fabulous. It was exactly what we wanted. We each had at least half our meat left over which we saved for some delicious leftovers tomorrow. We even managed to fit the last two yeast rolls in our to-go container.

To cap off our evening we headed over to Barnes and Noble for a little coffee and magazines. I haven't been able to keep up with all the rag-mags for the last three weeks and heaven forbid I miss a celebrity breakup or the latest Twilight news. Chris was able to find a copy of the newest issue of Road Racing World which published his article about his trip to Macau with his friend Craig (who provided photos for the article).
Since we didn't get a copy of the magazine in the mail, like all of Chris' other publishers have done, we had to buy a copy there. But don't worry, I had a 15% off coupon!

Now we're both showered and relaxing on the couch watching a little short track speed skating. Go Apolo!

Crazy for Citrus

The current ad for OSH peaked our interest in all things planted. There were flowers, citrus trees and herbs on sale so we drove the beast over to load up on anything that caught our eye. In the end we settled on three young citrus trees. A variegated pink lemon, a Satsuma mandarin, and a blood orange tree.
We pulled the barrels we used last year for annuals into the courtyard to maximize their sun exposure (and keep sneaky fingers from stealing our fruit) and started transplanting. These are the two oranges going in first, with the variegated pink lemon (pink flesh, classic lemon flavor) patiently waiting it's turn.
None of them have any fruit started on them yet, but maybe sometime before Chris gets any grayer, they will.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Special Treat

How fresh is too fresh?
That's a leg out of our fried chicken meal from Safeway. Next time I'll pay extra for the feather free chicken.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

5 Year Anniversary

Last night at the town council meeting was the presentation of service anniversary awards. Even though I've worked there since 1994, I've only got 5 years of service credit because I worked so many years on contract. At 5 years you get more vacation time, a lovely little certificate, a 5 yr pin and dinner for two (up to $40) within town limits.
Now where to spend our $40 dinner....??

Monday, February 8, 2010


Today was my first day back to work after a three week leave. While I have been anxious to get back to work (heaven forbid they figure out they can function without me), when the time actually arrived I was less than enthused. It's hard to avoid questions when you've been gone so long and I still walk with a noticeable hunch. Chris took me and helped me carry all my stuff in, got me set up in my work chair and did all the bending over to turn on my computer. It was easier than I thought it would be. My chair was actually really comfortable to sit in and it was easy to get up and down from. Everybody kept their eye on me and questioned the necessity of any trip I tried to make. I work with 50 moms so I wasn't getting away anything! My day was pretty uneventful except for getting stuck in the bathroom because the door was so heavy I couldn't open it to get out. The next time I took a potty buddy to stand guard for me. I worked until 2:00 pm and then called it quits. Pam came and picked me up and took me home. My tummy was fine, but my back was killing me from hunching over so much. I was also anxious to get home and take the Benadryl I'd found in my desk. I'm hoping it'll help with the hives I broke out with yesterday which just multiplied over night.
That's the tops of my thighs. I knew you wouldn't believe me unless I showed you! I see the doctor on Wednesday so I'll point them out if the Benadryl doesn't work by then, though I'm sure he'll just tell me to quit taking pain pills. Last time I had hives from a medication it didn't happen for about 2 weeks after I'd been taking them making it difficult for me to figure out the source, but the pharmacist just said that sometimes it takes that long for the drugs to make it all throughout your body. As long as I don't start itching any of the bumps I'm good. Ahhh....I'm starting to feel drowsy which means the Benadryl is kicking in....zzzzz...zzzzzzzzz

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Something else for me to kill

When the girls had come over on Wednesday for bible study, Kari brought me a get well card signed by my co-workers and an orchid. The instructions appear to be so easy; let get completely dry before watering (about once a month), that I'm sure to screw it up.
That bottom cluster of flowers was actually originally located at the top of the stalk, but apparently broke off during the trip from work to my house so we just shoved the root in the soil to see if it'll take. I at least put it in the window so it could enjoy a little occasional sunshine. I give it two months, tops.

Today was super sunny Sunday with temps reaching 60 degrees at our house. Before parking ourselves for 4 hours of super bowl mega action, Chris talked me into taking a walk around the block.
I've been doing a lot of walking the last couple of days trying to build up my stamina to take on a full day of work. Tomorrow is my first day back in three weeks and in anticipation I woke up this morning covered in hives. As if I wasn't have enough fun....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Homage to youth

In a last minute dinner change-up I put together (or actually instructed Chris in) a retro meal from when we were kids, bbq chip baked chicken. They were actually southwestern ranch baked chips, but it worked just as well.
With a side of pasta-roni, yum. Thanks mom for a go to easy recipe.

After dinner I accompanied Chris to CholoMaxx for groceries. I need to get up and walk around because it really makes my hips feel better. It probably took us an extra half and hour because I'm still really slow, but it was great to get out. Chris doesn't want to take me again next week though because I kept trying to grab things that were too heavy (I can't even lift two empty dinner plates) or too low. I'm sure I pushed him to the edge of his patience, which isn't far!

Now we're watching the AKC dog show on Animal Planet. We've watched the hound group and the hunting group (go Trouble!). I always enjoy the toy group, gotta love the little Pekingese! There's so many giant fluffy dogs that would love to come live with us.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Out and about

I made my first outing tonight (besides to the doctor's office) since the surgery. We went to Kohl's and bought granny girdles for me and then went to Costco where we picked up this little gem:
Our TV has been on the way out; the picture tube warning light has been on and it no longer regularly responds to the volume remote. Our old one was a 45" and the new one is a very manly 52"

Once home the Canadian had to decipher the poorly translated instructions.
But he got everything set up and swapped out in no time.
Now we're serious about watching the Super Bowl!

Triumph and disappointment

I was determined today to suck up my grimace face and get off my butt, no matter how sore I am. My left side is swollen and sore and my hip hurts when I move my left leg in a walking motion, but never the less I wandered into my craft room for the first time and got myself down on the floor to go through my paper supply for a halloween layout. After some initial squirming I got myself comfortable in my office chair in an upright position and got busy. It was slow and frustrating every time I forgot something and had to get up and down off the floor, but I finished something!
I completely stole the layout, but it speeds up the process and I can get something accomplished.

Feeling productive, next I went into the bedroom and tried to put on a pair of pants by myself. While I could get them on myself, my legs are so swollen (or so I hope) that I can't get my pants up past the tops of my thighs. The surgery has completely restructured the shape of my upper thighs (from the pulling up of my abdomen) and I feared it would affect how my pants fit. A little disappointing, but it'll soon be fixed so I'm not going to fret over it......for too long.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

So Fresh and So Clean

Ahhhh......the luxurious indulgence of a hot shower.
I was careful not to soak my stitches, keeping my back to the water, and Chris was on stand-by to wash my legs and feet since I can't bend over. I had to use his shower because during my test run I realized that the tub sides in my bathroom were too tall for me to comfortable lift my legs over. After my shower, Chris gamely agreed to help me dry-shave my legs where I kicked up one leg at a time on the toilet while he shaved it for me. He did a good job considering how infrequently he shaves himself!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Drain Free!

Monday night I went to Hartman's House of Hair to get a wash and style since I had an appt with the doctor Tuesday morning and didn't necessarily want to wear the cockatoo hair I've been sporting.
Hmmm....maybe he shouldn't quit his day job.

Doctor appointment went well. I once again tried to faint the second the doctor took my girdle off and tried to touch my drain. He hadn't even touched anything before I had to be put in the chair and tilted back to get the blood back to my head. That's the only way to get a cup of water with a straw around that joint! He took my drain out and then gave me the bad news...I still had to wait 24 hours to shower (uuugh) and I needed to take it easy for 2 days while the drain site heals so that it doesn't accumulate fluids. This was of course after I told the girls to come over for bible study, I was totally fine to make dinner. Oye!

We talked about girdles when it became obvious they weren't rushing around to give me a new one. Apparently it's our job to get a new one, they just suggested what kind to get. So, Thursday night, after I'm cleared to start kickin' ass again, we're going to Kohl's to look at their "shapewear". I need a pair of chonies that have a built-in tummy shaper that goes up as high as I can find. Or....I can keep wearing this ridiculous one because you never know when you're going to get challenged to an impromptu sumo-wrestling fight (that's what it looks like).

Shuffling around the house the other day I took notice of the current state of the bedroom. I've been sleeping on the couch for the last two weeks and wearing the same clothes so I haven't really wandered back there in a while. It has slowly turned into some kind of bachelor/frat room.
Power tools, cleaners and gloves hanging out together for a man party. Not exactly my decorating scheme.

Just talked to Mum, she's coming over this afternoon to help me wash my hair, make dessert and run to Papa Murphy's to get me a pizza for tonight. Until then, I'm just going to sit and relax...per the doctor's orders.