I feel so bad that I haven't been by here, but I have been visiting your blogs. I am amazed that so many of you, in the South of course, are doing yard clean up and sharing pictures of your blooming plants. I think that's so great. I was digging around in one of my flowers beds with the toe of my boot the other day to see if there was the tiniest little snowdrop shoot coming up. Nothing. Grrrrr.
I never got around to making this "pie" yet, well not in time for Valentine's Day. But I have all the ingredients and I will soon. I re~posted the picture because I wanted to share some matters of the heart. Literally. But without sounding like a drama queen. I mentioned I had to have some tests yesterday and I did, for my heart. When I saw my doctor last, I was told my asthma was as in control as she has ever seen. So I asked her why I was out of breath all the time, after simple things like making the beds or carrying laundry downstairs? She got a little worried and did an EKG on me right in her office. She told me, pretty grim faced, that it looked like I wasn't getting a whole lot of oxygen to my heart. So, I had an ultrasound of the heart and a stress test yesterday. And now I wait for the results. I didn't share that in my last post because for one, I thought it would be something I could be relieved about once I had the stress test and then I could pass that on. I didn't realize it had to be read and sent to my doctor. So I didn't post for a week. And secondly, I always seem to have some gripe; my asthma, my back, a cold...and although I receive the sweetest get well wishes from all of you, I'm feeling like there is just a whole lot of negativity in my posts.
So, that said, I will get my results and I will share them with you. That's how I roll, I'm pretty open. This is life. And I feel very positive if you want to know. Yesterday when I walked out of the hospital it was in the low twenties and the wind was whipping. I had to park about 4 blocks away and as I walking, I had a strange feeling, like I could just keep walking, that the cold, windy fresh air was taking all of my fear and anxiety with it. I felt really strong, the tension draining with each step. And last night I slept really well. :)
Like many of you I had to hit the flower department in the grocery store last week. The sign read, "Three Bunches for $12.00". Yay! So Abby and I did (she's my latest shopping companion, or should I say my driver). I have some on the island since I spend most of my waking hours in the kitchen.
And this bouquet in the living room. Abby picked out the white flowers, are these pincushion mums? I know any kind of mum lasts forever, so I am really loving these.
Here's a shot of Milo looking out the window as he usually does most of the day. I can't wait for spring when he and Layla can run around the back yard without the snow or the ground being rock hard. Milo has to have several of his lower teeth removed, they have decayed and broken off over the years. It's hard to believe he is ten years old. Does he look ten? He sure doesn't act like it. So I have to make the appointment but I keep hesitating. I don't like the idea of him getting "put under". It's just so risky. I guess I'm just holding him closer to my heart knowing that our years are numbered. I wish they were like elephants. Of course, I will do the right thing. Poor guy.
And some great and not so great things in Abigail's life. Her diploma came in the mail last week. Do you see what I see under where it shows what her degree is in? The sly fox never told us she graduated with honors! We are so proud of her! She has always been such a hard worker, she has my love of the written word, but definitely her father's focus on doing the best possible job and above that.
The not so great news is that she has to have surgery on a wisdom tooth coming in. The nerve is in such a position that it can't just be pulled straight out, she risks possible paralysis in the jaw. She has to have a CT scan this week and then the surgery will be scheduled. As my mother used to say, "We're going to hell in a handbag" here.
I had my first three years of blogging made into books awhile ago through Cutest Blog On The Block. The Husband really wanted to have a hard copy, he thinks of my blog as a sort of family journal. Not really happy with the binding on the books, I decided to get 2012/2013 done by another company, Blog2Print (You can Google these if you are interested). There was an option to have the pictures in each post consolidated to save space, you pay for your books by the number of pages. So you can see in the newer book on the left how all of the photos are in a line, and in the older book on the right, it's the same version as on my blog, with the text under the photos. I really like the latter much better. Things don't make sense when I'm talking about perhaps a cake, and then you have to hunt for the picture of the cake. So you might keep this in mind if you use either company, it might be worth the extra money to keep things as they are on your blog.
On a light note (ha!), when the books came in the mail yesterday, The Husband and Abby were lying on our bed looking at one together. They were doing a lot of laughing and snickering, making fun of my corny post titles and anything else they could. Abby said, "Mom, half of this is so far from the truth!" I asked her what she meant, as I've always made it a sacred point to be exact and honest in my writing. She said, "Well, you call this place a 'wonderful restaurant', and we all know you hate it. And here you are writing about my 21st birthday with a picture of me that was taken in 2009!" Well, I felt a little embarrassed but it was not like I was telling blatant lies! "I'm going to start a blog called The Truth Behind Blondie's Journal." Abby proclaimed...just before I hit her over the head with my book.
Now to share some fun stuff. I found this scarf organizer in a very nifty catalog called Solutions. There are 18 openings for your scarves to keep them all in one place. These are both Abby's and mine. We wear a lot of solids, and scarves can really make an outfit look different, just by switching them out. And it hangs in the closet. Neat and simple. I sort of like holding the whole hanger up in front of myself to see which scarf pops against what I'm wearing. I think this was $9.99. And also, it sure beats having them neatly folded and stacked in a drawer only to have them all get messed up when you pull the bottom one out! Ha!
I may have mentioned Renee's Garden seeds before. It's my go to place for flower and veggie seeds. I just received my vegetable seeds (did I tell you my vegetable garden here in the city is having a Grand Re~Opening this summer? Yep, after 12 years, I'm pulling the old rototiller out! More on that later). Renee has the prettiest website and I would be lying if I didn't say the beautiful illustrations on the packets draws me in every time.
There are so many different varieties and heirloom seeds as well. And she has a helpful monthly newsletter you can sign up for. Just looking at my seeds makes me so hopeful that spring will come a little early this year!
And lastly, I want to leave you with the best balsamic vinaigrette that you can make yourself right at home with what you have and it's great. It's by Emeril Lagasse from The Food Network. I double the recipe and keep it in these jars that I buy by the case. They aren't fancy or blue or coveted, but I use them for making things like this dressing, or storing sauces and gravies in the fridge. They hold pens and pencils, even our toothbrushes in the bathroom. Anyway...here's the recipe in a nutshell (or in a jar like this one):
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 t. dark brown sugar
1 T. chopped garlic
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients in jar. Shake well. Refrigerate when not using.
**Note: The oil will solidify in the refrigerator. Just take it out and let it come to room temp for about 15 minutes before using.
I use this for a of of things. Tonight I am marinating chicken in it to make shish kabobs. Mix this with a little honey and you have a wonderful glaze for chicken and pork. Spinach salads scream for this dressing. Just have fun!
I'm off now. I will be back sooner than I have been in awhile. My goal is always to post at least twice per week and I didn't really skim the surface of everything I wanted to talk about in this post. I hope all of you are having a great week! :)