I'm so happy to be back earlier than usual. I didn't think I had much to share but I think most of you know by now I can take a small event in my life and run with it. I thought this would be a slow week, I would loll around and get further in my book, take a nap here and there...just sort of take advantage of some free time and the many weekly errands and what seems like a zillion doctor appointments. Nope, keeping the Ponderosa clean and running smooth requires a lot of time and energy. With yet another snowstorm predicted tomorrow, I made a trip to our corner grocery for a few small things and I treated myself to these tulips. I really love yellow flowers, from tulips to roses to daisies. I decided to change out my dining table with an old metal tray and a cute little wire container with jars that have flower frog lids. I love how yellow compliments blue. These placemats are pretty beat up, I've used them on our patio table outside and they've been exposed to the elements on more than one occasion. Okay, here I go with the running dialogue. ^^
I also pulled out some dessert/salad plates I use for Easter dinner. Why not display them? I've had this linen tea towel for a couple of years. Sometimes I see cute irresistible ones when I'm at my favorite stores but I really love this baby with embroidered carrots. So these are on my kitchen island. I think I found the plates at Pier 1 several years ago.
I talked about seeing a new doctor in my last post for my really out of control eczema. It's not easy to talk about. It's unsightly, up and down my arms and legs, my chest and now on my face. A very, very red inflamed mess. It goes from itching and burning to being so sore. But my post brought a few fellow sufferers and one anonymous person to comment on their struggles with this affliction. For those of you who have zero issues with regard to this disease, scroll on down. I just wanted to share what I learned at this appointment with a doctor who specializes in eczema.
Above you can see his beautiful office. Its not far from the business district of Chicago where buildings are being rehabbed left and right. Look at that wall of shelves and the light fixtures. I just couldn't resist taking a few snaps! And the doctor, Peter Lio, M.D. was sincerely THE best. He has dedicated a huge amount of time researching and treating eczema and you don't find too many physicians like this.
With one look at my sore, red and inflamed skin, he didn't hesitate to tell me I was suffering from an auto immunity deficiency. In my own online searching I had pretty much known this. For so long I thought my problem was a result of pets, using fragranced laundry soap, burning scented candles, you name it. I was grasping at straws in my desperation.
A look at auto immune disease:
Auto immune disease develops when your immune system, which defends your body against disease, decides your healthy cells are foreign.
...as a result your immune system attacks healthy cells. It can affect one or many different types of body tissue and changes in organ function. The skin is the body's largest organ.
That said, the doctor put me on a very potent medication mainly used for individuals after organ transplants so the body doesn't reject the organ when the body might attack the healthy cells. It's a little scary taking this drug. There are side effects. In the days I've been taking it I have had tingling and extreme cold in my feet. Headaches as well. I never get headaches and I'm taking Tylenol every 6 hours. Small price to pay for what I'm going through. It takes awhile for the medicine to kick in so my skin remains unchanged at this time.
I was also advised to use CereVe healing ointment...you can find this at any drugstore. It's on the expensive side but well worth it. My skin was so bad and every topical product I used caused incredible itching so I gave up. This works to an extent. For those of you who wrote that you have eczema here and there, this would be a great start for healing. Photo light therapy will start 3 times per week. And with the inflammation I currently have, I need to take a ten minute bath several times a week with lukewarm water mixed with a 1/2 cup of bleach. Yes, sounds scary but it's much less than the chlorine you would encounter in a pool. This kills staph and toxins that may get into my system.
That's the long and short of it for now. For those of you who commented on your own skin issues and some of your remedies, thank you. I would highly recommend the CereVe ointment. It protects and nourishes the skin with mineral oil and hyaluronic acid among other ingredients which helps the skin retain moisture. I'm taking a Probiotic supplement to kill the bad bacteria internally.
Let me know if you have any questions. There are a few more steps I'm following but I don't want to talk much more about my journey. I pray I get results soon. So far little has changed but I trust it will. This doctor is incredible.
After my appointment, and The Husband was so nice coming with me, we Googled some of the restaurants in the area, and there were many. We decided on this French bistro called Troquet. It was outstanding. Not a huge menu but different and delicious and I loved the casual atmosphere. Although there will be many restaurants to choose from this up and coming area close to the business district in the city, I think we will make a few return visits here.
We had a few funny conversations in my last post when I wrote about my fancy grocery store. I was there Saturday for my 2 weeks grocery shopping and it was a perfect time to get some shots to share. As The Husband has been working from home a lot lately, he was feeling a little stir crazy and offered to come along. Very strange indeed. I mentioned the piano player to you guys. Well, here he is.
There are a few little cute areas like this fine chocolate bar. The also offer popcorn and the smell, like in a movie theatre, has your mouth watering. In addition to the cool areas I mentioned last week, there is a sushi bar, and in the meat/seafood space, a person who mans a huge grill and will cook up steaks, burgers, fish--whatever you've bought to bring home and devour.
This is the international aisle (of three) that I really love. You can truly find anything you need for a recipe here. Love it. Couldn't get a better picture of the countries from which they supply hard to find ingredients...I have to get a little more sneaky. lol!
And finally the bar. I was pretty clueless why there was a bar in a grocery store as were you guys. Well, I have a whole new perspective on it now. When we arrived The Husband and I grabbed our own carts. I told him in no uncertain terms that I wasn't going to tolerate or pay for his random purchases of Hostess Cupcakes, Doritos and 8 bottles of apple juice because they were on sale. So we went our separate ways. After my shopping was done, I strolled up and down aisles trying to find him. No luck. I pulled my phone out of my purse to call him and found a minimum of eight texts, most of them, "Where are you Jane?" "Call me Jane." "I've been looking everywhere for you, Jane." So I called him. Where are you? Sitting in the bar naturally. Ah ha. Now I know why it's there. "Hurry up, Jane. I have a drink lined up for you". As I stood in line while the gal rang up my groceries, I instinctively put on my lipstick. After all, I was having a drink with my love. I would have brushed my hair, too, but you know it was a grocery store after all. I do have my limits.
I finally broke down and bought curtains for Abby' room/guest room. Gosh, curtains are so expensive. As much as I want to finish up this room, its the last thing on my list of priorities. I had a set of curtains picked out at Target. At $24.99 a panel and needing two panels per window, it made me shudder. I put them back. And then on my trip to Marshall's last week I found not only curtains I loved but they were in packages of two panels for $19.99. Wow, a half price difference. The rods were a steal at Home Depot. I wanted black as the drawer pulls on the dresser I painted are black. I never thought I would ever buy anything black but I'm finding it to be a really nice contrast with my neutrals. How about you? I also switched out some of the pillows to blue/green sort of patterned pillowcases I've had forever but never used and they went perfectly with the throw that I had in another room.
We had a minimal amount of snow last week, but it came down more like sleet and was pretty dangerous for people driving. And then we had a huge storm warning yesterday but it, too, amounted to more slippery roads than usual as the temps dropped. And we now have another snowstorm predicted for tomorrow. We'll see. Its also supposed to get below freezing tonight so we might have those terrible roads again. The irony is, we had warm temps just a few days ago, and by warm I mean mid 50's. I wanted the dogs to get some exercise so I decided to do some backyard clean up. So many tree branches, large and small. I made a huge pile but was too lazy to haul them out to the curb. Ha! And I picked up dog do do that had accumulated over the past 3 cold months. Nasty job. But Milo and Layla are just ecstatic to have me in the yard with them. They ran and jumped and frolicked and sniffed their way along the ground which no longer had that covering of snow or lack of scent due to the cold. They have both gotten so overweight. I can't wait for warmer weather to get them (and me) in shape.
A sure sign that they are out of shape is that after we have a little fun in the fresh air, they collapse like they ran a marathon.
Oh, how they love their soft throws. Spoiled for sure. ;-D
I'm one of the many who loves Pinterest. 95% of what I Pin is recipes. If you ever see something you like on this blog, just hover over it and click on the red Pin image. Very much as I do with cookbooks, I have good intentions to make new dishes. And then it becomes a forgotten memory. A few weeks ago I was feeling a little stuck with the unimaginative dinners I was making and decided to sit down and pick out 3-4 recipes to try in the following week and when I went to the store, I would pick up any essentials I needed. So far I've made three new recipes since Saturday and they have all been hits. Above is a Roasted Chicken Provencal which was unbelievable. I took this photo before I popped it in the oven so you could see the vivid colors of the shallots, whole garlic cloves and lemon. The skin on the chicken turns crisp and tasty and the best thing? I thew it all together in about ten minutes and it cooked in the oven about 50 minutes with very little help from me. Alas, I feel like this post is way too long and I'm feeling that dreaded headache coming on. I'll share the recipe in my next post. You are going to love it.
I'll end here. Did you watch the Oscars Sunday? Very interesting. I think Chris Rock handled the huge elephant in the room very well. And The Voice came back (as well as Blindspot which I love) and I'm getting a huge kick out of this season with the bantering of Adam, Pharell, Christina and Blake. They are so much more playful and funny and the talent of the contestants is incredible. Do you watch? And I missed Fixer Upper last night so I'm going to have to replay that. Totally love that show and how Chip and Joanna relate with each other. As the lakehouse is being built from wall studs to sub floors up, it's interesting to see demolition and the beginning to end progress.
That's it for now. Have a great remaining week, and thanks for visiting! :)