Sunday, March 4, 2018

TIDES COMING IN, TIDES GOING OUT


Not The Only Tired One


Hi everyone!  It's me.  Thanks so much for your encouragement (and patience) as I get my life in order.  Lol. I also appreciate all of your supportive comments on Instagram.  I don't want to dwell on the health problems I've been having, yet I want to always be honest about what's going on over here.

The virus, which would ebb and flow, seems to have finally kissed me goodbye.  I get up with the urge to start the day,  I'm rarely tired, and I'm starting to do some of the organizing and spring cleaning that I would have started weeks ago if I had felt better.  Why do we beat ourselves up over standards we often set for ourselves, sometimes just to make others happy? 

 I think I've learned a lot about myself since this past ordeal with the virus and my back issues.  I simply stopped worrying about everything but my own health.  Many of you had said, as well as my own family and friends, just take care of yourself.  I listened.  I slept.  I changed into a fresh pair of pajamas's everyday.  Dishes piled in the sink.  We ran out of essentials.  It was interesting to see that The Husband didn't really notice the chaotic mess the house was.  He did notice there was usually not dinner waiting, and that we weren't stocked up on Doritos and Diet Coke.  After some grumbling, he'd go to the store.  I don't hold that against him, these are his creature comforts and it was an upset for him.  The main thing is that I learned to ask for help.  I've gotten so used to carrying the load that I forgot I deserved some attention.  I'm not patting myself on the back here, so much is about having a good revelation and hoping that you, too, know that you deserve to be taken care of.

Long story short, I made it through the virus.  I know it will hit again.  All I can do is get healthy, build up my immune system, and avoid others who are sick.  My back problems are another story; I have four herniated discs on each side of my spine, and a multitude of other degenerative diseases.  We are on our last choice of treatment before I have to have a spinal fusion, as in surgery to screw my vertebrae back together.  This past Thursday I had an epidural injection into the most inflamed disc.  I was so surprised that it was treated as a surgical procedure; gown, cap, wheeled into a surgical room, my spine on a screen showing what a complete mess was, and the four inch needle working it's way in.  Sixty seconds felt like forever.

Hallelujah, I'm feeling better with each day.  Keep your fingers crossed.  I have a whole new appreciation for the wonders our backs perform every second, every minute of every day.  

Geesh, that was looooooong, but I know many of you have had these problems and some, this procedure.  Feel free to share in your comments.



Latest Excellent Read

When I wasn't sleeping over the past four weeks, I was reading.  I was perusing my New Yorker magazine one day, and came across a book review by Joyce Carol Oates, one of my favorite authors.  A positive review by her is as good as it gets.  If you like drama and suspense, this is a book for you.  It's a new release and definitely a page turner.  At 400+ pages, you can imagine the twists and turns.  I'm a quarter of the way through it, and scramble for time to sit and read.  Check out Amazon for the description, reviews, and best price.



Good Friends:  Lake Geneva, WI., 2018

I mentioned we would be meeting up with my longtime blogger friend Cindy, and her husband Dan, in Lake Geneva, WI.  It's always good to see them, friends for ten years, but only seeing each other once a year.  When we both had started blogs ten thousand years ago, I suggested to her that we get together, I mean Wisconsin is just above Illinois, as the crow flies.  She thought it was a pretty cool idea, since Black River Falls is only five hours away.  Duh.  Still, we met in Galena, Illinois, which I think was pretty much an even three hour drive, total strangers, and we clicked.  


First meet: Galena, IL., 2010  (Look at my baaaaaaangs!)

As the years have gone on, we have met up in Galena and Lake Geneva twice.  Cedarburg, WI., (near Milwaukee) a few times.  Madison, Wisconsin.  And they drove six hours (!!!) to our lakehouse in Michigan, one summer. 

This recent meet up last weekend was fun of course, and Cindy was a super supportive friend to me.  It was before my epidural and because I knew we would be having cocktails, I didn't take any medication.  It was raining and sleeting and downright cold.  But she'd patiently wait while I leaned against a light post, or stop inside a shop to gain my momentum. 

 I can't tell you enough how I've learned that life can take twists and turns that lead to wonderful relationships and great times if you are just open to taking that chance.  We are already talking about them coming to the lakehouse this summer, hopefully for an extra few days to explore some of the towns along the lake, and hanging out on our beach or boat rides.  There is so much to do and I always wish; after emails, texts and phone calls, that we lived closer.  





Obvi:  Hogs & Kisses, The Bar Where Everyone Knows You Are From Chicago When You Order A Moscow Mule



Our Mad Mad

She gets beyond cuter everyday.  When I'm out and about, I check if Emily is home as an excuse to go play with this little darling.  They often stop by as well.  I have her to myself for spurts of time when Emily goes for a manicure, her hair appointments, and evenings out.  They come (including hubby Mike), for visits or dinner, and it's just so amazing to me how she knows where the toys are, where we let the dogs out, where the televisions are at, and where I keep the snacks and baby cups, plates, etc.  She is infatuated with our bedroom.  We have a huge four poster with steps to get up.  I tell her, "Let's go dance on the bed!" and she makes a beeline for the room.  And we jump, dance, and pretend we are taking a nap.  

I really do miss those days with my kids when they were little; playing fantasy and silly, exploring all things new.  Time goes on, and the days of potty training, the first day of school, washing baseball uniforms, watching baseball and basketball from bleachers, calling them in for dinner, giving them buzz haircuts on the front porch, and of course, complaining about their messy rooms...it's all hazy sometimes, isn't it?  We had a huge role, not shared or shadowed by anyone else, and now so many of us are older grandmothers, we might be relieved and ready to pass the baton.  It can be exhausting, even to put all the toys away and reassemble your house after the grandkidlets are gone.  But we do it.  We are the pros.  We set the standards and we should revel in that time and this time of love and dedication.  



No Better Baby Model On A City Street

When Madelyn was born, Emily had a huge tug of the heart and wanted to be at home.  She was offered a job with The Husband, where she could work from home and only go into the office once a week.  It was a win/win for all involved.  She is an exceptional legal assistant; smart, organized, efficient, and she can stand up to her father!  But she has never lost her creative drive.  With a bachelors degree in interior design, she still does home consultations, but she has really zoned in on baby fashion.  I think she could have her own baby boutique.  She's a thrifty shopper, and belongs to a buy and sell FB group.  And that Madelyn, she's a natural model.  



Photo:  Source unknown


French Onion Dip Sandwiches


I mentioned that I bought myself a new and updated slow cooker.  I've finally gave it a test run yesterday after I couldn't stand to see it taking up space on my counter.  I'm not sure if you've had a good French dip; tender slices of thin cut or shredded beef, cooked in a salty, onion au jus and served on  crusty french roll   A side of the hot au jus is served on the side for dipping and dripping.  

I take no credit for the above photo.  Give credit to Fox Valley Foodie.  The recipe however, was definitely dabbled with, and I am so happy to say that this is a winner.  This is how I did it:

4 lbs. beef chuck, round, or rump cut roast 
1 10 oz. can of French Onion Soup (Campbell's)
1 10 oz. can of Beef Consume Soup (Campbell's
12 oz. Guinness Beer
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1-2 T dried oregano
1 T dried garlic powder
2 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Add roast to preheated crock pot.  Pour the cans of soup over as well as the beer.  (I only had Bud Lite and that was just fine!).  Add the remaining ingredients, cover and set the timer for 4 hours if you want to get it going in short order, or 8 hours at leisure.  At four hours, shred the meat right in the pot, or remove to a cutting board and slice as thin as possible.  Taste the au jus for flavor and adjust.  The oregano is such a good addition, make sure you have that flavor going.  Add the meat back to the pot and continue to cook.  Meanwhile, toast French bread rolls in your oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes until just crunchy.  Serve the beef on the rolls with a generous amount of the sauce.  Have bowls of au jus around for dipping.  I picked up some french fries from a local restaurant carry out because I just couldn't match that addition.

You will have plenty of gravy left.  I refrigerated mine and will buy some sliced beef at the deli later in the week to heat up in this tasty as jus.  You can also freeze it.  I think you can add it to stews and soups as well, it has a bold, salty flavor.  


*****




I have the pleasure of stopping into Target a bit more often, as that's where Em buys her diapers, and I can't miss an opportunity.  I, myself, have been slowly adding more toys to my arsenal, as these kiddos are growing so fast.  And I can't pass up the shoes or books, or cosmetics...I finally did see something I liked from Joanna Gaines' line, Magnolia Market.  I picked up this runner the other day.  Very simple, well made, with little black X's.  It seems I'm gravitating to black a little more since I added some accents here and there in the Great room at the lake.  I think it actually calls attention to your whites and more neutral colors.  I like this tabletop which will take me right up to Easter.  In fact, the next time I trudge downstairs with the last of my Christmas pillows and throws (yes, I found some items in Abby's room),  I may bring up some bunnies.  

I've done a lot more cooking in recent days and I'd love to share the recipes, maybe later, as this post is pushing long.  Last night I made crab cakes, super simple and quick; and tonight, chicken and dumplings.  When I'm stressed, I cook.  The more stressed, the more elaborate the recipe.  Stress over the unresolved little unravellings in my life can send me straight to the kitchen.  I do my best thinking there.  My problems, like everyone else, can make me reach a point where I'm are wasting my time and energy.  I'd rather put it into cooking, reading, writing, spending time with my husband, kids, friends, and huge 'ol family.    



---I've been snuggling up in my little den, watching, as always, Chicago Fire and PD.  My cousin (Hey Joanne!), had a good part of the cast and the firetrucks down her street, just blocks away from me, and posed with several of the actors.  They are soooo cool, not to mention handsome. There were some people in Chi town who didn't like the intrusion of streets blocked off with filming, but the number of people given paid jobs as extras totally shut down those voices.  And by the way, Happy 181st Birthday to Chicago!!!

---I'm still watching Blindspot, the Housewives dramas, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Property Brothers, and I recently hopped back over to the Food Network for Beat Bobby Flay and The Kitchen.  The last two are entertaining for foodies and cooks. 

---I'm looking forward to the return of Timeless and Imposters.  I also started to get into I.D., when I'm not home alone, and I'm taking The Voice with a grain of salt.  I don't watch many movies.  I have never been a huge fan of television at all, I prefer to read, simple as that.  I like a little mindless time, as I write and spend time online at the same time.  

---I finished off a few light books by Jenny Colgan.  She has a series about a young woman in England, heading off to an island after a bad break-up and job loss.  Only connected to land by a causeway which disappears when the tide comes in, she hesitantly starts life over in a tiny fishing town.  She finds peace and new friends, as well as a little bad luck when she opens a bake shop.  Again, light, but I love a novel set in a place I'd love to visit.  Jojo Moyes also has a new book out with a novelette and some short stories,  now sitting on my nightstand.

---My share of magazines:  Vanity Fair, People, Allure, Marie Claire, The New Yorker, Newsweek, Country Living, and Better Homes & Gardens.  I get all these by subscription for a song.  I just wish I could keep up with them.  Skim or let pile up until the articles are no longer relevant.  

---Downsizing my closet but not resisting shoes at Sole Society, Boheme, Jane, and 6PM (all websites).  Looking forward to getting out of the warm boots and the rain boots!

---New Beggin' Strip Turkey treats for the hounds, which are healthier and super tasty.  Did I mention Milo is in remission?  I did on IG, and I mix that up sometimes.  We are so beyond happy.  He's acting peppy, has a ferocious appetite, and loves his crazy concoction  of cooked hamburger, peas and carrots.  I give him (and Layla, of course) this to disguise his meds.  He deserves it though.  These are the happiest times of our lives together.  Give your dog or kitty a big long hug today.  Every minute counts in their short lives.  

---New to me, Kind bars.  I'm grabbing the Nut & Spice variety, as they have about 4 grams of carbs each.  Super tasty flavors like coconut and chocolate; vanilla, caramel and almond, and many more depending on what you are focused on with your diet or taste.  Finally, something I can grab when I'm in my car or craving a midnight sweet.  With my lack of activity since early January, I was surprised to see I had actually lost a few pounds.  Just no appetite, and hours before I had the energy to make soup, salad or leftovers.  My primary physician had spoke with me about the value in letting your body go through a fasting period during which you use up stored fat as opposed to feeding your body more calories, fat and carbs.  It's an interesting concept, but there are always new and different weight loss methods thrown at us.  I research but also take it all with a grain of salt.  I do feel it's working a little for me, I'm not a huge eater until hours after waking up, and that leaves a good 15 hour window of fasting.  

So, off I go.  Another week of busyness ahead and I'm looking forward to it.  I have the wind at my back, and I'm letting go of everything that's been making me spin my wheels in life---as in forever.  I've learned over the past two months of trials and tribulations, you will find comfort in your husband, who might fumble around in the kitchen.  Your kids may be caught up in their own adult lives, and sometimes overlook that you are struggling, but have faith, you are more important to them than you think.  You deserve love and all the best when that is what you give.  My last word on blaming and feeling sorry for myself.  On to being proactive and hanging in there with the support of the ones I love.  The tide is out.

See ya soon!

Jane x









42 comments:

Linda said...

It's always good to see a post from you! It's late and I just finished writing my journal for the day - now yesterday! I poured a glass of wine and enjoyed your chat. You are on the right track. You must take care of yourself before you can help others. Remember what they say on the airplanes? In the event we lose power - the oxygen masks will drop. Put yours on FIRST! Good advice! Wishing you a good week!

CJ said...

I will echo what Linda says, it's so lovely to see a post from you. I'm glad the virus has passed, well done for easing off and looking after yourself. I'm so sorry your back is giving you so much trouble. My partner has had a lot of back problems over the years, so I can completely sympathise, and as you say, backs really are miraculous, constantly performing under so much pressure. You have reminded me to sit up straight as I type! I hope that the treatments you are having help. I have heard good things about the fusion. I have The Woman In The Window next on my pile of things to read. I read Joyce Carol Oates' We Were The Mulvaneys a while back and loved it, it has really stayed with me. Would you recommend Blonde? Or anything else particular by her? She's written a lot! Including a book on writing I think. Have you read that one? I hope you have a good week and that your health doesn't give you too much trouble. I am always impressed by your positive outlook, and I know it will help. Look after yourself my friend. CJ xx

laurie said...

oh my gosh what a time you have had and are still having with your back,, thats a painful situation, my husband had herniated discs,, can't imagine 4 of them,, I'm glad you're starting to feel a bit better. Such beautiful bay photo, my gosh, what a doll, speedy recovery with that back but by the sounds of it,, its an ongoing problem,, resolution hopefully soon!

Vee said...

Good to know that you’re on an upswing. Days of recovery can wear a person out.
Now don’t overdo it with your increased energy levels.

Your little granddaughter is as cute as can be...love her outfits and especially the adorable
spring hat.

Lisa said...

Im glad your recovering! That was cute about the husband never noticing the mess. I have been lucky and not gotten any viruses, colds or flu for over a year now. I just suffer from allergies and ear problems.
I cringed when you mentioned 4 herniated disk. Ouch! I have one (c6) that will flare up every now and again so I can not imagine 4!!!!! Oh my. Bless your heart.
Lisa

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hello Jane,
I have really enjoyed reading your post this morning. I'm sitting here with a cup of coffee, looking at the clock that says 8:00 am and feeling like I need to get moving, but reluctant to do so. After reading all you've been through with your health, you have inspired me to get my butt in gear! You remind me of when our kids were young that we had to choose the time of day that we would "allow" ourselves to be sick or hurting! I'm so glad that you have the support of your family to get through the difficult days. Husbands can sometimes surprise us when they step out of their comfort zone and give us the help and support we need. I love reading about your sweet little Granddaughter, your get together with your blogging friend, your recipes and great reads. I pray that you will continue to get better and get back on your feet without pain. You are amazing!

hugs,
Sissie

Melanie said...

Glad to hear your virus has passed for now - but I'm so sorry to hear about your back. I struggle with back pain just about every day (I have three herniated disks) but I find the more I sit, the more the pain persists. So I have to walk and do yoga every day to keep that pain at bay. I know, I know - better than having to have shots or face spinal fusion therapy. And I know you don't have a choice about being active when you are laid up because of being sick.

Great news on your pup being in remission.

Your granddaughter is so big now! And gets cuter every time you post a picture. She has beautiful dark eyes just like her mommy.

Take good care of yourself, Jane. And yes, ask for help! (I know that's hard to do.)

Jeanie said...

So many good things on which to comment, it's hard to know where to begin! No, not really -- the best news is that your virus seems to be a thing of the past and if you can just build up that immunity system, you'll be home free on that. It probably was a tough lesson for everyone, your being sidelined. But perhaps you learned that no one will die if you aren't doing it all and perhaps they learned that there are ways they can help more day to day -- especially given your back issues. When your back hurts, everything hurts. Don't hesitate to ask them and allow them to get reassigned in daily life!

Good news on the pup and your adorable little grand. She's a cute one -- no wonder you find excuses to be with her; I would too! And it warmed my heart to hear of your blog meet-up and friendship. I think that's the best part about the blog -- the friendships that sometimes carry beyond the comment page.

You keep taking care, Jane. Spring is coming and then summer and the lake and you want to be ready!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I'm so glad you're taking time for yourself. It's so hard to do sometimes, isn't it? But it should be a priority for all of us. I have two days a week where I try not to plan anything. I look forward to those two days so much. I'll read, work in the garden, bake, or just catch up on my dvr. It's glorious!

Stacey said...

"I have the wind at my back"...I like that positive thinking, Jane. I'm sorry you continue to struggle with illnesses. When you have chronic issues matched up with the time of year that all germs reign, I'm sure it's extra tough.

Hang in there girl!

It's me said...

Hope you feeling better soon...happy new week...love Reading your post...always Nice......love love love Ria x ❤️

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Oh Jane, I am so glad that you are feeling so much better. Take care of yourself. So sorry that your back is so bad.

Your little MAddy is so pretty, yes she could be a model.

I love Chip and Joanna Gains. There show is great and I love the way she decorates.

So nice that you get together with your blogging friend.

Your Beef au jus sandwiches sounds wonderful and that is one of my favorite sandwiches. Mimi's Restaurant has a good one that you can get a half sandwich with soup or salad. I alsways go for that.

So glad that your little dog is so much better. They are part of the family and its just like your child getting sick.

Take care of yourself Jane.

Hugs,
Mary

Junkchiccottage said...

Hi Jane,
Glad to see your post. It is hard enough for us Midwest girls to get through winter but then to have a virus to fight on top of winter is hard too. So glad your fur baby is doing better. I swear when they feel love it helps them hang in there. Happy New Week.
Hugs,
Kris

Scribbler said...

I can't believe how much you really manage to do, even with all your medical problems. If anyone dropped in to read your columns from outside blog-world, I am quite sure they would be very surprised to find out about all the physical hurdles you have had to overcome to produce these very warm, entertaining and personal-chat posts. For me, reading your posts is like catching up with a good friend, and I think that is how most of us perceive you. I really hope you will have a very, very long reprieve from your chronic virus, and that your back problems can be alleviated without a drastic surgery. It's always great to see you!

Lorrie said...

Your chatty post is lovely. I'm sorry you've had such a rough time with the virus and your back, and hope that you will recover well and that your back will settle down for a good long while. Being an involved grandmother can be exhausting (no it IS exhausting) but so much fun! I wonder, sometimes, what memories these little ones will have of me.
French Dip is so delicious! I haven't made it for a long time.
Have a good week!

Lynne said...

Jane . . .
Not sure how to begin . . .
First off . . . and I have said it before . . .
It is like we are in the same room. . . sorting our lives . . . sharing our soul thoughts.

Not to take away from you not feeling well . . . virus . . . excruciating back pain . . .
I too have had a similar journey these past months . . .
Really, really ill for several weeks . . . test after test and no real answer as to “what” . . .
I gained insight though . . . learned about me . . . and how I do not know how to receive . . .
in part . . . vast energy of me is to be the giver . . . not knowing how to embrace, care, receive . . .

And then illness happened again . . . frightening . . . stymied . . .

I am just now slowly turning the corner . . . getting stronger . . . I am changed . . .

I wish we were in that room together . . .

Your Maddie is soooo adorable . . .
Loved that you met up with your Wisconsin friend . . .
Sad that your hubs had to go rescue some Diet Coke and Doritos . . .
Happy your pup is in remission . . .
Looking forward to your lake visits . . . flower planting . . . cooking up more yummy foods . . .

Cheering for your wellness . . .
I care about you . . .
love
lynne

Rita C. said...

Jane, it's always good to visit with you and catch up. Dealing with chronic issues can really take its toll on the psyche, but the virus you've had surely must've left you wondering what in the world was happening. I'm really glad for you that you gave in to allowing yourself to recover and seemingly see it in your rear view mirror, based on the goings on you shared. Your title is so appropriate. So great that Milo is in remission and enjoying his days too.

Your grandbabies are a joy to see, with their cherub faces and fun stories. And I love it that your Emily is able to juggle her family and career with the option of working from home.....AND standing her ground with her father. That's essential, yet not surprising to me. There is no doubt in my mind at all that her drive delivers exceptional results, no matter what she tackles. This current state of working and being a mom too still allows her creative energy in making her own home, as well as helping you too, whether it's the lake house or simple choices in shoes. :)

Looking forward to hearing more from you with spring and visits to the lake house with friends. What a gift.

Continue taking good care of yourself.
XO

Susie said...

Blondie, You sure are a pretty young lady. Thank heaven for family and friends. Your little girl is adorable. Glad to read you did take care of yourself. If you are not well, how will you be supermom , wife, and grandmother for all the others in your life? Some times it just has to be "you first". Take care, spring is so near, you will be loving those days in the garden. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

Mereknits said...

So nice to hear from you Jane. So sorry your back has been such an issue. It is high time you took care of yourself after all these years taking care of everyone else. Madelyn is a doll. just the cutest little one. I do think she could be a model, and Mom is very clever. Stay well and good luck with the shots.

Kim said...

Jane, I am so sorry that your back is still giving you pain, but I am happy to hear that you are feeling more energetic. It's so hard to do all that you want when you are not feeling well. It's beyond frustrating, I know unfortunately, but sounds like you listened to your body and gave it what it needed. Here's hoping you continue to feel well and enjoy spring with your family!

handmade by amalia said...

The only good thing to be said about bad health is that it puts things in perspective (although we tend to forget the lesson as soon as we are back on our feet:-). So glad to hear that you are feeling better. Spring cleaning can wait, just enjoy the spring.
Amalia
xo

Debbie said...

Glad to hear your back is getting better, and the virus is gone. With a compromised immune system due to Crohn's Disease, I understand illness. Your little grands will keep your focus on happy things, and help you get through the hard times. Hopefully Spring is on it's way, and being outside will be a pleasure again. I am sure all your flowers are calling to you!
Love to you, Jane.
Debbie
xo

ann said...

Hi. I am back. My blogging is so sporadic these days. More bi-weekly. We have been fortunate here stay healthy. My husband did have a bad cold; still coughing. My daughter and two of hers had the flu, the real thing. They have been so sick. Your granddaughter is just so, so cute. And yes, so much fun. The sun shines today; I hope you have sun, too.

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Glad to hear you are on the mend, Jane. Put a hex on that ugly virus so it won't return any time soon. Back problems are so hard and so on going. Little Mad Mad. OMG, never saw anything cuter. Keep taking care of yourself..xxoJudy

An Oasis in the Desert said...

I was so sorry to hear you had been sick....I haven’t been a very good blogger friend. I am so very happy you are on the mend. Your little granddaughter is just darling...I so miss the toddler-age. Our youngest just turned 7! I just finished listening to “The Woman in the Window” and thought it was so good. I listen to audio books from the library on my iPad....reading for any length of time puts me to sleep. I’m always working on a craft or sewing and love that I can be listening to the book while my hands are busy. Hubby and I each have a small wireless speaker, so we can listen to our books anywhere, anytime! Your recipes always sound so good, and I’ve made a couple. I’m so happy to hear you are listening to your body and resting when you need to; rest is so very important. Take care and stay safe if you are in the midst of all that snow!
Warm hugs, Carol

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Better days ahead Jane! And, you have those Pure Michigan Summer's to look forward to.

Helen Philipps said...

Such an interesting post, Jane. You always write something that echoes my thoughts! Your writing about being a mother and grandmother rings so true....how beautifully you express it. I'm sorry you have been unwell, and that you have those on going back issues...I do hope they can help you with that soon. Madelyn is a gorgeous little one, and how beautifully your daughter dresses her...she is the perfect little model. Take care and I send you lots of love and healing wishes. xox

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

Keep up with the recovery, Jane. Your health is the most important thing to put your energy towards right now! ♥

Kathleen George said...

Miss Mad Mad chubby cheeks and love the hat she wore too;). Having your family help you is good, keep things in perspective, like how you take care of your pups, you love your family:). I hope the fusion helps your back, my husband had one in his neck. Good friends, books, and comfort foods, the best in life:). Kathleen in Az

Bluebird49 said...

Hello my friend! It is always so good to see and hear what Jane is doing in Chicago! Once upon a lifetime ago, you had much more time to post, and we had time for e-mails, and it was so good! Life comes along with its changes and boom! I am so glad to hear you talk about your health to us---we want to know! I think about you so often, and not just when Chicago Fire and PD come on. (Confess this old lady would love to gaze on Kelly and Casey IRL!)
Mad Mad is so precious in her overalls. Emily will have a good model as she is doing Buy and Sell projects. It's nice knowing she can work from home now.
Aren't Beef au jus sandwiches the bomb! So easy in a crockpot! I do pulled pork, and Brunswich stews, etc. in mine, too. Anything I can sneak in there that hubby will eat! (a challenge, though.) This wife is not the old model 1.0, who could handle widely duties, and have a balanced meal by 6 pm, after having done laundry and bills, grocery and clothes shopped, helped with baths and homework and everything about raising, taking and picking up 2 kids from all their church and after school activities --- all it takes to make a real home until they left the nest. Whew!
Now hubby is forced to change just a little, by grocery shopping, or putting in a load of laundry --- (never sorted of course!) When I think back to those "days", I daydream and see all the things I could do, and got done, for my family. I think, "Yay, me!!" I was kind of my own little version of a "Supermom" then!" We wives and moms deserve to look back and smile a bit and give ourselves a little late on the back, instead of looking at what aging brings on and being down about slowing down.
Thankful now for hubby who is willing to eat less complicated meals, at least try new things, and go out and bring in meals once in awhile. Once in a great while, he'll even wash a load of clothes, (with nothing separated of course!) We're managing, we've just gotten more used to this life 2.0. We have only one son left, and his commitments are to his own little family! We get that. Hubby says, "We can only really count on one another now and as we get older." Times have changed!
I am so glad you are enjoying time with Milo, the wonder dog!
If you like cooking shows and knowing more about famous chefs, I must recommend "The Mind of a Chef", and "For Grace" on Netflix. (And there are many more!). "Grace" is in Chicago (or was), and the story of Curtis Duffy and his struggle and passion to run his own restaurant after a really tough life, is heartwarming. Grace was world renowned! When he and his partner recently tried to buy the Grace property from the man who loaned them the money,refused to sell to them, they walked out of Grace and Grace is now closed, as far as I know. A 3 Miche!in star restaurant---poof! I just love meeting these world renowned chefs via Netflix!It's my virtual travelling!
I'm fighting against back fusion right now. My cane he!ps me some. I don't even know how you get up and down the basement steps to do anything! I hope your fusion will make you into a painless Jane!
Oh, and replying to your IG message---I love and miss you, too! We must exchange an email about our lives once awhile! You've been such a good friend to lean on and talk to in the past! 💗💗
Well,as usual, my comment has become a post!! Sorry! Love you!

Kit said...

Sounds like a good plan! Enjoy feeling better. :) Kit

Optimistic Existentialist said...

You had me at french onion dip sandwich!!

Jen Kershner said...

Your family is so gorgeous, Jane! I'm sorry you are dealing with ongoing health issues. It can be hard to not get frustrated but learning to ask for help is a huge hurdle to have overcome! Good for you!

Deb from Frugal Little Bungalow said...

OH Jane it is always wonderful to read your stories but the MAD photos are just priceless :)

Harlynn said...

WHOOT WHOOT! Bye bye virus! Sounds like you became depressed while physically ill. To read that you've gotten past the whole "curl into a ball in my bed" phase. No idea how back issues feel, and will have you in my thoughts.
Those babies are too cute! That street model could model for your daughters future baby botique. I guarantee you if she makes her own boutique on Etsy with that baby model...she'll be a hit.
I live in Michigan, and will keep in mind the Chicago suggestions! What area in MI is your vacation home?

Angela said...

I'm sorry you've been having health problems. I hope you get better soon!

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Glad that you are feeling a bit more energetic these days, Jane! Sometimes we really do need to stop the world and focus on ourselves, despite our loved ones feeling neglected a bit. My Mr. refuses to cook for himself, but if I am really sick, it is amazing what he can rustle up for dinner. I once caught him cooking, too - a fried egg sandwich - so I know he is not as helpless in the kitchen as he puts on. One of his favorite sandwiches is French Dip and your recipe sounds delicious. Your grand-little is so very precious, and her little outfits are darling. I can relate to the amount of energy it takes to keep up with little ones and how all those memories of raising our own come flooding back. It's wonderful that you found a blogging friend to spend time with, too. Glad to hear that Milo is in remission and you are enjoying life together once more. Such a positive, uplifting post. Happy St. Patrick's Day! Hugs xo Karen

Linda said...

Sending hugs to you dear Jane....
That wee girl is a dream....so damn cute!
Enjoy your weekend...
Cheer So!
Linda :o)

Deb from Frugal Little Bungalow said...

As always when you post there is so much, and all interesting, that it is hard to know what to comment on...I'll just say that I am so sorry to hear about your health struggles and hope that you can surmount them all and then I know you will because as I see in your post you are focused on the positive and beauty in your life...such as the grands / what a sweet photo :) I still remember being so happy hearing years ago that you were going to be a grandma for the first time and thinking that "she's going to be so blown away " :)

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

So glad that you are starting to feel better now that you are putting you first. Family gives us so much pleasure especially grands and you have some adorable ones...love the photos. Take care.

Kathy Moreland said...

Sure hope you are feeling better. It took me a good 6 months to get over my near death experience. Then the husband decided he wanted a divorce! Shock and awe, I tell you. Had no idea that one was coming. It's awfully slow getting the divorce. I personally used all my savings for an attorney, but she is supposed to be the best in the area. It's the limbo that's hard on me. But a new fella has come into my life and we are happy getting to know each other. So there may or may not be further details on that depends on how he feels about it. But he is a dear.

I hope you continue to feel better and better. I've been a really bad blogger recently. My heart just hasn't been into it. But I've gotten accustomed to being alone. That's one thing I never minded.

Be blessed!
Kathy (Moreland)

baili said...

i wish and pray may you feel better soon dear Jane!

your new photo on side bar is beyond beautiful :)))

i am glad that you learned to look after yourself and being less worry about all the duties around
being housewife i can relate to your situation as my consciousness and workaholic attitude made me ill forever and i can't stand the day without the long series of medication .

your adorable dear madelyn is such darling kid ,i can imagine how happy you feel when she is around