Tiny Eden

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Dana has cancer."  Those were the 3 words that my mother said to me on November 9th that made my heart beat so loud in my chest that I could no longer hear what she was saying.  I felt as though the wind had been knocked out of me and the room was getting smaller and smaller.  The shock was so great that I could not even cry and I could see Sam's mouth moving asking me what was wrong, but I couldn't hear a word he was saying.  All I could hear was my heart pounding in my ears. 

While my mother was on the phone with me, the doctor was telling my groggy sister the same news.  It made my heart hurt.  This was a feeling that I had felt only one other time and it was when my mother told me that my Grams had passed away.  This was a feeling that I hoped that I would never feel again, but less than 4 years later, I was feeling it again.  She was having surgery that day and something didn't look right.  What was supposed to be a short procedure ended up taking hours. 

They gave Dana a preliminary stage of 1B cervical cancer.  I did exactly what I told my mother and sister not to do.  Shortly after hanging up with my mother, I started to search on the internet and find out what her treatment options are and what her prognosis would be.  The doctor was very hopeful that it was caught very early on.  I flew to NY so I could be with Dana and my family while we tried to process all of this as we were all unsure about what the next road would lead us.

After we had all "accepted" the fact that Dana had cancer, she had to have a PET scan.  It did not reveal what we wanted it to.  It seems as though the cancer has spread to some lymph nodes.  Again, this was news that made me feel as though I had just been hit over the head with a baseball bat.  This changes her staging and her treatment.  Now we are not exactly sure what we are facing.  My faith is rocked, I am angry, frustrated, wondering why we have been handed something else to deal with. My heart is aching all over again and the stress and waiting is killing me.  Dana seems to be handling all of this a whole lot better than I am!  She will have surgery again in January which will give us the answers we need and to find out what treatment she will be getting to fight this.  Dana is a fighter.  She is a red head and is filled with courage and strength to beat this. 

So there it is.  I said it.  My sister has cancer. And it sucks.  Big time.

Dana is just like Martha Stewart, although not as snooty, much prettier, much younger, and much better hair.  But cooking wise, you would not be able to tell them apart.  I know Dana would be very disappointed if I did not include some of my Pinterest projects, especially my big Pinterest FAIL!  So, I will write about weeks 26 and 27.  Now I know I said that I would get better about writing, but I was so angry last week, I did not want to blog.

Pinterest Project Week 26: Also known as my epic FAIL!  Here is the blog I got it from.  I am not really sure what went wrong here.  It could have been that the pineapples were old, that they should have been pineapple tidbits instead of chunks, or that I just don't like angel food cake!  The choice that I am leaning towards is the whole not liking angel food cake thing.  Another thing, I did not follow  the directions very well.  It said to use a 9x13 pan and I used a bundt pan.  When I mixed the pineapples into the mix, it frothed up the way it was supposed to, but the chunks just sank to the bottom of the bundt pan.  The pan was not big enough, either I don't think because it kind of baked over.  I let it bake for the proper amount of time, but it was still wiggly, so I cooked it for some additional time.  When I took it out, it smelled good.  I let it cool completely and then I took it out of the pan.  What a mess!  The chunks all sank to the bottom (which only reaffirmed the fact that I needed to use the tid-bits) so the top of the cake was stuck to the inside of the pan.  I tasted the little bit that I was able to salvage and that was when I realized that I had never had angel food cake before.  I am sure that if you like angel food cake and follow the instructions, you will enjoy this cake.

Week 27 was a success!  This is something that I whipped up today because I was not feeling well and my co-worker, Mandy, was nice enough to work for me today so I didn't have to go in.  My throat has been on fire and I have a ton of post nasal drip.  My throat is froggy and my voice is almost completely gone.  I have been eating a ton of soup and for lunch, I thought if I had one more spoonful of soup, I would hurt someone!  So, I made some homemade mac and cheese in the microwave.  The recipe can be found at this great blog here!  I used some mini farfalle pasta and of course extra cheese.  The water in the mug will bubble over, but this is not a bad thing because when I wiped it up, it cleaned the microwave really well.  I can see lots of tasty opportunities with this.  Think bacon and all different types of cheeses!  Yum, yum, yummy!!!!!

With only a week away from Christmas, I hope everyone has a wonderful week of preparing and enjoying time with your families.  Thankfully, I have off Christmas day, but will be working on Christmas Eve.  Better to be working than to be a patient in the hospital, though!

"One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly." ~Andy Rooney

"Isn't it funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for - I don't know what exactly, but it's something that you don't mind so much not having at other times." ~Kate L. Bosher

"Great little One! whose all-embracing birth
Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to Earth."  ~Richard Crashaw

Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home. ~Carol Nelson

Monday, December 3, 2012

Week 25: I am a SLACKER!

Hello, Friends!  Here I go back to slacking again.  This blog is going to cover the last 10 weeks of Pinterest projects.  I am sad to say that most of them contained vinegar and baking soda.  Boring, I know. 

On a more exciting note, I went to Orlando for the CF conference in October.  I had a wonderful time with one of my co-workers, Shekina, as well as many of the other disciplines from my hospital.  Shekina and I spent a whole lot of time hanging out with Dr. Caplan and he was definitely the party animal.  He kept us out way past our bedtime! 

I feel like fall came and went.  It is my favorite season and I am kind of bummed that it is just about done.  Although, I feel like Mother Nature here in GA never got the memo that summer ended.  I can't deal with this 75 degree weather in December!  Sam and I did go apple picking in October.  The only problem is that once we go into the apple farm, there was a sign saying that there were no more apples left to pick!  The farm does have bins of apples so we didn't leave empty handed, but I think we would have had more fun actually picking them off the trees ourselves.  Either way, the drive thru the mountains with the leaves changing color was well worth the trip. 

Sam and I also got to go home for Thanksgiving.  I was able to go up there a little bit earlier than Sam.  I went to my first Army football game with my mom, Dana, and Stina.  So much fun!  We also made our annual trip to Stew Leonard's.  One nite, I babysat Matthew for a few hours.  What a character he is!  Stina now calls me her BFF and she is growing up into a beautiful little girl.  There was a ton of food made and consumed on Thanksgiving and the day after.  My mom, dad, Gramps, Brian, Dana, Sam, Stina, Matthew, and myself all squeezed in at the table.  The kiddie table didn't last very long.  As soon as Matthew sat down, he fell backwards in his chair and Stina looked so lonely sitting by herself.  Maybe the kiddie table can make an appearance next year.  Of course, we also made our annual Black Friday trip to the Christmas Tree Shoppe. I got to spend a whole lot of time with my Gramps and had a pancake breakfast with him and spent the whole day with him.  I always love all of the stories that he tells me.  Can't wait until I see him again.  Before making the trip back to NY, I got to meet Julie's triplets and went to Lisa's baby shower.  It was great to see Kathleen, Julie, and Lisa again! 

This weekend, Sam and I put up all the lites and Christmas decorations.  I got some great wreaths when I was in Michael's in NY.  A big thank you to my dad who drove to NY for Thanksgiving so he was able to drive all of my stuff back to GA.  I added some battery powered candles and some bows and we put one in each of the nine front windows.  We opted to do that this year instead of putting lites in each window.  I found some great hooks at Target and those came in handy when I was putting decorations outside.  They are velcro hooks!  So simple, any idiot could have thought of that and now someone is making millions!  Insane!  Anyway, the tree is up and decorated, stockings hung on the fireplace, and hot cocoa set on the kitchen table.  Also, for anyone else who gets a fake tree (Sam is allergic to real trees, BOO!), I found these great things at Michaels called Scentsicles.  They smell like pine and you hang them in your tree.  I am loving the smell that they are emitting!  Let's see if they last!  Usually, we don't decorate until closer to Christmas, but I never really put up my autumn decorations because things just got really busy this fall and also my sister and brother-in-law's nephew is coming down here on Friday for an interview for Emory's medical school.  Fingers crossed he does well, although I have no doubt in my mind that he will do a great job! 

Before I get into my Pinterest Projects, I need to profess my love of Christmas movies.  I love them all, but my favorite is It's a Wonderful Life, although that is my favorite movie of all time.  Next up is Christmas in Connecticut which I just purchased at the Christmas Tree Shoppe for a steal at $4.99.  Following that is The Bishop's Wife, Miracle on 34th Street, Bells of St. Mary's, and then The Man Who Came To Dinner.  I love old Christmas movies.  There is something about them that gives me the warm fuzzies.  I found a great blog that has a list of all of the movies that will be played this month as well as their airtime and channel.  I know it says 2009, but it is for 2012, I promise!  http://itsawonderfulmovie.blogspot.com/2009/09/christmas-schedule.html

On for my Pinterest Projects.  I have added vinegar and baking soda to my laundry.  It really does make everything smell fresher and it makes my clothes softer.  Sam kept saying that we needed to get a new dishwasher because our old one was stinky.  I put some vinegar in a measuring cup on the top rack and ran a cycle.  Then I sprikled some baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher and ran another cycle.  If Sam thinks that there is no longer a smell, then I can guarantee that it worked!  Our dishwasher is the original one that came with the house when it was built in 1979.  It is old, but no longer smelly!  Another little trick that I learned was putting some vinegar in a measuring cup in the microwave and then letting it heat up a little.  The grease and residue wiped right off and the microwave no longer smelled like food.  I was impressed by this one!  The next little tip that I used was putting Dawn dishwashing detergent and vinegar in a sponge that has one of the soap dispensers attached and I used it to scrub the bathtub.  I was not feeling this one as much.  To clean my tub, I usually use soft scrub and I found that my Soft Scrub does a better job and does not require nearly as much elbow grease.  The tip that I was least impressed with was putting baking soda in your toilet and letting it sit.  Apparently, all you have to do is flush the toilet and it is sparkly clean.  Well, I sprinkled it, let it sit for about an hour, and then flushed.  Nothing happened.  So, I flushed again.  Being that I am rather environmentally conscious, I was a little apprehensive to flush again, but I did.  The cleaning session ended with Soft Scrub, a toilet brush, and 3 wasted flushes.  Speaking of being environmentally savvy, we switched our plastic anti-mildew shower liner (p.s. they are never anti-mildew!) to a cloth one.  As soon as I start to see a tad bit of mildew, I throw it in the washer with some, you guessed it, baking soda and vinegar.  Works like a charm!

Just a shameless plug for PhoebeLu's - I have an order for 4 Name Frames as Christmas presents from one of my friends as well as an order for 30 Christmas cards for Stina's preschool.  I will be sending my check to the CF Foundation before the end of the year!  If you are interested in any of my projects, let me know!  It is not too late to order Christmas gifts from me!  I also made 30 s'mores on a stick for our respiratory therapy appreciation day.  They were a big hit and everyone was saying that I should add those to the items that I sell.  If anyone is interested in those, please let me know!  I can whip some up for you! 

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season!  My resolution for 2013 is going to be to actually keep up with my blog.  I know I say this every year, but 2013 is going to be the year that I do it!  I promise!

"Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?" ~Clarence - It's A Wonderful Life

"Every time you hear a bell ring, it means that some angel's just got his wings."

"Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends."
"George Bailey, I'll love you 'til the day I die." ~Mary Hatch -It's a Wonderful Life

"Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!" ~George Bailey -It's A Wonderful Life