The Week in Review

Totally started this week with great hopes of having a nice peaceful week. Maybe get some crafting done, go to the grocery store or even make some cookies. Still working on the cookie situation! But, seems having sinus surgery on Monday doesn’t help the week go according to plans. I’ve had a chronic cough for about two years; a cough like bronchitis gone wild or a smokers cough gone out of control. We had gone through the have’s and have not’s. Lungs clear! Acid Reflux, yes, but not the issue. No. No new allergies. So after several rounds of antibiotics and xrays and CT scans, it was decided, surgery would be the best thing. So, yes, I knew the surgery was coming, I just had hoped it would go better than most of my surgeries and in the long run, it did. I think.

Pre Op
Yes, I am smiling, no I’m not drugged (yet)

We start with a Septoplasty – according to the Mayo Clinic  “Septoplasty (SEP-toe-plas-tee) is a surgical procedure to correct a deviated septum — a displacement of the bone and cartilage that divides your two nostrils. During septoplasty, your nasal septum is straightened and repositioned in the middle of your nose. This may require your surgeon to cut and remove parts of your nasal septum before reinserting them in the proper position.” Not exactly sure how I got a deviated Septum, but now I no longer have one. I will admit, I am a bit bummed I don’t have the typical bruised eyes and nose from a nose injury, however, I got a small (in comparison to my millions of bruises) one where they had to put the IV. Just FYI, I am not a fan of having it in the back of my hands.

Then it was Full Ethmoids (Bilateral),  the main reason why I went in. See a couple of my sinus passages were totally blocked or 90% blocked and the mucus couldn’t get out. The Ethmoid Sinuses are very important, they are located between your eyes and the bridge of your nose (another reason for a nice show off bruise, but no!) and they are the first step in treating most sinus infections. The other sinuses (there’s four total sets, if you were wondering) drain through or next to them and if these are blocked, the infection can spread to the other sinuses. The Ethmoidectomy removes the infected tissue and bone which are blocking the drainage then the take a peek at it with their little flexible tube and camera (which by the way when you get that in an office visit, HURTS!)

I was called in early for my appointment, but then waited until past my original scheduled surgery time to go back. We were told it would be 1.5 – 2 hours and the same for recovery. I didn’t have to fight with the anesthesiologist about adding some nausea medication to my IV like I had before. I have to admit, my doctor and anesthesiologist looked to be about 25 years old. I guess that just means I’m getting old!

No, I am not smiling
I am drugged and hungover.

Everything went well, lost minimal amount of blood, came through recovery like a champ, except. My throat hurt like a bonfire! Like millions of shards of glass were stuck in there and on fire! It hurt! My popsicle made me cry! It’s been four days now and I still have issues eating most things, even water brings tears to my eyes. I also discovered my throat had been injured during the procedure, which may be why it hurts so bad. Can’t blow my nose, lift things, bend over or do exercises (whew! I was worried about that one!)

I don’t know about you, but my nose looks a bit crooked

So today is day four post op. Nose is stuffy, throat hurts, Uvula is swollen and annoying and I still have a cough.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King, Jr.



A Dispatchers Story

I was a dispatcher.
For six years I was part of a team responsible for making sure (approximately), 150 law enforcement agents and 100 fire fighters went home safely at the end of each shift. When we sat down in our chairs, we were responsible for the entire county: over 1,534 sq miles of land and water, about 47,000 residents and over 20,000 visitors a year. I worked with four computer monitors, two computers, a multi phone line and two or more radio channels. Dispatching is about multi tasking: not like walking and chewing gum multi tasking, but talk on the radio, listen to your officers, talk on the phone and type in all the notes at the same time. I have gone from knitting for hours to not being able to go to the bathroom for a whole shift.
I have lived through wild fire seasons, structure fires, river rafting and drowning accidents, snow storms, traffic accidents, car and foot pursuits, tasers being deployed and officers getting into accidents. I’ve sent deputies into harms way and helped find lost or missing people. I’ve heard the deputies call out for assistance and the screams of a victims family. I’ve helped coordinate multiple agency responses and prayed for the deputy I had to send in alone to a call. I’ve listened to people who just needed to talk and to people who having the worst day of their life.
I’ve trained people who thought it was going to be an easy job and watched people walk away when it was too much. I’ve been the one to send someone to a wrong location and I’ve been one who found the location when no one else could. I’ve worked 12 hour shifts, holidays, weekends, days, nights, birthdays, anniversaries and sometimes, even by myself. I’ve gotten the request for the coroner, given CPR instructions to a family member and listened to a suicidal mother asking me for help while she’s holding her five year old son. “You’re a good Mommy” plays over and over in my head.
I’ve laughed at calls that never made sense or deputies who thought we could beam the fire trucks to their location. I’ve felt defeat and accomplishment in the same day. I’ve had open mics where I said things I thought for sure would get me fired. I’ve taken the call from an alarm company where there was a hostage situation. I’ve sent out reverse 911’s for fires, missing persons, evacuations or suspicious people. I’ve argued with  coworkers, my boss, and even the chief of police. I’ve stood my ground and lost some battles.
People ask me, what was your worst call. I had many. Sending officers into a wildfire with winds at 90 mph to find the residents who lived there to a domestic dispute with a weapon and the child who was calling,  locked in the bathroom afraid to talk to me. I’ve checked statuses on my officers with no response, where your heart stops and you can’t breathe, then you hear their voice. But my worst still plays in my minds eye like it was yesterday.
I still hear the sounds of the phone ringing, the three different radio channels constant chatter, my partner working her radio and phone, the constant noise.
The constant noise.
We had a little boy missing from his parents. He had wandered off while mom and dad were packing the moving truck. Mom thought dad had him and vice versa. They lived near the river. I remember hearing one of the officers call out, he sees the boy, he’s in the river.
The noise stops. The noise stops.
I hear his partner advise the officer has jumped into the river with full gear and has gotten caught with an under tow. The officer is up and OK. Another officer has gotten to the boy.
The radio is silent.
The phones are silent.
My partner is silent.
The boy has drowned.
I remember the tears I held back: There’s no crying in dispatch. I headed home (was the end of my shift) and I cried all the way. I asked to go to the funeral, which wasn’t ever done before, but my partner and I went, along with the Sargent on duty that day, and three of the other responding deputies, we stood in the back, out of the way.
My partner and I held it together until: a boy about 12-14 years old comes up to us after the funeral. Stops at the first deputy standing in the line we were in, sticks out his hand to shake the deputies hand and says.
I will never forget it.
“Thank you for finding my cousin”
My partner and I turned around and lost it.
I was a dispatcher for six years. I had to walk away due to medical issues. It was by far, my most favorite, rewarding, aggravating, tiring and important job I have ever had. Dispatchers are often over looked as first responders and most of the time, we never know what the out come is. It takes a special person to be a dispatcher and I give credit to all the dispatchers out there. The job is tough. But so are they.

Introverts: A gift that doesn’t need to be cured or fixed

I always thought I was shy, never really fit in anywhere, liked being by myself and up until a year or so, I figured out why. I’m an introvert and a highly sensitive person. But, what does that mean? I’m crazy? I’m rude? I do I just not get it? Let’s take a look at these because, being an introvert is very hard on your family and friends who are extroverts and vice versa.
Did you know?
Introverts don’t like to talk unless we have something to say. I’m not good at small talk, but get me started on something I am interested in, I won’t shut up.
Being an introvert, we take in “data” very quickly, therefore, I don’t need to be out long to get what’s going on. It drains me and I need to go home to recharge and process it all. Recharging is extremely critical for introverts.
I think a lot. My brain is always going, I love to daydream and solve the world problems in my head. I love to color, knit, take photos, do crafts and bake, these help me recharge by creating something.
Most people love to get out and have fun. Being an introvert, I love to stay in or go to the mountains for relaxation, busy places exhaust me and if they are too large or noisy, I can completely shut down.
Add those four explanations to the highly sensitive person and you really get a mess.
We become easily overwhelmed – too much intensity, chaos, noise becomes overstimulation and we need a nice quiet room to go.
We have a heightened sense of smell or touch. Itchy fabrics or sudden sounds; scented candles or perfumes; buzzing lights and beeping noises can make an HSP shut down.
We handle emotions at a much deeper level and it may seem like we are making it a bigger deal than it really is. In reality, every word or action goes straight to our hearts.
So, how does one deal with us?
Love us for who we are.
Respect our need for privacy, quiet times, alone times.
Never embarrass us in public
Let us take in any new situation and give us time to think about it
Respect our introversion. I wouldn’t try to make an extrovert and introvert, please don’t do that to us
I’m glad I finally found a space for me and my “weirdness”, doesn’t make it easier, but I know how to cope a bit better now.
“Don’t underestimate me because I’m quiet. I know more than I say, think more than I speak and observe more than you know.”
~ Michaela Chung

Versatile Blogger Award Nominee

Good afternoon!
Just dropping in to give you a little news. Recently, I was nominated for another blogger award. So exciting to be chosen for such an opportunity. My friend Jessica from What’s Happening With Jessica has nominated me. She has been a great supporter, mentor and friend to me in the blogging world. Thank you Jessica!
7 Facts about me:
1. I am an introvert and empath. Lots of people and crowds frighten me
2. My bucket list is lined with traveling to different countries to take photos of churches, cathedrals, abandoned buildings and everything in the  middle
3. I have been married to my husband for 22 years. We dated for only 3.5 months before we married. Hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been the best thing ever!
4. I am a Ulcerative Colitis fighter and a J Pouch warrior. Things that are good for you to eat, are not good for me and my pouch.
5. I love playing Pokemon Go with my son
6. I love taking pictures of the sunsets and the moon.
DSCN1188blue moon 1 1-31-18
7. My dream house would be a spacious rancher on about an acre of land in the mountains.
That was fun! I love sharing with y’all. What did you think of my fun facts? I’d love to hear it. In the meantime, I’m going to nominate some of my favorite bloggers.

Okay ladies, now it’s your turn!

+ Christina Arrigo ATPCreations

+ Aarti  Handmade Hearts

+ We Do What Works

1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and provide a link to their site.
2. State 7 facts about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 others for the award. (Or as many as you can)

That’s it. Have a little fun and be sure to comment on my post so I know you have accepted.


Try it Thursday: Gingerbread Loaf

One of the things I remember about my childhood was when my momma would make a gingerbread cake with fresh whipped cream, it was a treat for sure. Every year, I promise myself I would try to make a gingerbread house: that hasn’t happened yet. In fact, they intimidate me. So I decided I wanted to make some gingerbread. Didn’t want to do cookies, too much like the houses. A decorated cake, nah…too much work; not enough energy. A loaf!! That’s it! So off to Pinterest I went! They have to have at least one easy gingerbread loaf.
Found one! A gingerbread loaf with cream cheese frosting, OK I can live with that. Gathered and shopped for my ingredients then  found I had forgotten applesauce at the store. Not a fan of the less calorie thing anyway: so…back to Pinterest I went. New recipe should include; No applesauce, no long list of ingredients and some yummy frosting. I came up with a Spiced Gingerbread Loaf; it had a different frosting, but I think I will stick to the cream cheese frosting.
yield: 1 LOAF prep time: 10 MINUTES total time: 1 HOUR, 10 MINUTES (PLUS COOLING)
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3/4 cup (180ml) unsulphured or dark molasses
3/4 cup (180ml) hot water (about 100°F (38°C))
1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Orange Icing (I didn’t use this one)
1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted 
2-3 Tablespoons (30-45ml) orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla (I used fresh orange juice and a touch of orange peel)
  • 4-6 tablespoons milk
1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper together until combined. Set aside. In a separate bowl or dish, whisk the molasses and hot water together.
3. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat on high speed for 1 minute until creamed together fairly well. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. On medium-high speed, beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the hot water/molasses and mixing each addition just until incorporated.
Avoid over-mixing. Batter will be thin. Whisk out any big lumps. 
4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for around 50-60 minutes or until the gingerbread loaf is baked through. All ovens are different and your loaf could take a little more or less time. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the gingerbread loaf. If it comes out clean with only a couple moist (not wet) crumbs, it is done. Allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack before removing from pan.
5a. Make the icing: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice together. Drizzle over cooled loaf. 
5b. For the frosting, in a medium bowl cream together butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth and spreadable. Spread over cooled gingerbread loaf. Allow to set up for 1 hour (or if you can’t wait you can serve it immediately, but I like it best when the frosting has a chance to set up a bit!). Store in airtight container
Finished Gingerbread Loaf
6. Leftover loaf keeps well covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The flavor gets even better after a day or two!
Make ahead tip: The loaf can be baked, cooled, and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Loaf can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving
Recipe says it takes 10 minutes to prepare, it took me a bit longer. Didn’t help that I flung the water and molasses all over the kitchen floor. I really enjoyed baking this, really miss my baking days. The smell of this loaf is just amazing!! Little bit stuck to the bottom of the pan and I had three people fighting for the crumbs!
Well. That’s helpful. We’ll put an APB out on the Gingerbread Man. I’m not hopeful it’ll do us much good, though. Word on the street is you can’t catch him.
Joe Hill
**this recipe is not all mine, no copy write infringement meant**

Thankful Thursday: Thanksgiving

I have to admit and sort of brag I’m truly blessed!
Things I’m Thankful for:
My hubby, son, daughter and grand kids
My mother, sister, nieces and nephews
Of course, Max
My sister and brother in laws
I have a roof over my head
Food on my table and the good Lord allows me to get up each day
For the sunshine, snow, rain and (not the wind, not the wind…not the wind)rainbows
For the sunrises and sunsets
For the moon and the stars
For the time I have been allowed to spend with my family
For pain..without pain, we don’t appreciate life’s joys
For hobbies and creativity
For travel
My cookbooks and coloring books
For music and silence
For coffee, chocolate, ice cream
My camera and you tube to help me figure out how to use it
The internet and wifi
My phone and computer
My new favorite slippers and sweatpants
and my hubby (yes, again. He is Amazing) who takes me Pokemon hunting each night
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. Suddenly, so many things become so little when we realize how blessed and lucky we are.
Joyce Giraud

Me Monday: Holiday Traditions

Ah Christmas, the most “wonderful time of year”.
Are you a “traditional” family? Mom, dad, kids and fur babies?
Or a blended family? Step parent, parent, step siblings?
How about a single parent family?
A huge family with in laws, outlaws, steps this way and that way?
The holidays have sure changed from the time of It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street. Now we have The Santa Claus and Bad Santa. Cartoons aren’t like the classics; Charlie Brown’s Christmas, Frosty or The Grinch. Now we have The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Polar Express and Prep & Landing. We need to fit in everyone’s holiday schedules. Who works what? When will we have the kids? When do we need to be at the in laws?
Many years ago, it came from a letter from my father: He knew I was growing and now with husband and child, things wouldn’t be the same. He “gave me permission” to have my own family traditions. By giving me permission, it made it easier to not feel guilty about not being somewhere. We scheduled our Christmas’s earlier or many times on New Years Eve, that way we got to have time to be together instead of HI!!! blah blah blah, gobble gobble gobble, open presents, thank you and off to the next stop. As the four of us girls grew up, got married (and divorced) and had kids (and step kids), the holidays became overwhelming again.
We got to the point where we had the kids write down their Christmas wishes and to make sure the wishes weren’t on anyone else’s lists. Then we had to decide which grandparent got what wish. We had family traditions that were over ruled by other’s traditions. Our kids were tired and over stimulated at the end of the day and when they got bigger, they just got bored.
When our kids grew up and out of the house, got jobs, married and had kids, we made some changes. I gave the kids the same “permission” my father had many years ago and we didn’t want to be the cause of crying kids, tired parents or over worked grandparents (B and I). We have our Christmas (usually) the weekend before the actual day. We get to have them relaxed; we get to feed them; we get to see the smiles on the kids faces instead of the tears from being over tired (OK, we sometimes get the tears too). We talk, play games (Nerf guns were the best until we broke out the silly string), we make memories instead of minutes of just saying hi!!
Does it bother me we are unable to celebrate on the actual holiday? Not as much as it bothers me I don’t get to see my kids and grandkids enough throughout the year. I have been able to work in days with my son where all we do is make cookies…That kid can rock out Ting a Lings, Rice Krispie treats and chocolate chip cookies! I have had days were mom and I have take a weekend to bake cookies…way too many cookies! Those are the memories I love.
Making Cake Bite Snowmen
The one tradition I truly miss is with my grandma. When my son was very little she and I would get in the car about 9 am, take off to the mall to shop, eat and then go look at Christmas lights. My kiddo would sleep most of the day; it was like a 10 hour day some times. And my grandma was just 5 ft and 125 lbs…but such a trooper! When she and the kiddo got older, we would tour the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. I haven’t had a Christmas tree in about three years, but I always always always have Christmas lights.
What are your family traditions? Would you like to share?
Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values.
Thomas S. Monson