Friday, January 30, 2009

101 in 1001 Update

DONE!

43. Learn to make my own smoothies

64. Learn to make bread using an oven (not a breadmaker)

70. Save aluminum and plastics for my cousin to pick up and recycle


Three more down. Sadly, I have no pictures to prove this because my camera is dead. The smoothies are great. The bread was beautiful but it had very little flavor so I'll have to try a different kind of flour. It rose perfectly, though. I even scored it so it looked like a seashell. Man I wish my camera was working. My box of plastic bottles is overflowing, so I'll be sending them home with my cousin soon.

This weekend, I'm also going to see if my cousin can show me how to hook up my wireless router and cable, so hopefully I'll be able to cross this off the list too.

My next post will be my 100th on Blogger!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dear Mr. Spider:

First, I would like to extend to you my sincere appreciation for your life-long effort to rid the world of pestilence. I, for one, am grateful.

However...

I don't feel that this gives you the right to share my shower. No offense, but I don't find you very attractive, and even if I did, I prefer to shower alone. No really...I do. Trust me on this.

So I hope that you weren't too upset with me when I smashed you into oblivion. And if at all possible, please shoot a little message to your spider cousins to get out of my kitchen, or they will soon join you. I'm sure you understand.

Love,
Kelli

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The scoop on Periodic Paralysis

So yes, I've been having "attacks" of Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis again. I was diagnosed in 1998 when I fell completely crippled and spent two weeks in the hospital. I am able to use my arms and legs at the moment, thank God, but it is very painful and something that I had to address quickly or I would no doubt land in the hospital again. Went to the doc today, where I was prescribed several things including a "critical" prescription for potassium chloride that my pharmacy had to fill asap. Potassium chloride sounds harmless enough, but in all actuality, it is what is used in lethal injection. Potassium is an electrolyte that controls all smooth muscles, including the heart. If you have too much, you die. If you don't have enough, you die. But first you suffer in agony with muscle paralysis, which is what I am occasionally faced with. In my case, although I have enough potassium in my blood stream, it is not being transferred into my cells to be used for muscle function. It is merely a slow leak into the cells, so my muscle function is very weak and has the potential to stop altogether. When the smooth muscles become paralyzed by lack of electricity (or too much in the case of lethal injection), things like breathing and swallowing are not possible. Neither is heart function. So...there's your science lesson of the day.

I'm back on potassium chloride daily. It's about the mEq. of 850 mg, if I'm not mistaken. Whatever my cells don't accept are eventually flushed out by the kidneys, except for the fact that I'm on a potassium sparing blood pressure pill. Oops. No biggie though. The doc is aware, and it is something that I will have to keep an eye on.

Other plans for keeping HKPP at bay: No exercize whatsoever, and a very low carb, low sugar diet. That's doable. Except that I'm also supposed to be on a low cholesterol and low protein diet. Yeah, not possible to do all of the above. I've checked. So I get the pleasure of CHOOSING. Save the muscles, thus saving my life...or save my kidneys, thus saving my life. Choices are usually a good thing, but in this case, it kinda sucks.

I choose to save my muscles, because uncontrolled HKPP is certain death, and it is incredibly painful. Imagine having a charlie horse in your entire body. That's pretty much what an attack feels like. It is in no way tolerable or acceptable, so I will do everything in my power to prevent it. As for my kidneys, they are currently functioning well despite the stones, infections, and recent obstruction resulting in surgery. Protein is often partially responsible for stones, infections, etc., therefore any kidney doc in their right mind would tell me to limit my protein intake in order to keep my kidneys from eventually self-destructing. But I can't, because there would really be nothing left to eat. And not eating leads to more HKPP attacks, as some of you read HERE. So...compromise is necessary.

The link on Wikipedia is one of the best explanations of the condition that I've read online. They acknowledge a lot of symptoms that other "medical" sites don't, and I think that's important. The word needs to get out about this condition. I spent eight years of my life in agony being mistreated by doctors, family, and "friends" who claimed that I was crazy, exaggerating, faking, a hyperchondriac, etc. I lived a sad existence because of that. Many of those people, I've gone back to and made my condition known. One person apologized. The rest had too much pride.

But my teenage years are behind me now, thank God, and I've made it to 30. It's still hard to believe that I'm telling people that I'm in my 30's now...I almost want to say 29 and holding (LOL) but at the same time I know that I am very lucky that I made it this far. There were so many moments when I could have dropped dead. So many. You just don't know. But God chose to sustain me, and I have to believe that there is a good reason for that. So I embrace my 30-ness, and in two months, I'll celebrate 31.

I guess that's all for now.

Transition to the mandatory low carb, low sugar, low cholesterol, low everything but fiber diet.

Whole grain bread - check.
Whole wheat flour - check.
Whole wheat pancake mix - check.
Whole grain tortillas - check.
Wheat crackers - check.
Beans and Peas - check.
Hummus - check.

Fiber overload - inevitable.

Cranky Kelli - definitely. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Under Attack

I am currently having an attack of Periodic Paralysis. I was diagnosed in 1998 and have been dealing with the condition off and on since age 12, way before my diagnosis. I am in a great deal of pain, and my muscles are very stiff and weak. I have permanent weakness as a result of the condition, but what is happening at the moment is considered an acute attack. Please say a prayer for me if you will. I would appreciate it. I'm seeing the doctor on Friday.

Here is a good explanation of Periodic Paralysis on Wikipedia

Monday, January 19, 2009

Behold the yummy-ness!



Cheddar Taters

3 or 4 medium potatoes, peeled and boiled until soft
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 tbsp minced garlic or garlic powder (optional, I put garlic in everything)
salt and pepper to taste

This is a no-brainer...just boil the potatoes and mash them in a bowl with the other ingredients. If the hot potatoes don't completely melt the cheese, pop it in the microwave for a minute. Awesome side dish...serves 2-3. Double it to serve 4-6.



And...drum roll please...AMISH FRIENDSHIP BREAD!




Ain't it purdy! That's crumbled cinnamon sugar on the top. I was so nervous about this because I didn't know if I was doing it right, but it turned out yummy! UNFORTUNATELY, I do not have the entire recipe. It starts with a fermented batter that supposedly only the Amish know the ingredients to. I was given a ziploc bag of the batter, along with instructions on what to add to it on the 10th day, etc...flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, milk, oil...mix well and bake for an hour on 325. Yeah...sorry that this isn't a real recipe. I'm just rambling. But heck, google it and see if the secrets are posted somewhere. You never know!

It is basically a cinnamon cake...soft and crumbly, light, not too rich...very nice. My uncle had some with me, and I'll be taking a big chunk of it to my parents tomorrow.

So I can mark number 64 off of my 101 in 1001 list! I'll be trying my hand at a homemade bread bowl this week too so stay tuned!

101 in 1001 Review

This past week, I failed miserably at organizing myself on MS Outlook. I set it up the week before, and haven't opened it since. I will have to see if there's a way to make it come up automatically when I start my computer. I also need to update my Bob Ross class and student info on Excel, pronto.

This week, I will learn to make my own smoothies, and attempt Amish Friendship bread.

Yay!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Can't. Move. My. Body.

It takes every ounce of strength I have to make it through a class, but with the exception of one no show, today's workshop was a success. Every student signed up for the next class, and three of them signed up for multiple classes. I took my students down the Bob Ross aisle of the store and showed them everything that they need to make this method of painting work, as well as a few extra Bob Ross products, brushes, etc. that I personally recommend. They ordered them on the spot. These people are serious about doing this. The store is happy. I'm happy. In excruciating pain and can barely walk, but as usual the good outweighs the bad. I was in tears on the way home thinking about how all of this came to be, and what a blessing it is to be able to do it. I'm financially broke and barely physically capable of handling the work, but somehow it is still worth it. I continue to look for a second job and intend to complete my college education, but I hope that teaching Bob Ross workshops will remain a constant in my life. It is the one thing that I hope to do forever.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Winter has finally arrived on the Gulf Coast, peeps. It's a wind chill of TEN tonight. What the heck, dude? This is rare for us, as we almost never go below 25 degrees. Coooooooold!

I know, I need to shut up. I realize that many of you out there are experiencing single and negative digits. I honestly can't imagine it! Hope you are all warm and cozy. As for me, I'm about to put these numb toes under my blankie, pronto!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT: I AM OLD!



My little brother Seth is FIFTEEN years old today! I was almost an adult when he was born, and now he's in high school. I can't believe that in 365 days, he'll be taller than me and licensed to drive...not his four-wheeler, mind you...A CAR!!! SAY WHAT?!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dead as a dog gone doornail

My camera, that is. I was gonna share another pic/recipe, but it will have to wait till I can afford the lithium batteries that my little HP requires. From all the batteries that I've bought over the past two years, I could have bought another camera. But it would need batteries too, so...I guess I have no point.

I had a very, very disturbing time Sunday morning as well as this morning. Multiple nightmares as well as waking up on several occasions unable to breathe. It seems to be getting worse, and I suppose I will have to eventually go back to the sleep lab for another evaluation. Sleep Apnea runs on both sides of my family...lucky me...and I've been having symptoms of it for the past few years. It's getting scary, though, and I know that I will eventually have to find a solution. Just don't have the funds to pursue it right now, and don't know when I will. Where the nightmares are concerned, those are just ridiculous and need to CEASE. Had I known that I would be regularly haunted by my (now ended) marriage, I would have never gotten married to begin with. But that's only one of many reasons why I shouldn't have in the first place. Now I know. Lesson painfully learned. I wish my subconscious would move on.

Most of my dreams are dumb, pointless, and sometimes funny. They rarely make any sense. I also rarely remember much about them within hours of waking. It's the bad ones...the realistic, reoccurring ones that have a way of sticking with me, and frankly, I don't think that's very fair. If I had my way, dreams wouldn't exist at all. I'd much rather get some real sleep - total anesthesia they call it - instead of my mind writing bizzare fiction stories half the night and waking up exhausted. I mean, really. Give a girl a break, would ya?

In other news, I've applied for more jobs, one with a church, and I hope that I will hear from them. According to their website, they are involved in community service, and that is something close to my heart. I'd love to plug into a church in the area that is reaching out. I definitely need to get out of this bed and do some good soon. My health and finances are holding me back a great deal, but I hope and pray that will change.

Speaking of community service, I have decided on my major in the adult degree program at USA. It is a Bachelor of Arts in...drum roll please...Community Service! Ha! I didn't know there was such a thing, but there is, and this degree allows me to choose three or four disciplines to focus on as opposed to having a major and a minor. The adult degrees are more specific to a student's career goals. So I have chosen two disciplines that are definite: Studio Art (drawing, painting, ceramics, graphics) and Therapeutic Recreation (focusing on indoor recreation for the purpose of health and wellness). These two disciplines will allow me to be a)An Artist, b)An Art Therapist, and c)A Recreational Therapist. I could work in an art studio, mental health facility, retirement community, park or campground, resort, non-profit organization, nursing home, youth ministry, children's home...all kinds of options. My third discipline, I am still debating on. I have it narrowed down to Leisure Services verses Health and Safety. I'll talk about these two later on.

So it all boils down to money. I am going to apply for financial aid as soon as my W2s are in, and make sure that they know where I stand. If it's not paid in full, I can't go. It's that simple. They claim to have tons of assistance available, so hopefully they can make this a reality for me. So far, they have been very nice and helpful, and I can tell that they really care about me being a student there. HUGE difference in attitude between them and the other schools I've visited lately. It's always nice when you know that you're not just a number, right?

Well it's midnight and I've rambled enough. Sweet dreams to one and all.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A 101 in 1001 Review

On occasion, I will revisit my list and mark the ones that are in progress or done.

84. Schedule a meeting with a career advisor at a local college

DONE. And I will be going back sometime this week to talk again.

34. Utilize my library privileges by going there and READING STUFF

KINDA DONE. I did this the other day, but ended up not checking anything out. I'll go back soon.

25. Take supplements daily

WORKING ON IT. I have them on the kitchen counter so I can't miss them. I've only skipped a couple days.

26. Use Listerine daily

DONE.



Others are still in the beginning stages (the chicken cookbook, recycling plastics), while many haven't been addressed yet. Goals for the next couple months are to take supplements every day, go back to the library, drink 64 oz water a day (I do sometimes but not every day), make thank you cards (I owe these to a lot of people...gotta git'r done), start my weekly devotionals, and put all unused beauty products on ebay. I'm sure there are others but I'm falling asleep so I'll get back to ya.

Tagged: Eight things about yours truly

1. Throughout high school, I helped run a printshop. LOVED. IT.

2. I made a D in junior high school art.

3. I have a perfectly oval birthmark on my left leg.

4. I see 20/60 to 20/80 with corrective lenses. I'm blind without them.

5. I used to be an OCD hand washer, but recognized it and brought it back down to a reasonable level.

6. However, I do have a passionate love for Germ-X. :-D

7. I often dream about complete strangers, and wonder if those people actually exist.

8. I can't have kids, but hope to be a foster mom or mentor later in life.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Frustrated and Thankful

It appears that I need to look for a new location to teach in Mississippi. My class was canceled again today, after setting up and bringing refreshments and everything. I can't keep losing money like this. I'm going to have to rethink my business there, and hopefully get plugged into a new outlet. I realize that the Coast is still recovering from Katrina, but it doesn't give the powers that be the right to lie or simply not do their job. This is what is happening now, and I can no longer accept it.

So the search is on for a new location in Jackson or Harrison County...preferably Ocean Springs, D'Iberville, or Biloxi. I'm going to talk to the manager at HL in Biloxi again to see if he will allow a demonstration and give me a Saturday in March. Until then, I hope things will blossom in Mobile. I'm thankful that I was given the opportunity to teach there.

On the homefront, I have my voice again, but still sickly and spending time in bed. The meds are working well, however, and my throat no longer feels like a pool of molten lava. It has been reduced to cat scratches, and I expect that it will be back to normal in another week or so. Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

An unexpectedly busy week

I only got an hour nap last night, but thankfully got a couple of things accomplished anyway. I called a dental office about a job that was posted in the paper, and they asked me to bring my resume and a letter telling them why they should hire me. I'm not one to build myself up much, but that was a heck of a cover letter, lemme tell ya. The job is exactly what I have been looking for and I hope that they will consider me.

While in Mobile, I decided to visit University of South Alabama, where I met with an advisor about their adult degree programs. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered how versatile the programs are, and I am almost sure that I have already decided on the perfect one for me. :) Some great news is that all of my credits will transfer from Bishop State to USA, even though two of them will be listed as electives instead of academics...at least they count for something! That's a relief. What is also a relief is that I don't have to take Speech again...THANK YOU GOD...and the minimum math requirement is Finite Math instead of College Algebra. Another thing that I thought was cool is that I can take CLEP tests for my history credits, which will allow me to get the credit without having to take the class! Hooray! I absolutely plan to do that. Based on my [extreme lack of] income, I should receive a full grant next time, God willing. So if all goes as planned, I will be a full time academic student again in the fall!

Tomorrow is my doc appointment. I didn't think it would ever get here. I've been absolutely miserable, and God bless that poor lady who had to put up with my coughing and almost non-existent voice today. I will be spending another long day in Mobile, as I am giving a friend a ride to and from work tomorrow, and have to get up at 4:30 in the morning! I'm going to pack a couple of Kashi snacks in the car as well as a pillow (if I can remember), and nap at the old house in Mobile before and after my doc appointment. Then I'll pick up my friend at work at 4:30 and take him back home.

I'm looking forward to getting back to teaching this Saturday. I wrote my trainer at the Bob Ross Art Workshop to give him an update (ok ok I mostly ramble about wishing I could come back there), and he and my friends there at the shop are doing well and are excited about the new year. I also heard from my friend/classmate Terry from Ontario, Canada, who said that he just mailed me a gift. How nice! I just love everyone that I trained with last year. We all had the best time together, and it makes me happy when we keep in touch.

It's almost midnight so I better try to get a few hours of sleep before hitting the road. Wish me luck that the weather will clear up (flash flood going on at the moment) and that my body will hang in there throughout the day. Thanks!

One year ago today...

I was looking out my window at the sunrise, with the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse shining in the distance. I was having my cheereos and wondering what the day would bring. I had never been to the Atlantic coast before, and had only heard of New Smyrna Beach because Weather Channel Meteorologist Jim Cantore camped out there during a hurricane a few years ago. Never did I imagine that I would find myself there, making a childhood dream come true and falling in love with Florida. I only live an hour from the Florida state line, but this place was different. I was comfortable. I felt like I belonged. I wanted to stay. I wish I could go back. I don't know if I'll ever make it back there again. I hope I do. If I had my health and was able to work full time, I'd possibly be living there now. Or not, now that I think of it. If I hadn't been ill and resigned from the hospital, I would not have been given the opportunity to go in the first place. Everything happens for a reason and affects everything else that happens in your life from then on. That's what they say, anyway. Whoever "they" are.

I think back to one year ago today, and looking at that lighthouse in the distance, I prayed that it would be the beginning of a new life. And so it was. A life of ups and downs no different than before, but with new eyes. That lighthouse represents a drastic change in my life. A light in the midst of the darkness...determination...perseverance...and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cough gag choke hiccup...

My condition is moving in the wrong direction. I was up all night (thus the new and very much improved layout that you see here), finally dozing off around dawn and waking up a few hours later to aching ears and a bout of laryngitis. I'll be heading around the corner to the drug store shortly for more meds. I hope the doc will give me something to knock it out on Wednesday. That's going to be a long appointment, as my needs list has grown since developing this fabulous little round of Bronchitis.

Still looking for work, and called an office today about a position that would be perfect for me. No answer both times I called, and the second time I called, a recording came on with a man's voice that said "If you would like to leave a message, please try your call again later." That statement really cracked me up...just doesn't make a lot of sense, does it? Anyway, it didn't let me leave a message, so I'll try again tomorrow.

I'm getting anxious about teaching this Saturday. I hope that I'll be feeling much better by then. I'll be teaching Blue Winter, finally, and I hope my students enjoy it as much as I do. It's a lovely scene and a perfect painting for practicing snowy hills and happy trees.

I've got chronic hiccups right now and considering that my throat feels like an erupting volcano, they are not at all pleasant. Not that they ever are, but they are especially unpleasant at the moment. I don't know what it is about me and hiccups. When I get them, they are always severe and reoccuring throughout the day. One time, I had hiccups for 13 hours straight. I was crying by the end of that day. My mom told me that I had hiccups in the womb on a regular basis, and would get mad and start kicking every time I had them.

I feel like getting mad and kicking right now. Darn hiccups. Goooooo awaaaaay!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Comfort Food



Chicken Spaghetti

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite size pieces
7 or 8 oz whole grain spaghetti (usually amounts to half a box)
28 oz (2 14 oz jars) Ragu traditional sauce
1/3 yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup shredded mozzerella
Pepper to taste

Boil spaghetti al dente and drain. I grilled the chicken while I boiled the pasta.

In a sauce pan, simmer Ragu, onion, garlic, pepper, and parmesan cheese for 8-10 minutes.

Combine chicken, spaghetti, and sauce in glass baking dish (8 x 11 or 9 x 13 works), top with cheddar and mozzerella, and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves at least four to six people. Double it in a roasting pan to serve up to a dozen.


This was my first attempt with chicken spaghetti, bringing my new recipes in 2009 to two. I'm off to a good start. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Has anyone seen the right side of my brain?

Thought I would sit up and try following a drawing lesson online.

It was awful. No, really...HIDEOUS. It went in the trash.

I'm not giving up, but man...I'm just not getting it. At all.


In other news...

Blessing of the weekend is ICE CREAM. My throat is on FIRE. I would eat ice cream all day long if I could. Wednesday's doc appointment can't get here fast enough.

Time for some nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, so I can rest medicine. Love to all and to all a nighty night.

Bummer

Woke up sick. Sore throat and nagging cough.

Ugh.

I was gonna demo today at HL, but called to let them know that I wouldn't be there today. Will see about next Friday.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Soup Part Deux, Chicken & Dumplings

It turns out that the Cream of Spinach soup develops a sharper flavor by the next day, which tells me that the parmesan/romano blend DOES make a difference. Voila!

So today, I did crock pot chicken & dumplings. It is so easy and kid friendly.

1 Boneless, skinless chicken breast (I used tenderloins, actually - three large ones)
1 small can cream of chicken soup (I bought cream of chicken w/herbs...Campbells)
1 small can chicken broth
1 five-count can of frozen biscuits...the less "grand" the better in my opinion
2/3 cup water

Combine soup, water, broth, and chicken in crock pot.
Put on low setting and go about your day.
Once the chicken is cooked all the way through, open biscuits and break into thirds.
Drop biscuit pieces into crock pot one by one and stir.
Turn crock pot on high, stirring every 15 minutes for 45-60 minutes.

The biscuits will plump (like a dumpling, obviously), so make sure your crock pot doesn't overflow. The longer you leave it, the better it gets, but this really doesn't take more than 2 hours from start to finish.

Serves 2-4 people.

101 in 1001

January 1, 2009 – September 30, 2011

1. Drink 64 oz water per day
2. Learn to sew
3. Make blankets and pillows for charity
4. Make 100 homemade cards for the troops per year
5. Learn to draw
6. Put a significant dent in college education
7. Obtain Bob Ross florals certification
8. Learn acrylic painting
9. Have a booth at a fair or festival
10. Organize friend and family snail mail addresses, birthdays, etc.
11. Organize a schedule with help from MS Outlook
12. Clean out all email inboxes
13. Develop my chicken recipe book and prepare for publishing
14. Try 40 new (already published) recipes (not counting my own book)
15. Organize my craft drawers
16. Clean out my car, including vacuum and shampoo
17. Do an abstract painting
18. Reach goal of 145 lbs
19. Do physical therapy at home twice a week
20. Go to a Troy game with my sister(s)
21. Keep in touch with loved ones via internet or snail mail
22. Send out a thank you card when I receive a gift
23. Limit coca-colas to no more than one per week
24. Check cholesterol once a year
25. Take supplements daily
26. Use Listerine daily
27. Take a Spanish class
28. Visit Mobile Museum of Art
29. Make Christmas cards (since I do own a Christmas rubber stamp – duh Kelli)
30. Eliminate all but one credit card
31. Organize my hard files…bills, receipts, mail, etc.
32. Go through closet twice a year and donate to Penelope House
33. When able, prepare food in larger quantities and freeze for reheating later
34. Utilize my library privileges by going there and READING STUFF
35. Read a devotional or Bible study at least once a week
36. Finish at least two manuscripts
37. Learn enough HTML to make my website look the way I want it to
38. Get involved in a local church or ministry
39. Write an article on nutrition or alternative medicine
40. Organize my computer files
41. Submit a painting or photograph in an art show
42. Get friends together for a game night
43. Learn to make my own smoothies
44. Learn to make guacamole
45. Start walking with a pedometer
46. Get back into the habit of documenting my meals
47. Keep track of my calorie intake
48. Make gourmet chocolates with Tyler
49. Cook for Uncle Melvin
50. Make Lemon Blossoms for Aunt Dema
51. Learn how to make my family’s infamous gumbo
52. Sort through storage boxes and get rid of anything that isn’t useful or sentimental
53. Finish paintings for the Chicago Tribute charity show
54. Attend an Alabama Crimson Tide football game
55. Do a VLOG for my website in each season of the year in 2009
56. Attend the annual Mobile Chili Cookoff for the American Cancer Society
57. Attend the 2009 Mobile Chocolate Festival for Penelope House
58. Attend the annual Greek Fest for Penelope House
59. Paint with Bob’s 3 Hour Workshop DVD
60. Find more icons for my LiveJournal
61. Donate VCR and movie(s) to Penelope House
62. Become a baby name consultant on LivePerson
63. Learn to handle raw shrimp without feeling queasy
64. Learn to make bread using an oven (not a breadmaker)
65. Do-over of the corn chowder (and don’t burn it this time)
66. Freeze or give away leftovers to avoid wasting
67. Put all unused beauty products on ebay (it’s not like I ever wear them anymore)
68. Have someone show me how to hook up my wireless router and cable TV (because I am shameful for not knowing how)
69. Manage sugar intake to the point where I have no diabetic-related symptoms
70. Save aluminum and plastics for my cousin to pick up and recycle
71. Put aside cash for emergency situations
72. Find a way to pay for the renewal of my flickr account and domain at ugottafriend.com when the time comes
73. Set up my Bob Ross business on Excel to keep track of everything
74. Get every photo that I own uploaded and organized online
75. Make my own hypoallergenic bath products
76. Try a chia herb garden
77. Learn how to use my Pampered Chef cookie press
78. Write an essay about mental abuse
79. Have someone take video of me doing a painting demo
80. Get a better camera
81. Frame my best paintings for future public showings
82. Participate in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) each November
83. Post wanted ad for items for Penelope House on Craigslist and Freecycle
84. Schedule a meeting with a career advisor at a local college
85. Post a self-help or helpful tips blog once a month in 2009.
86. Donate a meal to a family who has lost a loved one.
87. Research cheese (yes, you read that right)
88. Make all Christmas gifts by hand
89. Make birthday cards (since I DO have the rubber stamps for it, after all)
90. Add more homemade stuff to my BluJay Charity Store
91. Post something funny on my website every week
92. Discover something new in my neck of the woods each year
93. Start using coupons
94. Stock up on frozen food when it’s not hurricane season
95. Stock up on non-perishable food during hurricane season
96. Check on my friends and family, online and offline, more regularly
97. Learn how to file my own taxes so I don’t have to pay a preparer
98. Download musicmatch jukebox to organize my music CDs and mp3 files
99. Write four reviews (food, product, music, etc) each year
100. Document Pascagoula’s recovery post Hurricane Katrina
101. Count my blessings

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Getting a head start on my New Year's Resolutions

I started out the new year with a new original recipe. I have been trying my best to incorporate green veggies into my diet, and decided to try making creamed spinach. I had never tried it before and had no clue what I was doing, but my experiment resulted in a nice, flavorful Cream of Spinach Soup! Not only was it acceptable, it was good! Yaaaaaaay for successful experiments in the kitchen!

Cream of Spinach Soup

1 box frozen spinach
1 block fat free cream cheese
1 small container light sour cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan/romano
1/2 cup mozzerella
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 small can chicken broth
Salt, pepper, onion powder to taste

Thaw spinach in microwave or on stove
Soften cream cheese
Combine spinach, cream cheese, sour cream, chicken broth, garlic, salt, and pepper in an oven safe dish and bake uncovered on 350 for 20 min (I'm sure this can be done on the stove, but I chose to try out the new oven!)
Remove from oven and stir in all cheeses. Return to oven for 5-10 minutes.

You really can't taste the cheese at all, so you may be able to omit it. All of the flavors merge to create a creamy chicken-flavored broth. Was good! I shared it with relatives around the corner and saved just enough to have tomorrow for lunch. For dinner tomorrow, I'm doing crock pot chicken n dumplings. Mmmmmm.

I've recently discovered 101 in 1001, which is 101 goals to complete in 1001 days. I sat up all night trying to come up with a list, and did pretty well...I'm stuck on number 78 though. I'll post the list as soon as it's done, but just wanted to mention it because today is day one!