Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Want Wednesday: September 29, 2010

There are clearly some bigger things I want right at the moment, but that doesn't stop a girl from a little frivolous wishing & window-shopping, right?

**I Want these Halloween Stacking Boxes to add to my Halloween decorations. I have so many pumpkins, but not really much else to balance it! These would be perfect.

**So would these! From the second I first saw the sneak peek, these bottle tea light holders have been on my "I Want" list!

**And now that I know this color works on me, I Want this dress, though I have no idea where I would ever wear it. The last dress I wore was for Alison's wedding, over a year ago. I think maybe I've been thinking a bit too much about my...inherent girl-ish-ness over the past week. =P



I crave a room filled with sunlight.

I crave cool breezes.

I crave quiet.

I crave Food & Wine Festival.

I crave laughing til my stomach muscles ache with the people I love best.

I crave ice cream.

I crave Autumn. And apple cider. And wrapping myself in cozy blankets.

I crave my own space.

I crave looking at photos, recalling the memories, reminiscing.

I crave the beginning of baseball season.

I crave a front porch, a backyard, an upright freezer, and a washer and dryer I don't have to feed handfuls of quarters.

I crave winding hilly country roads.

I crave new music that sings to my soul.

I crave a creative spark.

I crave a walk down a peaceful familiar road, under trees just showing the first signs of Autumn color, with golden sunset light giving them a glow.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Right Now: September 28, 2010

Outside my window... there is a bird feeder that has not been accosted by the band of traveling raccoons since their last pinata party, but every time I hear a suspicious sound, I have to look.

I am thinking... that I'll be missing my Sox something fierce next week.

I am thankful for... all the support & concern I have been shown in the last week.

From the kitchen... tonight was BLTs. So simple but so tasty!

I am wearing... black yoga pants & my big red comfy Red Sox t-shirt.

I am creating... a plan of attack for Food & Wine Festival! Yum!

I am going... to move over to the bedroom soon to watch the end of the Sox game, because the living room DVR will be recording both Parenthood and The Good Wife at 10pm.

I am reading... some emails that have been collecting in my inbox.

I am hoping... for a continued sense of peace.

I am hearing... Remy & Don's laughter. I will miss their gigglefests, as I do each long baseball-less Winter.

Around the house... are clothes that I refuse to put into the dryer, so I hang them to air-dry. I really should put them away.

One of my favorite things... is new magazines.

I don't understand... the silent treatment.

I wish... the Yankees had lost tonight.

A few plans for the rest of the week... enjoying the final few days of the 2010 baseball season, catching up on some more new tv shows, and heading up to WDW on Saturday to watch Troy's sister & nieces run in the Half Marathon, then attending the late night after party in Epcot.

A picture to share...


Monday, September 27, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: September 27, 2010

Monday: Roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes with gravy, and steamed asparagus.
Tuesday: BLTs.
Wednesday: Leftover turkey sandwich & some potato cakes. Next week, I really want to get back to trying out a new recipe, but I figured this week's goal was just to have a menu planned again. Start small.
Thursday: This time, we really will get to the Scalloped Potatoes with Ham.
Friday: Tilapia (cooked in packets on the grill), steamed broccoli and some wild rice.
Saturday: We don't have a plan yet. We will be at WDW, watching Troy's sister & nieces run in a half marathon, so the meal plan is presently a little sketchy.
Sunday: Leftovers.

Last week was an exercise in adaptability. Monday stayed to plan. Tuesday, I just wasn't hungry very much so I ate what I could. Wednesday, I had lunch at Animal Kingdom (Tusker House--buffet with African flavors--very good) and then dinner was just leftover spaghetti. Thursday, we finally decided on chicken thighs with a barbecue glaze, some noodles in a butter sauce & some corn. By Friday, we'd decided that we were on ham & potato overload, so we went out for Chinese. Saturday brought brats on the grill and some mac & cheese. On Sunday, I had piles of leftovers to clean up, so I didn't have to really cook all day and I *still* had enough for lunch on Monday! Hoping we get back on the menu track this week. I missed it.

The logo at the top will link you to more menu plans!


The silence tells stories.

First, it was quiet here because I was busy. My mother was in Florida for two weeks & so we did some touristy things. And some local exploring. And she came for dinner. I just didn't have the energy to make myself sort out thoughts & photos into neat little blog posts.

But then it got quiet because Something Happened. And when Something Happens, I tend to clam up. I'm the introspective sort, and I turn inward when I have to work through Something That Happens. I process internally, and then, bit by bit, I begin revealing the Something to my most trusted confidantes.

I'm in a better frame of mind now, thanks in no small part to My People. I had posted, as my status on Facebook, a week ago: "...has without a solitary doubt, the *best* support system on the planet. The speed & precision with which they organize & circle the wagons when I need them amazes & humbles me. I am richly blessed with people who love me." This could not be more true.

Let me say it again: This could not be more true.

My People rally around me. They mobilize & they form a wall of protection before I even know what it is I really need. They say & do the most incredible things, all the right things, the things I most need to hear or to have done for me, things which I hold dear to my heart like treasures & they are too precious to share out loud. You know how people so often say, under difficult circumstances, that they don't know what to do or say? Well, not My People. Whether they are conscious of it or otherwise, I couldn't have laid out a plan in black & white for them to follow that would have topped the way they came through for me.

I have debated whether or not I would share this story of myself. I am intensely private & this is... very personal. Had it not been for My People, I can assure you I would likely not be sharing this chapter at all. But they have made it ok. They have bolstered my strength when I faltered. And they continue to go above & beyond. If anything validates my faith, it is having My People come through for me. It is by no accident that each of them are part of my world, of this I am certain. They are each gifts and a very certain component of the promise that all that I need will be provided for me.

I have what is called a fibroid. If you don't know what that is, I will leave you to exercise the power of Google or whatever your search engine of choice may be. For those of you not interested in looking it up, I will just leave it as "it isn't life-threatening nor does it have the inclination to turn into anything more ominous." It is, for all intents & purposes, a nuisance. My doctor discovered this fibroid back in March. He decided to keep an eye on it & we scheduled a follow-up ultrasound for last week. At which point, my doctor determined that the fibroid had increased in size enough that it should be removed.

This was all fine & dandy. Ok, well, maybe not fine & dandy, per se, but it was not cause for any great alarm or distress on my part. While I was, of course, hoping for the best case scenario, I was fully prepared to hear that I would need surgery. I'd even mentally prepared myself for the fact that I might not be a good candidate for laparoscopic surgery & that an open incision might be the way to go. So when he told me that it would need to come out, I would say that I handled the news fairly well. (Further substantiated by the fact that his exact response was "Wow, you took that very well.") Even the fact that he ruled out the much less invasive laparoscopic surgery.

What I was *not* prepared for was what came next. The part when he told me the chances were high, given all the delicate & necessary parts & functions all around the location of the fibroid, that he would need to work to save those at the likely expense of my (optional) uterus. (Yes, he said optional. Which, yeah, it is...but STILL.)

I can't say I was very strong at that point. Oh, I was a wall of steel on the outside. I nodded my head & listened to what he had to say. My voice didn't crack. There wasn't even a tear to blink back, much less shed. But the second I was home, it hit me. I think I felt every emotion on the spectrum. I am not even 34 yet. I am healthy--even despite this nuisance who has taken up residence in my abdominal area, I have *zero* symptoms, and had I not seen the ultrasound images with my own eyes, might be inclined to think my doctor had lost his mind. How could he possibly be telling me that the odds were decidedly *not* in my favor of ever carrying a child? Sure, that possibility exists until it is actually said & done but this is far more definitive, and how did I go from realistically optimistic to utterly hopeless in under an hour about something I had not even considered?

As it turns out, as I let My People in one by one, each of them offering support in their own way, I began to sort my emotions into piles. I slowly voiced my fears & my concerns & the jumble of thought fragments whirling through my mind, and together we began to untangle them for me.

The final consensus is that I won't be taking my doctor's word for it this time. He is a good doctor at what he does, but I'm going to place this in the hands of a doctor or doctors who are more familiar with my specific issues. Specialists with knowledge of alternative options & the latest treatments, with skills & tools & years' worth of experience. Doctors with the ability to form a plan that increases my chances of coming through this with all my original parts intact, regardless of how much cutting needs to be done to my person.

Why am I opening up about such a personal matter here on the internet, which, let's be honest, is *way* beyond my comfort zone? (Ha. So far beyond that my usual comfort zone is that dot in the distance at the edge of the horizon when you have a window seat on an airplane & you're squinting to see the furthest possible point where the sky & the earth meet.) Because I've learned a valuable lesson: Do not just take someone's word for it. We want to believe our doctors know exactly what is best for us. But they are humans. They cannot know everything about everything. So while they may know what's best for us within the realm of their knowledge, there may come a point when they have exhausted their knowledge base & it's time to seek out a second opinion--and it is the rare gem (I'm lucky enough to know one) that will admit when it's time to call in someone else. It's time to ask questions, to educate yourself, to advocate for your body & your health. I could have been a bobblehead about this. I could have numbly allowed myself to be carried along the current. And I could have been left with a lot of regrets & what-ifs. Except that My People got me sorted out & reminded me that we don't just make drastic changes without a whole lot of consideration.

I don't know what the outcome will be at this point. It could play out precisely the way my doctor described in that room a week ago tomorrow. But if it does, I can now rest assured that this decision was informed, that it was made by someone with extensive knowledge & skills because it truly was in my best interests, and not because perhaps I allowed someone with only the vaguest old-school understanding of my situation to perform a surgery I am not convinced he had much confidence in doing to begin with.

I have to believe that while I go quiet when I'm working through the thoughts, and that's ok, it's how I do it, that there comes a time when the silence does more harm than good. The silence has its place, but sometimes, so does telling the story.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: September 20, 2010

Monday: Ham steaks, boiled potatoes and cauliflower with cheese.
Tuesday: Spaghetti & meatballs with garlic bread sticks & a salad.
Wednesday: Not sure yet. I'll be at Animal Kingdom with my mother on her last vacation day in Florida & I'm not sure yet what my dinner plans might be.
Thursday: Something with chicken. Our usually predictable schedule is so out of whack lately. Next week will be better.
Friday: Scalloped Potatoes & Ham.
Saturday: We haven't decided this yet either.
Sunday: Leftovers.

Last week's menu--which I didn't even get to posting--included (Monday) grilled pork chops with corn on the cob & some parmesan noodles, (Tuesday) Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas, (Wednesday) leftovers, (Thursday) Meatloaf Patties with mashed potatoes & french-cut string beans (my mother's request), (Friday) some leftover pasta, (Saturday) dinner Capone's and (Sunday) not much because I just wasn't hungry all day.

The logo at the top will link you to more menu plans!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fragile. (Must be Italian!)

I was taking a break from some proofreading (the dry language of a quality manual was starting to become word soup before my eyes and I needed something mentally stimulating before my brain just completely checked out) and I happened upon a blog post (StyleLush, very fun blog) that forced me to pause & think for several moments. This wasn't so much Deep Important Soul-Searching kind of thought as the Trying to Imagine variety.

You see, there was a link to some champagne flutes that cost...perhaps you should sit down, if you aren't already. Stop looking at me through your screen like I'm crazy. Sometimes I stand at my desk just because it gets tiresome to sit all the live long day. These glasses cost TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY DOLLARS FOR A PAIR. That would be TWO. TWO GLASSES.

I'm sorry, but that would be the day that I owned a glass that set me back $130. Not even if it's high quality. Not even if it's for consuming bubbles. Not even if it is the only glass I drink out of for the Don't get me wrong. I appreciate good quality & nice things. But can you imagine if that thing ever slipped out of your hand?? I already have heart failure over the concept of dropping one of my $9 holiday dishes (to be fair, they were given to me by my Gram, so there is sentimental value) while washing them. I agonize over dropping my iPod Touch, which looks so fragile. I get sweaty palms when I think about dropping My Baby, My Precious (that would be my camera, for those of you not in the know) & I won't use it without the strap firmly around my neck. The mental image of $130 worth of glass landing in a hundred and thirty million pieces on my kitchen floor would shatter what's left of my psyche along with it.

Do people I know really own glassware of this nature? If you do, please don't tell me. Better yet? Please don't put it in my hands. Have you seen how many times I drop my phone?


Monday, September 6, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: September 6, 2010

Monday: Cheeseburgers and corn-on-the-cob from the grill.
Tuesday: Kabobs.
Wednesday: Pasta with tomato sauce--keeping it nice & simple.
Thursday: An old favorite that hasn't made an appearance in quite a while, Honey Lime Chicken with rice and steamed broccoli.
Friday: Fish sandwiches with mac & cheese.
Saturday: Something somewhere in Epcot.
Sunday: Not entirely certain yet, but somewhere out, I suspect, as my mother will be vacationing in the Orlando area.

Last week's menu had a minor tweak: the corn on Thursday was switched to Breaded & Fried Zucchini since there was still some squash hanging out in the fridge that needed to be used up. Wednesday's new recipe, Mini Farfalle with Tomatoes and Corn was very yummy; I liked it as-is, but you could easily toss in some chunks of grilled chicken too. I also thought it was the type of dish that could be used as a main or side dish. Saturday was the return of heat & humidity, and I ended up not feeling too hungry, so we just had a quick meal from the freezer with a salad.

The logo at the top will link you to more menu plans!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: August 2010

A photo of me:
This is the only one I have at the moment. Snapped when I was right in the middle of an intense live football draft! ;-)

1) Candle scents this month:
Evening Air. Sweet Strawberry. Tahitian Tiare Flower. Strawberry Buttercream. Spa Fresh. Blue Hydrangea. Lilac Blossoms. Honeydew Melon. Sweet Honeysuckle. Buttercream.

2) What I am reading this month:
Red Sox Rule: Terry Francona and Boston's Rise to Dominance (Michael Holley).

3) Top three songs I was drawn to:
"Wasted," Carrie Underwood. "Love," Sugarland. "Feels Like Tonight," Daughtry.

4) Movies I saw:
The Other Guys - it was really funny!

5) Favorite tv moments of the month:
The only tv I've really watched this month has been baseball. And let's face it: as much as I love my Sox, there haven't been many feel-good moments lately.

6) Something yummy I made:
This Tomato and Goat Cheese Pizza was mighty tasty!

7) Restaurants where I ate:
Red Lobster. Five Guys. The Grill Bar at the Harvard Club, Boston.

8) Something that made me laugh:
The dinner conversation with Nichole, Daniel and Steven the night before the Sox game we attended at Fenway together.

9) A goal I had for this month:
Finding somewhere new to take my paper recycling now that the location I was bringing it no longer has collection containers. Not only did I find somewhere new, but the new location takes ALL recyclables!

10) This month I looked forward to:
Seeing the Sox play at Fenway with my friends.

11) Something I want to remember about this month:
How much fun you can have watching baseball with your friends, even if you're sitting in the rain for three hours.

12) A photo I took this month:
The room we stayed in at The Harvard Club in Boston.


I Want Wednesday: September 1, 2010

**I Want to make my own version of an inspiration book. Lord knows I have a ton of magazines stuffed full of things that catch my eye. I was just searching for a way to actually organize them into a useful entity. I believe something along these lines may be it.

**I Want to burn all my new Yankee Candle Autumn scents. Mmmm... Autumn. My favorite time of year! (Even if it's only inside the walls of my home.) But, alas, my self-imposed rule is that there will be no Autumn scents until it is officially Autumn. That's about the only way I can pretend to have actual seasons anymore.

**I Want to be somewhere in WDW. Now. Work would not be supportive of this desire though.

**I don't really want to spend a whole lot of money replacing the front tires on my care. What I Want is to spend that money on anything else that has ever appeared on my I Want Wednesday posts. Being a grown-up is not all you think it will be when you're ten.


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