Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nigiri on Wasabi

Mom's drains have been removed and her surgery incisions are looking good. I am now home for the evenings with the family.

I am a bit pre-occupied, and maybe sleepy, in any event - I'm OUT OF IT.

"I have maki!"

"I got sashimi!"

"Put the nigiri on the wasabi, and it will triple."

Now, these are items I'm familiar with from our time in Japan, but I wasn't quite tracking where they were getting maki and sashimi and I didn't know where I was to get nigiri and wasabi for them.

It helps to really listen and when I did, I realize they were playing Sushi Go! 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Alex's Christmas Gift

The big event of today is Alex getting his Christmas gift (and Michael too). They were a bit late on the delivery - but they're both exactly what was wanted and needed.

I received a notice  the watches had been delivered to our mailbox. This surprised us as all our other packages were delivered to the door. When Michael got home and checked - they weren't there. Amazon was no real help at all.

HOWEVER, we knew the mail here where we are house-sitting is being held.  A quick trip to the post office and he was able to retrieve the watches. We still aren't sure why Amazon said they were left in the mail box! ::snort::

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Checking Houses

While I enjoyed time post-surgery at Mom and Dad's, and Krista drove to Mexico, Michael, the boys and Yuuki made a quick trip to Crescent City, CA.

Stacia enjoyed a couple of nights with BreZaak and Bella. It was fun to see her today at church!

Michael wanted to do a quick look through Mom G's home. They stayed at a neighbor's cabin and discovered quite a bit of mold/water condensation. This resulted in a trip to town to buy her a dehumidifier and to get it all set up so it will automatically drain.  Other than that, everything was fine in Crescent City.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Krista's Off ~ #WYFF

This past month has been a blur. Part of the blur resulted from me spending the past week at the hospital and at Mom's house following her breast cancer surgery.

I have the easy task....I waited and read while Mom (and Will) underwent surgery. I waited and visited with hospital guests while Michael schooled the younger Gherkins, fixed meals,  and helped Krista.....Helped Krista?  She sold her last few things, cleaned her house, got out of the house and spent her final night with "us". Bre and Bella and Arielle joined them. They celebrated with dinner, stories and ice cream.
All the photos have wacky eyes! 
Then,  Krista was gone. The reality hit as I drove home from Mom and Dad's, past the Barger exit. I find myself wanting to stop for a visit each time we pass Barger. Michael confesses the same. We miss her.
Krista and Arielle
I posted this on Facebook  Friday.  Well - today Krista  is off. I shamelessly stole this photo from sentiments shared by Arielle. She is traveling to Mexico and will help to build another orphanage for Imuris Kids Kingdom. In May she will travel from Mexico to AL (I think) for COT - Commissioned Officer's Training and then I believe it's on to Chaplain Candidates school and possibly a short assignment as a chaplain candidate, before she is back here in August to pick up her few storage items and travel to Lynchburg, VA to finish her MDiv in residence.

 I'm going to MISS having Krista in the same town. Her sense of adventure and family is a huge blessing to us. Her heart for people and community blesses wherever she goes. As Arielle, said....thank you for your help to her as she made all the first "adulting" transitions. Thanks for your long talks, help to Dad and I, investment in our younger set, and letting us be a part of your grand adventures! We are proud of your obedience to follow God step by step. While it isn't all crystal clear at this point - we all trust in the One who leads you. We will miss you! Go get em baby girl!

While I posted on Facebook - the Gherkins did this. 

God speed, Krista!

“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deut 31:8

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Surgeries, Blessings and Birthdays

This will certainly be a birthday to remember.

Originally, I'd put down on the calendar THIS was the day we'd discover the gender of Baby D #2. It was to be a very special birthday event/gift.

Who knew how quickly plans can change?

I was up at 0300 and met Sherri and Mom at 0430. We drove mom to the hospital and went through pre-op with her. Sherri left when Mom went into surgery to be with Will, my brother, who also had surgery yesterday. He had two pins put into his ankle.  Mom's surgery was quicker than expected, the time in recovery quite a bit longer than we'd expected....but the afternoon evening found us settled into her room on the surgery/oncology floor.

The doctor said everything went well.

Michael stopped by about the time Mom was finally leaving the recovery room.  She was happy to see him. He'd been at the ultrasound and KNEW the gender of Baby D. He was great! He knew if I couldn't be at the ultrasound, I wanted a gender reveal cupcake. Unfortunately, they weren't done when he came over and the hospital and BreZaak's homes are on opposite sides of town.

Mom was looking forward to knowing the gender. In fact that is the first thing she asked them when she was waking up. I called Bre and she texted us photos of the cupcakes she was making and an ultrasound picture.

The cupcake photo we had looked GREEN and we weren't quite sure what gender green would predict. Finally, we settled on twins. ::snort::  It turns out we were wrong.

Team blue for the win! Excited to have another little grandblessing on the way! Great birthday gift and a great spirit booster in the hospital.

I turned 53 today.  I appreciated all the FB wishes and texts. This isn't the way I'd choose to spend the day - but it's been good to be here. I  missed calls from several elder Gherkins, but was happy to connect with Jared.

PS - Finishing this on the 25th. Mom is staying another night in the hospital. Wills' surgery also went well. Prayers for the recovery of both of them are still appreciated. Dad is still recovering from his cold.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

South American Hot Chocolate

Arielle does "snacktivities" with the kids in the After-school program where she works. She invited us over to try this one.

can of Evaporated Milk
1 1/2 C of Milk Chocolate Chips
3- 4 C Whole Milk
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Whip cream and cinnamon to sprinkle on top.

Melt chips and evaporated milk in sauce pan - stir, stir, stir.

When integrated, add whole milk. Heat to desired temperature.

Remove from heat.

Add vanilla and spices.

This was RICH....I think this group would have liked it better without any spices. LOL

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Afternoon with Arielle

The very best part of being medically stationary in OR? We have adult Gherkins nearby. Arielle invite us over for an hour or two this afternoon. Her Saturdays are long with Cory working. It was fun to see their new place. We discovered we are only 2 minutes away from their campus! 

Arielle invited us to do a "snacktivity"  - she and Stacia made South American Hot Chocolate. 
The girls in Arielle's kitchen - recipe to follow

The guys played Snow Board Kids

We were getting gas when BreZaak and Bella showed up. Bella has TWO TEETH. Oh, the cleverness of Bella! ::snort:: We knew it was coming.  

Those eyes still take my breath away! 

Week of Appointments

Our family has had quite a week. Much of it is NOT my story to share - so I won't.  Here is my part....this week has been wild.

We completed a great week of school and moved into a lovely home to house-sit for a couple of months.

I continue to fight my flu/cold.....all that's left is a nagging cough....I bought the "meth" mucinex and wore Vicks on my feet, steamed with Vicks several times a day,  and kicked the thing....sort of. I'm at about 80 or 90% well....sleeping at night is still a problem, but the recliner in the sun room works well for "sleeping."  My exhaustion could be due to the anemia we are treating. I'm trying to work up to 3x the normal dose of iron....I'm at double at this point and the doc said if that's all I can do, that's what we'll do. I like that attitude.

Between Michael, Dad and Mom I've gone to seven doctor's appointments. I'm starting to like doctors.  My favorite is still my new PA.

I experienced my own personal kind of purgatory this week. I went in for a mammogram last week. I was called back this week for a 3D mammogram. Then an ultra sound. Each time they said to "take a deep breath and stay still," I had a coughing fit. Many do-overs. ::snort:: It really was funny. The upshot is the radiologist/doctor determined I needed a biopsy next week and possibly a lumpectomy. If I felt it were medically warranted, I'd do it....but I felt they were being alarmist. He began the talk by telling me, "Since we have no prior history with you, we need to make sure this isn't cancer." I explained I could get records, have been aware of this since 2004, and wanted him to wait and review my records before recommending a biopsy. He said I was going against his advice.....and I said that was fine. I told him I could bring him FILMS. I think he thought it would take a week or two to gather records. I kept telling them I had what they needed at home.

When I showed up the next day, they told me they'd been trying all day to reach Beale and had gotten nowhere. I pulled out all the reports I'd printed from my medical records disc....AND....four FILMS I had kept with me when we moved into the RV.  They were shocked. I was told I rock. I told them when a military spouse says she can get the records - trust her. LOL

When we moved into the RV I'd asked on facebook where folks would store them and many told me they were obsolete and to get rid of them.....I was in my Konmari phase. Though I was downsizing left and right and committed to minimalism, I simply didn't feel right getting rid of them. I kept them in the storage bag under our bed. LOL The doctor was THRILLED to be able to read them with his own eyes and compare them to this years mammograms and ultra sound.  They saved me from a biopsy the week of mom's surgery.

Moral of this long story - 1. if you don't feel right getting rid of something, keep it and 2. there's nothing wrong with going against advice from time to time. LOL

We appreciate your prayers in this upcoming week. Dad has the flu and a cold. Mom is scheduled for her cancer surgery on 24 January. Another family member is having surgery on the 24th as well. I am thrilled to be in town and be able to help out.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Christmas in January! #WYFF

We deliberately plan a family gift exchange on a day other than 25 December. Usually on New Year's Eve or Epiphany...but with the wedding, my severe anemia, Michael's therapy, helping Mom make it to all her doctors....we simply didn't get around to shopping.  Yesterday, we told the kids instead of games or a movie on this Friday night, we'd have the long-awaited gift exchange.

Alex got several boxes with slips of paper telling him what had been ordered.....it seems it's always one person whose gifts don't arrive. LOL 

EVERYONE knows what Nolan likes....

 He was happy.....

Stacia is over the moon happy. She's been wanting lessons, but we couldn't figure out how to make it happen in an RV. The more we thought about it, the more we knew we needed to make it happen. We'll figure out where to stash this. Michael is more than qualified to get her started with lessons. She immediately practiced 40 minutes. 

Michael is going to pick out and order a watch from me, and the kids gave him a Red Robin gift card and slippers.

I received an infinity scarf from Michael, gloves from Stacia, washi tape for Nolan and a big set of Gel pens from Alex.

We valiantly set up and learned Pandemic. I'm not sure we really figured it all out; but we had fun.

This serves as a #WYFF post - for more posts click the tabs above.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

RV Projects

 Michael (and the boys at times) have been busy with projects on the RV.....They removed the TV that was in front of this cubby. Originally it had a bulky TV. The previous owners replaced it with a flat screen TV....but it stuck out on an arm...and when the printer was added back there it stuck WAY out. I was always bumping my head on it. We're looking for cupboard doors to go here...or I'll hang a curtain eventually.  CoRielle were happy to receive the nice TV. We are down to three TV's. LOL

This door is between our room and the bunks. It didn't shut all the way and hung up on the runner. Michael added a drawer runner and now it slides easily and shuts completely.

The shower hose was cracking  - we have a new one. 

We thought THIS would be an easy fix. The drain was rusting and water was leaking under the sink. Michael bought a new drain and discovered  home drains have overflows, we didn't want one for the RV. He had to order an RV drain and it worked perfectly.

He's replaced various bulbs. We had been moving to LED in the trailer and I miss them...but this is what we'll have for the time being.  

The access plate in the electrical bay was allowing water to spray up into the bay from the road. Michael replaced it - had to cut the hole a bit bigger to fit the new plate, but it's snug and we no longer have water in the electrical bay. He fixed something in the wet bay as well, but I try to ignore that part of the show.

Michael bought a board, painted it and installed it so I have a chalk board and a bit of cork board in the hallway across from the kids' bunks. We use our chalk board to post the week's schedule. This was before we began using it. 

I ordered a wall decal. I measured the spot where it needed to fit - 20 inches at the widest. The decal came and was HUGE. The measurements were in Chinese.....we looked all over for a spot where this would fit and finally put it on the mirrored door. Behind that door are plastic drawers - the kids and I keep clothes in here. It's a good spot to see the verse and be reminded. LOL

THIS is my favorite project. You can't see, but I have few drawers and so had a plastic drawer that sat on top of the stove top for silverware, it had a basket on top for various odds and ends. I really dislike the mirrors on the walls in  many RVs....Michael took these off. 

 He replaced them with Smart Tiles. I LOVE THE LOOK....but next he put up the little Command Key strips.....and I can HANG the utensils and put the silverware in a  drawer. This looks more like us and I was able to clear all the clutter from the top of the stove.

We'll make another video sometime, and we have more to do, but the motor home is feeling like home!  The big project for the next two months we are house-sitting, is to remodel this spot to hold 3 bunks.
How these kids spend a rain/snow day

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Smashed Garlic Potatoes (Vegan, Instant Pot)

These are yummy and QUICK, just 4 minutes! I loved my Instant Pot when we lived in a stick and brick home; it's essential now that we live in an RV.

8 medium Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 1/2  - 2 C of Vegetable Broth (I used 2 and drained some off)
6 gloves of garlic, peeled, cut in 1/2
1/2  C Non-Dairy Milk
1/4  C Chopped Parsley

Cut potatoes in 8 chunks.

Place potatoes, broth and garlic in Instant Pot (I added some onions).

Move valve to sealed.

Click "manual" and set timer for 4 min.

When it goes off, turn valve to "vent."

Smash potatoes with a potato masher (or bash with mixer).

Add non-dairy milk if needed.

Salt to taste. Add parsley if wanted.

For more yummy eats; click the tab above.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cauliflower Nuggets (Vegan)

While the rest of the family had oven-fried chicken, I decided to make cauliflower nuggets for me. I knew there would be more than I could eat, but I planned some for lunch today. Krista had made these for me and this is how I remember them. She told me the original recipe calls for you to dip each floret in egg and then in crumbs.....my wake is quicker and it worked fine. Alas, there were no leftovers for my lunch. Yet another vegan (if you use flax seed egg) meal they love. ::sigh:: ::wink::
If you want more coverage, you can dip each individually
Head of Cauliflower
3 Eggs (Flax eggs)
1 1/4 C Panko Crumbs (or whatever crumb you want)
1/3 C Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 450*.

Spray pan.

Cut cauliflower into florets.

Beat eggs or flax eggs and and mix with cauliflower until it is completely coated.

Mix crumbs, nutritional yeast and salt in a small bowl.

Combine dry with Cauliflower.

Stir until all is coated.

Pour into single layer in pan.

Bake until tender to fork - about 20 minutes.

I took them out about 5 min early, covered with our homemade BBQ sauce, and baked 5 more minutes.

For more yummy eats click the tab above.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Long Moving Day

We moved from the local county campground to a home across town today. Finding reservations in the area has been a bit touch and go.  We had stayed at one park before the wedding that had a 6 MONTH waiting list....more on that later. When our time there expired we moved to Krista's driveway for 2 weeks. We were then able to get back into the county system..... and today we have lighted for 2 months.

God is good. We have some friends, Michael's former endorsers, who are going to go out RVing for a couple of months. They have a pad for their RV and were looking for house-sitters. Here we are! They are blessed knowing we'll take good care of their home. We are blessed with a set spot and no rent....We hope to do a couple of more RV modifications by the time they return.

Maneuvering into the spot was a bit tighter than we'd expected. We had measured. John and Nadine have a 28ft Class C - I think. We are 10 feet longer.

Examining the situation - there's an incline 

Tight fit

I didn't get a shot but our rear tires are all the way to the end of the concrete - the back part hanging over the garden....and the nose bellies right up to the bolt on the gate - but we're in. The main living room slide won't open - and that's a bummer - but the bedrooms opened fine.  We're still debating who will sleep inside and who will sleep outside. TONIGHT - as I'm still hacking so loud no one could sleep in the RV if I was in there and everyone needs a good night sleep - I've been banished inside and Stacia is THRILLED to have a room. She's not complained - but sleeping on the jack-knife couch has meant she can't go to bed as early as she normally does, and is up earlier than she'd like to be. 

The guys made a trip to Jerry's to buy wood to help us level the RV - we didn't want the tires up in the air for two months. 

While the guys worked on leveling, Stacia and I moved our kitchen essentials and toiletries inside and worked on settling into the house.

Michael is feeling bad after a long day and went to bed. The kids are playing Quelf. I'm about to settle in for a night of "sleep," which this week has meant hacking incessantly with about a 3 hour nap.

Oh, about that RV Resort with a 6 month waiting list, where we were number 23....they called. They moved us to the top of the list after we stayed there. We'll be moving there when John and Nadine come home for as long as we need to be in the area.   When we stayed in December, I happened to tell our story of needing to be here for VA care and the owner heard. I hadn't noticed all the service flags out front when we pulled in. They support the military and I think they moved us to the top of their waiting list.  I think the fact that Michael is retired military, that our kids are really young adults, our beagle is well-behaved and our rig is "nice" looking - all worked together....sprinkled with a giant scoop of God's grace.

For anyone wanting to reach us - my parents are still a great mailing address. Phones and emails remain constant. ::wink::

The View from the Top (Spencer's Butte)

Shew - they made it! They were at the top of Spencer's Butte when the sun rose this morning. 

Spencer's Butte is a prominent landmark in Lane County. It is the tallest visible point when looking south from downtown Eugene.  The Spencer Butte hikes are part of the Ridgeline Trail System. The base of the butte is 1,300 feet above sea level. The elevation at the to is 2,055 feet. 

Michael and I have been ill. We continued to make our appointments the first 1/2 of the week.  We went to bed on Wed and didn't really get up until this morning. The flu - with colds or a cold/flu. We were blessed to be HERE....Krista took the kids one afternoon and night. CoRielle took them another evening and all day Saturday. 

Krista called Sunday night and mentioned she'd been wanting to climb Spencer's Butte to see the sun rise from the top before she leaves the area in 11 days - ugh I'm going to miss her!  I knew she wasn't sharing random info. I also knew Michael and I were still too sick to even think of a hike. Her proposition was  to pick up those who wanted to hike up at 0545 and drive to the butte...

The boys opted to join Krista. Stacia declared there was "no way" SHE would get up at 0500 to hike! They were up at 0500 and she picked them up right on time! Off for their grand morning adventure.  

They somehow missed the entrance to Spencer's butte twice before it was found. The road follows an incline to a parking lot where one begins hiking to the top of the butte.  The kids were almost level -  almost to the spot to turn into the lot - WHEN THEY GOT STUCK.

Pushing the car - didn't work. Sticks under tires - didn't work. Chipping at the ice - didn't work.  While stuck at the top of the hill, another car got stuck and nearly slid off the road. The kids helped to turn their car around and they called it a day. Finally, a fellow-hiker with a truck  pulled them out of their slick ruts. They were ready to begin their hike!

 Nolan estimates the actual hike to the top took about 30 minutes. There were still spots where the trail was extremely icy and slick. In one spot each hiker they saw fell. It was worth the hike. I'm glad they made it to the butte before sunrise.

Yes, we certainly did count these hours as P.E. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Meds

Michael had to quit using the Neupro patch. It was working great, but the adhesive caused an allergic reaction after 1 1/2 of using them.  He had angry, red welts up and down his sides, arms etc.

He is taking a new med. The past few weeks Michael has been using a bit of the new med and less of the patch. Over a period of three weeks he used less patch as the med dosage increased. This week he is at full dosage of the new med and no patch.

Poor man is having a terrible time WAKING UP. Our previous  complaint was he could only sleep 3-4 hours a day. Now he drags himself in for breakfast, and looks like he is struggling to stay awake as he eats, and then he falls asleep.....if we don't have places to go; he sleeps.

Severe sleep issues are a side-effect of this med. We're hoping  it will take a week or two at the new dosage for his body to adjust. If not, we'll have to call the neurologist and keep tweaking.

PS note the motor home out the patio window. LOL