Archives for February 2015

Where in the world is my Luck!!

Bad LuckGood Evening Dear Followers!

Remember the old Hee Haw song about luck, and that if I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all!! This seems to be me lately. I’ve recently run into a few health issues that I would just as soon not deal with. First of all, about a year and a half ago I had to have a pacemaker put in. The fact that we had to postpone the surgery about 3 times because of the severe sciatic pain I was having, should have been a clue things were probably going to go south!! (Oh, I had to have surgery for that too!)

So at the very young age of 56 I had to have a pacemaker put in because of a slow heart rate. No problem. My cardiologist was excellent, did a great job and I went back to work in a few days. After a few tweaks we had it ticking pretty good. Things went pretty well until last summer when I spent 6 weeks with pneumonia…who gets pneumonia in the summer?? People with bad luck I say!! Finally in August I was regaining my energy and feeling better.  Then one day last fall I was sitting on the couch and felt this huge jolt, like something dropping out of my stomach!!! It was the weirdest thing I had experienced. Over the next couple of weeks it kept doing it, only more rapidly. It felt like gigantic hiccups in my abdomen. Literally you could see it jumping. I decided it was time to visit the cardiologist for a check. They did some adjustments, and voila…it was gone…for five days. Too bad, I was on my way to a week in Florida with Christine, Dave and the babies and I wasn’t missing that. It was only on and off and because I knew what was causing it, I was ok.

Now it is a week later, vacation over,  I’m at the airport and I decide that I’m going to get a little exercise and walk to my gate. All of a sudden I was getting jolted repeatedly. The faster I walked the harder it hit. It wasn’t really painful, but you know how it starts to hurt after you hiccup hard for awhile. Well, it had never been this bad before and wouldn’t stop. Of course, my mind was imagining horrible things…was it an aneurysm…was I going to explode?!?! I called my daughter and she suggested calling the cardiologist, surely he had an answering service. Quickly I had a return call from my him. He really didn’t know what was going on. I explained I was ready to board the airplane in Atlanta. He said if it was still doing it when I got home to go to ER. It was and I did. They couldn’t find anything wrong, so next day I’m back to the doctor. He believes the lead was hitting my phrenic nerve (it’s the nerve that runs along the diaphragm…don’t worry, I didn’t know what it was either!!). So once again the tech resets things….the tech has started calling me his “problem child.” He said he has probably put about 10,000 of these things in and only saw in happen a couple of times.  (See the bad luck pattern happening???) Again he adjusts it but tells the doc he is getting out of the safety zone and can’t really do anymore changes…but it stopped…again…for about 5 days…..and this time the doc said the leads will have to be replaced.

Finally the day comes…the surgery went off without a hitch. The hatches were battened down and the surgeon said they weren’t going anywhere. About 10 days later I am feeling pretty good, wondering even if maybe I could go back to work sooner. I was still pretty sore and tired though, and thought another week of rest would be good for me. Then comes last Sunday…do you see it coming??? The bad luck?? Well if you thought I was going to say it was thumping again, that would be wrong. No, this time I’m having chest pains. I think, oh it must be gas and I took a Zantac and a couple of Tylenol and went to lay down. After about an hour I sent a text to nurse daughter asking what I should do. I don’t know how she even had time to read it before my phone was ringing. She was screaming at me to take an aspirin and get to the hospital. She was like…”I mean it, I’m not kidding, get out of that bed and get to ER, right now!” Well yes ma’am! So I walk out, tell my husband, I’m having chest pains and Christine told me to go to ER. At this point he doesn’t even question my wackiness. He puts his shoes on and off we went.  I decided to go the hospital my cardiologist works out of. They run some tests and turns out I have something called cardiac effusion which means fluid around the heart….and they are 99.9% sure that it was from the surgery! What the heck, I have a rare surgery and then a rare side affect! So at the tender age of 57 I had my first ambulance ride ever to the “big hospital!” By this time the IV meds were making me feel pretty good and its pretty much a blur after that.

Ambulance ride

After a couple of echo cardiograms with no changes, they shipped me home. I’m feeling a little better now, but not 100%. My family doctor added a couple of new meds today which he said should help things clear up quicker! So…I’m done….I’m ready to be healthy and back into activity. I will tell you, when I was laying there with chest pains, I sure started giving consideration to how well I have been taking care of my heart and what I need to do in the future. So as soon as I get my pain gone and energy back it’s time to start being heart healthy!! Who’s with me??

Peace, light and stay warm!

Julie

Turkey White Bean Chili

We are in the midst of another “Polar Vortex” here in Michigan and it looks like much of the country is experiencing some abnormally chilly temps, so I thought it would be nice to share one of our family’s favorite healthy recipe for chili. This Turkey White Bean Chile is guaranteed to warm you up from the inside out!   I clipped this recipe from a magazine a long time ago (not sure which one, so unfortunately, I can’t give credit to the source).  I have adapted it slightly adding a bit more water and whole organic tomatoes instead of canned.  I also use a little less onion than is called for in the original recipe, it depends on your preference for onions.   I usually double the recipe and save for leftovers or freeze for another meal.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!  So gather the family around the table and enjoy a hearty, healthy bowl of chili!

~Blessings,

Jen

Turkey chili

Total Time: 25 minutes

Makes: 4 main dish servings

Ingredients:

1 tbs. olive oil

1 lb ground turkey (93% lean)

1 med. onion chopped

4 tsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes in juice chopped (or about 4 whole organic tomatoes chopped)

1 can (15 to 19 oz.) white kidney beans (cannelloni), rinsed and drained

1.The recipe calls for cooking the chili in a 12 inch skillet, but I use a large stockpot so I can double the recipe.  Heat oil on medium-high until hot.  Add turkey and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until turkey loses pink color throughout, stirring to break it up with side of spoon  Add onion and cook 4 minutes.  Stir in chili powder and cumin; cook 1 minute.

2. Add tomatoes, with their juice, beans and 1/2 cup water (I usually add 1 cup or 2 cups of water if doubling.)  Heat to boiling on high.  Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes stirring occasionally.  Ladle chili into serving bowls and top with a dollop of yogurt or low fat sour cream.

Each serving: About 380 calories, 33 g of protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 13 g total fat (3 g saturated), 10 g fiber, 81 mg cholesterol, 875 mg sodium (I imagine sodium would be less if you used free tomatoes)

 

The Great “Cakescapade”

Hello faithful followers!

I wanted to share a recent event that happened, that while at the time wasn’t funny,but turned out to really be quite hilarious. My youngest grandchildren, Brooks and Elle turned 1 in January!! That year sure flew buy! I am the known cake baker in the family. No matter how hard I try to turn this back over to someone else, I still hold the title! I’ve made all of the other kids first birthday cakes, and when my daughter asked me if I could do the kids cakes, how could I say no!? There was only one small problem. She lived in Georgia, we were arriving late Friday afternoon and the party was at noon the next day. No problem I thought. I will bake the cakes here and just transport them. I had many many skeptical people warning me about trying to transport cake that far. No worries, I told them. I will freeze the cakes, pack them in Tupperware and put them in our carry on luggage. Everything related to cake decorating would go in our bags. If they lost out luggage bag, it would be just clothes, but I would have the necessary equipment for the cake. So all is well. I will always have my eye on the suitcases.

We flew out of Detroit, which I seriously dislike. We finally make it to the gate to board the very full flight. The flight attendant looks at my suitcase and said, “you are going to have to check that.” “No way,” I said. ” cannot check this bag. There are very fragile things in it.” “You can take them out”she replied, but you have to check that bag!” With a sinking heart and a slow panic beginning, I let her take my bag away. I kept thinking to myself…worse case scenario, you buy pans and re-bake them. You could stay up all night!! We finally arrived in Atlanta. I decided not to even look until we got to Christine’s. Low and behold…everything was just fine.

Of course, I had to spend some time playing with the kids and when they went to bed, I went to work. In addition to the cakes we decided to also do cupcakes. I shooed my daughter out of the kitchen, as messes make her very anxious. I start mixing up the cupcakes, got them in the oven and then started getting  ready to start the frosting for the cakes. I opened the refrigerator and the first thing I see are eggs. EGGS!!! I had forgot to put them into the cupcake batter. I pulled them out thinking I could somehow salvage them, knowing all the while it was a disaster. I scraped them out of the cupcake papers, added eggs and started mixing. It looked horrible. I dumped it down the drain, ordered my husband to Publix to pick up new supplies to start again. So the frosting and decorating of the cakes, making the cupcakes and trying to get it all together so I could get some sleep, began. By about 12:30 a.m. I was done, and for the most part so were the cakes.

I had no doubt I could finish it all in the morning. Of course come morning my daughter is preparing for the party, freaking out..which in turn was making me anxious. I did manage to get everything completed and with some time to spare to help finish up getting ready for the party! Here is the finished product. I have to admit I was pretty impressed, so was my daughter and all of her friends!

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Oh, forgot I also had to put together the little smash cakes that the babies would start out with! I think it all turned out pretty good!

The time for cake finally arrives and here are the babies all ready for the cake event to begin!!

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They were so sweet in their little Mickey and Minnie ears, surrounded by friends and family and ready to celebrate!!

But…after ALL of the work…my handsome, sweet adorable little Grandson was afraid of his cake!!!!

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What a little stinker!! Who is afraid of cakes???? The longer it sat there the more upset he became until Daddy finally rescued him from that scary red cake! Anyway, after all of the drama and turmoil,  the cake was delicious, the party was a success, and next year I think we will order a cake from Publix!!! So, that was the great cakescapde! (Would I do it again??? In a heartbeat! These are the things memories are made of!!)

Stay warm

Julie