Monday, December 19, 2011

And that's that...

So it's the 19th. Six wake-ups til Christmas people!! Are you ready?? I am for the most part. My baby sister flies in on Thursday, my parents fly in the night after. This will bring a sweet wrap-up to a year that I've actually been able to visit my entire family. I got to see Lisa and Dan in September when Gary took me home on the promised vacation and I get to see my baby sister this Christmas.

I'm trying to avoid the traditional "end of the year" blog post. I've almost always done one but honestly most of my year has been a struggle filled with wonderful times and bad times but mostly private times and I'm not the same girl I was 7 years ago. The days of "Bitchalicious" and me spewing every detail of my life online are over. All that being said, it HAS actually been a good year even given the crap I've dealt with the 3 years prior to that and with 2010 being the most miserable in my entire life, 2011 has been good. It HAS been a struggle. I made the decision to stay with Gary and work HARD on our marriage and it's brought us so close I dare say it's been the best year for our marriage yet and I'm looking forward to see what 2012 brings.

How many of you stuck to your 2011 resolutions? I know I did. I just went back through my Facebook Timeline trying to find my NY resolution post I made but apparently I was so drunk (which I don't remember...which is weird because I don't drink so you'd think I'd remember being drunk)... anyway I digress. For my 2011 resolution I told myself that I was going to tell someone special to me that I loved them at least once every day of the year. No one in particular but SOMEONE in my life who was special to me... for 365 days and I did it. Obviously it didn't start off being the same people it was by the end of the year. My, how life has changed in 12 (long/short) months. I've been thinking about what it's going to be for 2012. I have a few things in mind but I haven't narrowed it down and who knows? I might do more than one!!!

This post has been sitting in my drafts for about a week now. Mostly because I don't know how to bring it to an end. I don't think that 2011 and I have had our closure and I'm not sure we will so I'm just going to leave it like it is...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My husband is nuts

3 days ago Gary went to McDonalds for the hot chocolate that he gets almost every morning. They told him they couldn't sell him one but would he like a peppermint mocha instead. He said that he really just wanted his hot chocolate. WELL, then they told him they couldn't sell him one because the machine was dirty because they had forgotten to clean it the night before.
NOW, Gary is boycotting McDonalds... not just this one but ALL of them... because "the employees are idiots".
He said that a written apology would stop the boycott so now I'm off to email McDonalds...


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Get Gone

How many times do I have to say to get away, get gone.
Flip your shit past another lasses humble dwelling.
You got your game, made your shot, and you got away
With a lot, but I'm not turned-on.
So put away that meat you're selling

Cuz I do know what's good for me
And I've done what I could for you
But you're not benefiting, and yet I'm sitting
Singing again, sing, sing again

How can I deal with this, if he won't get with this
Am I gonna heal from this; he won't admit to it
Nothing to figure out; I gotta get him out
It's time the truth was out that he don't give a
Shit about me

How many times can it escalate
Till it elevates to a place I can't breathe?
And I must decide, if you must deride
That I'm much obliged to up and go
I'll idealize, then realize that it's no
sacrifice, because the price is paid, and
There's nothing left to grieve

Fucking go-
Cuz I've done what I could for you, and I do know what's
Good for me and I'm not benefiting, instead
I'm sitting singing again, singing again, singing again,
Sing, sing, sing again
How can I deal with this, if he won't get with this
Am I gonna heal from this; he won't admit to it
Nothing to figure out; I gotta get him out
It's time the truth was out that he don't give a
Shit about me

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oh look! It's not a recipe!

Where have I been?

Well cooking obviously... and actively avoiding life for various reasons.

1. Going through some shit that involved bills and finances (solved)
2. November/December is the year anniversary of some bad memories.
3. Always have a hard time around the holidaze so I've been (again) actively trying to stay out of Bi-Polar Depression mode. (so far successful)
4. The weather has been downright ridiculous around here in Phoenix so my fibro is screaming at me. This brings fatigue ... lots of fatigue.

Speaking of weather... SERIOUSLY??
It was 32 this morning when I woke up. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah, I KNOW that's not cold compared to *here* or *there* but this is Phoenix. I'm acclimated to 95+ and honestly no matter where in the country I have lived (and it's been quite a few places) 32 has ALWAYS been cold to me. If you're honestly tired of listening to me complain (mostly on Facebook) that it's cold then I'll stop but I swear to God I don't want to hear a BLOODY word in the summer from you whiners.

Are you ready for Christmas? I AM... I have been since almost August. I mean I have a few things to buy still but I have KNOWN what I was doing since August. I started way early this year because it was planned rather early on for my Mom/Dad/Sister and her family to all come out here for Christmas and I wanted to spend the last 2 weeks preparing for that, not running around like a chicken shopping .. ya know?
I AM really excited though.

This month brings the end of 2011. It started off as one of the worst years of my life (the last 3 years have been contending for number 1). It's ending up to be ... ok maybe not one of the best but better off than I have been the last few so I'm not going to complain. I still have a LOT of CRAP to work through in my head but I'm getting there. :)
I've been able to see my entire family this year, including my brother whom I hadn't seen in SIX years. That was great.
I've been able to finally work on things with Gary without past behaviors looming in the dark corners just putting a damper on anything we've tried to do in the past. It's felt real, it's felt nice. I love him.

And that's all I've got to say about that! /Forrest Gump

p.s. I just saw that my template has somehow messed up and so I'll be fixing it/looking for a new one later. :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

You'd think, being married to an Irishman, I'd make this bread more but I really don't, and the last time I did he left half of it un-eaten. I made some today. It better be gone by Monday!!!

First off make this bread at least 5 hours before you'll actually need it. This is not a 'serve warm or hot' bread.

You're going to need:
3 cups all -purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk ***
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 325 F (165 C). Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Blend the egg and buttermilk together separately then add all at once to the flour mixture. Mix until just moistened. Stir in the melted butter. Pour into the greased pan.

Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean blah blah blah. Cool for about 5 minutes on a wire rack. Wrap the bread loaf in foil for several hours UP TO overnight for the best flavor.

*** if you do not have buttermilk you can make your own with some milk and white vinegar. 4.5 teaspoons per cup of milk.


Seafood Pasta on Linguine

I've made this with and without the seafood. It was a hit both ways! :)

You're going to need:
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of white wine or chicken broth (I use the broth)
2 can (14 oz) diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon oregano (I prefer to just use Italian seasoning)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 package (16 oz) linguine
1 pound sea scallops
9 oz. peeled and de-veined shrimp.

So, in a large skillet, saute onion in butter and oil until tender. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add in the chicken broth (or wine) and bring to a boil. Cook this until the mixture has been reduced to 1/2 cup.
Add the tomatoes, rosemary, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.

Cook linguine according to the package.

Add scallops and shrimp to tomato mixture; cook for 4-5 minutes or until the shrimps and scallops are cooked.

Serve seafood mixture over the cooked linguine.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

My New Chili Love

It's called "Texican Chili" in the recipe book but the girl who submitted it is from Utah? Anyway... on our search for new recipes Gary wanted me to try this one. He's NOT a fan of chili since he hates beans but this one didn't call for that many. It's delicious. He loved it. He loved it even more the next day. Melia and I just ate it for a quick lunch 3 days later and I swear it got even better!!

Now, living in Phoenix it's really hard to make "comfort foods" being that it's over 95 for 9 months out of the year. It's a problem with Gary since most of his favorite foods consist of heavy red meats and lots of starches. The day I made this it was 98 outside but the beauty of this is that it cooks in the crock pot!! NO standing over the stove stirring, heating up your kitchen.

Now, you're going to want to start this early because it IS a 9 hour cook. So, now I'll stop talking and start sharing!! You're going to need a BIG crock pot. Mine is 5 quarts and it was full!

You're going to need:
8 strips of bacon, diced
2.5 pounds of beef stew meat in 1/2 inch cubes
3 cans stewed tomatoes (14 oz)
2 cans tomato sauce (8 oz)
1 can kidney beans (16 oz drained and rinsed)
1 cups sliced carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley (I skipped this, not a fan)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Start by cooking the diced bacon in a skillet. Remove the bacon to drain on paper towels. Brown the stew meat in the bacon grease.
Transfer the beef to your crock pot.
Add the bacon to the beef and then add the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 9 to 10 hours or until the meat is tender and falling apart. Stir occasionally.

We topped it with diced raw onion and shredded cheddar cheese. I also made cornbread to go with the chili. Gary inhaled it all. Dinner success!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Key Lime Pie

I'm preemptively posting this because ours is still in the freezer but the mix tasted good and the whipped cream turned out perfect so I'm just assuming it's going to be perfect. (CROSS FINGERS!)

You're going to need:
1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons white sugar
5 tablespoons of melted butter
(The above if is you want to make your own crust - I cheated.. nuff said)
3 eggs
1/2 Key Lime juice. (NOT regular limes, little key limes)
1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch cream of tartar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 regular lime sliced for garnishing.

Preheat the oven to 325 F (165 C). Mix graham cracker crumbs with sugar and melted butter. Press into 9 inch pie plate and bank for 5 minutes. Let cool.

Separate 2 of the eggs, placing the 2 egg whites into a mixing bowl and the yolks in another mixing bowl.

To the yolks, add 1 whole egg, the lime juice and sweetened condensed milk. Whisk until smooth. In the other bowl with clean blades or whisk beat the egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until stiff but not dry. Fold the whites into the filling mixture. Pour filling into the pie crust.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 to 15 minutes (Just watch it get a little yellow). Let cool at room temperature and then pop it in the freezer for 4 hours (to overnight) but in our case we set the alarm to go off at exactly 4 hours so we could smother it in whipped cream and eat it.

Oh yeah, the whipped cream. Put the cup of heavy whipping cream into a bowl and just beat the crap out of it until it forms little peaks. This recipe calls for 1 cup but we're fond of whipped cream so I just used the whole container (got a small one, not a large one).


BEWARE OF GREEN KEY LIME PIE! Key Lime pie should never, ever, ever, ever be green. It should always be a yellowy color. If it's green it means they did NOT use Key Limes or they added a crap load of food coloring. And now you know. :D

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quick, Easy, Delicious Jambalaya

Ok you purists, bite your tongues. If you look up the definition and then look at this recipe this IS a Jambalaya!

I was going through a cook book the other day looking for something new to make and ran across this. I'd never considered making it before because I thought Mr. Picky Pants wouldn't like it but I showed it to him and he said it sounded good so lets go!
First off, I took a few shortcuts. My energy level is low these days and I didn't feel like standing over a stove for too long.

You're going to need:
12 small sausage Links - cut into one inch pieces (See Below)
1 cup finely chopped onion (I just used a whole medium sized onion)
1 cup finely chopped green pepper (I used a whole good sized pepper)
4 garlic cloves, minced (I used like 8 cloves :D )
2 tablespoons or so of olive oil
1.5 cups of cooked cubed chicken (See Below)
1.5 cups of cooked cubed ham (See Below)
1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes un-drained
1 cup uncooked long grain rice (brown)
1 can (14.5oz) chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh parsley (or just shake a bunch of dried in there)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

In a LARGE skillet, saute the sausage, onion, green pepper and garlic in the oil until the vegetables are tender. Add in the chicken and ham. Cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
Transfer to a 2 qt. baking dish (go bigger if you want. 2 quarts was VERY full). Cover and bake at 350 for about an hour or until the rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Personally I cooked for about 1 hour and 20 minutes for ALMOST al dente rice and some liquid left (we like broth).

ATTENTION!!! This comes out of the oven EXTREMELY HOT! Please let sit for a little bit, especially if you're going to be serving it to little ones. Thanks :)

My shortcuts:
For sausage I used Johnsonville Italian Sausage (mild with 6 big ones to a pack).
For chicken I used Oscar Mayer Carving Board Roasted Chicken w / no additional flavors. I used the entire container.
For ham I used Oscar Mayer Carving Board Slow Cooked Ham w/ no additional flavors, the whole container.

(Thanks for your help making it too, Baby!)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Quagmire update!

Hi people,

I haven't updated about Quagmire in quite some time and since he just had another round of blood work a few days ago I thought I'd take a moment and update people.
His valley fever (1 to 32) is right where it was 3 months ago. They'd like to see it around 1 to 2 or 3 to 4 so we have a little ways to go. He really needs a dental cleaning but they can't do anything about it until his valley fever drops. They are estimating he should be ok for that in November so keep praying.
His pancreatic levels are a little high but they said that is normal for dogs who have previously had pancreatitis.
His liver enzymes are elevated mostly due to the fluconazole that he's on for his valley fever. I'm picking up a liver-protecting pill for him in a little while.
His thyroid is PERFECT! We FINALLY got the right medicine at the right level. That's only taken .... 9 months!
His triglycerides are a little high. He needs to stay on the low-fat/high fiber that he's on right now. And bland, very very bland.
Um... A few other things are a little elevated but it all points back to his valley fever. Man that valley fever is a pain in the butt.

His weight is down almost a pound. I was looking at his records on Wednesday and his highest was 20.8 about 9 months ago and now he's down 16.2 so over 4 pounds and that's a LOT for a little guy. We'll be happy with about 2 more pounds. But with his diet and his thyroid under control now that should be going down just fine.

I think that's it. He's looking good!

Love you guys and thanks for all the prayer for my little dude.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Not really sure...

... what you're looking for here but you're not going to find it :D

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I need your help again.

For those of you who do not know the story behind my recent store postings I'll briefly explain.

My best friend (who I call my sister) Melia, was in a terrible car accident on Feb. 19th of this year. Her 15 year old son (my nephew, Riley) was in a coma for a month. They didn't expect him to live. They didn't expect him to wake up and "be normal". He has defied the odds. He is a walking miracle thanks to all the prayers and thanks to God himself. Her 11 year old daughter (my niece Destiny) was killed.

Since 2-19 I have watched this little family struggle to get back on their feet. I've seen the pouring out of support to help them. Melia is in NO WAY shape or form ready to go back to work. She spends 5 of the 7 days of the week taking Riley to and from his Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, speech therapy, eye therapy ... and so much more. She takes herself to and from doctor appointments.

We raised a crap ton of money in February and March to help cover medical costs and funeral costs and help Melia pay normal every day bills on top of EVERYTHING else she's been smacked with since then. However, she's been hit with something else now.
On Thursday I went with her and Riley and her oldest daughter Hailey (who was not in the car) to the funeral home. I had to watch my sister pick out a headstone for her 11 year old baby girl. It was heartbreaking. We cried all day long. I cry every time I think about it. I'm crying now.
It was honestly a lot cheaper than I was expecting but it's still $2600 that she just does NOT have laying around.
This is where we come in. I'm asking.. no I'm BEGGING for just a little more help.
Our dear friend Jan drew the most gorgeous rainbow in honor of little Destiny back in February. We've taken that rainbow and put it on tee shirts, sweatshirts, magnets, notepads, note cards, mouse pads, mugs... just about anything we could think of and put it all in this little store.
She gets $3 for each item that is purchased so if you see anything in there that you'd like I'm begging you to help us out. If you don't see anything but still want to help out we have a Paypal account set up. You don't need a Paypal account to donate, you can just use your debit/credit card and make your donation. Every little penny counts. If I get $5 from each of my friends that raises $955. How many friends do YOU have? I'm just dreaming of the possibilities.

If you can't help out financially can you help out by sharing this Facebook note or the link to the blog post I have made? I'd appreciate it SO much, you have no idea.

Here is the link to our store:

Here is the donation link to Paypal:

Thanks again,
Rachel Doyle

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gummie's Brownies

<----- ready to pop into the oven!

Do not misread that title. These are not "gummy brownies". Gummie is what me and my siblings called my maternal grandmother for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure if it's just something that stuck because one of us couldn't say grandma or if she named herself that. Either way, these brownies can also be referred to as "little chocolate bites of heaven".

You are going to need:
4 eggs
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of butter (TWO STICKS)
4 squares of unsweetened chocolate (this comes in bar form. Usually individually wrapped squares)
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup of flour
2 cups of miniature marshmallows

1. Beat the eggs until they are thick and lemon yellow.

2. Melt the butter and all of the chocolate. You can do this over the stove or in the microwave. I used the microwave. I did it for 5.5 minutes on 40% then I stirred it up and did it again for another 3.5 minutes on 40%.

3. While the chocolate is melting, add sugar to the eggs gradually. Continue to beat and add in the vanilla.

4. Mix the chocolate/butter mixture into the bowl with the eggs and mix together.

5. Fold in the flour and then stir in the marshmallows.

6. Bake in a greased pan (I used a 9x13) for about 30 minutes at 350. (My sister said DO NOT OVER COOK - so I'm not!)

She also said to let this sit as long as humanly possible to actually LET chocolate sit around uneaten before cutting and serving. They DO taste better then next day to be honest. which is unfortunate because they are baking right now and the smell is driving me CUHRAZY! I WANT TO EAT THEM NOW RAWR!

These brownies do have a copyright. You may NOT alter this recipe in any way and still call them Gummie's Brownies. If you do make these brownies you must pay tribute to me by making me a batch and sending them to me. Period!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Eight years ago today...

Eight years ago today I was out in Texas visiting Gary while he was in tech school. We woke up one Tuesday morning and he said "Hey, let's go get married today!". I thought he was joking at first. Not that I didn't WANT to marry him, it was just very spur of the moment. We had talked about it a lot for the year before so it took NO convincing me at all. I knew he was the love of my life and I knew that I wanted to marry him and spend the rest of my life with him.

Now, it's been an eventful 8 years. We've had great ups and some serious downs. I know in life it's hard to remember and think about the "ups" when you have so many "downs" flooding your thoughts but if I write it all down in my head we've had a million more good times than bad and that's what I try and focus on every day.
This man is one of a kind. He IS the love of my life. I couldn't imagine life with out him as my husband and most of all my best friend.

I love you Gareth John Doyle and I'm looking forward to allllllllll the years we have ahead of us.
You've made this week great and today is going to be special and I'm never going to forget it.
I love you so much baby.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Check your comments at the door.

Ok, Short and sweet.
I KNOW it's dry here about 9 months out of the year but our hottest months consisting of July/August/September is Monsoon season. Google it ok?
It's over 110 most of the time and our humidity is 50% and up. Is it as high as the south east coast? Nope but it's NOT dry.
I don't see any of you guys packing your bags to come visit us those months because you're a bunch of chickens. ;)

If I hear "But, it's a dry heat" one more time do NOT be surprised if our phone call is suddently disconnected. K? Thnx and Bai.

p.s. The day I took that picture it was 68% humid outside. Is that dry? No, I didn't think so. :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Greek Chicken Pitas with Sauce

I made this for our dinner last night and it was just too delicious to not share. It's very a very simple, tasty crockpot recipe that takes about 3 hours from start to finish! (and 2 hours and 45 minutes of that it's cooking in the crockpot!)

You're going to need:
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 medium onion cut into 8 wedges
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
Greek Seasoning and Salt
4 Whole Pita Rounds

For the sauce you're going to need:
1/2 cup of PLAIN yogurt
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of regular yellow mustard
Greek Seasoning and Salt

Optional Ingredients (to top the prepared Pitas with)
Sliced Cucumbers
Sliced Roma Tomatoes
Feta Cheese
Sliced Olives
(really whatever you'd like to top your pita with - I used cucumbers, tomatoes and feta)

Spray your crockpot with some cooking spray. Place the bell pepper strips and onion wedges in the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken and drizzle with the olive oil. I sprinkled a generous amount of Greek seasoning (about 1 or 2 tablespoons) and about 1/4 teaspoon of salt on top of the chicken.
Cook it all on HIGH for about 2.5 hours (until the chicken has NO pink in the middle).

Remove the chicken and slice or shred. Mine was sorta messy but who cares, it's going in a pita and into your tummy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the veggies so they're not all soggy.

Prepare the sauce. Combine the yogurt, mayo, mustard and I added about 1 teaspoon of Greek seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Mix until it's smooth.

Warm pitas according to the package instructions. Cut in half, open and layer with chicken, sauce and toppings of choice.

Notes: 1. Normally I don't use green bell peppers. They're usually too strong for me but I went ahead and did it this time and they were not strong at all and I'm not sure a red/yellow one would have any taste left in it after 3 hours in a crockpot.
2. This made about 4 servings. (4 whole pitas so 8 pita sammiches).
3. If you can't find Greek seasoning (I found mine at World Market) the following makes a perfect substitution.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
- 1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic

(Lisa, I'm sending you some Greek seasoning in the mail probably next week!)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I put off True Blood for this!

Well, HBO Go is loaded on my computer right now. The first 2 episodes of True Blood season 4 are ready to play however I WANT to update this blog once a week because my mom doesn't use Facebook so I try to keep her as up to date as possible since we can't always talk every week.

One thing I remember about my childhood is my mom always made sure that I had books to read. She either packed all 4 of us up and took us to the library or sometimes she would buy books for me. The series I remember the most are the Trixie Belden books. Trixie Belden was a 13 year old "detective" and what I didn't know until recently was the series started in 1948 and lasted until about 1986. There are 38 books in all.
Anyway, I got off track. My mom started getting these for me sometime starting around 3rd grade I think. I LOVED THEM. I connected with Trixie Belden as much as a little girl could. SO, when I found the first 9 books as a set on eBay I was blown away. I HAD TO GET THEM right away for my niece. She turns 11 in less than a month and I'm 100% convinced she is going to love them as much as I did. (The set was actually missing book 5 so I purchased that one separately and it BETTER get here before I mail these out for her birthday!) When I got my grubby little hands on them a few days ago I started flipping through the first one and each page I skimmed across I was thrown back in time. I KNEW what happened next! I'm pretty sure that my mom has most of the books she bought me as a little girl in her attic and since we'll be home in September and it won't be 12030253 degrees up there I'm going to drag Gary up there with me and search every box until I find them because Gary and I will be driving from my mom's house to Lily's house a few days later and I'd LOVE to show up with the rest of them. Man oh man, I really hope she loves these books, and with 3 sisters in tow I'm hoping each and every one of them gets to enjoy them as much as I did.

As far as what happened this week it was pretty mild. I had sedation last monday to get the last set of injections on my back. This time he went into the nerves and heated them up and I'm telling you, even sedated the tears were rolling down my face. It hurt so bad. AND they could only do one side of my back (the right side) so on 7/11 I have to go back in to get the left side done and I'm dreading that pain so much. Other than that I pretty much relaxed all week. My energy level was low so my house is looking like a bomb hit it. I did spend Friday with Melia and Riley running some errands with her. Saturday night Gary and I went over to their house to set up her new computer and eat some pulled pork sammiches. I however, forgot the power cord so it's all set up but you can't turn it on. I'm going back on Tuesday to remedy that little problem.
This coming week is packed full of little gems. I had a bunch of doctor appointments that I had to schedule but I specifically skipped this coming week. I really need a week off from being poked and prodded and questioned and xrayed and blood drawn and yeah, I just need a break. I planned a ice cream date on Monday with my "nephew" Lane and a Starbucks date with his sister on Thursday. I like taking Sandra's kids out on outings, I just can't handle all 3 at a time so I split them up and that way I get some one on one time with them and it's great fun all around. It was really cute when Lane found out it was his turn. He comes up to me and says "Rachel, I really don't want to go to Starbucks". (That's where I take his sisters) and I just said "Lane, you silly goose we can go WHENEVER you want!" so he picked Baskin-Robbins.

Hmmm, yup that's pretty much it. A few movies Gary and I wanted to see came out this weekend but we decided to wait a week or two to skip the crowds. We ran out this afternoon for some quick errands and ended up at Ah-So. It's a teppanyaki grill close to our house. I remember as a kid my mom and dad took me and my siblings to one and we all threw a fit because we just wanted hamburgers and probably embarrassed the crap out of my parents who really thought we'd enjoy watching the food get cooked and now it's one of my favorite places to go. Sorry Mom!

My life isn't as exciting as it used to be. It makes for a boring read, however I'm happy so .. meh.
This concludes this weeks boring update. =D

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's Summertime!!!

It's time for pedicures and sandals and breezy dresses because 115 is RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Little of this and that

It's been a while since I've updated. The last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind!

Things with me and Gary are going very well. Since my doctor upped my Lamictal my moods have been 99% under control. We've had a few "Meh" moments but nothing to worry about.
It's getting stinking HOT here so we did some summer clothes shopping. Lots of shorts and tees for him and dresses and tanks for me. It's just SO HOT! It's supposed to be 115 today and tomorrow and it's only June... we still have July/August/September to go!

Speaking of September - I booked our airline tickets to go home at the end!!! We'll be gone 9/19 til 9/27. I'm already nervous as crap to fly but I have 3 months and I can't just worry about it the entire time. I have to find somewhere to board Quagmire. I'm hoping our old vet still boards. He's a special needs dog and I really trust them to take care of him properly. We've never gone on vacation without him and this is going to be a long one. I'm going to worry about him the entire time I'm gone and probably drive the vet nuts calling to check on him daily... if not 2 times a day. :D
I'm pretty excited though. Even though Mom and Dad were out here November '10 (wow it's been THAT long?) and Mom was out here last December for my surgery, WE haven't been home in I think July will be 4 years. At that time my sister Lisa was still living in Florida and now she's in Maryland so I finally get to see her and meet 2 of her babies I haven't ever met and 3 I haven't seen in YEARS!!!
It's going to be exciting. We're also going to drive up to NY to visit Gary's family. Yeah, it's going to be a fun trip!

Good thing about living in Phoenix is there is no "Spring" so you can skip Spring Cleaning all together... which has left my house in an atrocious state so I'll be doing that for the next week. Guestroom is done and all I need to finish the computer room and bedroom are 2 bookshelves which I think we're going to run out and get this weekend.
We also need to grab a new printer (our current one is a piece of crap that doesn't work AT ALL now) because I found the cutest little PDF files you can print out to keep you more organized.
Here are some pictures of what I have and if you're interested in any of them let me know via email ( and I'll mail them to you to!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My week in a nutshell

It started off slow but has picked up in the last 2 days.
I took Quagmire for grooming on Wednesday. I had noticed that the gunk in his eyes (normal for yorkies) was a different color than usual so I asked the groomer to look at it and if it looked infected to please have the vet look at it. Well what do you know... it's infected.. with a bacteria AND a fungal infection. I swear this dog is going to be the death of me... So, he got a nice shot in his butt and sent home with a few pills. That was yesterday. Early this morning the vet calls me back, apparently the medicine that he's already on for his valley fever will help clear up the eye infection that he has already .. the fungal part that is, so I returned the meds a little while ago and got a refund. I'm not going to complain about that!

Today (It's only Thursday!?!?). I was up at 6am to take Gary to work. Then I have to take the car to Mazda. When it was getting repaired 2 weeks ago they took the time to get grease all over the hood liner and the visor and I wasn't about to try and wipe it out so they said they would detail clean it for me. So, 2.5 hours later they call to tell me it's ready. Sandra, who had picked me up so I wouldn't have to wait there, dropped me back off. You would THINK after 2.5 hours that they would have detailed the ENTIRE car since after all they left the grease in there but nope, they just got the spots out. UGH.. did I mention that they would NOT give me a loaner car which meant I had to sit there or put someone else out of their way? Not a good experience with them and I'm going to remember that when I'm car shopping in a few months.

Tomorrow, I have NOTHING to do. That's because Gary ordered like.. probably one of everything at newegg and he's been stalking the newegg website and the ups website and knows where these parts are at any given moment. Well, they're supposed to all get delivered tomorrow and newegg requires signatures so yup, here I am stuck at home waiting for the UPS guy.. who I hate but that's a different story.

Saturday is going to be a busy day from start to finish.
I'm starting the day with an early afternoon baby shower. It's for my friend of 6 years who also happens to be my hair dresser (which reminds me, I need to get rid of these roots Friday night). I'm hoping to not have to stay too long because then I have to run home and change because I'm headed to Melia's house for her BIRTHDAY BASH!!! Cake and ice cream and presents OH MY!
We're going to go to dinner, eat some cake, open some presents and then I need to head home to the husband who's going to be neglected all day but he won't care because he'll be playing with new computer parts.. which is ANOTHER reason I'm hoping they get here tomorrow or he's going to be heartbroken that he has to wait until Monday (actually Tuesday because no one will be here Monday to sign for things).. yeah UPS better be here tomorrow. I won't be happy if I sit around all day and no one shows up.

Sunday, DAY OF QUIET - FINALLY (not that I am complaining that my week is so busy with fun things :) )

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Is it over yet?

It's been a really rough month. In the middle of working my ass off on my marriage (Gary is too) and making sure my friends are ok I've lost track of ME. I saw my shrink today and I had to tell him for the first time in a while that I'm NOT ok. My moods are a complete mess. I can go from bitchy to crying to happy in a matter of 15 minutes. I'm responding to situations in a fashion I wouldn't normally respond. (Crying about things that aren't sad, mad about things that wouldn't normally make me mad). My bipolar feels out of control. I told Gary last night that I feel like a stretched out rubberband, just waiting to snap. All that being said, Dr. Bisla went through my meds and he said that I've been on the same doses for about 3 years now and maybe between that and the fact that my life IS complicated right now I could use a few changes. He upped my Lamictal by 100mg. He said that SHOULD do the trick. I really hope it does. Having a little more control over my emotions would be great. But, it's kinda why I've been avoiding phone calls and visiting people because I never know what's going to set me off and I don't want to take it out on any one that I really care for. It's also why I really haven't posted.

Over all though, it has been a good week or two. Busy weeks but the weekends are nice.
Saturday (the 28th) I picked up Melia and Riley and we headed over to Sandra's house so that Melia could take her family pictures. (I sneaked a peek and they are awesome!) Sandra has such a gorgeous family and Melia is a fantastic photographer.
Also, I've known Melia about 8 years and Sandra for about 4 years and I have NO pictures (good ones anyway) of me and Melia or me and Sandra so I got my wish AND they turned out really great!!! I can't wait to print them out and use the new frame I got with these pictures in mind.
After the pictures we went and grabbed Gary from home. Gary, Melia, Riley and I went out to get ice cream from ColdStone and then headed back to their side of town to take them home.
Sunday was a day of relaxation and since it was Memorial Day Monday was as well.

This week was hectic. I told Gary today that it's been the LONGEST 4 day work week ever. Every day seems to be dragging by and that has a lot to do with my emotions and how busy I've been.
I have a nice weekend planned though so I'm really looking forward to that.

Enough rambling from me for now (which is a side effect of out of control emotions). I love you guys and if the weekend goes as planned you'll hear all about it on Monday.

(Me and Sandra)

(Me and Melia)

(Melia, Me and Sandra)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ignore this post mom. :)

Dearest Jeromy Shepherd,

Melia's best friend

I'm a millionaire!

A few years ago... 2 or 3 maybe, my niece Lily sent me a dollar bill. She was 8 or 9 and my sister told me that a dollar from Lily was serious business. She's a huge saver and the fact that she felt it in her heart to send it to me was tugging on my heart strings. This wasn't for my birthday or anything at all, it was just a card from my niece with a dollar in it. What a sweetie.
So, what I did was write her name on it and put it on my fridge and it's been there since the day I got it. When people visit me and see it they always ask me about it and it gives me a minute to brag about her and what a sweetheart she is.
Now, most of you know that my husband is in the military and I'm a disabled housewife. We're not rich. We're not even close to rich. We have a nice roof over our head, reliable transportation, food on the table and my pets are all fed and happy. We both have what we'd like to have within reason and please don't misunderstand, we're not lacking for anything and both of us are happy.
That being said sometimes when the checking account is running low or an unexpected bill rolls in and I'm a little stressed I can always stop and look at the dollar bill on my fridge and know that I have the equivalent of a million dollars in the eyes of a little girl stuck on my fridge with a little magnet. It always seems to ease my mind. My sister has done a marvelous job raising Lily and all of her other children and I'm blessed to be able to call them family. :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Quagmire's Weekend

Quagmire gave us a little scare over the weekend. By "little" I mean HUGE.
Saturday started off pretty normal. I made breakfast for Gary and I and saved 1/2 an egg for Quagmire to eat with his breakfast. Around 1:30 he had his lunch. I was going in around 5pm to feed him his dinner and noticed he had gotten sick in the living room. It was just all his dry food lunch. Gary went to check on him (love on him and make sure he was OK) and I was cleaning the carpet and all I remember is Gary calling out Quagmire's name pretty frantically. So I look over and I see Quagmire trying to walk but his front legs wouldn't move and then his back legs gave out so *I* of course start to panic and then I don't remember HOW he got to me .. maybe Gary carried him but he was next to me leaning on the wall shaking ... so Gary is running around getting his shoes on and getting the leash out and I'm running around throwing clothes on and calling the vet just to remember they close at 3 on Saturdays and Sundays.
So, we pile in the car and head out to the ER vet. About 3 miles down the road Quagmire seemed to have snapped out of this "seizure" of sorts and was just panting (hot car) and looking pretty tired. We decided, having dealt with the ER Vet before, we'd honestly rather wait to take him to his own vet in the morning since he seemed to have come around and was doing OK (pupils not dilated and responding etc...).
When we got home Quagmire drank a bunch of water and got sick again... all I can think is it's the pancreatitis all over again.
After that we did tablespoons of water at a time and 2 tablespoons of some rice and corn, all of which he handled just fine.
After a crappy night of sleeping and waking up all the time to check on him, we woke up early today to be at the vet by 8am. Quagmire was as hyper as could be. His nose was MUCH cooler than it was the day before. He really just wanted us to get up and give him his breakfast like we do every morning. We skipped it and headed to the vet. He had NO fever, his heart sounded fine and his pupils were fine. They had just done his blood work 2 weeks ago so they didn't want to do any more quite yet. They don't really KNOW what's going on. It's possible that his valley fever (while getting better) has settled in his nervous system or that he's developing epilepsy or something. Really, we just need to keep an eye on him. If it happens again they'll want to do some sort of an MRI on him or something. They changed up his valley fever meds to a higher dose of fluconazole which enters the nervous system (his other medication didn't).
He left the vet a happy puppy and they only charged me HALF of what they said they were going to charge me so I left a very relieved mom. We've been monitoring his water intake all day to make sure he doesn't gorge himself and get sick.
Tomorrow I have to run errands all day and I'm really nervous about leaving him home alone but I think he's doing fine now. I just won't leave an endless supply of water out for him. Just enough to keep him from dehydrating.

So yeah, that was our weekend scare with Quagmire, my little problem child.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


One more reason why I love my mailman(lady). She brings me fun things in the mail!

I was at Amazon the other day looking for one of these... While I was in there I went ahead and ordered my shiny new pizza wheel. I go through pizza cutters like they're going out of style. Wheels are always falling off, so I was whining about it on Facebook one night and Donna recommended the Pizza Wheel. Well, it was sitting in my box when I checked the mail today and I can't wait to make pizza this week. It was super cheap and looks really sturdy. I'm going to be HIGHLY disappointed if this thing falls apart too. I also picked up this cookbook that must have been sitting in my shopping cart for a LONG time because I haven't been on Amazon in forever. I'm not too sure about it because it seems to use a lot of short-cut ingredients but I'm sure I can find one or two things in there that taste good and for $10 that's a steal. With Mr. Pickypants as a husband that's going to be a challenge.
Over all though it's been a nice weekend.
Yesterday morning (Saturday) I got up bright and early and headed out to downtown Phoenix for a Beauty Control class. Sandra is a consultant and signed me up as a seller. I have no intentions of ever selling but it's a sweet discount and if I went to this class I got a $99 microdermabrasion kit for FREE. Then Gary and I went out to eat at The Parlor. The Parlor is a swanky pizza joint in Tempe. We both ended up eating one of their fantastic salads instead. Mom, next time you're out here remind me to take you there. You'd love it. Really good food. THEN after that Gary and I headed to Melia's house to hang out with her and Riley. Hadn't planned on staying all that long. I just needed to drop something off but they're such great company it ended up being a while. I took advantage of Melia's great photo taking skills and had her snap a few pictures of me and Gary. She got some with her totally fabulous camera which I don't have yet (no hurry lady!!) and I had her take one with my camera so that I could put it on Facebook/Flickr and HERE!
I love it. I hate pictures of me but as far as they go this one turned out great in my opinion. We haven't had pictures taken of each other since .. December '02 (and it was horrible) and then a few here and there with my arm stretched out as far as I could get it.. you know those kind. I saw the ones she took and they're fantastic. I can't wait to get them to print them out and put them in frames! :)

That's enough rambling for one day. My goal is to update with something other than recipes at least once a week. This one has been excruciating because I spilled Pepsi on my keyboard this morning and as it dries my keys are getting stickier and stickier. It might be time to nag that handsome man up there for a new one.. *hint hint*
I bought him a really really nice one for our anniversary last year (the craptastic one) and so I think it's my turn right?!?!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Meet Jack

This is Jack (short for Jackson). He's the newest member of our little furry family. A few months ago my best friend Sandra's dog had puppies and although I told myself I WOULD NOT take one when I met this little guy I couldn't resist, and at the time I really needed something to cheer me up.
He's about 10 weeks old in this picture and about 15 weeks old now. He's growing like a weed!
We still have his brother, JD. JD was supposed to be a present for Melia and we're bummed out about it but her landlords aren't too happy about her having a puppy so I'm currently looking for a home for JD. I THINK I have one lined up but until I get the money in my hands I'm not holding my breath and unfortunately if the man doesn't get back to me soon I'm going to have to bring him to the No-Kill shelter. He will make a great pet for someone I'm sure but he's just too much for me to handle, especially already having 2 cats and 2 other dogs.
It took a little bit for Quagmire to warm up to them but he's hanging in there. He's not quite sure how to play with them because he's been an only dog for so long so he kinda just stands there and barks at them while they're rolling around on the floor. Right now having both puppies they entertain themselves so I'm hoping when JD is gone Jack can find his place in the family and that him and Quagmire become good friends.
So yes, he's my newest fur-baby and I just love him to death. (Gary is even falling for him, although he won't admit it! LOL).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Yeah Lisa, I said RUMP ROAST!

The rump roast recipe I used yesterday turned out DELICIOUS so as promised here is what I did.

First off, it's very important to use a rump roast or the texture is just not going to be the same. They're a little more pricey than a pot roast so yeah. I used a 2.75 lb one for just Gary and I and there was enough left over for leftovers for a person or 2.

In a small bowl mix the following:
1/2 Tablespoon of black pepper
1 Tablespoon of paprika
2 teaspoons of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of mustard powder

Rub it all over the rump roast and throw it in your crock pot with 1/2 a cup of water.
Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. (I did 8 hours with the size that I had and it was perfect)

When it's done you have a delicious rump roast. Strain out the juices and you have a great Au Jus. :)


(sorry, no pics this time)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's summer time: Pedicures and Cooking!

So, once again it got pretty dusty in here but it's been a pretty ... traumatic year to say the least.
By now most of you know that Gary asked for a divorce last August and after putting me through absolute hell for the better part of 8 months he decided that he really wants to work things out and I've decided that I'm willing to do this (again) but this will be the last time. Obviously there are a lot of stories and details that I'm leaving out but I'd rather just move on. :)

I have a new pain doctor. I started seeing him about 2 months ago for my fibro and I'm in love with him. He told me that the hip pain and the lower back pain that I have is NOT related to my fibro but .. well he explained with a bunch of medical jargon and talked so fast I barely remember what it was but it boils down to the fact that a few injections in my hips (every 3 to 6 months) and in my back (ever 12 to 18 months) will wipe the pain out. So far I've had the hip ones done and he's right. It's amazing. I"m having the back ones done in about an hour and I'm looking forward to being able to sit or stand for long periods of time without the dull ache I always have in my back.

I had a chest Xray in December to clear me for the surgery I had then (tubes tied and a cyst removed). During the xray my doctor found some lung "nodules". She went ahead and cleared me for the surgery but wanted a follow up Chest CT 3 months later. It appears they are growing. She isn't 100% sure that they are growing or if this CT was at a slightly different angle. I panicked from the initial phone call til I actually saw her a few days ago. She isn't too worried and said she'll deal with a follow up CT in 3 months (July) and we'll go from there.

As far as all my health goes I think that's it for now.

So, I've pretty much been busy hanging out with my best friends/sisters Melia and Sandra. Taking care of the house and Gary and the zoo we have acquired here (2 new puppies, however one of them is leaving soon). Playing WoW in my downtime and a little bit of reading. Also a LOT of cooking.
I'm trying a new rump roast recipe tonight and if it doesn't turn out like absolute dog poo then I'll post it tomorrow!

Love you guys and thanks for being patient and understanding with me. :)