Hello Friends! Here we are, the last day of August. I dare not say “end of summer” because we have a week of 90 degree weather headed our direction. While the weather hasn’t accepted that we are essentially into September, everything else keeps chugging along. Chris has his fantasy football draft tomorrow, grocery stores have Halloween candy and pumpkin flavored beer for sale, mums are popping up and leaves are beginning to fall around my neighborhood. The school year starts next Wednesday for most of the elementary and high school kids.
This summer has been a good one. Lots of hot days, lots of swimming in the pool. A few road-trips and a short vacation in Maine. I have been taking a range of different classes at RAW Fitness in Saratoga that have made me feel strong and good about myself. If you told me a year ago that I would regularly be boxing and running up flights of stairs for fun, I would have laughed. RAW Fitness has really changed my outlook on working out- I look forward to the classes I sign up for and my back has felt really strong (so important to me).
This past weekend I visited the King Arthur flour campus in Norwich, Vermont and explored with my dad and brother. It was seriously a bakers dream! I left with 6 different types of baking mix (scones, breads, coffee cake (YUM)), as well as a roll of frozen cookie dough. On Saturday, I went to NYC with family for the BEST pizza and a Mets vs. Red Socks game.
In Butternut Squashington news, he has had a pretty awesome summer. Lots and lots of swimming, befriending our neighbors and figuring out how to break into their back porch. Lots of walks and a fantastic Maine vacation. He is seriously SUCH a lake dog. He spent every second he could with his paws in the water and enjoyed his few leash-less days immensely.
How was your summer? I missed blogging.
Well well well. Here we are again. Another long absence, another explanation. Most of the time, I feel these are unnecessary. However, my blog is a place where I take note of important things, as well as the little moments that make life special. So, I will start from the beginning.
(If you don’t want to read the entire thing, that is fine. I have recorded most of the information for my own reference. Short story- my mom had a stroke the day after arriving on vacation and then was admitted to the hospital the night we arrived home for having a blood clot in her arm. She is since doing better but is still recovering).
6/14 – My last blog post
6/15-6/21 – The last week of “school” for me. I finished end of year things at the library.
6/22- DANIELLE ARRIVES! We are going to CAPE COD!
6/23- Danielle, My brother, Buddy & I make the trek from Saratoga from Cape Cod. Do all the necessary things. Check out beach, eat fish for dinner, enjoy adult beverages. Unpack a bit and unwind after spending hours in the car.
6/24- Wake up to my dad knocking on the door at around 6am saying something about an emergency, he called 911 and there is something wrong with my mom. He thinks she had a stroke.
We all jump out of bed and see what is really happening. Realize that something is very wrong. She cannot feel her right hand and the right side of her face is sagging. I start thinking- “Oh my gosh, is this really happening?” I tried to get as much done as I could, knowing that I would be going to the hospital most of the day. Take Buddy outside, brush teeth. My brother and I follow my mom and dad in the ambulance to Cape Cod Hospital. I keep thinking “mom is only 50 years old….she should not have had a stroke.”
We spend most of the morning in the ER waiting to talk to doctors. My mom also has many different tests done. At about noon, my dad says to go home and try to relax a bit. Nothing was really happening at the hospital and my mom was going to try and rest.
The rest of the afternoon was spent grocery shopping, trying to enjoy the beach and making dinner. We also cooked dinner so when my dad came home everything was done.
Early to bed.
6/25- Wake up early to head to the hospital. Emotional morning. Spend morning til about noon in the hospital with mom. She met with speech therapists and occupational therapists.
She is tired and doesn’t want to be in the hospital. It should be noted that these past two days have been absolutely beautiful and hot. Perfect beach weather. My mom was looking forward to sitting on the beach and relaxing for so long.
After spending the morning in the hospital, my brother and I head home in the early afternoon. My dad follows and takes us all to Downtown Chatham to explore. It was a really cute town. After exploring- Dad heads back to the hospital. Danielle and I go for a long walk on the beach and then start making dinner.
6/26- We all wake up optimistic. We have been told by many at the hospital that mom should be getting out of the hospital today. I am also excited because Chris is driving out to Cape Cod after work later!
What the Doctors have been able to tell us: she has no major issues. Overall she is a healthy 50 year old woman. All of her levels look normal. By why did she have a stroke? Her speech had improved greatly since the first day. You can’t even tell that her face is still numb. She is gaining more movement back in her hand. She says it still feels like her fingers are asleep.
She has one more test scheduled for the afternoon – a Transesophageal Echocardiogram.
After spending the morning in the hospital, my dad tells us to go do something fun. We head to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History for a bit and then head back to the house. In the meantime, Dad calls and explains that the test had found that my mom was born with a small hole in her heart (turns out 1/4 people in the world are born with this). Finding this out is helpful, but doesn’t mean much to the Doctors. Danielle and I head to the beach for a little while. We read, catch up on the news and keep tabs on my dad. Still hoping for mom to get out of the hospital today.
At around 6pm, my mom is released! They arrive home. My mom finally explores the house a little (didn’t really have time before!) and gets comfortable. We leave mom at home to relax and grab a few pizzas. We also decide that ice cream is necessary and get pints at Sundae School.
My dad takes us to a beach close to where we are picking up dinner and take a few pictures. We notice the beautiful sunset behind us!
After photo ops, we head to get our food. We eat our pizza, have some ice cream. Relax a bit. At around 8:30pm, Chris calls and asks which house on the road is ours and so I run outside. Turns out he is already in the driveway! Such a relief to see him after this very long couple of days. We show him around the house. We are all tired, so we head to bed relatively early.
6/27- We wake up with the plan of heading to Provincetown! It is a grey day, so we figure spending it exploring another spot would be a good idea. We arrive and walk around a bit and then grab lunch. We don’t spend a ton of time there though, my mom is pretty wiped out. After getting home, Chris and I go to the beach for a bit. It was pretty buggy though, so we end up turning around pretty quickly. At around dinner time, it is decided that games and snacks will be happening in the evening! We are all pretty excited. We spend the evening playing cards against humanity, snacking and enjoying adult beverages.
6/28- Ahh Friday. Already. My parents wake up and decide to drive out to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Chris, Danielle and I decide to stay back. I take Chris out to lunch at Brax Landing for lunch where I got the most epic fish tacos. I still think about them.
After my parents and brother got back from their adventure at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, we ate lunch and then headed to the Cape Cod potato chip factory. I don’t know about you, but I love myself some Cape Cod potato chips. They didn’t allow pictures inside, but if you are staying near Hyannis I recommend stopping by! At this point, my mom had mentioned that she had some pain in her left arm. We all assumed that this was because that was where her picc line was located while she was in the hospital. We ended up getting pizza again later that night (thin crust is healthy, right?) and started packing.
6/29- Time to leave! Chris, Andy and Danielle and myself had pretty much packed everything up the night before, so we slept in a bit and headed home at around 10am. We all made good time and got home around 4:30pm.
After getting home, my mom had her nurse friend come over and check out her arm. At this point the pain was still pretty bad. It was hard and hot to the touch. Her friend recommended going to urgent care because it was either an infection of a clot. Turns out it was the later. My mom was admitted to our local hospital for a blood clot the night we arrived home and was kept overnight. They are still not 100% sure why her blood clotted.
She was put on different medication and continues to go to regular appointments where they test her blood. She is also still seeing her occupational therapist. She works at a cardiologist office, so she is surrounded by doctors all day. After having the week after returning home off she has been back to work as of last Monday.
The entire experience was hard. It was hard to see someone so close to you go through something where you have no control over anything that is happening. It is hard still not knowing what caused the stroke or the blood clot. It was a vacation where I came home more exhausted than I was before I left.
I am very thankful to have been so close to the Cape Cod hospital. It was a wonderful place for my mom to be. I am thankful to have such good friends and family to support my mom during this time. She still has a long road ahead of her, but continues to make improvements everyday. I am thankful to have such amazing people like Danielle and Chris there for me when I needed them.
When life gets busy, it is very easy to forget to look around you and appreciate what you have. It is sometimes moments like this that remind us to tell those whom you love how you feel.
I don’t even know who is playing in the super bowl. Don’t hate me. It’s not that I won’t be watching, because I will! But I have always loved the super bowl for the commercials and the food. Who is with me?
This year I will be spending Sunday with Chris and our families. Generally there is a lot of game day food (pizza, wings, other cheese filled dips, etc.) but this year I will be making one of my favorite waist friendly favorites while I watch the big game (or the commercials, at least). My friends at Redpack Tomatoes contacted me recently and wanted to know if I would be willing to share my favorite super bowl recipe, so friends…here it is!
Game Day Chili
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 large green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, or two heaping teaspoons of pre-chopped garlic
- 2 Jalapenos
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey
- 1 28oz. can crushed Redpack Tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. liquid smoke (flavoring sauce)
- 3/4 cup beer (your preference)
- Hot sauce (to taste)
- Desired toppings (cheese, duh)
- 2 tablespoons Chili Powder
- 1 tablespoon Paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground Cumin
- 2 tsp Oregano
- 2 tsp Red Pepper Powder
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 small handful of semi sweet chocolate chips
How to do it:
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Chop onion, green pepper, jalapeno, and garlic then add to saucepan. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes. After the vegetables have cooked down a bit (about 10 minutes) add your turkey meat and combine with vegetables (I have not had any problems cooking the meat this way, you can also cook it first in a separate skillet if you prefer).
Season with chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, red pepper powder, salt, black pepper, and the secret ingredient: chocolate. Stir in beer, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, can of Redpack tomatoes. Partially cover and simmer for about an hour.
Stir every 10-20 minutes
Add hot sauce to taste and continue cooking for 5 – 10 minutes longer.
Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with desired toppings (cheese, sour cream, crackers).
This can be left bubbling on the stove on low for quite a while, just make sure you stir it every once and a while, or the bottom of the pan may burn!
OH. Were you looking for a giveaway? Well, when my friends at Redpack first sent me tomatoes to use in this recipe, I was totally shocked with how they arrived! Everything arrived in a giant Redpack can! How cute is that? Included in the can you will find two 28oz. cans of tomatoes, 1 can opener, 1 oven mitt, 1 spaghetti server and a fun magnet with a few recipe ideas.
So who wants to win this big beautiful can of fun? All you need to do to enter this giveaway is leave a comment telling me your favorite way to cook with canned tomatoes! This giveaway will close on February 7th.
THIS GIVEAWAY HAS OFFICIALLY CLOSED! Congratulations Kelly! 🙂
My travel buddy Jen and I headed down to NYC via Megabus on Friday. After arriving at my cousins apartment, we wanted to find lunch fast! We decided that Candle Cafe would be a good choice. I ordered the Mediterranean Wrap. (hummus, tofu feta, roasted red peppers, chopped romaine and sprouts wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. served with a side of kalamata olive aioli and mesclun salad drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette). I was a little irked by the thought of tofu feta- but everything tasted great!
After chatting for a while, we wanted to get some dinner! Jen and I didn’t really want to go far, so we decided to go to Inatteso Pizzabar down the street. I had been there before with Chris a while ago, and remembered everything was awesome!
I ordered a small Toscana pizza which had fresh mozzarella, ricotta, prosciutto, cracked egg and black pepper. I enjoyed it with a class of very very smooth red wine. After dinner we went back to the apartment and feel asleep!
Jen and I really enjoyed the relaxed “no plans” attitude that we had for this trip. It was so refreshing to just go where we wanted and enjoy was around us.