Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Erythema Nodosum is back and doing .......

Yes its is back and I don't know what to say about it. I notices they had started about a week ago. Just a couple. Then a few more... now a ton and a couple really really sore spots around my achillese tendon, the top of my hip ... where my pants sit, the inter knee area... I just hope they don't get to bad this time. I will finish this post soon.

Death, an Awakening, and Grieving the living

When I was young I lost my grandmother to cancer. I was around 8 or 9 and we traveled back and fourth the 3 or 4 hours drive to be with her as much as we could. Through her Kemo we was there with her. We seen her go from healthy to sick and miserable. And we was there quit often. More then we was home. She was a big part of my life and the one thing that held my dads side of the family together. When we lost her it definitely changed the person I was. I understood at an early age what it was like to see someone suffer. To lose someone I cared about immensely. I learned that being there for the ones you love is not always the easiest but when you love someone you try to take the long walk with them. To the best of your abilities. You care for them through the hardest time of there life. And through what might be one of the hardest most defineing times of your own. For years after losing her certain things would trigger my emotions. No one could sing Happy Birthday.. we lost her right after her birthday. The words cancer and die was off limits... there was other things as well. The one that to this day that still gets to me is certain country songs. Riding in the car all those times. That long drive to see her. My parents listened to country music. I can't tell you the names to the songs. I can't, myself remember the lyrics to these songs. Till I here one come on the radio when I am in a store, or flipping through the stations on the radio and accidentally fall on a country station that has one of those songs. It is strange how the brain retains this information. Without use knowing. Anyways. Children cope with loss so much differently. I remember the night we received the news that she had past away. We was at home. It was late. I had been upset and had been sleeping in my parents room. I woke up and they were in the kitchen sitting at the table. I walked out and they told me she had past away. All of these memories flooded my mind. I knew what "died" meant. I knew we would go and see her at the funeral home. I had already been through other funerals but not someone I was so close to. I remember the viewing before the funeral.

I didn't cry. I was being strong for my parents. So I thought. I remember walking up to my dad and telling him that it was ok to cry and that everything was going to be ok.

I am still to this day learning how my grandmother's death affected me more then anyone knew it would. Watching some one suffer is one of the hardest things that you will ever have to face in life. Depending on how you take this suffering and what you do with it can determine the type of person that you are or will become. I am definitely glad that I had those last months with my grandmother. I would not want it any other way. I learned a lot of life's lessons through this situation. There are so many things that I would like to be able to put into words about what I have taken from that situation. But they are not thoughts. They are feelings & reactions to certain situations now. They are ultimately a part of who I have become.

I watch Doctor Phil ever so often and I know how he asks everyone who comes on his show to list a few things for him.

10 most defining moments in your life
7 most Critical choices that you have ever had to make
5 Pivotal people who have written on the slate of your existence

I think to do this is a very eye opening experience. I have been working on my lists and also kind of been working on it in essay form telling why I have picked these answers. John has been working on one as well and we have been sharing our answer. I think it really helps to find out where certain mannerisms in your life come from. I think that is also very important for self growth. And to be able to move on after certain situations. I am only 23 and I have been working on this list and although I have been here you know 23 years I am definitely having a hard time finding the 10 most defining and 7 most critical.

I still have a very hard time with loss. I like to control a lot of situations because of this. But I am learning to step back and be rational and try to view the whole situation. I am sitting here self examining myself not just for self growth today. But because I have recently been dealing with my Grandfathers terminal cancer. My Mother's father will not be here to meet my children when we decide to have kids. Unless it is very soon. My children will never have any memories with him like I do. At the end of last year we found out he had bladder cancer and that his whole bladder would need removed. We were dealing with that. He was dealing with that. We have watched my grandfather go from being very head strong about everything, very opinionated, rough, tough, just I'm not sure how to describe him so that you can get the picture. But now he is weak and quite. He has lost 40 pounds. While he was in UMPC he also contracted C- Diff. He can't stand up, bath him self. Everything people take for granted every day he can no longer do. His bladder was taken out and they told us he was cancer free. He was put back into the hospital a couple days ago for a blood clot in his leg. Where he hasn't been able to walk around. They took some chest x-rays because he was short of breath and found that he has lung cancer. Stage 4. So now it is only a matter of time. He is not going to see a specialist. He is not having Kemo or radiation and I don't blame him. Nor is he going to have surgery. I just wish they would have found this before his bladder had been removed. At least then his body would not being going through the healing process & C-Diff. And he might have had a better quality of life for his time remaining here. It is strange how you look at something one way until something so unexpected happens. And then it changes your perspectives on everything.

Grieving is such a weird process. Grieving the living is even weirder. I know every death is different but still the same. The same in that fact that it is the end of a life. Different in the matter of how they died, did they suffer, was it lengthy or quick? The grieving precess is different just in that fact. When it is a lengthy process you grieve for the loss you will have, the loss of the person as well as the loss of your relationship with that person, you grieve because they are suffering, you grieve because there is really nothing you can do to help them. But just try to make them as comfortable as possible. When they pass away your not sure what to do with all of that extra time that you had been putting towards that person. But sometimes you almost have a since of relief. One because they are not suffering any more. Two because you can finish the grieving process. But since you had been grieving that person since before death the anger, a lot of the time the denial has already past. You can take the sadness and finally move on. But when someone passes away unexpectedly the whole grieving process has to be done after that beings death. Though most time it is a shorter process. At least it is for me. Knowing that there was no suffering involved or very little.. helps me with that process. I really have never had a problem with denial of a death. Although some deaths I have taken extremely hard. I guess all this is about is psychoanalyzing the situation that I am in right now. Not denial just I think my way of starting the grieving process. And maybe how to better manage my grieving.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pittsburgh Trip- 1st of 2009

As always I love going to stalk up in Pittsburgh on all of the stuff I can't get here. Plus stuff like organic pasta at Trader Joes. Where I save alot of money. So last Thursday they didn't have a route for John at work so he came home and we went to PA. This is the first trip to PA we have made since we got our GPS... and lets just say.. I LOVE IT!!! it saved us so much time. We got to go to so many places I had been wanting to go. We could have hit a couple more. But it takes me a long time To go grocery shopping. Last year the last time we went I swore I would never go back. We got so lost and wasted a ton of time. But this time everything went so smooth I can't wait to go back!!! I was so excited and just thinking about it makes me crave going another shopping stock up!! But right now my cabinets just can't take it. They are so full I have Cereal lining and table now. So he is an outline of our day and some pictures. Plus what I purchased! (This picture is of a Church we passed.)

I have been looking for screen printing and black printing stuff around my area but non of the art stores carry the emulsion, inks, screens, linoleum blocks.... the list goes on... So my first stop was The Artist & Craftmans Supply. It was a Medium sized store. No Bigger then an AC Moore, Micheals, or Jo Anne Fabric. But it had a tons of stuff! I was super excited! But I really didn't get to purchase much. I got some linoleum blocks, carving tools, & and small sketch journal for my purse. I can't wait to go back when I have more funds. It had evey thing for screen printing, block printing, clay, plaster, painting, scretching, pastels, the list could go forever...! They ahev pretty god prices. And I so can't wait to go back!

Next we went to Sur La Table. A kitchen supply place. I have been wanting to purchase some new professional cookie sheets and some other supply. But again being sort on funds the only thing I purchased was 2 big professional cookie sheets for around $18.00. It is a really nice store. They carry a ton of things. Very Very nice place!

Next up another art stop at one of the JoAnne Fabric super stores. It was a huge store but really didn't have anything I was looking for. Plus it took up forever to find. We had to stop for gas and then some how got on the wrong road so then the GPS took us the longest way around it could have. So it was supposed to take 15 minutes to get there. But ot took use more like 30 or 40. Plus it was a huge let down... I should have went to one of the other art stores on my list. O yeah. If I would have had time to go through the fabric I would have been excited. They have a ton of fabric!

The last few times we have went to Pa I have wanted to go to the Market District Giant Eagle. I pass it every time we go to Whole foods but I always forget and then I'm to lazy to turn around. But this time I had it scheduled into the day. I was really excited. When we pulled in I could not believe that the grocery store alone had a parking garage under it at least 2 stories below ground. Then we took the elevator to the store. It was packed. Yes it is set up like a market area. Very pretty with all the colors from the fruits and veggies. Plus it was the day before Valentines day so there was flowers and ballons everywhere. As well as people. Thea place was so packed you have to wait in line to walk around from veggie to veggie... It was awful. Then ontop of it... To find the things we normally purchase we had to fight our way through the rest of the store. I have always thought I would like our organic, vegan things beside the regular products at the store. But after that I realize just going to the natural section in our grocery stores saves a lot of time and annoyouses! so that stop was also a waste of my time.

Finally Trader Joes. Although doesn't have as many organics as I thought they did. I still love this store. I Love how things that are vegan are marked vegan. Plus they doe have really good prices on everything including their organic products. Trader joes had my biggest shopping list of the day. But I still only spent a little over a hundred dollars. I stocked up on bagels, soy ice creams, organic corn, breads, juice, pasta (I saved .50 on every bag compared to the price I pay for organic pasta here), I purchased some produce, tempeh, blue organic corn chips, veggie chips, soyaki, the list goes on!! It didn't take that long there. And I loved it!!!!

Next Whole foods.. I also love whole foods. But I wish stuff was not so expensive. We did stock up and get some new stuff to try as well. Stuff adds up fast when you are stocking up on pastry stuff to last like 3 months. So we purchased mac & chreese, snapcrisps (very good), 365 organic salsa (which I love), Sprouts, dairy free ranch, meat free bac o bits, organic tortilla shells, organic pickles, Organic French dressing, Soy ice creams, organic french fries, organic frozen veggies, organic stir fry. The picture doesn't show that much since alot of it was freezer food. O' yeah plus 3 bags of ice for the trip home... But I had a nice time there to ever though we spent around $150.00

Then we circled back to Trader Joes to pick up the soy ice cream and frozen food.

John decided to get the munchies so we decided to stop by the Subway and have veggie subs. But I got caught up at the Yarn store beside it. Natural Stitches has a good variety of yarns. Alot of cotten blends. But not many a vegan can use. Plus most were very expensive. A good book selection as well. When I walked in there was 2 ladies sitting talking about some lady they know who is on welfare. Actually they were nice to me but was speaking very rudely about others. I looked through there store. Then I went up to ask if they ever carried the loss "wool " like material for needle felting. I have seen it online but can't find it at any stores. She said she may be able to get a small amount in if I was willing to pay for delivery and the full amount of the martial. Then she kinda stops and thinks about that for a minute and she tells me that you can't needle felt anything but wool and I explained that I already needle felt with Eco plastic felt sheets and they turnout really good. Then she rudely said well we can't get that in. Just the tone and the attitude she had... I was kinda thrown back. I don't know where the attitude came from.. And John was just as astonished as I was at how her attitude changed. I don't know why.. maybe she is DID or maybe she is Biopolor.. .I don't know but something was definitely up with that lady!!! I know thats not nice of me right..... :) I really just can;t get over the look on her face and her attitude....

After that we went to Subway and ate. We had veggies subs. But the lady asked me 4 times what kind of cheese we wanted. Then she finally stopped what she was doing looked straight at me and said.... "Cheese still comes on the veggie subs".... "Yeah I know it can.... I just want veggies".... I mean come on....Then came home a new way... Over the river and through the

Product reviews #1 of 2009

Amy's Organic Spicy Chipotle Salsa

I think this stuff is really good. I am super picky about salsa. So to find one I think is pretty good takes forever. But John isn't a big fan of the smoky chipolte flavor... It costs about $4.59 for a 17.5oz

Kawan Paratha (Roti)

I am not sure if these are vegan. I think they are. We came across these when my husband was was installing a satalite at a customers house. They were from India. Which is were John's Family is orignally from. Anyways. They fed him veggies and sent him home with 3 packs of this bread. When this fries up it is so good.... fattening and very high in calories but so so yummy!!!! Try it!!! You will not be disappointed.

Next up is Pasta Sauce. I am very very picky about pasta sauce. Just because I am not good with spices that I can visually see in my food... so.. I normally strain mine. That said....

Del Grosso Organic Garden Medeley....

Well my husbands firsts words were well since its is Del "Grosso" what do you think its going to taste like???? lol... Well John did really like it. I an the other hand really didn't. It was nice that it had chunky veggies in it but at the same time I could not strain it. So I ended up eating my pasta with northern beans and smart balance light. But John gave it a definitely thumbs up and said he would really like to have it again. It costs $2.50 -$2.95 for a 24oz Jar.

I have been putting off trying this next product for a while. Nutritional yeast is really not a thing that works in my food.

Road's end organics Mac and Chreese Cheddar style
But it turned out to be ok. I didn't eat like a huge amount. But it did fix my mac & cheese craving. So I will definitaly have it again. It costs about $2.oo for a regular size box.

Roads end organics Chreese Powder
I have also purchased this product seperatly and although I have not added water and made it a cheese sauce. I have used it in my pop corn. It works well and gives your popcorn that extra little zing. But I will update this when I add water to it to use it for the Chreese sammie recipe on the back. 1.1oz for $1.35 at vegan essentials. Or you can get it in bulk.

Back with more reviews soon!

Winters lazy bums... lol

Wow Busy Busy Busy.

It has been a while since I have posted any thing. So much for 6 or 8 a month between the two blogs. We will see if I can catch up..... Well I started falling behind when the winter weather brought sewer and water problems. Then my Grandfather went into the Hospital. So I went to my parents house for a week to take care of Chey. So I feel really behind on everything. Although the new Dish network did finally get installed and Direct TV screwed me out of $100.71 that they said I didn't owe then they took it out of my bank account.

Some of the problem started with the cold weather. The sewer pipe was still frozen and the toilet had been taken out of the house about a week prior to going to stay at my parents house. So the new toilet was still sitting in the living room. Then with a whole in the floor and the sewer pipe still frozen, plus some of the floor in the bathroom pulled up we had to move to my moms house for the week. Before we went to moms house I did cook some meals and snacks. Sweet & Sour tofu with Veggies, Refried black beans, Rock soup, Oven fries, Apple crumble muffins.
Chey didn't have school that week because of all the snow. I did some cooking but other then that I didn't get anything done. I did how ever move half my kitchen to my parents house while I was there. I never notice how different we eat until I spend a whole day or more there. Then it really kicks in. We have nothing to eat there. The difference really amazes me. Anyways. But I did carry enough stuff over to make dinner a couple of times. Plus a treat for Chey at the end of the week. So we started out with really simple. A Veggie Un-pot pie with biscuits, Pasta w/ cabbage,onions, potatoes, and sage butter. The rest of the week I either didn't get pictures or we just snacked on left overs. But at the end of the week Chey and I did make some Chocolate chocloate chip pancakes from Vegan with a Vengance. She loves them. So I made some extra and froze them for her. At the end of that week John, Chey, and I did go out grocery shopping. We went to the new Krogers which is now the biggest in WV. It was a nice shopping trip.