• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 148 other followers

  • “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers” — Isaac Asimov

  • Recent Posts

  • Pages

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 169,542 hits

The Great Reveal

After I got out of the shower this morning, I noticed that one corner of the bandaid on my forehead was peeling off.  The plastic surgeon had told me to leave it on until it fell off, which would take approximately a week.

I’m not going to lie.  Although I was getting used to seeing it, I was ready for it to come off – especially because I have training tomorrow.

I figured that it wasn’t doing as much good if it was starting to come off (see the darker edges?) – namely water and such could get underneath – so I finished pulling it off.

Let’s compare this picture to the first one, moments after I split my head open.

Vast difference, eh?  Kudos to Dr. N for the talent that God blessed him with, especially for overachieving people like Your’s Truly.

There is still an area that’s a little red and raw, but I’m sure that as time passes, it will regain its normal hue.

If you take a closer look, I’m still sporting a bit of a goose egg, but compared to the day I bumped my head and got stitches, it’s looking better.

The lighting makes a difference as to how much it stands out.  I’m sure I could cover it up with makeup, but I’m concerned about infection, so I’m leaving the area clean.  Heck, I’ve got so many scars that it would be a waste of time trying to camouflage them.

Why won’t my hair dry completely like this instead of going all 80’s on me?

There is a silver lining.

The bump on my head is stretching out my forehead wrinkles and making them almost invisible (look at the bottom right picture, which I took last month while visiting Rooster and his girl).  I’d rather get Botox, truth be told, than have a concussion to hide the wrinkles.  Just sayin’.

Perspective, y’all.

It’s all about finding joy in the journey, which I’ve become a pro at.

Weekending With Auburnchick

Y’all, this head thing is putting a crimp in my style as far as weekend fun goes.

Because I’m still having headaches, I’m being forced to lay low, which means NO beach, NO pool, and NOTHING that’s too loud.  When you live fifteen minutes from the beach, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

True to form, I’m making the most of my downtime.

Friday, I found myself without a headache; however, the trade off was that I’d gotten NO sleep the night before.

Nada.

None.

Bet that you can’t tell from the selfie, below.  I’m a girl who pulls up her big girl pants and does life anyway.

Thursday night, I’d taken one of my new pain pills – the one with codeine (to help me sleep) – but it also had caffeine in it (to ward off the headache).  Guess which ingredient my body took to like a flea on a dog?

Yep.

I was super relaxed, though, so at least I wasn’t exactly suffering all night.

It was strange, though, because I wasn’t really tired when I got up.  I took the dogs for a ride to get them out since I can’t walk them right now.

At first, they were suspicious, but when I didn’t make the usual turn for Petsmart, they relaxed.

Gambit’s face though 😀

I was down for the count by 2pm, though, and slept a hefty two and a half hours – in bed.  The dogs were more than happy to oblige me.

I felt a little better when I got up, so I got busy in the kitchen, preparing a few things I’d been wanting to try.

First up was 5-Ingredient Vegan Peanut Butter Pudding, a recipe by Minimalist Baker.

I had prepared the pudding the day before and had it chilling in the refrigerator for twenty four hours, as directed.  It was time to put the finishing touches on it.

First of all, I learned that waxed paper is the best way to go as opposed to using saran wrap when trying to prevent a film from forming on the top of puddings and custards.  I’ll remember that for next time.

I’d gone back and forth about the topping.  Although chocolate ganache strongly appealed to me, I wanted to try something new, so I pulled out the can of coconut cream I’d put in the refrigerator a few days before and got to work on a whipped topping (the recipe is linked in with the recipe above).

I’d purchased several cans of this at Trader Joe’s over Christmas break because we don’t have this store, and I had read that to successfully make whipped cream, you have to buy cans that don’t have guar gum, which is used as a stabilizer and prevents cream from being whipped up.

I’ve tried, in the past, to make this and never gotten it right.  I guess Friday was the day!

It was light and tasty.  Yum!

I added it to my pudding.

I showed restraint by putting it in the fridge because y’all, I hadn’t eaten dinner yet!

The next dish I prepared was really a “recipe.”  I’ll admit that I cheated a little.

I wanted to warm up the jackfruit I’d purchased earlier in the week.

I’ve been very intrigued by this newly-popular food item, and although I’ve found it sold in cans online, I haven’t been able to locate it in my local stores.

Prep was fairly easy, except for the pulling-apart thing (akin to pulling apart pork when making barbecue).

Although it’s a fruit, the texture is similar to pork.  I think it would be a great food for people who are making the transition to becoming vegetarians.

I added 1/8 of a cup to each slice of pizza I had leftover from the day before.

It was delicious!  I wound up ordering a pack of six cans of jackfruit (from Amazon) so I can make stuff like this from scratch and eliminate some of the unhealthy ingredients that’s in prepackaged food.  Oh yeah, and don’t be judging me, because I know the pizza wasn’t healthy either.  It’s been a tough couple of weeks for me, so cut me some slack.  🙂

Because of my nap, I wasn’t tired that night.  Gambit was not impressed.

I slept in rather late on Saturday and quickly got dressed.  Chicky was on her way for a very brief stop enroute to see her guy.  She needed to drop a few things off.

I got to see her fur baby, Cali, who is always excited to visit us.  She’s never forgotten us after the summer that she and Chicky spent here when Chicky was still in college.

We put her in the backyard because we didn’t want to risk a less-than-friendly reception by our dogs.

Ahem.

We sent Chicky on her way with my rice cooker, a couple of homemade energy bars, and a bowl of peanut butter pudding (just so you know that I’m not a complete pig).

After she left, I made lunch for the Mr. – chicken fingers – his favorite.

Thank goodness for being a blogger who takes a lot of pictures because my memory is giving me tiny fits right now.  I blocked a project I’d finished in the wee hours of the morning.  I’ll have photos of that soon.

I didn’t go to bed too late, if you consider midnight acceptable.  It is still summer, after all.

I skipped church on Sunday because I was worried that the loud music would make my headache worse.  Although the headaches are less intense, they are constantly present, brewing beneath the surface.  I did get up, showered, dressed in street clothes, and adorned with makeup.

Go me.

Good thing too, because the Mr. called and asked if I wanted to go to Newk’s with some of our friends from church.  He picked me up, and we had a lovely time with two other couples.

Then, it was home again for the day where I rested, knit a LOT on a new project, listened to RHAP’s Big Brother updates (don’t be judging), and binged on Bosch, my latest Amazon Prime go-to show.

The Mr. and I watched the latest episode of Sharp Objects.  What a dark show; it’s so depressing!

While we watched, the Mr. tried, unsuccessfully, to ignore Pele as he ate a leftover hamburger patty.

Although I’m spending a lot of time at home these days, it’s been good for me and the dogs.

They love that they’re getting extra treats and lots of time in the yard.

We are getting so much quality time together, which is difficult during the school year.

Did you do anything exciting?  Can I live vicariously through you for a little while?  🙂

Story of My Life

Oh y’all, sometimes I wonder about myself.

I mean, for someone who’s book-smart, I do the dumbest things sometimes.

Take yesterday, for instance.

I’d gone to bed headache-free (yay) but woke up with another one.  Ugh.

I’d actually slept well, so I was discouraged because I’d hoped that I’d wake up feeling better, but hey, that’s par for the course with this little head thing I’ve got going on.

I took it easy and made lunch plans with Megan.  She picked me up, and we headed to Newk’s, where we placed our orders and sat down to chat while we waited for our food.

I love this friend of mine.  We’re starting our seventh year of working together, and she’s simply wonderful.  ❤

My pizza arrived, and I immediately noticed the cheese on it, so I asked them to remake it without the cheese, as I’d originally ordered.  I even commented to Megan that the pizza didn’t look like it usually looked.

When they brought the second pizza, it didn’t have cheese, but it still didn’t look right.  I picked up something and asked, “Is this chicken?”

Megan said that it was.

What the heck?

I thought back to what I’d ordered – the Mediterranean Pizza.  I wondered, did it come with chicken?

Megan looked at me and said, “Yes.  I was wondering what you were doing, but I didn’t say anything.”

She knows I’m a vegan, hence her questioning.

Y’all, I’d meant to order the Veggie Pizza, which I went back and reordered, essentially paying twice for lunch.

Even with the ingredients listed on the big menu board, I did what I’m becoming famous for and didn’t pay attention.

I told Megan that I hoped she liked leftovers, because dinner was on me.

This, my friends, is the story of my life.

For a reading teacher who helps students learn to pay attention to details in text, I sure don’t do a good job of paying attention in my real life.

The Mr. and I were listing some of the times I didn’t pay attention and paid the price for it.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane . . .

Back when I was in high school, I was sleeping over at my friend’s house.  We got home from somewhere, and it was dark as we made our way to the door.  I stepped on the end of a brick in the yard, it flipped up, end over end, and hit me in the shin, breaking the skin and leaving a huge scar.  I never got stitches for that.  I probably should have.

There was that time when the Mr. and I had been married for a year, and I signed up to do a walk-a-thon, but before I could even meet the group I was going to participate with, I ran into a wood stake that was holding up an event tent.  The stake went into my lower shin, and I had to drive myself to a walk-in clinic and get stitches.  During my drive to the clinic, I had to STOP on the road to let the walkers cross in front of me. I remember that moment as if it was yesterday.

Back then, we didn’t have cell phones, and we only had one car, which I’d driven to the event.  I had to use a landline to call his parent’s house, and they had to drive him to the clinic to get me.  The doctor on call there turned out to be a friend of our doctor friend who the Mr. had gone to college with (the one we stayed with last fall when we went to Auburn one weekend).  Small world.

A few years later, when we lived in Miami, I broke about three toes running into my dining room chairs. The kicker (literally) is that I didn’t break them all the same day. Oh no sir. I broken those babies on different days. Should I have moved the offending chairs elsewhere? Yep. I’m not always the brightest bulb in the pack.

There was the time when we took the kids to Auburn for a weekend of football fun, and I lifted the back door of my car but wasn’t standing back far enough and caught my forehead with the corner of it.  I sported a goose egg that day (but no stitches).

How about the time I tripped over the sidewalk, while I was in the process of logging an extra quarter mile . . . with virtually no light available (because I’m smart that way) . . . and Rooster tenderly patched me up. It was one of those mother-son bonding moments. Silver linings, folks!

It’s hard to forget the morning I burned my hand on the straightener while I was getting ready for work – all because I didn’t look down before I grabbed it and didn’t realize that I was stepping on the cord, so when I pulled it up to my head, my grip slipped until I was holding it by the hot metal plates.  Another teacher patched me up after I stopped by CVS for gauze, Neosporin, and tape. One of my students told me I was all about the drama. You know, there are much less painful ways to create drama in your life. I mean, heck, I teach at a high school where drama lurks around every corner.

Of course, you know about the incident with my ankle.

Over the years, there have been countless bruises, bumps, and scrapes.

All because I have a habit of not paying attention.

You would think that I’d have learned my lesson by now, but nooooooooo, I’m about the world’s slowest learner when it comes to common sense.

Sigh.

The pizza thing was more evidence of that.

I have got to learn to be in whatever moment I’m in . . . to focus . . . because concrete walls do not move, nor do dogs sleeping in the middle of the floor.

Oh, and just so you know – I’m starting my Christmas list early.  At the top:  bubble wrap – body length – because, well, you know.

Goodbye Stitches

Yesterday, I had an appointment to remove the stitches from my forehead.

I got up around 7:00, fed the dogs, and completed my Seamless Bible study work by the time the Mr. finished getting ready for work.

He was surprised to see me awake so early but surmised, in his words, that I was “easing back into things.”

Note to everyone:  When I retire, don’t call or text before 9am because this girl will be sleeping in all of the days.

Except for days when I have appointments.

Despite another headache, or rather a worsening of the headache that I’ve been chained to since last Tuesday, I managed to make myself presentable.

That lighting though.  ❤

Yes, folks, that’s almost full-on makeup, except for the forehead.

I am loving my highlights, by the way.  Rebecca called them sun-kissed in a comment she left me yesterday.  That’s exactly what I was going for.

I took some pain medicine because the headache, and I also applied one of my absolute favorite essential oils – Vetiver.

I am so glad that my friend, Katja, told me about this one.  It’s got an earthy/woodsy aroma that is subtle but uber-soothing.  Like seriously slide-me-into-Happy-Land-soothing.

I needed this because I’d spent an hour in bed googling symptoms for concussions, which I suspected I had despite the doctor’s “no” last week.  My nerves were a bit on edge, as anybody’s would be when having to deal with pain for extended days,

I spent the morning putting the finishing touches on a couple of projects that had recently come off of my knitting needles.  I’ll post pictures of those in a week or so.

Then, I headed to the plastic surgeon’s office.

I didn’t have to wait long to be seen – a refreshing thing given that so many offices double-book their patients.

Do you remember when I posted last week and described the doctor?

Well y’all, he was in rare form during my visit yesterday.

In the middle of taking out my stitches, which hurt like crap, by the way, and made my forehead bleed, the doctor began sniffing me.

I kid you not.

Not discreetly either.

Loud sniffs.

Last week, after a friend read my blog and called me to get more details, she guessed the name of the doctor and explained that he was from Louisiana – a true Coona$$ (if you know what I mean).

That explained the cursing . . .

And the fact that he likened himself to a dog (a hunting dog, in my opinion).

He explained that he smelled something and was trying to figure out what it was.

I lifted one of my wrists, and he began asking me questions about it.

He loved the oil.  A lot.

He said that his wife probably wouldn’t let him order it.  I told him that as The Doctor, he could order what he wanted.  I guarantee that’s what the Mr. would do.  Heck, he’s not a doctor, and he orders what he wants.  Ha!

The doctor applied a new bandage as I talked.

I wish I’d thought to take a picture before he put it on.  I didn’t get to see my head after he removed the stitches.

As he finished up, I told him about the unrelenting headache I’d been suffering from, and he said that I probably had Post-Concussion Syndrome – that I’d most likely bruised my brain a little last week.

Fortunately, I had landed on this during my morning’s research, so I understood what he was talking about.

He explained that bruising the brain is no different from when you bruise another part of your body.  It takes time to heal; in the meantime, there’s going to be pain.

He also told me that there wasn’t much I could do for it except for rest, which I’d been doing for a solid week.  Ugh.

He wrote me a couple of prescriptions for migraine medicine – one to take during the day and one to help me sleep.

I’ll give these a go for a couple of weeks and then switch over to Tylenol or Excedrin if I’m still having headaches.

Meanwhile, I’m still not working out, which the doctor agreed with.  He told me to imagine how bad of a headache I’d have if I started the workout with one.   I’m going to give myself another week and reevaluate on Tuesday.

I’ve read that it can take up to 100 days to get over a concussion for a person who is moderately active, which I’ll have to be soon with school starting back the middle of August.

My 80 Day Obsession is going to turn into the 100 Day Obsession if things keep on like this.

Sigh.

For now, I’ll continue sporting a bandage until it falls off and will soon begin massaging my forehead, per the doctor’s instructions, to work out the scar tissue.

Fun times, y’all.

More fodder for this blog of mine.

Pampering

Self-care may seem indulgent, but in reality, it’s integral to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Can I get an amen?

Yesterday, I indulged in a bit of this.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating.  I adore my hairdresser.  She’s incredibly kind, sassy as all get out, and curses like a rated R movie.  This girl does not play.  She speaks my language (except for the cursing part).

When I got to her salon, she commented on my hair and how great it looked.

Y’all, I should have taken a picture of it.  Although I had showered, I had not washed it.  I mean, why if I was getting it taken care of anyhow?

I hadn’t even brushed it.

Yep.  I go out in public with bed head.  There.  I admitted it.  The truth is that when you have naturally curly hair, a brush will ruin it.  Hello humidity and frizz!

She loved it though and thought I’d purposely styled it that way.  She’s used to seeing me with my hair straightened.

I was feeling like I should be on a Prell commercial . . . except for the forehead bandage thing.

Ahem.

Anyhoo, she began to work her magic, and I sat in her chair enjoying the pampering.

She has a son who will be starting high school next month.  He’s attending the school where I teach, so we are both excited.  In fact, she has told me that it’s largely due to our conversations over the years about my teaching there that led her to the decision to enroll him in our AICE (advanced) program.  Plus, knowing that I’m there will be a comfort to her.

All the feels, y’all.

We were the only ones in the salon, so we chatted to our hearts’ content without interruption, except when she moved me to the hair dryer.

I had not been feeling well yesterday – the ever-simmering headache was worse than the day before – but as I sat under that dryer, I started to feel better.  I later learned, from a text from Super Sis, that she’d asked her church’s leadership to pray for me during one of their meetings (she works at her church and was at the meeting).  I’m fully convinced that God provided relief at the exact time they were praying – no coincidence there.

I think my favorite part of a day at the hair salon is the actual hair washing.  It’s akin to having a pedicure without the ticklish feet part.  I could have taken a nap at this point.

Our fun continued as she proceeded to cut and style my hair.  When you’ve got hair like mine and can get it blown out straight – well – there’s something soothing about it.  You know what I mean – the pulling out of each section of hair on the round brush.  There’s a rhythm to it that’s as hypnotic as a lullaby.

Pampering at its best, y’all.

I hugged Dana goodbye as I told her to send me her son’s schedule.  She’s probably going to give me a bag of snacks for him – one I’ll keep in my closet at school so if he gets hungry, he can grab something.  I love being a school mama for my friends’ children.  ❤

I felt almost brand new as I headed home.  Not only had my hair been lightened but my mood had been as well.

Cooking All the Things

My summertime running around has been curtailed a bit thanks to a headache that continues to simmer because of my recent run-in with a wall.

That hasn’t diminished my efforts in the kitchen, though.  I’ve been busy trying new recipes and experimenting a little.

Saturday, I found a very, very ripe banana on the kitchen counter.  Coincidentally, I had an email waiting for me.  In it was a recipe for Vegan Banana Pancakes, from LovingitVegan.

They didn’t require many ingredients and were really easy to mix up.  I’ve tried a few vegan pancake recipes in the past and have had issues with them getting fluffy.  This recipe worked well, though.

Later that day, I pulled out something I’d ordered a couple of weeks before . . .

That is the Snack Bar Maker Set, by Pampered Chef.  Someone in the Detoxinista Facebook group had posted a photo of hers, along with bars she’d made in them.  I knew I had to have this.

I love that it’s silicone and can be used in the oven.  I also really like the cover.  It came with a spatula too!

I’d had my eye on the Superfood Pecan Energy Bars that A Couple Cooks, which they had recently posted.

Mine don’t look like theirs, of course, but I think I know why.  I believe that I over-blended the mixture.  The next time I make these, I’ll use my Vitamix to blend up the dates and pecans before hand-mixing the rest of the ingredients.

They look a little like Larabars, don’t they?  The consistency isn’t crunchy, like I’d anticipated, but the taste is wonderful!  There is a tiny bit of a crunch because of the chia seeds, but I’m really looking for more of a granola bar type of crunch.  I found a recipe for No-Bake Granola Bars on the Pampered Chef website.  The Big Man’s World also has a lot of recipes for granola bars.

On Monday, I tried a new recipe, which I saw posted on Instagram.  Dang, that social media and the pressure it brings.

Speaking of social media . . .

Here’s the Healthy Flourless Cinnamon Bun Breakfast Cake – another recipe by The Big Man’s World, which he posted on Instagram (the recipe is on his website too).

I love this one!  The cake is a great texture, and it rose beautifully.  It’s also very moist!  The cinnamon flavor is subtle but still discernible.  Now the icing – well, it’s meh.  I tried his cream cheese option, but it didn’t turn out like I expected.

I made his Paleo version for the Mr. and adapted it for the Mr.’s SCD diet.

I should have left well alone.  The cake looked and smelled delicious, but I worried that the Mr. would want frosting, so I did some experimenting and created my “own” recipe from a combination of a couple of others I found online.

I used dairy-free butter, honey, vanilla, peanut butter, and cinnamon.

It looked pretty, and while the Mr. liked the cake itself, he was not as keen on the frosting.  He said it didn’t have enough flavor.

I really need to stick with coloring inside the lines.

After I’d finished making the desserts, it was time to think about my dinner.  Before heading to the grocery store yesterday morning, I’d flipped through my Instant Pot recipe book and found a recipe for Lentil-Spinach Curry.

The list of ingredients was short (always a win), and I put it together very quickly.  It was ready in about 40 minutes when I factor in sauteeing the vegetables and the actual cook time.

The only thing I had to add after-the-fact was salt and pepper, which the recipe surprisingly didn’t require.

It was delicious, and I ate a bowl of leftover curry for lunch today.  Yum!

Acting Like Tourists

After spending Saturday at home in very chill, full-on recovery mode, the Mr. and I headed out for some exploring on Sunday.

Chicky has been spending time with her guy up here in these parts, so she asked if we wanted to meet them halfway between here and there.

Of course we would never turn down the opportunity to see our kids, so we heartily agreed.

I took my knitting along for the ride.  I’m getting close to finishing my newest project.

Our first stop was Rosemary Beach, which is on the Gulf Coast.

Y’all, I’ve lived in the Florida Panhandle for almost fifteen years, but this was the first time I’d ever visited this quaint tourist town.

What a lovely sight to behold as we drove in.

I’m a sucker for canopy roads, country girl that I am.

We passed a farmer’s market on a sprawling green, and I made a mental note that we’ll need to go back one day.

Chicky and B, her guy, had run into some traffic, so we sat outside of the restaurant we’d selected for lunch and waited.

I’ll be getting out my stitches on Wednesday – hence the bandage.

I was also sporting a headache, my constant companion since my run-in with the wall.  I had not taken any pain medication in an attempt to be strong, but y’all, how stupid I was!  I didn’t even take it with me – another dumb move.  It lurked behind my eyes all day, but I was determined not to let it put a damper on my day with my girl.

Here’s where we ate . . .

The service was wonderful, and the food was incredible!  I got a burrito with grilled veggies.  It was so big that I wound up taking most of it home.  Chips and salsa beforehand ruined my appetite.

We were so full that we needed to walk.  We decided to visit the farmer’s market we’d seen driving in, but alas, after walking over a quarter of a mile, we couldn’t find any sign of it!  Every single tent had vanished!

During our walk back to our cars, we stopped to take some photos – Chicky knows how much I love them and, truth be told, so does she.  😉

Aren’t they cute? ❤

We did a bit of shopping on our trip back to where we’d parked and made more plans for our day.  Although a storm was threatening, we decided to drive to Seaside, another popular tourist venue, and hunt for vegan donuts, which B said he’d seen at a food truck.

The drive wasn’t too bad; these little towns are sprinkled all the way down Highway 98.  The Mr. and I quickly found parking while we waited for the kids.  Then, it was off to find the food trucks.

There was quite an assortment, let me tell you, and lots of different dishes and drinks were available.

This one struck my fancy . . .

I didn’t get anything at this truck, but I fully intend to go back sometime and sample a couple of things.

The truck we were looking for was on the opposite end from where we’d started.

Now y’all, I totally forgot to take a picture of the doughnut I bought!  How in the world?  I guess I was so focused on eating it that capturing the moment slipped by me (plus, I was fighting a headache).  The only vegan one they had was a glazed, but hey, I wasn’t complaining!  We all sampled it and agreed that the texture, so hard to get right with vegan things, was perfect!

Chicky and her guy got some fancy doughnut with filling, which she promptly got all over her black clothes.

She’s like her Daddy in that way.

Ha!

We walked around a little more, and I got Chicky (or was it B?) to take another picture of the Mr. and me since I didn’t like the one we’d gotten at Rosemary Beach.  It’s all in the angles, girls, isn’t it – especially with waistless dresses.

We ambled around awhile; I returned to a food truck that had frozen lemonade (not as good as Toomer’s Corner but still yummy). Before too long, Chicky and B left.  They had somewhere to be, and we needed to scoot to feed the dogs and get my meds.

Hugs ensued, and we went our merry way.

Getting out like this is something that the Mr. and I need to do more of.  We live in a beautiful part of Florida and need to take advantage of the sights available.

%d bloggers like this: