Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sh*t Hit the Fan...Part 2

So after the scary appointment and hours in the L&D triage on Tuesday, I had my normally scheduled BPP appt on Thursday.  My hubby met me at the front of my office building as usual at 2-ish and we went to my appt.  Well, my blood pressure was in the 150s...which is bad.  So they let me sit and rest a bit and did the other normal appt. things like measure my belly, etc.  and then at the end it was even higher.  

My OB was not smiling or sugar-coating anything when she said we need to go to the hospital ASAP and get monitored for 24 hours and I am in no way going back to work.  Bedrest for sure.  We were a little freaked out, as she said if my BP didn't go down and stayed around 160 as it was, they may have to induce!  Eek, I was only at 34 weeks!  We went quickly back to my office so I could grab my laptop, cords and clean my space up a bit, since I probably wouldn't be back until April!  Also told everyone that I wouldn't be back for a while either, which surprised everyone since I had had no problems so far and planned to work until right before Christmas.  

We made our way to the hospital where I will be delivering eventually (thank God my OB was able to get me and all my info transferred there, as I wasn't going to start going to that location (closer to our home) until the very end of my pregnancy.)  Let me tell you, it is quite the comfy, nice place as it is pretty darn new.  We didn't even go into the actual L&D area, I was put into the perinatal suites.  Hooked up to heart and blood pressure monitors and had to live on my left side for 24 hours and also do the 24 hour urine testing.  my BP was elevated most of my stay, but it did go down to the lower 140s high 130s with one freakish 160 at 2 in the AM.  The next evening we finally got the protein results and I had a level of 290, which 300 is considered pre-eclamptic.  So I'm right on the edge of that mess.  I was told modified bedrest from now on!  We are hoping that this little munchkin will be waiting until Christmas time to arrive, which will be a little early, but still ok.  

We're just going appointment by appointment to see what happens, as pre-e can rear its ugly head whenever it wants.  I'm surprised how exhausting resting and doing nothing!  I'm ready to start some crafty projects, but not sure what yet.  Any suggestions?  


Guess What? The Sh*t Hit the Fan...Part 1

As I read over my last post back in mid-November...I was happy to have no BP issues or protein in the urine...blah blah blah.  Well, the shit hit the fan, starting on my birthday (the 27th) of all days!  I was 33w5d.

I had a regularly scheduled endo appointment and my blood pressure was elevated, which it had been just a couple random times at previous appts.  But never continuous.  I thought it was from the longer hike from the parking garage to the office, but guess not.  We then were looking at my insulin dosages and told my Dr. that the total daily dosage had gone waaay down the past couple days.  That worried her.  Other than that, my BG numbers had been pretty darn perfect the past months.  A1c was still at a 6.  She said she'll send an IM to my OB doc to discuss me.  I went on my merry way to head home around 4:00 pm.  

Then, I had a thought to check my work voicemail  just in case I had any messages.  I did.  It was my endo telling me I need to go to the L&D triage unit at the hospital.  Not even the hospital I plan on delivering at, which freaked me out.  I was slightly annoyed, as hubby and I were to go out to eat for my birthday.  But, they said it'd only be a couple hours to monitor me and the baby.  Well, I ended up staying there, all by myself from 4:30 until 10:30!  Hooked up to the fetal heart monitor and automatic bp cuff.  No TV even!  Then my cell died!  They ended up doing an u/s bio-physical profile on baby, which he was sleeping at that point, so was a little slow and not really responsive like his usual spazzy self and then we had to wait for the on-call physician to look over everything.  There were two decelerations that happened to the baby's heart beat, but they said it was ok since it was over a period of 6 hours.  From the u/s, they noted that the pressure on the umbilical cord was on the higher side of normal, so they're to watch that now too.  My BP finally lowered itself after a couple of hours.  I was told to go home and rest if I can.  I took the next day off to decompress.

Poor hubby was still at home waiting for me to get there to maybe have a late dinner, but that idea was shot to hell.  So, what do you do when there's no food at home, you were supposed to have a romantic/fun/yummy dinner out at our favorite local hangout, Ruby Tuesdays?  (I know...but we like it)  Stop at McD's drivethrough that is open 24 hours.  Whatever to high blood pressure for one day.  But I did come home to a box of chocolates and a cute card from my hubby, which was sweet.  

Next Post:  The Sh*t Hit the Fan...Part 2

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Busy!

Sorry I've been gone!  We've been working on getting lots of projects done around the house and my pregnancy brain is trying to stay focused on working, house stuff and cooking a healthy baby!  

The diabetes has been terrific still, the A1c was a 6 at my last appt and my BG averages for 7-14-30 days have been in the 120s.  I am poofing up though and my cankles are disgusting!  No BP issues  or protein, just poof!  I will start my NSTs (non-stress tests) twice a week with an u/s thrown in each week for good measure, on the 15th.  So things will really start moving along!  Baby is doing wonderfully and at our growth scan he was at the 60th percentile.  I'm happy with that!  

The nursery is getting gorgeous, the crib was put together the other night.  I will be posting pictures when we are done with the room.  Shouldn't be too long!  My Hoosier cabinet is also finally in the kitchen!  We're using it without the doors, as I still have to finish those.  But it is so nice to have the extra shelf storage. 

I'll be back soon with fun posts of the nursery!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Baby is Good for Me

I'm 26 weeks today!  Baby boy is a kicking fool.

After about a month and 1/2 of wrangling my boluses and basals I FINALLY have them working for me!  My averages, courtesy of the Ping meter are a doctor's dream, or at least not a nightmare.  

7 Day: 122
14 Day: 128
30 Day: 135
60 Day: 146

I'm happy with these as they're pretty REAL, with hardly any highs or lows to skew the numbers.  But, as everyone says...don't expect to rest on my diabetic laurels when pregnant, I'll probably have to change everything again next week.  

My Thyroid TSH levels are also in perfect order.  

***Fun braggy note, my wonderful husband bought a Cuisinart Food Processor today!  I'm slightly geeked up about that :)  I'm hoping it matches the toaster...otherwise they can't live next to each other.  
I'll be making homemade baby food for the boy, so this monster will come in handy!  I still have a bucket of tomatoes to process into a salsa so it will be broken in properly.  I'm just thinking of shredding cheese for homemade lasagna...so much better than packaged sprinkle cheese.  



Friday, September 21, 2012

Almost Done Little Hoosier!

The cabinet is painted...yes painted.  No stain for that little puppy made out of different types of wood, of different eras, and some old paint that just wouldn't come off without gouging out the areas.  So paint it is.  I chose a Valspar National Trust Historic color (a creamy color, can't remember the name off hand.)  

This weekend I plan on rubbing off the edges and wearing some areas down and apply furniture wax to get that vintage look.  Pictures next week!  

Instead of the original ceramic-metal, slider counter top, we're going to add a butcher block counter.  My husband hates the metal top for some reason, it grosses him out.  I think butcher block will be lovely and will help it match whatever our kitchen looks like in our future house.  

I really would like a Boos counter with the name showing on a side!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Baby Ate My Snack

I was low at 62 after dinner...due to busy-work painting my cabinet and climbing around on a table and stools like a pregnant monkey-mama.  So, in we go to have a delicious Little Debbie Nutty Bar (my fave) and I eat both bars in the pack, which have 30-odd carbs in it.  Sorta assuming that the rest of my work would take care of the little extra I ate.  Well, after cleaning up after myself and coming inside about an hour later, I feel a little crabby and can't-pay-attention-ish, so I test again and it's 64.  Hmm.  That's weird.

Where'd that Nutty Bar go?  I think the baby ate it before I could have any.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Low-Carb Bun in This Oven!

So we've made the official announcement, we're going to have a baby boy in January! 

Hence the reason I've been MIA lately, besides having my surgery, then going to Flagstaff, AZ for the Labor Day weekend.  But the topic of this post is diabetes-related. 

The dreaded insulin resistance in 2nd-3rd trimester has started...

In the past 2 weeks I have continually increased my basals at all hours to at least double what they were pre-pregnancy.  My carb ratios have also almost doubled at all times.  Today was the last straw though, I had about 50 carbs for breakfast and actually bolused for 60, just to be safe, and 1 1/2 hours later, a damn 300 blood sugar!!  WTF?  I'm just tired of chasing the numbers...so low carb we will go!

My husband has done the Adkins/low carb thing before and liked it because of course, he loves meat.  I'm slightly "meh" about eating meat, etc. all the time, but feel that high protein/low carb to be the best choice right now in order to get my numbers back in line.  Of course, I will make sure to have carbs every day for the bambino, just trying to keep it to around 50-75 at the most.  I plan on eating my carbs in berries, veggies, beans and an occasional flatbread-ish, low-carb thing.  Our fridge is actually no-carb right now, so that's good.  Except our one cupboard of food is all cereal, crackers, rice, etc. everything I want to eat. So that'll have to be ignored. 

But, I am pregnant after all, so I'm thinking my stash of ice cream will have to stay and make up some of my carb quota of the day most of the time :)

Anyone have any suggestions for being low-carb and pregnant?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Body Parts

I've been laying low for a while, as I had my carpal tunnel and trigger finger release surgeries last week.  It's been a week and I'm still pretty limited on my right hand use.  The surgery itself wasn't bad; I had a nerve block on my arm, which is a big, bad tourniquet on my shoulder, they sqeeze all the blood from your arm, and then they numb the arm with a local anesthetic.  I chose to forego the anesthesia to knock me out, which all of the nurses were quite impressed with me.  It was very weird feeling things, but not quite feeling things.  Slowly it's getting less swollen and more mobile, but the stitches will be in until the 5th.  I'm also proud that my blood sugar was 143 pre-surgery and was 139 post-surgery.  Usually it freaks out if my body is freaking out, but it stayed put!  

Speaking of body parts, remember in biology class the critters and bits and pieces that were in glass jars filled with formaldehyde?  

I attempted to pickle my pepperoncini...   



They look a little weird to me too.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Baking and Bolusing...

I still sometimes forget that I pretty much need to bolus for most things over 5 carbs that go in my mouth.  Every once in a while I'll regress to the old Lantus safety-zone thoughts of, "oh a little bite here and there won't matter, it will be absorbed and covered magically."  Nope. 

I was making refried beans last night and a Tequila-Lime cake (more on that later!) for my husband's birthday party tomorrow and couldn't resist taste-testing the beans, well maybe more like eating 4-5 big spoonfuls because they were so damn delish.  And had to have one of the shortbread cookies I made the other night (pure buttery goodness) and later tested to see a crappy 197 on my meter.  Blah. 

Here's my new mantra:

MUST-REMEMBER-TO-ALWAYS-BOLUS-WHEN-BAKING-COOKING-TASTE-TESTING!



I do have a collection of rolling pins, just like JC. 


Monday, August 6, 2012

Garden Update!



First batch of big jalapenos are ready to go!  We usually make turkey-bacon-wrapped, cream cheese stuffed, grilled peppers, but didn't have time last week, so I tried some pickles.  Plastic gloves were a must, they were super hot!


An awful lot of mustard seed in this recipe, but hopefully they taste delish!  

My beautiful Trionfo Violetto beans, or as I have come to call them camo-beans and when they're steamed just to heated, they start to lose the purple coloring and look like camouflage.  We had some for dinner last night and they were nice and full-flavored.

Leeks!  They will be used to make potato soup with my potatoes I have growing in pots.



Pepperoncini!  Next to be pickled after the party this weekend.  I didn't realize the plant got so big!  It's nearing 3 1/2' and doesn't look like it's stopping soon.


Friday, July 27, 2012

A Birthday Fiesta in the Works


These are the invites that I made for my husband's Birthday Fiesta in August.  His birthday is actually (one of) the dates that is said to be the BEGINNING of the Mayan calendar!  I chose the serpent motif from the Chichen Itza pyramid.  Just so happens I found the perfect paper at Archiver's that had the blue waves on the back and the fun zigzag on the front.  Of course, the fun stickers had to be added too. 

Menu:
A Taco and Nacho Bar
Tomatillo Enchiladas
Homemade Refried Beans
An assortment of homemade FRESH salsas-my jalapenos and habaneros are growing insanely well-I think I have to pickle some just to save them we have so many!
Tequilas and margaritas will also be served

The piece De resistance:
A Twinkie-pyramid-inspired cake-playing on the notion that Twinkies will survive the end of the world/nuclear holocaust/etc.  Not fully Twinkified, as to make it to scale (9 steps) with solid Twinkies would create a 16"-high and 14"-wide cake!  Who knows what that would weigh.  And surprisingly it'd be expensive. 

Pictures and such will be posted of the food and event mid-August!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mutant Carrots

My carrots are ready for picking!  They are very delicious and most are nice and straight-which was questionable in the shallow garden area they were in.  I'm going to be blanching and freezing a bunch tonight to get a head start on my veggie supply for homemade soups and stews.  Another bunch will make its way to my sister's house for her and almost 1-yr. old nephew if she's willing to share!





It's not a good harvest until you get that mutant carrot with too many appendages!


Pelmet Tutorial

Finally here it is!  These are super easy, quite quick and don't cost much at all. 

Things you'll need:
Foam board (use your Micheal's coupons!)
Cotton batting-I bought the crib-size and still have leftovers
Fabric
Glue gun and glue sticks-I used 2 long ones
Duct tape
Picture hangers or small brackets of your choice




Step 1: Measure your window width and cut or tape more than one piece of foam board together to fit the space if needed.  I made sure it was at least 1" beyond each side of the wood moulding.  Remember you'll add thickness and need to attach brackets.  Mine were 64" long, 9" tall and the sides were 2" wide, your proportions may be different depending on the window size and style.  Duck tape holds it all together nicely.  I did add wooden chopsticks to the middle where I taped two long pieces together so it didn't bend.  You won't have to do this if your window is smaller.  Be creative if you need to make it sturdy. 


Step 2: Measure your batting at least 2 inches bigger than your board and go over the edges.  You'll then glue this down to the back/inside with a glue gun.  You can use staples if you have small ones.  I didn't.  Don't glue anything on the front side, as you want it poofy and smooth. 

Here's how you don't burn your fingers pushing the batting down on the hot glue.  The glue doesn't seem to stick to the masking tape either.
The batting-covered board.

Step 3: Cover your board in the fabric of choice.  If there's a pattern, center it if needed.  Do not forget to leave enough on the ends to wrap around the side pieces.  I pinned the fabric to the foam board to hold it in place.  I glued this down the same way as I did the batting.  Make sure you do not pull the fabric too tight, as you want the nice shape of the batting to look smooth and not lumpy.  I didn't get a picture of this step, but the next pictures show the ends and how I folded everything.

 

Step 4:  You might need help to do this one-hold your pelmet up to the spot on the window it will go and make sure it will fit!  Also, notice where on the pelmet you would want to attach the brackets.  I only used one per side and small nails.  I attached the bracket with hot glue again.  You can also see how the fabric was folded around the corner and I just glued everything down as needed.  Once again, have someone hold up the pelmet and mark the nail spots on the wall.  I had to do this twice, as of course they were crooked.  Eyeballing and final bending of the nails may be needed.  You're done! 


The finished product. 
Many people put shears underneath or just leave blinds...that's up to you.  You aren't limited to just a rectangle either, any shape is doable.  This is great way to add a non-permanent splash of color to a boring room!  Hope this explained how to make a pelmet easily enough!




Monday, July 16, 2012

Beautiful Boudoir-Highboy Chest of Drawers Addition!

I found this awesome highboy (or chest-on-chest,)  FREE on the side of the road.  Not kidding.  The owner was just putting the drawers in it at the end of her driveway when I screeched to a halt and told her I want it! 

This piece is for my hubby and it turned out amazingly masculine-looking, yet still coordinates with my pretty little vanity.  I decided to get big clear bulbs for this one and then traditional Victorian crystal knobs for my vanity.  We still need a couple more for the bottom drawers, but I have to go to a different store to get them :) 


Thanks for all the sanding work done by my dear hubby
I'm still finishing the mirror for the vanity and will post final pictures of that project when I put it back together and have the hardware on.  Last left on the bedroom fix list is painting the walls, hanging some new curtains and art.  My big girl room is almost finished!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My First Occlusion!

If I seem happy about it, no but I've never had one!  If you don't know, an occlusion is a blockage in the tubing or flexible catheter (needle part) of your insulin pump.  Doesn't happen often for most people, but the pumps are so sensitive they will let you know if it does!  I woke at 4:00 am as usual to feed the cat and test my blood (it's become an agreed upon habit between us) but the inset was in my thigh and the adhesive was lifted up on one side and it felt like it was popped out a little so I pushed it back in and put a piece of tape over it-not really thinking that clearly at this time in the morning and my BG was 103, good.   So back to bed I went.  Woke up for real and BG was 193-not normal, I bolused for that number and the warning bells went off!  Occlusion!  Occlusion!  Hmm, not so smart to have shoved it back in earlier...after taking it out to put a new site in, here's what I saw:


Ouch!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hot to the One-Touch

Has anyone noticed that it's damn hot in Minnesota? 


My cat Stickee, hogging the fan this morning

I've been fighting with my One-Touch Ping meter remote for the past 2 mos.  It had "Ping-ed" out.  The thing didn't seem to read or sense the strips when inserted or when blood was added.  I finally got fed up with swearing and throwing strips around and called One-Touch and they promptly sent me a new one!  Awesome customer service they have.  How nice it is not to waste 3-4 strips per test!  Back on track with my awesome testing schedule. 

As for the home front:

Too hot to paint right now...

The garden is going insane with this humidity and heat!  I have to take pictures this week.  We've been eating snow peas regularly for a couple weeks and I've already harvested my first 1 1/2 cups of garden peas.  I really enjoyed sitting on the stoop shelling them :)  I quick-blanched and froze them.  I'm hoping to have at least one ziplock bag of frozen peas this year!  The scarlett runner beans, trionfo violetto beans and other climbing beans are over 6 ft tall and starting to fill out.  I'm hoping to dry some of the varieties-wonder if I'll have enough? 

My broccoli plants are giant, but no broccoli in them yet!  I forget how long they take to make a crown, can anyone inform me? 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Rhubarb Recipe Featured on Website!

My rhubarb recipe blog from a couple weeks ago is featured on Chickens in the Road Blog today!  If you haven't checked out this hilarious and informative website about Susan McMinn's independently-woman-owned and worked farm and animal friends, please do so.  You can check out my recipe feature and see tons of other delicious ideas, HERE.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dresser Update-Opinion's Needed!

Here's an almost-done shot of the dresser...don't mind the sawdust...my hubby was sanding the other cabinet in the garage.  I'm thinking we won't antique the edges...it looks so nice and clean as it is.  We'll see after the hardware gets put on.  We might re-sand the top and repaint it, as I didn't like how the third coat looks.  Maybe I was just too picky that day! 



Any opinions on whether to antique the edges with Briwax or not? 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hoosier Cabinet Update-with pics!

I started cleaning up my little Hoosier cabinet last summer.  I discovered under gobs and gobs of paint, a nicely-made piece of furniture with beautiful etched glass cabinet doors (under horrid red paint.)  Worth the work so far and the near two gallons of stripper!  My husband has taken over the finishing of the project this summer, as my wonky elbows/wrists can't handle the scraping and the sander for too long.  



We have been hemming and hawing about what color to paint it.  Neither of us really wanted to do it in "just" white, so a white-ish green or blue were going to be the finalists.  But then he finished cleaning up the front of the drawers and we saw these...


Gorgeous drawer fronts!
So we have decided to TOTALLY strip every little bit of paint off and stain it!!!  EEK!  The wood is just too pretty to cover up.  I think it's going to be a beautiful, crazy mix of colors.  But, something you can't replicate.   Here are some pictures to keep you curious!

My hubby's meaty arm working away at the top cabinet half...  

Here's after two applications of stripper...still pretty gloopy!
There was a tambour door!  We probably will have to make one, thank  goodness for You Tube!





Monday, June 11, 2012

Jam-Packed Weekend!

My momma, sister and I went to our local pick your own strawberry-blueberry-raspberry-corn farm on Saturday.  Bright and early, 8:30 it was already in the mid-eighties.  We parked our vehicle and walked right into the field. They take great care at this field and do not use any pesticides.  The ground is also covered in straw, so that you can just sit or crawl on your hands and knees to pick.  This also keeps the berries clean, so very little if any, washing is needed.  I didn't wash any of them.  These were giant, delicious and prolific!  


    

My sister said the weigh/pay booth looked like an international border crossing...
We each picked near 10 lbs. of berries!  My mom made a pie and some jam, my sister froze a ton for smoothies and daiquiris, and I used most of mine to make 6 half-pints of no-sugar strawberry jam, 3 half-pints of no-sugar strawberry-peach jam, and then had leftover peaches so I made peach-lemon thyme jam.  I think I'll whip up some strawberry quick bread or muffins or some hand pies.  


Check out these beauties...
I need to work on my technical canning skills, as I know that my head space could use work.  

Can't wait 'til the blueberries and raspberries are ready!!!



Sunday, June 10, 2012

Put on Your Pelmets!

I successfully made a pelmet box!  Finally after my second purchase of fabric-the first was a little "loud" and my husband said it looked like an apron.  So that is EXACTLY what I'm making out of it!  He's always right about things...
So, my second purchase of fabric turned up a lovely turquoise Moroccan-Ikat print.  He liked this one.  The first box was for the window over the kitchen sink, which was 40 inches.  Here's a picture-don't mind the icky blinds, I hope to find something to replace them...


I learned how to make this HERE 

I'll be showing a step-by-step story with the big, 64" box that is just started.  I ran out of steam this weekend!  It was hot, hot hot!  Hopefully I'll work on it this week.  I guess I have to, as I've taken over 1/2 of the kitchen floor and the kitchen table.  JB has declared that he's building me a little counter/worktable someday in there to do my "projects."  He's so nice.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Beautiful Boudoir-Step 1, The Dresser

I am finally redoing our bedroom.  It is currently the ugly, rental-house beige that was badly applied.  I have decided to use a all-over wall stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils to highlight one wall. This is the one I ordered!  
I have decided on the paint colors, a pale fleshy-mauve color and the stencil is a darker mauve color.  There are splotches on every wall.  I'm hoping to buy the gallons in the next week or so.


This weekend I am re-painting our dresser (my Grandmother's Minneapolis Lugar Furniture Company, circa early 1900's-though not as fancy as the ones shown on the website) BLACK with worn edges and I'm going to use Briwax to antique it.  I hope to get some vintage hardware too-maybe some crystal knobs to add to it. 

I'm not usually one to cover nice wood pieces, as it does have a nice grain, but the top is missing most of the stain due to my sisters and I spilling nail polish remover all over it and covering it with stickers and more nail polish as I'm discovering.  And I don't want to strip it.  Neither does my husband, as he has the final job of finishing up my little Hoosier-Style cabinet.  Remember that? It's in the final process of stripping the 5-6 layers of for surely lead, cream, light avocado green, a hideous red, and more cream paint...

Here are some before pictures of the dresser...and you can see the ugly beige-ness of the room too. 

Full View


Mirror base cutouts and front carving detail



 
Bottom of dresser carving detail


I need to find two old matching nightstands that I can paint to match, but for some reason I'm having a hard time finding some!



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rhubarb Galore!

My momma has a patch of rhubarb that is very ready to use this week.  I actually picked a stalk that had a leaf over 3 feet across!  Who needs an umbrella?  My mom said there's an old picture that shows my aunties wearing jungle outfits made out of rhubarb leaves when they were little!  Super cute.

I had been craving a rhubarb dessert ever since she had made one a couple weeks ago and I scarfed down a huge piece of it, chased with a large bolus.  She put almond extract in it...heavenly. 

But I wanted cherries too.  So I took the basic recipe and of course I had to change it...

Notice the ever-present glucose tabs to remind me I'm diabetic and shouldn't eat the whole pan at once...

Cherry-Rhubarb Crisp (lower sugar)

Filling:
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 (21 ounce) can light/sugar free cherry pie filling  (Walmart has a great one w/ only 8 carbs per 1/3 c.)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/3 cups chopped fresh rhubarb, cut to 3/4 inch pieces

Crust and Topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2-1/3 cup crushed sliced almonds and walnuts

In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine the sugar and cornstarch and add the cold water.  While stirring consistently, heat until it starts bubbling and thickens to a nice clear glue-like consistency.  Stir in the cherry filling and add the almond extract.  Stir well and set aside to cool.  Give it a taste too, as you might like more or less almond flavoring. 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, oats, brown sugar and cut in the butter until the mix is nice and crumbly.  I did it by hand with a fork, but if I could have found my beater dough hooks, they work nicely also.  Use about half of this to pat into your 8x8 glass baking dish and smoosh it down hard.  You may add more or less, depending on your preference for how thick your bottom should be.  Put this in the oven for 5-7 minutes so it has a chance to cook a little and solidify.  Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Remove from the oven, add your rhubarb pieces to cover it completely and then spread the cherry mixture over the top of the rhubarb.  It will all liquefy together, so it doesn't have to cover ever inch.  Add your crushed nuts to the remaining crumb mixture and stir well.  Cover the top with the crumbs and your ready to bake. 

Bake for around 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.  This will be hot and bubbling when done, so be careful and let it cool enough!  Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream topping.  Or just eat it out of the pan with a spoon like I do every day!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Big 1000!

My little blog that could has hit over a 1000 views today!  Thanks everybody, it makes it so much more fun to know that people are actually looking at it and reading :) 

There will be some more exciting things to talk about this summer, here's a short sneak peek list:

Bedroom makeover
Office makeover
Gardens galore
The story of a farm stand
AND some other exciting things to come in the future :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cupcake Break!

I had promised my hubby some baked treats recently and I had a desperate craving for chocolate cake so I had to make some cupcakes.  But not just any cupcakes...Chocolate with a surprise of Cheesecake Filling, topped with Caramelized Walnuts. 


How to create these lovelies:

Make it easy on yourself and buy a box of chocolate cake mix.  Mix it up. 

Cheesecake filling:
1 pkg of light cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (or both!)

Keep cool, so it stays firm. 

Fill paper-lined muffin cups 1/2 full with the chocolate cake.  Add 1-2 tsp of the cream cheese mix, or more if you want more.  It cooks up cake-like, so don't worry.  Cover the cream cheese with chocolate cake mix until the cups are 3/4 full.  Bake as directed on the box, mine took around 18 mins I think. 

Before, During or After, make the walnuts.

Caramelized Walnuts:
(I made this up as I went, so just trust your candy thermometer!)

1/3 stick of real, unsalted butter
1/4-1/3 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 bag of walnuts (you may have to use more or less, depending how candy-coated you want them)

On med high heat, melt the butter and add the sugar and syrup.  While stirring continuously, heat to 300 degrees on a candy thermometer.  It should be a thick caramel-looking syrup at this point.  Add the walnuts, remove from heat and stir.  Do not let the caramel start smoking, as it will burn extremely quickly at this point.  Dump out on a wax paper covered cookie sheet and let cool.  Once hard, it will break apart easily, so don't worry about big clumps.

--It will also taste delicious, so don't try tasting the caramel before you put the nuts in like I did.  Even though I just saw on the thermometer that is was about 305 degrees, I still had to stick my finger tip on the spoon and burned the sh*# out of it. 

Frost your cupcakes with your favorite chocolate frosting (I used the sugar free version-hey less calories too!) and top with a pile of walnuts.  You will have extra walnuts, but they are a delicious snack by themselves or on ice cream :)

You also will probably have extra cream cheese filling.  I added 3 more eggs to it and the juice of a lime and made mini-key lime custards out of them.  Essentially mini cheesecakes (graham cracker and cinnamon bottoms) but more of a custard taste and feel. 


Who needs the glucose tabs in the background when I can eat one of these?


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Teen-age Rabbit Strikes Again!

After all the crazy rain yesterday and all of last night, I walk out this morning on my way to work during a moment of no rain and walk towards the patio garden to see if anything popped up with the warm rain.  Well, what popped out was that little sh*# of a rabbit, whom I call Bun-Bun.  I was hoping the human-scented and noisy cement patio would keep him in the back yard but to no avail.  More ugly fencing to come to the patio now and some blood meal.  


Another curious thing, I planted a whole packet of Lima Beans and only one has shown itself after about 3 weeks.  I thought Burpee was better than that.  That's what I'll be re-planting this weekend.  Of course I threw away the receipt.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Scary Low at Lowe's

Yesterday after work (BG was 145 with a little insulin on-board, but nothing to worry about) I sauntered over to Micheal's to grab some foam boards for my pelmet boxes I'm making for the kitchen windows.  What's a pelmet box, you ask?  Check out this tutorial at Little Green Notebook.  Cheap and awesome decoration!  


So, after leaving Micheal's, Lowe's is right next door, so I went over there to check on some brackets for hanging said pelmets and after having a helpful worker make a couple suggestions that just weren't working at all in my head, I thanked him and he left on his merry way.  I was still pondering the brackets and noticed it was really hot in there, like they didn't have the AC on all day.  So I'm fanning my face with my papers and I just start sweating all over.  My back was sweating, my face had beads of sweat rolling down.  And only after noticing that noone else was hot or sweating and that I couldn't pay attention to what the hell I was doing, I bothered to whip out the blood tester and check,  37.  It crashed from 145, LESS THAN AN HOUR AGO.  There was no way enough insulin in me to do that.  


So, thank God I was at the end of the isles near the checkouts and there happened to be a nice lady who asked if I was ready to go, and I just said, "I need candy, where are your candy bars?"  All I could see was beef jerky, no carbs anywhere!  She showed me where they were and I think could tell that I was a little out of it, covered in sweat, probably white as a ghost, just about ripping open a giant Snickers bar without paying...and offered to check me out quickly in the self-check out lane.  I told her I'm diabetic and she said, "oh, ok I thought so...you better eat that fast so you don't pass out!"  I went and sat on a little bench by the doors.  I actually ate the whole, King-Size Snickers I felt so crappy-that's 60 carbs!  Apparently I needed that many, as I checked again for the next hour or so and it only went up to 147.   Boy, was it was delicious.  


 I'm thinking I'll be watching my afternoon basals more closely today.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Herb Spiral and Patio Garden

As promised the other day...I finally have some pictures of my herb spiral and my patio garden.  


New Herb Spiral


So far I have two basils, rosemary, an interesting fuzzy oregano, cilantro (coriander,) and lemon thyme.  I will be adding a Greek oregano and possibly a nice plain chive to fill the bottom space.  I haven't quite thought of what to fill the surrounding area with yet.  I am leaning towards some bright flowers since there's so much green!


Patio Garden 
The above is my patio garden, which this year is mostly vegetables.  I will be filling in all the empty space with annual flowers though, as I can't NOT have color!!!  Who loves that ugly fence as much as me?  

The far corner is the catnip grove as I call it, it has 6-8 bushes that will grow about 3-4 ft. each.  The stuff is very potent, according to my cat, Stickee.  Our mild winter had a couple little volunteer bushes that grew near the steps and my cat escaped one day and we found him 6 ft. from the door, in the snow, chomping on some freeze-dried catnip :)   I will probably sell some this fall, as I have some ideas for some cute little cat toys.  

***Update:  after the vast amount of rain and heat this past weekend, everything in the gardens grew about 1-2 inches!  I also have a pea flower!  Can't wait to eat those.  It's been an amazing spring, as we'd usually be just starting to plant!  I love having a jump start.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Herb, Herbs, Herbs

Check out my blog post at the Farm Bell Recipes forum at the Chickens in the Road site today!

My herb spiral is in and looks amazing!  Photos to follow, tonight.  Thank you to my hubby for helping me build and re-build it many times :)  

The gardens are flourishing with this week of close-to 80 degree weather and so is that pesky toddler-age rabbit that has now discovered my garden!  So far the carnage:  one cucumber plant (totally gone, not a bit left) and a large marigold plant chopped in half!  Didn't even bother eating it!  Little sh*! 

I think I'll be installing some fencing tonight...though I hate how it looks! 

See you later with pictures.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'm Being Featured!

My post about Micro Greens is being featured on the Chickens in the Road Blog and Website in the Farm Bell Recipe section!  If you haven't come across this blog/website/forum yet, it is a must read.  Susan McMinn (yes, she used to write romance novels too!) posts hilarious stories and pictures from her farm and funny little animal-inhabitants.  There is also a recipe forum and lots of other reader advice areas.  My little story is going to be featured on May 16th, so go, my 7 followers and check it out next week! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Busy little bees!

My hubby, JB and I have been very busy this past week and this weekend!  He has been extra productive, leveling some spots in our yard and throwing down some grass seed.  The gardens were also all tilled, compost added, seedlings and seeds planted, my herb spiral has started to take shape but needs lots more dirt and filler.  JB also mowed the vacant house next to us, since the lawn was looking pretty bad and the landlord was very appreciative.  We also decided we'd donate some Hostas to their front area as well, because our previous neighbors weren't that into keeping up there yard.  Hopefully this brings in some decent people to fill the space.  I'll be taking some pictures of my gardens so I can have some decent before and after photos for this year, as I think it will be a good one!


This week's list of to-do's:
1.  Finish planting all of my seedlings and seeds
2.  Finish the herb spiral and start purchasing the plants
3.  Get a bird feeder
4.  Purchase more flowers to fill in the empty spaces
5.  Clean my house thoroughly before my surgery on Thurs!
6.  Make some dinners to have on hand for the rest of the week while my hand     is laid up
7.  I probably should tie up loose ends at work too :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Weather gods are smirking?


   

Doesn't this look lovely?  A bit stormy, but the rain and warmth are needed.  I'm hoping my little plants will get all jazzed up with the warmth and double or triple in size by this coming weekend.

This week I planted the Scarlett Runner Beans, Scarlett O'Hara & Grandpa Ott Morning Glories, and Trionfo Violetto beans.  I came across a description of these heirloom beans on the You Grow Girl blog-which has tons of useful garden info on it-recommend reading this for urban-gardening info also. 

The rest of the patio garden (6'x25'+?) is now all weeded and chopped up, waiting for the rain.  I have chosen to fill my gardens with vegetables first and then pack in the flowers once the veg are established.  Last year I planted over 100 annuals in the patio garden and it was amazing and jungle-like...though I only had about a 6'x12' area for vegetables and it wasn't enough for me!  I think I may put a couple of the tomato and pepper plants in here just to have them close to the house. 

My new garden plot is 4'x16' and was supposed to be tilled last night, but the little Mantis wouldn't start.  I had manually cut the sod out and shook all of the dirt from the grass hunks, so it is usable, but I feel it needs a good till before I dump in my many bags and buckets of compost.  I do need to get this done and plant my other seeds by this weekend, as I am having my carpal tunnel surgery on the 10th and won't be able to work in the garden for a while.  At least until I can't stand it and start doing things left-handed!