Hanging Around on a Sunday

July 7, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Dog: Schatzi's Shadow, Grilling Out, Hamburgers, Supper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATalk about a lazy Sunday….Shadow was caught snoozing in her crate, on her back, without a care in the world.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOoops, I think she woke up when she heard the camera click.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYep, she’s awake.  She’s thinking, “If I lay very still, maybe the camera will go away!”  And, it did.  Thankfully, our Shadow is doing so much better.  She really had us scared with her anemia and hospitalization.  We’re still paying on the hospital bill and next week, will need to take her back to the vet’s office for blood work.  So far, she’s been 100% off of the prednisone for a week.  Hubby and I don’t care about the vet bill….we’re just so grateful that she’s healthy and alive.  The last time I spoke to her vet, Dr.Callie, she was just astonished to hear how playful Shadow is again.  Dr. Callie admitted that she wasn’t sure Shadow would survive her illness.  Ron and I were amazed, too, that Dr. Callie brought in her own dog to donate blood for Shadow.  That’s definitely above and beyond what we hoped for.

Later on in the day, I grilled burgers again.  Cheeseburgers for hubby and I (with Swiss cheese) and Daniel just wanted plain burgers.  Yum!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m getting good at this grilling business.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASupper time!


5 Minute Friday: Beautiful

July 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Posted in 5 Minute Friday, Beautiful, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

A couple of days late….I hurt my back on Thursday night, then re-injured it on Friday and ended up using my walker all day yesterday.  So, better late than never!


Every Friday, tons of us link up with Lisa Jo Baker at The Gypsy Mama for 5 Minute Friday.  Lisa Jo gives up a one or two word prompt and then we have 5 minutes to brainstorm.  No correcting errors, no editing, just write, write, write until 5 minutes are up.  I’m lucky, because I type so quickly; I can type a LOT in 5 minutes!  If you’re interested in 5 Minute Friday, check out the 5 Minute Friday information page on Lisa Jo’s website and then join in every Friday.

Now, onto this week’s word:  Beautiful


I’ve never thought of myself as beautiful.  Not even pretty.  Just average.  I’ve always just blended into the woodwork.  Maybe that’s where the term wallflower comes from?  Well, yeah, then that’s me pretty much.

But, I have to admit that at one point in my life, I felt beautiful….it was while I was pregnant with our one and only child.  During those months that I carried him, in spite of all the throwing up (sorry if that’s TMI!), I felt like the most beautiful woman on the planet.  People told me that I glowed.  I believe it.

We thought we’d never have a baby; I finally went back to college full-time and wouldn’t you know that during my first semester back, God decided it was time.  Isn’t it funny how we want and we want and we pray and ask Him for these things that are in our hearts and He waits until the time is Perfect?

So, here I was, glowing and throwing up but never happier than I had ever been in my whole life.  My husband spoiled me.  He’d make snack runs for me at 11:00 at night.

Those were the most incredible months of my life, and once I gave birth to the most beautiful baby in the world, our lives were complete.

Beautiful.  Some days I feel like I glow.  Basking in my God’s love and my husband’s love.  I am beautiful in my own way.  We all are.


Hamburgers & Hot Dogs on the 4th of July

July 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Posted in Grilling Out, Hamburger, Hotdogs, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I love this grill!

Tonight we grilled hotdogs and hamburgers.  Yum!  Charcoal grilling tastes so much better than gas grilling.


Charcoal and lighter fluid


Hotdog buns

Hamburger – 80/20 for burgers

Hamburger buns

Condiments – ketchup, mustard, cheese for the burgers

Sides – potato salad, cole slaw, pickles, baked beans

I made the fire pretty big and it was perfect.  The dogs went on for about 10 minutes and the burgers took about the same time.  I flipped them a couple of times and they were nice and medium rare.  Of course the hotdogs were toasted black, which is the only way to eat them.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADelish!  I could grill everydayOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


July 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Posted in Cat: Boots, Cat: Stripey, Caturday, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Suppertime at the Burke household.  Ron went out and got Chinese.  Boots thought she needed some shrimp fried rice, so she was circling the table and when Ron got up to get his fork, she thought it was her turn to eat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALook at her!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut, mom, there’s SHRIMP on that plate!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe look of innocence…..

And then there’s Stripey.  He doesn’t beg for food like Boots does.  Instead, he was playing in the box that my new kitchen gadget came in (see Wordless Wednesday).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe loves boxes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToo bad he wouldn’t climb inside for a super-duper cute picture.

Home Again, Home Again

July 3, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Posted in Aneurysm, Home Again, Hospital, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hubby is home.  Thank God!

Now we can get back to our “normal” which to anyone else looking in, is anything but.  There are many issues going on in my little family of three.

Thanks to God and His Grace, I am able to cope.  Usually 😉

Wordless Wednesday

July 3, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Posted in Kitchen Gadgets, Uncategorized, Wordless Wednesday | Leave a comment


{I love kitchen gadgets}

{I love kitchen gadgets}

Tonight…Update on Hubby

July 2, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Posted in Aneurysm, Hospital, Surgery, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m exhausted.  We arrived at the hospital before 9:00 a.m., but they didn’t take hubby back for surgery until almost NOON.  He was so tired because he hasn’t been sleeping well.  Daniel and I sat and read and quietly visited with each other while nurses bustled in and out, getting Ron ready but we kept waiting and waiting.  Finally, the first OR Nurse came in around 11:30 to ask the same questions that had been asked already by at least five other nurses – and then, the surgeon came in.  Finally!

The OR Nurse (there were two that came in to meet us before surgery), Nicole, kept me up-to-date by calling me in the surgery waiting room.  She let me know when the surgery started and when things were finishing up and then when Ron was heading into the recovery area.

The surgeon came out to talk to me and said that everything went great – yay!  This was around 3:30 or so.  Finally around 5:15 they called and told us that he was in a room, so Daniel and I headed upstairs.  When we arrived, the nurses shooed us out, telling us that Ron had just gotten there and they had to get him settled in before we could enter the room.  What?  I mean, c’mon, I’m his wife – let me in!

Oh, well.  We sat in the hallway and watched the world go by.

Finally, finally, finally we got in to see Ron.  He was in a lot of pain 😦 and the nurse said they were waiting for the orders to come in for pain meds.  You’d think they would have those READY TO GO before the patient got to the floor, wouldn’t you?  Oh, poor hubby.

We were there with him for about 30 minutes when he told us to go home – he knew we were tired and he also knew that he needed to rest and was in a lot of pain, and was anxious for his pain meds.  I left my cell phone number on the white board and also told the nurses to call me if anything happened, or if he needed me.

I just called the nurse and got things checked over; he’s on some pain meds now and hopefully will be able to rest.  I miss him.  The nurse said that he MIGHT get to come home tomorrow IF the pain gets under control.  As of now, he’s on a pretty high dose of pain meds – because he’s on chemo and on pain meds for the cancer, his body has a high tolerance – which really stinks – the nurse said that the dose they started him with would be more than adequate for a regular patient – but for someone who has been on pain meds as long as he has – they barely touched his pain 😦

So, tonight it’s me and the kid and the dog and the cats.   Right now, he’s where he needs to be.   Soon, soon, soon, though, he’ll be home with me where he belongs.me and ronThis was us, just taken a few days ago.

Grilled Lemon Herb Pork Chops & Taters

July 1, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Posted in Grilling Out, Main Dish, Pork Chops, Potatoes, Supper, Uncategorized, Veggies | Leave a comment

The recipe for the Grilled Lemon Herb Pork Chops is from AllRecipes, courtesy of Doreenbuch.  They were so simple!  What I loved best about the recipe is that I had everything already in the pantry, including  fresh lemons for the marinade.


1/4 cup lemon juice – I used fresh lemons

2 tbsp. canola oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. pepper

4 chopsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACombine lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper in a large resealable bag.  Add the chops.  Seal and refrigerate overnight or at least two hours.  I let my chops marinate for around six hours.  Turn bag occasionally so that the marinade flavors all of the chops.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPreheat the grill outside.  The original recipe said to keep the marinade and boil it, so that you can baste the chops as they grill.  I didn’t do this.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wanted potatoes to go along with the chops, and wasn’t sure how long it would take them to get finished, so I cheated and used my microwave.  I scrubbed a couple of potatoes and poked them and then microwaved them for about five minutes.  Then, I sliced them, spritzed them with canola oil and tossed them onto the grill with the chops. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt took about 10 minutes per side to cook the chops.  The taters were pretty well cooked but I wanted them to get the charcoal flavor and grill marks.  One potato tried to commit suicide by diving into the charcoal but I rescued it and ate it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYum – I served the chops and taters with applesauce.  Next time, we need more taters.  You can never have too many taters.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADeliciously smoky-flavored chops and potatoes.  I am really loving this grilling.  What I want is to find a really, really good cook book on grilling.  Any ideas?  Please let me know in the COMMENTS below if you’ve got a fave!


This Week

June 30, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Posted in Aneurysm, Hospital, Husband, Surgery, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This will be a busy week for our family.

My husband is having an aneurysm repair on Tuesday.  Yes, in addition to dealing with kidney cancer and the joys of chemo and everything involved therein, he has an abdominal aneurysm.

It’s been there for a while.  In fact, it was first repaired 19 years ago but over the past year or so, the doctors (his oncologist and cardiologist and vascular surgeon) have been watching it and together, they’ve decided that it’s gotten to the point that it needs repairing.  Again.  So, on Tuesday morning, we’ll make the trek to Cox South and he’ll have surgery that morning.

Thankfully a LOT has changed in 19 years.  Way back when he had the first repair, the surgeon had to do an “open repair” and the recovery was very, very difficult.  Thank God, today’s doctors and patients have it made:  the vascular surgeon can operate by inserting a couple of stents through a vein in each leg (it’s called endovascular repair).  According to Dr. Vorheis, Ron might get to come home on Wednesday!  What a difference two decades makes.

So if I’m not online Tuesday or Wednesday, that’s why.  I’m going to try and remember to update from the hospital computer, or if I remember, will take my iPod and can update from that.  Daniel wants to come to the hospital with me.  Hopefully he won’t be too bored.

Thank you all for your prayers, we really appreciate them!

Crock Pot Chicken & Gravy, Sort of

June 30, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Posted in Biscuits, Chicken, Crock Pot, Main Dish, Supper, Uncategorized, Veggies | Leave a comment

This was supposed to be Crock Pot Chicken & Gravy with mashed potatoes and a veggie.  It turned into something different.  Here’s what the original recipe (from The Magical Slow Cooker) called for:

1 pound chicken breasts

1 can cream of chicken soup (10.75 ounces)

2 packets of chicken gravy mix

2 cups water

1/8 tsp. black pepper

The instructions were to whisk the soup, gravy mix, water and pepper in the crock pot then to add the chicken and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.  Sounds good.

Well, I had my ingredients ready to go – or so I thought – but I didn’t have any cream of chicken soup.  So instead of that, I had a jar of prepared chicken gravy.  Sounded better than cream of stuff soup!  So, here’s my adaptation of Sarah’s Crock Pot Chicken and Gravy:

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

3 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless

1 jar of Heinz Classic Chicken Gravy

2 packets of McCormick Chicken Gravy Mix

2 cups of water

1/4 cup frozen corn

1/4 cup frozen green beans

1 russet potato, peeled and diced

dash of pepper, salt

biscuitsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStir gravy, gravy mix and water into crock pot.  Add chicken and set on LOW for 8 hours minimum; remove chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Add veggies.  Turn crock pot to HIGH for about 1 hour or until potatoes are finished.  Bake biscuits.  Mine came from Pillsbury’s frozen section at the store.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASplit biscuits open and pour on the chicken and gravy mix.  Enjoy!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHubby said it didn’t seem like a hot-weather supper but he made sure and cleaned his plate LOL


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