Friday, May 28, 2010

Simple Smoothie

I made a smoothie for breakfast this morning. It was so good, and so easy. Here's how it went down:

1 cup sliced peaches (mine had been frozen fresh, and thawed)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries*

1/2 banana

1 scoop ground flax

1/4 cup skim milk

Blend everything, it takes less than one minute, and then drink up! It was super tasty.

*I learned yesterday that antioxidants are amazing and can slow all those things about aging we don't like: wrinkles, gray hair, eyesight loss, etc. I'll explain why someday.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm in a transitional phase right now. Can't really give details right now because things aren't final, but promise that as soon as they are, I'll let you know.

However, I can tell you this. On Mondays and Wednesdays, and sometimes Fridays, I have pretty much all day to do whatever I please. Wednesdays I do have class in the evening, but A has obligations up to the church Wednesday nights anyway.

So far I've used these days to shop, clean house, plan and cook dinners, plant the garden, go to the post office, visit my BF who is currently on bed rest, and catch up on my shows. It is so refreshing to have some time to myself to just do whatever, it feels like a real summer break despite my 9 credit hours.

This will probably only last another two weeks or so, and I plan on taking full advantage of it! Today I plan on making these cookies at the suggestion of e.t.j. who always shares delicious recipes. I'm also going to exercise (which I've done everyday this week) and fold laundry, read some for class and a lot of The Historian, which I would highly recommend. I'm looking forward to this day.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Best. Chili. Ever.

I came home from a very long day at work today to the smell of delicious vegetarian chili. A found the recipe and made it all on his own, and it was heavenly! You can find the recipe here, via food network. I don't even like mushrooms much, and I loved it! We ate it with brown rice, and had the cilantro on top instead of mixed in. Thank you, Emeril. Thank you, my awesome husband.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What's up, Doc?

I went to the doctor day, an allergy/pulmonary specialist. I filled out a bunch of paperwork, all about my seasonal allergies, food allergies, asthma, and eczema. Then I had to do a breath test. They put a plug on my nose, it felt funny and I felt like an idiot, but it did stop me from breathing through my nose. I had to take a big deep breath, then exhale out as hard, sharp, and fast as I could, and hold it out for a long time, which was hard.

After this "breathalyser" test, I got to talk with the doctor. He asked what I wanted to focus on, I told him pretty much everything. I've tried just about every allergy pill, Claritin, Zyrtec, Alevert, Singulair, you name it, I've probably tried it. Sometimes they work for a bit, but usually they stop working, which is very frustrating. I told the doc this. After this little discussion, and discussing that I've had allergic reactions to some foods like tomatoes, cantaloupe, and pineapple, we moved on to the testing part.

I had to change into a hospital gown (top only) and lie on my stomach. The nurse wrote more than 40 little numbers on my back, and cleaned it with an alcohol wipe. She then began to "scratch" by each number with little toothpick-like plastic wands, with a spiked tips, that had been dipped into liquids containing possible allergens, like pollen and dander. They asked me to try not to scratch the inevitable hives. Before she had even finished "scratching," some spots began to feel hot and itchy.

After all the scratches were done, including one saline and one histamine for controls, I had to hang around, on my stomach, for fifteen minutes . Then the doc came back in and ranked each hive on a scale from one to five. There were a lot of fives. You probably don't care, but here are my scores!

Boxelder- 4
Juniper/Cedar- 3
Russian Olive-5


Lamb's Quarters-5
Dock/sorrel Mix-4
Sagebrush Mix-5
Ragweed Mix-5
Russian Thistle-5

(All Zero!)

Dust Mites:


Common Foods:
Shellfish mix-5




How crazy is all that? My back was swollen, bright red, and I had 40+ hives! They gave me Claratin, rubbed some cream on my back, and then finally a scary steroid (prednisone) that tasted awful to ease the reaction. Also funny, the histamine control yielded no reaction!

So, now for treatment. I learned some interesting things. The doc listed options, and ranked them on a scale from 1-10, 10 having the best results.

First, over the counter prescriptions, like Claritin and Zyrtec. Guess what? They rank a 1, as least affective. Because they are cheap and easy to get, they are the most used.

Second, Nasonex or Flonase, which rank at a 4, if used twice a day consistently. If not used consistently, results are not so good. They also can take awhile to start working.

Third, Nasal wash every day, plus treatment #2, via a Netti Pot, which totally freaks me out. the picture shows a fountain of water coming out of this lady's nose. Ew. This ranks a 6 for results.

Fourth, Prednisone, the scary steroid. It is a 10, but can cause all sorts of things, like diabetes, osteoporosis, weight gain, etc. Bad news. I will probably take it for three days, to speed up the effectiveness of the nasonex/flonase.

Fifth, allergy shots. These are about a 9 on the effective scale. Essentially they'd shoot me up with all the things I'm allergic to, and each time inject a little higher dose so that eventually I'd build up a tolerance, or resistance. I could do up to three doses per visit, and two visits a week. These weekly visits would go on for 4-5 months, and then I would continue going once per month for five years. There is a yearly payment, to cover the cost making the concoction, and then a per-visit charge of just a few dollars. The shots would take care of all of my pollen and dander related allergies, but not the shellfish.

So, for now, I'm doing the nose sprays and eye drops, plus a daily asthma medicine. I'm also probably going to do the allergy shots. Apparently allergies worsen with age, and since I already have a mild pollen-food allergies, like to tomatoes and pineapple, it is likely I'll develop allergies to other fruits and vegetables. This is very sad news for me, and allergy shots could prevent it from happening. I'm willing to do just about anything to prevent an allergy to: apples, peaches, plums, pears, cherries, apricots, almonds, carrots, celery, parsley, caraway, fennel, coriander, aniseed, soybeans, peanuts, hazelnuts, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, zucchini, cucumbers, bananas, bell peppers, black pepper, garlic, onions, mustard, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli.

The doc said that these foods are cross reactive with pollens, and since I am so allergic to pollen, I could potentially be very allergic to them, or develop an allergy to them. How weird is that? Hence, the allergy shots, probably starting in a few weeks. I think I covered everything, a lot happened in that 1.5 hour visit. Anyway, I'll keep you posted on how things turn out.

(PS- Dustmites? Ew! I guess most Utahans are not allergic to them. They cannot "drink" water, but have to absorb it from their environment, and Utah is too dry for them. Since the first five years of my life were spent in humid places, somehow I am allergic. 6 months living outside of Utah is long enough to develop an allergy. Also, since I have a swamp cooler, dustmites can survive in my house. I asked the doc if I should refrain from using the swamp cooler this summer, but he said that since I'm not planning on staying here for more than two years, it wouldn't be worth it. He suggested that when I do move, I choose somewhere with air conditioning. Also really gross? Dustmites feast on dead skin, and live in couches and mattresses. They are sort of like spiders. We're allergic to their poop. Blech.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I love watching cable in bed.

Cable in bed is one of my favorite parts of vacation, regardless of location. I know this may sound ridiculous, but as someone who has never had cable, ever, it is a big deal.

Anyway, that is the preface to day on of this travel log.

Sunday a week ago, we drove to Moab, in a bright yellow Aveo. When we stepped out of the car, the air felt tropically warm. It was heavenly. We went up to our room, at some pesto sandwiches I packed, and watched loads of cable, like food network and HGTV. I loved every minute of it.

Here's a preview of what we did on Monday:

(For some reason this pic wouldn't upload correctly! It is supposed to be landscape orientation, no portrait, so just turn your head to the right!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Nielsen Garden 2010 Plant List

The plant sale is tomorrow! (Find details here.) We'll be there bright and early, fighting tooth and nail for the following:

Tomato Plants:
  1. Purple Russian
  2. Zapotec pleated
  3. Annanas Noir
  4. Kellogs Breakfast
  5. Great White
  6. Brandywine
  7. Cream sausage
  8. Amish paste
  9. Martino’s roma
  10. Mortgage lifter

Rosa Bianca Eggplant

Early Fortune Cucumber

White Wonder Cucumber

Turks Turban

Golden Zucchini

Cocozelle Zucchini

Rogue Pumpkin

Napoleon Sweet Pepper

Fish Pepper

Lots and lots of Basil

healthcare today.

Don't worry, this isn't going to be political-ish. Just a venting of frustration after making some doc appointments.

First, I called an allergist. She was booked out until mid August. (Seriously? Seriously!) So I called another, and managed to get in on the 20th. My current misery probably will have passed by then. They need a non-emergency emergency room. One that would treat people who need immediate treatment (like me, with my sinus headaches, wheezy cough, itchy eyes, and stuffy nose) but who aren't in danger of dying. I know there are urgent care places, but they are pricey, and slow, and I want to see an allergist, not a family practice doc.

Second, I called A's family practice doc to make appointments for both of us. He is overdue for a cholesterol follow-up appointment, and I would like to get mine tested. The annoying girl on the phone said that the soonest she could get a new patient (aka me) in was JULY! (Again, seriously? Seriously.) I grumbled and agreed. Then, when it was time to make A's appointment, she was like, "Can he come next Thursday?" I was so bugged. Why do I have to wait three months and he gets in within a week? Doesn't being married to an existing patient get me in? Couldn't we just come in on the same day?

Then, the annoying girl asked if A would need his blood drawn. I felt like saying, "Lady, you're the one working at the doctors' office, you tell me." Anyway, she told me that he would need to fast beforehand. Then I asked if I would need to fast since I was coming in to get my cholesterol tested as well. She said yes, like she wasn't even going to mention that I needed to fast. I thought it was weird, and I was totally annoyed and frustrated with this girl. I hope she is gone by the time I get there, all the way in JULY. Frick.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A dangerous recipe.

I'm posting this for Emma, since it would make way too long of a comment. I haven't tried it myself, and would right now if it were later than 9:00 a.m., but how could it not be good?

(Recipe via my aunt Lori, on facebook.)


4 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 egg

3 tablespoons milk

3 tablespoons oil

3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)

A small splash of vanilla extract

1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high). The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

Monday, May 3, 2010

facebook is ruining this blog

Half the time I just update my status instead of posting. Not today.

1. They changed the trax schedule. Cut most of the direct to university trains.
2. I didn't know this till I let the SLC train pass and then wondered why "my" train hadn't come yet.
3. I hate UTA for this. Hate hate hate. Maybe if their head honcho didn't take huge bonuses, we'd actually have funding for good service.
4. U of U students fund trax anyway, so we should get priority service, not service cuts.
5. I just took my first/last/only final of the semester. It feels so good to be done.
6. Now I have to write a paper. By 5:00. And I don't even know what to write about.

That is all.

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