Monday, December 17, 2007

What a Fun Weekend

My brother C. drove from Iowa Friday. He arrived around 1:30 - 2:00 P.M. After he made a shopping list, son J., brother C., and I headed to Costco to purchase the food for Saturday's dinner. On the way back from Costco we stopped at the local grocery store to get those items, Costco didn't have. After supper Friday C. started his no-knead breads, one white and one dark bread and roasted two Butternut squash for the Butternut squash soap.

The really busy time was Saturday. Shortly after breakfast, C. and J. were punching down bread dough, slicing and marinade zucchini, putting the apple wood chips to soak for smoking the trout. While all that was going on, the oven and C.'s huge Dutch oven were preheating. Soon the house was filled with the odor of baking bread, and apple, basil smoke for the trout because every time the door to the patio was opened, the smoke odor came in.

The afternoon kept the two cooks busy finishing the liver pate, slicing the shallots, getting the cream cheese to room temperature, inserting sliced garlic into the pork roast and covering it with rosemary. They also used the mandolin to slice a couple Spanish onions and potatoes for the potato, onion and tomato basil casserole (I forget the name for this dish). Once these were in the oven, J. started dicing apples cooking them in butter, sugar and Bandy while C. made the crepe batter.

Finally all was ready and we had:

Appetizer course:

Marinated zucchini.
Cream cheese, shallots and smoked trout on white or dark bread.
Liver Pate on white or dark bread.

Soup course:

Butternut squash soup with toasted walnuts and blue cheese.

Main course:

Potato casserole
Pork roast.

Dessert course:

Apple crepes.

And some of C.'s home made wine. (Again he will have to tell you what kind.)

It was a delicious meal, and GREAT fun to watch it come together. At 8:00 A.M. Sunday morning after C. headed back home at 6:00 A.M. I discovered he had left three of his cookbook here.

By Sunday afternoon, I was so exhausted by it all that I fell asleep while sitting in my wheelchair in the middle of our Mini Church (small group). I think I better rest up this week for this coming weekend and Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Feeling better time for Christmas baking.

Last week I was a feeling a bit discouraged. However over the weekend my evening temperature returned to my normal reading. Also I have stopped bringing up a lot of dark, smelly sputum. So I have reached the conclusion that I must have had a mucus plug causing the problem. I see my Pulmonologist next week Friday and plan on asking her about it then. As long as the sputum has cleared and the temperature has returned to normal I think it is OK to wait.

So today is a new day. I hope to make my mother's Speculaas recipe. Yesterday afternoon I sifted together the dry ingredients and P. added the wet and mixed the dough. The dough has been resting all night in the garage. Hopefully P. can help roll the dough out soon. If not I won't be making any cookies because I will have reached the end of my active period for the day.

I find that I now am only able to do things in the morning. Come the afternoon I am too tired to do much more then sit and doze. If I try to push myself during the afternoon, I spend the next couple of days totally exhausted.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What the doctor had to say

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment. I had two questions I wanted to ask my doctor. Why am I always exhausted? Most days I suffer from extreme fatigue. Also is can anything help reduce the amount of chronic pain I suffer from.

As far as I can tell from browsing some of the thousands of web-sites that my search returned, this is what the Dr. had to say.

When a person has a Demyelinating Disease as I have they will experience chronic pain. The problem with treating chronic pain is that pain is subjective. No two people react to pain the same and there isn't a test for pain. I a person has high blood pressure, they can check the blood pressure, prescribe medicine and check to see if the medicine lowers the blood pressure. You can't do that with pain. Also pain can be caused by so many outside forces such as stress, tiredness and weather changes just to name a few.

A Demyelinating Disease often causes a person to become tired to the point of exhausting fatigue. And all of my pain medicines can cause tiredness.

So over the past couple of months, I have tried to decrease the number and amount of pain medicine in an attempt to reduce the exhaustion. I have managed to reduce my Ultram by a half. It was easy to tell if the Ultram was working. When I stopped taking it, the neuropathy pain came back immediately. However, I've found that I can go through the day without taking the Ultram and just take it at night. I now am off the other medicine. However, the Dr. told me that it would take a couple of months before I know if I need to take this medicine or not. Well how do you know? I mean during the couple of months, the weather changes a lot, you have stress and other things that might cause pain. Then how does one know if the medicine would have help relieve that pain or not?

So I think that I have slowly gotten worse. However, on the positive side, it's taken me 2 1/2 years to get to this point. The same 2 1/2 years I've had the Tracheostomy. I really believe that without the Tracheostomy I would have arrived at this point much earlier. But I really do get tired of being exhausted and fatigued. It is hard not to overdo things. I want to get out and get going and doing. Of course as I just learned it took me over a week to recover from Thanksgiving.

Well now you know what the doctor had to say.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Beans, bread and doctor

This morning I am cooking some dried pinto and kidney beans. I want to make refried beans for some lunches. I plan to add a can of chopped jalapeƱo peppers, chopped onions, red pepper flakes, and fresh ground black pepper when I mash the beans. After mashing them I will fill some empty butter tubs and place them in the freezer. They should taste good when spread on tortillas for lunches. Now I know my older brother will not be please with the way I am doing this. He tells me I should add the spices at the time I use the refried beans.

I also have a loaf of whole-wheat oatmeal bread in the bread machine. I hope that the bread turns out OK. I would like to toast it for breakfast. I don't know how the bread will turn out because the first time I checked on it the dough was so dry it was all crumbs. So I turned the bread machine off and added water and restarted the machine. However, just now when I checked on the beans, I looked at the bread and it was awful dry looking. SO I punched it down and now am letting it rise again in the bread machine. So I will just have to wait and see how it turns out.

Then this afternoon I have a doctors "Hi how are your" appointment. Busy day for me. Good thing I have nothing planned for the rest of the week and can rest up.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Not much happening

I spent last week resting up from the busy Thanksgiving weekend. I spent the entire week reading emails, books, Blogs, and newspapers. I also watched TV, took a lot of naps, and did some Sudoku puzzles.

Yesterday daughter K and I made some Christmas cookies. That is K did all the work, and I helped out a little bit and then took a nap. Last night we had our Mini Church group over so this morning I am starting out exhausted. Because I am so tired, I don't plan on doing much today either.

So as you can see, I haven't been doing much at all.