Saturday, December 4, 2010

Has it really been almost 3 mos?

Wow, Sept 19 was my last post.... Really? I can tell you the time has flown! SO many things have happened in that time! In August, I went back to work, but changed subject areas... I am a social studies teacher. That is where my heart lies. BUT, our school district went though some budget cuts and my social studies position was gone. So, as of June 9th, as I posted before, I was unemployed. I did find a new position, at the same school---my own high school, class of 1985--but it was in Reading and ESE. I was also given a class of AP World History, so not totally out of social studies, but it was only 1/4th of my day. AND, it was a brand new class for me too as I've taught world history, but not at a college level like AP (advanced placement for those wondering--an honors course that can qualify a high school student for college credit if they pass the AP exam at the course end).

Then, in late October, I was called to the principal's office! I was a good kid, so this was new! LOL Anyway, she told me that one of our social studies teachers was leaving to go back to teaching at the elementary level. And, as I'd helped her out quite a bit this past year, she said she felt like she owed it to me to offer the position to me before she posted it. Wow! THANKS! I was so excited to get the chance to go back to social studies! She still posted a position, but it was my reading/ESE position, not the social studies slot. SO, I finished up the trimester in reading and went full-time social studies again as of the start of the new trimester--Nov 17th. I am teaching American History (2 classes), World History (non-AP, 1 class) and still have my AP World History kids as well. BUT, this also meant changing classrooms--AGAIN! I had to move all the way across campus for the reading position as teachers are clustered together--reading in one area, language arts in another, math another, etc. Reading and social studies are about as far apart as any two subjects can be. This position change meant moving all that way back to the social studies wing...again! This added flavor to the month of November!

Also in November, I attended the CHADD National Conference in Atlanta and got to hook up with old friends who live all over the country--Pam from Washington state, Belynda from Louisiana, Loretta from North Carolina, Linda from Michigan, Marie from Pennsylvania, Karran from Louisiana, Fran from Michigan, Lew from California, Melanie from Utah--YOU get the picture! We're all CHADD volunteers and we only get to see each other when we make it to conference!

I also met pro-wrestler Matt "the blueprint" Morgan at conference. He spoke about his own childhood as a child (and now adult) with AD/HD. It was very moving for all who were there and he drove the cameraman NUTS as he walked back and forth on stage! It is great to see these big, strong, successful guys admit that they, too, suffer with the same things as everyone else.

Matthew (aka world's greatest grandbaby) has been home since Nov 6th. He has to go back to WV on New Year's Day--not the greatest time to be traveling... Next court date in the custody battle is Dec 16th. Fingers crossed and prayers going up for a positive outcome there. He has grown SO much! He went right past 24 mos size clothes and straight into 2T and 3T stuff... He's tall and slender, so often ends up with what we call a "cheerleader roll" to the waistband of his bottoms as they aren't long enough if you buy the size that fits him around his tummy! LOL

Life in AP world history land is stressful at times. These are 10th graders (15 or 16 years of age) and they are not really ready for the rigors of a college-level class, but they selected this option and are now having to give it their all to stay caught up. Grades are lower than they'd be in a non-AP class and they have to live with that too. Those grades are weighted though, so a C is a B when you figure GPA and a B is an A... It all comes out in the wash for the diligent students. The rest know where they let it slide and have only themselves to blame.

Christmas is just 21 more days away! I'm making fudge today and may get some baking in tomorrow. I've entered a cake contest next week at school and will be making my turtle cheesecake.... Judging is a week from Monday!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A post WLS first for me....actually, first time in over 25 years!

So, yesterday was a teacher open house day at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL. Teachers who signed up in advance were given free admission to the park for the teacher and one guess, plus free parking (which is $12 normally, by the way). Even as a resident of Florida, admission to BG is still $69! SO, this day was hard to pass up... Hubby and I went and took our oldest with us. She posted to her Facebook that she was having fun with her "parental units!" It is good when your 21 year old child still finds you fun--even if only for brief stints!

I checked in at each of the teacher stations, heard their spiels about the field trip programs they offer for students of different ages, got my sheet stamped... You know the drill! Then, the three of us had the rest of the afternoon to do whatever we wanted in the park. We saw sooooo many different kinds of animals! And, to culminate the events of the day, my daughter and I rode KUMBA! This is a huge, fast, wild roller coaster. It was the first time I'd been on a roller coaster since the summer of 1984! I tell you, it is amazing the things you will do when you weigh 200 pounds that you won't dare try at 400 pounds!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Perfect Boiled Egg...

A fellow postop shared the following egg boiling info on the Graduate-Low-Carb-Lifestyle group over at Yahoo. I'm no Martha Stewart either, but this is how I have boiled eggs for years and it DOES work and works well. There are so many people who say that they can't boil eggs that I thought I'd post this for the masses!
Extremely fresh eggs will not peel easily. In fact, an egg that is just a day or two old is almost impossible to peel. As eggs age, the shells will peel more easily. It is advisable that eggs used for hard cooking (including Easter Eggs) be at least 2 weeks old before cooking for easiest peeling. Hard cooked eggs that are cooked slowly over low heat (and not `boiled') will be more difficult to peel.

Despite its name, a boiled egg shouldn't be boiled (which will yield rubbery results) but rather immediately removed from the heat once the cooking water comes to a boil. Place eggs in a saucepan large enough to accommodate them in a single layer. Fill pan with cold water, covering eggs by 1 inch. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand 90 seconds to 2 minutes for soft-boiled eggs, 1 minute 45 seconds to 2 minutes 15 seconds for medium-boiled, and 11 to 12 minutes for hard-boiled. Once the hard-boiled egg is cooked, transfer it to a bowl of ice water (this will prevent discoloration and facilitate peeling); let stand 2 minutes, then crack by gently pressing egg against a hard surface. Peel under cold, running water.


Sunday, August 1, 2010



1. Money isn't made out of paper, it's made out of cotton.

2. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp (marijuana) paper.

3. The dot over the letter 'i' is called a 'tittle.'

4. A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top.

5. Susan Lucci is the daughter of Phyllis Diller ..

6. 40% of McDonald's profits come from the sales of Happy Meals.

7. 315 entries in Webster 's 1996 Dictionary were misspelled.

8. The 'spot' on 7UP comes from its inventor, who had red eyes. He was albino.

9. On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents, daily.

10. Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine are brother and sister.

11. Chocolate affects a dog's heart and nervous system; a few ounces will kill a small-sized dog.

12. Orcas (killer whales) kill sharks by torpedoing up into the shark's stomach from underneath, causing the shark to explode.

13. Most lipstick contains fish scales (eeww).

14. Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn't wear pants.

15. Ketchup was sold in the 1830's as medicine.

16. Upper- and lower-case letters are named 'upper' and 'lower' because in the time when all original print had to be set in individual letters, the Upper case' letters were stored in the case on top of the case that stored the smaller, 'lower case' letters.

17. Leonardo Da Vinci could write with one hand and draw with the other at the same time, hence multi-tasking was invented.

18. Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood.

19. There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos.

20. The name Wendy was made up for the book Peter Pan; there was never a recorded Wendy before!

21. There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with: orange, purple, and silver.

22. Leonardo Da Vinci invented scissors. Also, it took him 10 years to paint Mona Lisa 's lips.

23. A tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion will make it instantly go mad and sting itself to death

24. The mask used by Michael Myers in the original 'Halloween' was a Captain Kirk's mask painted white..

25. If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have $1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar (good to know.)

26. By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you can't sink in quicksand (and you thought this list was completely useless).

27. The phrase 'rule of thumb' is derived from an old English law, which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

28. The first product Motorola started to develop was a record player for automobiles. At that time, the most known player on the market was the Victrola, so they called themselves Motorola.

29. Celery has negative calories! It takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with. It's the same with apples.

30. Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying!

31. The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.

32. Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from Public Libraries.

33. Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a space suit damages it.

34. George Carlin said it best about Martha Stewart, "Boy, I feel a lot safer now that she's behind bars. O. J. Simpson and Kobe Bryant are still walking around; Osama Bin Laden too, but they take the ONE woman in America willing to cook, clean, and work in the yard, and they haul her off to jail."

Friday, July 23, 2010

Are you getting the right LABS done??

Lots of people get labs done after WLS. Do they get the RIGHT labs done though? Some yes, but most NO. Vitalady Michelle created a thorough list of post-op labs that any WLS postop should take to their doc (whether their PCP or their WLS surgeon) and request that they be run AT LEAST every 6 mos. If you have insurance that will cover it, go for every 3 mos. Do not go more than a year without a complete set of labs though! I'm borrowing the list via copy/paste, but this is the list that Vitalady and Andrea both share regularly with fellow postops:

*80053 Comprehensive Metabolic profile: (sodium, potassium, chloride, glucose,BUN, creatinine, calcium, total protein, albumin, total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase) (10231)

* 84134 Pre-albumin:

* 7600 Lipid profile: (cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, chol/HDL ratio)

* 10256 Hep panel: includes ALT (SPGT) & GGT)

* 84100 Phosphorous – Inorganic: (718)

* 83735 Magnesium:

* 84550 Uric Acid: (905)

* 7444 Thyroid panel: (T3U, T4, FTI, TSH) (84437; 84443; 84479; 84480)

* 85025 Hemogram with platelets: (1759)

* 7573 Iron: TIBC, % sat

* 83550 Ferritin: (457)

* 84630 Zinc: (945)

* 84446 Vitamin A: (921)

* 82306 Vitamin D: (25-hydroxy) (680)

* 84052 Vitamin B-1: (Thiamin) (4052)

* 84207 Vitamin B-6: (Pyridoxine)

* 7065 Vitamin B-12 & Folate: (82607; 82746)

* 83970 Serum intact: PTH

* 83937 Osteocalcin:

* 84597 Vitamin K:

* 85610 PT:

* 85730 PTT:


* 593 LDH:

* 31789 Homocysteine, Cardio:

* 83921 MMA:

* 367 Cortisol:

* 84255 Selenium:

* 84590 Vitamin E:

* 82525 Copper:

Recipe: Frank's Buffalo Chicken Dip (sort of a casserole...)

This one is actually a repost... I am making it tonight, so when I thought about it, I thought I'd reshare it for anyone who may have missed it! This is an awesome bake and take dish for covered dish stuff--especially with WLS postops! Tasty and full of protein! I double the recipe, but I only use about 2/3 cup of the buffalo wing sauce as no one here really likes too much spice! I've made it with the canned chicken AND with freshly cooked chicken breast that I shredded myself. Either way, it is delicious, nutritious, and a hit with any group--family or potluck!

Servings: 3 1/2 cups dip | Prep Time: 5 min. | Cook Time: 20 min.

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
1/2 cup FRANK'S® REDHOT® Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cans (9.75 oz. each) SWANSON® White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast
in Water, drained


1.HEAT oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish. Stir until smooth.
2.MIX in salad dressing, Frank's RedHot Sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken.
3.BAKE 20 min. or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish as desired. Serve with crackers or vegetables.

1.Microwave Directions: Prepare as above. Place in microwave-safe dish. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 5 min. until hot, stirring halfway through cooking.
2.Tips: You may substitute 2 cups shredded cooked chicken.
3.Slow Cooker Method: Combine ingredients as directed above. Place mixture into small slow cooker. Cover pot. Heat on HIGH setting for 1 1/2 hours until hot and bubbly or on LOW setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Stir.
4.Tailgating Tip: Prepare dip ahead and place in heavy disposable foil pan. Place pan on grill and heat dip until hot and bubbly.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Even Jillian Was Fat As A Teen....

Most WLS postops can tell you a tale of woe that goes way back to their early childhood. I know I can. And, if I had them handy, I could scan pics that go back to my childhood and show you proof. I have them, but they are packed away at the current moment (project for the future!). I was a fat kid. I was a fat teen. I was a fat adult. It all lead me to become super-morbidly obese and 410 pounds! Well, in a Redbook article, well-known fitness guru and hotbod Jillian Michaels

reveals just the same story! At age 14, she carried 175 pounds around on her five foot two inch frame... Who'd have thunk it to look at her now! And, she lost the weight before the skin got all stretched beyond return. Good for her!

She tells Redbook that her mom noticed that she'd gained weight (she was 50 pounds overweight) and enrolled her in martial arts classes. If only it were that simple for some of us! If only our moms recognized and dealt with the problem. If only.... If only my mom had pursued my health issue (I was not diagnosed at hypothyroid till I was married and having my second child). If I, myself, had known that help was available and that I wasn't just a fat loser.... Well, that is how you feel when you try for years to lose weight and nothing works. Every time you see a doctor, you get the butt-chewing about your weight, but no suggestions as to what you can do about it other than "go on a diet...." Yeah, been there, done that!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I missed it...

My 25th high school reunion that is... It was last weekend and was right here in town too. But, for various reasons--including $$, I didn't get to go.

I saw pics taken at the reunion on friends' Facebook pages... They had a blast! Sure wish I had been there. It would have been so awesome winning that award for having NOT gained the most weight! I am at least 50 pounds lighter now than I was in high school and I'm probably 200 pounds lighter than at the last reunion in 2005 as I was near my highest ever weight just then. I remember when we were packing to move from WV back to FL last summer and I came across the pics from that reunion. OMFG I was huge! When I can get to that stuff again (still packed away till we buy a house again), I will scan and post that pic. Ugh! Never, EVER, again!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Countdown! 9 days to grandbaby hugs!

World's greatest grandbaby is in WV currently with his father. He was supposed to be coming home on 7/17 (his 2nd Bday!), but as his mom and dad have a court hearing (regarding the contempt charge mom filed against dad) on 7/13 in WV, his dad SAYS he will let mom have him back on 7/13 after court. His motivation to let him go 4 days early??? MONEY! He won't have to drive from WV to South Carolina for the exchange... Money is the only motivating factor for that man. UGH!

BUT, that means we are counting down the days till we get him back home! We (my older daughter and I) leave FL for WV on 7/12 at the crack of dawn--well, probably before the crack of dawn! It is a 15 hour drive and we need to be there for a reasonable bedtime on 7/12 as she has court at 9 am on 7/13. Then, after the hearing, we get to pickup the world's greatest grandbaby and head home!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Glad that is over!

So my knee work DID get done this time... June 29th, I had my left knee scoped again. I had already had it done back in August 2009, so not quite a year had passed and it has been painful for a long time already. The orthopedic surgeon thought I might have had a bone chip floating in the joint (my knees are both bone-on-bone) and that this bone chip was chewing up the meniscus that I have left each time it was caught against the bone in the joint... Well, he didn't find any bone chips, just more shredded meniscus. I see him on the 9th for the "full report" but it doesn't sound like he really found a cause for this new damage.

On another front, I had my full labs done on June 22nd and will get those results today or tomorrow in the mail. I'm hoping my iron is at least 100 or higher (ferritin level). I won't be on it because I'm pretty certain it won't be, but we'll see!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Knees......take 2!

Back last fall, I had both my bone-on-bone knees scoped and cleaned up... Once they healed from the scoping, they were pretty good. The right one was painful and clicking for a long time, but is pretty good now. The left was good for a while, but hurts like a beeyotch lately. I went back to the orthopedic surgeon a couple of weeks ago and got cortisone shots in both knees. Then, he said, "you know, what you have going on is probably a bone chip floating around in there chewing up the cartilege...." Wow, doc, thanks for that imagery! SO, due to the bone-on-bone rubbing in my knee, he thinks that I have bone spurs/chips floating in the joint and chewing up what teensy little bits of cartilage I have left! Great! That leads me to believe that this scoping/cleaning may be a regular thing till I get to the point that they just replace the whole joint(s). How's that for incentive to keep the weight off and take it as easy on those knees as you can?

I am having the left knee done again on Tuesday (6/22). Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

10 ways to include healthy carbohydrates in your diet

Not sure where this came from as a friend passed it on to me... The list is pretty simple and some are no-brainers for a postop WLS lifestyle... See what you think! How many of these are you doing already? How many could you try now that you have them in mind? 1. Choose corn instead of flour tortillas. 2. Use whole wheat pasta instead of refined white pasta. 3. Opt for whole-grain breads instead of refined white breads. 4. Choose brown rice instead of white rice. 5. Eat slow-cooked oatmeal or steel oats in place of processed or "instant" cereals. 6. Snack on whole, fibrous fruits instead of artificial sweets and candies. 7. Opt for yams instead of white potatoes. 8. Choose whole wheat snack crackers over butter crackers. 9. Try making your own pizza with whole wheat pizza dough. 10. When eating baked goods, opt for muffins or pastries containing whole grains, nuts and berries instead of processed and refined white flours and sugars. I have a wonderful whole wheat pizza crust recipe here on this blog... I only use the Barilla Plus pasta these days. There's a little Mexican grocer at the end of my street that makes fresh corn tortillas EVERY day and you get about 15 tortillas in a foil wrapping for $1! When I want tortillas, this is what I use--even for my burrito bake recipe. I don't eat many potatoes--of any type or color. Just don't crave them anymore. Crackers--my fave these days is the multi-grain Club cracker. But, I don't eat them without cheese! I haven't had a slice of white bread since July 2006. My favorite these days is Arnold's Health Nut bread but we usually use their Multi-Grain Sandwich Thins. Those are awesome and nice and thin so not too filling and leaves room for lots of meat and cheese. I never eat oatmeal. I love fruit as a snack, and I make my own sweet goods with Splenda and healthier flours. If I have to make it, I won't eat it as often!

Crisis Averted!

As I informed you back in May, my position as a teacher was reallocated to the language arts department and I was unemployed as of June 9th. I've been job hunting since the end of April and there are just SO many teachers out of work right now due to budgetary cutbacks that I was really worried about finding something before school starts in August. I'm qualified to teach so many things, but there are just more applicants than there are jobs. I am certified to teach Social Studies, grades 6-12, Exceptional Student Education (special education or ESE) for grades K-12, and can teach any subject for 5-9 as I carry the Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum 5-9 certification as well. Was all of that doing me much good? It didn't seem like it!

BUT, my principal found me a position after all! It will be a hectic year, but I will be strong and "just do it!" I will be teaching ESE (learning strategies class), 2 classes of "level 3 reading" which is 11th grade reading--I think, and then 1 period/class of 9th grade physical science. Yes, me--the social studies teacher--teaching science! I've never done it before, but I passed the test and am now qualified to do it. This year, I get a chance to see how I like it! Our school is stretched really thin in several areas this year due to financial restrictions. We don't have enough science teachers. We did get another language arts teacher (due to my lost job being shifted to them). We don't have enough reading teachers or ESE teachers. The math department is stretched a bit thin AND the social studies department is going to be very thin with losing my position and adding several AP courses to their offerings... Just not enough teachers to go around and the school board doesn't get it!

I'm happy to have secured a full time position so soon in the summer. I'll have 3 different classes to teach, so that allows me more time before school starts to familiarize myself with the course materials, get moved into my new classroom (not as nice as what I had, but I'll make due!) and get started for this new position...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's Official!

It is official! My baby, Mandy, is now an official graduate of LaBelle High School--with honors! On May 31, 1985, I graduated from LaBelle High School. My graduating class was 85 graduates. Today, June 5, 2010--25 years later, my daughter graduated 39th in a class of 237! It was a beautiful day for their outdoor graduation and the people came out in droves! The stands were full and people were standing down front too.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sorry for the delay!

So sorry to say that before today it had been three months again since my last post.... Lots has happened in that time...

As you may remember, I started teaching Nov 11, 2009 at my old high school here in FL. I have had a great year and have worked with some awesome kids. Graduation is next Friday and my own baby, Mandy, will be one of the kids crossing the stage, accepting their diploma, and moving into the next stage of their lives... Definitely going to be a kleenex moment! But, life goes on and theirs is just starting!

I was informed a few weeks ago that my current teaching position has been cut for next year. In other words, "It has been wonderful having you here this year, but we're really sorry that we can't keep you for next year....." SO, back to the grindstone of finding a new job. I had really hoped that my life was finally taking a turn for the better, more level road... Apparently that wasn't the case just yet! And, in today's teaching force here in FL, there are a lot of folks looking for positions because they've been cut just like me. Fewer positions + more applicants means a harder time finding something! My principal wrote me a great letter of recommendation. We'll see what happens.

Yesterday, I went and took a test ($200!) to get qualified in a new certification area--Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum, 5-9. The passing score I received (yeah!!) means that I'll be qualified to teach language arts, social studies, math, or science in grades 5 through 9. I was already certified to teach social studies to grades 6-12 AND exceptional students (ESE) for grades K-12. I am hoping that all of this is enough to find something great and close to home. Cross your fingers for me, okay??

From a new take on the KFC Double Down chicken sandwich

And yet another internet find!

The freakish Double Down at KFC has 540 calories, with more than HALF of those calories coming from fat. There are 32 grams of fat in that thing! Aside from the fried chicken patties (a.k.a. the "bread"), there's cheese, creamy sauce, AND bacon! As for the Grilled Double Down? Oddly, that one isn't much better, with 460 calories and 23 grams of fat. If you really want to kick a craving, here's how to faux-fry your way to Double Down town...

Start with two 3-oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast cutlets, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness. Grind up 1/2 cup original Fiber One cereal in a blender or food processor, and season to taste with some chicken grill seasoning. Dip your cutlets in fat-free egg substitute, and then coat 'em in the seasoned cereal crumbs. Cook over medium-high heat in a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray until done (about 4 minutes per side). Meanwhile, mix up some fat-free mayo with a little ketchup, Dijon mustard, and a dash of cayenne pepper; that's your sauce. Cook up a slice of extra-lean turkey bacon (or thinly sliced center-cut bacon), and break it in half. Now spread a little sauce on top of those faux-fried chicken cutlets, and top one with a half-slice of reduced-fat Jack cheese. Put the bacon over that, followed by the other half-slice of cheese. Put the other cutlet on top with the sauced-side down. Heat the whole thing in the skillet, pressing down with a spatula, until the cheese melts. Mmmmm!

Your swap will have around 340 calories, 8g fat, and 14g fiber. For a "grilled" version, just skip the cereal and egg, and season your chicken directly with the grill mix -- that'll have about 270 calories and 7g fat. Not bad!!!

Awesome looking reduced sugar oreo cheesecake recipe!

Just found this on the web and HAD to share!!

What have we here?



That’s right, kids! The good stuff is still available to us!

Creamy white and packed with crunchy bits of cream-filled wafer cookies this cake will make a huge splash whenever you serve it!

(I have to say my daughter made the one that got photographed…so gorgeous!)


Vegetable cooking spray
2 pkgs sugar free Oreos or Murray’s sugar free chocolate sandwich cookies, divided
1/4 cup butter, melted
Four 8-ounces pkgs reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups Splenda Granular
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cups sour cream
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with the cooking spray. Wrap in aluminum foil so that the butter doesn’t seep out and burn in the oven and place on a baking sheet. Set aside.

Finely crush 1 1/2 pkgs of the Oreo cookies (or 1 pkg of the Murray’s) and place in a medium bowl along with the melted butter. Mix well and press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until crispy to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl whip the softened cream cheese just until smooth. Beat in the Splenda, vanilla, sour cream, and whipping cream just until blended. One at a time, beat in eggs just until incorporated. Coarsely chop remaining cookies and gently fold into cheese mixture. Pour into cooled crust. Bake for one hour, loosely covering with foil after 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake, but do not remove the sides of the pan. Allow to cool completely. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight or at least 5 hours. Remove sides of pan and slice. (Cheesecakes will be creamy, soft for the first few hours, and will become more dense and cakey the longer they are allowed to chill. They really do get better as they sit and rest!) Makes 18 servings.

Per Serving: 230 Cal; 6 g Protein; 17 g Tot Fat; 14 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar; 219 mg Sodium


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Recipe: Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread for the Bread Machine

We don't eat a lot of bread around here, but when we DO eat bread, we ONLY eat whole wheat. For a long time now, I've kept a sourdough starter going just so I can have the occasional fresh-baked loaf of whole wheat sourdough bread with an evening meal. My whole family loves it and it makes great sandwiches when there are leftovers... Here's how I make it using my bread machine. Got a loaf going now for Mandy's birthday dinner....she's 18 today!

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread for the Bread Machine

1 1/4 cups sourdough starter
3/4 cups warm water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
1 3/4 teaspoons dry yeast (or 1 packet fast-rise yeast)

Put in bread machine pan in the order recommended by manufacturer. This is generally the wet ingredients first, then the dry ingredients with the yeast being the very last thing you add and that being put into a dished area in the top of the other dry ingredients.
Select basic bread cycle OR whole wheat cycle if your machine has this option.
If there is a crust selection option, go with the lighter or medium crust.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


So, December 21st I was supposed to have my surgery... I went in. They took me back. I got changed into the gown. I had labs drawn. I had an IV running. The anesthesiologist had already been in and explained that "you'll be asleep for this..." and asked me if I knew that. I told him it certainly was my preference! They gave me the "shot to help you relax." And I was waiting for my turn when one of my doc's nurses came in and asked me if I'd be okay with rescheduling for Weds, 12/23 (two days later).... UGH! Are you freaking kidding me? Well, she wasn't! The case before me, an RNY on a very heavy woman who'd had numerous previous abdominal surgeries and had tons of scarring and hernias inside, was running WAY longer than anticipated. The doc didn't think he'd be 100% to do me when he was done. SO, we rescheduled...and I went home...and I was still mad though I had to respect his decision.

Then, on 12/23, I went back and did it all over again. But, nothing went well. Took 4 tries to get an IV in and when it finally worked, it was at the hand of Atilla the uncaring doctor who gave me no choice in how he did it and basically had me in tears from the pain by the time he got it running. Then, more waiting. The anesthesiologist this time was cool too. Answered my questions and told me that he'd see if he couldn't get that IV out of my danged hand while I was under in the OR. That didn't happen, for whatever reason. But, he did get one in my arm in recovery. I was in a room shortly, but freezing and in a lot of pain--more than I remember after my RNY... I was using the morphine every 2 hours and taking Percocets every 4 hours for two days! The very first night, I got a roomie at 11 pm. LOTS of noise and suddenly losing control of the TV when I was in too much pain to do anything else! Not a happy camper!! LOL Plus, the darned nurses kept pulling the drape between us and they'd pull it so far it blocked the TV screen anyway, so even when this other chick was asleep, I couldn't make use of the TV. By the third day, I had walked enough to get the gas moving in my chest (they pump your abdomen up with gas so they can move around and see easier for the laparoscopic procedure). That pain was letting up, but the surgical incisions were still awful. And, they'd used that Dermabond (superglue) to close me up instead of stitches and it itched like a demon!! I would MUCH rather have stitches after this experience! The only good thing??? No drain!!

After I got home, I was doing more than I should have been, but you know how hard it is to sit there and see things that need done and know that no one else is going to do them......SO, I really did not take the proper amount of time to heal before I was back at it. And, I caught whatever the grandbaby had and got sick on top of it all! When I went back to work on Monday, Jan 4, I was more tired than I was before we got out for break.....UGH!!

Now, I am pretty much healed, but still have times when my abdomen sort of knots up for no known reason. I'll ask the doc about it at my followup this week. I was told that he took my pouch from "about 80 CCs" to "about 50 CCs," so I should feel more restriction to the amount of food I can eat, but have not really experienced that. I did have one incident with eating too much and some of it coming back up. Yuck! Hadn't had THAT happen in about 2 years! I guess I can eat a bit less than before, but it still seems like I can eat a lot more than I could early on... I have not seen any additional weight loss other than dropping the water weight I put on in the hospital from all the IV fluids... We'll see! This surgery was NOT about losing additional weight though! It was about fixing my hiatal hernia and the candy cane hook on my intestine below my pouch. I have seen a drop in the amount of burping and belching, but not a total alleviation of that problem. Maybe with time.....
Current weight? 210
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