Archive for August, 2011

Over the weekend, I was having some mild stomach pains. Naturally, I assumed they were the unfortunate side effect of eating my own cooking for an entire week.  By Monday they still had not subsided so Anson convinced me to go to the doctor. I thought it was unnecessary, but he insisted it was a good idea.

So, I scheduled an appointment thinking they would tell me nothing was wrong and send me home.  Not so.

I got to the doctors and they asked the typical questions.  How long has the pain been going on? A few days. On a scale of 1-10, how bad does it hurt? About a 2, I guess.  The doctor had me jump up and down and touch my toes (I did both successfully).  My only other symptom was a lack of appetite, which didn’t really worry me.  Then, she poked my belly and I said “Ouch!”.  So, she said she wanted to get a CT of my appendix and that I needed to get someone to come and sit with me during testing. 

Anson rushed over from work to sit with me as I drank my barium smoothies to prepare for the CT. For the exam, you have to drink 2 smoothies over 90 minutes.  They come in 4 flavors: vanilla, banana, apple and mochaccino. I started with a vanilla smoothie.  I normally drink things quickly, so I assumed it would be difficult to pace myself at 45 minutes per smoothie—it wasn’t.  They were not pleasant, to say the least.  For the second smoothie, I switched to banana hoping that it would taste better.  Nope.  But, we did get to sit around and chat while waiting for me to finish.  Anson thought it would be fun to take pictures:

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They finally took me in for my CT.  The results…..<pause to add excitement>….they couldn’t find my appendix! They were concerned that it might have already burst and sent me down to the ER to get checked out. 

I casually walked into the ER and said “Hi, Dr. Liu sent me here because she thinks my appendix may have burst.”  They looked at me like  I was nuts.  Then, a doctor came out to get me (my doctor had just called them) and take me back to a room.  They took some more blood to run some quick tests and the doctor asked me about all of my symptoms again.  He came back and said “Your white cell count looks fine. Still, I’ve talked to the surgeon. We think you should get your appendix out.” 

Okay.

Into the ambulance I go!  I was taken to Evergreen Hospital where I met Dr. Kahn (how awesome is that name?!).  He explained the procedure and, after a short wait, sent me back to surgery.  Here’s a quick shot of me before surgery:

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Now, I don’t remember much about the OR, but there is one thing that sticks in my memory.  They wheeled me in and I could hear the radio playing.  As they were putting me under, Pearl Jam’s “Last Kiss” was playing.  That did nothing to help my nerves 😛

I woke up from surgery groggy and sore (no pictures, thank goodness!).  No complications.  I was almost expecting the doctor to come back and say that, upon opening me up, they found nothing wrong with me.  I mean, my pain level was low, I was walking/talking just fine, my white count was okay…how could there be anything wrong?  It turns out my appendix was in pretty bad shape (I think “hardened” and “twisted” were the adjectives the doc used). The doctor told Anson he was pretty surprised I wasn’t in a lot more pain before surgery. Go figure!

Since then, I’ve been recovering nicely.  I got some beautiful flowers from the Hortons 🙂

I want to thank everyone for the well wishes!  I’m getting better every day 🙂

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I am not a good cook. I’ve known this for quite some time.  It became pretty evident a few weeks after we got married.  I had asked Anson’s mom for the recipe of one of his favorite dishes–chicken and sausage over potatoes.  I followed the directions.  We sat down at the table. We ate dinner. All was right with the world—or so I thought.  A few weeks later, I decided to make it again.  I figured it would be a great surprise for Anson.  So, once again I followed the directions.  We sat down at the dinner table.  This time Anson looked down at his plate….up at me…down at his plate…up at me…sighed…and said (if I remember correctly)  “I’m sorry, I can’t eat this again.  I mean, we’re going to be married forever and we can’t keep eating this.  It’s really bad.”  I could see he was nervous about saying this (he couldn’t really look me in the eye), but I just laughed.  In fact, I was a little flattered he ate it at all the first time since it was so overcooked!  That night I put that recipe aside and assumed that it just wasn’t meant to be.  Maybe his Mom had a secret cooking trick that made it so wonderful (I’m sure she does. She’s a great cook!).

Since then, I have tried learning to cook several times.  And I’ll admit—I have no idea what I’m doing.  I once tried making a soup and the recipe asked me to “brown” the ground meat.  What does “brown” mean?  My mom told me to cook it on the stove top, so I did.  But, I felt like it turned more of a gray-ish color.  Should I stop cooking it? Do I continue until it actually turns brown?  I know the internet is the ultimate tool for these kinds of questions, really I do.  But, most of the time I don’t want to run upstairs to the computer when I’m in the middle of cooking.  Also, how does everyone else know what these things are? Did I miss a children’s story or day of school that explained this?  Could be…

About a month ago I  had decided to put my major cooking mishaps behind me.  I was ready to try again! Not only did I have a bit of free time before school in the fall, I also had a strong desire to conquer my fear of cooking. It’s now weeks later and I’d love to say that I’m getting better, but that would be a lie.  Virtually nothing I have made recently has been turning out very well, which leads me to believe that, in addition to not being able to cook, I might not even be able to learn

It all started with my attempt to make an egg white omelet.  Easy, right?  I put some mushrooms and spinach in a pan, cooked them a bit, then added egg whites and let it cook a while.  I sat down to dinner (I should probably mention that Anson and I almost never eat the same things for dinner.  He was eating a sandwich or something store bought. No worries.).   Anson looked over at my plate and said “Hey, are those eggs? They kind of look like eggs!” I smiled and looked at the plate. My response was “Yeah, except for the black parts.”  I then grabbed some hot sauce from the fridge in an attempt to rescue my dinner. (sidenote: I’m almost certain that the reason I like hot sauce so much is because it covers up the taste of whatever culinary disaster I’m trying to eat. Anson claims I make my food “taste like pain.” At least it doesn’t like ash, right?  I guess I give a whole new meaning to the phrase “Hell’s Kitchen.”)  All in all, it wasn’t too bad. I tried it a couple other nights, but it was never non-black.  Ah well, I eat so much burnt food, I’ve come to like it a little.

A few days later I decided it was time to try to cook a chicken breast in the oven.  I was determined to no longer feel like a fool in the kitchen.  I had managed to find a way to grill it (so long as I don’t look at it to see if it’s done, I don’t over cook it—I just say a little prayer that it cooks all the way through. Since Anson hasn’t dropped dead, I’m assuming God has a soft spot for my cooking-related prayers).  Now it was time to move past the grill and attempt to cook in the oven.  I had a recipe.  I seasoned the meat and cooked it with some vegetables.  The main problem—I couldn’t figure out of it was done.  I thought it looked pink, but I couldn’t be sure. So, I kept putting it back in the oven.  Well, it wasn’t black when I ate it (yay me!) and it looked completely cooked (I think I ended up cooking it for an extra 20 minutes—don’t ask).  All I can say is that something was not right. I got so sick.  So, so sick.  I actually considered becoming a vegetarian. Not because I don’t like eating meat, but out of necessity.  It’s over a week later and I still can’t think about eating chicken without feeling a little queasy.

In my next desperate attempt to cook a nice dinner (and avoid eating meat),  I made a lentil soup.  The directions said to “sort and rinse” the lentils.  Sort them into what?  They all looked the same! I skipped that step.  Despite that, the soup turned out okay (when hot spices were added).  I didn’t get sick, so it was already a greater success than the chicken.  Not sure I’ll attempt it again. Though, it may be one of the few things I can manage to make without disaster. We’ll see…

Honestly, I am in absolute awe of people who know how to cook!  It’s a talent and skill that is beyond my understanding.  I think I have finally decided to hang up my apron and give up my dream of being able to cook dinner.  And I think Anson is okay with this. 

The other night at dinner he looked at me and said “Do you know how I know you love me?”

“How’s that?”

“You don’t make me eat your cooking.” 🙂

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He couldn’t be more right! Love that guy 🙂

Maybe I’ll just focus on my cookies/pastries/pies for a while 🙂

Earlier this week my phone started buzzing constantly making its ‘you have a text message’ sound.  I was pretty sure I didn’t suddenly become hugely popular in the texting community, so I knew before looking that I was either getting a stupid number of spam messages or my phone number had been confused with someone important.  I was sort of hoping for the second, but not surprisingly, every message was about coupons, deals, and Nigerian princes without any other friends (well, except for the nice person that really wanted to tell me about my ‘secret crush’). 

I’m not a fan of text messages; I much prefer email.  In addition to being generally superior in every way, email also doesn’t cost extra money on top of my data plan.  I don’t have a text messaging plan on my phone because I simply don’t get enough text messages.  It costs an extra $5/mo. to get up to 200 ‘free’ (I love that) text messages.  Without the plan, each text message costs $0.20.  For those of you playing along at home that means I’d need to receive/send more than 25 text messages a month to make the plan worthwhile.  I rarely (read: never) get that many text messages, so I’m perfectly happy to save the $60/year and spend it on the lottery instead.   

Unfortunately that triggers this odd psychological effect where my passing hatred of text messaging has become a blinding rage.  While I don’t mind when friends send a text message, I absolutely cannot stand the idea that I could actually be charged an unlimited amount of money (in $0.20 increments) for the privilege of learning about the most recent Viagra deal. 

I did what I usually do and spent the week complaining about it to anyone who would listen.  Apparently everyone I know has a text plan, because they all looked at me with a confused expression when I explained the spam was costing me money which quickly turned into something I can only describe as disinterest tinged with pity. 

After my plan of ‘ignoring the problem’ didn’t actually decrease the number of spam messages, I spent time this morning trying to find a solution.  It turns out that for every text message account your phone company creates an email address.  The address tends to be of the form of MOBILENUMBER@txt.att.net’. Any mail sent to that address is converted to a text message and sent to your phone.  Spammers simply send mails to every mobile number @txt.att.net and wait to see if they get any replies.  In this case my phone company is AT&T so I went to their website to see if I could either change that email address, or simply block any messages sent this way.  It turns out that this is possible (yay!), but requires going to a different AT&T site.  That other AT&T site is http://mymessages.wireless.att.com/.  That site requires a separate registration from the normal AT&T wireless site (which, of course, makes no sense at all).  Anyway, after signing up for that site (which sends you a text message for confirmation <teeth grinding>), you can block all text messages sent to you as email.

In short, it’s been a great day. 

 

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So, I’m finally getting back into training for the Walk of Hope 5k (Anson and I are “running” it in October).  Phew!  I’ve been pretty worried about it recently since I’ve been giving up after about 20 minutes on the treadmill for the past week or so.  I wasn’t feeling great—or, at least, that’s been my excuse.  Anson recommended I give running outside a shot again.

This afternoon, I decided the weather was nice enough that it might actually be fun.  I put on some jogging clothes and headed over to Bridle Trails. For those of you on the east coast, Bridle Trails is a park that’s a couple of blocks from our house.  There are a lot of horse owners in the area so it’s mostly used by people on horseback, but a few people (like me) use it for jogging. I like it because it’s pretty deserted most of the time–  nobody is there to witness my huffing and puffing.  Also, there are a TON of trails, so you can easily change up your routine if you’d like.

I usually do a 1.8 mile loop, walking parts and jogging others. Today I jogged over 2 miles WITHOUT WALKING! Wahoo! New Record!  Take THAT allergies!  I was so proud I even took a picture.

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It was an almost perfect workout.  Almost.  Something odd happened towards the end.  I was about 0.1 miles from the end of my jog and I saw a woman picking blackberries.  I was trying to avoid eye contact and just zone-out because I really wanted to go the whole way without stopping.  But, she stopped me:

 

Lady:  Did you see a tall man on the trail with you?

Me: No, nobody was out there. <jogging in place>

Lady:  Because he watched you as you were entering the trail and then followed you in.

Me: (gulp!)  Really?

Lady:  Yeah, I saw him follow you and decided to wait at the entrance to the trail to make sure you got out okay.  I was praying the whole time. He was REALLY creepy.  He just had that look, ya know?

Me:  Wow.  That’s kind of scary.  Lucky I didn’t run into him.  Thanks so much for keeping an eye on me!

Lady: No problem!

 

Needless to say, I made it home safe and sound.  But, we’ll have to see if Anson is still excited to have me jog outside after this incident 🙂

And, of course, we’re still fundraising for the event.  Anson and I want to thank the Perez and Dallavalle families for their support!  You guys are AWESOME!  And I would like to thank Fiona for making a donation yesterday. Not only did she make a donation towards a great charity, she gave me all the fundraising credit—which means I’m beating Anson! 🙂

http://nationalevents.cityofhope.org/goto/TeamAwesome

Also, Jane recently tagged me in her blog to write about my 7 favorite posts that I have done.  I’m taking votes/suggestions for favorite entries.  Anson has said he likes the ones with pictures. Or, at least, that was the trend from the ones he listed off yesterday (“I like the one where Kira is doing tae-bo.”).  I’ll have to look through some of my old posts (considering hortonhome.com has been around since 2002, this might take a while), but expect that post to come out later this week. 🙂