Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I needed to share. These are pictures of the flowers  that were picked my beautiful little boy a few weeks ago. He and his Papa (my Dad) took a walk out in the field and Josiah brought these to me.

Josiah promptly stuck them in a mason jar and they sat on the table for everyone to enjoy. Aren't they sweet?

This is what it's all about, my friends.

Road Trip!.... And a trip the ER

It's always something. Just had to get that out of the way.

This past Memorial Day we were able to get away. Road Trip!

The Studly Muffin's brother and his  wife live just outside of St. Louis. She is in the Air Force Reserves and works for the Civil Service. He is Retired Air Force and also works for the Civil Service. She was able to get tickets to a Cardinals game courtesy of the USO (and as the Studly Muffin is a Air Force Vet) it was going to be a perfect weekend. Church, brunch with the family, The Game and on Memorial Day parade featuring my sister-in-law, Debbie and their oldest son Nick (home for the summer from college and also in the Air Force Reserves...he's a medic and a nursing student).

I passed on seeing the game (I would rather be reading. In a quiet room), but Debbie and I had planned for a girl's afternoon of movie watching and possible shopping. How could I resist that?

We arrived Saturday afternoon, had a lovely dinner with the family, watched a little television and headed off to bed. Before I went to bed I did my usual night routine involving taking my meds (I carry a pharmacy, literally) and taking my insulin shot.

This particular night I was trying out a new insulin. Well. Guess who is violently allergic to that insulin? And guess who spent the night in the emergency room? Yep. I know how to do vacation up right.

And as with most patients with a history of congestive heart failure, they had to give me every test just to be sure I wasn't having a heart attack or going into failure again. The insulin made me violently ill, as well as drove my blood pressure up to dangerous levels and increased my heart rate. Not a good thing for a girl with cardiomyopathy. To top it off my blood sugar was high. Stinkin' insulin. What good are ya!

I will say...The Studly Muffin and I got to spend some quality time together. He is such a gentle, precious man. I know it freaked him out. And thank goodness for my Medic/Nurse-in-training nephew, Nick! When it first started he took my heart rate and then rallied the troops to get me to the hospital. I love that boy.

Anyhoo. I spent the next day in bed. The gang went on ahead to the Cardinals game and I got my quiet time. We did have to come home a little early. We missed the parade. Dang it. And I am just a little worse for the wear. It was discovered in the midst of all the blood work I had done that I have hypothyrodism. Good. Another pill to take. But despite a nasty IV bruise, some fuzzy brain activity (which is often typical) and some other aches and pains...I'm good.

Despite my drama...My boys had a great time. I thought I would share a few pictures.

Josiah is getting ready for the game. And doing a little Road Trip Napping.

Are we there yet?

My Studly Muffin. This is the man I love :<) We don't have Air Conditioning in either of our cars. Let's just say that our summer trips are usually sultry!

Just a little pic of the city.

Slow Ride. Take It Easy.

Aunt Deb is a pretty cool Aunt. She took Josiah on her evening walks. Took him to the park. Took him to church (while Mom and Dad slept after the Emergency Room ordeal). Let him help cook supper and played games with him. She even took him to Scott Air Force Base with her (where she works) to get something out of her office. She took pictures of Josiah next to a C-5. I can't find them! I thought I put them in my purse...Maybe they are the same place I put my brain.

A view of the Arch on the way on the way home.

I got nothing else. Next week is Cousin Camp at my Mom and Dad's farm. I've been trying to get that together. I have so many notebooks going of lists....I think it's about time to get my act together. Hopefully, I'll manage to stay out of the emergency room until then.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Taco Salad - A "Go-To" Meal

Somebody. And I'm not going to mention any names here...Got a hold of my camera again.

I'm not sure what's going on here. Looks like some sort of sneaky situation to me.

I thought I would start sharing of a few of my "Go To" meals. Which means I "Go To" them in a pinch. Or they might be a family favorite. Or it might be a meal that never fails to please. And my taco salad is one of those meals.  This particular recipe I have used my whole married life (over 20 years). In fact, it was one my mom fixed when I was at home. It is easy and versatile. I have used it for a quick meal on a weeknight, potluck dinners and for casual nights with company.

Here is what you need.

1 head of lettuce, chopped (I just use a inexpensive head of iceberg)
2-3 small tomatoes, chopped
2-3 green onions, chopped
1 can of sliced olives
1 bag of nacho chips
1 pound of hamburger, cooked and seasoned (I usually just use a package of taco seasoning)
I can of beans (kidney, black, pinto...I didn't get them into the dish this time around...I was out)
1-2 cups of shredded cheese (how much I use depends on what serving dish I am using)
sour cream, salsa, guacamole (to serve along side)

First I chop the lettuce like I would for a regular tossed salad. This go around I used handy dandy paper plates to keep my ingredients separate for the time being. Very important at this stage of the game (to keep everything separate...not the paper plates ;<)

I did the same with my tomatoes and green onions. I also sliced my olives. The large can was cheaper in the long run...and Josiah loves black olives.

I browned my hamburger and added the taco seasoning according to the package. You can use any kind of ground meat you want. I use ground turkey quite a bit in my cooking. But as a personal preference I try and use ground chuck or ground round for this dish (or any tacos). I like the texture better. Another light alternative would be to use cooked and shredded chicken seasoned with taco seasoning.

At this point I would also open, drain and rinse my cane of beans and set aside. Instead I went straight to the "make sure your boys haven't snacked away your nacho chips" step.

In a large serving bowl I then layered my chip, hamburger (beans next), lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, green onions and olives. In that order.

The beauty of this dish is that it is so forgiving. When I make it for my family I just use one of my larger mixing/serving crocks. When making it for company I use a particularly large Pampered Chef salad bowl I have (which I didn't get a picture of).

This was my plate for the night. I realize my ratio of sour cream/guacamole to taco salad is a bit off.
That's how I roll.

At least I don't pick out all of the nacho chips to eat first....like a ten-year-old boy I know.

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