Hello, My Name is Susan

Archive for January 2011

… little note here.  I just found out that the reason I’ve been feeling so crappy is that I have shingles again.  I went online & googled shingles diet because my dad had told me about a man in their neighborhood who kept getting shingles & found a natural way to not only get rid of them quicker but to also keep them away.  So, the answer?  No sugar, lots of vit C, B12 & E to help w/ the blisters.

I immediately quit sugar & started taking the leftover pills from my last round of shingles.  I also started to take the vits mentioned in the diet.  Oh & eating lots more fruits & veg.  Guess what?  The blisters went down & didn’t pop.  I’m still having pain & tiredness but it’s not as bad as it could be.  I’m not certain what worked but I am inclined to believe that the “diet” is helping.  BUT, not out of the woods yet.  So, I’m around but taking it really easy.  Thanks, for understanding.



Per Kailani @ her blog, An Island Life“In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.”

So all you have to do is answer my question, head on over to Kailani’s & answer her question plus link up your own question that you’ve put on your blog.  Then head out to visit everybody else & enjoy the fun!

It’s been more than a little while so I’ll start out nice & easy.  My sister & I were talking recently about things (creepy crawly critters) that freak us out.  I’ve never been very fond of spiders & bugs but since we moved to Arizona I’ve found tons of new reasons to wonder why God created bugs.  I understand that some of them are beautiful & helpful or just plain fun but why things like scorpions, centipedes, sun spiders, wolf spiders, black widows & the list goes on.

baby scorpion I killed on the floor of my garage nearly 2 yrs ago

baby snake we though was a rattler but turned out not to be although we’d already killed it when we found out it wasn’t

What creepy crawly critters freak you out or don’t those kinds of things bug you?

Okay, deep breathes…in, out, in, out… the bugs really aren’t that bad.

… but my daughter has decided to become a teenager.  (Oh, okay.  You can laugh)  Yeah, she’s 8 going on 15.  The really sad part about all of this is that sometimes she’s worse than her 13 yr old brother.  Today I had to get after her to clean her room.  Then she comes to me & tells me she’s bored.  Did you clean your room, I ask?  The puzzled look of dawning horror crosses so quickly I wished I’d had the video camera out.  You mean you really wanted me to do that, she hesitantly asks?  Yep.  Go. Do. It. Now.  I tell her.  As the look of terror fades & the sarcasm (I told you she was acting like a teen) starts to pour out I remind her that her room is messier than the prince’s.  That stopped her although only long enough to run & check that yes, mom is right.

What happened to my sweet little girl?

The one who loved ballet & tap w/ her bff (in Md.  She’s now differentiating between the Md one, the school one & the former school one.  It’s all very confusing).  Now I get the little PRINCESS who knows more about life than I do.  Trust me, she’ll even tell you so.

( in the pix below the princess is celebrating her 3rd birthday but she was done.  She wanted everyone to go home & she wasn’t afraid of using a little bit of drama to let everyone know she wasn’t happy.  She laid down on the steps & refused to come down.  Her friends would come up & ask her to come play but nope.  Nothing doing.  In fact @ one point she had 4 of them laying down on the steps too!  I have the photographic proof.  Hmmm, maybe it’s time to start using these little goodies on her.  This bears thinking about.)

I should have seen this coming.  This is the same girl who kicked the baby doll out of her bed, climbed in it herself & then grabbed the dolly & the baby bottle & proceeded to let me know that yes, she was the baby.  The fact that she never would take a bottle didn’t seem to faze her one bit.

Or what about here where she proudly demonstrates that she is a “painted” lady?

This cute little charmer totally disarmed me w/ her big grin & silly ways.

Yes, I know.  I should have seen it coming when I snapped this pix.  Sassy pink, feathered boa & all.

Guess she is a brat teenager -in-training (sometimes) but she’s my brat teenager-in-training & I’ll love her forever.

… weird, odd, strange, refreshing, gratifying, unusual, crazy, peculiar, eerie, freaky… well, you get the picture.  See, here’s the thing.  I toss & turn like crazy sometimes.  It about drove Hubby nuts when we were first married.  In the nearly 20 yrs since our marriage I’ve stopped tossing so much however I still turn quite a bit.  Last night though?  I stayed in the same spot/position all night long.  I woke up this morning amazed to be in the same place.  The exact. same. place.

If I hadn’t slept so good I might be more freaked but as it was?  I slept amazing!

… science fair projects going into the gym.  The sense of accomplishment is satisfying.  Knowing that the prince actually got his in on time is, well, priceless.  One year, in the not too distant past, the prince decided to blow it off.  That’s okay, his teacher & I showed him!  We made him do it anyway even knowing that it was late (he turned it in on the last day – for those of you who maybe haven’t done this annoying little project w/ kids yet, ours lasts for a full week) anyway, back to the story.  So his teacher & I colluded & made him do it anyway.  The kicker was that he was told he wouldn’t get anything above half of the grade he would have earned if he’d brought it in on time.  Yeah, his teacher caved.  She gave him a C.  I think he deserved to flunk.  I’m a mean mom.

For the last 3 years though those projects have been in on time.  This years almost didn’t make it.  Last week he started to do his project (which works best to kill a grease fire – totally not an 8th grade project but his teacher this year is not the greatest) so he discovered that a) we don’t have anything to actually ensure the hotness of grease/oil  & b) he needed to start over.  This time he came up w/ which laundry detergent (tide, cheer, gain, all, 7th generation & greenworks) would work the best on ground dirt, coffee, red kool-aid & ketchup.  Surprisingly ketchup wasn’t the hardest to get out.  The dirt was.  Oh & Tide won but Gain was a close second.  None of them completely got rid of all the stains but these were the most faded.  The worst of the lost was 7th generation.  All of the stains were still highly visible.  The greenworks one wasn’t too bad.  Probably w/ some stain fighters you’d get the stains out.

It was really interesting seeing how many ingredients all of them had.  Oddly enough, the tide, cheer & gain had the exact same ingredients & yet the cheer didn’t do so well.

Well, now that I’ve explained my son’s science fair project I’m off to do laundry.  Cause I know now that my tide will kick the other product’s butt!

… on here but I really needed to make an exception to this recipe.  Lately I’ve been almost craving it & it’s so easy & delicious!  I found it @ Taste of Home recipes & the original recipe is from Julia Bushree.  Click here for original recipe.

Anyway back to the recipe.  I’ve tweaked it a bit for us.  Little things like less garlic (it upsets Hubby’s tummy) & I’ve added things like jalapenos & zucchini for taste & just because I had them.  So a few photos to wet your appetite & remember that you can control the amount of spice you put in.

The cast of characters…

plus this…

a couple of closeups…

This is what it looks like after you add all the ingredients…

& after it’s simmered for a bit the juices start to appear…

& finally the finished product.  Look @ how juicy & yummy that is.  I really wish you could all smell how absolutely delicious my house smells.  Oh & you serve it over rice.  I like brown but Hubby prefers white.  Guess what?  I win!  I don’t even buy white rice!  bwa, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!

Louisiana Red Beans & Rice

4 cans (16 oz each) kidney beans, rinsed & drained

1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 package (16 oz) Johnsonville New Orleans Brand Andouille recipe

1 C chicken broth (I use organic no-fat cause it’s lower in sodium)

3 celery ribs, chopped

1 lg onion, chopped

1 med green pepper, chopped

1 small sweet red pepper, chopped

2 – 3 jalapeno peppers, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 – 3 zucchini, chopped

Hot cooked rice

In a 6qt slow cooker, combine the first 12 ingredients.  Cover & cook on low for 8 – 10 hrs or until heated through.  About 30 min before serving add zucchini.  Stir before serving.  Discard bay leaf.

Serve w/ rice.  Makes 9 servings.

…Would you believe that not only was the glass guy on time but that he was early?!  Not by a little bit either.  The first time he was 25 hrs early.  Yep, a whole day early.  Unfortunately I wasn’t home since I was down @ the school picking up the kiddos.  Today is the day they are supposed to come & the appt was set for 2:30pm.  Guess what time they showed up?  Would you believe 1:30?  I was brushing my teeth just getting ready to shower (even had the shower warming up. ie… turned on hot) when what do my wondering ears hear?  Why Rex barking his head off.

Just in case you were wondering I waited for the company to call me & informed them that no, I couldn’t answer the door (I only answer the door that way for hubby!) & that part of the reason why the appt was set for 2:30 was so that my hubby could be here since one of the windshields to be replaced was his.  Wonder what time they’ll come back @?  Any bets?

They learned!  The company called before the guys came back out & yep, they were pretty much on time.  Bad news though.  They didn’t have the glass for my minivan because I had given them the wrong info.  I didn’t realize that the van had a heated front window.  Who knew?  So, they’ll be back mon or tues.


January 2011
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