Monday, December 31, 2012

Wheel in, Walk Out. So long, 2012!

 *this is like one of those "look back at the year" montages, click the links for glimpses back at posts from this year.

This was an eventful year and I definitely got my money's worth out of it. After 2011, I didn't think it was possible to cram so much living into another year, but then I went and proved myself wrong.

I started this year in a wheelchair, and I wheeled and crutched and caned my way through, one step and one day at a time. There were road blocks along the way, but there were also some bridges and some really great scenery. I am thankful that I am walking out of 2012 better off than when I wheeled into it.

There were triumphs, whether they were small ones like being able to wear two shoes, or huge ones like learning to ride a bike or finally being able to walk unassisted after two long years of pain and tears and hard work. There were frustrations like filling prescriptions and there was anger, like when I found out a clinical trial damaged my kidneys. There were loved ones who died or walked out of my life and there were new babies and new endings. With every goodbye came a new hello, and I grew and learned from each one.

There was a whole lot of cooking, some of it good, some of it bad, and some of it that I can't eat. There were changes and silver linings, there was hope. There were milestones and adventures, infections and accomplishments, there were life lessons.

Some days I soared and others I needed to bust a bunch of eggs on a pier in the middle of the night. I raised money to benefit lung cancer research by learning yoga and I asked for help when I needed it. There was joy and sorrow and laughter and tears. There was life and love and loss joined with renewal,  risks, and gains.

Through it all, I was surrounded by people who cheered me on, picked me up, and lent me their light when mine went dim. I have been blessed in my life, but never as much as I have been by the people in it. If you are reading this, I am thankful for you. My loved ones are my greatest gift.

These are my highlights from the year. (click to enlarge)

2012, you were difficult and wonderful and enlightening and exhausting. Do me a favor, will ya? Tell 2013 to be gentle, please.

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." - Benjamin Franklin

Oh and also, I have some really great news, but I'm not going to share it until next year...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dreaming of a White Christmas

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a lovely one and those who celebrate something else, or nothing, also had a lovely day/week/month.

We had a White Christmas in Fort Worth, the first in almost 40 years- the first for everyone in my family, even my parents, who moved to Texas 31 years ago.

We lasted about 45 seconds outside and my niece lasted 4.5 seconds in the snow and we were over it. The next day I did make a snowman on the hood of my car using snow from my windows, but that was the extent of our frolicking. The roads ended up being really icy and my sister lives out in the boonies, so the whole family had a Christmas sleepover.

Oh, and did I mention that, while the rest of my family got candy in their stockings, I got soup!

Here's my Christmas dinner. (clockwise: broccoli, sweet potato, fruit, apple crumble)


Here's what I didn't eat. 
(cole slaw, ham, fruit salad, sweet potato casserole, macaroni casserole, fire baked rolls)

These casseroles broke my heart.

Homemade peppermint cheese cake with Oreo crust.

Just kill me now!

It was nice to be with my family and watch my niece experience her first Christmas. I'm so very grateful and blessed to be surrounded by people whom I love and who love me.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Apple Of My Eye Pie

For my last birthday, one of my friends made me an apple pie that I could actually eat and I'll love her forever for making it! It was good, but she had a rough time with the crust and we weren't sure how to make the pie sweet, so my Mama made it her mission to figure out an easier crust and a sweetener. This is what she came up with.

1 1/5 c Rice Flour
1/2 ts Baking powder
2 large eggs, beaten
Large pinch of salt
1/2 c melted butter
1 lemon

9" pie pan
wax paper
2 bowls

For the sweetener:

Squeeze the juice from one half of a lemon.

Pit about 6 to 10 dates.

Mix the dates and lemon juice in a blender until they are a thick sauce.

Now, slice and peel the apples and add the sweetener sauce to them.

For the crust:

In a bowl, beat eggs and butter.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt.

Stir dry mixture in to wet mixture and mix well.

Mix well and separate into two balls.

Place in refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes until hard and cold.

Sprinkle rice flour onto wax paper.

Carefully place one dough onto wax paper and sprinkle more rice flour on top.

Place another piece of wax paper on top of it and slowly roll out the dough.

Once rolled, carefully spatula off top layer of wax paper and turn pie plat upside down on the dough.

Quickly flip over the plate and dough so the dough is inside the plate. Spatula off the wax paper.

Fix any cracks or holes.

It isn't Betty Crocker, but it'll do!

Then, add the sweetened apples to the crust.

Roll out the other crust on wax paper (with rice flour sprinkled underneath and on top of it) and quickly flip it ontop of the pie.

If will probably fall apart and you'll end up patching together pieces of it. That's okay, it looks more homemade that way.

Bake for about 20 or 30 minutes. Make sure it's long enough for the apples to soften but not too long or the crust will get crumbley.


It pretty much looks like the real thing!

It doesn't taste much different, either.

Our next goal is whipped cream to put on top!

We also baked the apple skins to make some chips.

The results were questionable but I still ate them.

In other words, they were burned yet soggy.
For Christmas, we made an apple crumble. The recipe for that is coming soon!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Lentil Quinoa Stuffing

Hey, remember that Thanksgiving when I made my own Bren-friendly stuffing and then I told you I would tell you how I did it? And remember that time I actually posted the recipe within a month of saying so? Wasn't that rad?

And away we go...

White onion
Butter or butter-like substance (vegetable broth works, too)
Your seasonings of choice (rosemary, etc.)

You'll need about half a cup of lentils and half a cup of quinoa per person. This recipe is for one person, thus you'll need to multiply accordingly.

First, soak the lentils and quinoa for about 30 minutes to an hour. Put twice as much water as grains (2:1) otherwise you'll burn them. I did the two grains together, in the pot I would later use to cook them, mostly because I'm lazy and because it saved me having to clean more dishes, but also because we were cooking 80 things at once and it was the only pot available.

After you've soaked them, bring them to a boil. Once the water is boiling, let it go for a minute-ish, then put on low heat and cover them. Stir every 10 to 15 minutes for about 30/45-ish minutes until the quinoa pops and the lentils are soft. Take them off the heat and stir until they are gooey.

Chop half an onion and about three celery stalks.

In another pot (or just steal some from the regular stuffing your Mama is making like I did), simmer the onion and celery in butter until the butter is runny and the veggies are soft.

Mix it all together and throw in some seasoning. We used rosemary, sage, and garlic.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

One Year Post Foot Reconstruction

Today marks one whole year since I had my Frankenfoot sawed apart and put back together. You can revisit that here.

For my my foot reconstruction, I had bones, tendons, and ligaments cut, fused, and moved. After a month of rest followed ten months of physical torture (physical therapy). It was hard, and a lot of the time it sucked, and it hurt- it hurt a lot. Today I can walk on my own. It was worth every step to get here!

Someone posted this video on Facebook and I just had to share it with everyone. It really hits home, especially today.

Aside from thinking "damn, I should've made a video!" I tried, my PTs got on to me about HIPAA every time I tried. Most of the pics I took in the hospital were when nobody was watching. (I got caught a lot, too), I am floored by this man's determination and accomplishment. He is truly an inspiration and further proof that mind pulls so much more weight that matter. If you put your mind to it, you can achieve great things.

Never say never!