Monday, March 9

Sugarless Day #. . .whatever

So is it weird to say that this no sugar thing is not very hard? Do you why? Because everything has sugar substitute in it!!! I got myself (or more accurately my mom got) some organic raisin bran a la Costco and I don't even need to add Splenda. It comes naturally sweetened!

There are 2 things I really, really miss though:

1. Hazelnut coffee creamer. Milk just doesn't cut it. Half and half is boring. I get to stare at that glorious yellow bottle each time I open the fridge because it's always in the front and always at eye level. A constant reminder that Easter is too far away. . .

2. Fiber One Bars, or "fart bars" as they're called in our house. They're the chocolate chip kind, not the peanut kind that really put your bowels into working overtime. I've come to rely on them for breakfast most days (yes, I know it's the most important meal of the day, but I also know sleeping 8 hours a night is important and neither are possible while I'm school. Just give me until December 21st, ok?) and they are the best on-the-go snacks. I have no on-the-go snacks now. Cheetos aren't great, shelled peanuts are too messy and I've developed a gag reflex to cheesesticks because I'm been cramming those down my pie hole since Ash Wednesday rolled around.

Breakfast has become an alternation between oatmeal (with raisins & splenda. . .brown sugar not allowed) and egg beaters. Boooooring!

Oh, I did have a rather difficult evening last Friday when trying out a new restaurant that I won't endorse but tell you it's where the old Chili's was. Dessert was complimentary and as I watch T.L.O.M.L. (refer to October 2008 posts if this acronym confuses you) and mis padres consume cookies and some kind of volcanic chocolate explosion. I don't remember the name because I think I've blocked it out. Too traumatic. I headed for the restrooms instead. Good thing I did because I feel in love with their faucets and want them in my house!

Thursday, February 26

Sugarless Day #2

Breakfast was a struggle!!!! Did you know there are NO cereals that don't have sugar in them??? Of course, I'm going for refined sugar, but still. . .even Fiber One, seemingly the healthiest one out there (or at least the one who most promises to clean out your bowels) has sugar as its #2 ingredient. I settled on Raisin Bran which had sugar listed further down the list than any other cereal. And then I piled raisins on there because they're SO sweet but NO sugar! They're oh-nat-ur-al.

Lost 2 pounds from yesterday! Well, if this continues, I will cease to exist by Easter! Does it really make that big of a difference? Could be the massive quantities of water that I'm now drinking.

In class I had to pass up Oreos and Oreo balls - the biggest winner from our class' bake sale several weeks back. Oh man. . .that was not fun. I actually sat on my hands and told the girl passing them out to get out of my peripheral vision! :D

The rest of the day wasn't too bad as I was at school or the Memorial Coliseum watching Jon's kids at Wrestling State. I did have a sip or two of Glucose which was pretty good. And since Glucose is already in my body, it was totally OK to drink. Although I was a little nervous about tasting it because I had a horrible experience the first time I drank Glucose during the Eugene Marathon: they didn't dilute it properly and I spent the next 2 miles trying not to throw it up.

Tonight I ate about 8 cuties - you know, those mini-oranges. That wasn't the greatest idea because of the whole being allergic to citric fruit thing, but the need for sweet was so great that I just started eating and couldn't stop. I couldn't even have hot chocolate and it was snowing out for pete's sake!!! It's a cruel, cruel world. Oh wait. I did this to myself. Never mind.

Wednesday, February 25

40 Sugarless Days

Well, that time is upon is: good ol' Lent. Looks like I'll be saying good-bye to refined sugar for a little over a month. I believe this is the 3rd year and hopefully it will be easier the third time around.

Here are my observations from Day #1:

*Woke up this morning and saw a Coffee Rio wrapper on the kitchen counter. That's just mean!

*Had to actually eat breakfast and not just rely on good ol' Fiber One Bars.

*Coffee sucks - at least at home. No more Hazelnut creamer. Straight up 1% milk instead. . .note to self: get half and half at store! At least I still have my Splenda!!!!

*Over at Jon's, I actually reached out and grabbed a homemade Valentine's Day cookie only before realizing I wasn't allowed to have anymore this year.

Friday, February 13

The Worst Commercial In The World

seriously. . .I don't ever think I've seen anything more ridiculous. This even tops the Snuggie.

Tuesday, January 27

I LOVE stuff like this

Husband's kiss woke 'sleeping beauty wife' in coma after heart attack

By Vanessa Allen
Last updated at 1:13 AM on 26th January 2009

After two weeks sitting by his wife's bedside hoping she would wake from a coma, Andrew Ray was at his wits' end.

Doctors had told him Emma could become a real-life sleeping beauty when she failed to regain consciousness after a heart attack.

The distraught father of two played her tapes of their baby son crying and their daughter shouting 'wake up Mummy!'.

Finally, in desperation, he leant over her hospital bed and pleaded: 'Emma, if you can hear me, please just give me a kiss.'

andrew and emma ray

Kiss of life: Andrew woke his 'sleeping beauty' wife Emma from her coma with a kiss

'What happened next was beyond my wildest dreams,' he said. 'She turned her head towards mine, puckered up her lips and gave me a little kiss.

'I couldn't believe it. My heart felt like it was going to leap from my chest - it suddenly felt like a huge weight had been lifted.'

The kiss was witnessed by doctors who were astonished by the 34-year-old's sudden response.

Mrs Ray had suffered the heart attack just ten days after giving birth to her son.

Her horrified husband had to give her mouth-to-mouth after she collapsed while they were out shopping. She was taken to hospital where doctors were able to restart her heart but warned she could remain in a coma indefinitely.

Mr Ray said a doctor told him: 'She could wake up the following day, she could wake up in a month, or you may be left with a sleeping beauty.'

The IT consultant from Telford, Shropshire, tried to rouse his wife by playing recordings of their baby son Alexander and toddler Ella.

He said: 'I would play Emma the sounds of Alexander crying and gurgling, Ella singing and shouting "Wake up Mummy!".

'I even played her recordings of the songs we had danced to during our wedding.

'I would speak softly to her, clasp her hand, pinch her fingers, all the time telling her I loved her or begging her to wake up. By the time I asked her to kiss me I was approaching my wits' end.'

andrew and emma ray

The happy couple embrace on their wedding day in 2000

However, the kiss was just the start of an agonising battle for Mrs Ray, who continued to drift in and out of consciousness.

Her brain had been starved of oxygen when her heart stopped beating and the resulting injury left her with short-term memory loss.

Mrs Ray was transferred from the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to a specialist brain injury rehabilitation unit at the Hayward Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent.

She was eventually allowed home but now - almost two years later - the former IT consultant still needs ongoing rehabilitation for the brain damage she suffered.

Doctors believe her heart attack may have been caused by a blood clot after her son Alexander, now two, was delivered by Caesarean section.

She had been to see a GP the night before her cardiac arrest, complaining of palpitations, but was told it was probably down to a minor infection.

Mrs Ray said: 'The recovery is awful because I have so little memory.

'I would wish above all else to be well, to walk unaided and to have my memory back.

'I would love to remember what I've done each day. Andrew helps me to do everything. Without him I don't know how I'd cope.'

Mr Ray said he was just grateful his wife had survived. He said: 'She can walk quite well holding hands now, and at least our kids still have a mother and I still have a wife.'

Sunday, January 18

The Kelty Estate

It's so stinkin' cute. . .I can hardly stand it!!!

The backyard - where the ceremony is going down. Just picture me in a pretty white dress instead of a black puffy jacket. (And doesn't the lamp post remind you of Narnia? Love it!)

Thursday, December 25

The Best Christmas Gift Ever

Wednesday, December 17

Christmas Song Countdown

I don't know about you, but this time of year when I hear "The Christmas Song" or "Jingle Bells" or "Rudolph", I immediately change the station. There are some songs that I am just sick of after hearing them once and there's so many versions of each song but somehow they all sound the same. Don't get me wrong, I love "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", so don't go thinking I'm a scrooge but I'm definitely a fan of the more non-traditional Christmas songs. Here are my top 11. (yes, 11) You can click on the title of the songs to be transported to YouTube and listen to the Top 11:

11. Breath of Heaven, Amy Grant: A slow, beautiful, even haunting song from Mary's point of view. I don't think anyone really knows or can fathom what it would be like to carry God's son as a teenager and have the rest of the world think you're just knocked up. There would be a stigma about it today when lots of things are now permissible by most of the world's standards, so think about what it would be like 2000 years ago. Glad it wasn't me.
Favorite lyric: "In a world as cold as stone/Must I walk this path alone?/Be with me now."

10. Where Are You Christmas, Faith Hill: Another slow one from another female artist. It's the big musical number from the live-action flick, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, AKA, the dumb version - not the cartoon version you grew up on and love. I don't really know the words, but the chorus is great to sing out loud in my car when I'm all alone or riding with someone I don't particularly care for and therefore don't mind annoying them. I'm trying to think when that's ever happened though. . .
Favorite lyric: "I feel you Christmas/I know I've found you/You never fade away."

9. The Chimney Song, Bob Rivers: Years can go by and I don't even get to hear this song. And those my friend, are depressing years. Probably sung by the same kid that sings "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." A very cute little ditty about an obese Santa stuck in one chimney for the entire year without the family figuring it out!
Favorite lyric: "I'll be waiting up for Santa like I did last year/But my brother says 'he's already here.'"

8. Linus & Lucy, Vince Guaraldi: theme song of the Peanuts gang featured in "A Charlie Brown Christmas." I love anything and everything about that movie. If it was made this year, I'm sure TV networks wouldn't have the cajones to air it. But they did back in the 60s and it's now an annual showing in my life. Who doesn't just melt listening to Linus' infamous speech beginning with the right mood: "Lights please. . ." He just rattles off scripture and simply states, "And that's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown." Tru dat Linus. Preach it brother!
Favorite lyric: the beginning because it's so recognizable. "don don don. don don don. daaaaaa don. daaaa. don don."

7. Christmas in the Northwest, Brenda White: I'm a Tigard native so I'm going to love any song proclaiming this is the best place for a kid to be at this time of the year. If it catches me in the right mood, I may even shed a tear during the playing of this one.
Favorite lyric: "Christmas in the northwest/Is a child's answered prayer."

6. When My Heart Finds Christmas, Harry Connick, Jr.: I'm not sure if HCJ can do any wrong in my book. (OK, co-starring in PS I Love You was a mistake.) But I'm especially fond of this song since it's on my favorite Christmas CD that I bought in Greece in December 2000. This one gets bonus points for the "sing out loud in your car" factor.
Favorite lyric: "My heart told me once before/to find my dream and serach no more."

5. Christmas Wrapping, The Waitresses: We now find ourselves in the 80s. Great decade. Great song. I basically don't know any of the words except the chorus but my body must move while it's playing and I like the trumpets in the background. When you find yourself stuck in a standstill in holiday traffic, there's no better song to pull you out of your funk and keep your mouth busy so you don't yell at other drivers who can't drive - which is everyone by the way.
Favorite lyric: "So deck those halls, trim those trees/Raise up cups of Christmas cheer."

4. Anything by Raffi: Let's stay in the 80s and get nostalgic for a sec, shall we? I grew up dancing and singing with my sister to Raffi after dinner for. . .oh, I don't even know how many years growing up. Years. . .so, of course, I'm going to love Raffi's Christmas album. I couldn't pick one of his songs so I threw the whole thing up here. These are timeless. Seriously, they're awesome.
Favorite lyric: "Snows are a-fallin' on Douglas Mountain/Puttin' all the bears to sleep."

3. We Need a Little Christmas, Johnny Mathis: This is about the peppiest song I know of (Christmas or otherwise). Again, major points for being fun to sing at the top of your lungs with. And it's short. And it has jingle bells. Plus it just picks your spirit up if you're feeling down so you say to yourself, "You right Johnny. I DO need a little Christmas right now!"
Favorite lyric: "and we need a little snappy happy ever after/we need a little Christmas now"

2. Same Old Lang Syne, Dan Folgelberg: Why do I feel like you may be groaning or totally disagreeing with me right now? So I like this slightly depressing, storytelling song. Sue me! I like that it is descriptive, tells a story about two people and their honesty of their lives that they're not too happy with. And in the end, even the snow turns into rain. Do you know what this means? Event the weather is depressing in this song! But like Forest Gump, hope is the theme when the main character is surrounded by heart break and loss. The poor guy can't catch a break and he just drank a six-pack with his ex in his car! Glad it's just a song. . .
Favorite lyric: "She went to hug me and she spilled her purse/And we laughed until we cried."

1. Celebrate Me Home, Kenny Loggins: The Christmas season does not start for me until I hear this song on the radio. I love Kenny Loggins (80s!) and I love this song. I love the theme of "home" in songs. I love that I first knew this song from Fred Meyer holiday ads back in the day. I love the repetitive, never-ending ending. I love the piano. I love how the song builds and gain momentum. Isn't this what everyone really wants to tell their family when they go back home: "hey, people! Celebrate the fact that I'm here! I'm here and want to play a little ditty for you to remember when we all leave." Great stuff!!!
Favorite lyric: "Please, celebrate me home/Gimme a number please/Celebrate me home."

Monday, December 15

Stockings at the Smalls

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.

Sunday, December 14

Happiness is. . .

the simple things like watching It's A Wonderful Life and waiting for snow.