Candy Cane Lane from Celestial Seasonings Teas

Well, this picture says it all. I love this tea. It’s peppermint with vanilla notes that leave a feeling of creaminess. Very special tea and I adore it.

A few weeks back I had shared the tip that the holiday teas were now out. I ordered everything except for this one. I checked my list, saw a few packages in the holiday rotation, and moved on. At least one thing had gone well.

We were back to the hospital Friday. With OU Boy running fever, getting these odd red circles all over his body, and having mood swings, his doctor said to get there now. We did. It looked like a ghost town.

On the left side are about 10 police cars, 4 ambulances and a couple of choppers. We pulled up to the Valet and I ran in the first entrance and asked for Valet. The security guard said, ” We only do valet for patients who arrive alone.” I said, “Dude, I can’t drive right now. Call Dean Magee Eye Institute.”

His reply, as they were wheeling OU Boy back was, “Can’t you just close that eye and drive?”. Before I could throat punch him, a police officer came over and informed the guard it was illegal for me to do that and he would park it for me.” I sent OU Boy a text telling him I’m not allowed to even come in the waiting room. I have to stand outside. It was appropriate that I was dressed in my RBG sweater that said ” I Dissent”. Yep.

Long story short, he took another test and checked out AMA. We will happily die at home, thank you very much. Still haven’t received any results but found out if we had stayed, they would have flown him out of state because they are full. Then it was my turn to run fever and cough and just want to be drugged. And the ONLY thing that was going to make this bearable was Candy Cane Lane Tea. I heated the kettle and opened the box. EMPTY. Okay, okay, just open the others. EMPTY. All gone. Someone stole all of my tea. The Tea Fairy I suppose. Panic ensued and OU Boy made a quick dash to Sprouts and bought them out. He ordered on-line and picked up at the curb, so no germs. That is why I love him. He never even questioned the notion that I was delirious and could have had peppermint. Nope, he loves the hell out of me.

So we have lain about for days whining and generally just watching Netflix getting ready for The Crown. And finishing up this beauty that came out today! We have loved it and so needed it at this point in time.

So, yeah, that about sums up another crazy week. My Momma sent me a picture of her thumb and an empty paper plate. Curacao is back on the table for very soon.

The little people in trumpian land are quiet as the movie Quiet. Crickets people. Zip, Zero, Nada. And my gosh the adrenaline and tension release had us in emotional but happy tears.

What’s new in your area?

xx P

The Winter Teas Are Arriving! And I Voted!

Nothing makes my dark little heart beat quite so hard as when receiving new seasonal teas from Bigelow. Or from anyone to be honest.

This little group could not have come at a better time either. I was trying out a new Rum Cake recipe and invited friends over to taste test with a cup of Eggnog Tea. Seemed appropriate. And oh my goodness it was lovely!

This is all that remains of the small bundt cakes, I did some with nuts and some without. I was also reviewing the silicone bundt pan, so I killed two birds.

Winter has gone back to wherever it stays and once again it’s shorts and tank tops as we chop up tree limbs and haul them to the curb. We actually had to turn on the a/c we were sweating so hard!

But life goes on and crazy weather seems to be the norm now. Good news is we are going to be allowed into Curacao in December! Woo Hoo! Hopefully we can keep the cold at bay until then.

Hope you all have either voted or plan to. I have been so crazy busy and then sick this past month that I ordered a thermos to take to the polls to vote as the lines were down the street, only to be told I had already turned in my absentee vote weeks ago. Oh well, at least I am positive I voted. Thank you Kendra Horn for making sure I received a ballot! I voted for you. And Joe and Kamala and anyone who was against the feeble group we have now.

Happy Friday! (It is Friday, right?)

xx P

Happy Sunday! I hope you are all healthy and safe.

Oklahoma is having a second surge that is worse than the first one. Also troubling is that this week we added 2 more categories of positive age groups. Under 2 and 6 to 10. Our major positive spreaders are in the 18 to 35 group and next the 35 to 49 group. I’m not in any of those groups so I guess my natural tendency to stay at home is finally paying off. OU Boy and I are perfectly fine at the moment.

His heart is working just fine and for once no one is hurting anywhere. I swear when you hit 40 your entire body just says, ” That’s it. All systems shutting down.” I have found the way to encourage OU Boy is to keep telling him how cute he looks after losing ten pounds. He’s awfully vain and it seems to be working.

We may get Fall today! At least for a day or so. It’s 11 a.m. and still grey outside and nothing is moving. This is suspicious behavior for OKC. The wind is always blowing. For the past couple of days it has been so bad I was not allowed outside due to the eye thingy. So instead I caught up on reviews, and binge watched The Haunting of Bly House which I liked less than the Haunting of Hill Manor. Even with the Stephen King Easter Egg in one of the scenes. I saw that, Stephen!

The election smack talk is heating up on Twitter but now that he is out of Twitmo, he is being careful. As I explained to him, it is possible to read something you disagree with and just move on.

I bought this book for my granddaughter and then read it myself. She loves mysteries. Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, all the old ones. But now Sherlocks daughter and Watson’s son are hooking up solving crimes and it’s one of the best YA series!

The Covid thing is putting holidays in jeopardy. I don’t care for my relatives enough to travel 12 hours to eat turkey and get infected. North Dakota, I’m talking to you! Get your shit together and stop infecting people so we can go to Canada.

As I sit here in my flamingo pajamas looking out the window I am totally grateful that we are here and in good health. And I wish that for all of you. No holiday or gift giving event is a good enough reason to be foolish and infect grandma and grandpa with a deadly virus.

Now I am off to feed my squirrel that I have befriended during isolation. She had triplets 2 weeks ago and is chowing down now. What is the weirdest thing you have done during lockdown?

xx P

OU Boy goes to Jail!

Okay, so it’s Twitter Jail. Or as he calls it Twitmo. He is addicted to Twitter. So when he woke up yesterday to discover he was in jail for 7 days, I couldn’t’ believe it. I mean I’ve been told to take a post down before, but never been in lockdown before. Donald Trump blocked me.

I tell you he was like an addict having withdrawals. He can see everything but he can’t comment or retweet. Finally I broke down and explained to him that if you are going to be spouting off about how Rand Paul’s neighbor should have kicked his butt all the way down the street, well you are going to get punished. But the seven day thing had me stumped. Normally it’s about 24 hours. Then I find out it is not his first violation.

So now he knows about shadow accounts and that you need to have one if you can’t control your mouth. Shadow accounts are a different account in a different name. I personally have a few. Two are private. So, now he is happy again and taking the orange thing in the people’s house to task for endangering lives. Once again there is peace in the kingdom.

As for me, I had two stitches removed this week from the eye. Only 10 left! My corneal surgeon says my transplant is beautiful but I’m not producing enough tears. She gave me a prescription for Restasis eye drops. I called my sister who has been through this 5 times and she said, “NO! Doesn’t she know you have Crohn’s? I was on that and all I did was sit in the bathroom in pain!” Then my trusty pharmacist called and said it was $635 after insurance. So they called in a different one. New. Only available at one independent pharmacy that doesn’t take insurance and it is $748. Side effects? Burning, redness and swelling of the eye. Nope.

Did some research and am upping my intake of Omega 3 which helps a lot with tear production and using warm compresses. Spoke to my pharmacist and she said I was doing the right thing. I knew my body better than anyone. So here we are back on a schedule of drops every other hour. Anti-rejection drops, pressure drops and antibiotic drops along with the new Syolane drops that we all agree are great.

Now I’m off to do nothing because for two weeks I can’t bend, lift or rub. Another surgery down and more to go but the great news is after the stitches came out my vision was 20/30! Guess I’ll stop whining about it.

Stay Safe and Vote!

xx P

and all at once, summer collapsed into fall…

Just like that, it was cold. Meaning below 80 degrees. It feels sad pulling all of the summer flowers up and making way for the pansies and other winter plants. Just as some of my sweet potato vines and mint are going wild with the cooler weather, meaning below 100 degrees.

Some of our plants come inside during the ‘cold’ weather which means finding a place to stick them. So that is what we have been doing. Until yesterday, when those lingering effects of having had Covid came calling. On Thursday I had an espresso at breakfast which made me have super powers. I ran miles, I walked more miles, I did pilates and strength training. I forgot to eat and woke up Friday with a low-grade fever that just kept going higher along with the body aches and fatigue. I drank so much tea I considered just camping out in the bathroom. As hard as it was, I stayed on the sofa under my quilt whining while OU Boy brought me stuff.

So today I will be skipping the espresso and kindly filling my body with nutrient filled foods. I had maybe an hour of energy at 8 a.m. and by 9 a.m. I was back to being pitiful on the sofa. Only no OU Boy to bring me stuff. Luckily I am never without a book or 20, so I read one that was awful and am reading one now that is heartbreakingly good.

I haven’t turned on the television except to watch Ratched. Now that is one nurse that can take care of the orange man! Please let there be a Nurse Ratched at Walter Reed.

As for the rest of us, we will drink pumpkin spice everything and watch the dominoes fall in Washington. By the way, Silk now has a Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk Creamer. It is good.

xx P

We Have Become The Change We Needed

September is almost over. This entire year has been a blur. As if some giant had upended the world and shook it a few times. Nothing will ever be the same. So what do you do when the life you created falls apart?

Personally, I have learned some hard life lessons. I have gone from seeing my eye surgeon every other month to once in eight months. I am a bit anxious about this. But it seems to be fine. I really don’t like having to face time with my therapist. It’s just not the same. And she’s dealing with the same mess, so what to do?

Through a lot of trial and error, we have narrowed down what is important to us and what is not. Our health is important, especially since OU Boy just got his fifth stent and all the others were full. It brought us into the hospital and made us never want to go back. So yes, this man is doing what we call Flexible Plant Based Eating. Flexible as in he can have small amounts of red meat just not every week. We are getting creative with our Insta-Vortex Air Fryer. Vegetables are great cooked crispy. And we can make jerky.

The pool is closed for the season so our 2 hour water workouts are gone. We have substituted hikes, walks and pilates. So far he has lost 10 pounds. And the sweet tea is a once in a long while thing. He reads labels and was shocked by some of his favorite foods.

We went to the big box store and stocked up on everything. We can live in the house for months now! We also decided to make the big move and buy a new television. The last time we bought one was in 2007. We just never watched television until streaming came around. So yesterday I jumped on an early sale and got the FireTV. It is amazing. I also bought a recliner for the hubs. Said I never would but here it is!

So, basically we created a new life. We may not have control over a lot of things but we are both back to working full-time and we’ve re-done our bathroom, and the kitchen to make them work better for our needs. Maybe this time has been a blessing, forcing us to get our priorities in order.

How have you adapted to this new world we live in? Tell me you learned how to make sourdough bread!!! Then show me.

xx P

THE CROHN’S DISEASE COOKBOOK by Amanda Foote,RD

Never have I been happier than the day this book arrived! Finally someone who understands Crohn’s Disease!

Whether you have just been diagnosed or like me, have been doing the best you can to avoid flares and figure out how to eat to keep yourself healthy and alive!

There are customized meal plans as well as food to eat during and after a flare up. And there is a lot of information on CD and other issues that may come with it. I have CD along with Celiac and Lactose Intolerance. All the women on my mother’s side have this. No one talked about it. We jokingly called it our secret diet since you eat and then you spend hours crying in the bathroom feeling as if you are giving birth to a large demon.

This cookbook has opened up a lot of options for me. I don’t do soy either and I was happy to see I could substitute with almond milk. The Bone Broth recipe was my favorite. That may seem odd but during and after a flare this is one of the only things I can eat. I can tolerate some meats but I don’t like meat so roasted chicken and salmon are the only ones I eat and then only after a flare.

And it’s hard to know what will kick off a flare. For example yesterday I was feeling too lazy to get out of the pool so I just grabbed two small pieces of OU Boy’s beef jerky. It was peppered. It took all of 5 minutes before I was running to the bathroom and I have been in pain since then. That is a flare.

Love the book and grateful to the author!

Hello September! Please Be Better Than August…

Can you believe it is September? Where did summer go? This has been the worst year ever. I’m about to ask my Momma if that offer to slap me into next year is still on the table!

Everyone is adjusting to a new normal. Only normal is now a word I have forgotten the definition of. Oklahoma keeps plowing ahead with life as if nothing has happened. As if Rome wasn’t burning and the man playing the fiddle can’t even walk a straight line.

I find it easier to stay home. I get a lot of work done and there are no idiots here. Most days.

I am gradually phasing out of NetGalley. I only have 7 books left and they aren’t due until next April. I am still taking requests from publishers once a month, but I signed a contract with Amazon so that is what I have been doing.

The good news is I love technical writing. I can make your ugly sweater sound trendy and fresh. The not so good news is I’m receiving 6 to 12 packages a day. Oh it’s exciting at first, but then it’s just asking Where are we going to put all of this stuff? But they are great to work for and I still don’t have to leave the house. I do about 5 photo shoots a day and I try to finish up by 3 p.m.

We had 12 straight hours of heavy rain and lightening yesterday. Flooding streets and cars washed away. More expected today and the pool is already overflowing!

I hope everyone is well, healthy and getting the support they need.

xx P

Life in the time of the Plague!

It has been a bit since I was here. The main reason being I burned my fingertips and had little blisters for a week. They are doing better now but still bandaged.

We have been through all the emotions this year. Fear, Anger, Frustration, Uncertainty and let’s not forget the Anxiety Fairy who is working overtime. At first we were just in a holding pattern. Now we have pretty much accepted that we are on our own and need to look out for ourselves.

After the death of a woman at our hotel, a woman who the hospital released after two weeks mind you, we were all going down the depression hole again. Even though we are in a mask mandate, people coming from Texas and Florida have no regard for it and we can’t enforce it. What we can do is refuse to engage with those people and forbid them in the public areas.

We decided to just focus on things we can control. We wear masks and gloves everywhere. We shop when the least amount of people are around and get our veg from the farm. We have been wanting to do some home improvements and we have been knocking out ours and Grandma’s list! Bathrooms have been upgraded, kitchens as well. We have spent most of our time in the water and reviewing stuff.

I finally received an invitation from Amazon and signed a contract with them. Now the Prime guy and I are in a relationship. He texts me more than my husband and is always interested in what is in the 10 packages he brings everyday. And that is basically what my job is. They send me the 10 things a day I feel I can relate to and I tell them what I think. This job was invented just for me I’m sure! My kitchen has been upgraded from a new island to all new spatulas, whisks, and even salt and pepper shakers. It’s a tough job but the benefits are great!

OU Boy is back to work full time working crazy hours as some managers fall sick or have family members who are sick. We pass each other in the morning and that is about it. Friday we were both off and spent an entire day in the pool slipping off floats and just laughing and stealing kisses. We have really missed each other.

Today we are focused on those nasty storms in the Gulf. We heard from our family this morning and they told us the Weather Channel guy is in Bay St. Louis. In Mississippi we don’t panic until they show up. The last thing we all need is for hundreds of people to show up at shelters right now.

I hope everyone is safe and healthy. I also want to know how to go back to the old WP! If you know, share please!!!

xx P

Hello August! Please Be Gentle With Us!

Happy August! And Sunday!

This has been the strangest year so far. With the Plague, the Murder Hornets and Bounties on our troops, and everyone losing their everloving mind!

Let’s start with the plague. OU Boy and I had this before it had a name. It turned into pneumonia and while he bounced back, I did not. Six weeks of feeling horrible and finally just about the time they named it, I was better.

We went to the beach for a week in Texas and did not come into contact with anyone and we arrived home just as Texas became a hot spot.

On our days off we headed to a secluded lake and camped and hiked and turned off the news! Then one of the employees tested positive and came into work to tell us. SMH

So everyone got tested and they were all fine. And then I got it again. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Okay, that’s probably not true. Trump and his entire crime family could have it. It was bad. My doctor told me I was wheezing and put me on a nebulizer and steroids and the Z pac. Then told me I should probably go to the hospital.

I did not listen as I knew there were really sick and contagious people there. So home we go and I used the breathing machine for 4 solid days but tossed the meds. I tried explaining that it was swimsuit season and steroids make me bloat and I was allergic to the antibiotic. Finally this week I felt human. I was floating in my pool with a mask every day. So that explains where I have been. Much the same as everyone we are still in limbo with work and why in the world people keep coming from Texas and Florida and Iowa and complaining because Marriott is requiring a mask or you can leave. Some people have been downright violent. The world has lost its mind.

Curacao is still not letting us in so we have rebooked for November hoping we can, at last, get back. I hope you have all been well and I have missed reading your thoughts and adventures!

See you tomorrow!

xx P