Friday, January 27, 2012

Hal's My New Pal

Hey Y'all!

Well, this morning I received a new pal. His name is Hal the Heart Monitor.

I checked in with my regular doc on Tuesday. My bloodwork looks fine, so they want me to wear a heart monitor for the next 21 days so they can track what is going on with these palpitations. It makes a beep when it is recording an event. So far this afternoon has been very quiet! I went to Zumba last night. I was expecting a long night of palpitations, but last night was uneventful. It will be interesting to see what happens tonight and when I go back to Zumba. I have mainly been hanging around the house today knitting. My appointment was at 10 this morning and they had to get prior approval for my heart monitor. So I ended up leaving the cardiologists office at about noon. I ran some quick errands, picked up lunch from Chic fil A and I have been hanging out reading and knitting on the couch ever since. :) I plan on going to Zumba tomorrow, so we will see how many "events" I have.

Last Saturday, I took a Jogless Jog Hat class at The Knit and Purl. This is my finished hat! I had a few moments today to finally finish the last inch and to tie on the ribbon. I just love it! And now I can knit stripes and they will look even!

I have to tell you, even though I had an appointment this morning, it has been nice to be at home taking it easy. This has been one STRESSFUL week. No wonder I am wearing a heart monitor!

Well, Pitty Pat needs a walk!
:) JKP

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sopa del Taco (Taco Soup) - Crockpot Style

Hey Y'all!

For Christmas I bought myself a fantastic new cookbook. It is part of the "Fix It and Forget It" cookbook line. This was more of a magazine than a book, but it is jam packed with yummy recipes. This is one of them. Talk about easy. Talk about yummy.

To make Taco Soup you will need:

1 packet of Ranch Dressing mix
1 packet of Taco Seasoning mix
1 15 oz. can of  red kidney beans, undrained
1 15oz. can of black beans, undrained
1 15 oz can of corn, undrained  (I had white in my pantry, but you can use regular too!)
1 28 oz cans of CRUSHED tomatoes, undrained
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound of ground beef

Now. Stay tuned. This is hard.

Brown the beef. Drain fat and add to slow cooker. Combine all other ingredients. Do NOT drain any of the cans. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.

 Garnish with cilantro and sour cream if you would like to. I added some shredded cheddar cheese to mine. Enjoy. Yummy in your tummy!!!! This also freezes very well. I took it for lunch all last week!
This makes about 8 servings.

Happy Crockpotin'!
:0) JKP

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Have a Heart!

Hey Y'all!

Well, if you follow me on Twitter, you have seen that I am having some health issues right now. Last Monday, I did something to add to my "Step Out of the Box" list for 2012. I went to a new doctor. That is a hard one for me because I HAVE SO MANY ISSUES! :) I have Crohn's Disease and I also have other ailments because I have an autoimmune disease. I am generally a healthy person and occasionally get a cold or sinus infection. It seems that as long as my Crohn's is in check, I am fine.

 But. Something is going on with me and has been going on since the second weekend of November. I have been having these really bad heart palpation episodes that really freak me out. The first time I thought it was an anxiety attack, but I have had several more since then. This past week I have had two. Luckily, one of them was during my Dr's appointment last Monday. I think I made an interesting impression. After being in the office for 5 minutes, I was hooked up to an EKG machine because my heart was beating fast. I haven't made a trip to the hospital yet because I am not having any chest pain, just a very rapid heartbeat that feels like it is going to beat out of my chest! My new doc took tons of blood and knowing me, there is no telling what this is. Hopefully, it is some sort of anxiety, but I get to find out on Tuesday. I am just ready for this to be over. Lack of sleep is not fun! Most of these events happen at night, but I had one Wednesday night into Thursday that freaked me out. So until I get word that everything is OK, I think I have to skip Zumba. Sob!

So that is where I have been and what has been going on. I know. Crazy. Right?

This past weekend I took a knitting class at the Knit and Purl. I had a great time and learned a new technique for my knitting too! I am working on a precious striped baby hat that I can't wait to finish up. I have been so tired because of what is going on, that when I get tired, I sleep! So knitting has been on the back burner lately.

Well, I just wanted to pop on and say hi! I am writing up a recipe that will post tomorrow. I think you are really going to like it!
:) JKP

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Going Out on a Limb....

Hey Y'all!

Sorry for the long pause between posts, but I did warn you! Getting back into the swing of things has been tough. I am finally back into the school routine.. although my 5:30 wake up call has been put on snooze until 6 a.m. these days! I was so cozy this morning, I just couldn't get out of bed. However, it was trash day, so Pitty Pat started to really bark at the trash truck at 6. I didn't have a choice, I had to face my day! :)

I didn't really set any New Year's resolutions this year, but I did get in my mind something I have wanted to work on for a while. I may not seem like it, but I am very afraid to try new things. I like the status quo and I love a good routine. Sometimes, I find myself thinking about trying something different, but the fear of the unknown usually stops me. So as a more or less goal for this year, I decided that I was going to be a little bit more open and try new things. Even if it made me uncomfortable or if it shook up the routine. Sometimes good things can come of that!

And, two things have!

The first happened on Christmas Eve. Y'all know me. I like to be laid back and wear my jeans and flip flops. Since moving back home to Myrtle Beach I really haven't been happy with the church I occasionally attended. Ahem. More like just Christmas and Easter. Most of my Sunday's have been spent on the beach. I feel like when you go to church you should be happy you're there, it is not something that you should check off of your to do list. Also, I feel like you should learn something or at least hear a message that will make you feel good all week. I will also be the first to let you know that since my best friend Joy died, I have really struggled with faith and going to church. I remember watching the movie Soul Surfer not long ago and they had a scene of a church service taking place on a beach. I thought to myself... now that is a church for me! Well, to make a long story short and add in a little divine intervention, I have found a great little church that I have been attending since Christmas. It is my kind of church. It's very casual and you get to sing a lot. That's important to me, I like to sing, but I am not good at it. So church is where I get to sing! :) And, my priest is like Jimmy Buffett. Bonus all around. :) It is an Episcopal church, so I am going back to my roots a little bit. I like it and I look forward to going on Sundays. Also, they have lunch after the service, so you get to visit with folks a bit. I like that too. :)

The other thing that I decided to do was attend a Zumba class. This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time, but again, I was too afraid too, or didn't want to mess up my weekly routine. I tried it tonight and I am so HOOKED! It was so much fun, it didn't even seem like exercise. I am looking forward to taking more classes. I felt so good after the class and it really helped me release some stress. I had a few friends who went with me tonight, so that made it a wee bit easier. Now, I won't think twice about going.

So that is what I have been up to. I know it doesn't seem like a lot, but for me those are major steps. It gets me out of my house a little more and I get to meet some new people.

So, what do you want to do to step out of the box a wee bit? Baby steps!

:) JKP

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Trying Hard to Adjust.....

Hey Y'all!

Well, I went into work today and really got a lot accomplished in my classroom. I had some lesson planning to catch up on, copies to make and notes to send home tomorrow. I am very pleased with how much I got done today. I checked several things off of my "To Do" list, so hopefully this short week will go by quickly!

Next Friday we have an early dismissal, then we have the following Monday off for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. This is the time of year where we really hustle and bustle. Report cards are due next week and we are wrapping up several things for the new nine weeks. Only two nine weeks, or a total of 18 weeks of school are left!

I am having a wee bit of a problem letting go of Christmas though. I miss my trees and the lights! When I packed up my trees the other day  I was so sad. I had to go back out in the garage and bring a small white tree back in the house. This tree is fiber optic and goes well with my white lights that I leave up until the end of February. It has taken me a long time as an adult to like and enjoy Christmas. It is so weird that I am so sad that it is over this year. Oh well. I figure my little white tree isn't hurting anyone. And if it makes me happy and brings some light into these dark and cold days, then so be it! :)

And, yes, that is Joe Pesci on my TV. When I took this picture, Home Alone was playing on TV!

One other thing I did today was sign up for a knitting class! I am so excited. This is a hat knitting class. I can knits hats and very well! However, this is for color knitting in a hat.  In this class you learn how to do a "jog" or change colors without it showing in your hat. Sometimes when you knit with stripes in a hat, where you change stripes can show and throw off your striping pattern. I have read about this technique on the internet and I can't wait to learn it! I am taking the class on Saturday, January 21st!

Well, it is bitter, bitter, bitter, cold tonight. I am going to put on my jammies and get into bed with Pitty Pat. It is funny, when I let him out in the backyard, he keeps sniffing the ground. Is he looking for snow? We have been reassured that by the weekend our 70 degree temps will be back. Good thing, because I don't like this very cold weather!

:) JKP

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Calendar of Days

Hey Y'all!

Well. I am more than ready for 2012! As you can see I have plenty of calendars! One is for my dining area that is the Farmer's Almanac one. One is a knitting one... of course! Another one is all about weather (OF COURSE) and the last one is for my kitchen... a Food Network one! My Mom gave me the Food Network one for Christmas, and the other 3 I picked up for half off. I have a sneaking suspicion that my weather one may make it's way to school. Each day is packed with weather facts and I know my kids will LOVE that!

I have been busy today tying up loose ends. I have to go back to work tomorrow and I had a few minor things around the house that I wanted to take care of. It is funny how things bother you and weigh you down. I washed the rugs on all of the bathroom floors today, changed the sheets on my bed, steamed my floors, vacuumed, updated a few computers with a few things, updated my Ravelry database with my finished knitting projects for the past year and a half and walked Pitty Pat. It doesn't seem like it is alot, but I am tired!

Pitty Pat is in a little denial about me returning to work tomorrow. He has started hoarding his toys on the chair in the living room.

In other news, I casted on yesterday for my first knitting project of 2012! It is called Scrunch Scarf. The pattern is by Susan B. Anderson, one of my favorite designers. You knit this scarf with thick yarn and size 15 needles. Then for the "scrunch" part you use size 11 needles and rapidly decrease. It is a lot of fun to knit and it is very cool to see it grow and come together. I am using the color Honolulu Pink to knit this up. My how I wish I was in Hawaii!

Anyhoo, with me returning to work this week I will try to update as much as possible. I didn't really cook much over Christmas break... well I did, just not anything new! I am such a creature of habit! I hope to bring y'all some more yummy recipes in 2012! I have a new cookbook that has given me LOTS of ideas and inspiration. Stay tuned!

I want to leave y'all with a picture that I think sums up my 2011 perfectly... Toes and paws in the sand!!!

Tootles! I hope y'all are staying warm tonight.... it has finally turned REALLY chilly here at the beach!
:) JKP

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year- 2012

Hey Y'all!

I hope everyone enjoyed the last days of 2011 and had a wonderful New Year's celebration! Pitty Pat and I spent the last hours of 2011 on the beach... BIG SURPRISE! We have been lucky here in Myrtle Beach, our weather has been unseasonably warm. We are taking advantage of it while it lasts. Tomorrow's high is supposed to be in the 40's!

I LOVE this view!!!

Pitty Pat has turned into quite the explorer on the beach! He will go near the water now. He was checking out a shell in this picture. :)

In knitting news, I have to show y'all my last finished object for 2011. This is the Hannah Hat... that I have named the Beachcomber Hat. It keeps my ears warm and toasty on our beach walks when they are chilly. This pattern was great and I knit up this hat in one night! Sorry for the scary picture! Pitty Pat doesn't know how to work the camera on the Blackberry... YET! :)

Anyhoo, I started of the New Year by heading to church this morning, followed by a lunch of Hoppin' John and Collards. I don't want to tempt fate! I am not making "resolutions" per say this year. But, I figure, just in case the Mayans ARE right, I plan to do something I love everyday. You can't go wrong with that. How about y'all?

I am off for my first nap of 2012!
:) JKP