Don’t worry, it’s the Lortab talking.

Just got back from Mom’s house. She’s doing well, but is feeling pretty nauseated and sore. Jillian has her on a pretty tight schedule of meds, walking around, and eating. She’s a regular nurse, that one.

Overheard at Launi’s house this afternoon…

“Me and Cheetoes are NOT friends right now.”

“There’s just stuff flying at my face. Like just then. And now.”

“I feel like every time I drink water that it’s going to fall out all those holes.” (She had 4 scope holes for the surgery.)

“This is the longest time I’ve gone without makeup since I was 11.”

“I feel like a hag. Don’t be afraid of the snow white witch, baby!” (Lily and Beck were very cautious about being near her. They said hi, and wanted kisses, and then wouldn’t look at her anymore.)

“There’s like a magical guardian angel German shepherd in my eye. But it’s not weird or anything, he’s cute.”

She was trying really hard not to laugh, because it hurts. She was also trying really hard not to say anything that would make it to the blog. Um. Yeah. So she’d think of something, and then cover her mouth, and then start laughing, and then she’d moan and tell me why she was laughing, and well…

Thanks for your continued prayers and thoughts, we really appreciate it.

April

Recovery: Anderson Style

So, she’s home. This, of course is a good thing. Now begins the phase where (hopefully) she gets waited on hand-and-foot, people (me) bring her homemade chicken noodle soup–with super awesome homemade noodles, and we write down all the weird things she says while coming down off the morphine and lortab. Should be entertaining.

We’ve already had some pretty funny references to this trippy YouTube video (warning: it’s completely weird, but pretty strangely funny) that fits the situation rather well.

Jillian has the next few days off so she can get my mom up and walking around every hour or so. Apparently, when they do surgery by scope, they inflate you like a balloon with CO2. So, post-op, they want you to keep your circulation flowing to get the CO2 out of your system so it doesn’t settle anywhere odd and cause problems. Who knew? Also, the walking is important to avoid blood clots.

She’s in good spirits, smiling and cracking jokes until she falls asleep mid-sentence. We’re looking forward to having her back in good health.

But in the meantime, we’ve got the pen and paper out, and maybe a little video camera, just for fun.

April

From April: Prayers for Launi

She’ll probably be irritated at me for posting this at all, but I know there are quite a few of you who would want to know, and depending on the outcome, there may or may not be a post tomorrow. Jillian took my mom to the hospital this morning with some severe abdominal pain. No update yet on what’s going on, but she felt sick all day yesterday and, apparently it was worse this morning. So, you know what I know at this point. I’ll keep you posted.

Prayers, positive energy, happy thoughts, and love her direction are all welcome and requested.

:)Thanks,
April

ETA 8:47am: They have her on an IV and morphine. They are prepping her for a CAT scan. We don’t know yet what they think the problem is.

Update: 10:19am: Just went to the hospital to bring Jillian and Rhen breakfast. CAT scan was done, she has Appendicitis. They will have her in surgery in the next few hours. If all goes well she’ll be home tonight. Will update when I know time of surgery, or when it’s over, whenever I get next news.

Update: 11:31AM, They just finished the surgery before my mom’s. She should be in the OR in the next 30 minutes.

Update: 2:40PM: She got out of surgery about an hour ago. It went well, they were able to do it with scope incisions, so she gets to come home this afternoon. More when I see her. Thank you so much for all your sweet wishes! 🙂

Caramels

We have a nursing mommy here at our place who is making a valiant effort to avoid chocolate–for Baby Chomp’s sake, and at Valentine’s season too–poor thing.
So in an effort to be supportive, we’ve been on the lookout for sweetheart treats that don’t use the dreaded cocoa bean.
 
 
This did the trick…
 

Creamy Caramels

Ingredients

1/2 C sugar

1/2 C packed brown sugar

6 TBSP butter

1/2 C heavy cream

1/2 C corn syrup

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Mix all ingredients except vanilla in a saucepan. On low heat, stir constantly until butter is completely melted and sugar is dissolved. Don’t get impatient and up the heat, or stop stirring or the cream could scorch.

Once sugar is dissolved, increase heat to medium. Heat to boiling–keep stirring! Once it’s boiling, you can lay off on the stirring, just occasionally should do the trick. Let it boil (gently–again, don’t turn up the heat) until you can drip some in a cup of ice cold water and it firms up just a bit–not enough to pull your teeth out, just enough that you can eat it, and it stays intact and chewy. If it just dissolves in the water–it’s not ready.

It should take about 8-10 minutes. (I have used half-and-half when I didn’t have heavy cream, and it took more like 20 minutes cause of the extra water…they also weren’t as rich.) Remove from heat.

Update! Add the vanilla after the caramel has stopped bubbling and boiling. Just stir it in with a spoon. (Thanks Sue!)

When it’s ready, pour into a greased 8×8 pan or pie tin.

Let cool completely, then cut with a metal spatula. It works much better than a knife, trust me. Then, if you want, you can wrap individual pieces in wax paper or decorative cellophane.

Caramels
Ingredients
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C packed brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 1/2 C corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla.
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients except vanilla in a saucepan.
  2. On low heat, stir constantly until butter is completely melted and sugar is dissolved.
  3. Once sugar is dissolved, increase heat to medium.
  4. Heat to boiling–keep stirring! Once it’s boiling, you can lay off on the stirring, just occasionally should do the trick. Let it boil (gently–again, don’t turn up the heat) until you can drip some in a cup of ice cold water and it firms up just a bit.
  5. It should take about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Add the vanilla after the caramel has stopped bubbling and boiling. Just stir it in with a spoon.
  8. When it’s ready, pour into a greased 8×8 pan or pie tin.
  9. Let cool completely, then cut with a metal spatula.
  10. Then, if you want, you can wrap individual pieces in wax paper or decorative cellophane.

 

 

Scrabble Tile Pendant

 The perfect project for all the ladies on your Valentine list, these pendants can be made to fit any personality.
 

Here’s what you’ll need:

Wooden Scrabble Tiles (you can get these on ebay, or just get the game and cannabalize it…or if you live around me, I already did that, and I’m sure I have a few I can spare)
Super Glue
Diamond Glaze
ModPodge or Tacky Glue


Jewelry Bails (the little metal loop that you thread a necklace chain through)
Emery board or sandpaper

Scrapbook Paper
Scissors or Craft Knife (exacto blade)
Paintbrush or sponge brush

Here goes…

Step 1: Glue the bail (little metal loop) to the back of your tile. You have 2 options here, you can either glue it to the letter side, so that when the pendant is worn, there is a letter on the back and a pretty scrapbook paper design on the front. The advantage to doing it this way is that when you glue your paper on later, you don’t have to worry about it indenting in the shape of the letter engraved on the tile. They do that sometimes, depending on the thickness of the paper. Your other option is to glue the bail to the blank side, so that the pendant has a blank back, which looks cleaner. Also, you can make a pendant just out of the tile, without covering it with scrapbook paper for an initial pendant, in which case you would want to glue the bail to the blank side, as the scrabble letter should be facing out.

I use super glue to glue my bails on most of the time, but tacky glue also works, as does gorilla glue. I use the tip of the craft knife to hold the bail in place so I don’t get glue on my fingers.

If you’re using glue that takes a while to dry, try propping the bail up with something, so you can leave it to dry. Don’t try to hold it dry, it will not set solidly. Let the glue dry for several hours before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: While the glue is drying, cut out a piece of scrapbook paper just a little bit bigger than the scrabble tile. Alternately, I have seen people use photos of their children or pets, or hand paint the tile itself. Or even using scrapbook paper and glitter glue, or little rhinestones.  Use the ModPodge or Tacky Glue and a paintbrush or foam brush to apply a thin coat of adhesive to the front of the tile, then glue your paper on.

Make sure to press all the bubbles out, if you get any. You can use a kitchen spatula, or bone folder, if you have one. Also, now is the time to use any glitter, rhinestones, etc, if you’re so inclined. Wait for the glue to dry. If you don’t wait long enough, when you move on to the next part it will tear your paper…so be patient. 🙂

Step 3: Using your craft knife, trim the excess paper from around the tile.

Step 4: Using the emery board, file the edges or the paper so that it doesn’t extend past the edge of the tile. You can also use the sandpaper to distress the surface a bit, if you like that look.

Step 5: Use something to help your tiles lay flat horizontally. I used a bamboo skewer. I have also used a ruler, and a post-it note pad. Anything works.

Using the Diamond Glaze (speaking of which, I had a really hard time finding this. I finally tracked it down at my local Archivers store. I know you can get it online also, and at one point, I thought Stampin’ Up carried something similar, as well. It’s basically a dimensional resin-type stuff. Hopefully it’s easier for you to track down, if not, I’ll offer some alternatives in just a sec.) first squeeze a little bit out on to a piece of scratch paper, and keep the pressure on the bottle as you go to put it on the tile. Why? Because Diamond Glaze is notorious for starting out with a bubble, and equally notorious for being impossible to remove bubbles from. So it’s easier to get the bubble out on some scratch paper first. I’ve found it’s easiest to go around the edges first, and then fill in the middle. The idea is to cover the decorated top of the tile. I usually do several thin coats, rather than one thick one. It tends to pucker and distort with one thick layer, as the top dries before the inside does.

If you can’t (or don’t want to) find Diamond Glaze, just break out the trusty ModPodge again, and coat your tile a few times, to seal the paper.

If you do get a bubble, get that exacto blade and try scooting the bubble off the edge. You will not be able to pop it, it doesn’t work that way. Just try scooting it off the edge of the tile.

Last step: Let it dry! It takes longer than you think. In fact, you should probably let it sit overnight. The last thing you want is your pretty little fingerprint in the middle of all your hard work.  Additionally, these are not waterproof. Wearing them in the pool/shower/bath/waterfight is generally not recommended.

So there you have it! A cute, trendy, gift for your Valentines!

April