Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gimme A Break...

This has been one of those week when I really wanted a break from the action around me!

First off, Monday morning I was greeted by a sight on my computer screen that I knew automatically was heralding really, really bad news and a rough time ahead.

One look at the message on my screen and I just knew that the MOTHER of all malicious malware had come to roost on my computer -again!

Trying to find a way to get my sick computer fixed, then actually working on this end with a technical person somewhere in cyberspace on the other end of my connection took away the better part of my day.

Towards the end of this issue, I also got an e-mail from a cousin telling me that her uncle, my oldest male cousin on my Dad's side of my family tree had died that morning.

Definitely not the kind of news I want on any given day but certainly not on the same day when I was so worked up with worry over the computer issues and how I was going to exist till my next check arrives on June 3rd after I paid for the repairs -well that was a little much to deal with those two things together.

Then, Monday evening I went on a bit of a cooking binge -of sorts. Nothing really drastic -well, not fancy, not difficult to fix -but anyway because of a project I am in charge of through our women's group at church, I was going to have a couple women from church coming to my home for a meeting Tuesday a.m. and Mandy asked if I planned on fixing anything to feed them. Her theory was if they were arriving at 11 a.m. and going to be here for who knew how long, if it were her going to someone's place at that hour, she'd definitely be expecting to be fed.

Good point, Mandy.

Actually I had planned on fixing something but unfortunately prior to Mandy's questions, I had gone pretty much brain dead about what to fix. Thanks to Mandy's suggestions then I fixed a small dish of macaroni salad, mixed up a container of tuna salad as well as egg salad and made a really easy but very, very tasty dessert called "Lemon Delight." I had this nice big loaf of Polish Rye bread that a friend of Mandy's boyfriend had brought back to PA from a trip to New Jersey in my freezer so I thawed that, sliced up several pieces of the bread and made up a plate of tuna salad sandwiches and egg salad sandwiches then prior to going to bed that night.

So when Tuesday morning rolled around, I was already for the ladies to arrive and for us to get to work looking over the information I had on hand about preparing a cookbook -which is going to be our women's group project now over the summer months. We didn't make any hard fast decisions -just reviewed cover ideas to get some ideas of those we liked, along with dividers and a few other ideas of how we want to proceed with this project. We want to try to dedicate a section of the cookbook to some of the many people who used to be part of our church community for many years and who had been well-known in the church for their great cooking and baking skills as well.

Wednesday morning, I was off to Clearfield for my monthly appointment at the cancer clinic there to have my lovely little port flushed. Anyone who's had chemo and who has "bad veins" and has had to have one of these things inserted in their chest will know what I am referring to there so no further descriptions -I hope -are necessary. Suffice it to say though that the nurse who did the flush this time was awesome! She stuck that needle into the port and I never felt even the slightest twinge of a pinch!

At last, something good besides the meeting Tuesday morning in my life!

Thursday though and things began to fall backwards when I got an e-mail from a cousin on my Mom's side of the family to tell me her sister, who was in Hawaii for a work related assignment, had become ill while there. Not the flu or something like that though. No! She'd had what was being labeled as a "cardiac event" and yesterday had heart catherization with bypass surgery scheduled for today! Seems at least three arteries or veins -not sure which -were blocked and when I say blocked, I mean really, really blocked. One was 100% blocked and two were 95% and 80% blocked! While two of her co-workers were able to stay on with her for a few days -one has to return home tomorrow (Friday) and the other, on Sunday, the company she works for had graciously offered to pay her sister's airfare to Hawaii to come out there and be with the sister who had the surgery! Sounds like things were coming together except for the fact that the sister offered the airfare had to make arrangements to have someone come and stay with their elderly mother while she would be in Hawaii with her sister.

Always something to muddy the waters, isn't there.

And speaking of muddy waters, it has rained every freaking day this week too!

But lest you think my week as been ALL doom and gloom, there are a few things here and there for which I am actually quite happy and very thankful.

Starting with the rain -which no, I am not a huge fan of the grey skies and wet continually coming down but still, I do recognize the fact that it is not just a fact of life that rain must fall but also, that as long as it stays within reason in the amount of raining ongoing -i.e. no flooding such as has been happening all along the mighty Mississippi and the Ohio rivers - then rain is ultimately a good thing. I did notice last night and today that already the lettuce I planted last week in my garden has begun to poke through the ground. And the starter planters I have set up inside the house -well those plants all seem to be flourishing under my care. (That alone is quite a coup for me since I generally have a tendency to kill baby plants you see!)

Although we didn't make any hard, fast decisions at our meeting on Tuesday, we did get a lot of information and ideas processed and have made inroads now into how we will proceed from there. That, plus all the tuna and egg salad sandwiches I made up came in very handy for supper, lunch and supper again, on Tuesday and Wednesday. Even the kids ate 'em and that's always a good thing!

And speaking of food and good things like the kids eating, I really hit the jackpot tonight with our supper apparently! I'm usually more than a bit leery about trying new recipes because in the past, anything new usually didn't go over very well with the two kids and I really am not a big fan at all of leftovers!

But tonight, I decided to live dangerously and I fixed a new recipe I'd found called Lemon-parmesan chicken and penne pasta. I figured maybe because this chicken when cooked up could maybe fool the kids into thinking it was some kind of chicken fingers type meal -which is generally something they will eat -and that with the penne pasta, sometimes I can also trick them into eating other pastas besides a steady diet of either macaroni or spaghetti noodles you see.

This dish, as it turned out, was actually quite easy to fix -the pasta cooked up nicely and while it was cooking and the chicken in the oven baking, I sauted a bit of chopped garlic with italian seasoning, basil and parsly and then, to that, I added some frozen snow peas to saute them too and mixed that in the with the cooked pasta, topped with the baked, breaded chicken breasts.

Either both kids were so starved at suppertime tonight that they might have eaten ANYTHING I put on the table or else, they are getting a bit more adventuresome about trying new things because they both ate the pasta, including the peas and the chicken like there was no tomorrow!

Now that was a very pleasant surprise for me and gives me renewed hope about cooking yet again tomorrow.

Finally, my day today ended on yet another high note when Mandy picked up the mail. Seems a friend of mine from my high school days -who lives in Colorado and is also a mega crafting nutcase a bit like me -had sent me a little present that she had stumbled across out in her neck of the woods.

It's actually supposed to be an embroidered lap top quilt but her theory on what I might be able to do with the kit is to embroider it all up -cross stitched flowers all over it -finish the edging and consider it to be a slightly larger tabletopper! The dimensions on this thing are 45 inches x 45 inches -which is considerably larger than the tabletoppers I often do but what the heck!

One thing for sure, I will really keep me very busy for quite a long period of time.

Of that, I am very positive!

So thanks to Nancy for thinking of me and my love for embroidery by sending this present to me. It couldn't have come to me at a better time as I really did need a good pick-me-upper today!

And that's the way things have rolled around here for the past four days now -a big mix of sad, worrisome and bad things intermingled with a few surprises and a couple good things.

Now, here's hoping the weather forecasters are on target for the nicer weather they say we'll be seeing over the weekend.

I, for one, can really use a very nice dose of sunshine!

How about you -how's the weather and life been in your neck of the world?


TechnoBabe said...

What a nice friend to think of you and send the embroidery project. The chicken recipe sounds great. It does sound like your grandkids are maturing some and able to try new things some now. Isn't it fun when the people you cook for like the experiments you work on in the kitchen?

We have had lots of rain too here. The flower seeds I planted in the little flower beds in the front are growing very quickly now.

Maggie May said...

Glad that the different salads were made up so quickly and that chicken sounded delicious. Makes me feel hungry even though I've not long eaten.
Isn't it great when the children gobble up the things you've cooked?

Hope the computer is fine now.
Sorry about the death in the family.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Suldog said...

I found some malicious malware on my computer this morning. It sucks. Friend, in the office, is delousing it now :-)

... Paige said...

sorry to hear about your cousin.

yea for rye bread, love it but alas I'm allergic.

sorry to hear about the computer bug ah boo

Glad you are past all that

have a great weekend

oldereyes said...

You do deserve a break, Jeni. I'm sitting here in our place in Phoenix, sulking because my daughter was a bit of a jerk today ... she has company (other than us) coming at the end of the week and that always makes her into a crazy lady but after hearing of your week, I guess I'll count my blessings. It was high eighties today headed into the nineties tomorrow ... I wish I could send you some of our sunshine. Sorry bout the computer buggies. I use something called Malwarebytes that's free and very effective at removing anything I've gotten ... and the paid version prevents them from being installed. Hope your machine is OK.

terri said...

So many ups and downs! It's frustrating when life feels like such a roller coaster. Glad you're able to recognize a bit of good along with the bad.

But what is with all the rain? Seems like that's all we're getting around here too. We had 3 beautiful days last week, but every weekend and then some seems to bring rain, clouds and storms. Enough already. I hope the rain is wearing itself out before graduation and party time roll around.

Smalltown RN said...

I think this weather has dampened many a mood. I too am very tired of the gray skies. This weekend has been a mix bag in the weather department. Friday we thought we had finally hit summer conditions....but by Friday evenign the winds had picked up and come Saturday morning the rain and cool breeze was back. Yuck. Today I was able to get out on my bike for which I was thankful...but again I had to warm a jacket...still a tad cool.

I am glad your week ended on a positive note. I am sorry for your family loss and I hope your relative who had the open heart sugery is recovering well.

Enjoy your new project....stay positive my friend, I count on you for that!


oldereyes said...

Congratulations!! You have been awarded The Versatile Blogger Award. Stop by at Older Eyes - Bud's Blog for more details. (Yes, I'm at it again. There's no obligation, you know that ... just appreciation)