The hustle and bustle of December…

Living On Oxygen for Life

Oh the hustle and bustle of December. Are you feeling it too? Feeling a little overwhelmed… stressed out.. so darn busy? My December started, of course, with my heart cath. Though, I’m relieved with the results from the cath, the after effects of the catheter that was inserted into my heart and partially into a lung, gave me two days of mild arrhythmias and made me feel a little tired. However, I bounced back to tackle Christmas. Hooray!

Fireplace

I really enjoy Christmas but I don’t have a whole lot of energy for decorating. K really stepped up this year. He wanted to make this Christmas really nice because last Christmas was such a sad one. His dad was very sick and then he ended up passing away. This year was totally different. Oh my gosh! He went all out! He wanted this Christmas to feel festive and happy. I have to tell you. He did a wonderful job. In fact, I was asked to hire him out to decorate other people’s houses. That’s so crazy! Above is a picture of our Mantle he decorated.

We didn’t have a White Christmas this year. In fact, it was 70 degrees the day after. So weird… I know!!! I got busy creating a stocking for Mary (my cat) and Rocco (my pup) this month. I think they turned out pretty well. I got no complaints from them. In fact, Santa had NO problem filling them with goodies this year. Here’s the picture of them:

Pet Stockings

December is the hardest month of the year for me.. well, for K and my relationship. It’s all a lot of STRESS and a little bit of loneliness because K has to work longer days. He needs me to take care of him instead of the other way around. Then there is the Christmas shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking… etc.. Not to mention the weather turns cold and dreary which makes us feel a little blah, blah, blah. So, what do I do? First and foremost, I take a chill pill (no pill actually taken!) and tell myself, “It will be ok.” Then I turn to K and say, “K, (yes, I actually call him K) let’s do this Christmas thing!” Naturally, we remember baby Jesus was born on Christmas. Mustn’t forget that!

Part of breaking through the stress building up is realizing that my freezer and crockpot is my best friend in the kitchen. If I’m making lasagna, I make enough to make an extra 8″x8″ pan of it to freeze for a time where I just don’t have energy to cook. You can do the same with Chili, Meatloaf, Enchiladas, etc.. I’m in love with my Crockpot and have my mother-in-law as my go-to person for recipe questions. She has the best Spare ribs crockpot recipe in the world. Yes, I will share it with you. Be patient, I’m still typing this blog post. I’ll get to it next. hehe! Where was I? To be able to throw food in a crockpot and forget about it for about 5 to 8 hours, is truly a luxury and an energy saver. So, when you’ve mastered freezing meals and crockpot cooking, you are going in the right direction.

Another thing is, if you are cooking a Christmas meal, order a cooked turkey or ham from your grocery store or from a store that does that kind of business. That way, it’s done, you don’t have to worry about cooking it. All you have to do is send someone out to pick it up. The very most you would have to do is warm it up in your oven. Have others bring dishes of food to go with the meat. Why do YOU have to do it all? You shouldn’t have to. You can even make cookie dough, freeze it, and then pull it out of the freezer when you have the energy to finish the job. I know for a fact that my older sister freezes her sugar cookie dough after she makes it because she just does NOT have the time to make & bake all those cookies in one day. And she’s a healthy person! By the way… I’m getting a whole batch of frosted sugar cookies from her for my Christmas gift this year! Oh yeah, they are SOOO worth it! Yippee!! Ok technically, I’m not getting them until next month when she comes to visit but it’s something I look forward to very much.

Since it’s the end of the year, you know what next month will bring. Yep, new health insurance deductibles to meet for 2015. Well, I do and it stinks. I’m not real excited about that but hey, it is what it is. However, I’m not going to worry about it because I’m thinking about eating the Sugar Cookies that my sister will bring. Oh and seeing my sister and her family too. That’s what I really mean! *wink*

I hope you have a great New Year’s Eve! I have a great project for next year. I’ll blog about it in a day or two. Love to you all!

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What a busy week!

Living On O2 for Life

Just before New Year’s Day, I get a text from my younger sister. What a great surprise that she’s close by and had asked to meet us for lunch! AWESOME! Before we left, I baked her favorite cookies to take with us. Here’s my special recipe for the cookies! And you’re welcome! haha!

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups of sugar
1/2 stick of butter
3/4 cup of peanut butter (i use smooth.. the original recipe has less PB)
1/2 cup of milk (I’ve used 4 oz. of evaporated milk before when I was out of milk)
1/3 cup cocoa
3 cups of quick oatmeal
1 tsp of vanilla

In a medium sauce pan, stirring constantly, combine sugar, butter, cocoa and milk on MEDIUM heat. Bring to just before it bubbles and then add peanut butter. Heat to a slow boil, stirring constantly, and then boil for about 1 minute or 1 1/2 minutes. Take off heat and quickly add vanilla and then oatmeal.

Stir oatmeal in until all is well coated and then spoon out cookie sized shapes onto waxed paper lined newspaper. Let them cool and when they are hard, store in ziplock or tupperware.

After meeting and having lunch with my younger sister, we drove home and I had a smile on my face the whole way. I had a great time. Though, where we met them for lunch was in a casino. Do you realize that nearly everything except a casino will close on New Year’s Day??? I had a little trouble finding a restaurant to meet them at for lunch. Crazy, I KNOW!!

The weekend was coming up quickly, after New Year’s Day, and my older sister and her family were due to arrive at our house for a stay. How lucky can a girl get to be able to see both sisters in such a short period of time? I know… really lucky! K helped a lot with the cleaning of the tub, the vacuuming and a few various other chores that wear me out. We also had to go grocery shopping before they came. So, rushing through Walmart the Friday night they were to arrive was an adventure. Somehow we found a place for everything we bought. We have very little kitchen cabinet space and K is BIG on rotating the food as we store it. It’s a good practice to have and it keeps everything organized.

It was a weekend filled with Bubble Guppies, Yo Gabba Gabba, and a multitude of tea parties. How do parents handle kid TV programming? I have to say that I now have a greater appreciation for CNN. When my family left to go home, K and I crashed for a 4 hour nap and still didn’t want to get up Sunday night. Though, I had to get up to take my diuretic but lounged around in bed thirty minutes longer than K did. When I finally got my butt out of bed and after taking that dreaded diuretic, I walked down the hall and abruptly stopped as I heard K say to me, “I just want to warn you… I think I’m coming down with something like a cold. So don’t keep asking me if I’m sick.” I’m like, “Oooh crap!” I felt really deflated and worried because he sounded like he was getting sick. Now that it’s Monday and that he’s not feeling better, I’m on high alert. We take him getting sick very seriously. Germs spread. I’ll be pulling out the lysol wipes to clean all the door knobs and whatever else K has touched. I would have done that today but I had a migraine all day. I think I over did it this weekend.. but I sure had fun!

I know I’ve been slow this last week on keeping in contact with those of you who have emailed me. I do apologize for that and I aim to do better. This last month has been extraordinarily busy. I did finally get my bipap replacement parts but they didn’t send me the tube that I use to connect my oxygen to the bipap hose and mask. That’s a very vital part! So, now I’ll have to call them. How can they screw that up? Sometimes, I feel like I have to hold their hand through the whole process of reordering my replacement equipment. My bipap is supplied through a different DME than my oxygen which makes everything such a hairy ordeal to keep organized. I just wish I was a bit better at being organized. It definitely does NOT come natural for me. haha!

Hope everyone is having a great week. Stay warm and well. Don’t forget to FOLLOW my blog!

In the Kitchen – Chimichangas

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Living On Oxygen for Life

Are you hungry? I’m sharing with you my recipe of Chimichangas. They are so good. They use that whole bird of chicken that I wrote about last time in “In the Kitchen.” But don’t fret if you didn’t try cooking a whole chicken! I’ve added a substitute tip on using chicken breast as the chicken ingredient for this Chimichanga dish! More recipes are coming for chicken AND beef that you can do ahead and/or freeze for later when you not feeling up to cooking.

Having breathing problems causes all kinds of difficulties. Running out of energy happens a lot for me. So, naturally, I don’t always feel like cooking dinner. It’s really nice having something I can easily pull out from the freezer or leftovers to heat up when I am tired. Click on the link below for the recipe:

Chimichanga Recipe