June of last year is when this story begins. I got a sinus infection that I just couldn’t get rid of. I was on my normal dose of antibiotics which didn’t work, so they gave me another round of antibiotics with a more powerful drug. Still I was not getting better. I was also taking over the counter Advil Cold and Sinus, as well as my normal medications for my high blood pressure and psoriatic arthritis.
I ended up leaving early from work on a Wednesday, because I was having nausea and being sick. I went home and tried to keep fluids down, but was having no luck. So, around 6 o’clock, I called my sister and asked her to take me to the ER. I knew I must be dehydrated and was feeling no better. They did some bloodwork and found that I was in kidney failure and being admitted to the hospital.
Long story short, the doctors think that being dehydrated kept my normal medications in my system too long, not being flushed away like they should and they were building up. So, my kidneys revolted. While there I also discovered I have a two gene mutations that cause blood clots, and lucky me, they found a few clots in my legs (although nothing to worry about yet as they have not reached too deeply yet).
Fast forward a few months later and my hair starts to fall out rapidly. I don’t know how to explain the horror of brushing your hair only to pull handfuls of it away from my head. Well, as it turns out, when your body goes through the stress that mine did your hair can fall out. Ugh.
I don’t consider myself vain, but my hair is one of the things that I have always like about my appearance even when I haven’t been so happy with the rest. So, this was very alarming to me. It got so bad that I had to cut it off because it became so thin and wispy on the ends.
You’ll notice in this photo the little baby hairs right in my hairline. That is the new growth at the point that I decided to cut it off.
Today it’s getting longer, but it is still a work in progress and I have little hairs that fly up all over the place. I’m still very self conscious about it as I have always had thick manageable hair. The static electricity that finds me now days is terrible. My goal is to get back to the lovely long hair that I had last March.
Cheers to good friends, wonderful weather, refreshing drinks, and good music. We had a wonderful time. It’s always great to catch up with the people that have known you since your awkward teenage years.
Over the weekend my boyfriend took me to a steakhouse to celebrate my birthday. The place we went was called Bar Harbor. I was not expecting much as it’s up in the North woods of Minnesota, but I was surprised. The atmosphere was great, just like any steakhouse in the Cities.
I started off my experience with a Blueberry Mule that was delicious and dove right into the bread basket. It was filled with the most wonderful warm crusty bread. Next came my Cesar salad. All I have to say is thank goodness for the bread so I could soak up the dressing left on my plate. It was delicious.
Next up was my Entree…a 16oz Ribeye cooked perfectly medium. It was crusty and seasoned well. It had a dollop of garlic butter on top, but it really didn’t need it. It came with hash browns, but after tasting Bryan’s mashed potatoes I would have preferred those.
Next came dessert, we were celebrating my birthday after all. I chose the Toffee Cheesecake. It was creamy and delicious.
Then, Bryan had to roll me home, because I ate way too much food, but it was soooooo good.
This year we added to the Christmas Gingerbread tradition by baking our own Gingerbread. This was half out of necessity and half out of adventure. There were no Gingerbread house kits to be found in the small Northern Minnesota town that I was visiting over the weekend.
I think we will be adding the baking process to this tradition. It was fun to create our little village, and the gingerbread smells it created were so warm and cozy. It set the perfect mood, along with the snow covered ground and apple cider simmering on the stove.
Here is the The Gingerbread Recipe that we used. I would recommend it for building, but not for cookies as there wasn’t enough Ginger flavor for my taste, but you may like it.
2 Sticks Softened Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 cups Molasses
8 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
5 tbsp ground cloves
5 tbsp ground cinnamon
5 tbsp ground ginger
In a bowl combine brown sugar and butter and mix until smooth, add molasses and eggs; set aside.
In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger.
Into the large bowl add the wet ingredients, folding in by hand. Once combined place on a floured surface and roll out to 1/4″ thick, and cut out pieces. There are many templates online or you could create your own.
Preheat oven to 350. Place Gingerbread pieces on parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Cool completely before assembling house.
2 lbs powdered sugar
1 tsp cream of tarter
3 egg whites
1/4 cup water
Combine powered sugar and cream of tarter in a bowl. Add eggs and whip adding water until you get the consistency you like. I like mine to make stiff peaks.