Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's November!

Okay technically it is Halloween but this year is flying by.  I am trying to think of all the crazy things that have happened.

  1. Boston Red Sox won the 2013 World Series yesterday.  Go Boston!
  2. Nathan and I have a new niece - Congrats Tobin and Xiaonan!
  3. Nathan completed his second Marine Corps Marathon.
  4. My kitchen is almost nearly half put back together.
  5. I have been washing dishes in the tub for the last month.
  6. The Board of Directors for the Military Spouse Business Association will be having their last meeting for the year in two weeks time.
  7. Winters Computing, Inc. has officially been closed :(  That was hard; admitting that your business idea/concept failed. But, there is a new venture underway.
  8. We planted our first real garden this year.  We were happy for the most part with the products.
  9. I got an opportunity to try canning myself for the first time.  Plenty of tomatoes.  The last time I canned something was when I was a teenager.  I helped mom and dad can the produce they got from a garden.
  10. Mom and dad bought me a food dehydrator for my birthday.  I was so excited to have a new kitchen gadget.
  11. Nathan bought me for my birthday a canning starter kit.  Another really awesome birthday gift.  Have I told you I love cooking and baking?!
  12. I have found a new "job".  More information about that when everything is settled.
  13. Nathan and I have been given notice that we are moving next June-ish.  We have been told the West Coast but this has changed three times.  This is also earlier than our projected October 2014 rotation date.  Lets say I am tweaking out a little bit - in terms of I am worried about turning this house around in time for the move.
  14. The new move will mean sea duty which will mean facing at least our second deployment.
  15. We completed renovating the den.  I am waiting to post these pictures because we are kind of extending the kitchen into that area.
  16. The upstairs of the house - 2 bedrooms and a bathroom - are renovated.  I have those pictures posted on Facebook.
  17. The winners of the 1st Annual Red, White & Blue Awards were announced.  I completely forgot to post an update about that!  You can view the video announcement the Board of Directors made on the MSBA website: http://milspousebiz.org/
  18. My brother - the oldest of the three Tyner boys - got married in July.
  19. Nathan and I celebrated our 11th Anniversary - which just makes me feel older.
  20. The donuts I posted about back in April were good!  I haven't made another batch yet but I do have an excuse, my kitchen was demolished.
I think that is a good majority of the year in a quick recap.  I will probably come back and add more as I remember them.  How has your year been?

Monday, April 29, 2013

DONUTS.....

....I wonder if when hubby gets home tonight if he won't laugh at me.

It is raining today so that meant no working on outside projects.  Last spring we spent our time focusing on the overgrown hedges, all 7 trees on the property and needing a new roof so this year we are really working on the "curb appeal" and the lawn itself.  We have nearly finished with the new wood fence, pulling the weeds in the yard, creating a vegetable garden, grass/lawn care and working on renovating the back patio which we shrunk in size.

On these days when I am not working on house projects I try to unwind by cooking/baking.  I really don't like not being in the kitchen.  I almost feel lazy if I am not cooking and experimenting.  That is not the best description.  I think part of me knows that it is something that I am fairly good at and when you find a niche that gives a self-esteem boost you have a tendency to want to go back to it.  Maybe it is part of that old-wives tale (or maybe it isn't) about the way to a man's heart is through his stomach and hubby gives me regular compliments on meals.  If he likes what I cook and he is happy then I know I have his heart.  Of course I want to make him happy.  Now I am just writing on a tangent.

I have made donuts before.  Prepare the dough, roll it out, cut, and then fry them.  The first time this was hysterical because I didn't flour the board enough to roll them out and wasn't able to cut them properly which made for not so pretty looking donuts.  The second and third time I got better.  Hubby and I are really trying to eat "healthier".  I know you are thinking the same thing, donuts aren't healthy.  But after all the hard work we have been doing I thought a small treat would be nice.

Since I wanted to bake the donuts I needed to do a Google search for a DIY donut pan because I don't have one.  I found this and tried it, http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2011/11/baked-cinnamon-vanilla-donuts-plus-diy.html, but didn't like the end result.  I followed the second half of this idea but instead of the pre-template donut (from the paper towel wrapped in aluminum foil) I used a round cookie cutter I had.

The donuts didn't take long to bake at all. I am fairly certain I made mini-donuts.  This is what they look like after they have cooled and I coated them.


I will post an update to let you know how they tasted.  This was a buttermilk and half wheat flour based donut recipe.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Your help for Military Spouse and Veteran Entrepreneurs

...PLEASE

Some of you know that I volunteer my time working for a 501c(6) non-profit organization, Military Spouse Business Association (MSBA), that provides resources and tools for Military Spouse and Veteran Entrepreneurs.  This year we launched the 1st Annual Red, White & Blue Awards.

The purpose of the Red, White, & Blue Awards is to recognize and honor the outstanding achievements of businesses run by veterans and military spouses.  Our goal is to award six business grants; three to military-family owned businesses and three to veteran owned businesses. In addition, we want to help promote these businesses, not only within the military community, but in the local communities these businesses help to support.

If you could do the following I would be appreciative:
  1. SHARE this link to the fundraising campaign, 'http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/372100/emal/2864478, and see to the right ---->.
  2. CONSIDER donating.  I am willing to promote your causes on my social media outlets.  Offer virtual assistant services in place of a donation.  Would appreciate you donating to this cause in lieu of gifts (for myself).
MSBA is also looking for sponsorship for the Red, White & Blue Awards.  If you know of an organization or a person who would be willing to sponsor Red, White and Blue Awards, I would be indebted if you passed on my contact information.  Areas of funding would be all or portions of the grant monies for any one of the six awards, marketing, or trophies awarded to the winners.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.
Much Obliged!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My 1st Video Blog

Yesterday I recorded my first video blog and it was for opening day nominations of the Red, White & Blue Awards.  I am not going to lie and say I liked what I recorded the first time.  It took me a couple of tries before I ended up posting this video to the MSBA Facebook Page.

Working for a "virtual" organization doesn't mean that I am in the "face" of the public often.  I do talk about MSBA when one inquires what I do but we don't get much in the way of "attention."  You all know that I am introvert.  I am not very good when it comes to answering questions on the spot.  I don't have confidence in myself and I can't think that quickly on the spot.  For me this video blog was a way to adjust myself to getting used to being in the "public eye."

Let me know what you think when you see the video.  Any feedback would be appreciative.  I would like to know, what do you think about video blogs?  Is it more helpful than just reading/writing a blog post?  If you like video blogging how often would you suggest/recommend it be done?

If you wouldn't mind sharing the fundraising campaign link I would be grateful!

Monday, April 01, 2013

1st Annual Red, White & Blue Awards




MSBA is so EXCITED to announce the launch of their first ever Red, White & Blue Awards.  These awards seek to recognize outstanding Veteran and Military Spouse Owned businesses by awarding six business grants ranging from $500 - $1000. But to make this happen they are looking for help!

If you can share the link to the fundraising campaign to help fund the grants: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/red-white-blue-awards

And then get ready to nominate your favorite Military Spouse or Veteran owned business.  Nominations begin April 15th!  Get all the details by visiting their business directory website: http://www.redwhiteandbluepages.org/node/red-white-blue-awards

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Periodontist Complete

The Monday following Thanksgiving (2012) I went to have a gum graft done.  I had never heard of this before but when I went to the dentist in October for my regular 6 month cleaning it was recommended that I go in and see the Periodontist.  The gum line on my bottom teeth was receding due to a combination of brushing too hard and amount of tartar my mouth produces.

First thing on Monday morning I walk to the appointment.  It is nearly 50 degrees out and about 2 miles away.  I check-in and notice that not only is it quiet for 9:00am but no one else is in the waiting room.  I guess no one else wanted to have such an exciting procedure done right after Thanksgiving.  I am escorted to the room by the assistant, I know that is not her proper title.  She is wearing a uniform and was assisting the doctor.  I sit in the chair and prepare for Novocaine.  The assistant did ask me how I was doing and if I was ready.  I told her I was nervous.  This will be my first experience with novocaine.

The doctor applies with a q-tip a mint or peppermint jel to the roof of my mouth, where the graft will be taken and then places it between my lip and bottom gum.  It was mentioned that mint gel has a little of a natural numbing tendency.  The doctor explains that he will be taking gum from the roof and attaching it to the bottom.  The roof of the mouth will be done by creating a pocket so that the flap can be placed back over the "hole."  The gum will be attached on the bottom by sewing.

He proceeds with a Novocaine injection at the roof of the mouth.  It didn't hurt as much as I thought.  The first Novocaine injection on the button gum line didn't hurt too much but then the second and third injection on the bottom gum line sort of hurt.  The doctor was nice enough to tell me that is as much "discomfort" as I am going to feel during the rest of the procedure.  I took that as no more discomfort and no more injections. That was four for someone who hasn't experienced Novocaine before.  I was incorrect....as far as no more injections.  I believe that it is possible that I had a total of 10 Novocaine injections.  However that could be incorrect as I closed my eyes quiet frequently to try to relax and "zone out."

When I opened my eyes and saw the needle coming towards the gums again I asked "more, really?!"  He said "yes, but you shouldn't be feeling anything."  I wasn't however I was surprised it was taking so much.  If I recall correctly is was explained to me that little injections help numb up a little area at a time so that further injections can be done without discomfort.  I interpreted that to mean if I one big injection was given at a time I would have been in discomfort longer and it would have taken longer for the "numbing" effect to take place.

I was asked to tilt my head back more so my chin was up.  The doctor was going to start on the pocket and retrieval of gum from the roof.  I closed my eyes to try to relax.  The smell was something I remember besides the injection and feeling like I had a fat lip.  It was not pleasant.  I am not even sure how the cut was being made.  I don't think he used a scalpel.  I should have asked.  I didn't feel anything and I wasn't in pain.

I opened my eyes and saw him take the flap of gum and lay it on the tray in front of him.  He got some other things together and then proceeded to pick up the gum to prepare to attach to the lower teeth.  I closed my eyes again to try to relax and he started sewing.  I am not sure how many stitches it took or how exactly he was stitching it on.  I remember the assistant saying at one point "almost done."

I opened my eyes when I heard him placing utensils on a tray.  He grabbed something then started to firmly press the thing on the roof of the mouth. I chuckled a little bit.  He grabbed another thing and than started "smushing" (for lack of the proper term) it around with the bottom lip.  I chuckled even harder.  Using a numb lip to help adhere or stick something just felt weird.  At this point the doctor told me I had a "sick sense of humor."  I told him I couldn't help it that felt funny.  He looked at me and said "you have had Novocaine before?"  I told him no.  He said "AAHHH, that explains your nervousness and silliness."  He looked at his assistance and said "I don't think we could have done the procedure any differently if we had known before we started."  I knew.

After the procedure the assistant lets me see what I think is a band-aid.  She told me not to pull at the lip and to eat soft foods today.  No raking leaves or major house cleaning.  I am just to rest.  At that point I inquire about walking home however that was not allowed.  The doctor has the secretary call the nearest pharmacy for my prescription of acetaminophen with codeine and a mouth rinse.  I request a cab to be called to get prescriptions and go home.   The assistant then proceeds to tell me I should sleep on my back with two pillows on either side.  I shouldn't roll so as not to break or shake the graft loose.

The doctor comes back into the office and he explains some more things.  And then hands me a pamphlet.  He also was nice enough to give me his cell phone number in case I had any problems.  He explains that the longer the bandages stay on the more comfortable I will feel and I am not to brush my teeth for the rest of the day.

The secretary was nice enough to drop me off at the pharmacy to get the prescriptions and to take me home.  I get some things done at the house and then start to get tired.  I spent the rest of the day on the couch.  I only drank for the rest of the day; juices, water, shakes.  The numbness didn't start to ware off until about 1 or 2pm in the afternoon.  I did take my first pill at noon so that was a good head start on any major discomfort.

I just hung out on the couch.  I didn't do much of anything.  I was unable to take a nap.  The doctor called me later in the evening to check on me which I thought was great!  I am appreciative when people are extra courteous.  When I had my wisdom teeth removed the doctors office called my parents in the evening to see how I was doing.

I think in total I took 4 maybe 5 pills.  That is all I needed.  The bandage at the roof of the mouth came off after 3.5 days.  I was surprised but it wasn't a band-aid.  It was a silly putty type of a thing.  Below is a picture of what the site looked like and what the putty looked like.

I believe the "bandage" would have stayed on longer if I hadn't used a straw to drink for those three days.  I think the pressure from the sucking caused the bandage to fall off sooner.  I wasn't in any discomfort and you can see there wasn't any bleeding so I didn't call the doctor.

Laughing and crying kind of bothers the lip and whenever I move the lip just right, for example when I get startled.  Food is more than just juice and shakes.  I am eating steamed/boiled/soft veggies and pasta.

Eight and a half days after surgery I took another picture of the roof of the mouth.  The bandage of the bottom jaw was still on.  Here is what the roof looked like.

The following week while I was brushing my teeth I noticed a significant amount of blood.  I got very nervous.  I stopped brushing my teeth and had hubby take a look.  He said that there was no blood.  I then took a look and I didn't see anything either.  Nathan thought I might have brushed/hit a blood pocket.  I didn't have or notice any bleeding after that.

I am eating more soft foods now.  Soup, quiche, fish, ground turkey, roasted veggies along with boiled/steamed veggies, pasta and shakes still.

I went in for the 2.5 week checkup and the doctor took the bandage off on the bottom jaw.  He said everything looked great.  He wiped the area down a little.  He then took a look at the roof of the mouth and he was happy with the way it was healing.  I am able to brush the teeth now including the graft site,  No more restrictions on food.  Music to my ears :)

Fast forward to a month and a half after the procedure.  You can barely notice the scar at the roof of the mouth.  The doctor did mention that the graft was not the color he would have liked or hoped for but there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the function of it so he was sending me on my way and calling me good.  He was going to send a note to the dentist office to let them know.  I asked if there was anything that I could do to help with the color and he said no.  I asked if it was something to be concerned about and he said no.  Okay so I am not going to worry.  I can feel it when I move the lower lip just right, so I don't think that there is anything wrong.  Below is a picture of both the roof of the mouth and the graft site today.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Memorial Challenge

to honor Brian R. Bill is being held at Norwich University on February 17.  If you are in the New England area and are interested in a unique challenge that supports a scholarship fund in the name of a fallen soldier may I recommend this event.  You can learn more about the event by clicking this link.

If you go, will you please share your photos and/or blog post with me?!  Thank You!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Christmas in Vermont 2012

Christmas 2006 was the last time Nathan and I spent Christmas with our families.  This year we spent Christmas with Nathan's family and then spent the days in between Christmas and New Year's with my Nana, Uncle and Aunt in Boston.  In total we took about 12 days of leave for the holiday.  It was nice to be able to do that and to travel a short distance to see family without having to travel say.......1800+ miles to do it.

Our trip to Vermont was to celebrate a wedding and then Christmas with family.  On December 21st Nathan and I spent the night in White River Junction.  A college classmate of ours got married and we booked a hotel so we didn't have to drive back to Nathan's parents late at night and wake them up.

We had two Christmas celebrations while in Vermont.  We celebrated with Nathan's parents, siblings and their families on the 23rd.  On Christmas day we opened our stockings (yes we did travel from VA to VT with these but that fit in a fairly small box) in the morning and then we had prime rib for supper to celebrate with one of Donna's siblings and his wife, and with Nathan's Grandfather Safford.

Christmas Eve we spent with Nathan's parents and I cooked supper :p  We had salmon and cauliflower.  A little change from the homemade Italian gravy (this is homemade pasta sauce with meat for you non-Italians) and ravioli.

We left Vermont a day earlier than we planned due to a big snowstorm that was to hit the area.  We thought it was a better idea for us to make it to MA before the big storm hit to avoid unsafe road conditions and it has been a while since either one of us drove in snow.

When we arrived in Boston there were gifts waiting for us there.  We received some new sheets and Christmas tree ornaments.

While in Boston we didn't travel too much.  We went out with Auntie and Nana to help Nana run some errands one day.  On Saturday we went out to lunch with the Carson's, Auntie, Uncle, Nana and Ms. C.  I was able to help Nana do a little organizing and cleaning out.  We ended up with more than just Christmas gifts to come home with.

I think Nana is doing very well after two big operations in a year; triple bypass and stomach aneurysm fix.  She does get short of breath when she has climbed up and down the stairs a couple of times but once she catches her breath she seems okay.

I do have pictures from our trip on Facebook, if you would like to see those.  All in all it was a really nice trip and fun to be just a little spoiled.  A big Thank You to all of those who took care of while we visited!