Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blog Challenge: Apple Bread, steampunk... and more

So, as usual, I've fallen behind on the blog challenge.  Here's a few random catch-up posts.  Enjoy (or not). 

June 18--A recipe you love.

Super-moist, To-Die-For Apple Bread

Its more like a moist cake than a bread, but let's call it bread -- that way you can eat more!

Serves/Makes: 2 loaves


3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup oil
2 apples, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well blended. Pour batter (very thick) into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake for about 1 hour.

July 1--Talk about something eco friendly that you already do.

This is simple and easy, and we've been doing it for years.  We use cloth napkins everyday, not paper.  I know that some friends visit, and they are afraid to get the "fancy napkins" dirty, but that's what they are for! 

I bought some banquet hall grade napkins many years back, and they have served us well.  We wash them with the weekly laundry, and they come out clean every week. 

See? Easy-peasy.

June 12-- Worst injury you've had & how it happened.

So, I've had no major traumatic injuries in my life (huzzah!).  But, I have been dealing with chronic back pain and associated nerve damage in my leg over the past few years.  And boy... it's quite a pain-the-back (pun intended)! 

As for how it happened, again -- no traumatic incident.  First thing?  I was pregnant.  Twice.  My hips and lower back didn't like that very much.  My hips never quite put themselves back into their pre-pregnancy position after holding and having two babies.  Then, my second baby was literally attached to my hip for the first 3 years of his life (he loves his momma!).  And that didn't help either.  I started seeing a chiropractor periodically ever since my first pregnancy. 

One morning, I got out of bed because my son was calling for me.  I went to his crib to check on him, then decided to go back to bed for a few more winks of sleep.  As I crawled back into bed, POP!  Something went horribly wrong .... because I couldn't move.  Every twist or change in position sent shock waves of pain through me.  I called for my husband.  After he got the kids off to daycare, he took me to urgent care, transferring me from the car to a wheelchair, and then pushing me into the office. We then sat waiting for 3 hours while I was in excruciating pain;  I figured out later they thought I was just there for drugs, not because I "really" hurt myself.   GRRR.  After they finally let me see a doctor, they just gave me some muscle relaxants, ibuprofen, and sent me home.  Double grrr. 

I went back to my chiropractor a day or two later, and he told me he would have scheduled an emergency visit for me.  Ah, 20/20 hindsight...

Anyway, the recovery from a back injury is slow and painful.  There's no magic bullet.  And after about 18 months of improvement, I re-injured my back (boo!), and went back to square one.  On round two of injury recovery, I did a series of physical therapy in addition to the chiropractor. 

Oh, and the kicker is that I have permanent nerve damage in my lower right leg because of the injury.  I'm numb on the front of my leg from my knee to my toes.  This also makes my ankle very weak and my balance poor on my right side.  I keep doing yoga, and I hope to improve in both my strength and balance, but it's a tough climb.

So, the next time someone says their back hurts... please at least give them the benefit of the doubt that they have legitimate pain.  Backs and chronic pain are a b*tch.

June 30-- Post a photo of an outfit that either is your style or you wish was your style.

So this is totally my style for date night:

Purple and black are my colors.  A little flouncy and twirly is good, too.  And I LOVE Mary Jane shoes!

And I'd love this outfit if I had a reason to go all steampunk:

Still flouncy. But with a pistol, goggles and a cool hat!

July 18- 5 things to do if the power goes out. -Submitted by Janelle @ Domestically Seasoned

Anyone remember a few years back (OK, it was maybe 2002 or 2003? ... I don't remember) when the entire eastern seaboard had a power outage for about a week?  Well, that extended to my area in Michigan.  Here's what we did:

  1. Don't panic.  I swear -- once a bunch of people realized that the outage was widespread, everyone was heading either heading to the gas station to fuel-up, or to the grocery store for bread.  While these things are important, panic doesn't get you there any faster!
  2. Grill!  Hey, all that food is going to spoil anyway.  Better cook it now.
  3. Talk to your neighbors.  Because they are all out grilling, too. 
  4. Hang out on the deck / backyard.  You have been forced to slow down.  Take advantage of it.
  5. Slumber party! Everyone gets to sleep in the same room -- usually either the coolest or warmest room in the house (depending on the season).  It's easier to fend off the monsters in groups, anyway.


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