Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Asian Food!

I love everything Asian. From Asian food to Asian art to Asian babies. I want it all! :) Somewhat to my luck I married a man, who though he is an extremely picky eater, loves Asian cuisine. (Even if most of the time it's American Asian buffet style food.)

It's not uncommon to find us at the Asian market buying something creative or trying a new dish out. We often eat with chopsticks. We have different sauces and mixes in our cupboards. We had an Asian theme birthday party for my husband. And we tend to celebrate monthly anniversaries or date nights with some sort of Asian dish.

Along with the food we also often have fortune cookies. If memory serves me right, fortune cookies are not even Asian but that does not stop me keeping a stock of them in the kitchen. I have always had a delightful fascination with fortune cookies. I used to keep funny or thought provoking fortunes in my wallet...until my wallet disappeared. For our 6 month anniversary when we were dating my husband and I tried to make fortune cookies. They never really hardened. It was like eating a stiff thin pancake. It was actually pretty good. But it lacked the crunch you would expect when you break it apart to reveal your fortune.

Now as delicious as the cookie may's the fortune that is coveted. This is why they exist. I have had many moments when a fortune just seemed too good to be true and others where I laughed my head off at the ridiculousness of the whole thing. And then many more moments when the fortune just doesn't quite fit...but it's like a drug, those good fortunes. I keep searching them out for that one perfect moment. Got to have my fix.

Well, this weekend I surprised Monte with his favorite dish from a take out place for date night. It came, of course, with two fortune cookies. After the meal we began to clean up. I grabbed a cookie and read my fortune to him. It was lackluster at best. Then Monte reached for the other cookie. He stood there in front of me for a moment reading his fortune silently, and then he smiled. He looked at me and grinned even bigger. "Wow, this one is right on." He then handed me the fortune and I read the message:

And then rest is really too sappy to even tell you about. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

When Engineers Own a Dog

So, My husband sent me this YouTube video of a puppy playing ball. The email was entitled, "When Engineers Own a Dog". After I watched the video I sent it to my folks, and here is the email conversation that ensued between my father and I. When it comes down to it, I guess, the economy situation is not far from anyone's mind.

Anyhow, here watch the's cute: Puppy Playing Ball

(P.S. PoJo is our dog back home.)

"This is sort of funny. It reminds me of when PoJo runs before you even throw the ball because he's so excited and expecting. Do you think we should get him one of these machines for Christmas. Haha :)"

"This is cute. PoJo would probably not be willing to give up the ball after the first shot."

"Yeah, probably not. We would need another machine designed to distract him while a third
machine takes his ball away. "


"If I could afford it that would probably improve the economy, with all the manufacturing jobs it would create. We could call it the PoJo economic stimulus plan. Do you think we could get some federal money for the PoJo plan?"


"Probably not unless we can convince the government that PoJo economics is actually a failing bank. Then they will give us lots of money that we can use on a vacation and then they will give us more that we can use to put our project into the works even though in the end it will probably only make us wealthy. But that would be good, right?"


"Since PoJo is not a bank they will probably treat us like the car companies and send us home with our tails ducked between our legs."


"True...I guess we picked the wrong 'dog' to invest in."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Health Update for the whole family.

Between Monte and myself the doctor bills are soaring. We have pretty good insurance so thus far things are bearable but it hasn't been fun.

The results are in from my blood test and really there isn't much to say. My B12 is low, my ANA is a little high, and my white blood cells are in the normal range for someone fighting an infection. But other than that...well, there is nothing really wrong. The doctor wants me to take 1000 mcg of B12 each day. A normal dose is 6 mcg a day so she's pumping me up with the stuff. I also just finished my two week course of Prednisone (the steroid) and I'm almost finished with my Gluten Free diet.

The prednisone worked wonders. Within two days of starting the medicine my joints fell unbelievably better. I could walk again. I have started exercising a little each day and I'm awake and getting things done. It feels so great to sleep again and to get little tasks done around the house. I think Monte is much relieved as well. We have been getting along better too. It helps to be feeling better.

The only thing I'm afraid of is the chance that the joint pain may return when I'm off the medicine. I took my last dose yesterday. The doctor says my blood is clear of any major diseases such as Lupus, Lyme, Rheumatoid, or Celiac but if the joint pain comes back I may have to see a specialist. I don't want to have to do that so I'm hoping that everything stays great.

This Gluten and Dairy free diet has been difficult but rewarding. I have to plan my meals out better and I have been eating a lot of fresh fruits, vegis, and meats. My stomach aches have stopped and my bowls feel great. All in all it has been very good for me. I may stay on the diet a little longer because my body has been responding so well.

Monte and I went to WholeFoods Grocery. I have never really been there before but it was fantastic. They have a whole range of gluten free foods and we bought rice pasta which fixed my craving for pasta that I've had the last week and half I was on the diet. They have so much fresh stuff and everything we bought there has been absolutely delicious! We even splurged on spinach, ricotta cheese stuffed beef tenderloin that we had for Sunday dinner. It was the most expensive piece of meat I've ever bought but it was soooo wonderfully delicious.

Besides the Gluten Free diet we have also tried to introduce a Low Residue diet these last couple of days for Monte's sake. That means no ruffage, or high fiber foods, spicy things, things that make you have gas, or lots of dairy. Our meals have been very interesting between my not eating wheat and his not eating fiber.

For those of you that don't know, Monte suffers from some bowls problems of his own. He had a colonoscopy back in April but then we moved to Texas and the doctor here decided to do another one which took place yesterday morning. The doctor in Utah told Monte that he had Chrohns disease but the doctor here informed us yesterday after the procedure that he's sure it's not Chrohns. He believes it's a bad case of Ulcerative Colitis.

Neither diagnosis is good but Ulcerative Colitis is a little better cause even though he'll have to be on medication for the rest of his life or have his colon removed at least the disease is kept solely in the colon. Chrohns tends to affect all the intestines and is harder to control with medication.

With Monte's permission I am able share a bit about his condition on the blog here so that his family will be updated. But I promised him not to share anything too personal or embarrassing. (I wonder if pictures are embarrassing?) I find medical things of such interest but if you are squeamish...I warn you that I am about to post a couple pictures from the colonoscopy.






A Healthy Colon (pictured to the left via internet search) is smooth, pink, and you can see the ridges around a pretty good size opening.

Monte's Colon (pictured below via his colonoscopy yesterday) unfortunately was so swollen and inflamed that the doctor almost decided to abort the procedure so as not to injure the colon any further. You can't even see the ridges and there were bumps and blood inside.

We are still waiting on the results of the biopsies. The doctor wants to make sure there is no underlying infection stemming on the inflammation. If there is no infection then Monte will start a course of Prednisone of his own to help

reduce the inflammation and he has already started an expensive regiment of pills to get the Ulcerative Colitis under control. When he started these pills back in Utah he qualified for financial help because he was so poor. The pills were almost free. But now, because he has a good job, the pills are no longer free so we have to figure out some way to pay for them. Even with insurance they are a couple hundred dollars every few months. Now I understand what is meant by middle class health care is the most expensive.

Well, that's the update on the health status of our little family. I'm feeling so much better and happier. We're just keeping our fingers crossed that everything stays good. Monte had a bad flare up last week but he had his colonoscopy yesterday and has started medication and has an appointment with the doctor again for next week. His spirits are pretty good too. I think he's more disapointed about having to take medication every day for the rest of his life than dealing with the bowl problems. Though, I am of the other thinking...and am very glad that the doctor has given him medicine. I don't like to see him in pain every evening.

Monday, November 03, 2008


I saw an interview with a couple last Friday on Oprah. They had just had a little baby girl and were sooo happy. The felt particularly blessed because this was their second child. Their first was a little boy whom they named Eliot. Eliot only lived 99 days. He had Trisomy 18 otherwise known as Edward's disease.

I was intrigued by their story and went online to see what Trisomy 18 was and to learn why Eliot's death was inspiring so many. Apparently his parents wrote a letter to Eliot every day starting from two months before he was born right up through the 99 days that he lived. After his death they turned the letters and photos into a 6 minute video tribute that they put on their blog for their family and friends. It became a youtube favorite that has inspired people all over the nation to treasure life.

I was so touched by the video that I wanted to share it with you guys. It will probably make you cry but I loved seeing how much they loved their child. This is our real purpose here on earth.

Here is the link to the YouTube video: