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Carine’s Blog

  • I'm Completely Bugged Out

    Posted on Thursday, August 22, 2013

    I'm Completely Buggy

    Unlike my eldest grandson, Dylan, who just is at the "bug" infatuated stage of his life-I do NOT like creepy-crawlies, flyers or any other things that find themselves under the heading of "insects".  

    Nope, not at all.

    This is why we have an exterminating service.  That sounds bad.  I know.  Here I am a firm believer in rescuing animals, wishing I could just house them all and love them "forever" and on the flip side:  I do not want anything to do with bugs.

    In California we always had a quarterly service.   Adam and I have a problem with spider bites.  He has had a few trips to the ER for the result of some.  I seem to recall once where one got his foot and it was first red and swollen and then black and blue to the point where wearing a shoe was not in the cards for almost a week.

    During our day care years-I was bit on the forearm while serving lunch.  My arm started to go numb and had red streaks going up it.  Not exactly a "good" sign.  I immediately told my husband to call one of the kids home and I was going to urgent care.

    Good thing-got a shot, had to lay there for almost an hour until they were as certain as could be that I wouldn't die driving home and was given a two week prescription for some high powered antibiotic (same as our son would get) as well as an arm brace.  The instructions were to go home, lie down and put my feet slightly above my heart for the rest of the day.  I was also told to come back in 24 hours to be checked out.

    Nope, creepy crawlers are not fun.

    Here in the desert-we have numerous bugs that both Steve and I have never seen before:  strange looking blue/black/metallic spiders, cockroaches, weevils and we were warned about the various scorpions.

    Nothing says "heart-pumping" like finding a scorpion fall out on the floor from the bed sheets you were about to wash!  Or seeing some creepy crawlies outside all your doorways and wonder what they are to the point where you put the dead ones into a Ziploc and ask the exterminator what they are-only to be chuckled at and told they're "harmless American cockroaches".


    This week-Steve found very small and dead bugs in a window sill he was vacuuming and then realized they were on the floor as well.  Another call to the exterminator was made.  He came and again chuckled at our calling about "non-venomous and non-erosive weevils".

    I suppose he wouldn't have chuckled if they were the "boll weevils" that ended the lives of cotton plants in the Midwest?

    Since he was here I told him about another scorpion I found near the trash can in the breakfast nook-that the body was smaller than the first but the tail was pretty scary.

    He said as long as it came in to die-the service was working on all these accounts and not to worry.  Scorpions it seems are able to flatten themselves to 1/5th of their thickness and get in anywhere at any time.

    Really?  Comforting to know.    

    Now I'm not only worried what is sharing our bed, but what may be wandering around the perimeters of my domicile.

    I'm pretty "bugged" out.

    4 Replies
  • No Stupid Questions

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013

    No Stupid Questions

    I'm sure we've all heard that there are "no stupid questions".  Just opportunities for us all to learn and discover what we may not have had we decided it best to not ask about the reigning subject at hand.

    I beg to differ.  I've heard plenty of questions that I wondered why on earth did the person bother asking?  They either knew the answer or by asking it made me wonder where their head was working correctly.  While the posers may not be anything close to stupid-they are irritating.

    Take the innocent 2-year-old who asks you repeatedly "why?"-at first you answer politely.  Around the third time-you start feeling a tad bit tense.  At the fifth "why?"-Don't know about you-but I just start saying the ubiquitous "because I said so."

    It's not that "why" is stupid-but even that 2-year-old senses that they're beginning to receive less and less of an answer and wearing people's patience quite thin.

    "How come?" is just another form of "why".

    Do we/I have too?  The fact that someone is asking for this confirmation at all means they know the answer.  If you're the asker-just realize that whatever the task is you're going to have to bite the bullet and get to the project.  

    My example:  anyone about to have company at their home and one of the significant others asks, "Do we have to clean the house?"  That my friend says it all.  Unless you don't mind friends and family feeling as if you didn't care enough about their visit to at least tidy up the most "offending" areas.  The house may not be "filthy", but even the neatest of us have areas that need a bit of tending too.

    Questioning an officer of the law.  Really?  "Officer, are you sure I was speeding?"  Trust me, you were.  Even if you were a mile over the limit-speeding is speeding.  Ask most attendees of traffic school.  If the law states that if you are even that teensy smidgeon over the posted limit you can be ticketed.  The resounding reply will be "Yes".

    Ladies-most of us still have the audacity to ask whoever may be shopping with us how a particular article of clothing looks on us.  Here are my thoughts on that:  if you ask then you KNOW the outfit makes you look fantastic and you're fishing for a compliment.  

    If you still "want to go there" and say sweetly, "I'm so comfy in these pants but do you think they make me look fat?"   Then you deserve what comes next.

    Asking questions is part of my life-no writer is able to create an article without them, a lot.  I really try to make mine count.  I Google my interviewees to see what their background are and how they got to the point in their lives/careers that they hit the radar of becoming the subject of a newspaper or magazine story.  

    Questions are imperative to learning-so let's make them count, not just take up time.

    4 Replies
  • It's All About "The Jackson"

    Posted on Thursday, August 8, 2013

    It's All About "The Jackson"

    As you've guessed by the photos, our third grandson Jackson has arrived.  

    Sam, as far as I'm concerned, is a miracle worker and one strong woman.  At 9 lbs., 5 oz., and 21"-Jackson Dale is one healthy, handsome and wonderful little boy.  Thankfully, mother and baby are doing great and the new dad-he's having the best "vacation" of his life caring for his new family.

    Our new arrival has blue eyes, which could very well turn hazel or green.  He's got a full head of brown hair.  Thanks to his father, Jackson has shoulders that most football players only dream about-and his lungs?  They are quite strong.

    The new family was greeted by their fur kids-who were incredibly happy to see them.  As expected, Toby the Maine Coon did a bit of smelling and looking and went back to his usual routine.  Lily, the older of the two shelties has decided that Jackson is an awesome addition to her pack and is making sure he and Sam are kissed, watched and well-guarded.  Billy, the youngest fur kid who's always a bit timid, backed away until curiosity got the best of him.  

    Slowly and much to his parents delight-he decided to "brave" the situation and has decided to help his sister in the guarding of their new sibling.

    I took Dylan over first to meet his new cousin.  He sighed, giggled and asked to give him a kiss and a hug.  Adam said a soft kiss on the cheek was great and he could touch his arms and hands-but to not go near his head.  The traditional parent talk about the soft spot followed.

    Jackson first held Dyl's finger.  Dylan was amazed at how small his cousin's body was, "look at his tiny fingers!  His booties are so small they won't fit on my thumb."  We pointed out that he was a LOT smaller when he was born.  He couldn't believe it.

    Then Jackson stretched and let out some baby noises.   Poor Dylan-he had no idea and jumped in the air by several inches and let out a yelp of worth himself!

    Later I made the "switch" and brought Aidan over for his "meet and greet".  He was concerned about his beloved Auntie Sam having to feed Jackson without a bottle.

    Neither of our older grandsons believed how Jackson would be eating for the next several months.  Both pointed out that applesauce would be good. "You don't need teeth for applesauce."  And what was wrong with cow milk?  Looking at things through the eyes of a 5 and 6 year old, I'm imagining it is hard to realize that baby milk is similar to the time they milked a goat at a goat cheese farm in Hawaii.

    And now, our son is a dad.  It's an amazing thought for me to wrap my own head around.   On April 24th, 1984 I gave birth to a tiny preemie who had a multitude of obstacles to overcome on his way to becoming the caring and strapping husband and father that he's become.  He has wanted to be a husband and dad since he was a toddler.  He never cared about playing GI Joe.  He just wanted to have "a wife and a baby".  

    Pretty deep for a little guy to think about and grasp on the comprehension of the family concept, no?

    And now he "has it all".  He and Sam will be fantastic parents and I know that they're going to be very happy.

    May it continue forever.  I just hope that I'll be around to watch Dylan, Aidan and Jackson (and any other love bugs that come our way) become fine young men who will then give us the honor of becoming great-grandparents.

    The family is growing-isn't it the best?

    2 Replies
  • Precious Moments

    Posted on Thursday, August 1, 2013

    Thoughts and Prayers

    This has been another busy, topsy-turvy week.

    Our grandson-to-be has been put on notice.  The latest ultra-sound has shown that Jackson's shoulders already rival "the spread" of his dad's and paternal grandfather's.  Plus, as of this writing-he's close to 9 pounds.

    That's quite a "far cry" from his father-who was born 6-1/2 weeks early and 6 pounds 1 ounce. Now my mind is a tad bit fuzzy after over 29+ years, but I'm pretty certain that Adam didn't hit that weight mark until he was past 3 months.

    The expectant couple was told that either Jackson makes his debut into the outer world by Monday, August 5th all on his own power or Mother and Child will be induced on that date at any time after midnight.

    Why midnight?  Why Monday?  Simple as it being the beginning of week 39 and when the first bed opens up in the maternity ward.

    Per the legalities, they will not induce (unless there is a serious medical reason) until moms hit that all important "lucky" mark in their pregnancy.  

    So our son, who has wanted to be a dad since he was a toddler himself is not sleeping and is as nervous as the proverbial cat.  Every look has him nagging at his bride as to whether or not "this is it".

    Mom on the other hand is sleeping like a rock.  One look though and as a mom I see where my inherited daughter is ready to meet her roommate.  And meet him NOW!

    As our we all.  Cousins are telling him to come out.   Aunts are anxious; uncles are a bit less interested on the actual arrival time but are waiting for the happy news as well.

    Steve and I have been in the waiting room once, the delivery room once and now we'll be hopefully sitting together again waiting at Banner Hospital for the news of our latest new arrival to the Nadel clan.

    I'm saying hopefully together due to work schedules.  Darn if something isn't always getting in the way of being at the right place at the right time for the best of events.

    That being said-may I ask all of you to say a few Thoughts and Prayers for Adam, Sam and Jackson?  

    One last thought-it will be a precious moment when the three see each other as a family for the first time and as we all know, they need to take a deep breath and enjoy it for all its worth.  For before you know it-those new parents will be welcoming their own grandchildren.

    4 Replies
  • Going With the Flow

    Posted on Thursday, July 25, 2013

    Going with the Flow this Week

    What a week!  Some good, some bad, some angering.

    Our decision to play "tourists" in Sedona was fun.  We loved it last time, but because we had Lucky with us we missed a LOT of gorgeous sites.  I posted the picture of Steve and me at the Enchantment Resort.  The Red Rock Magical Trolley ride was a great way to see the city and some places we'll definitely go back and walk.  

    Sedona is simply GORGEOUS.   When I said, "you know this is prettier than the Grand Canyon."  He replied that the going phrase for those who are fortunate enough to live in this serene wonder is that "God created the Grand Canyon, but he lives in Sedona."  

    That's a great explanation of the beauty.

    We ate what we were told was the "famous" and best breakfast place in town-known for their 101 omelets, but the French toast "was to die for".

    So after we finished our tour we went back.  It was cute and friendly.  I was starving since all I had had was a 24 ounce cup of coffee and my available morning meds.  Never should I go until 11:30 a.m. without food-I was BAD.

    I went with omelet #101-PB & J with bananas.  I passed on the spuds and had fruit and asked for egg whites and 12 grain bread-light on the jelly.  It was very rich.  I probably would not have that again.  Steve went for an all meat omelet with salsa and avocado and sour cream.  Of course he also ordered the French toast.

    We left there wondering what the fuss was about.  It was okay, really nothing special.  However, unlike the Blue Moon Café that we went to the last time-the bathrooms were clean.  

    Next trip-we'll go to uptown and to the much cuter looking Golden Goose restaurant for breakfast.  Plus, our guide pointed out a great place that does foot massage and reflexology.  I'm up for trying that!

    Tuesday was a bit of a downturn.  We had errands and I had another epidural.  I'm not sure what the difference is between a "full" and a "booster", but I can tell you they both HIT JUST THE RIGHT NERVES.  Spent the rest of the day with the fur babies on my lap and Steve handing me ice packs.

    Better on Wednesday-at least it seems to have improved the lower back and below!  Shoulder stinks though.  Now for the real BAD thing.   At 9 a.m. my doorbell rang-process server with paperwork informing me that the guy who was cited for negligence and vehicular/bodily damages with several witnesses saying it was his fault-well his insurance company has the nerve to sue me for reckless driving and being in their client's way of speeding through a red light.


    Called my brother-in-law and attorney.  Great, just great.

    Thursday.  Since I'm writing this on Wednesday- let's just say that I have my usual appointment with my rheumatologist and my first Reclast infusion.  Not that anyone there actually suggested anything to me, but I read up on this stuff on the internet.  Seems I should really, really hydrate today, tomorrow and Friday.  I may have no reaction or I may feel as if I have the worst case of the flu-ever.

    I'm hoping it's the first, since frankly, I'm sick of feeling awful and don't need any more.  Plus-I'm supposed to entertain Dylan on Friday while Steve has to work on his day off.

    REALLY GOOD NEWS:  We are officially on baby watch!  Could be anytime now.  Hoping Samantha has as easy a birth as she's had a pregnancy.  Can hardly wait to see and hold Jackson Dale!

    Now I've heard a couple of times from Big Dave that he's been unable to make a comment on the various blogs-I have no idea why and how the change happened.  If you've been reading for any length of time-you know that this glitch could take a while to fix.  But I did get Dave's comments on my e-mail-so go ahead and send them that way!  Love to hear from everyone!

    2 Replies
  • Fun & Food Trucks

    Posted on Friday, July 19, 2013

    Food Trucks and Cupcake Wars

    Warning-if you aren't into food; this week may not be for you.

    A few weeks ago I was hanging out with our son and daughter, Adam and Sam (I don't like the added "in-law" when it comes to my kids) and we somehow turned on the TV and were watching the Cooking Channel.  It's owned by the Food Network and seems to either show older shows from the later or have shows that are slightly upgraded in ideas.

    Anyway, we were watching a show devoted to the Food Truck craze called "Eat St." and one of the trucks was right here in the Phoenix area.  It's called The Short Leash.  All hot dogs, but done in a different way.  

    At least that's the way they presented it.  It was interesting enough that Sam and I decided we wanted to try it.  Knowing our husbands love hot dogs we figured this was an easy field trip.  Adam seemed to be listening intently to the show and knew his dad would go along with us on this ride.

    We "liked" the FaceBook page and we printed out the July calendar.  Tuesday worked for all of us as both men had the day off.  Adam and Sam had a host of doctors' appointments that day and the opening of the truck was after the first one and before the second.  Perfect.

    It was going to be in the lot by Urban Cookie.  I kept saying "I've heard of Urban Cookie, just don't know where."

    We arrived.  We ordered.   All the dogs were wrapped in homemade naan.  Turned out to be our favorite part of the lunch-that naan was delish!  Anyway, we all tried the fried pickles.

    Yummo.  The jar said "medium dill"-but these were sweet and ended with a nice wallop of just enough heat.  They were coated in panko and fried until nice and crisp.

    As for the hot dogs, we had several choices:  veggie (you know I took that version), chicken, bratwurst, spicy and traditional beef.

    Adam and Sam chose the chicken and Steve decided on the traditional.   Now for the unique part, we had some good options, here's how we enjoyed our first food truck experience:

    Adam had the strangest:  • Bear

     Peanut Butter, Cracker Jacks, smoked Gouda, Bacon and BBQ Sauce

    Sam tried:  • Lady

     Chipotle Cream Cheese, sautéed Onions, fried Pickles

    Steve went with:  • Moki

     Roasted Green Chilies, sautéed Onions, fresh Tomatoes, Pinto Beans, Cheddar Cheese and Mayo

    And last, I decided on:  • Aiko

     Mango Chutney, diced Jalapenos, Red Onions, fresh Cilantro and Mayo

    It was incredibly hot and the wait for our meal took about 20 minutes.  We all agreed that it looked better on TV. It's not that it was bad, but we all had suggestions about how it could've been better with some very small adjustments.  We thought the texture would have improved everything if the various hot dogs would have been split open and grilled until crisp.  Everyone but me had a frank that at least went from top to bottom of the naan-mine was half the size of the flatbread which meant I was eating only the condiments until I got to the middle.  While Sam's was so hot she had to wait to pick it up-mine was cold due to the mango chutney coming out of the fridge.  Adam said his would've been better if the cracker jacks had been recognizable.

    Now for the Urban Cookie!  Folks if you're ever in the Phoenix area-hunt this little place up!  I knew I had heard of them-2 years ago they were the winners of The Cupcake Wars show.  They also do some incredible cookies and scones.  Adam and Sam were so hot that they bought themselves the ice cream sandwich which was huge and made with almond macaroons and homemade vanilla ice cream.  

    Since we treated for lunch, they splurged and bought a dozen cupcakes for the family dinner that night.  The cupcake of the week was S‘mores.  They had their winning Olive Oil and Orange cupcake there to try.  The choices were unique and the best part?  I had a vegan/non-dairy one to try!  Banana spice.  It was so nice to be part of dessert for once!  And I didn't have to make it.

    I also picked up a few ideas for some new cookies.  I really like the idea of dried pineapple and coconut chips in an oatmeal base.

    Family and food go hand in hand and while we had a day of trying new things-it was also fun to sit down to a healthy (read that "make amends") dinner of grilled salmon, True Foods kale salad and some artisan whole grain bread with honey and seeds.

    Hope you all had the same great times with your family!

    2 Replies