Friday, October 31, 2008


Just got a text from the hostess that she's got a stomach bug and the party is cancelled. And I had just come up with a relatively not lame idea for a costume. Oh well.... scratch that, just got another text, party has been relocated.

In other news, I put my car in for new tires today, so glad about that. I have been stressing over it for a while! I also got an oil change at the same time. Nice.

I went to stop & shop last night and instead of buying real food I bought white sugar, brown sugar and baking soda. Apparently I have some plans to bake things. I need to go to Good Health and try to find some xanthan gum. I've got to make those oreo cookies soon!! I started making a list yesterday of the foods my mom usually makes on Thanksgiving, what I can eat, what I can't eat, and have printed out a bunch of substitute/alternate recipes. My mom is supportive but the one thing she won't do is not stuff the turkey. It's a little frustrating but what can I do? She doesn't understand the concept of cross contamination and although she's good about some things, if it really infringes on her ways, she won't budge. Fine, I'll buy some turkey breasts and cook them the night before so have turkey. The vegetables are all safe, I'm going to bake a corn bread and some sort of apple pie/crisp. I'm determined to make it work and not cheat. I've been trying really hard!! I get better every day.

I'm off to my next appt with The Doc in about 10 minutes.

Enjoy your Halloween everyone!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This is ridiculous.

Kids are getting kidney stones.

Even more proof that our diets are wreaking havoc on our bodies. It's a sad state of affairs when little kids are suffering from kidney stones. I remember a girl that I used to work with had to go to the hospital because of kidney stones and they told her she needs to change her diet. She explained this all to me as she chugged on a large soda and snacked on some gummy bears. Not that I can talk, I'm just as guilty as anyone else when it comes to eating too much junk food.

SHIT... So Happy It's Thurday

Ahhhh Thursdays! I love them. After 3 loooong days in a row I get to Thursday and at 5pm I can leave work and just go home and relax. Of course I haven't had time to do any dishes so I always get home to a sink full and that's usually one of the first things I do. Heaven forbid my roommate ever wash more than one dish at a time... Tonight will be no different. My brother called in "sick" to work today. It's so convenient that his girlfriend has the day off too. He's been moaning all week about how crappy he feels, setting us up for the inevitable. Fortunately I'm all caught up with my work so I can pick up the slack. My Dad and I work really well together so not having my brother here today shouldn't be much of an issue. Anywho, yesterday was my first visit with my new primary care physician. She was awesome. Clearly she had gone over my medical history before I arrived and she new everything that I was going through. Asked all the right questions, listened when I talked, very genuine, I like her a lot! I'm glad to have a female doc again too. Friday I go back to the gastro, he's just going to tell me to increase my meds again and keep coming in for blood work. Nothing new or exciting there.
I finally made it back to kickboxing last night and I'm glad I did. My hips are a little sore from all the leg lifts but that's not a bad thing! I am quickly falling out of shape and still gaining weight so I need to get back to it. It's not cool to be a fat fitness instructor. Not cool at all. I've been pretty good with food this week too and that helps a lot. I have been tagging a ton of blog entries lately of delicious recipes I want to try. I even found a new GF blog when I was searching for an oreo cookie recipe. Everyone's posting their results from the daring bakers pizza challenge and I am so in awe of all these delicious looking pizzas!!

Ok, tomorrow is Halloween and I have a party to go to and NO idea of what I'm going to wear...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's oh so quiet, it's oh so still.

Sorry for the quiet blog lately, things are good though. Nothing new or exciting to report. Getting excited for Halloween! Don't have a clue what I'm going to wear... any suggestions?

I have 2 docs appts this week so we'll see how things go. I'll have to up my meds again and I'm not sure if he'll take me off the other one yet. I've been really really fatigued and achy lately. It might be a side effect of one of the meds. Gonna talk to the docs about it this week.

Oh a word about following directions when you are baking. FOLLOW THEM TO THE LETTER! Otherwise your brownies will taste like crap. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another week is over.

My Guitar

This is one of my favorite pictures. I posted it yesterday but didn't publish. This is the 3rd time I've attempted to write this entry! I had a painful week. Literally. But I'm feeling a lot better today. Physically and mentally, I feel a lot better today. It's 5pm on Saturday and I'm still in my pajamas. I didn't go to kickboxing for the 4th time in a row. Hopefully I'll have the motivation to go back on Wednesday. Right now I'm watching Almost Famous. I love this movie. It makes me want to be a rock star. Well not really but kinda. I love music, I wish I were better at playing this here guitar. Instead it just collects dust in my room. And I can't get my piano through the door here so it sits at my mom's house, collecting dust. I do have a keyboard that I play sometimes but it's just not the same as the real thing.

I have to admit that I've been pretty depressed lately. Just a lot of things weighing on my mind. But today I feel like things are finally starting to turn around. I feel good about food, I'm looking forward to the holidays, I'm ready to put in some effort to make things better. Ok, I'm gonna finish watching this movie. I'm also planning my menu for the week... finally ;-)

Thanks to everyone out there that reads this blog and to the people that comment, I couldn't be doing this without you. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Check out my gluten free blogroll. I finally updated it with all of the feeds in my bloglines reader. And I know there are even more GF blogs out there that I'm missing out on. If you're one of them, let me know!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I've discovered that making things from scratch/boxed mixes is cheaper than buying the finished product. For example, buying a six pack of frozen GF muffins at Good Health is about double the cost of a whole box of corn muffin mix and I get a lot more muffins out of the mix. I found some Whole Foods 365 Brand mixes and I'd like to try them. Anyone have any experiences with these mixes? I want to try the corn bread/muffin mix. I think it's only like $3 for the box but I'm not sure how many muffins it makes. I love corn bread and this would be a great breakfast for me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grocery Shopping with a Plan

Sunday night I went on my weekly grocery shopping trip, I had about $40 to spend. I went through the store with my shopping buddy and made it to the cash register with a good amount of stuff in my cart, grand totaling about $38. Nice work. So I check out and I head home and as I'm driving home I'm thinking to myself, what the heck did I just buy? And how is it going to feed me all week? Before I left for work yesterday I stood in the kitchen sadly trying to figure out what to eat. I ended up buying my lunch, which means I'm now over my budget. Today I pulled out the receipt from the grocery store and wrote down everything I bought, put the items into categories, and figured out where I went wrong. Week after week I go to the grocery store without any plan or ideas about what I'll eat for the week and then I end up buying my lunch all week long because I have no food. I spend a fortune on food. I know, I've already said this. Well I'm working through it now. Here is what I bought this weekend:

Bottled Water
Cranberry Juice

3 cans of tuna
a dozen eggs

Family Size bag of Tostitos (on sale for cheaper than the smaller size)
Bag of cheesy corn puffs

Breakfast Foods:
Van's Waffles
Rice Chex

5 apples
3 bananas

2 tomatoes
a 5lb bag of potatoes
brussel sprouts

I do have some staples, various flours, starches, some rice, tinkyada pasta. I do not have any other proteins, no frozen meats to speak of. What on earth will I feed myself? I've already had tuna for lunch today, a girl can only eat so much tuna. I ate the bag of cheesy puffs in 2 sittings. I do not need two different types of snack foods, nor do I need two different types of fruit juice, especially when I have fresh fruits. I had been using a re-usable water bottle but found it a pain in the neck to wash all the time so I went back to buying bottles. I just had a genius idea, why not have 2 or 3 water bottles so that I don't have to wash the same one every day? Duh. Instead of spending a fortune ($156/year) on bottled water, shouldn't be wasting the plastic anyway! (I do recycle them of course)
Sorry to keep posting about money, I'm just trying to work it all out!

Any creative meal ideas from my list here?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oats & Honey Pancakes

This morning I tried a new recipe for pancakes, this is my first attempt at GF pancakes so I was excited to try them. I have that box of GF Oats that I've been trying to use up so I thought I'd give this recipe a try. I can't remember who's blog I got this from so if you read this and it's yours give me a shout so I can give you credit for it!

I've determined after making the sesame chicken last week and these pancakes that I do not like honey. At all. So going forward if there's honey in the recipe I will use sugar instead. I know it's healthier but I just don't like it. The crunch of the oats in these pancakes was not something I'm used to but I didn't mind it so much. I like the added nutrition. Here's the recipe and some photos.

Oats and Honey Pancakes

3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup gluten free oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup milk (I used lactaid skim milk)

Whisk together all the dry ingredients in one bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, honey and oil. Then whisk in the milk.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Then you will have a bowl of this:
Oatmeal Pancakes 002

When you're almost done with the mix, start preheating your skillet.
When it's ready, pour in your mix:
Oatmeal Pancakes 004
I put some promise spread in the pan, but since it's non-stick I didn't really need it and it just ended up burning, I also had the pan too hot:
Oatmeal Pancakes 008
So I had another smaller pan on hand and I decided to use it to cook up some non-burnt pancakes:
Oatmeal Pancakes 010
And finally, the finished product:
Oatmeal Pancakes 009
Served on my Gramma's Pfalzgraff dishes of course!

They were yummy, accept for the hint of honey flavor, and I'll get used to the oatmeal crunch. But I think next time I'll just try regular pancakes. Now I'm off to get ready to go to another wedding! Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Leaves

Fall 1

Fall 3

Fall 2

Some New England fall pictures for you. I took these last weekend. I do love the fall.

I was going over my new budget today trying to figure out a plan to get myself on track with my groceries so I can stop cheating all the time. I took an average over the past nine weeks and I realized that I've been spending almost $100 per week on food, just for myself. That's ridiculous. And most of it has been on expensive takeout lunches, like Whole Foods. I really need to learn to plan and shop better. My budget for food is only $50 per week, think I can do it? Any tips? I could definitely use some help! I am a single girl, I work 2 jobs and go to school so I don't have a lot of time to cook so basically I need things that are cheap and easy. Ok, Grey's is on, gotta go for now!


I went to work at the Y last night to find my supervisor sitting at the desk with red puffy eyes. And I said Jack, what the hell is wrong with you? And he said, I think it might be poison ivy and I said, ummm it doesn't look like poison ivy, it looks like conjunctivitis. And if it is, you are highly contagious and I am highly receptive so please don't come near me. Of course he's sitting at the check-in desk. The hub of the fitness center. The place where I would be sitting in just a few short minutes. He left at 7 and I stayed until 9 to cover his shift. I swear I'm not a hypochondriac but the last time someone even looked at me with pink-eye I got it and I got it fierce. Awesome.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Feeling better.

All I have to do is read some GF blogs and I feel better. I love the new ones I found today: Gluten Free is Life and Lisa's blog. I should update my blogroll, there are a ton that I read that are not listed there. Someday when I have a little more time!!!
I had a delicious lunch of tuna salad with lettuce and tomato and some UTZ potato chips. I love UTZ chips!! Ok there is a lot of work I should be doing right now...

Staring at a blank screen, don't know what to write!

Coming off the steroids has been good and bad. The good is that the water in my legs is gone, the tooth sensitivity is much better, there's hardly any more cramping in my legs and feet. The bad news is the rash is coming back a little bit, and my skin is so dry I think it's going to peel off. I've lost about 2 pounds. The weight that I lost that first couple of days pretty much came right back. I am feeling a lot better than I was though, so that's good. The problem is, I feel pretty much the same as I did before diagnosis. I don't feel like the meds are helping at all, and let's be honest, I'm doing horribly at sticking to the gf diet. Well, not that horribly but still, not that good. It's hard when you have no time and no money. I know, excuses, excuses. I feel like if I did stick to it consistently I would feel better, I just haven't been able to do it yet. How do you stick to it? What works? I'm very frustrated these days! I packed my lunch today. It's a good start.

There are 11 weeks left in 2008. Last night I went over money for the rest of the year and started to plan a budget for next year. If I'm smart next year I can put up to $3,000 into savings and have my credit cards completely paid off by January 2010. How awesome would that be? So awesome. That's providing my roommate doesn't decide to move out. If she does, I doubt I will get another roommate and will have to find a one bedroom for myself. That will pretty much cut the savings out but my credit cards will still be paid off by the end of the year. Either way, it'll all work out, and that's really great. I've been busting my butt to get this debt paid off and to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel is really exciting.

I don't have much of anything exciting to say these days so the blog's been kind of quiet. I'm hoping it will pick up soon with lots of gluten-free success stories rather than sporadic confessions about my lack of success. The hardest part of my day is breakfast. Everything else is easy. I really wish they made gluten-free instant oatmeal packets, like Quaker Oats. That would make my life so much better...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thank goodness for auto-fill.

Blueberry Yogurt
I'm forcing myself to eat yogurt the same way I forced myself to eat bananas. Today is better than yesterday. Fortunately some yogurts are very low lactose, like this one, Chobani all natural Greek yogurt. Blueberry flavor. Lots of good bacteria in there. I have blueberries in my fridge, had I thought of it, I would've put some in the yogurt. I've been drinking gatorade when I feel dehydrated, but a big part of my problem is potassium deficiency and gatorade has lots of sodium and little potassium and that's not good for me. So no more gatorade. Lots of water and natural fruit juice, like orange juice, full of potassium and no sodium. Good stuff.

I couldn't think of a good blog title today and as I'm typing ideas the auto-fill is showing me that I already picked all of the titles that I could think of, so that's why this post is titled as it is.

I dragged my butt to kickboxing last night and as usual I was glad I did. I was feeling a little weakish this morning and I'm afraid it's because I didn't eat anything after class last night. I always eat something when I get home from kickboxing but last night I just didn't and this morning I felt it. So I ate right away and felt better. I'm determined to kick this weakness. I am determined to make it through an entire winter without passing out. Now that would be awesome.

It's a crappy rainy day here in Boston, I hope it brightens up for the weekend because I'd love to go take some photos.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hump Day already? Feels like Monday still...

I don't particularly love missing days of work. I can't help but feel guilty since it's only my Dad and Brother here holding down the fort when I'm gone. But sometimes a girl needs a couple days off. Yes I was sick but still. I can't wait until Christmas vacation. I'm just realizing that it's actually only a little over 2 months away. What?! Wow, where did 2008 go?? In fact, where did the entire 2000's go so far?? It feels like just yesterday we were all freaking out about Y2K and now we're staring down 2009. The good news is, I'm feeling much better today. Lots of water, a multivitamin, some orange juice. It's all good. I bought an excellent book about IBD called The New Eating Right For A Bad Gut by James Scala, Ph.D. I read the entire book yesterday. It was full of really great information about how Crohn's disease works and what foods are good/bad for you and how to keep inflammation away. What else is going on with me these days. Not much really. I'm looking forward to Columbus Day weekend. Yay for having Monday off without being sick.

Gluten-Free Sesame Chicken

Sunday night I finally had a chance to make this recipe for Sesame Chicken from the girls at We Are Not Martha. Since I haven't been feeling so well, I didn't bust out the good camera to do photos, just the old standby Nikon Coolpix. I'm hoping this weekend to go hunting for cranberry bog harvest pictures. This dish was really good, I'm not used to honey so the taste was a little weird for me but it was good. I had the leftovers today for lunch and they were still very good. Here are some pics.

White Rice
First I put the rice on since it takes a while. I used plain old white rice but the pot I used was too small so it kept boiling over.

Sesame Chicken Sauce
Making the sauce.

Coating the Chicken
Coating and cooking the chicken.

Cooking the Chicken
Chicken's done, add the sauce and scallions.

Sesame Chicken Dinner
I cooked the broccoli in the microwave and then put it all together. Served with a nice cold glass of Lactaid milk. YUM! The roommate approved as well. I will definitely make this dish again. It was relatively quick and easy and is good as leftovers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Always sick...

Sorry for the lack of postings lately. I've been having a rough week, and it's only Tuesday! Saturday I spent the first half of the day at the hospital visiting my roommate after her appendectomy. Then I went to visit with the family. Sunday I hung out in my pajamas all day. I made that sesame chicken for dinner and it was pretty good. I took pictures, I'll write that post later. Monday I got up to go to work and I felt ok until halfway to work I started feeling sick and when I got off the train I started feeling that faint feeling and as I rode the escalator to the street I thought I might die and then once I got to street level I had to sit down on the sidewalk so that I wouldn't pass out. Again. WTF?! So I collected myself and walked up to my office and told my Dad what happened. I made a few calls to the doctors and made an appointment for tomorrow afternoon and then headed home. Now that I'm on immune suppressants who knows what's going to happen. I was always sick before and now? So frustrating. I'm getting some pain in my face, head and neck, I'm afraid it's my wisdom tooth so I'm making an appointment to go back to the oral surgeon. I had one out about 3 years ago and I was supposed to go back a year later to get the other 2 checked out but never did. And now I really need to but the office is closed today. I also have lost about 5 or 6 pounds since like Sunday which is good but it's a pretty good indication that coming off the steroids cold turkey is probably what's making me feel so miserable. I've lost a lot of water weight in the past few days and we all know that that is what leads to my fainting spells. So anyway, after all that, I'm home today resting up again. I need the time off. Hopefully I'll be feeling better soon. And hopefully I won't spend the entire winter being sick.

Friday, October 3, 2008

What a night...

Well first things first, The Doc gave me the OK to ditch the steroids!!! He was hesitant as I'm not up to full speed on the new meds yet but I begged. He said "how much weight have you gained" I said "like 15 pounds" and he looked at my legs that are full of fluids and said "it's just water weight" and I'm like yeah, I know but it's making me FAT and I hate it!! So he said Ok, but if you start to flair up, call me, and I'm going to tell you to start the steroids back up so you might as well just go ahead and start them. But he also said he thinks I'll be fine. And so do I. YAY!!!

So I was supposed to be going out to dinner with my roommate for her birthday tonight but we got a random message from her this afternoon saying that she can't make it but not why. That's definitely not normal so I was a little worried, then I got the voicemail on my way home from work, she's in the hospital with appendicitis!! Oh the poor thing, not only is it her birthday but she also was supposed to fly to Australia tomorrow to visit her friend that is working there right now. No more vacation for her. What a mess, I feel horrible. I went to the hospital right away and stayed with her until they took her into surgery and now her parents are there for her.

What a night... now I'm home watching What Happens in Vegas. Wish I were there right now!

Finally a weekend to myself, what will I do? COOK!

Now that my two year run of being a Maid-of-Honor is over, I'm finding myself with a weekend all to myself to do whatever I please. Finally I can try some of the gluten-free recipes I've been collecting! The first is going to be this recipe for sesame chicken from the girls over at We Are Not Martha. They are not gluten-free bloggers but they are Boston girls and I love their blog. This particular recipe only needs one conversion - gluten-free soy sauce - which I already have at home. All I need are the sesame seeds, scallions and the chicken and I'll be on my way to home made Chinese food. I can't wait!!
I'm also going to try their recipe for quinoa for breakfast, but that will have to wait until Sunday unless I wake up early enough to make it before kickboxing tomorrow. And I'll substitute blueberries because I'm not a huge blackberry fan.
I also have a recipe for pancakes that will use up some of the oatmeal that I'm not eating. I have tried twice and I cannot get it to work. Maybe I'm just expecting something that's never going to happen, I want the texture of mushy instant oatmeal, is that too much to ask?! At least there are millions of other ways I can use the oats.

I realized recently that while I've been frustrated with going gluten-free, I've been compensating by eating ridiculous amounts of chocolate. The problem with this is that chocolate actually makes me feel worse when eaten in large quantities than gluten does. So while I'm feeling horrible and blaming it on gluten, it's actually been all the chocolate I've been eating on a daily basis. Yes, that's right, daily. And so I stopped eating chocolate last week and do you know what happened? I started to feel better... go figure. Somebody just slap me on the forehead. I eat chocolate after lunch as a way to sort of cleanse the palate. You know, when you eat onions on your salad and you need something to cancel out that taste/smell? I eat chocolate. Yeah I know that's ridiculous, I could brush my teeth, or eat a mint. But now, I use it as my excuse to eat candy bars. Well I discovered a great alternative to this, and now after lunch when I am craving something sweet I eat a banana! Who would've thought that I'd be eating bananas every single day and enjoying it. Looking forward to it. That's pretty cool. Nature's candy right? Yup it works for me. Not only is it sweet, but it's filling and satisfying so I don't crave anything else when I'm done. I also eat a smaller lunch so that I have room for the fruit. Lovely.

I have to walk to Beth Israel today and the skies just got very dark. It was so beautiful outside just a half an hour ago, what happened?! Oh this is not good at all! I hope it's not raining when I get over there!!!

More Rainbows

More Rainbows
Day Two of rainbow sightings! This time I got off the Red Line in Quincy Center and this beauty was right there waiting. This is my weak attempt at panoramic but you get the idea! It was awesome.

Tonight is my next visit with The Doc, at which time I will beg and plead that he start weaning me off the 'roids immediately! And then it's dinner out with the girls for my roommate's birthday. Kickboxing tomorrow, then driving the roommate to the airport for her trip to Australia, then a nice relaxing weekend at home.

The other night I bought a frozen pizza to try, I added onions and peppers and baked it and it was great. The crust was a little too crunchy but I liked it. Last night I was looking for a quick supper so I thought I'd grab another one of those pizzas. When I got to Good Health I thought I'd try a different brand but then as I was staring at the freezer case and thinking about the $8 pricetag on a 7 inch pizza I noticed the 4 pack of Kinnikinnick pizza crusts that were just over $8. I knew I had sauce and toppings at home, all I needed was cheese so I grabbed the crusts instead of the already made version. The directions where to add toppings and bake for 10-15 minutes, which I did. This version was way better than the already made version! The dough was soft, next time I might cook the crust by itself a little bit before putting the toppings on, but it was delicious. And I still have 3 more to save for a rainy day! I think these pizza crusts will become a staple in my freezer. There are tons of ways you could dress up one of these babies to make all different types of quick meals. Since I don't have a lot of time to prepare foods, these are great to have on hand. I'm always looking for "fast foods" to have at home. Sorry I didn't take a picture, I was starving! Next time I definitely will though!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thinking outside the box

Rainbow 2
I'm walking through Boston Common on my way to the Red Line and when I get halfway down the walk I see this in the sky. This picture doesn't do it justice, it was one of the best rainbows I've ever seen. So bright and colorful. At first I'm thinking oh, my camera phone won't take a good picture of that, oh well. But then I'm like hey, duh, you always carry a camera on you. So I whipped out my little old Nikon P&S and took a few shots. I love rainbows. It sounds ridiculous but they are so magical. It really brightened up my day.

I've been in this graphic design certificate program since April and I had been thinking that it wasn't really teaching me much that I didn't already know. But I realized yesterday that it's not just about the technical aspect, it's about learning to think outside the box. Yesterday I was talking to a customer about a job I'm working on for her and I told her that I couldn't turn her signature into a transparent reverse and then after she left I'm like hey, come on now, put a little effort into it, of course you can do that! And I did. And I'm finally starting to think beyond the end of my nose and step outside my comfort zone and do things that I don't even know I can do yet. And that is why this program is totally worth it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Own Worst Enemy

Lately I've done a pretty good job at beating myself up. I talk down to myself all day long. Every time I eat something I shouldn't, or I step on the scale and it's up another pound, or I see a picture of my puffy face. It's killing me. Everyone around me is been so supportive of me through this "journey". People keep saying that they can't tell that I've gained weight, I look great, I'm doing great, and I thank them and then tell myself that they are just being nice. The days that I actually feel good are few and far between and it's dragging me down. New medications, weekly blood work, trips to the ER, dehydration, cramps, nausea, weight gain, water retention... it seems like the frustrations are endless. And then I read this article about a guy that has no limbs. Seriously. No limbs. And he's a professional fisherman. He doesn't complain, he doesn't sit at home all day whining because he has no legs. He just gets up and goes fishing. And he's good at it. Very good at it. And he doesn't need your help, he can do it himself. And here I sit, whining about a little water weight and stomach aches. He has no legs. No arms. He doesn't complain.

"That's my calling, to tell people to get the most out of life," he says. "I want to show people that, no matter what the situation they may be facing, if you put your mind and your heart to it, if you have enough determination and perseverance, you can overcome anything." ~Clay Dyer

Thanks Clay for inspiring me to shut the fuck up and get over it. Sorry for the harsh words but that's the bare bones of it. "You can't control the cards you're dealt, just how you play the hand." ~Randy Pausch, my other inspiration to live life to the fullest because it's over all too soon.